Posts Tagged ‘NYC Marathon’

More on Slow Runners-NYT Article

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Last week in these blogs we debated the issue of slow runners and whether they should be allowed to compete in marathons. Today, a favorite columnist of mine in the New York Times chimed in with her own story as a slow runner. Tara Parker-Pope gives a very unique and interesting perspective on this debate. She her column at: She presents not only her own personal perspective, but brings in compelling facts and some interesting opinions from surprising sources. Check this out.

Dr. John E. Mayer

Marathon-Hay is in the Barn

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Justin Mayer, Executive Director of ISPA, always would caution me in the days before a race when I was fretting whether I did enough training or not, “The hay is in the barn, not much you can do about it now!” This is a great tip the night before a Marathon.

I always remembered that advice in every race. Which brings me to the night before a race and sleep. This is some advice you are not going to hear from many professionals and I’m going to be radical here. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Like all race preparation, ‘The Hay is in the Barn. If you are tossing and turning tonight. Don’t let that worry you on race day. It is what it is! The most important consideration with regard to sleep is your rest the week before and two nights before the race as well as your rest in recovery the night after your big race. If you are in the starting corral and are worrying about how much sleep you got last night you are not going to be mentally ready to run. Relax, the Hay is in the Barn!

Relax, have fun, enjoy the experience!

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Marathoneering-Catching On!

Friday, October 30th, 2009

ISPA World:

Hi all, I created a word a few days ago associated with Marathons. I did it a bit tongue in cheek, but it seems to be catching on. Here at ISPA we do have a goal of innovation in the field of sports, so bring it on.

Dr. John E. Mayer


Let them Run! Marathons for All

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The New York Times has been running a series of articles on marathon running in build up to the NYC Marathon this weekend. One article about slow marathon runners caught my eye. The article debated what place individuals who run slowly have in the marathon. The article cited studies showing how since the 1980s the average marathon time has drastically increased. To find out more about the article click here: Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon? One of the reasons why this article interested me is I have been at both ends of the spectrum. I have run marathons both fast and slow. I have clocked in at Three hours and ten minutes and I have also clocked in at six plus hours (I forgot that you had to train for a marathon!). I can personally say that whether I run a marathon fast or slow it is still hard.

Covering 26.2 miles whether you are running or walking is still a great accomplishment! Everyone feels pain, no matter what the speed, at some point during the marathon. However, I still feel that there should be some time limits. Having no limits creates situations in which people feel they can stop for extended periods of time and in some cases stop for lunch or other such extended breaks. Clearly, stopping for lunch is not the spirit of the marathon. The marathon is not a stage race. There is nothing wrong with the occasional pit stop as long as they don’t turn into mini vacations. Always keep moving that is my motto!

Individuals who attack “slow” runners are doing more to damage the sport than to promote it. Marathons maintain sponsorships because of the mass appeal created by the diverse level of participants. Sponsorship is what allows these races to exist and thrive. Many races have now adapted corral systems that allow the faster runners to be upfront and not “hindered” by the slower runners who interfere with time goals. This eliminates the complaint that slower runners get in the way. Of course one reason why some so-called hardcore runners disapprove of slow runners is they feel that the image of the marathon is tarnished because Joe Public now runs marathons. The ego of these individuals has been deflated; no longer is the marathon T-shirt the ego trip it once was. Of course these individuals could run the Boston Marathon (a race with a qualifying standard) or even better yet they could run in the Olympic trials!

The culture of the marathon has changed. No longer is it composed of a small group of gifted athletes strutting their stuff. It is a mainstream event that has broad appeal. The marathon is an event that raises millions of dollars for charity and inspires people to get off the couch and go outside and run. In an era of increasing waistlines and an epidemic of obesity how can this be a bad thing. In the process a few egos may get damaged but as Bob Dylan stated “Your old road is Rapidly aging Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand For the times they are a-changin” (The TImes They Are A-Changin’, 1964)

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

Marathon Fever Good for Body? NYT article

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ISPA Friends:

I was excited to share an article  just read in my favorite daily, the New York Times. (Tuesday 10-27-09-Health Section) As is often the case with the NYT, the article was illuminating. How many of us runners have wondered, researched and debated whether the pounding is good for the body. This article sheds some interesting insight into this long standing debate. I won’t try and do t justice by paraphrasing what is in the article, so go to their web site and check this article out.

What I found interesting was how evolutionary biologists are claiming that man is in fact a natural long distance runner and that it is only recently that running has been associated with pain and injury. The article also brings up the concept of early man being what they call a ‘persistence hunter’ that our ancestors chased down prey until the animal was exhausted and they were easier to harvest for food. I never heard of this concept before. If you are a runner, this article is a must read.

Here’s the link to the NYT Article:

Dr. John Mayer, President-ISPA