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!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Everyman's lunar landing

This coming weekend, over 15000 people will descend on a small town called Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. Many will not have ever heard of this place, however most long distance runners will have heard of the Comrades Marathon, which is not only the oldest and largest (in terms of field) ultra marathon in the world, but for many it is the Holy Grail of running.

So much more than just a 90KM run, the event epitomises what the human spirit can achieve if it wants to and if we all work together. It is the one day when all race, wealth, social standing and other differences are set aside. The day when miner will stand shoulder to shoulder with millionaire, where labourer will stand with corporate lawyer and where we are all equal. Here over the 90KM of the Comrades marathon, no matter if we win or if we just scrape in to the 12 hour gun, only God will judge on that day. Noone really cares what your time is, all they will care about is that you stood together at the start line and again at the finish in the greatest race on the planet.

Not for nothing is Comrades called ‘The Ultimate Human Race’. As Sheehan said, the marathon is every mans Everest, but for me Comrades is ‘Everyman’s lunar landing’. To those running - God speed and may your feet and your heart be lifted in the spirit of the Comrades emblem Hermes.

Impossible is just a stupid word that people use when they are afraid to try!

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

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The ideal runner

I have been rereading Noakes of late and rediscovering some fascinating statistics that he cites from various scientific studies about who are the most ideal runners in the world.

If one is to believe the conventional thought pattern out in the marketplace (and please feel free to ask around), then most people are under the impression that in order to be a successful long distance runner, you have to be ‘tall and skinny’. This is quite simply not true. Well the skinny part of things is true with most of the really successful long distance runners weighing between 48-60KG. However as studies have shown, they all tend to be under the height of 1.7m - hardly giants!

In a comprehensive study of relatively good everyday runners in the Comrades Marathon (those able to run silver medals), this research shows that these athletes are mainly under 1.75m tall and 66KG or under. Again this would indicate that even for regular amateurs, being shorter and lighter is the way forward.

What does this mean for the everyday person? Are we all doomed to a life of non running because of our build? Absolutely not!
Anyone can run and attain a great level of fitness and enjoyment through it. This is illustrated each day around the world by all the different shapes and sizes that take part in fun runs and other races.

I used to think that running up to 10KM would have been almost impossible for me. That was when I weighed 105KG - since losing the weight I have been able to overcome so many things life.

Step out the door and start running - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The ultimate recovery

In the lead up to any large athletic event, I always advocate that we make use of massage in addition to nutrition and rest as a form of making gains in our training. Many sports scientists have written that this is merely a placebo effect and something not to be taken seriously - ala stretching and icing.

All of the massages that I have had have involved some measure of pain and resulted in elbows being stuck into my back and legs. Yesterday however I visited a new massage therapist who was not in the slightest bit painful and instead used varying techniques of placing pressure on points in my body rather than just sticking her elbow into my back as had been done in the past.

Result was that I am a very happy camper and will most certainly return to her again - my speed sessions the day after have always involved some measure of pain. This time I felt light and strong and my legs felt as though they could run all day long.
It is also worth mentioning that this lady was the first one to actually explain everything that she was doing to me. Money well spent indeed.

In my opinion massage is certainly of benefit, but this experience has let me know just how many different techniques there are and also the importance of finding the person that you are most comfortable with.

Running together (light and strong after great massage recovery), stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pink run for a great cause

This morning was probably one of my favourite runs of the year in the Mothers Day Classic run for breast cancer. Although the event is only 8K, it is greatly important to me due to losing someone close to me a few years ago due to breast cancer. Since then I have no hesitation to get involved with supporting any event that helps to benefit the breast cancer foundation.

Aside from attracting a very strong field, it is one of those great events that bring out families and friends who just want to spend time remembering their loved ones that have passed on and lending support to those that are still suffering.

It was also very pleasing to see that so many unexpected volunteers appeared out of the woodwork to support the day, including the Sydney Roosters Cheer Squad who definitely brought smiles to the many young blokes stood on the start line.

Results are largely inconsequential on this day - it is primarily about the memory of those that have gone before (and very often too young).

Running together (while remembering loved ones departed) - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A podium again - even in the old age

This morning I headed off on my long run and also popped in to the local Alzheimer’s fun run 7.5km this morning. I have run this event previously, but not for a few years.

With the sun out on the water as I ran the 14KM into the start of the race, it was a great day for it and with 1000 people turned out to run, I was up for a great time day out. Lining up at the start with 140 odd kilometres in my legs already, I was not sure of what time to expect.

Long story short I managed to finish up third overall and won a bronze medal and a t-shirt. A great day out and a great community event. Great to stand on the podium again in the older age.

Running together (while managing to podium in old age) - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The S and C words..

This Thursday in Sydney saw the Nike Centennial Park ‘She Runs the Night’ event. Open only to ladies and run over a rather unusual distance of 13KM, I headed down to support some of my friends and others that I have been coaching with their running.

It really is a marvel to see how a big marketing machine can be swung into action to sell an event to 3500 women at a rather hefty profit on a cold Thursday evening. Regardless of how they did it, I suppose having that amount of people walking and running through the park was better than them just sitting at home doing nothing.

One of my friends asked me after the run how she could improve her speed. Now I could have replied to her with the standard ‘You have to do speed work or intervals.. Blah Blah..’, but instead I chose to advise her to join a CLUB or a SQUAD where she would be exposed to a supportive environment and be able to run with runners faster than herself and hence improve on her speed.

Now the reaction I got from her was something to behold. It was as though I had just advised her that aliens had invaded and that we were about to killed by them.

I spent some time explaining to her that there was nothing to fear from joining a running club and that the people at the club would be most welcoming of her and she would be able to race more frequently amongst others and make new friends.

In the end she relented to try and see at least one squad. I would be interested to hear of other stories where people have encountered similar aversions to squad or club running.

Running together (while building the future of the sport) - stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller