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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Motivational videos

A friend and I were debating motivational movies prior to events and our list invariably came up with the running favourites like ‘Spirit of the marathon’, ‘Chariots of Fire’ and ‘The Long run’, but when it came to non running related movies, we were both unanimous in our endorsement of Gladiator, The Shawshank Redemption, Point Break, the Last Samurai and GI Jane.

My favourite non running related movie though has to be Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino. This film contains one of the all time greatest motivational speeches which I have attached below.

In the game of life, we can either win or lose, but the difference between winning and losing is the amount of effort that we are willing to put in.

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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

40KG weightloss – I did it – so can you!

Standing on the scales yesterday and having them register only 65KG, meaning that I have lost a total of 40KG since I was at my heaviest.

The days when I could not even run 3KM are well and truly behind me and I look forward to being able to increasingly help others with their weightloss goals. There is really no sane reason why in 2012 anyone can’t lose weight and change their life at the same time if they really want to.

Food itself is not the enemy, what is the enemy is the amount of food and the quality of it that we put in our mouths. Our digestive systems weren’t designed to cope with the amounts of trans fats and other chemicals and rubbish that we load in to our diets (mainly through junk food).

To really wake up those that I work with, I show them the Pringle chip show. What is this you may ask? Quite simply a Pringle crisp (works for other crisps to) is so full of oil and fat (even the lite ones) that you can use them in place of firelighters to light a BBQ. Try this for yourself if you don’t believe me.

I was shocked by this when i first saw it and it continues to shock those that I show it to.

Obviously things are not as easy as just lighting chips, but there are some very solid strategies that can be implemented and I am happy to share these with those who wish to contact me.

Commitment is however the number one thing that has to be present in anyone seeking to lose weight.

Running together (while helping others to lose weight and live better) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

One last look back..

Despite my resolve not to look back at the past, this weekend has definitely been one of those reflective times.

Sometimes we think that we have out run previous traumatic experiences in our past and put them to bed, only for them to come back when we least expect it.

When I was alot younger, I was involved in a rather traumatic incident that was dealt with, but sometimes, just sometimes the events of that day come back and haunt me and this leads to lack of sleep. Now it doesn’t happen often and has not for a long time, but then you never know when it may strike again.

This morning I slipped out for my run dead set on hammering it out and going as fast as I could – I was running on pure emotion and anger which in the past has been how I managed to set my half marathon pb. Running hard and fast like an animal and without care for ones own safety is the only way that I find to resolve things.

After 3 hours of hard running , I realised that the memory was once again in the box and jogged home again in a much better mood. The power of running to elevate mood must never be underestimated as we seek to heal things inside.

Reflective weekend over now- time to look forward again and concentrate on the here and now.

Running together (while killing off negative memories) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Revisiting the past briefly

This morning was a time of emotional reflection for me.

As normal I headed off on my planned 22KM route, not taking a watch or the Garmin with as I just wanted to enjoy the sunshine and the coming autumn weather where it is still sunny but only gets to the early 20s.

This was my all time favourite mid distance route – the one that I ran so many times during the days of my breakup and the one where I could probably run it blindfolded. We all have such routes that hold a special place in our hearts for various reasons.
Mid way through the run, I suddenly started thinking about a friend of mine who had passed on a few years back – someone with the world at her feet and who was so beautiful and talented that she wouldn’t hurt a fly and a talented runner to boot.

I don’t often focus on the past and say to my charges that the past is done – don’t spend too much time there as you have already done all those things – the future is where things get interesting. Looking forward I carried on towards the end point which is my local gym.

Once again a blast from the past came back as I stepped on the scales and discovered that today marked the day that I have officially lost 40Kgs of weight since I was at my heaviest.

Now while this is a personal point of pride for me, I say this to encourage others to follow the same sort of path. Weightloss (and big weightloss at that) can and will occur with a combination of exercise and healthy eating.

I will followup with a next post outlining the journey thus far. We can all together beat obesity.

Running together (while losing dramatic weightloss) stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Throw away the gels – just try Maccas instead

This morning I set out to challenge one of the distance sports debates for myself.

The old question over if sports ‘carbo gels’ are effective or merely an expensive myth that has many of us in a frenzy. Over the past couple of months, I have been weaning myself off of the gels after speaking with numerous world champion runners and coaches of these champions who insist that although they are happy to take the big sponsor dollars dished out by these manufacturers, they don’t actively use any of these products while they are competing. This also led me to question extensively why it is that we seem to need these products in the modern world when in fact many people were running (much faster on average) over the marathon distance up until the 1980s when Professor Tim Noakes of ‘The Lore of Running’ fame invented them along with renowned ultra distance athlete and Comrades King, Bruce Fordyce.

