Uncover your inner athlete!

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten.. Each morning in Africa a lion awakes - it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.


No matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better be running!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't get stale - go the trail

Today was spent in the company of the earth and running trails through parts of the North shore of Sydney that I had not ventured previously. Anyone that knows me knows that my preference is for running on asphalt or concrete, but I found the trails today liberating in a strange way. I even tried a technique that I had read about involving closing you eyes and following your feet over the ground – not to be tried on very steep downhills when attempting it for the first time.

The way forward with these sorts of runs for me has definitely been the bounding and plyometrics that I have been doing as part of my routine the past couple of weeks. The bounding makes one alot surer of the feet and where they are going to fall over the terrain.

Try the ply and feel all the difference as you fly – over the trails.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What more can we do?

The past two days of running (aside from being enjoyed with very little company on the roads and trails), really reminded me of the importance of keeping grounded not only at Christmas but indeed all through the year.

Although many parts of the city were deserted, there did still seem to be a fair few homeless folk who did not seem to have anywhere to go or have anything to eat (much less a roast turkey dinner).

One can only be really grateful that in places like Australia we have organisations that are doing really good work to help to alleviate the suffering of those less fortunate than ourselves. As runners we can all help these organisations in so many ways, be it volunteering a few hours a week or agreeing to fundraise for them through our next big event.

Most runners I know have inherently good hearts and are keen to help out where they can and assist in improving the lot of someone else.
Think about how much you have versus how much you actually need in life. We all have the capacity to do more or give more in 2011.

May you see and do good in all your actions in the coming year.

Running together – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas running

None so happy as a Christmas spent on the run.
Remember as you eat your lunch that for some the presents are none
Tomorrow we eat, drink and merry shall be
while many more languish in poverty - hardly free
So take a minute to think how you live
How in 2011 how much more you and your running can give!

Running together - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The wolf at twilight

Once again today I am acting out of character and doing a book review.

I have previously highlighted ‘Neither Wolf nor Dog’ by Kent Nerburn and am now highlighting his followup book ‘The wolf at twilight’.

Both books appeal to me as they emphasise what is wrong with our western society and encourage one to look at the alternative (in this case the way of the Native American Indian). Simple ways we can all adopt into our lives as runners and humans.

Live closer to the earth, give thanks on a regular basis, share more with others, protect the earth – talk to it and run with the earth and as part of the earth.

I wish you well over the Christmas period – become involved in the giving spirit of the season, but remember that it is just as good to have this spirit the whole year round as opposed to just over the Christmas period.

Running together (while staying close to the earth) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, December 20, 2010

If it hurts then get it checked

This morning I had a massive scare as I woke with severe chest pains and could not move in bed without the pain. After some thought and consideration I decided to visit the doctor and see what was up. The reason I was hesitant to go get it checked out was purely out of fear for the fact that there is something wrong with my heart and that I would be forced to give up on running and sport in general – or worse...

My thoughts turned to a local rugby mate who had keeled over on the rugby pitch at the age of 25 from a sudden heart attack – he was fighting fit and did not drink or smoke or do drugs and was not overweight. Taken way to soon in my humble view.. I picked up that phone and with fear in my head and heart called up the doctor.

Being extremely thorough she checked everything associated with the heart – ECG, blood pressure, pulse and cholesterol. Everything was determined as normal albeit the pulse slightly high for me at 43 (have been as low as 38) but this is not something that the doctor was concerned with. The end result was that it is an inflammation of the chest wall and something that could have been brought on by a respiratory tract infection.

The reason I share this is because even though my mind was thinking the worst this morning and this turned out not to be the case, I am glad that I went along and got everything checked out properly as experience has taught me that some things you just don’t play around with and one of these is your heart.

If it hurts please get it checked early!

Running together Stride for stride (while watching heart health) on a life changing ride!—Sean Muller

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The unity of the run

As we all know, long distance running goes very much hand in hand with solitude and ones own thoughts. This is fine and is something that I very much enjoy. I also however enjoy the fact that you can be out running and join in with other runners or groups and run along with them.

Take my run this morning – just your very average jaunt, but thanks to a group that I encountered, it turned into more of a social occasion and the chance for me to meet and chat to new friends within the running community. Life is so good folks!

Running together (while enjoying life and meeting new friends) stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Running Away

A few of you have emailed in to say that I have been neglecting this site and I can only concur with these sentiments. When I started Ultrasams as a means of sharing the beauty, joy, love, health and healing that is running, my goal was to write at least one piece per day. What then you may ask has taken me away from this task over the last week? I have been travelling in the south island of New Zealand.


For those of you unfamiliar with the paradise that is New Zealand, this country is home to some great history as far as distance running is concerned. Anyone in our sport is well familiar with the methods of training advocated by the great Arthur Lydiard. This needs no dwelling on. What I will say however is that it is truly a joy to run in any part of New Zealand. The country has a unique mix of hills and flats and some world class marathon courses.

Although I have run the Auckland Marathon many times in the past, I would love to get out and do the Christchurch Marathon (having run many parts of it this last week). The local running community are just so passionate and knowledgeable about distance running with the owner of the local running store spending time with me to talk running and reminding me that there have been some pretty quick times run in New Zealand in the marathon. He mentioned that in the early 80s there were some sub 2.10 times run over the Christchurch course – amazing really for what is a small country which is situated well away from the rest of the running world.

There was also a 100km and 50km run being held last weekend in the park. It took in a 2.5km loop and might sound a little laborious for some, but I was again surprised at the turnout (there were even some competitors from overseas).

If you don’t already then please consider supporting a local marathon or race when next you are on holiday. Spread the message and watch how easily you are welcomed as a friend by another group of runners, even if you don’t really understand the language.

Running together (and helping to bring together cultures) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Drills

This is a short video that highlights some of the runners drills that we should be doing to supplement our training and to ensure that we go faster and remain injury free in the long run.

The objective of all training should be to make us more economical as runners - that is getting more out of expending the same amount of energy as before.

The main thing to keep in mind for us as long distance runners is the slight forward lean from the ankles. The lean must not come from the waist as this can cause injury. The legs need to be loaded and released like a pogo stick.

This I have found is the single most significant thing that has enabled me to improve my running. Get the lean right and the rest literally falls into place very easily.

Running together (while improving economy) - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The silly season run

One of my favourite times of the year to run is Christmas Day and New Year ’s Day. Realistically you only get the really devoted who are out running on these days. The roads and trails are clear and you are free to indulge in some solitude and serenity.

The past two years I have in particular enjoyed a New Year’s Day run. 08 going into 09 I ran the full marathon distance and last year only about 25km. It is rather entertaining to see all the revellers making their way home and to see some of those who did not quite make it.

My great wish would be to see an organised run occurring on this day, as is custom in various cities around the world. What better way to greet the arrival of a new year than with a run.

Running together – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, December 6, 2010

The 5km time trial

In the past I have been hesitant to run the weekly 5km time trial to track progress. It seemed to be something that was tough and tedious and something to best be avoided if possible.

Over the past few weeks I have disciplined myself into mapping out a course and running hard over it for 5km. This has been recommended to me by a friend of mine who has made some very impressive strides with regards to his 5km time and this has carried over into his marathon time.

You really have to be able to push yourself hard and keep at it if training alone, otherwise if training with those that are better than you, it is good to have a rabbit go out hard and chase him or her if you can.

From my studies, I can say that this regular program has been proven to work for many people and I am sure that it can and will work for me and you.

Running together – Stride for stride (while weaving in the 5km time trial) on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Centennial Park Ultra

It was with much excitement that I found this message in my inbox from one of my friends who has managed to organise an ultra in one of the large parks in Sydney. I shall be down there in some capacity on the day and I guess it is just further proof of runners being resourceful and resiliant and able to achieve great results in their communities.

'The inaugural Centennial Park 50km/100km Ultra will take place on Sunday, 27 February 2011 from 6am-6pm. The number of runners is strictly limited by the Centennial Parklands people, so please enter soon if you wish to participate. The website is http://www.cpultra.com/. This is an official AURA race, with IAU Bronze Label.'

