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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Opening up access to activities

This week I have been exposed to something that touched me immensely. A young man I met through one of my volunteer programs confided in me that he had not ever been able to express himself through the art of sport at all until just one year ago. Not through lack of ability of not wanting to try, he just point blank did not have the opportunity as his school and members of his community just did not present him with the chance.

This saddened me to know that such kids in their teen years existed with society seemingly having given up on them.

Not all of his story is sad however in that once presented with a soccer ball, he took to it like a duck to water and is actually very gifted at kicking the round ball around the field.

This all got me thinking about how privileged I was in my youth (and indeed still am) to have had every opportunity to play sport at school, club and representative levels. My resolution to where at all possible prevent this boys story from being the norm in society today.

Running together – stride for stride (while changing lives everyday through little actions) on a life changing ride!! – Sean Muller

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Street Work

We as runners are generally a very giving lot and it was my privilege to be associated with a fantastic charity last night in the form of Street Work. This organisation based on the north shore of Sydney, offers an alternative to young people who may be straying off the good path during their teen years. They don’t only offer the traditional counselling and mentoring, but also offer access to great programs such as those around sport, music, dance and martial arts. All of this is designed to keep kids off the street and remove them from an environment where they may get themselves into trouble.

Now having looked into this concept somewhat, it is something that exists in many big cities and something that we as a community can really get behind. I encourage you to look at how you might be able to get behind your local chapter of a similar organisation and really help to share skills and build the future of tomorrow. We have all been in situations which could have resulted in a bad outcome were it not for someone else helping us out, so how should this be any different for any of these young people.

Running together – while building the youth – stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The recovery run

The recovery run is certainly one element of running that I really enjoy in the week following the marathon. It is that slow, effortless jog through – just enough to keep the legs ticking over that one can really enjoy and just get the blood flowing through the legs yet again.

So many people I know overlook this type of running altogether or else do very limited amounts of it. For me it is essential that I run at different speeds in order to keep the interest levels up and to make sure that things remain fun always. Fun is the cornerstone of why I run and also freedom – freedom to explore and wander over the earth as we were all born to.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Human spirit when times are tough..

Sunday was one of the hardest events that I have ever completed. The distance by all accounts was only the standard marathon and something that should have not posed any problems for me in the past, but the heat on the day of the Sydney Marathon just eclipsed much of what I had run in previously.

The entire field did it tough and there were very few personal best times, with even those friends of mine who are regular 2.40 marathoners battling to break the 3 hour mark.

Quite why it got as hot as it did (touching 30c) we won’t quite know. Then again that is one of the things that makes marathon running not a sport for those who are unable to tolerate levels of pain and who don’t enjoy spending time inside of their own heads. It is by no means easy, but also something that I find always brings out the best in people.

Despite the fact that people were doing it tough, there was plenty of runners looking out for one another and giving some positive self talk to those walking or hobbling along due to cramping or other ailments. This also went on after the finish line and it reinforced my view that runners are inherently a caring lot and that they do give a dam about each other. Pity that this spirit only carries through to few parts of life.

Will I be back – just as sure as grass is green I will be back.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cheat eating..

The taper is well and truly underway now. It is nice to count down the days, chill out, meditate, read and run the course in your mind. Marathon running will hurt – it is how you manage that pain that will set you up nicely for future events. Noakes advocates the running the entire course at least once in the week prior to the marathon – best done at night before you close your eyes for the evening rest. Getting the obligatory 8 hours a night each night is also beneficial. The week of the marathon is also my excuse to cheat eat stuff I normally don’t touch. Chocolates are on the menu as is the after marathon pizza and even Coke. Happy days = taper days.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Taper time and inspiration

This morning was the last longish run that I do prior to the marathon week. 19KM on the Saturday is the proven method that works for me. But as science has told us many times prior, we are all an experiment of one and what works for Sam won’t work for all. Sometimes the selfish side of me wishes that I could come up with a universal method of tapering and be able to make a mint off publishing it. Sadly this is not the case and in a way such a method would take the whole experimentation fun out of things.

It was great to see so many international runners out on the streets in Sydney this morning. They are all here for the marathon next weekend and I can’t think of a better way to see a beautiful city like Sydney than to run 42.2KM through the streets. I am fond of racing overseas (sometimes just because I happen to be in the city and see an event) and sometimes just for the heck of it.

This weekend I am also having some mates over to watch my favourite Gee up movies in GI Jane and Any Given Sunday. In fact I am going to break rank and post Al Pacino’s speech to the team in Any Given Sunday. This can and will motivate even the flattest person.

See it in your head everyday – Believe it – Achieve it!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Achilles runners

I recently performed an experiment on myself by blindfolding myself and going for a run. I wanted to see just some of the challenges that some of the visually impaired runners in the world experience everyday. Some might say that this is a silly experiment, but once again it was something that I had to do to get a grasp of what others go through on a daily basis. It just reinforced to me the fact that all the people associated with the Achilles group of runners and their volunteers are absolute champions.
I encourage you to get involved with your local Achilles group to enrich your life beyond your widlest dreams.

Running together while benefiting others in the running community – stride for stride on a life changing ride!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

This week I experienced a rather pleasing yet frustrating thing – lack of showers and lockers at work. I know this is a trivial thing, it surprised me to an extent as normally it is very easy for me to get a locker and a shower for a lunchtime run. Now however with the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival coming up in the next two weeks, many people who you don’t usually see out and about running are coming out of the woodwork to run in Sydney’s best road running event. This is by no means a bad thing, however as stated many times before, I wish these folks would stick around so that we could build up the club system in Australia and have more community running clubs as they have in my native South Africa.

I personally can’t wait as it is my favourite event (I have my marathon pb on the course – albeit the older hillier course), but the event is by a long way the best organised in Sydney and the owners take a lot of pride in the event as being a promotion of the positive effects that distance running can have. Excellent sponsors, great volunteers and a good day out - what more could you want!

I encourage anyone who has not yet entered to enter one of the events as with all distances finishing at the Sydney Opera House, there can be no better venue for a finish line.

Running together (while supporting the Sydney Running Festival) stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller