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, 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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Comrades 2011

For any of you who liked my Comrades tales and for any of you who would like to complete to take part in the journey in 2011, then please note that the entries open this Wednesday. Go to www.comrades.com and you can enter.

For me this event has become so much more than a race. It has changed my life forever and no longer will I go back to being the person that I was prior to my first one.

Something very special happens on that road each year between Durban and Maritzburg and it is in those hours that you get to experience the true spirit of humanity.

Go there not exepecting to find  the hardest or the longest ultra – go there instead to find yourself and what you thought was important in life soon seems so trivial.

It is justly called the ‘Ultimate Human Race’.

Go there to find the true spirit of Korima. It is the day when everything seems to work in South Africa and a true celebration of the power of sport and a single goal to unite. – Sean Muller

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The toughest and most bizarre ultra marathon

Consensus amongst most people is that it takes a fair bit to run a marathon. Not that many people around the world can claim to have completed one. If you don’t believe me then feel free to do a straw poll around your family, friends or workplace and I am sure you will find not many hands being raised.

Ultras and Ironman events are another story and fewer hands will stay up once you quiz people on events around the 100km or 100 mile mark or longer.

What is the toughest event around then you may ask?

I had always thought that the Badwater 135 mile run through Death Valley in temperatures of 40c plus would have to take the cake. That was until I heard about the Barclay Ultra marathons.

The Barkley Marathons are run in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee (there is a 100 mile run and a 60 mile Fun Run) and was started in 1986 as a 50 mile race, but there were no finishers until 1988.

It is considered one of the toughest 100 mile races in the world. It has 59,100 feet of climb (and 59,100 feet of descent); more than any other 100 mile race.

Since the race began, only 9 runners out of about 700 have finished within the 60 hour cut-off. The runners who have entered are very tough ultra marathoners so this is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Mark Williams of the UK finished first in 1995 in 59:28. Here is his race report.

Just how tough is this event you may be asking yourself?

The Barkley consists of five 20-mile loops with no aid except for water at two points. The cut-offs for the 100 mile race are 12 hours per loop. The 60 mile "fun run" has a cut-off of 40 hours, or 13:20 per loop. To prove you completed each loop, you must find 9 to 11 books (varies) at various points along the course and return a page from each book.

At most about 35 people enter each year and it is largely invitation only, although you have to write an essay to see if you are worthy. If you want to read more then look at the official website, although like many involved in this sort of stuff, they are more involved in the actual doing than the maintenance of the site.

Have not ascertained yet what you get for finishing, but by the sounds of it it is a pat on the back.

Keep running for the pats on the back. – Sean Muller

Friday, August 27, 2010

How to run really long distances

A very simplistic video of how to run long distances.

Love him or hate him, Dean Karnazes has done plenty to promote our beautiful passion.

Keep running and spreading the passion. – Sean Muller

Thursday, August 26, 2010

As on the road, so to back into life

Yesterday I was asked about what characteristics an ultra runner would be able to bring to an organisation.

To some this may seem like a fairly stupid question to ask, but to me I think it has all the relevance in the world.

Perseverance, determination, never giving up and an ability to forge a path in tough circumstances are all words that I would use to describe the ultra runner. All qualities of extreme importance in life.

It is hard to describe to a non-runner how running improves my life and allows me to be a better human being. Perhaps I don’t need to though as people have made comments how my outlook has changed and become even more positive since I started the ultra distances. Some things are better left to our actions.

I put this down to the simple saying ‘The further I go on the road, the further I go inside my mind’. Sometimes there are places that are less welcoming than others and try to force negativity into my thinking, but it is all about getting through those places and reconnecting with the positives.

Keep running and keeping a positive outlook on life. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker 100km

I was alerted to the fact at my gym this morning that the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker walk/run is on this weekend in Sydney. The event has grown substantially over the past years with teams of 4 runners or walkers making their way (as a team) from the Hawkesbury to the Harbour.

