Wednesday, December 31, 2008

52 down, zero to go - I'm done!

Finally! This was my last self-supported weekly ultramarathon (meaning a training run longer than 42.2 km or 26.2 miles). 

The weather was nice and everything went well.

I ran 47.4 km (29.5 miles) in 5:54.

I'm not sure if it this such a great idea if racing performance means anything, but at least it kept me running. My total mileage in 2008 is 5377.7 km (3341.5 miles) - averaging 14.7 km (9.1 miles) a day for 366 days. I don't think I've ever run more in one year.

I've certainly had my share of injuries during the year, but magically they have all disappeared by now. I'm healthy and in pretty good condition.

52 ultramarathons down, zero to go - I'm done!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tim VanOrden running in deep snow has a great new video about the benefits of deep snow running. 

Ok, I'm convinced... now all I need is deep snow!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kangaroo imitates the 10th fastest Kona Ironman finisher

See 1994 Ironman triathlon World Champion Greg "Kangaroo" Welch perform possibly the best Pauli Kiuru imitation ever - LOL!   

For those of you who just asked 'Pauli who?', he is the most succesful Finnish triathlete. I know him personally as the badass who beat me by 2 hours 20 minutes in Kona 20 years ago :-) 

One of his most famous stunts happened in Ironman New Zealand 1990, when he got lost just before the finish line, then found his way back to the run course and sprinted to beat Ken Glah just in time to win the race by the narrowst margin in Ironman history.

Unfortunately the video below is pretty bad quality, but please at least check out the amazing battle to the finish line around 2 minute mark.

Some of you may also remember Kiuru for almost beating Mark Allen in Hawaii Ironman 1993. Although Mark eventually passed Pauli on the run (Dave Scott observed that Kiuru seemed to give up way too easily, although Pauli claimed cramps forced him to slow down), we should keep in mind that Mark's finish time 8:07:45 is the 3rd fastest in Hawaii ever. And, interestingly, Pauli's 1993 finish time 8:14:27 still ranks 10th fastest in Hawaii.

Here's a list of top ten fastest finish times in Kona ever:
  1. 8:04:08 - Luc Van Lierde (Belgium). 1st place in 1996 (swim 51:05, bike 4:28:06, run 2:55:16).
  2. 8:06:07 - Thomas Hellriegel (Germany). 2nd in 1996 (54:22, 4:24:50, 2:46:55).
  3. 8:07:45 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1993 (50:40, 4:29:00, 2:48:05).
  4. 8:09:08 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1992 (51:27, 4:35:23, 2:42:18).
  5. 8:09:15 - Mark Allen (USA). 1st in 1989 (51:17, 4:37:52, 2:40:04).
  6. 8:10:13 - Dave Scott (USA). 2nd in 1989 (51:16, 4:37:53, 2:41:03).
  7. 8:11:56 - Normann Stadler (Germany). 1st in 2006 (54:05, 4:24:50, 2:46:55).
  8. 8:13:07 - Chris McCormack (Australia). 2nd in 2006 (53:51, 4:29:24, 2:46:02).
  9. 8:14:17 - Faris Al-Sultan (Germany). 1st in 2005 (49:54, 4:25:24, 2:54:51).
  10. 8:14:27 - Pauli Kiuru (Finland). 2nd in 1993 (51:05, 4:28:06, 2:55:16).
So only these eight superfast guys have finished under 8:15 in Kona. As you may have noted, Greg Welch is not on the list, as his best time is 8:18:57 (1996, 3rd place). Of course time is not everything. After all, Greg took the title in 1994, but Pauli wasn't able to realize his dream of conquering Kona. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finnish dudes celebrate Christmas upside down at the Pole

From their diary at
"After a gruelling and long final dash, we’ve reached the South Pole. We skied almost 90 kilometres during 36 hours. The first Finnish South Pole expedition has reached its goal! Poppis is now one of 12 people in the world who have skied to both poles without external support."
Happy holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

5 Tibetan exercises

These are the famous five Tibetan rites for healing, rejuvenation and longevity.

