Shortcuts to becoming faster:

Don’t you think the title is appealing? I would want to read this too if I were a runner or someone who was looking to get into the sport. Now I’m guessing I have to discuss what the heading said this post would be about, the shortcut. Well to be honest the answer is very much similar to becoming a  success at your job or in life.

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Now if you look at current millionaires, with a few exceptions they all have two things in common the passion  and dedication to their career.  You can find plenty of wealthy people that have made it without college but there isn’t one person out there that made millions, in an honest way, by sitting on their couch. Now running is very similar. Every person who runs either regularly or occasionally can tell you of their ambitious goals for the future. A 6 year old Kenyan child will tell you they aspire to be the next big olympian. This is of course before they can even buy any shoes or a watch to train with. What makes this reality for the dozens of Kenyan children is the blood, sweat and tears they put into accomplishing their goals. photo-5-560x421

 

The best runners are never the ones who put their energy into finding the right technology or supplement, rather the best are the ones who put their heart into their training. One who is determined knows there is no easy way to success. Place your faith on your hard work(or lack of) because when it comes down to it, the end result will always align with the effort that was put in.

 

 

 

Running Hiatus.

These past three weeks I haven’t been running. It was mainly because I didn’t have time and I needed a break. It’s because I thought since I will start some intense training in June, I might as well take a breather. Needless to say these few weeks I have felt deprived of what I love to do. Even though I chose for things to be this way, it raised the concern of when should a runner take some time off. I know there are people out there that do some hardcore training year round and manage to go injury free. Image

I have yet to suffer from some serious injury but that’s probably because I have some down time for my body to recover. However I would love to be the type that runs year round and enjoys every season. For now, I will countdown the days until I start up my running again. I can’t really have blog post when I’m not running because that is when I am the least creative.

 

Therefore, I want to pose the question: Are you a year round runner? When would it be the right time to take a break from the sport?

An Efficient Running Diet!!!

For a month now, I’ve been thinking about switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  For my purpose I have become more and more aware of how much our diet affects how we feel and run. I am now more convinced that our body does not easily digest meat and can run a lot more efficiently if we give it simple but nutritious foods. 

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Scott Jurek is a living testimony of how effective a non-meat based diet is. In his case he is a vegan. As I have discussed in my past post, Scott is a seven time Western States 100 miles champion and a two time Badwater champion. Asides from his training, his diet is what helped him to get to where he is. He gives an in depth look at his journey into ultramarthoning in his book Eat and Run.

 

I am mainly writing this post to get your opinion. I am not a vegetarian, yet. I am curious about your diet. I guess my two biggest questions are, what is your diet? Do you believe it has worked for you or are you also looking for something that can improve your lifestyle and overall health? 

Is running purely painful or pleasure?

Over the years I have encountered a good amount of people who ask, “How is running fun?” or “Are you not suffering when you run?”. I can’t help but to think of a good response. A majority of the time I will answer it is painful, it’s not always easy. That answer always strikes a conversation. Who enjoys pain? What could you possibly get out of a dreadful activity? Why not just do some P90x or insanity to get in shape? As a reply to these questions, I care more to see what you other runners would say. I am well aware that running won’t always be seen like this:

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I can assure you this picture was not taken 20 miles into the marathon. Even if it was I would not be surprised, the man might have some Taraumara in him. In short, I can say I run most of the time with the goal of punishing myself. How I handle the punishment will determine what type of runner/person I am. Running a 1,600 feet climb over the course of a mile never sounds pain free. However the reward comes at the end of the run. I can either assure myself that my mental and physical strength  were strong enough to help me get through my run or I can man up and face the fact I was too much of weakling to conquer my run. If you are thinking I am being too hard on myself, I’m not. Every human has limits, we however are not able to reach those limits. Just when you think you have nothing, there is always something deep down that will push you to great measure. I said it, your question has been answered. Every runner has their own take on it. Each opinion lets you see why a runner runs and what motivates them to do this on a regular basis.

Therefore I am interested in hearing from you, runner or not. Is running a painful or pleasure-filled experience for you? If you don’t run, how do you perceive those of us who do?

Liebster Award Nomination

Hello everyone, I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by a fellow blogger, Reflections of a single girl. I just learned about his nomination and I would like to first thank Mariel for nominating me. To accept my nomination I will answer the questions that she has prepared for me. I will then nominate eleven bloggers and come up with quetions for them to answer. Enjoy 🙂

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1.  If you could have one song as the theme song for your life, which song would it be?

Easy. I chose Jason Mraz’s song Living in the Moment. Rather than me explaining why I live by this song you should check it out, it speaks for itself.

2.  Do you believe that it is better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all?

Absolutely. I acknowledge I am young and I still have time to find the right girl but if it came down to it I would want to experience one of life’s greatest gifts, even if it’s for a short time.

3.  What can always bring a smile to your face?

My sister. We are both similar in many ways. She understands my type of humor and knows how to brighten up my day. This doesn’t go to say she’s an angel because she can still annoy me. But at the end of the day I will always love her.

4.  Words you live by?

As cliche as it might sound, live everyday as if it’s your last.

5.  Biggest fear?

I am a man I don’t fear anything… Except when I am driving and a big fly comes into my car and I go wild screaming and shouting.

6.  What is your favorite book?

I am not much of a reader but boy was Born to Run an amazing book. I’m a big fan of National Geographic and Runner’s world because they’re consistent reading materials that I can rely on.

7.  What do you believe are your  three best qualities?

I don’t know what my BEST qualities are but I work on being a loving, knowledgeable and happy person on a daily basis.

8.  If you could have any super power what would it be?

I would love to fly. As heavy as humans are it would be amazing to leave the ground for an hour or two, plus I could easily avoid traffic jams.

9.  If you could marry a movie star would you? Who?

Simply put, Mila Kunis. She is smart, funny and beautiful. I also loved That 70s show. If anyone has connection, we need to talk 🙂

10.  What is the most important thing life has taught you.

Honestly life has not taught me much. I personally believe that in a couple of years when I am in my late twenties I will learn some valuable lessons.

11.  What is your funniest childhood story of yourself?

My mom told me when I was young and in Ethiopia my parents did not know if I was going to be a boy or a girl. So they accumulated all of these cloths for boys and girls. I ended up wearing girly cloth until I outgrew them.

Here are my nominations:

1. Fit Recovery

2. The Running Teacher’s Blog

3.  Teach to run

4. Unsporty Women can run

5. la petite runner

6. Love and anthropology

7. A promise to dad

8. It’s a Marathon AND a Sprint 

9. Keep up with the Fenders

10. yogisguidetohealth

Last but not least 🙂

11. Grey Cells on the Run

And the nominees will answer:

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

2. Do you run? If so, why do you do it?

3. What do you value the most?

4. What song, food and drink would you not mind having for weeks?

5. Who is you biggest inspiration?

6. Guilty pleasure?

7. Describe yourself in three words.

8. If Bill Gates could buy you one thing, what would that one thing be?

9. What is your favorite book?

10. If you could live anywhere in the would, where would that be? Why?

11. What do you blog?

A world that runs.

Have you ever imagined what this world would be like without violence, who hasn’t. But more importantly what would this world be like if everyone ran, now this is what goes through my mind. Instead of addressing problems like violence, drugs, poverty and disease individually, we have to gear towards a more collectivized answer. What might that be?

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Running. Running is the cheapest form of therapy, yet the most effective. People often feel the need to seek out the guidance of a doctor when all they are being payed to do is to sit and have an ordinary conversation. In those minutes the patient relives their struggles and pains that they are going through in their life. The same goes with running, but what’s different? Your body suffers physically and mentally. After running your course, you learn the true meaning of life and that what you are going through is only temporary. Pain is inevitable, you just have to embrace it. There’s always the easiest part of the course, it’s up to you to live in the moment so that when that time comes, you will know that the difficult times played to your advantage.

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Going along with your therapy bill comes a hospital bill. In most instances people end up in rooms like the one above because they failed to take care of their health. As cliche as exercise might be, it is not a surprise that it works best. Running in particular builds discipline and  a passion for fitness. One who runs only suffers from having incredibly amazing health. The number one thing I strive to work towards is discipline. I continue to train my body to crave running, in return I get all of the added benefits. There’s no need to train yourself for a healthy diet because you will instantly want to eat well , so that your body won’t lack the energy or motivation to run more.

 

This all goes to say my answer for our problems is running. Running’s ability to improve your mental state will not only save you money and time but it will allow you to minister onto other the true meaning of life.

 

Fun ways to becoming a faster runner.

As fun as running is, it isn’t the easiest thing to drop your times by doing the same workout everyday. There are some that will recommend lifting weights or fitness videos. While those might be good suggestions, I find them to be boring and hard to commit to. I am a huge supporter of taking on an exercise routine that works different muscles that running would have otherwise have never used. My two top interest that I am perusing are rock climbing and Spartan racing. 

ImageOne of my goals is to gain upper body strength. Rock climbing provides the best alternative  for reaching those goals. The great thing about climbing is you do not have to schedule a set workout for different parts of your body. You can simply enjoy yourself, while not having to worry about working every muscle in your body. Another added benefit is you gain a skill that you wouldn’t have otherwise obtained by lifting weights.

