I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. I believe everyday should be maximized to our full potential and focused the pursuit of excellence. This time of year, as a running coach, I’m often approached by runners or people new to the sport who want to take the first of the year plunge into running, asking me, “Can I run a marathon?”
Defining marathon: a 26-mile and 385 yard race that is usually contested on city streets.
I take a brief second to look them up and down, make sure they have a pulse and simply reply, “Yes.”
The next question inevitably is, “Do I need to train for a year?”
“Well, the answer depends on your current level of fitness, which is where you’ll be starting your marathon build-up,” I reply without hesitation. “If you have two legs and a good heartbeat, you can run a marathon. If you can run one mile, you can run a marathon, with the proper training, of course.”
I spent the better part of the summer of 2017 writing a book about how to run your first marathon titled, RUNNING YOUR FIRST MARATHON (link: RUNNING YOUR FIRST MARATHON ). The purpose of the book is to guide athletes who currently consider themselves entry-level runners to finishing a marathon, while staying healthy and happy.
My book is not meant for runners who want to crush the competition or to set a world record. However, if you want to learn how to train safely for the 26.2-mile distance without getting injured along the journey, it’s a great tool to guide your training.
- Coach Kastor
An update on the Mammoth Track Club athletes training here in Mammoth Lakes:
We have snow on Mammoth Mountain, but the track is dry and warm most afternoons, making for great training for the Mammoth Track Club.
On New Year’s Eve, Reid Buchanan from the MTC Elite won the first race of the year in the United States, the New York Road Runners 4-mile race in Central Park. From there, Reid jumped in a car and raced the Millennium Mile in Londonderry NH and won that race, in a 3:56.6 time. Both races required Reid to face cool, single digit temperatures, which made for challenging conditions to battle.
Check out the Elite Members of the Mammoth track club as they get ready for another year of great performances and personal bests.
This month the country celebrated its Independence Day and Mammoth Lakes celebrated the 12th Annual Footloose Freedom Mile! We had 500 participants in this year’s race, 50% of which are under age 12. We also saw a course record on the women’s side, Mo Lee Thornburg of Bishop won in 5:12, smashing the course record by 1 second! All runners… and walkers received a mini America flag upon crossing the finish line to wave during the annual Fourth of July parade. The race raises money for the Mammoth Track Club and the Mammoth High School Cross Country Running Teams!
A few weeks ago, MTC Elite athletes, Daniel Tapia and Reid Buchanan, raced in our U.S. National Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, CA. The track meet was contested in 100+ degree heat, adding a bit of a challenge for each competitor. Up first was Daniel in the men’s 10,000m race, shortly after the gun went off, he found himself in the lead for the first 6 laps of the 25-lap race. Daniel finished in a strong 30:25 for the distance… now he is onto marathon training! Reid Buchanan had a superb race, finishing 8th in the men’s 5,000m run. His time, just 4 seconds off of his personal best time, was 13:31 for the 12.5 lap race. Both of these men’s performances earned them a professional contract with Skechers Performance.
Hydration, hydration, hydration!
If you plan on training in Mammoth Lakes this summer, make sure your hydration is on point! And I’m not just talking during your training; I’m talking about 24 hours a day! When an athlete trains at altitude they loose water much quicker than at sea level. There are a couple of reasons for this… first, there’s low humidity in Mammoth Lakes (8000’), so your body tries to equalize with the environment. I.e. the dryer the climate, the quicker the water from your body evaporates. Second, and the biggest factor, we breathe more frequently up here! Our respiratory rates increase as we get to higher and higher altitudes. When we take a breath, our body assimilates the oxygen, breaking it into two components, water and carbon dioxide. What happens to the water we produce, we exhale it out (think: breathing on your lenses to clean your sunglasses). Since we breathe more rapidly at 8000’, we loose more water!
Drink water throughout the day! Aim to drink 4-6 oz. of water each and every hour you are awake, and… that increases in volume with activity. If you plan on going for a run over an hour in length, consider drinking 2-3 oz. of fluid every 20-30 minutes. Also, get out in the early morning to avoid the heat of the day!
Attention Athletes! Muscles cramp when you do not adequately hydrate or eat well. Muscles just don’t cramp for NO reason, there’s a deficiency somewhere and that needs to be identified if an athlete is cramping when on a run or hike. Take responsibility of putting in you’re body!
Limit your caffeine intake; this will insure that you are keeping in all the fluids and electrolytes for when you need them. The Looney Bean, Black Velvet and Stellar Brew don’t want to hear this but coffee has a way of depleting an athlete of their vital water stores and electrolytes needed for training. Personally I have switched to drinking decaf coffee in the afternoons to help preserve my water/electrolyte balance!
The start of the 2017 Mammoth Half Marathon. Photo: Christian Pondella
The 5th Annual Mammoth Half Marathon was this past Sunday, June 19 and it was a warm one! Yours truly paced the 1:45 group and needed to slow down to a 1:54 pace due an unforeseen calf cramp issue. Nonetheless I enjoyed the race and I felt joy when greeted by my daughter, Piper, at the finish line! We ran the final few meters of the race together, crossing the finish holding hands; the perfect way to kick-off Father’s Day 2017. I was amazed by the snowpack at the starting line at Lake Mary in the Lakes Basin and more awestruck by the Mammoth Creek deep water (3 inches) crossing just before the 9 mile mark! I’ve never done that before during a half marathon road race. I guess it's true that there’s a first for everything. I also couldn’t help but overhear chatter from other racers about the beauty of Mammoth Lakes. Runners were carrying their phones and taking selfies during their 13.1 mile trek from the upper Lakes Basin to the center of Town. This race is in an amazing place! Summer is in full swing with the 80+ degree temperatures here at 8000’. The days are warm, but the mornings and evenings are very pleasant for training on our vast network of trails and hills. The track environment has been perfect down at Whitmore. Mammoth Track Club general membership workouts have been going very well each Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. We have just started our Mammoth Track Club Youth division practice, every Monday at 8:30 a.m., and my 6-year-old daughter has committed to participating this season! Ages 6-16 are welcome during this practice.
Mammoth Track Club Elite Team Update
Reid Buchanan set another personal best in the 5,000m last weekend in Portland, Ore. running a stunning 13:27! This performance punched his ticket to the USA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento this Friday, June 23. Daniel Tapia will be joining Reid in Sacramento, racing the longest distance of the championships, the 10,000m. His race is scheduled for Thursday evening.