I'm doing each of the five exercises 21 times every morning (the legend tells that's the magic number you should do). 

I'm not sure yet if I've discovered the fountain of youth, but they seem to wake me up and also help with my injured back.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Awesome UltraMan 2008 photos

Hawaii Ironman was certainly enough for me (for example, I don't really remember how I got from T2 to the finish, although the statistics prove that I did run a 4-hour marathon). 

But of course there are people who crave for something more. For those special folks they created the Hawaii UltraMan

Go see these awesome pics by Timothy Carlson now! Only the very best are selected, so there aren't too many of them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas card 250 km from the South Pole

The Finnish South Pole Expedition sent us this Christmas card. Their current location is about 250 km (155 miles) from the pole. Hyvää Joulua means Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

6 most common pushup mistakes

Thanks to the video above by, we get to see the four most common pushup mistakes. 

I'm sorry Kevin, but I couldn't resist to make it a full half-dozen and adding my solutions

Without further ado, here are the 6 most common pushup mistakes.
  1. Not doing any pushups at all. Come on, this is one of the greatest workouts ever invented, and it's freely available anywhere you are.
  2. Letting your elbows go wide. Keep your elbows in - you don't have to squeeze them crazy tight, just make sure they don't travel too wide either.
  3. Sloping your hips down. Always keep your back straight.
  4. Sticking your butt up in the air. Always keep your back straight.
  5. Not going down far enough. Quit thinking you can win in this game by cheating - you should go down all the way and then up all the way. 10 honest pushups are way better than 20 half-pushups.
  6. Hanging your head low like a cow. Imagine a straight line from your feet to the top of your head and then really focus on keeping it that way all the time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My penultimate ultramarathon: 51 down, 1 to go

My penultimate self-supported weekly ultramarathon in 2008 took place in relatively cold and dry conditions. It was a nice day, but no luck with the sun as is almost always the case in the darkest period of the year. After all, Helsinki is as far North as Anchorage.

Anyway, I ran 46.5 km in 7:14 fartlek-style. No problems.

Now when it's 51 down and only the last one to go I'm starting to feel I can pull this off. I wasn't so sure when I began on January 1st. The first two months were definitely the hardest due to extremely cold and stormy weather. Now it's not a big deal anymore. I guess you can get used to almost anything, no matter how crazy it sounds initially.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

50,000 runners @ Singapore Marathon

Singapore Marathon was on December 7th. About 50,000 runners took part, exceeding last year's record of 40,000 runners. So next year it will likely be around 60,000. Wow that's a lot of runners!

Actually I was going to run S'pore marathon a long long time ago. I still can't believe this happened, but the truth is I couldn't find my shoes on race morning - so I couldn't start, although I was otherwise well prepared. Later on I found out that the kids from next door had hidden my shoes when they were drying outside. 

Maybe I've got to come back and do this race some day.   

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Marathon inspiration by Rush

This is the song Marathon by the extremely successful Canadian trio called Rush - one of the most enduring rock bands ever. This video is from their Show of Hands tour 20 years ago.

I have listened to it for inspiration before almost every marathon, except my first one in August 1985. The only reason for that is that the album Power Windows was released a couple of months later in October 1985.

Ok, without further ado let's sing all together now:
(music by Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson, lyrics by Neal Peart)
It's not how fast you can go
The force goes into the flow
If you pick up the beat
You can forget about the heat
More than just survival
More than just a flash
More than just a dotted line
More than just a dash

It's a test of ultimate will
The heartbreak climb uphill
Got to pick up the pace
If you want to stay in the race
More than blind ambition
More than simple greed
More than a finish line
Must feed this burning need
In the long run...

From first to last
The peak is never passed
Something always fires the light that gets in your eyes
One moment's high, and glory rolls on by
Like a streak of lightning
That flashes and fades in the summer sky

Your meters may overload
You can rest at the side of the road
You can miss a stride
But nobody gets a free ride

More than high performance
More than just a spark
More than just the bottom line
Or a lucky shot in the dark
In the long run...


