To run and race your best it’s critical you’ve got the right mindset. Dr. Jim Afremow has made it his mission to help runners and athletes of all sports hone their mental training. Just as important and the physical workouts, an athlete’s mind can create a champion or turn into one’s own worst enemy. I wanted interview Dr. Afremow both because I respect his body of work and level of expertise and also because, let’s be honest, the psychology of our sport in straight-up fascinating! Often time elite athletes have trouble putting into words exactly how they get into gamer mode…so read on to hear a mental game’s coach put words to the ability:
We run so we can eat, right? Okay, okay, I do toss that around here quite frequently because, yes, being a runner entitles us to be a little more gluttonous than our slothy counterparts. BUT at the same time it would be a lie if I said that I only eat crap. And despite all of food gorging stories you share with a rightful amount of pride, wolfing down a whole pizza and ice cream by the pints is pretty cool when ‘earned’, I’m pretty sure 90% of you do too.
It’s a balance thing but it’s also that as runners I feel we fall into the healthier living category, no? In my most recent Competitor.com article: ‘The Runner’s Guide to Eating Out’ I’ve got the line, “Competitive athletes are wise enough to acknowledge that what goes into their mouths has a direct correlation to what their legs can put out.”
Running on a gluten free diet may seem like more work than structuring your training regime. Though there are no shortage of runners ditching the gluten and raving that they are far better for it. Admittedly some were ‘forced’ into because they have an intolerance, celiac disease, but there are others that willingly did a diet overhaul.
The 2012 Olympic Trials are underway at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon; among the outstanding athletes toeing the line will be Jordan McNamara. As a professional runner, member of Nike’s Oregon Track Club Elite, he will be running the 1500 meters. the first qualifying round will be held on Thursday the 28th, and if all goes to plan he’ll then have the semi-finals the 29th and the finals on July 1st.
Chance are that if you live anywhere in the greater Portland or Eugene area, you’re a runner, and you like to race you’ve probably lined up next to Ahrlin Bauman. Just as likely you’ve gotten your tush beaten by him, though in all fairness his fellow Bowerman Athletic Club (BAC) teammates give him a run for his money and have beaten you too.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Bauman back in 2004 when he’d do a girl a favor, slow down, and do some pacing duties for the Nike Oregon Project. Pacing can be a tricky duty, but Ahrlin is not only a human metronome when it comes to splits he’s even better company. He’d have us laughing on the warm-ups, even a bit on those early mid-interval recovery jogs (before we were too tired to laugh back, he’d still be quick with the quips!), and be just as gregarious on the cool-downs. Pacing duties aside, he’s one heck of a competitor, has remarkable range from the 1500 to the half-marathon (he just finished last weekend’s Eugene Half in 1:08:20, placing 4th), and hasn’t been sidelined with an injury in years. What’s more, is that he balances all of his training with a job working for the USPS; trust me that job entails crazy hours and all of them on your feet. Yet he still retains a social life and is married to another stand-out runner, Annie Kawasaki. He’s the got the legs and the personality and plenty of wisdom to share, so without further adieu…Ahrlin Bauman.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit US Cryotherapy. I’d been hearing a bit about cryotherapy from a few places (ie: Oregon Project Runners getting a Cryosauna and more comically Usain Bolt’s little foot and frostbite situation) and the gist I’d gotten was that it was supposed to be more effective in speeding along muscle recovery than ice baths.
“The man is a freak of nature, unlike anyone I’ve ever met…he’s just amazing,” even Rich Hanna was at a loss for words, grappling with the right ones to fully express just how impressed he was with Michael Wardian.
Let me back up a bit and set the backdrop for you. I was working on an article centered around treadmill running and how it could best be adapted for trail runners. A high number of the magazine’s readership were ultra marathoners and so I went to Rich Hanna, an ultra marathoner that I’d met back in high school while working at a running shoe store. Like many runners, his passion for the sport spilled over into his ‘real job,’ which meant coaching and heading a highly successful race marketing business. He’d regularly come in and out of the Fleet Feet Sports I worked at.