The team work ideal is reinforced as the rules state that teams can’t be spread out and have to finish each leg together.

A fantastic day out for most people as they battle through the bush to the finish line all in aide of raising money for the very worthy charity of Oxfam.

I have followed with interest many of the teams who I have seen out and about walking and running together over the past few months. For many this will be the toughest thing they will ever have had to do in their lives, but they will have the support of their teammates to share the moment with.

Good luck to all those taking part. An amazing achievement and may you return again to the arena of endurance sport.

Have a look at the Trailwalker link for more information about the event. They are also still looking for volunteers to assist at aide stations and you can still donate to the various teams online.

Keep running in the bush or road. Stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Contextualising as runners

Firstly sorry for the late post – I was busy volunteering and hopefully making a difference.

You know that things are getting read, when people start to email you about the lack of content. This is fantastic once again that such an interest is being paid in what for all intents and purposes was started to try to be able to help just one or two people. Here we go while my eggs and soup are cooking...

Today I was reminded of the importance of reframing as a runner and a member of society. I overheard someone at lunch whinging about the fact that they had to go for a run as part of their personal training group.

I thought to myself how much I was itching to go for a run now that my ankle is feeling better – I am going to listen though and rest the full 6 weeks, but thought how lucky and blessed this young lady should feel to have the opportunity to go out and enjoy man’s greatest freedom during her lunch hour.

It is so sad that in a world where we have many who can’t share in the beauty of running – not because of temporary injury but through other unfortunate circumstances, that we have others who seem not to know how blessed they truly are.

Keep running and not taking it for granted – keep doing good things and keep winning in life. – Sean Muller

Monday, August 23, 2010

Progress on Paleo

Many of the regular readers on this blog have asked me to post an update on how I have been tracking since embarking on the paleo eating plan.

Thus far I have not been able to run very much due to the ankle issues – City to Surf being the exception, but then travelling at 4.15/km was quite pedestrian and nothing to get excited about. I have indeed noticed some changes though and detail these below.

Weight has remained under the 70kg mark (mainly around 69kgs but also as low as 66kg two weeks ago). This is good and I believe this to be my natural optimal weight as I ran my fastest marathon at this weight. I have not found that I have lost any strength though and can still lift weights at the gym.

I have not been quite as good as I planned in terms of avoiding coffee altogether and find that some days one is just what is needed to get me going. I continue to progress with the green tea, drinking 2 cups a day and have found this to have a profoundly calming and cleansing effect on me. This I complement each evening by one cup of rooibos tea – plenty of anti-oxidants in the day.

I have also been making sure I drink a glass or two of milk or Sustegon Sports meal replacement drink – I know these are not part of caveman’s diet and in essence cheating, but I rationalise that I need the extra calcium to repair my bone.

Takeaways of any sort are gone – used to have once a week a pad thai, but that is now gone.
Thoughts are clearer and more focused (although these were never really bad), but then this could be down to a number of factors- no alcohol, power balance, meditation etc.

There has been no lack of energy levels. Body feels ‘lighter’ and ‘cleaner’ – no bad thing really.

Discipline is required, but I am intent on sticking to things and will keep you updated. – Sean Muller

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First female running around Australia

No I am not talking about Julia Gillard, but rather Sarah Mycroft, a 32 year old mum of two from Picton in the New South Wales Southern Highlands. She has for the past 5 months or so been running around Australia in a counter clockwise fashion heading up the coast from Sydney to Cairns, then across the top end to Darwin and now down the west coast to Perth.

Each day she heads out and runs 60 or more kms to enable her to meet her goal. Anyone who has ever driven for long distances in Australia will know just how tough the terrain is as well as how hot things can get out on the road.

Travelling with a small crew of friends and volunteers (and with her two small children), this lady is relatively quietly making her way around the country while stopping off in schools to deliver positive messages against obesity.

Sarah has some good pedigree as a distance runner and as a friend of mine educated me about the other day, the Southern Highlands area seems to have produced some really seriously good runners and in particular really good female distance runners. I am not sure why this is – perhaps this might be the ‘Great Rift Valley’ of Australia.

For any distance runner this journey would rank not only as something of a great adventure, but also a true test of what you are capable of. This is not something to be taken lightly and I would say that majority of us might have given up ages ago.

Having written about the achievements of Jess Watson the other day, I can only hope that young Sarah also commands the same sort of coverage and welcome back into Sydney after her voyage.

I encourage you to look at her website and donate to her cause . May the running gods continue to smile on Sarah – indeed the spirit of adventure is running high in young Australian women in 2010. – Sean Muller

Friday, August 20, 2010

Giving thanks as runners

Runners and triathletes are generally a very giving lot.

We acknowledge the importance of not only putting our best foot forward each and every day, but also in motivating others to achieve the very best that they can on a daily basis. This is the cornerstone of why I started this blog – so that we can share ideas and motivation to ensure a more healthy and productive human race.

Volunteering and helping out (formally and informally) is ingrained in our psyche. We know that without help it is very rare that any of us will achieve our goals or our true potential.

Sure there have been plenty of times when I have set out on my own on long and lonely long runs of 4 hours and more relying only on myself to get me home.

I have found these good for building self reliance and a deep understanding of where you truly need to go inside your own head to get through the journey. Needless to say such runs are just as happily completed when you know that there is someone who will be on hand at an aide station to will you on your way or provide you with the cup of soup and bread that you have been craving for the last 25km.

Saying thank you to volunteers is important as they come from all walks of life and give so much time to the community, not only in running, but in so many different aspects of life.

I do some work with the Centre for Volunteering, who run the New South Wales ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’. Nominations for this year’s award close at the end of September and the award ceremony will be held in December. Have a look at the link above and acknowledge the good work that a friend, neighbour, colleague, family member or just some random stranger is doing.

That lifesaver who pulled you out of that rip, that SES member who came and helped you in a storm crisis, that old fella who poured a welcome drum of ice over your head in a 100km bush run did it not because they seek recognition, but BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

You see without the quiet achievers, loud achievers would be nothing.

Keep running – and improving the lives of others. – Sean Muller

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Running and mentoring

I have befriended over the past few years a young bloke who works at the shop where I buy my running shoes. He is super knowledgeable and a really good runner who knocks out frequent really quick 10k times.

I had not popped in to see him in some time now since I have acquired a supplier in the UK which ships my shoes for about $100 less (including the shipping) than what they are in Sydney shops. Now I know that we are supposed to be supporting Aussie business etc etc, but in tight economic times, $100 is alot of money on one pair of shoes and it makes me wonder just how much mark-up retailers here are making?

Today I went into to say hi and found that he is now working full time at the shop and had deferred his studies in order to help his folks out with some of the finances. It struck me what a selfless thing this was to do, but then since I have met this bloke, he definitely lives and runs with the spirit of korima that I mentioned a while back. Doing good not because you expect good back, but because it is the right thing to do.

Not sure yet how I can do it, but will add him to the list of younger folks that I am mentoring and helping and encourage you to also seek out similar individuals with immense potential and the right ideas, but only in need of some assistance from a few sources.

Keep running – and mentoring and spreading goodwill. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celebrating adventure across the ages

I attended a recent community forum meeting. We were all there to hear young Aussie adventurer Jessica Watson telling her story about how she was the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

In a world fuelled on video games, i-phones and other virtual things, it was refreshing to see that the good old fashioned spirit of adventure was still alive in some – and even more so in someone so young.

She had set her goal, mapped it out and planned it like one would any work project and gone for it. One can only but bow to this and hope that many other people old and young are inspired through it.

I fell into conversation with a few of the older members of the audience and the topic turned to running since they had noticed the Comrades logo on the polo shirt that I was wearing.