May you all be encouraged to go forth and organise your own events to keep the community fit, healthy and engaged.

Running together - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A bit of fun...

Just a little fun today and highlighting the crazy things that people do to raise money for charity in marathons. Good on this bloke!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Group speed

It is amazing how the group mentality manages to reinvigorate any flagging that one may have with regards to running and exercise.

Yesterday I dragged my (still relatively unfit) body off to train with the Warrior crew here in Sydney at lunchtime. I had forgotten how much these group training sessions gee one up and get you running at your best.

One only needs to look at the Kenyan training camps to know that having a group and a rabbit to chase after during the session is something that will improve your running. Sadly the club scene is not as strong in Australia as in other parts of the world, so we have make do to improve.

Another friend of mine who is a really good runner makes sure that once a week he heads out with some mates for a hard group fartlek session with each one of them taking turns to be the ‘leader’. This method works really well as you are not continually pushing it yourself.

If alone, I have found that the greatest progress can be made using an 8-10km where midway through you complete 5-7 sets of 1 minute on and 3 minutes off. This does help to build the pure speed and keeps life interesting for those of us who run alone for whatever reason.

I wish you swift and stress free running.

Running together (as a group) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A good run = a good life

A life spent running is quite simply a good life for me. It is amazing how much at peace I feel after my morning run. It seems as if the world just all seems good once this is done. It sets the day up nicely and I know that regardless of what else may follow, I have had a positive start to the day.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning and as I thought, things have gone well since the conclusion of the run. For me it is so much more than mere fitness, it is just part and parcel of life. As Amby Burfoot says in the Runners Guide to the meaning of life, he still follows the principles set down by one of his early coaches in that he eats organic, runs and gives back and this sums it up nicely as to how I feel about my running.

Keep running together- stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Must haves

A great start to the morning today – a gentle 7km warmup and then some run throughs and hills to finish the session. No better way in my mind to develop overall running strength than to do sets of hills every couple of weeks in your program. 5-7 x 200m at 5km pace is what does it for me to pump things up a notch.


Would be interested to hear of any of your own must have sessions in your own training.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shoes for planet earth

In another feel good story for a Friday, I feel compelled to publicise the great work being done by my friend and fellow ultra runner Viv Kartsounis and her man Nick Drayton.

Viv is not only a great human being, but also a passionate ultra runner who has represented Australia 3 times at the 100km World Cup and also came past me in the last 8km of the 2009 Comrades to finish ahead of me. In short she is a tough runner, but also highly inspirational with loads of energy.

Like myself, Viv is passionate about improving the lives of others and whereas on here I am focusing on diet , exercise and mental tips, Viv has started up her own organisation ‘Shoes for Planet Earth’, whereby she and her team collect old running shoes to distribute to needy individuals around the world.

For many people our old runners will be the only shoes that they will ever have. Much of the work that Viv and her team do is self funded through their own money or any donations they may receive.

Please take a look at her website for more information on how you can partner up and help to improve the lives of those much less fortunate than yourself.
Keep believing – keep achieving!

Running together (while improving the lives of others) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wiggle it

Today I did my bit for the consumer by providing someone I had only recently met in a sports store with the details of an online supplier which charge a bare minimum of AU$120 less than do the mainstream sports shops for a pair of trainers. Now if you think how much some of us run and how we go through pairs of shoes, it makes perfect sense to be seeking out the best bargain online and going for it.

I am not against the idea of local shops making money by any means, but I just can’t find anyone who can explain to me adequately how it is possible for something to be that marked up.

Anyone seeking decent running, biking or triathlon gear at very competitive prices need only head to Wiggle. Generally I don’t buy anything else other than shoes (as the rest of my gear I get for free), but Wiggle are definitely worth looking into.

Happy shopping.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Improvements to speed

A short one tonight, but just wanted to comment that it is becoming seemingly much easier to hold the pace at 4min/km or sub 4 for some periods. I think this is the measure of improvement in anyone when they are able to hold their desired pace for a time without dying.

8km run this evening with some decent hills involved and the legs seemed to be fine. I have yet to put my finger on whether it is a result of the drills and plyometrics I have been doing over the last three weeks or if it is a result of the improved diet with regards to the caveman way of eating.

I am going to monitor this intently and will continue to report back on any further changes. One thing I must say is that lighter does go faster and I do feel lighter on my feet.

Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What's for dinner?

Many of you have asked me to see examples of my diet, so hence I have taken some photos of recent dinners and post them. It is amazing how caveman one can eat from just searching in the fridge and cupboards. A couple of nice stirfrys with loads of veggies, chia, nuts and eggs for protein.
Experiment and enjoy!
Running together stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, November 19, 2010

Importance of the simple life

This video is further proof of the importance of staying healthy, eating organic caveman food and living and running with and as part of the earth.



Running together - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

What is on your menu tonight?

I was talking to some colleagues about what they might be eating tonight as a Friday night meal. Almost all of them made mention to something along the lines of Chinese, Pizza, Big Mac etc. What these things all have in common is the fact that they will in no uncertain terms cause your waist to expand and your cholesterol to rise.

The general pattern is that people will head home and order in for the night – now I know that it is relatively cold and wet here in Sydney today, but that is still no excuse for not getting your butt off the couch and making sure that at the very least you are keeping active.

I was reading the other day about a bloke who had saved a Big Mac and chips in a cupboard for about a year and there had been no sign of degradation in the meat or the bun. Now for me regardless of if you have read Fast Food Nation or not, or if you subscribe to the caveman way of eating, something that does not rot after a year of standing out in the open should not be eaten by anyone or anything in any shape or form. If bacteria does not want it then neither do I.

Pretty pleased that I have not touched Big Mac or such junk in about 5 years now.

Sometimes I get a little jaded by the thought that we are going to take an awful long time to correct our eating patterns that have become progressively worse as we have evolved as a human race. We can however prevail if we are to teach the youth about the importance of healthy eating and weight management. By not buying fast food, we are sending a message to these companies that we don’t need their junk in our eating plans and pretty soon what you don’t buy you don’t eat and you won’t miss.

I am living proof of this having run away from junk food and 105kgs and each and every one of us can embrace this lifestyle if we want it enough.

Believe it – Achieve it!

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Behaving like a kid!

Kids are the funniest to watch when they are running. They have no concept or understanding of pacing and just seem to go for it – and why not – this shows that they have no fear and run with a mixture of enjoyment and for beating their friends.

They run until they are tired and then often refuel before running again until they are tired again. In theory this is the way man has always run. The old way of running and walking is how we managed to chase down animals in the primitive days of persistence hunting. It seems some instincts never change – we are exactly like that once we first start out running and carry it through to our quality sessions.

Behaving like a kid – albeit a grown up kid again can and will breathe new life into your running. Run with your buddy – gee him or her up – offer some encouragement if they are flagging and make running fun again.

Believe it – achieve it! – Sean Muller

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Running without time

The latest book that I have been reading is Magical Running by Bobby McGee. It talks to me in the language that I understand – i.e. that it is not all about the time that it takes to complete a certain distance, but rather about the journey and what one goes through inside.

He talks about the importance of positive self talk and preferring to coach people with the right attitude rather than those that may have been blessed with good genes. To have the chance to learn about that which is so often overlooked (i.e the mental side of running) is great. In fact his methods have worked in turning around runners like Colleen de Reuck and helping them to greater success.
He addresses the importance of going out and running without the aide of a watch or Garmin etc – I tried this at lunch and although I am not sure how fast I was going, I was running within myself and with the earth. It is an interesting question to ask as far as if you don’t have a concept of time on your wrist, will you run faster or slower than normal?

My one and only race I ran without a watch was a half-marathon where I just went out and ran from the heart. It happened to be the first one that I managed 88 mins. A complete surprise really, but one which I gladly accepted at the time.

