Saturday, May 30, 2015

If  by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

This poem was required reading for students of Percy Cerutty.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Anonymous Quotes on Athletic Success

I love good quotes, ones that me think and take a look at myself. After each of the following I offer a comment.

"One should not torture himself over a single mistake. What is essential is one's presence of mind hereafter. When one makes a mistake, he should not be hesitant to correct it. Making a mistake and not correcting it, this is the real mistake."
 Evaluate and re-evaluate, be introspective. I hear athletes repeatedly asking why they are not seeing improvement in their performances. There's a reason for this.

"Do all things with patience."
The impatient athlete tends to be a self-defeating one. Cerutty correctly said that impatience is evidence of a certain degree of immaturity.

"Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind."
For most of us that takes awareness of how we are and the desire to acquire mastery over ourselves. Again, being introspective is the key.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."
The simple truth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Considering A Marathon?

I thought of reposting what you are about to read after talking with someone who had just run his first marathon and was not particularly happy with his time:
Without a doubt the marathon is the distance that has the highest number of ill-prepared entrants.Something happened many years ago that led to this distance becoming the be all end all for runners.Whether it was Runner's World or people like Jeff Galloway, or the programs that seemed to appear overnight that said they could get you from zero miles to the starting line in 6 or 8 months,the marathon experienced a huge increase in participants. By appealing to people's desire to climb a type of personal Mt. Everest, we saw the emergence of "coaches" only too willing to help them on their journey while making money in the process.
If you are a thinking,discerning runner you recognize that racing,as well as running a marathon, is something that should be done only after years of preparation. I know that flies in the face of those who believe that there is always a better, faster way, but, if you want to do it right and have a long running career, then you must be patient.Nothing can speed up the benefits your muscles,tendons and joints get from seasons of mileage and time out on your feet.Years ago everyone was shocked when Carlos Lopes,at age 37,won the gold medal in the Olympic marathon.When asked what was the secret for this success at such an age,he said that his whole distance running career had prepared him for the marathon.
While we're on the subject of age,far too many young promising runners,those in their 20's, prematurely begin racing the marathon. They either ignore or are unaware of the fact that as we age the drop off in performance times lessen as the distance lengthens. So what's the hurry?
I say, ignore the marathon hype,race a variety of distances over different terrains and settings,see what you can do,find your ideal distance,then,when you've put in the time,laid the foundation,make the move to the marathon.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

George Young On Speedwork

The following is in the spirit of Cerutty--
OK, here we go again,who out there remembers George Young? For those who don't recall this great runner I'll give you a little background. He competed in 4 Olympics from 1960 to 1972 where he participated in a total of 3 different events. In the 1968 Games he won a bronze medal in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and placed 16th in the marathon. George at age 34 became the oldest man,at that time,to run a sub 4 minute mile. The following is for the runners I'd call seasoned or experienced, ones who are seeking ways of doing speedwork without getting on a track. The advice given below is not intended for a runner who isn't fit.It's for the runners who've been around for awhile and always seem to be just a little ways' away from achieving what I call optimal fitness. George had this to say: "There's no better way to get in speedwork than by running a race. You talk of speedwork in terms of repeat quarter miles and all those other things,but you don't get the speedwork there that you gain in a race. You just never really reach the pain barrier,or whatever you call it,in any other way than running the race and hurting that way." Young really makes a good point when he speaks of the pain barrier in practice as compared to a race setting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Path To True Peace and Contentment

The following was not written by Percy Cerutty but he affirmed what you are about to read in his books and the way he lived. I honestly don't know who wrote this, it was sent to me years ago, no author was listed--

Go your way because you want to, not because that is the way they say you should go.

Dress the way you choose, look the way you desire but do not copy others.

Be an individual, do not suppress the urge to be a non-conformist out of fear that others will not accept you.

There is nothing wrong with being a loner if that's the way it turns out to be.

Don't be afraid of the quiet or being silent.

Come to understand that less is better.

Be a doer not an observer.

Seek out new adventures and challenges.

Don't experience life vicariously by watching others.

Be comfortable and at peace with the life you are living.
Couldn't agree more with the above.                                                                 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Big News

This is a slightly different post than ususal, I lifted it off my Stotan Runners Facebook page--PMA Books is announcing the rerelease of Middle Distance Running by Percy Cerutty ---my comment at the end says it all

Stotan Runners shared J Mary Masters's photo.

Good news. The latest Percy Cerutty title 'Middle Distance Running' is now up on for sale. This is the first time in 50 years this book has been published. First published in 1964, so spread the news if this is of interest to you.
To find the title, search for this ISBN 978-1511951074

See More

This may very well be Cerutty's greatest book.
A must have for the serious athlete.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Achieving Mastery of Your Sport

Success in our sport,be it personal or competitive,is what all serious runners desire. The process towards achieving success can offer the distance runner an opportunity to learn much about himself,but, he must be open and reflective as to what is happening during the process.Learning and growth do not occur when the runner has the view, "it's just another race(or workout),tomorrow I'll do this and the next day......." The following is by an unknown author.What he writes about below is thought provoking and worthy of consideration.
"When you move down the road towards the mastery of your running--and you know, you are constantly moving down that road--you end up coming up against these barriers inside yourself that will attempt to stop you from continuing to pursue your mastery of running. And these barriers are such things as when you come up against your own limitations,when you come up against the limitations of your will,your ability,your natural ability,your courage,how you deal with success--and failure as well for that matter.And as you overcome each one of these barriers,you end up learning something about yourself. And sometimes,the things you learn about yourself can,to some individuals, convey a self-knowledge that has an almost spiritual sense to it."
Aren't we all moving daily "down the road towards the mastery of our running?" With this mastery of our running can come a mastery and understanding of ourselves.