Doc’s Talk 11-18-2012

Dr. Scaff talked about the Turkey Trot and Tapering.

Turkey Trot
The Turkey Trot is this coming Thursday, 11/22/12.  The event starts at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand around 6:30 a.m.  You can sign up for the race online at:

Signing up online will speed up your registration the morning of the race.

We are trying to make the start of the Turkey Trot more exciting.  We can’t do quite as well as the Honolulu Marathon start, but there will be bagpipe music, a boys choir singing “The Star Spangled Banner”, and a barbershop quartet.  The bottom line is you will have a good time!

This is the first week of real tapering.  You can find the tapering schedule on page 55 of 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:

Tapering works!  Dr. Scaff reminded everyone of the article he shared on 11/11/12 that told of Ken Martin starting his tapering seven weeks before the 1989 New York Marathon.  Martin finished the marathon in 2 hours, 09 minutes, 38 seconds.  Back in 1989 that was about as fast as a marathon could be run.  Dr. Scaff predicts that when the first person breaks the 2 hour marathon, which will eventually happen, that person won’t be wearing regular running shoes, they will be wearing very light shoes because if you read the chapter on shoes in Dr. Scaff’s book you will see how much time you save for each ounce you knock off a pair of shoes (Chapter 19 “How to Pick A Pair of Running Feet” in Your First Marathon – The Last Word In Long Distance Running, by Jack H. Scaff Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S.M.).

Tapering starts at about a 20 – 25% decrease.  Take whatever miles you have been running and divide it by 3 and start cutting back by about that amount (e.g. If you were running 40 miles per week, this week you should do 30).

Rather than running every day Dr. Scaff advises you run every other day.  If you are doing the Turkey Trot and that is your long run this week, great!  You get to do your run at the Turkey Trot, see how close you come to your predicted time, and then you get to go home and pig-out.  It’s just a perfect confluence!

Carbo-Loading Party
The Friday before the Honolulu Marathon (12/07/2012), Dr. Scaff and his wife Donna host a Carbo-Loading party at their house.  In the weeks to come Dr. Scaff will bring to the Marathon Clinic invitations and directions to the house.

The Marathon Preparations Talk
The Sunday before the Honolulu Marathon (12/02/2012) Dr. Scaff gives a 20-minute talk on everything to do from that day until the marathon is over. 
Be sure to attend if you are relatively new to marathon running.  It is all based on an awful lot of experience of people like ourselves.

The Sunday after, Dr. Scaff gives a talk on what to do to get ready for the next marathon.


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:

November 16, 2012
A new study helps to bring some clarity to the question of moderate drinking during pregnancy. Children of women who had one of four genetic variants in alcohol metabolizing genes had a lower IQ if their mother consumed even moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.

Consumer Link
Even Moderate Drinking in Pregnancy Can Affect a Child’s IQ

Research Link
PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49407.