Another interesting thing that I recently read is that the ‘angry man in sport and life is no good as he will always defeat himself’. Focus the anger though and don’t dwell on it and success will come.

Get off that couch and head out the door (sans watch of course).

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wet weather endurance

Today provided some interesting conditions for the runner. Torrential rain has limited the amount of runners that were out on the streets today. Only the very dedicated to the cause have the inclination or the stomach to face this sort of weather. They seem to be like ducks who are unafraid to let a little water affect them in their quest for their daily fix of ‘mans greatest freedom’.

Running in the cold and wet seems to develop a strong and hardy stomach – so says a mate of mine who grew up running in Ireland. He seems content to almost be wading through a large puddle swimmer style and moving on his way as happy as a child playing in a pile of leaves. Despite this evidence of joy in running in the rain, a large amount of us seem soft and undisciplined at the prospect of this adventure.

Weather should not weaken us nor hold us back – strengthen your resolve and head out that door and into freedom. I’ve got the goldfish – who is coming with me?

Keep believing – keep achieving. Running together stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The future of Australian running

This week I read an absolutely great feel good story about marathon great Rob de Castella taking a group of young promising Aboriginal guys off to run the New York marathon. A better mentor these guys could not have asked for to prepare them for their first marathons.

The four young men from the Northern Territory all completed the event successfully and can now go back to their communities and act as positive role models for healthy living.

I believe that there is no reason that Australia can’t produce an Aboriginal marathon runner of note in the coming years. The Aboriginal people have always had a history of being able to run and walk long distances just as other tribes in Africa and South America have.

Those that wish to read more can do so by clicking here.

My own personal opinion on this is that it would so great to be able to have various other community and business leaders following suit to set an example for many others in the community.

Go forth and motivate those in positions of power to achieve more than they thought they could. This flow on effect is infectious. As a wise man pointed out to me this last Friday, surround yourself with good people who set a good example and you will pretty soon start to take on some of those behaviours. Surround yourself with those not setting a good example and watch things slide.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why do others run

Last night I was out with friends and was referred to as an evangelist for my work in helping to motivate and get people up and active. That is a label that I will happily take as I think that we need as many people as possible out there working to motivate and get people off the couch and out the door.


I was buoyed by the amount of people who were out running this morning despite the heat. Many of them were clearly very out of shape and it led me to thinking why they were running. From the strained expressions on their faces, they were not running for the enjoyment factor. But I suppose who does really care why they were running. The fact remains that they were running and that in itself is better than them staying indoors and contributing to the obesity problem that has infiltrated our society.

I hope to see those people and many more out running again tomorrow.

I would be interested to hear from readers what motivates them to run.

Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, November 12, 2010

Short and sweet

Lunchtime tempo run of 22 minutes averaging 3.20/km. So good to be back into the swing of things and good to be running relatively fast again albeit over a short distance. Heat did not seem to be a problem (this I put down to 3-4 times a week of 30minute saunas) – try this trick to overcome running in the heat yourself.


Have a great weekend folks.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Discovering new areas on the run

100th post today folks!! Thanks for reading!

This morning’s run really helped me to revive myself after a horrible night’s sleep. Amazing how man’s greatest freedom can do that to us. It has that magical knack of just improving mood and getting the body out of bed and ready for the day ahead.

Running only with the feel of my feet and with the earth, I made my way through areas that I was not familiar with into bushland that I had not previously explored. After about 40 minutes of running, I knew that I was lost (the ex always said I was rubbish at directions), but I carried on running and running and was just as happy if I did not make it out of that bushland. Was in no rush to do anything else other than just to be by myself out on the run and discovering areas of Sydney that I was not familiar with previously. No time like the present really to get out there and discover new things is what I was thinking.

Shear liberation to be out there running with the earth and as part of the earth, not watching the clock – sometimes running fast and sometimes running slow and sometimes pushing back foliage to carve a trail out.

Head out discover your area on the run – take yourself places that you would otherwise never have seen – see new wildlife up close – smell the earth the sun and the rain and above all give thanks for your part in man’s greatest freedom today.

Life is good folks – life is exactly as it should.

Keep believing – keep achieving!

Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From cupboard to caveman

Nice simple little piece this evening on nutrition and the absolute reassurance that we can eat caveman style from only selecting from our cupboard and fridge. Just polished off a great meal of organic quinoa, tuna, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, celery and lentils.

Was really delicious and hopefully just the thing to give me some energy after I have been flagging the last couple of days and not sure what is wrong with me.

Meal cost next to nothing to make and is full of caveman goodness that we can all grow to enjoy and love.

Have a look through your pantry and let’s hear of some more recipes that use caveman foods that cost next to nothing.

Running together stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Black tea potions

I am currently sitting with my foot in a bucket of black tea mixture... What you may be thinking – this bloke has seriously lost it right now. You see folks my feet have obviously become soft during my lack of running over the past couple of weeks and so yesterday I went for a lunchtime run and developed a blood blister on the inside of my right foot. I know what caused the blister and it was almost certainly the lack of socks that I was wearing during my run. Normally running in just trainers is fine for me, but for some reason this area got irritated this time round.

Soaking with black tea really helps to harden the feet folks. Try it sometime.

Running together – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life reflections and running

Life is way to short friends. Unfortunately death comes upon us all too soon.

I have been reflecting on this fact this week as some very strange things have been occurring. A friend and running buddy is off to pursue his dream job on the other side of the world in the process packing in a very good corporate job. I can only commend him on his actions and think that many more of us should be doing this or considering it now.

I am so glad that he has found that which he wants to be doing with the rest of his life. It is a stark reminder of what I have been saying here all along – ‘Life is not inside your office making someone else rich, nor is it on your couch stuffing potato chips into your mouth while getting fat and lazy’. All this stuff is superficial.

Do yourself a favour this weekend, throwaway the Wii and Playstation, turn off the TV and computer and head out that door. Savour every minute out there performing man’s greatest freedom as you don’t want your last moments to be spent on the couch.

Running together folks (and beating obesity) stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Turning lives around

I am always fascinated by the conversations I hear people sharing about different topics. The one I heard the other morning while at the gym revolved around why we as human beings could fly aeroplanes and put people into space, but we could not come up with an effective fool proof way of weight loss and keeping it off.

I had to hold my tongue to correct this tubby individual by saying that we have an effective way and have had one around for as long as we have been on this earth. It is called the old-fashioned ‘Get your butt off the couch and start running and eating healthily’ plan. It requires no pills or potions, and many are doing it every day even without shoes.

Look at tribes around the world and you will see that mostly the only overweight people are the kings. You won’t find any of the warriors or workers who are overweight (fat being a sign of wealth in these communities).

There is no magic pill folks, but there is a program that we can follow to ensure that we are happier and healthier:

• Live simpler – how much stuff do we actually need

• Eat less and healthier – if you don’t buy it you won’t eat it and pretty soon you won’t miss it!

• Live closer to the earth

• Get active and run and teach your children to do the same

Let’s stop trying to find new ways when old ways work just fine. Let’s stop making excuses for being an overweight culture! Throwaway the Wii, turn off that TV, get off that couch and out the door.

We can beat obesity together! I lost 35kgs, got my cholesterol down and turned my life around and so can you! Like anything though you really have to want this lifestyle. If you are content to be lazy and undisciplined then as harsh as it is to say you will remain fat and unhealthy.

Running together – Stride for stride on a life changing (obesity beating) ride. – Sean Muller

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Alternate methods

This morning I tried some drills for the very first time in ages and found that some of the newer ones that I had learned of provided some almost instant changes. I will continue to try them out and experiment and will share with readers any changes that I are experienced.

In the past I have done a fair bit of bounding and find that this helps- in particular when done uphill. Note though that none of the drills and plyometrics should be done without at first doing your short walk and run warmup and stretch routine. Remember that our aim is to increase cadence and power, but to minimise the risk of injury at the same time.

I was also sceptical of how much these sorts of drills could actually help, but have found for someone like myself, they are good when weaved into recovery days of training. They help to balance any time spent in the pool or on the bike and are an important part of me improving my techniques.

I would be interested in hearing about any experiences that you may have with regards to improving cadence and power (regardless of your event).
Running together (and beating obesity) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride.—Sean Muller

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The best way for me..

To recover folks has been to adopt a policy of a sauna after a run followed by an ice cold shower and also dumping a bucket of ice water over my head. I have found the sauna really helps to knock out any of the work cobwebs and the ice water just puts the finishing touches to it. Makes me feel really invigorated and alive after a day at work. Wakes the mind and the muscles up and reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to run again.

Have a great Saturday folks.

Running together stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arm running

What is this bloke on about now you may be asking? I don’t run with my arms, I use my legs..

One of the things that I have found over the past couple of weeks is the value in using one’s arms when running any distances. I guess that I was more conscious of using my arms during my sprinting days when it was so imperative to have that kick and pump your arms as fast as you could until the end of the race.

I found that I was not doing that as much over the longer stuff just due to the fact that only in the last sort of km does one really start to put in the very hard yards. A friend recommended that I try and twice a week while doing my drills and stretching also involve using some 3kg dumbbells and using them to pump my arms back and forth in much the same fashion as I would if I were running. This has the effect of working the arms more, but also has the knock on effect of working well once you actually get back into the running on the road.

A simple little exercise that can make a difference and save the legs from a true pounding.

Try it- you just might like it.

Running together (and beating obesity) – Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My program of recovery

I had promised to include my recovery program for those that were keen to hear about it so here it is.

Following my MRI and visit to the sports doc, he advised 5 weeks of solid no running – this was hard to swallow, but in the end magic for the legs after me smashing them for 3 years of hard running with very little break. I was able to ride the bike at the gym, swim and do my normal gym exercises without the leg portions. I also used the Power Breathe during this time, but had to wind it back from the 9 I was on to 3.5 again as the VO2 had scaled back. Don’t worry though as you can build it up again in 6 weeks if you work at it.

In week six he pronounced me healed, but advised building up the calf muscles through doing calf raises and heel drops daily for the first week (3-4 sets of between 12 and 20 reps).

Week 1: 3 sessions on non-consecutive days – ½ hour brisk walk with 6x1 ½ min jogs (jog pace for me 6min/km).

Week 2: 3x15 minute jogs

Week 3: 2x20min jogs, 1x30min jog

Week 4: 1x15min light run (5min/km), 2x20min jog, 1x30min jog

Week 5: 1x15min moderate run (4.40/km for me), 1x40jog, 2x20min light run.

Week 6: 1x20min moderate run, 2x30min light run, 1x15min hard run (4min – 4.15/km for me)

Week 7: same as week 6, but can start to add hills and after the two light runs can do some run throughs (6x75%)

Week 8: 1x20min hard run, 2x30min moderate run, 2x40min light run.

I hope that this can be used by others suffering similar injuries to what I did. Allow yourself the time to heal, eat right, give thanks and show gratitude and take time to change your life and come back stronger.

Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blessed recovery

Yesterday and today were just the best days that I could ever have asked for. Sun was out again – albeit briefly and the lunchtime run is back for me. Feeling great yesterday I managed to hammer out 10km in around 39.10. A real surprise and something I did not think I had in me at this stage of comeback. The learning I guess is that abit of rest, relaxation, altering diet and staying off the booze can produce good things.

I will later on this week put together a plan for recovery from injury and hope that it will be able to help others.

So good to be out there once again enjoying man’s greatest freedom at lunch time. As I was reading, even Salazar said that he wished he had taken some more time resting in an attempt to prolong his career. Try it you may just like it.

Keep believing – Keep achieving! Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Universal gratitude

This morning was another wet one for us here in Sydney, but I did not care because for so long we have been needing good rains in this part of the world and now that it is raining, people are whinging because the summer suns are yet to arrive in full force. They will arrive in due course and in the meantime, I don’t really mind the wet weather. Fantastically refreshing and head clearing to be running through the rain and giving thanks that the drought restrictions in New South Wales are finally lifting after a period of up to 7 years or longer.

Most shocking about this was a report that I read which said that many children in rural New South Wales had not ever seen rain in their lives – amazing.

All we can do as runners is to give thanks to the earth and the universe for not only giving us the ability to run, but also for sending the rains to us.

Keep believing – keep achieving.

Stride for stride on rain drenched life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Super Saturday Part 2

This morning I woke to another fantastic sunny day and intent on completing my 30 minute run off I headed to the track. There was a cricket match going on and instead I decided then to head out on to the road for my favourite 5.8km run. This was not in the plan, but I am glad that I did it. I had a quick word with my myself and my higher power and upped the pace slightly. 1km in and no pain and travelling well. 2km still no pain and travelled up a small hill well. From then on the kms just melted into one another and I finished up in 22.40. Slightly faster than what I had hoped for, but man alive did it feel good to be out there and loving life.

I had promised myself that I would not push things for another couple of weeks yet, and will slack back for tomorrow’s effort, but sometimes when you are feeling good it is just time to go with the flow and not let anything hold you back.

I am now working towards a full come back over the next three weeks and have even targeted a 10km event in New Zealand when I am out there in early December. Won’t be for a killer time, just for having that experience of running in an event again. They also have a 100km event on the day, so will probably volunteer to crew for some of the folks involved in that one as don’t have the fitness or inclination to do 100km while on this holiday.

Whatever you do today do it as best you can.

Keep believing – Keep achieving. Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Powering through the day

In a swing back to nutrition for today, I feel it appropriate to give an update on how things are panning out in the third month of paleo eating. Although my weight still hovers around that 68kg mark, I feel alot lighter and the energy levels are up there at the end of the day.

Concentration levels are improved and my head seems alot clearer. I am occasionally still cheating and having a cup of coffee and some toast with peanut butter, but beyond and the odd multivitamin tablet; I have not deviated from the paleo diet at all.

Lean meat is still in the diet, but I have been following the advice of Bobby McGee in making it more of a side dish than the main part of the meal. Lots of snacking on veggies and fruit and mixed organic seeds is making all the difference.

A bonus is that a friend who has been following the diet is thrilled as she has lost 4kgs in one week. She is slowly training herself to walk past the sweet, softdrink, booze and junk aisles at the supermarket.

If you don’t buy it, you don’t eat it and you pretty soon won’t miss it.

I encourage all readers to give the diet a go. Turn your life around. Put down the sugar and junk, step off the couch and see and feel the difference.

Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I run Comrades

Once Comrades spirit is in the blood it is part of you until you draw that very last breath. It will define you and cause you to live each day as fully as you can.

Comrades for me provides hope - a hope that we as a human race can overcome our differences. A hope that tomorrow will be better than today. A hope that we can set aside differences and move forward together. A hope that the human spirit and that care factor for your fellow man is still alive and well. A hope that greed and hate can be overcome in the world. It is that one day when everything in South Africa and in humanity is as it should be. White, Black and all different races are locked in that same goal.

It is the great leveller - for it does not matter if you are the man in the $300 running shoes and with the hi tech Garmin watch, or if you are the barefoot Zulu warrior in torn shorts who is out to prove your manhood by running over the ground where once your ancestors ran free. We will all suffer abit on the day. Each will be locked in their own struggle and with their own goals, but guaranteed whatever they are, once you are at Polly Shortts and 8km from the end you will be willing along the people with you to finish. A few hours ago those that were strangers are now your kindreds as you push on.

That pain is not a bad thing though, for there will be 15000 odd others sharing in it. It will allow you to set aside some of your weaknesses - it will force you to see life in a different light - more so than any other event it is not about the time spent on the road, or what you will see with your eyes on the day (although this will live with you forever). It is about that place you will go to in your mind and in your heart - the place where you will examine your moral fibre, your honesty and the very reason for your existence. What you will see and where you will go inside yourself and how you will emerge is the truest gift and I for one would embark on this journey again for no reward other than that feeling at the end.

If you don't yet feel that Comrades spirit in your life, it will eventually get you. Do something for yourself and something for someone else each day and life will be so good!

Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Subtle changes – BIG results

I had dinner with a good friend last night who I had not seen in a long while. Aside from the fact that it was good to catchup and hear about her recent overseas trip, it was even more amazing to see her smile. It was a smile that is genuine, a smile that causes the whole face to light up and one that just makes you want to smile with that person.

This was great to see as this person had not looked like this in a long time. She has made some changes at work and some changes in her life. Small things, like taking time out during lunch to exercise has boosted the endorphins and caused her to smile at the earth. Her productivity has skyrocketed and her current line manager could not be happier. These subtle changes have almost had a bigger impact on her than if she were to have gone away on holiday (in my opinion).

Another friend who has recently made a career change and as a result suddenly ‘found time’ to exercise is also looking so much happier, healthier and more vibrant and in some ways looks about 10 years younger. This is equally so good to see. He is such a good role model and mentor to me and will be there to see his kids growing up and living his dreams.

Truth be told, we all have the time to exercise during the day, it is the motivation and the excuses that take over. I have found that turning off the television and only watching the news at night enables me to do so much more with my time. Even more time is created during the mornings when I awake early, run to the beach, have my swim and run home again. 8km run and hopefully a 1km swim done before 6.30am. We can all do it and in so doing improve our outlook, refresh the batteries, be more productive and have a fuller life.

May each step you take not be one closer to the grave, but one closer to your dreams and the person you were meant to be.

Stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Saturday

7km in just under 28 this morning on the track and boy did that feel good. The leg is healed, yet I continue to monitor it

So good to see some younger kids out there to, working on their sprint work and more importantly smiling and enjoying their running.

Enjoyment is the single biggest thing that one sees lacking in those training around in the parks and on the roads of the world. Laugh, smile and enjoy your time in the open. Each day spent running and giving yourself a greater chance at a greater life is one truly worth living. Too often as adults we have forgotten that child-like aspect of treating running as play. Chasing the dog or chasing the kids or racing our friends becomes a chore when it should be one of the greatest gifts that we have.

Keep running with the earth and as part of the earth. Keep giving thanks to the running gods for your part in man’s greatest freedom. Do something each day for yourself and something for someone else and be true to that which you believe in.

Stride for stride – together on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, October 15, 2010

Foot strengthening

A fairly simple piece today on how to strengthen your feet.

Exercise one: Place a towel on the floor and grip it up using your toes. Grip it for a short period and then release. Practise gripping and releasing for a few minutes twice or three times a day.

Exercise Two: Use a golf ball or a bouncy ball to massage and strengthen your feet by picking it up using your toes. Repeat twice a day for a few minutes while at your desk or eating your dinner.

Exercise Three: Lying on the ground, pull your toes up towards your stomach and hold that stretch for 3-5 minutes at a time.

Try these a few times a week and lessen the chances of plantars, Achilles and other such problems.

Wave injuries goodbye. Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tea with Mr Newton

I have not done a book review previously, but for anyone who has the slightest interest in Arthur Newton - the original and some say still the best Comrades runner, or indeed ultra running then 'Tea with Mr Newton' by Rod Hadgraft is a must.

Newton was a farmer who protested government reforms in a peaceful way through long distance running.

Newton was unstoppable in the 1920s at Comrades and knew already then what worked and what did not (in terms of nutrition) - he just did not have the science to back it up. That only came in the 1980s with Noakes.

He trained from all the learnings he obtained from Walter George and the pedestrians from bygone eras - including the great Captain Barclay of the 1000 miles in 1000 hours fame.

It is fast going out of print (not sure why), but it is still possible to obtain a copy on Amazon from third party suppliers. If you are like me - a book nerd and a running nut, then I reccomend chasing a copy like I am. Ancient secrets and the most fascninating story of the greatest race on the planet. The Ultimate Human Race - The Comrades Marathon.

Keep believing - Keep achieving! -- Sean Muller

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Winning in the war on obesity

Many people have asked me how I managed to lose the amount of weight that I did after ballooning out to 105kg and now bouncing back to 67kg.

Simple changes can make all the difference. Follow the steps set out below and you will lose weight. It is not that hard.

1. Cut out all alcohol, junk food, chocolate, cheese, soft drinks and fruit juices. If nothing else these steps will cause you to lose weight.

2. Learn to walk past the aisles in the market that sell these goods. If you don’t buy it, you don’t eat it and pretty soon you won’t miss it.

3. Drink a large glass of water before each meal to fill yourself up and you won’t eat as much.

4. Drink a cup of green tea each morning with breakfast and also after each large meal.

5. Buy, cook and eat vegetables of many different colours – more colours equal more vitamins.

6. If you eat meat, then make it only very lean chicken breast or beef.

7. Eat 6 small meals a day instead of the old-fashioned 3 square meals.

8. Snack on fresh fruit instead of chocolate.

These are all simple steps that have worked for me and they will work for you if you have a little discipline.

If you really want to see fast results then combine the above with a daily workout.

We can beat obesity together. Stop feeding the fast food company profits. Get off that couch and out the door. Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend ramble

Another amazing day this morning. Woke to a nice cool morning and headed out on a nice 30 minute jog. Had the Garmin on as per the docs advice, but the legs felt very good and what should have been a nice gentle 5min/km turned into an average of 4.45 – so much quicker than what I was hoping for. Still all the while I was talking to the earth and experiencing the wind and light rain and giving thanks that I am healed and able to come back to the most natural thing on the planet.

Still sticking to the plan though – in the past my will got me not very far and the learning has been to trust in others and do as they say. Reading and rereading knowledge from times gone by has helped me loads in the process and I am keen to experiment with different techniques.

One interesting thing I did read this last week was written by a South African coach who has experience running and coaching all over the world and he said that he was very interested to note that in his studies South African runners ran many more KMs than did their European counterparts when training for marathons. Averaging around 65km – 70km per week. The Europeans only tended to hang around the 45km – 55km per week, yet they produced similar sorts of finishing times when it counted.

This was interesting to me, yet there can be factors that can account for this – South Africans doing alot of training and running more ultras than the average European runner who is more interested in the marathon. This was driven by the Comrades boom of the 80s and isolation of sport. Climate is also a big factor with most areas of South Africa offering one the chance for year round training whereas in Europe there is the distinct seasons for running.

Last bit of the ramble – I don’t believe that we have a finite amount of Kms in our legs before we pack up. Once we crack the code and are able to figure out what works for us, there is no reason why we should not be running fast, but also over many years.

Keep believing – keep achieving! Stride for Stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fighting the big O word

A few readers have said to me that I have been neglecting my promises to assist with those that are seeking nutrition help and hence the next few posts will be devoted to food and healthy eating and fighting obesity.

Some recent shocking stats that I have been reading show that we are in some serious strife in the developed world. In fact if we keep on growing at the rate that we are growing, then we are going to be very deep in the brown stuff as a human race pretty soon.

Already in Australia 1 in every 3 people is overweight or obese and growing larger by the day. What I am about to say may hurt, but I don’t care and I am qualified to say this as I to was FAT before I rediscovered man’s greatest freedom.

The fact is that we have gotten soft in the west as a result of technological advances. Back when there were no video games, there was no TV and there was no internet and no fast food epidemic, children used to actually get out and play with the dog or ride their bikes or play soccer and run around. I don’t want to be soft. I want to be strong like my grandfather was. He used to swim a couple of KM every night (winter and summer) around the harbour and then walk home.

Nowadays with the proliferation of rubbish like Wii and Facebook, we have even more problems. The average teen in the west is said to spend about 4-5 hours a day between Facebook and television. That is staggering. Adults are also watching about 4 hours of TV a day (some watch more). No wonder we are in so much trouble.

Anyone saying that Wii is exercise is severely deluded. There is absolutely no way in hell that waving a stick around in your lounge is going to get you fit. Yet we are still prepared to pay hundreds of dollars for these machines. Worse still are the grown men that sit and play video games all night. They are all part of the people ‘who don’t have time to run or train’.

Turn off that TV – trash that Wii and miraculously I have created time for you. Step off that couch and out that door. Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Something a little unusual

A solid part of this blog is the ability to give back and keep the chain of kindness flowing around the world. In this vein, one of the things that jumped out at me this morning was the Santa Race that is held each year in Sydney (I was accosted by a Santa Suit wearing lady at the bus stop).

A great event to benefit the Variety children’s charity, it is now being rolled out to other cities in Australia. At $40 including the Santa suit it is very worthwhile.

I encourage all of our Australian readers to give this event some thought.

Imagine being crowned the fastest Santa in your town.

Keep believing – Keep achieving! – Sean Muller

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When to run and when to be absent

Many times in the past I ran obsessively. I would run 3-4 times a day just because I thought that this was what one would have to do to improve.

Initially my running improved exponentially. I then started to run to get through difficult patches in life. I still do this, but no longer do I feel the need to run 40km before work in the mornings (not every morning, but some mornings when I thought my body needed extra punishment).

The result was that I was always sore, always hungry and constantly seeking out sweet treats and chocolates. Work left me additionally drained.

The past weeks have taught me that it is okay to be absent from running if indeed you are not truly absent (i.e. you carry over elements into your life). Training and training will not get me any better and as with alot of runners, I had fallen into that trap of training merely so that I could train some more.

A good fitness level is all that is required from now onwards. As a friend of mine who is in his 50s and still runs a sub 3 hours in the marathon pointed out quality is far more important. This will be my goal going forward. No more than 60km a week till December and then build again slowly. I should have known that little distance suits me as I ran my best marathon ever on a maximum of only 60 km a week.

Lessons learned indeed. May you take something from my guinea pig efforts and not repeat the same mistakes that I did.

Diversity is the key to refreshment. Keep believing, keep achieving – Sean Muller

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lessons learned

I woke the same as any other day today, except a song was in my heart. As I headed out on my morning trot in the rain, I felt free again. Injury behind me I know that if I stick to the plan I have been fortunate enough to have been given then there is no reason that I won’t be back to hard running again in the very near future.

As much as the period of 6 weeks were hard where I could not run at all, I know now that this was necessary for me to reach a new level and new appreciation for man’s greatest freedom. I had needed to be humbled and brought back down to earth after the joys of Comrades. Indeed lessons had to be learned about life, greed and giving back.

In a weird way I have learned way more about myself and running over the period I was injured than through the many years that I have run and taken part in other sports. I have not been idle though and wallowing in my own pity party – what started as my own version of a Greg Welch master class of improvement quickly became so much more.

As the latest chick flick says, I have learned to ‘eat, pray, love’. In fact I would add to this the fact that I have also learned to listen, appreciate, trust and rest. So fortunate have I been that my doctor and physio are some of the best and have learned from the very best himself in Noakes. So many times had I ignored his wisdom and scientific findings in favour of my own personal ideas.

For those battling injury, trust that you will be healed, adopt a positive outlook and give thanks for all that you can do in life. Foster a new hobby – swim, write a book or learn another language. All of these will help refresh you for when you are able to return to man’s greatest freedom. Study what went wrong and come back stronger knowing that you will not repeat past errors. As Sheehan says, we are all an experiment of one and no set pattern that works for me will work for you. That is the joy of running and the joy of life.

Reading the Paula Radcliffe book at the moment has given me new perspective on being able to come back from injury and still reach highs. For anyone having not read it, I believe it to relevant to both the amateur and the elite athlete alike. In between the tales of her racing career, she imparts wisdom about nutrition and life that we can all take something from. A strange taking that I also found was how she talks about the power of friendships in running and that only her friends were able to understand her true pain when she faltered in her pursuits.

So true- only a runner truly understands another runner.

For me, Paleo no alcohol eating is definitely the way forward. Who needs the junk food hangover or the alcohol hangover for that matter. I did however cheat this morning and have two coffees in place of the normal green tea.

The itch is back this morning and I was keen to stride out yet I am also heeding the words of my doctor and coach. They have dealt with people of far superior talent to me.

May you stride out injury free and knowing that there are different forms of victory in our lives. – Sean Muller

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spreading the run

I was casually listening in to a few colleagues yesterday talking about their exploits in City to Surf and the fact that they were proud of themselves for having run 14km. While I agree that 14km of man’s greatest freedom is better than nothing, I enquired as to why they would not consider running longer. The answer that I received was that surely 14km was as far as anyone would consider running – they could not fathom further. In fact one of them said that she had run the City to Surf Marathon. I could not but laugh at that one.
Once I had told them that I love the ultra events, I could see that they could not believe that this was something that humans should even be attempting.
I have my work cut out for me in converting them over to the good side but I will keep up my attempts nonetheless.
I would welcome any funny stories that readers have had around colleagues or friends who are yet to discover the joy of the long run. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spirit of the marathon

Quite simply if you don't have this DVD as part of your collection as a runner, then you are missing out. A great story and massively motivational.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Being reinspired

What an amazing start to the day and the week. So happy to be alive at this point in time and share it with like minded people in this forum.

This morning had an amazing breakfast with a friend and one of her colleagues who has done some fantastic things in his life, including running the Marathon des Sables (across the Sahara) with his brother and then write a book about it called Project Sahara.
What an inspiring guy!

The conversation and energy at the table was such that it was refreshing to be talking to two people who share similar thought patterns to me. The rest of ‘us’ are the ones gathering in forums such as this to make a decision to turn our backs on negative thinking and to embrace the positive that the world has to offer.

I encourage all of you to visit his website and look out for the book. It is a really good read and makes one consider the question that he posed to me - ‘What is your Project Sahara?’

Go forth – discover your Project Sahara, knowing that little bits of positivity in each of our days can snowball into much bigger things.

Keep on running and spreading positivity through the run. – Sean Muller

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The running couple

Out this morning on a gentle run, I came across a man and a woman who were clearly in a relationship, but who were also from the looks of things insanely competitive with one another.

Having had this in a previous relationship, I know that it is great to have someone that shares your passion, but that too much competition is also a sure fire way to create friction. This particular couple seemed to have things largely in check, but there were times when I could see that either party was getting frustrated and that the gentle jibing away had the potential to spill over at any point in to something alot more serious that may ruin the day for them.

Later I saw them having a coffee together and it seemed like all was good.

Walking that fine line between letting your passion for man’s greatest freedom spill over into passion that you have for your partner is at times a tricky endeavour.

It is my personal thought that ultra runners and Ironman athletes have to either have a partner sympathetic to the sport, or someone actively involved in it. This is quite simply the easiest way for the ultra athlete to go.

I am interested in what readers think and what their experiences are. – Sean Muller

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New life - New runners

Today was such a beautiful morning and I could not wait to get out and do my morning run. It was only 30 minutes again (as per my recovery plan) – this time at the local track, but my gosh was it good.

Great to see so many people out there enjoying the early hints of summer and great to even see some pregnant ladies out enjoying a walk/run. Good to see them telling a busybody to mind his own business when he told them off for running while pregnant.

Mum played competitive tennis when she was preggers with me and frankly I can’t thank her enough.

I have seen both of these ladies out running while pregnant with earlier children and think that it is a big credit to them. They are doing something they love and at the same time providing great amounts of healthy, oxygenated blood to the young life growing inside of them.

Spring is a time of new life and new growth and new living. May this spring put a spring in your step and may you indulge in man’s greatest freedom on a regular basis. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's okay to falter when we come back stronger

Because sometimes its okay to have a bad day. We get it out of our system and know that we will be much stronger when we bounce back the next time.

Great athlete and I love the soundtrack. -- Sean Muller

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An old friend

The first run back this morning was only a very short 30 minutes on the treadmill only at about 5.40 km, but still I enjoyed it and am so grateful to the doctor who treated me as well as to everyone from AIS, my higher power and all the people who have emailed in their support. The power of the human spirit and the kindness out there in the world has just really touched me.