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 For those who are like me and love to compete Spartan Racing is right up your alley. There are different levels, just like running the race goes from distances of 3 miles to 15+ miles. However what makes this fun is that there are obstacles throughout the race, like the one above. The obstacles range from rock climbing or swimming in freezing water. These activities will do a great job of making me a faster runner, while I am enjoying what I am doing. In the end I could take on whatever cross training routine but no matter what that may be I will still be a runner. 

 

What are some of your cross training workouts? Do you find it’s helping you in your running?

The Gods of running!!!

To me there’s nothing that gets me wanting to run than seeing others running. Whether it’s seeing road runners or marathoners, I always envy them in that moment when all I could do is watch. Three of  my favorite ultra marathoners are Scott Jurek, Anton Krupicka and last but not least  Michael Arnstein.

ImageThis is  Michael Arnstein. I like him for different reasons, one being he’s a fruity runner. He eats nothing but fruits and vegetables. As crazy as that may sound, the results he’s gotten from his diet are remarkable. He dropped his marathon time by 15 minutes and also PRed in many of his races. He also takes initiative to spread the good word about fruitarianism. Every year he hosts the Woodstock fruit festival. Woodstock is basically a camp for people of all ages. There are fun things such as an UNLIMITED supply of only fruits and vegetables. You can also participate in cycling, different fitness classes and an endurance run at the end of the week. If he’s performing at a high level in his late 30s, there is no questioning if his diet is effective.

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Some may know the man on the right, Christopher Mcdougall, author of the book Born to run. On the left is Scott Jurek. He set the record for Badwater untramarathon and a 24 hour race. He’s attitude towards running is what sets him apart from other runner. He is one to branch out and learn about other runners and ethnicities. In fact he is currently in Ethiopia and has been to Mexico where the Tarahumara Indains live. Besides being an outstanding runner Scott has written a New York Times best seller, Eat and Run. His book is inclusive of his experiences as an ultra runner and some of his top notch cooking receipts.Image

Anton looks like the portrayal of Jesus when he runs. Not many excuses cross his mind on those dreary afternoons. Aside from being a two time Leadville 100 mile champ, Anton has the life many people envy. He endorses many of New Balance’s minimalist shoes and Ultimate Direction’s hydration pacs. Everyday he wakes up and runs the mountains in the back yard of his Boulder, Colorado home. I am easily motivated by these three men’s passion for taking the sport to an entirely different level. This all goes to say women are respected just as much as the guys are in the ultra distances, in fact there are countless races where they have finished hours in front of some of the most respected runners.

Who or what motivates you?  Lastly, Why do you run?

What running has taught me

My runs consist of three things, up hills, down hills and flat areas. My mindset for each type of terrain is totally different, yet it is the same. Lets start with the flat terrain. Whether it’s in the beginning of my run or the ending the flat parts of the course are the least of my worries. It’s the time where my legs are on auto pilot. I am able to enjoy the scenery and focus on pushing myself so that I am simply not slacking off. This is currently how my life is now. I have little to no worries about what is to come and what I had overcame. I can practically enjoy life knowing that it won’t last forever but while I am on earth I should enjoy and savor what I am blessed with.

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Sooner or later we will all run up against the hills. Some may be short and others could last miles. Regardless my heart will pump and my hopes are to run each hill as fast as I can. Pain is inevitable but how you choose to handle the pain is up to you. I use my mind to help me get thought the hills, considering that is the most powerful tool a runner can possess. As I run up a hill I ask myself two questions, how badly do I want to get to the top of the hill? I also ask, how much time do I want to spend going up the hill? These questions help me come to the same conclusion every time. The hill is a long and dreadful part. I want to finish the hill quickly because the longer I spend on the hill the longer I have to live through the suffering. I also tell myself the pain is temporary and once I reach the top I can gain the confidence and endurance to carry me through my workout. One of the reasons the title of the blog is king of the hills is because the purpose is to empower and inspire new and old runners to reach new heights. This goes to say the hills are time in life where I can acknowledge I am in various obstacles. However those obstacles are only temporary, they can help shape who I will become based on how I choose to deal with them is up to me.

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Last but not least are the down hills. I have yet to meet a runner who says they dread down hills. Despite how relaxing and easy down hills might be, you can not reach them until you have passed rough patches of up hills. There’s no need to say my sentiments toward downhills, why? Because I feel the same way you do about them. I enjoy the ride and will surely coast my way down to the flat surface. At the same time I will be sure to recognize a down hill was just completed and I might face an up hill later on. Regardless, I will be sure to keep a smile on my face and to know that whatever hurdle I am facing can only make me stronger and smarter.

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What has running taught you?