You can do a lot in a lifetime
If you don't burn out too fast
You can make the most of the distance
First you need endurance
First you've got to last...

Although Rush didn't play this song on their latest tour, the new Snakes And Arrows Live 3DVD is awesome.

And check out Primal Wear's Rush 2112 cycling jersey!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fifty down, two to go

I hurt my lower back in a little accident yesterday. The doctor said it's nothing serious and it should be fine in a few days. So I went out for a little jog and took it really easy.

We've got some snow again, but the ground is very wet all over and it's impossible to run any distance without getting shoes, socks and pretty much everything else wet.

I managed to jog 48.8 km (30.3 miles) in 6:18. Fifty self-supported weekly ultramarathons down, only two to go before the end of this year.

This run and the photo above (which was taken a couple of years ago) are dedicated to my father, who sadly passed away on Saturday in a hospital, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He taught me to love the sea regardless whether it was stormy or calm weather. He will be greatly missed.

If you are interested in fighting Parkinson's, you can for example get involved with Davis Phinney Foundation  in many ways or simply make a donation.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winning Brooks shoe ad... and Racer ST3 vs control shoes

The commercial below, created for Brooks running shoes won a competition in Holland a while ago.

That reminds me that my feet have fallen in love with my Brooks Racer ST 3. I've run 1,672 km (1,039 miles) with my first pair already. Both the shoes and my feet are still going strong, they are almost as good as new!

By the way, when I a few days ago tried to jog a mile in my old stability/motion control/trail shoes, I felt the old injury spot start hurting immediately. Actually I had to walk back home and change into my Brooks to avoid reinjury. Note to self: Stay away from all those darn heavy expensive stability control shoes!  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Introductory period to kick off my Adaptive Running

To kick off the introductory period of my Adaptive Running training, I've gradually sneaked in the following features:
  • short (8-10 sec) and steep (6-8%) hill sprints,
  • moderate progressions (running later segments of an easy workout at a slightly faster pace), and
  • fartlek intervals (incorporating 30-40 second moderate uphill intervals within an easy workout).
December will be my introductory period into Adaptive Running. The purpose of this relatively short period is to establish an appropriate fitness foundation that will prepare me for for the more challenging and focused training later on.

My fundamental period will start in January - that's when my specific marathon training will take place.

My training cycle will peak with a sharpening period just before my goal marathon race in 2009.

For more information about Adaptive Running, please refer to Run Faster by Brad Hudson.

PS. Keep your eyes peeled on my new Adaptive Runner website to follow my Adaptive Running marathon experiment in 2009.  

Friday, December 5, 2008

3 Ways To Give This Holiday Season

Here's a couple of inspiring Lance Armstrong videos for all you cycling fans out there. And by the way, check out LAF's Three Ways To Give This Holiday Season.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dean Karnazes wins 4Deserts series

sunset in antarctica
Originally uploaded by *christopher*

Although cold and remote, Antarctica sure seems to be a popular continent these days among endurance athletes.

After finishing the Last Desert, Dean Karnazes was declared the overall winner of the 4Deserts series. He also became the first athlete to complete all four events in a calendar year.

A violent storm hit them yesterday, causing the cancellation of Stage 5 of the race. Nine to fourteen meter waves hit their ship, sending stuff flying all over. Sounds like a fun race to do some day! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Finnish duo has eyes for the South Pole

THE POLE - Finnish South Pole Expedition 2008 consisting of two unsupported skiers has already reached 691 km (429 miles) from their destination.

Nothing is stopping this dynamic duo from reaching the pole. They have everything this sort of adventure requires: 
  • physical fitness, 
  • mental strength and
  • experience with arctic expeditions.
Photographer Kari 'Poppis' Suomela will be the 12th person in the world to ski to both poles unsupported.

Ski guide Pasi Ikonen has skied across Greenland with an international expedition.

Good luck guys!

Monday, December 1, 2008

49 down, three to go

Last week we had the biggest snowstorm in 50 years, and now all the snow is gone already.

Running in cold rain is not much fun, but I managed 44.2 km in 5:52.