My intent was to go the full 42KM distance over a very hilly road course at a decent enough clip without having to reach for the gels. I must be honest in saying that I did pack two of them for the trip as I did not want to get myself into a situation whereby I would be left hanging and bonking from not having anything in me. I also took the trusty Nathan handheld along so that I would have some easy access to water. In addition I decided to try something that a friend swears by – little salt packets from Maccas.

Happy to report that I made it through the full distance with only having the water and reaching for one salt packet at about 30KM in.

This experiment has proven to me that with a little more resilience and perhaps some more long runs to learn to ultilise my fat stores more effectively, I will be able to completely wean myself off of the gels for the marathon distance.

Running together (while reducing reliance on chemicals) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The journey of a 1000 miles and the first step

This morning I indulged in something that I have done since my breakup in 2007. I slipped out of the house at just after 3am for a 30KM midweek run.

Why did I do this? Am I soft in the head? What is up? Nothing quite frankly – I just felt like a long run in the early hours of the morning and what better way than to run by the moonlight on a mild clear morning.

The earth was strangely alive as I passed the odd runner doing similar things to me (they all were running with torches however). I greeted the delivery guys as they dropped their produce for you to enjoy your breakfast by. Many of them with a complete look of surprise on their faces that said ‘This bloke is nuts!’ All of us who have run at similar times have had that look shown to us. Even those at work looked at me in the same fashion when I recounted to them my morning.

Not many seem to know that the journey of a 1000 miles really does begin with one step.

My advice to those that don’t think that they can do it to just step outside and try.

Running together (while taking the first step out of the door) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Is it on - is it off?

This week has been a prom dress week for me. What? I hear you ask.

Quite simply there has been constant debate around whether the Six Foot Track marathon was going to take place due to the constant rains and flooding that we have been having in New South Wales. Hence the prom dress analogy – on, then off and then on again.

Having a good friend as the race director (in a volunteer capacity I might add), I feel for him having to liaise with so many entrants and basically have the situation taken out of his control. The end decision lay with the Rural Fire Services due to the race being held in a National Park and over rural trails.

In the end the conditions were deemed too dangerous, mainly due to the fact that we would have to pass through a fast flowing river that kept rising and falling as a result of rain and also outflow from local dams that were spilling their banks.

Six Foot Track was due to be my first offroad ultra and I was starting to look forward to it and plan out a time based on recent trail races. I certainly believe that I will be back at some point in the future as am enjoying the offroad stuff a lot.

One learning a do take away however is that you are very much at the mercy of the elements when offroad racing.
Cest la vie.

Running together (while embracing what Mother Nature throws at us) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Six Foot Taper time

We are now well and truly into the taper for the six foot track next Saturday. This is the time that I start to get a little antsy as I won’t be training as hard and will be looking to rest up and eat well and also stay away from all sorts of snivelling people who may infect one with the dreaded lergy. It is also the good time that we all enjoy in terms of having time to do other things like mow the lawn, read books, strategise and plan for the future and reflect in meditation and quiet time on what it is that we are about to complete. It is also the time to do the things that we have been putting off like cleaning out some of the cupboards and donating things to charity and realising that there are other people out there in society that could benefit from things that we take for granted and then throw away. I did a bit of this this morning after my morning jog and it felt really good to be free of some clutter and also helping out others in the process. Taper time means extra personal time. Running together (while happily tapering and resting up) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The golden rule..

A query from a friend today about next week’s Six Foot Track 45KM run in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney led me to revisit the golden old rule of never trying something for the first time during an event if you have not at first tried it extensively in training. This query came around carrying a certain type of bottle during the event and after looking at things from the point of view of the golden rule, we ascertained that it would probably irritate more than assist and ditched the idea. I personally love the idea of trying and experimenting with new techniques and have often used myself as a guinea pig for things that sound a little off the wall. There are two reasons why I like to do this. The first is that I would like to ascertain if it does indeed work for myself and not have someone tell me that it worked for them. As Sheehan wrote, we are all very much an experiment of one and thus I always start off by saying to someone ‘This did work for me, but best you try it yourself extensively before an important event’. By all means try things in races that you are using as build-ups to a big event as the results in these events may largely be of no consequence to you. Secondly I like to be able to be the person who can verify if things will work or not if someone asks me how they went for me. The only time I have seen someone successfully implement a new experiment in a major event was around my trusted old friend Imodium. A friend was really struggling with diarrhoea that came on midway through a 100KM event and the only thing that enabled him to go on was the fact that he took a chance and downed 4 Imodiums which did the trick. Experiment – experiment – experiment = success. Running together (while experimenting with new ideas) – stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller