Doc’s Talk 03-17-2013

Kicking off his 40th year of leading the Honolulu Marathon Clinic, Dr. Jack Scaff welcomed everyone to the 2013 training year and covered the “givens” of the training.

No headphones for listening to music while running.  We need all our senses engaged while running on the busy roads.

Reporting Issues:  If you see something that should be reported, inform a member of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic staff.

No pets:  Dogs cannot run a marathon and they should not be amongst the crowd at the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.

ICEin the telephone stands for “In Case of Emergency”.  Type it on your phone and list your emergency contact.  The Clinic will have a way to identify you.  This is something EMTs look for and it’s a good idea, so don’t lock your phone while you are running.

The cornerstone of the Honolulu Marathon Clinic program is:

  • One hour of running or walking, three times each week.

We keep it real simple: 1 hour, 3 times per week for the first 3 months.  When you have to change we will tell you.

Running/walking a half hour, six times per week Does Not Work!  Later we’ll tell you why.

How fast do you go?  Never so fast that you cannot talk, and never so slow that you can sing.  Real easy.

You do not have to come to the Marathon Clinic every Sunday
You can come down and listen to the talk and leave, We do the talk on time and do it only once.  If you arrive late, you can’t ask what Dr. Scaff covered, otherwise we’d spend all day repeating the same thing.

Your Body Is Like An Engine
Your body is a running machine. The kind of fuel you feed the motor is paramount, but the muscles have to learn to use the fuel.  We have 2 types of fuel in our body:

1)  Carbohydrate or sugar:  It is only good for about 20 minutes.

2)  Fat:  The long distance fuel.

We have 2 types of muscle fibers in our body:  Quick twitch and slow twitch.

The quick twitch are the sprinting fibers.  The slow twitch are the endurance fibers.

At 40 minutes you are burning 80% of your own fat.  Therefore, if you can’t run for an hour, forget it.

As you start running an hour, you’ll notice you don’t feel good. We call that the PTA (Pain, Torture, and Agony).  It lasts for about 12 weeks, 36 hours of training then it goes away and you feel good.

For much more running-related information, 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:

Next week:  How to Run an Hour.

To read full, unabridged summaries of the Doc’s Talks:
1)  Go to the Honolulu Marathon Clinic web site (
2)  Look under the “Categories” listing.
3)  Click on “Doc’s Talk”.