I am feeling very positive about the future. Everything for a reason and I now know that the body was telling me that it needed rest, but my greed got the better of me and I ran regardless. Never ceases to amaze me how running has the power to teach me so much that can apply to the rest of my life as well.

Man’s greatest freedom, man’s greatest liberator – I greet you once again like an old friend as I move forward. You see friends running is never just the act of putting one foot in front of the other, it is the moving towards and the choosing of a better life.

May your run greet you tomorrow as mine did to me this morning. – Sean Muller

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spotting another runner

Marathon runners just know one another it would seem.

The reasons why I say this is that I have been stopped in the road by numerous people today asking about the Sydney Marathon. They just know instinctively that I am a kindred of theirs and able to share in their excitement and enthusiasm for man’s greatest freedom.

Now don’t get me wrong I am more than happy to help them any way that I can and also provide ideas, drink coffees etc etc etc. It just amazes me how we are able to spot each other.

The weather today is amazing and clear skies with a high of 21c. Tomorrow for the Sydney marathon we are due to have cloudy skies and high of 19c. As anyone who knows anything about the science of running, those temps are ideal for producing really good times and I am looking forward to loads of personal records and also friends smashing their times tomorrow.

A sneaky part of me still wants to get out of bed tomorrow and run the course with the other marathoners (last night I ran it in my head over and over and I know the course like the back of my hand), but I know that the best place for me is at the finish line feeding positive energy to those that cross the line.

For those readers outside of Australia, I encourage you to visit in September to run the Sydney Marathon. Granted there are flatter courses on the planet, but there is no better way to see this beautiful city than to run across the Harbour Bridge and finish at the Opera House.

I don’t know what has come over me as I feel more excitement now than when I have run the race the past 4 years. To be working at the finish line and have this great opportunity to give back to a sport that has given me so much is something that I think I will cherish as much as running itself.

Quite frankly I can’t wait – I can’t wait! I’m so glad to be alive!! – Sean Muller

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Excitement

I was passing through the city today at lunch time and decided to venture into Rebel Sport. I don’t quite know why I went in, but I got chatting to some folks who were buying compression wear to wear during Sunday’s Sydney marathon – yes you guessed it they were first timers. I tried to impress on them that it was not a great decision to be buying new stuff without having worn it in training first, but they were intent.

It was great to see their enthusiasm and excitement and I could almost feel myself feeding off their energy. If that gentleman who said he was running 4 hours in the marathon is reading – mate I hope you smash it. I am sure with the nice flat course you will exceed what you thought.

May you be swift of foot and pure and heart. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Downsizing

I watched a recent documentary on lifestyles around the world and was astounded to hear that in Sweden and Denmark, families lived a really minimalistic lifestyle. They had ample food and lived well, but had comparatively little in terms of material possessions - not because they were poor, but because they did not feel like they needed them. They cited the reason why they felt Americans and others needed big houses was partly to measure up with the neighbours and partly to store all the stuff that they went about collecting and then threw out later on in life as they again downsized.

This got me thinking about my own life and the amount of stuff that I own which I either never use, or rarely use. Going through my wardrobe this evening, I came across some pieces that I seem to have had for ages. I have a pair of running shorts that are probably about 10 years old but yet they still look brand new – why throw them out I am thinking? I recently threw out a pair of jeans that were also about 7 years old, but that is because I could not wear them any more due to losing so much weight around my middle. They were a 32 and I am now a 28.

I have managed to discard a fair few running items that have just been accumulating and have also resolved not to buy any further exercise/running gear for the foreseeable future as I just have way too much of the stuff and really don’t need any more.

This weekend I will go through other things that I want to target for disposal. Minimalist is coming back into fashion and that suits me just fine – less to worry about. Save the money and spend it on experiences for yourself – better yet donate it to charity. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Injury update

Went to doctor guru man today and he has told me that I can once again start to do light runs at the end of this week. I was thinking it ironic that this will coincide with the marathon and me being down at the finish volunteering. How can I be bitter though when I have so much and am blessed with so many people who have been so helpful towards me?

The doc also worked up a program for me, which was very good of him and pronounced that there is no reason that by the middle of November I will be back to some decent running.

It was interesting that he highlighted the classic Zatpotek syndrome and numerous other examples of when forced rest has been good for athletes. Those having benefited from this have been Zatpotek himself, Salazar, Paula Radcliffe and even Noakes, who cites that he ran his best Two Oceans after having an operation and being forced to rest and do no running for 4 weeks.

The body is indeed an interesting and bewildering gift. I know that I have reacted pretty well to the rest. The itch to run is coming back – the twitch is felt occasionally in the legs again and I have been concentrating on getting my diet in the best order that it has ever been.

Whilst I can’t wait to run again, I am being cautious and heeding the advice as well as remembering all that I have read and been taught by more experienced and older runners over the past few weeks. – Sean Muller

Monday, September 13, 2010

The most unlikely of runners

I learned today that one of the people that I have dealings with is also a runner- nothing unusual you may say to that. You are quite correct in your observations, however you may change your tack when you learn that she smokes about 12 cigarettes a day.

Now I am not advocating smoking at all and know that I can’t smoke and play sport, it is interesting nonetheless that she is able to get away with this sort of behaviour. In fact she lights up following a 10km run and happily puffs away while swigging her Powerade.

I suppose we could equate her to a modern day Arthur Newton, who was said to have indulged in smoke at half way during Comrades in the 1920s.

The Turahumara are also said to be fond of smoking prior to a 100 mile or longer run and we all know what they can do.

Who knows if her smoking will in the end catchup with her or if she will be one of those weird exceptions that are able to carry on?

We do find runners who indulge in the strangest of things.

Stride for stride on a smoke free life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hope

Further readings this week have taken me to the concept of hope and what it does for mankind, but also for sportspeople in general.

A very interesting quote that I read was that if you provide people with hope then they are prepared to fight. It struck me that this is what we are trying to do through this forum. We are cutting through all the BS about exercise and running and showing that there is indeed another way of living that does revolve around being lazy and unhealthy.

Anyone having read ‘Born to Run’ and other publications will know that we as humans are only one of three animals that have the genetic makeup for long distance running – the others being horses and dogs. How much more proof does one need that we were put on this earth to run and not to sit on our bums watching television.

If you are like I was several years ago, unhealthy, overweight and unhappy, there does exist hope that you can turn your life around. There are countless running groups out there throughout the globe and they cater for all levels of fitness and ability.

I guarantee you will be made to feel welcome and that once you get fitter and fitter, things will become easier, your attitude will change and you won’t want to go back to the life that you had before.

Step up off that couch and out the door right now – Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Time to train

I was involved in a motivation workshop yesterday at my new role and I partly put my name down due to the free lunch and partly to learn if there was some other way that I could become motivated that I did not already know about.

The lady presenting the workshop covered all of the standard things that one would expect – rewarding yourself after you complete a task or after a big race (this could involve buying yourself a watch that you wanted or pair of sunnies or simply a new pair of jeans that would not have fit you prior to you starting to train). The area that I did find was lacking though was that of creating time to exercise or run.

Many people in the workshop (and in life) bemoan the fact that they just don’t have the time to run or exercise. My answer to this is that it is very easy to create time IF YOU REALLY WANT TO.

Simple ways that we can do this include to work effectively and to make use of the lunch break to exercise instead of sitting at our desks and eating like a lot of us tend to do. This is easier said than done, but in my experience, if one member of the team heads out for an hour of exercise it is likely to motivate the rest of the team to do similar at some stage. Similarly if people are staying behind during lunch, then more often than not others will also stay inside.

Getting out of bed 30 minutes earlier in the morning can also create just enough time to sneak in a quick run before showering and heading to work. This is a wonderful way to start the day – chance to see the beauty of the sunrise each and every day and to truly wakeup with the birds each morning.

Perhaps the single biggest way of creating time though is that of simply turning the television off and only watching essential programs like the news. An average person in the west watches about 4 hours of television a day – majority of this time merely for the sake of there being something to do. Anyone fence sitting, try turning off the TV for a couple of days solid and wean yourself off this habit. You may find that you will not miss those shows on the box, but your life will also become clearer and you will have so much time on your hands to do all the things that you wanted to do in the past.

Start your regime today – YOU have the power right now to get off that sofa and get out the door and in so doing change your life FOREVER.

Drag the dog, husband, wife, children, partner or hell even the goldfish out the door with you and let’s change the perception of not having time for it! – Sean Muller

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Running with wolves

My recent readings have taken me to an amazing book entitled ‘Neither wolf nor dog’ by Kent Nerburn. It is the story of a native person of the land now known as America. Riveting can’t describe it and I strongly suggest you get hold of it as it is one of those life changing stories.

This led me to thinking and reading further about the long distance running prowess of these people. The one notable example is that of Deerfoot (who is also highlighted in Lore of Running). This man was brought from the US to the UK to run against the best that England had to offer in 1861 and remained in the UK till 1863. During this time he ran numerous races and never lost bar for two occasions when he had become a little too fond of the soft English way of life.

He ran in moccasins or barefoot in conditions he was unfamiliar with and yet he still managed to whip all the best that the west had to offer.

Like the Turahumara he never trained or used any of the fancy techniques that the western athletes were experimenting with. He just ran and attained phenomenal results. Proof that yet again the so-called ancient world can teach us in our modern lives a thing or two about how to do things.

Read the book – although not about running there are many lessons we can carry through to our running and our lives. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The second Sydney running boom

So good to see that we still have a fair amount of folks out on the trails and streets around Sydney. Usually there seems to be a lull for the 8 months leading up to City to Surf and then once that event is done people tend to go back into hiding.

This year it seems slightly different though and pleasingly people are still out there training for the Blackmores Sydney running festival so good to see and in a way I am saddened not to be part of running the race as I have been in previous years, this year instead I will be cheering everyone on to a fast flat finish down at the Opera House.

May your last two weeks of training reawaken the twitch and may you fly over the course on the day. – Sean Muller

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Running and accumulation

Running is largely a fairly simple sport that involves not much equipment at all and which quite frankly anyone of us can do since the day we are born.

At least this is what most running books tell us. This is of course quite true and we are literally born to run.

Why is it then that this fairly simple sport has become a marketers dream with the amount of shoes and different styles ever changing and evolving? Initially we were told it was bad for us to run barefoot – then we were told it was bad to run with shoes. Talk about confusion.

Initially shorts and a t-shirt was adequate, whereas now we seek out the latest and greatest tech apparel, compression gear, socks etc. None of this stuff is cheap and yes I have been sucked into buying things in the past that perhaps I did not really need.

Between the freebies that one receives at races and through corporates, the need to buy clothing is almost redundant for most of us.

Try a little experiment next time you want to buy a new gadget or piece of apparel. Ask yourself if you will be able to wear it enough to get it down to $1 a wear to make it truly worthwhile. In most instances you probably find that you don’t need it and it may sit in your closet like many other pieces gathering dust till you end up clearing it out in a year or so. – Sean Muller

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Unexpected human kindness and running

A short one for the day, but have had a bit on the go and devoting more time to the book and aiming to get that one finished and try and sort a publisher in the next few months - may as well get as much done while I am not running.
In a supreme example of korima and the human spirit, someone who I have always had deep respect for and admired for their achievements has agreed to help me out with something that practically noone else could. I am still taken aback by the gesture and stunned by the consistent good that exists out there amongst the global running community.

Go ahead and help another person today and in doing so help yourself. -- Sean Muller

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weight stabilisation

Paleo eating is going well. Heaps of energy and no flagging through the day.

As I mentioned previously I have been cheating a little bit by drinking organic milk and taking the Sustagen sports mix. I have also been eating oats, which I am sure were not around during caveman days.

Water, green tea and isikiate have completely replaced any soft drinks or juices that may have been lingering around in the background, again with no ill effects. Alcohol is long gone.

Thinking is clearer, sleep much deeper and general well-being improved. Resting pulse has climbed abit from 36 to now 39. Not that I am worried as going back to work and not doing as much running will ensure it naturally comes off a bit.

This morning I weighed in at 66kgs and although this is the lightest that I have been since I can remember, the strength has not suffered.

I believe the weight loss to be attributed to the thrice weekly saunas that I am having, as well as the shift in traditional eating protocols and rather eating salads for breakfast and oats for dinner.

I never thought that I would have the discipline to remain as committed to this, but it has stuck and I fully intend to continue. The way I see this the more of us eating Paleo, the lower the cost of chia and other seeds and the better the well being of the world.

Try Paleo for two weeks – the body will thank you, the mind will thank you and the soul will reward you. Hell you may never go back – Sean Muller

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Running and the workplace

I used to regularly make time to run or do some form of boot camp or another during my lunch time. I say used to as as I have not been running that much over the past weeks and am restricting my activities to the gym and pool.

Personal point of view is that training together as a group on a regular basis is a far more healthy way of work colleagues to bond than for them to be heading to the pub each lunchtime. Productivity definitely does increase in the afternoon following a session of exercise and people are more inclined to put in the amount of effort required to push through to a later finish in the evening without any grumbling.

Once worked with a senior stakeholder who actively encouraged us to go out for a run as a team and conduct a meeting/catchup on the run. This definitely had the desired effect of bringing new respect for the manager and a greater cohesion in the team.

Everyone should have one of these catchups every week. Running together, stride for stride on a life changing ride.– Sean Muller

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

VO2 - Just do it!

Since I have not been able to run for the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at innovative ways of keeping the VO2 max up.

The most logical way has been through doing spin intervals on the bike, but I have also been finding some good maintenance through swimming fast laps in the pool and by employing different breathing techniques.

Luckily I had a swim coach in the past who believed in making us do these power drills to improve lung power and stamina. He used to make us swim 25m lengths of the pool under water with only a short break in between. A few graduated onto the 50m pool to.

The key to underwater swimming lies in being able to slow the heart rate and use as little energy and effort as you can. This will enable the body to move through the water more easily than those who try and go too quickly and expend all their energy in one go.

Another sure fire way to improve your lung power in general is to swim a length of freestyle really quickly but instead of breathing every second stroke, try and only breathe every 5-6 strokes and then work it up to 8 or nine strokes.

Varying these techniques and using the bike intervals will give you great results.

Remember that we all only have a finite amount of muscle repairs and hence the importance of rest to rebuild the body. I am only finding this out more and more now.

For those with a little extra money, I would suggest that you also buy yourself a PowerBreathe device. I have used mine for the past 18 months and seen dramatic improvements. The device has its detractors, but it has worked for me and several friends, including one who had suffered from asthma. Since using the PowerBreathe for the past 3 months, he has not needed his puffer and can now take part in sport safe in the knowledge that he won’t suffer an attack.

Breathing is part of life. Make every breath count! – Sean Muller

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Changing the norm

Back to nutrition today – As most of you know I am following the Paleo eating plan as best as a I can.

I say, as best as I can as I have still been drinking milk which I know was not really around when prehistoric man was alive. I figure though as long as it is organic and not loaded with additives and sugars then it is fine by me.

Big changes for me have occured around what I eat at different times of day. Traditional breakfast has been turned on its head as I now have been trying fresh salads and nuts for brekkie. This is something that I also remember reading in ‘Born to Run’ and is something that the Turahumara people advocate.

Friends have looked at me as though I am weird, but in reality what I am doing is not disimilar to what they are doing. They eat their cornflakes or toast and vegemite and I have my salad – both have carbs and fibre, except that my carbs are slow burning. This helps me to stay wide awake through out the day.

Afternoon snacks – nuts or seeds with a glass of milk in place of choccie biscuits.

Another element that has not changed is Chia, Chia, Chia. Life changing stuff.

Give it a try and stay light all day and after all lighter goes faster and further.

Paleo eating - change your life – give yourself the need for speed. – Sean Muller