Turns out that all three I was talking to were runners and one had completed Comrades some 30 + years previously. He and his mate had also amazingly completed many Six Foot Track marathons. In fact they had been part of the group that had been running The Track long before it was even an organised event. For our international readers, I include a video link here to give an idea of the Track.

Amazing achievements and I took great heart and inspiration from the fact that they were still running shorter distances (now in their mid 80s). In an act of bravado, one of them lifted his shirt to illustrate that he still had a six pack.

I can only wish that this is the case with all of us runners and may we be not only be still running into old age, but also sharing our knowledge and stories with the youth of tomorrow. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apparel advances

Strange how science has also changed how we dress when heading out to run.

Cotton tshirts have been replaced with maxi dry sweat wicking synthetic shorts and singlets such that pretty soon a garment will be invented that will also be able to cook your dinner.

I admit that I have given into a lot of the hype for various reasons – I wear the tri shorts for comfort and the compression gear for recovery.

It amazes me that people were able to run such great times in the 60s, 70s and 80s without modern gear. Even more amazing was a story that I read about Bill Rodgers and one of his Boston wins. He had forgotten to pack his shorts and so went round the neighbours place and borrowed a pair of cotton gym shorts from their son. Nevermind that they did not fit correctly, he still went on to win the race regardless.

Keen to hear about outrageous purchases you have made. I have tried out the running skirt, but not converted on its merits for men. – Sean Muller

Bringing together cultures

I recently got contacted through this forum by a Chinese man who simply had the following to say ‘I like marathon – keep write about marathon’.

Simple message, but one that is load and clear. Through this forum we are creating bridges to different cultures. This is another of the beautiful things about running. It can more than any other sport transcend language and cultural barriers across the globe.

You see there is no need to speak in running - merely the joy of floating alongside someone else as our ancestors did many years ago.

A few months ago when I was still in heavy Comrades training, I was fortunate enough to run with a gent from South Korea who was here on holiday in Sydney. He was training for a marathon in South Korea and we ran a alongside each other for about 15km. His English was limited and my Korean is nonexistent, so we communicated through the power of sport and the run. When either of us pushed the pace abit, the other followed until we reached his hotel and he shook my hand, bowed and ran inside.

I have also shared many great runs with a group of young British and American exchange students.

Another friend shared a story with me about a recent trip through Europe. Being the European summer, he was keen to run in as many cities as he could and take in the sites that way and I don’t blame him. He shared many amazing stories of running with people in villages and even of elderly Greek and Italian folks running along with him – not to chat for they did not understand each other, but merely to share in the beauty of the day out on the run.

I hope to share a similar experience on my next trip to Europe.

Keep running and breaking down cultural barriers – Sean Muller

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making a difference through running

Part of the journey is helping to ensure that others also benefit from the gift of our running.

A few people have asked me how they are able to get more involved with running for a good cause. Now there are many charities that one can fundraise for in running a marathon, ultra, triathlon or any other event, however the following four organisations are worth considering, not only for the great work that they do, but also for the fact that you are able to help out on a more regular basis than a one off run.

May this help you search to make a difference.

Keep living and loving the run. -- Sean Muller

Seeing the future

This morning I was joined by a young lady at the table I was using at my local library. She was studying for her final HSC year 12 examination which was to take place later in the day. We struck up a conversation about the subject she was studying (cultural studies..) – something that was not around when I was at school and the fact that she was nervous going into the exam.

I was impressed not only by her eloquence (clearly her parent’s money had been well spent on her private school education) but also by the sheer volume of sports achievement scrolls that she sported on her blazer. I had a few of these in my day, but nothing like the amount that this young lady did. Swimming, netball, tennis, athletics ... the list went on and on and down both sides of the front of her blazer. In fact had school extended for another year, I am sure she would have had to resort to putting them on the back of the blazer to.

It struck me in that moment that perhaps.. just maybe I might have been sharing some idle chatter with a future world champion and it made me just so dam glad to be alive and more intent to get up and help out with change ! – Sean Muller

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nutrition or nonsense?