49 ultramarathons down, three to go!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ecco Biom shoes

This is the new interesting Scandinavian running shoe concept called Biom that will be available in 2009.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

9 keys to healthier & happier you

Fit Soul, Fit Body - 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You is the title of the new book by shaman Brant Secunda and triathlon legend Mark Allen.

Even if you regularly work out and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may notice that there is still something missing that keeps you from feeling completely satisfied with your achievements. What Brant and Mark offer here is the key to discovering that extra something.   

Actually there are nine keys in the book:
  1. Balance your responses to the six types of stress.
  2. Quiet the mind.
  3. Transform fear, anger and jealousy.
  4. Reconnect with the natural world.
  5. Honor yourself.
  6. Know and set the quest.
  7. Live what you ask for.
  8. Slow down to get faster.
  9. Invite your inner cave man to the table.
A quote from the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey:
"I trust you will share my passion for Mark and Brant's book and message. They are truly remarkable people from the inside out. Egoless. Authentic. Insightful far beyond the traditional classroom. As will become wonderfully clear to you, these two teachers carry a set of skills and knowledge unlike any others, and you will feel compelled to implement them into your life right away."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

5000K of running this year and counting

My running statistics show that I passed the five thousand kilometer mark today. My total mileage since January 1st is now 5004.3 km (3,109.5 miles). 

Today is 331st day of the year, so my average running distance per day is 15.1 km (9.4 miles). 

I've never run more during a year (even if I stopped running today). I've been a marathon runner about a quarter of a century, but most of those years I've been also an Ironman triathlete, so all that biking and swimming limited my running mileage. My last Ironman was four years ago.

What's better, my leg and foot injuries don't bother me anymore. In other words, my body seems to have healed itself pretty well while I've been busy running. Well actually my left hand is still a little sore because I fell down on Monday, but that's nothing serious. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

48 down, 4 to go

The huge snowstorm that began on Sunday brought us about 30 cm (12") new snow. That's the highest amount of new snow in 24 hours in Helsinki in my lifetime.  

It kept on snowing on Monday. 

I ran 50K in 6:43.

There were lots of opportunities to fall down, and I did perform one spectacular stunt.

It was really lots of fun to run in snow for a change.

48 self-supported ultramarathons down, and only four to go!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The first Finnish Antarctic solo expedition in trouble

The Finnish South Pole Solo Expedition seems to be in trouble. According to his diary, Mr Teemu Lakkasuo has:
  • lost his jacket,
  • caught a flu with fever, and
  • hurt his leg.
He is probably not in the greatest of moods in his little tent, but I'm sure he'll get over this - after all we Finnish people don't know how to give up, do we?

Anyway Teemu's doctor has ordered a 24-hour rest to give him a chance to recover a little. Let's hope him all the best.

I just came in from a little run. There is a huge snowstorm over Finland right now, but I didn't feel like complaining, especially when I thought about what Teemu must be going through.

Lahja Elämälle is a Finnish organ donation promotion programme that is a partner of the Antarctic expedition. Please support similar programs in your home country.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Following Tim VanOrden's running raw experiment

When I first came across Tim VanOrden's Running Raw project, I honestly thought the poor dude must have lost his mind. The seemingly crazy idea of running competitively while eating a strict diet of mainly raw vegs, fruits, nuts and seeds made me laugh out loud.

Fast forward a few months. I'm still grinning, but for a different reason. I've secretly tested a similar program on myself for a total of 12 weeks now:
  • first a six week 50-60% raw lacto-ovo-vegetarian transition period 
  • followed by another six week 80-100% raw vegan 'detox' phase, 
The results have so far exceeded all my expectations: 
  • I'm now about 7 kg (15 lb) lighter - from about 69 kg (152 lb) to 62 kg (136 lb).
  • My body fat is down from about 12% to 6%. 
  • My BMI (Body Mass Index) has decreased from 21.1 to 19.0.
  • My health feels much better than before (although I wasn't really sick before, I had some skin issues etc).
  • My fitness is great in terms of endurance, however I have not tried any speedwork or racing yet.
  • I've been able to cut all dairy, meat, fish, poultry, coffee, tea (except herbal tea) consumption.
  • I didn't and still don't consume any soft drinks or alcoholic beverages.
  • My energy levels have been pretty high all the time.
  • I seem to require less sleep.
  • My mind is definitely much clearer.
I've decided to continue 90-100% raw food diet until the end of this year, and if it goes well, I'll probably continue in 2009.

We Like It Raw has recently podcasted an inspiring 57-minute Tim VanOrden interview. Check it out now - this runner really knows what he is talking about!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Superfood smoothie

Originally uploaded by gesika22

Today I mixed all my favorite superfoods in a blender to create a real super smoothie: 

  • half a pomegranate (tip: put it in a bowl under water to get the red seeds stain-free), 
  • oat milk
  • frozen blueberries (or any berries you like), 
  • an avocado, 
  • a pear (or an apple), 
  • a couple of heaped tablespoonfuls of Green & Black's organic cacao powder, 
  • a teaspoonful of Magma Plus powder, 
  • a tablespoonful of flax oil (or fish oil), 
  • a ripe banana to get a sweeter taste. 
Supergood and superhealthy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welly's bike charity auction now on eBay

2008 Ironman - Chrissie Wellington
Originally uploaded by konaboy

The Queen of Kona (2007 & 2008 Hawaii Ironman triathlon champion) Chrissie Wellington has generously decided to auction off her trusty Cervelo P2C in aid of Jon Blais' Blazeman Foundation for ALS.

The carbon bike is on eBay right now for three more days. The frame size is 54 cm and the current bid is 5,300 USD. It's a great bike (I ride Cervelo myself) so go get it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

47 down, five to go

The sun is shining, but it's not warming me much today.

Wonderful running weather, although it definitely feels like winter is about to arrive.

Runningwise it's business as usual: my 47th weekly self-supported ultramarathon of the year.

I ran 44.2 km (27.5 miles) in 6:55. That's slow, but hey, I took a lot of weird photos.

After the run I weighed 62.9 kg (138.7 lbs). I haven't been that light since I was a teenager.

Wow, forty-seven down already...

...only five to go!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scott Tinley: Racing The Sunset

A succesful pro-triathlete in the eighties, Scott Tinley has written this honest account about an athlete's quest for life after sport. 

In addition to 'ST' himself, Racing The Sunset explores the fates of dozens of retired athletes like Greg Lemond, Steve Scott, Davis Phinney and Greg Welch. 

I guess the underlying story is how crisis and change often leads to personal growth and healing.  

This excerpt shows what a great writer ST has become:
"When my wife dropped me off for my foot operation, I seemed calm. I was looking forward to reading some books. There were a few races coming up over the next months, but if I had to pull out, nobody would sue me and we wouldn't be sleeping in the car. I was supposed to be retired anyway. The waves in the spring are typically windy and blown out, I told myself. A few weeks downtime to write or paint or help the kids with their homework would do me good. There are no accidents, I finally convinced myself. Everything happens for a reason.

When the nurse took my blood pressure it was high. I was putting up a good front but the numbers don't lie. I was nervous, maybe even scared. What if something went wrong and I couldn't ever run again? I was retreating into my narcissistic self; I was too concerned with the body when I should have been focusing on the mind, or even the soul.

The doctor doing the surgery made some joke about me being more of an Ironman now because I would truly have metal parts inside me. He was thirty-two years old, in fifth grade when I won my first Ironman. I smiled, took some deep breaths, and remembered how certain Zen masters could will themselves to stop bleeding from an open wound. I added yoga to my list of things I wanted to become proficient at in the next year. Yeah, I could do it in a year.

But a year is a long time, and ten years is even longer. Better that I take it a month, no, a week, no, a day, no - better I accept my place right here and now. Make the best of it. Relax, breathe in, breathe out. Slow down and let the past catch up with me. Quit running away from it, since I won't be able to run for a few months anyway. I did some great things in my life as an athlete. Yeah, it was a hell of a good life."
I like it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunroot smoothie

Topinambur (Helianthus tuberosus)
Originally uploaded by Luigi FDV

Sunroot (Helianthus Tuberosus) aka sunchoke or topinambur or Jerusalem artichoke is a species of sunflower first cultivated by Native Americans.

