Saturday, February 27, 2010

'Running Fast and Injury Free' by Gordon Pirie

Running Fast and Injury Free by Gordon Pirie is a short book full of useful advice for those who would like to be able to run faster without killing themselves in the process.

I'm really happy to have recently stumbled upon this information at ultra runner William Sichel's website - tons of interesting stuff to be discovered there.

On a page about his personal training influences Sichel admits this is the book that taught him to run. He also mentions that he is indebted to John S Gilbody, who worked for years getting the book ready for publication after Pirie died in 1991.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brooks Green Silence racing flats for speed & simplicity

It's way too cold and snowy outside to run seriously fast, but that won't stop me from buying new hot racing flats.

Brooks Green Silence will replace my current Adidas Adizero Adios flats for the following reasons:
  • simpler design (about half as many components as in average racing flats)
  • light weight (my GS size US 10.5 and my Adios size US 11 both weigh the same, ie. 225 grams)
  • lower arch height (suits my feet better)
  • thinner sole (GS heel/midfoot 18 and forefoot 10 mm vs Adios heel/midfoot 22 mm and forefoot 11 mm)
  • lower heel-to-toe drop (8 vs 11 mm)
  • asymmetric vamp & lacing system with a wrap-over tongue
  • the only seriously green & fast running shoe (75% recycled shoe materials; 100% recycled laces, gillies, webbing and packaging; biodegradable midsole and collar foams; 38% less solvent in water-based glues; non-toxic colors, etc.)

Green Silence also seems to provide a tempting alternative to Brooks Racer ST, my old (ultra)marathon favorite. However it remains to be seen if GS can provide enough protection and support for longer distances.

I guess it depends on how well I can execute my two main goals for 2010:
  1. weight down, and
  2. cadence up.

"Silent steps to a greener future..." Sure thing, but the hot colors seem to scream for attention. The bold asymmetric design is a winner in my book, although it might scare traditionally minded folks.

With appropriate laces this might even be suitable for triathletes. I could certainly imagine running without socks in these in summer, whenever 100% barefoot is not an option (ie. most of the time for those who live in the city).

A more thorough review will follow after some serious training and racing this spring. Meanwhile, here's a video by The Running Couple.

Plus another review, if you'd like a second opinion :-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4-minute fitness boost with Tabata protocol

Tabata protocol is an interval training method invented by Izumi Tabata. It refers to any hard effort performed 6-8 times for max 20 seconds, interspersed with rest periods of 10 seconds.

Tabata takes only 4 minutes of your time, so it's hard to find an excuse not to do it - except if you already did it yesterday. If done properly (ie. brutally hard), you shouldn't feel like repeating any of it for about four days!

In the video below Tim VanOrden shows his Tabata leg press workout. If you don't have access to a leg machine right now, you could try pushups, situps or whatever, or go out and sprint of course.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Trail Magazin 1/2010 now online

Trail Magazin 1 /2010 (in German) is available now online. It has awesome running photos from Cape Town and much more. Worth checking out, it's free!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Superfoods according to David Wolfe

'Superfoods' could refer to almost any apparently natural and healthy nutrition.

The selection in this book includes:
  • bee products (honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis)
  • algae (spirulina, AFA super blue-green algae, chlorella)
  • green sea products (marine phytoplankton, kelp)
  • fruit and berries (goji, acai, camu camu, Incan berries, noni)
  • roots (maca, yacon)
  • nuts (cacao)
  • green leaves (aloe vera)
  • seeds (hemp, coconut).
Interestingly David Wolfe does not mention many well-known healthy foods. In the Introduction he explains that
  • raw/living plant foods were already the subject of his previous books ' The Sunfood Diet Success System' and 'Eating For Beauty'
  • 'Superherbs' will be the subject of a future book.
The 342 pages are a quick and easy read. I found the information and the recipes quite useful, although some of this stuff could be quite expensive or hard to find.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Swiss Alpine 25 years young

Swiss Alpine consists of several events ranging from kids fun runs and easy walks with poles to a marathon and a 78.5 km ultramarathon.

The ultrarun was a bit shorter back in 1995 when I participated the first time, but it has always started and finished in Davos, Switzerland (1640 meters above sea level).

In 2010 there will be special celebrations in Davos with the 25th running of the event. It's the excellent race organisation combined with fabulous alpine scenery that makes the challenging race so enjoyable. I'm not sure yet though how July 31st will fit in my schedule.