Doc’s Talk 12-18-2011

Dr. Scaff gave a short talk on what to do once you’ve completed the marathon.

Now that the 2011 Honolulu Marathon is done, the Honolulu Marathon Clinic will not meet until March of 2012.  Why do we take the next few months off?  In fact, the Marathon Clinic used to continue meeting after the Marathon, but the runners incurred the worst injuries ever.  It was decided, therefore, that the Honolulu Marathon Clinic would no longer provide a training environment where runners can hurt themselves.  That said, taking time off from running after a marathon is as important as the time you spent running.

The Marathon is always injurious, but the training is not.  In the first year of training, assume any run over 20 miles is automatically an injury, and, consider yourself injured for 6 weeks.

So, what do you do after a marathon?  Rest for a week or two.  Enjoy watching football games on television, go to a swap meet, do anything that is definitely “not running”.  Bear in mind that once you stop running you lose “training effect”. If you lay off running altogether you can lose everything you’ve gained.  So after a week or two of rest, go out for a slow 1-hour run.  See how you feel.  If it isn’t too bad, try to work back up to running slowly for 1 hour, 3 times per week for a month or so.

It’s ok to start with slow runs that are just 20 to 30 minutesYour body will tell you when you are recovered.

After a few weeks you’ll notice that your speed picks up automatically.  This means you have fully recovered and are ready to start training again.

At that point you can begin training for The Great Aloha Run (Monday, February 20, 2012), but it is important that you remember the10% Rule:  All racing, intervals, or sprints cannot exceed 10% of total mileage.  Ever!  So, for example, if you are going to do another marathon, the 10% Rule dictates that you now need to do 260 training miles of recreational, slow, long-distance running before you do any interval work or enter even a 1-mile race.

The 10% Rule prevents you from running too much, which tends to lead to injuries.  This rule applies not only to the marathon but also to racing and training in general, and is for world-class runners as well as novices.  While not written in stone, the recommendations of the 10% Rule are based on the observations of, literally, tens of thousands of beginning and experienced runners.

Interesting Facts

  • If you maintain your conditioning by running 30 miles per week as a base, on any given day you will finish the marathon in the same time as the one you just completed.  You are already in shape; you just have to maintain your base.
  • It takes 13 years to reach your peak as a marathon runner.  The people winning marathons are not in their 20s (as you find in many other sports), most winning marathoners are in their late 20s or mid-30s.  If you are 45 and maintain your training at 30 miles per week for several years, when you are 60 you will run the course faster than when you are 45.  This is why in marathoning we say, “Once you’re over the hill, you go faster.”
  • Twenty percent of the people who broke the 3-hour mark in the 2011 Honolulu Marathon were from Honolulu!

Peter Garcia added that this year several people did the marathon in less than 4 hours, and a number of people came back from great adversity and finished the marathon this year.

The purpose of having you train is to make you healthy citizens now and in the years to come!

For some good reading on nutrition, Dr. Scaff recommends everyone check out the daily postings on Dr. Alan Titchenal’s “Got Nutrients?” web site:

Here are a few recent postings from the “Got Nutrients?” web site:

December 19, 2011
While consuming a low calorie diet for weight loss, those who consumed most of the day’s carbohydrate calories in their evening meal lost more weight and experienced less hunger than those who spread out carbohydrate intake evenly across the day.

Consumer Link
Save Your Carbs For Dinner?

Research Link
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Oct;19(10):2006-14

December 18, 2011
A small study with eight type 2 diabetic participants found that daily brief, high intensity exercise (ten 1-minute bouts of exercise with one minute of rest between each bout) greatly improved blood glucose control within two weeks.

Consumer Link
J Appl Physiol. 2011 Dec;111(6):1554-60.

Research Link
Brief, Intense Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar, Small Study Finds