Doc’s Talk 03-18-2012

Dr. Scaff welcomed everyone to the 2012 training year and gave a brief overview of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.

For a long time (since 1974) the Honolulu Marathon Clinic has been training people to do the marathon.  Because of the time we have put in to learning how to do long distance running, you don’t have to know anything about marathon running to train with us for this year’s Honolulu Marathon.

The Honolulu Marathon Clinic will guide you every step of the way.  If you listen to what we say, you can do well in the Marathon.  We may give you certain “rules” to follow.  These “rules” have been developed from the things we’ve learned over the past 37 years of doing this clinic so that you don’t have to make the mistakes that others have made.

At the Honolulu Marathon Clinic you will learn about the value of eating eggs, you’ll learn to enjoy hamburgers, and about the benefits of drinking beer!  This is a Fun group! 

The Honolulu Marathon Clinic meets Sundays, rain or shine, at 7:30 a.m., in Kapiolani Park, directly across from Paki Hale (3840 Paki Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815) for a 9-month training.  The training begins the 2nd Sunday in March and continues every Sunday (except 3-day holiday weekends) until the week before the Honolulu Marathon in December.

We train beginners.  The Honolulu Marathon Clinic defines a beginner as anyone who can climb stairs without resting.

The cornerstone of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic program is:

Learning to run/walk one hour, three times each week.

Running/walking a half hour, six times per week Does Not Work!

There is more on this in Your First Marathon – The Last Word In Long Distance Running, Chapter 14 “Exercise, The Physiological Magic and Mystique of One Hour”.

Running/walking one hour, three times each week is base-training.
Running a half hour, six times per week is not.

There are two types of muscles:
Quick-twitch muscles, which enabled our ancestors to run from the tiger, burn glucose.
Slow-twitch muscles, which enabled our ancestors to stalk the tiger, burn fat.

After 20 minutes of running you raise your body temperature and your body switches from burning glucose to burning fat because you’ve increased your metabolic rate.  After 20 to 40 minutes of running, your body is burning 80 – 90 percent fat.

This kind of running doesn’t feel good in the beginning because we do not usually burn fat.  This is why all aerobic exercise programs last only a half hour.  Exercising longer than a half hour people don’t feel good …and they won’t come back to class and pay the fees!  (humor)

Women will notice the changes in their bodies that result from long distance running more than men do, because the fat you burn during long distance running comes from the abdominal area and the sides of the legs.

Studies have shown that other benefits of long distance running include a 50 to 70% reduction in all types of mortality, including breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers.

These health benefits are a result of L.S.D. (Long Slow Distance) training.  To get these benefits you join the P.T.A. (Pain, Torture, and Agony).  But not to worry, the pain, torture, and agony will go away after 12 weeks (36 hours) of training.

There is more information of this nature in Dr. Scaff’s book, and certainly more than can be covered during the year in the talks that Dr. Scaff gives at the beginning of each Clinic meeting.

For more information on these and other running-related topics we encourage you to read Your First Marathon – The Last Word In Long Distance Running, by Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S.M., available for purchase at the Honolulu Marathon Clinic on Sundays and online at:

The book is a fun, informative, sometimes irreverent read.  We think you’ll enjoy it.

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 is a recent posting:

March 11, 2012
Brain scans (MRI) of people following six days of reduced sleep (4 hours per night) showed increased neuronal activity in brain reward centers when exposed to food stimuli. This indicates that reduced sleep may lead to a tendency to overeat.

Consumer Link
Sleep Restriction Activates Brain Centres That Regulate Appetite

Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print]