Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Training Journal

It seems so simple but why does it appear that so many self-described serious/Stotan runners neglect to keep one? For me, it was because I was too lazy. It has been repeatedly shown by runners greater than us that keeping track of all things relating to your training is essential. Consider the following:

"One of the reasons why athletes stop running,or training, is that they lose their belief in future development. Without a training journal, the athlete cannot see the pattern of training that preceded his own best performances and his own best seasons. Nor can he see the differences that led to poor performances and poor seasons. The diary keeps track of the quality and quantity of training and allows one to plan on which of these should be emphasized depending on event and time to train. Evaluations, predictions, comparisons, and future planning can be made with greater accuracy and reliability as a result of information accurately recorded in a diary. The benefits available are well worth the relatively small effort involved in the daily upkeep of a diary."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Wise Words From Dr.Sheehan

Dr. Sheehan reminds us that ultimately our view of success is a personal thing, unique to each individual. Too many have lived unhappy lives because they attempted to achieve a type of success that was determined by others,not themselves'. The following quote can also apply to those who feel your passion for the run is excessive and inappropriate.
"Live your own life. Success is not something that can be measured or worn on a watch or hung on the wall. It is not the esteem of colleagues,or the admiration of the community or the appreciation of others. Success is the certain knowledge that you have become yourself,the person you were meant to be from all time."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Regarding Competition by Cerutty

Percy offers some unusual yet helpful insights into competition. He had the following to say in regards to racing and the racing season: "The athlete should be aroused simply by the idea of competition,this should be enough to make him emotionally ready,and draw on what has been developed through practice. This arousal can be hampered by worry about the race or the competition,lack of interest or staleness. These are the enemies of good racing. An athlete can put in months of grueling,exacting workouts and then be defeated by them in a race situation. Elliott was immune to them, but most runners have a harder time of it. When the serious racing season is underway,races take priority. Training should be limited as much as possible,usually to no more than a little sharpening work on grass. The runner has to save his best efforts for the race. Many waste them in time trials and workouts. If the runner has trained properly and is 'mentally tough,' the race should be run as fast as possible. Since the runners physical condition doesn't change very significantly in the space of a week or two, if the runner is doing his best, his racing times should not fluctuate much from race to race. They should be progressively faster." I think of two things when I read the above,first is his saying, "The runner has to save his best efforts for the race. Many waste them in time trials and workouts." As some say,many runners leave their race on the practice field by continuing to hammer in workouts during racing season. As I wrote previously,the reason runners do this is either because of ignorance as to proper training or anxiety as it relates to the upcoming race(s). Secondly,if you have planned your training correctly, you should become progressively faster during racing season.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Cerutty did not condemn alcohol but said that if you were going to drink, do so only in moderation. From all I've read regarding Cerutty, wine was the only alcoholic beverage he advocated drinking. Consider the following.

"Oh demon alcohol,
Sad memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would say,
Damn it all and blow it all,
Oh demon alcohol,
Memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would fall a slave to demon alcohol."
The above is a song by a great British group called The Kinks.

Today we consider alcohol. We'll look at a substance that is consumed in varying amounts by most everyone, adult at least.
After a number of years of drinking I eventually came to some conclusions--you may agree with the following, you may not. My intentions for listing them are good--
1. alcohol is an acquired taste.
2.alcohol impairs the mind, mood and senses and the habitual user seeks out achieving that impairment.
3.alcohol does nothing to nourish the body,in fact, it depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.
4. for the regular user it's habit forming,and in some cases, addicting.
5.the occasional user generally becomes the regular user.
Before you think that I am some sort of spoil sport or holdover abolitionist let me say this: to be at the top of your game--you have to be in control--are you controlling what and how much goes into your body--can you? They claim a drink or two a day is beneficial to your health but this claim is disputed by many. What I have noticed is that the vast majority of those who drink on a regular basis consume much more than that one drink or two a day quota. If you are one of these people, perhaps you need to ask yourself this question, am I addicted to alcohol? Am I in control or out of control? If you don't know, try this simple test--don't drink today or at all this weekend. See how it goes. As these 3 days progress, monitor how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally; do you find that you are more prone to being irritable, anxious and restless, do you feel bored or even depressed? Then again, can you even make it through 3 days without drinking? What you discover may be shocking. If you find that you are not a "casual" drinker, then changes need to be made.
Again, it's all about control and discipline. Have a drink if you choose but be aware.
Below are the effects alcohol has on your body--keep this in mind as you go through the weekend--

A few of the health effects of alcohol consumption:
Increases the risk of cancer in the liver, pancreas, rectum, breast, mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus.
Heart disease:
Raises blood pressure, blood lipids and the risk of stroke and heart disease in heavy drinkers.  Heart disease is generally lower in light to moderate drinkers.
Raises blood glucose.
Lowers blood glucose, especially for people with diabetes.
Kidney disease:
Enlarges the kidneys, alters hormone functions, and increases the risk of kidney failure.
Liver disease:
 Causes fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Increases the risk of protein-energy malnutrition,; low intakes of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6 and riboflavin, and impaired absorption of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and zinc.
Nervous disorders:
Causes neuropathy and dementia; impairs balance and memory.

Well, there you have it, the facts. Now the questions, have you been kidding yourself in regards to your alcohol use? Why do you drink?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Something To Think About

"Do not be discouraged because you may affirm that you were not born strong. It is true that some types seem to inherit the factor of physical strength, just as some seem to inherit more brains. However, life has taught me in very many examples I have known personally, that with some natural flair for anything at all we can achieve heights quite exceptional if we will only believe in ourselves, and do the essential work, find the true way."
"Indeed--those who are hell-bent to succeed are those who often do what others believe to be implausible or impossible ".  Percy Cerutty.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Going It Alone

"Those persons who cannot work alone,who must always be surrounded by companions,who do not instinctively prefer to train and practice alone,or as near to being alone as possible,such persons can never expect to achieve the successes that otherwise could be theirs," a quote from Success in Sport and Life by Percy Cerutty.
The above brings to mind a few things as it pertains to people who are seriously committed to running. First, I think we've all known people who would rather not run then go for a long run alone. Some have told me it gets "boring" when they're out there for several miles and they don't have someone to talk to. I believe a statement like this shows, to a certain degree, a lack of mental toughness and discipline. We are increasingly becoming a society that is continuously surrounded by sounds,be it music or someone talking. It should be a welcome relief to be able to engage in something where you can be alone in your enviroment and thoughts. I've heard runners tell me that they do their best thinking when they are out on a long easy run.
Others have told me that long runs,alone and away from traffic,provide a contemplative aspect to their running.
If you are indeed serious about your running,do not ignore the necessity and benefits that can be gained from running alone.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


If you have read the Percy Cerutty bio,"Why Die," you learned about the poverty,depravation and illness he experienced during his childhood years.These hardships and the way he responded helped to mold him into the kind of person he became. Cerutty had the desire and perseverance to overcome many obstacles during the course of his life. A little known fact about him is that in 1945, at the age of 50, he became just the third Australian to run 100 miles in less than 24 hours.This was accomplished after years of poor health. Cerutty knows what he is talking about when he writes on subjects like obstacles, failures and overcoming. He offers the following: "It is said the darkest hour(in human experience) is just before the dawn. Be grateful if you have blundered: proved to be ignorant: made a mistake. It is only through such experiences that greatness can ever be achieved. When you experience frustration: discouragement: even a feeling of futility and hopelessness--it is then you should take heart: resist the temptation to abandon your objectives: to give up striving and trying. It is commonplace in human experience that--when we are about to abandon hope: when we are on the point of quitting--the miraculous occurs: we break through: we achieve(and what seemed only yesterday--the impossible)--the goals we dreamed of: but we must never have ceased believing and working towards those goals. In our moment of desperation something heartening occurs: the letter arrives: the invitation is received:we are added to the 'team'. So: never--whilst you breathe,whilst you have life,entirely give up hope: cease to try: abandon the search: cease doing. No one,until we have turned it,knows when we shall turn the corner, even which corner we may turn! But it is always well to remember: there is no road but has a turn somewhere: there is no problem but has a solution--if we can but find it: that there is no limit to what we may accomplish--at least whilst we have life in us." Perseverance is the key to success,you read this over and over again in the bios on successful people. Unfortunately,most people appear to lack the desire to persist and continue pursuing their goals. That is really too bad because I believe people are capable of accomplishing much more than they think they can.