I just improvised by throwing the following ingredients into my trusty blender: 

  • a few sunroots, 
  • four tomatoes, 
  • spring onions, 
  • a handful of baby spinach, 
  • a green chili, 
  • a little garlic clove, 
  • sea salt to taste, 
  • a spoonful of flax oil and 
  • some extra virgin olive oil.
It was surprisingly good!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six secrets of adaptive running

Every elite coach has a training philosophy. Brad Hudson's is called adaptive running. It is based on his belief that a responsive and creative approach is better than an approach that is too structured and formulaic. 

In chapter 6 of his new book Run Faster: From The 5K To The Marathon coach Hudson reveals his six secrets of adaptive running:
  • consistent moderately high running volume (balancing quality and quantity)
  • nonlinear periodization (all the training types are mixed together throughout the training cycle, except when sharpening)
  • progression from general to specific training (race-specific fitness requires race-specific training, but it's crucial to have a very high level of non-race-specific fitness first)
  • three-period training cycles (introductory, fundamental and sharpening)
  • lots of hill running (including 8-12 second steep hill sprints)
  • extreme intensity and workload modulation (two hard workouts and one long run per week).
Would you like to become your own best coach? Running Faster will teach you how. You can find this new amazing book in Paleo Runner's aStore. Please visit there now to find out more!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Running the Grand Canyon R2R2R

This is an ultra runner's 17-minute video of running the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim with his four buddies last weekend. That's 48 miles (77 km) down-up-down-up folks!


Monday, November 10, 2008

46 down, six to go

What a great day for my 46th self-supported weekly ultramarathon this year.

I ran 44.9K (27.9 miles) in 5:12.

46 down, six to go!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Amazing sauerkraut salad

Making Sauerkraut
Originally uploaded by Andreas Duess

Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) makes it easy to design amazingly unusual and tasty salads. Ready-made sauerkraut is widely available.

You can mix it with anything you like, but the following are my favorites. I usually pick at least a couple of things from each of the six categories:

  • any veg (cucumber, carrot, spring onion...)
  • any fruit (grapes, olives, pomegranate...)
  • any sprout (lentils, mung, quinoa...)
  • any fresh herb (parsley, mint, basil...)
  • any seaweed sprinkle (nori, dulse, sea lettuce...)
  • any dressing (lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, shoyu...)
You can't go wrong, because whatever you choose the result will probably be one of the healthiest things you have ever eaten. Just remember to make sure all your ingredients are organic and you are good!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Body fat calculator

Horror on the Train
Originally uploaded by Shadowfoot

Have you measured your body fat percentage lately?

Well I sure haven't, so I googled this online body fat calculator.

According to the Jackson/Pollock 7 Caliper Method (which seems pretty accurate), my body fat is 6.6%. My current weight is 64 kg (141 lbs), so theoretically I have about 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs) fat to lose.

So if I will get my weight down to 62.1 kg (137 lbs), it would mean a Body Mass Index of 19.0 (my current BMI is 19.5). I guess it would be risky to go any lower than that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Avocado chocolate

Imagen 476
Originally uploaded by jzuñiga

I created and enjoyed this simple avocado chocolate recipe today.

Simply mix 

  • Hass avocado (1-2 per person, or any amount you like), 
  • Green & Black's organic cocoa powder (about half the amount of avocado), and 
  • pure maple syrup (about half the amount of cocoa). 
Tip: Just use a spoon or a fork to mix the ingredients in a bowl.

Serve with any berries, fruit or nuts. Yummy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

45 down, seven to go

Today I had the pleasure of running my 45th self-supported weekly ultramarathon.

It was a relatively sunny day.

I ran 43.1K in 6:14.

45 done, only seven to go!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Paula wins New York City Marathon

The defending champion and World Record holder Paula Radcliffe won the ING New York City Marathon 2008 just a few minutes ago. What a great comeback after a disappointing performance in Beijing! 

Her splits were as follows:
  • 5K - 18:05
  • 10K - 35:33
  • 15K - 52:44
  • Half - 1:13:23
  • 30K - 1:43:32
  • 35K - 2:00:13
  • 40K - 2:16:40
  • Finish - 2:23:56
Ludmila Petrova was second (2:25:43) and Kara Goucher, who ran her marathon debut today, third (2:25:53).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Food Matters

Food Matters is a new film that seems interesting, but I haven't seen it yet.

And here's director James Colquhoun on 9AM.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The collapse of money

birthday monies
Originally uploaded by joecooke

I came across an interesting article today called 'Money and the crisis of civilization' by Charles Eisenstein.

What it says in a nutshell is that the collapse of money is coming soon, but that's not as bad as you may think, so stop resisting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

44 down, 8 to go

This didn't seem like a very sunny day, but it was going to be my ultramarathon day of the week nevertheless.

Altogether, I ran 44.0K in 5:55.

44 down, 8 to go!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Complementary gazpacho

Originally uploaded by silangel

I chose the ingredients for this gazpacho based on the concept of complementary colors (red/green) and effects (hot/cold).

So I threw in my blender a couple things from each of the four categories.

Red/hot: red chili, red onion.

Red/cool: watermelon, tomatoes.

Green/hot: lime juice, parsley (these are not that hot, but they make a great combination with the other stuff).

Green/cool: cucumber, a handful of green leafy vegs.

Serve with sea salt flakes and extra virgin olive oil.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Optimal BMI for health and endurance sports performance?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is weight (kg) divided by height (cm) squared. There is a BMI calculator available. 

Normal BMI value range is 18.5-25.

Interestingly, many successful endurance athletes seem to have their BMI around 21:
  • Haile Gebrselassie (the current marathon world record holder): 21.1
  • Scott Jurek (world's no.1 vegan ultrarunner): 21.2
  • Chrissie Wellington (Ironman Hawaii winner 2007 & 2008): 20.8
  • Craig Alexander (Ironman Hawaii winner 2008): 21.0
My BMI has been about 21 for years, but due to recent foot injuries and bad performances I've decided to take it lower. My current value is 19.8, which is extremely low for me. I certainly feel lighter and faster, but how low dare I go without risking something?

Paula Radcliffe (the women's marathon world record holder) has an extremely low BMI: 17.7. And if you remember Seb Coe (who used to be world's best middle distance runner), he had an amazingly low value of 17.0! 

On the other hand, many ultrarunners with a relatively high BMI seem to be performing pretty well. Dean Karnazes has a BMI of 23.7, and David Goggins (who used to be a powerlifter) 24.5! 

Also many cyclists and swimmers are in the same category. For example, Lance Armstrong's BMI is probably around 23.6.

So who knows what is optimal for both health and endurance sports performance. I plan to get to around 19 for a while and see how it goes.      

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Human 2.0: The Long Run

Here's an inspirational video showing David Goggins win McNaughton Park 150-mile race.

Human 2.0? Hmm... let's just say he is definitely an animal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The world's first bionic burger

This is a year old video that has been amazingly popular on YouTube. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pollan's food agenda

Michael Pollan's food agenda was recently published in NYT. It says we need to put the food system 'back on sunlight'.

The obvious question how to achieve this individually right now is conveniently answered in his latest book, In Defense of Food:
  • Eat food.
  • Not too much.
  • Mostly plants.
From whom does real, well-grown and unprocessed food need defending? According to Pollan, from the industry and science. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat. 

Fortunately, we can easily relearn which foods are healthy for us and the environment. We can get back on a 'diet of sunshine' and stop wasting fossil fuel.

Monday, October 20, 2008

43 down, 9 to go

Fine fall weather today.

It's time for my 43rd self-supported weekly ultramarathon.

I ran 43.5K in 5 hours 27 minutes.

43 down, only 9 to go.