Long distance runners are always looking for ways of fuelling themselves adequately so that can continue to maintain a competitive edge. We have all used gels, Power bars, Powerade and other sports drinks etc in our racing and training.

Like many things in life, all of the above substances have been around for less than 50 years. They have been synthetically made and formulated to supposedly fuel us during our runs.

I continue to make use of the gels in particular, but have often wondered why anyone would need to use them on any runs shorter than a half marathon? The body holds enough glycogen to successfully handle the 21km distance and so it was with some bemusement that I saw runners consuming up to 5 of them during a half marathon this year. Even more amazing was the person not only having 5, but also insisting on running with a 4L Camelpak over a course with numerous aide stations and volunteers. One could have even thought that perhaps said individual was thinking they were instead involved in the Marathon des Sabel.

Speaking to the winner of the Sydney Marathon on the last couple of occasions (a Kenyan dude) revealed that he does not like the gels and him and his mates prefer to drink just water (even though a few are sponsored by GU). Another point of reference is that in marathons of past years, there were no aide stations offering Gus and Coke and Gatorade and guess what people ran just fine. In fact a friend ran a silver at Comrades in the 80s on just water – positively amazing.

Ultra marathons and Ironman triathlons probably have greater needs for nutrition and even solid food in my honest opinion.

True courage is shown by Julie Moss in this early clip from the Ironman in Hawaii. She fuelled only on abit of banana, water and Coke and the result is heartbreaking but if you are not inspired by this then nothing will inspire you. – Sean Muller

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The good neighbourliness of runners

Thank you to all who have sent through messages of goodwill and offers of help to assist me in recovering more quickly since I reported on my injury problems yesterday.

It is not the end of the world and a chance for me to pursue my coaching ambitions and to get more involved in side issues that I wanted to get involved with for so long. Life is just so good to all of us and how good is it that we as a running and triathlon community can come together in forums such as this and discuss how to improve lives and help each other and others.

I was even more pleased to be able to develop a new friendship on the start line of the recent City to Surf. This young lady informed me yesterday that she ran her personal best time over the course, despite worrying that she had not trained. This is amazing and I am really thrilled for her.

The power of positivity is never to be underestimated and I was reminded of this in an email this morning, as well as by a story told to me by the same friend.

She told me about a football team who were so confident and positive of a good outcome that even if they were down on the scoreboard at half time, they would proceed to talk the other team out of the game by saying things like ’30 minutes till we beat you’ and then ’25 minutes till we beat you’ etc etc. You see they knew in their heart of hearts that they would end up on top when the final whistle went.

Now I don’t advocate nastiness or trash talk in running, but I am adopting this attitude with regards to my injury set back now.

Let the clock tick ... Five weeks and 6 days till I can run again! – Sean Muller

Friday, August 13, 2010

General running rant

Today I headed back to my doctor following the MRI scan and he confirmed that there is a hairline crack in the shin bone and in probability I should not have even attempted City to Surf last weekend. In fact he shook his head in bewilderment when I told him about the run.

He confirmed that it has to do with the fact that I was greedy following my Comrades run and came back to heavy training way too soon. My queries about whether I could complete the Sydney Marathon in 5 weeks time was also met with amazement. Long story short he has suggested a the standard treatment for a stress fracture which is 6-7 weeks of no running.

Obviously this was not the result I was looking for and I was slightly down on things about this, but then thought about how lucky and blessed I am to have so much and so after having my whinge I contacted the Sydney Marathon and they are allowing anyone the chance to defer their entry right up until the day before the race. This is true customer service and restored my faith in race organisers.

I am also going to be out on the course volunteering as a second and helping out those who I can. For me this is something that I have done in the past (albeit not for a little while) and perhaps my injury is just telling me that it is a chance for me to put some more time and energy back into a sport that has given me so much.

I always thank the volunteers on the course at each aide station and also those at the start and finish, but I wonder how many will thank me come the marathon on 19 September.

