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


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!