The volunteer is the foundation cornerstone of our sport and many of them give so much time on far less glamourous courses than the Sydney Marathon. The true lovers of the sport are those out on the training routes at 5am and those that stand out in the rain and freezing cold during lengthy trail runs where there are no glitzy sponsors and runners are frequently only through each aide station at a rate of 1 every couple of hours.

Think about these facts during your next event.

Keep running – Sean Muller

The copper canyon ultramarathon

Many of you, like me will share a huge amount of respect for the Raramuri people and hence I post this video so that many can share in their victory.

As Caballo Blanco points out - if you finish you win, if you get out of bed in the morning and do good things and have love in your heart and in your running then you WIN!

These people can teach us so much in our world of flash designs, consumerism and obsession with ownership.

The event depicted must surely be the ultimate fatass run. -- Sean Muller

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A perfect day

A fantastic day spent out of Sydney in the Southern Highlands with a great friend and her school group. Feel so cleansed and happy with the world and life. The universe is happy and things are as they should be.

May this feeling run over into your life and your running. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The beauty of running friendships

Short and sweet tonight folks.

Tomorrow I have been invited by one of my running friends to speak with her school group about my story. Feel so blessed to have been invited to take part in this opportunity, all of which would not have even been possible if I was not to have met this remarkable individual through my running.

You just never know if life how the power of running, exercise and healthy living can bring good people together. -- Sean Muller

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Readership interest

It is just fantastic to see that so many people are joining us in the run from around the world.

I shall try and setup a survey to see what you folks have enjoyed and what you would like to see more of. In the meantime, please keep the comments coming.

We are after all in this together and that is what this blog is about.

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

Running in the rain

Running in the rain , just running in the rain... Almost launched into song there, but then anyone who knows me knows that singing is probably not my strongest skill and so I will refrain.

Headed off for a nice 6km recovery run today in the cool rain that we have been having. Nothing better than a run in the rain. Something uniquely cleansing about it.

Having grown up in an area where big electric storms occur, I find these conditions to also be very dramatic and used to relish playing sport in storms during my school days.

It was so good to be out and about enjoying mans greatest freedom, however I did get some stares and smart comments from alot of people about the rationale behind why I was doing what I was. One lady at a traffic light I stopped at was huddled under her brolly and just shock her head and uttered something like ‘Bloody mad’ before I took off again ever closer to the warm shower and cup of tea that awaited me.

No other way to describe than the phrase that Forrest Gump uses - ‘I am running’.

I was running with the earth and at one with the earth – my mind at peace for those 45 minutes. – Sean Muller

Monday, August 9, 2010

Korima and the spirit of the runner

To run with the earth and feel at one with the earth is the greatest gift that we as runners can receive. This is the way of the Raramuri people who are epitomised in this video clip.

My spirit for running had been flagging since this weekend’s big event, but finding this video has restored my faith in the spirit of running.

As he says in the video:
1. Observe the running ceremonies
2. Protect the forest
3. RUN!

Seek not the medal, but rather how we can return the Korima that comes our way. – Sean Muller

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Motivation Motivation and more Motivation

I saw this video on one of the blogs that I follow and thought to share it with readers.

If you are not motivated by these ladies and what they are doing then surely you have no pulse.

For anyone who has ever said 'I can't', watch this and find yourself saying 'I can' and 'I will'. If running long distances were bad for one into old age, then how do we explain people like this?

Keep on living and loving life on the run! -- Sean Muller

City to Surf 2010

Despite my earlier grumbling and muttering about corporate greed and the lack of personal touch by the City to Surf folks, I was not about to let them just have my money and since they were not going to give it to charity, I hauled myself out of bed and went to take part in the race.

My goal was to enjoy as I don’t think that I will be back again next year.

80000 people lined up to take part (way too many if you ask me) and away we went. I had been placed in the group that was scheduled to run between 75-100mins for the 14km. This was due to the fact that I was overseas when the race opened and did not manage to get into any of the quicker groups.

Long story short, I enjoyed the run and cruised in to record a time of just under an hour. Good luck to the race organisers who were spruiking the idea of 100 000 people in a few years time.

I have included my Garmin graph below for this interested in the event. I would say it is worth doing if you are in Sydney on holiday at the time it is run, but once is more than enough. – Sean Muller

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Running memories

This week I experienced one of the most beautiful things that one can as a runner or sportsperson.

I was walking to get some of my groceries and passed a sports field where a local junior school was having an inter house athletics meeting. The memories of my childhood came flooding back and I could not but stop and watch some of the events.

Suddenly I was 10 again and running the anchor leg of the 4x100m relay. The baton would reach my right hand and I was off like a shot barrelling down the home straight with the cold, rarefied and polluted Johannesburg winter air burning my throat and lungs.

Those were the days of barefoot running and the time when winning meant everything to me. There was nothing more satisfying than being greeted by your friends and family on the finish line knowing that you had hauled in the others in the race and brought victory for you, your school and your mates.

The kids I was watching did not seem to have much of the competitive spirit that I remember from childhood and perhaps this is because so many experts have written about it is unhealthy to encourage winning and losing at school sport - with some advocating the scrapping of this altogether. This notion is rubbish in my eyes and learning to win and lose is important from a young age.

Still one youngster stood out from the rest. The gun for an 800m event went off and away the kids ran being chased by a slightly awkward running little fellow at the back. I later learned this kid was only 4 and not even part of the school.

Long story short he hauled in all but three of the older kids in the two lap event (not bad in his little duffle coat and boots) and ended up looking in better shape than loads at the finish.

His mum had been chasing him to pull him out of the race, but gave up as she could not keep up and luckily the teachers just let him continue. The little fellow just wanted to run and as I told his mum afterwards she should just let him run if he wants to. He may be slightly awkward and untrained etc, but the passion and the spirit is definitely there and on that day while his mates were playing in the sandbox that little boy got up and spontaneously ran 800m. A marvellous achievement for him and a sight that will sit with me till I depart this earth.

For those with kids, please share the following with them – ‘To play the sport is great, to win the sport is greater, but to enjoy the sport is by far the greatest. – Sean Muller

Friday, August 6, 2010

Injury update 2

Final update from me on my shin injury.

My MRI done, I have been permitted to start running again if the pain is not there or is not too severe. This weekend I plan to be on the line at the City to Surf and have pledged that this will be the last time that I compete in that event.

I have been completely disillusioned with the corporate greed associated with the race. Having thought that there might be a strong possibility that I would not run the event a few weeks back, I proceeded to write to the events team and requested that they donate my entry to a charity of my choice (Can Too).

I was told that they do not do such things (despite plugging the charity aspect of the event). They outlined that I would receive for my entry fee, Gatorade, water, the medal and the chance to run. This quite frankly is a feeble excuse as all the drinks are donated by the sponsors so they are free and the medal costs about 50 cents and quite frankly they can keep it as I have so many already. Plus I was not running so I was getting zero.

When I pointed this out to them, they did not seem to have an answer. This I find to be very disappointing and so this year will be my last as the spirit seems to have been lost abit in the greed. As one friend pointed out it is not a run, but a three ring circus.

Enjoy if you are running on Sunday and try and spread some love in the event. Come and say hi if you are running from the green pack. I will aim for a comfortable jog through in under 70min. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Injury update

As mentioned, this blog is not intended to glorify me in any way, but in answer to some questions and concerns about my injury, I thought I would update a short piece on it today.

I went to see the sports doctor today that my physio had recommended. He did a thorough analysis and is sending me to get an MRI tomorrow afternoon to find out exactly what is happening. Stress fracture is unlikely according to him and more than likely it is a strain of the muscles around the ankle or some bruising. Either way we will know tomorrow.

Good news is that the doctor ordered me to run this evening even if there is pain as he feels that this will cause whatever is aggravating me to show up better on the scan.

Off I went then on my favourite 6km training loop after saying some prayers – no strapping, no double socking and no painkillers. No pain 1km in and I decided to open things up abit, 2km no pain again and further opening up till I ran the last mile at 3.40/km and felt good at the end of it.

So glad to be back doing the most natural thing that we can do. I will keep up the rehabilitation exercises and cheat moves shown to me by the physio and keep in mind that it is not down to me, rather to my higher power, the doctors, chia and hot and cold therapy experiments.

If you can tolerate it then try a sauna followed by an ice bath to help rehab. Saunas are supposed to be excellent to keep the muscles supple and the lungs clear and were a favourite tool of Nurmi and co in the 1920s. Also great for hot weather training for those who don’t like running in the heat. Nothing like learning from the past. – Sean Muller

Monday, August 2, 2010

Building for change

I never knew when I started this blog that it would start to attract a readership from across the globe. Thus far we have had people from all over France, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, UK, US and Canada showing interest in sharing and joining in the journey of change through running.

This was never going to be a blog about me, but rather about how WE as a team can set out to learn from each other’s experiences, encourage and ultimately change beliefs and actions to combat obesity and negative thinking about running.

Thank you for your support and sharing your knowledge and stories with other readers.

A life of love on the run is not at all unusual and in fact something we should all be proud to be part of the education, ethusiasm and endurance.

Keep sharing. Keep running – Sean Muller

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eating like our ancestors

As I wrote earlier last month, I have been experimenting more than usual with a couple of different eating plans of late (I hate the word diet) to see what each may do to me and my abilities to perform.

Firstly let me say that recent fads such as ‘the Lemon detox diet’ and Atkins are rubbish in that they may produce short term gains through shocking the body into change, but long term those that try them will find that they get cranky and will more often than not put on more weight than what they lost in the first place. This is due to the fact that the body becomes deficient of key elements that it needs to sustain itself.

The two eating plans that I have been following most over the past two weeks are the ‘Paleo or Caveman eating plan’ and ‘The no meat athlete eating plan’.

Quite simply the Caveman eating plan places emphasis on only consuming what was around during Neolithic man’s time and nothing else. This makes complete sense as our digestive system and body was not designed to consume, absorb and break down all these artificial substances, trans fats and junk foods that we as inhabitants of the western world have created mainly in the last 100 years.

The No meat athlete plan follows a similar ethos, but advocates cutting out meat altogether while still being able to consume alcohol, bread, pasta and sweets.

I have cobbled together my own version of the Paleo and highlight it below for anyone seeking to not only lose weight, but also to feel lighter and more energetic. Your body, skin and eyes will thank you guaranteed.

• Cut out all alcohol – caveman did not have access to these substances. This is also a no brainer if you want to improve your athletic performances.

• Extremely limited amounts of pasta and bread (and then only brown).

• Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably organic).

• Lean meat like beef or chicken breasts (preferably organic) 3 times a week for dinner.

• Eliminate cheese, but allow for low fat milk and yoghurt to provide extra calcium.

• Substitute morning coffee for green tea. This will help you to feel cleansed and calm. Also consume green tea after a big meal as it will help to digest food and you will absorb less calories by doing this (handy if you seek to lose weight).

• Cut out soft drinks and drink plenty of water through the day. In addition I have one bottle of isikiate each day in the morning.

• Although caveman did not have access to these, I have also found that a multivitamin like Berocca drunk in the morning does wonders.

• Porridge oats permissible for breakfast or dinner (topped with chia and some fruit).

I realise that this may not be for everyone, but I guarantee that it is working for me and there is no reason that it can’t also work for you. If you try it for 2 weeks you will feel so great that you won’t even want to return to your old ways again.

For me it was best summed up that in order to attain great health and energy you must seek to eat like caveman or even better like a poor caveman. –Sean Muller