Blog Archives

September 28, 2010

Making Your Miles More Meaningful – Team in Training

Team In Training (TNT) has been a part of the Official Charity for the past 10 years with only two chapters participating. This year The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as chosen the Honda LA Marathon to be one of Team In Training’s national races growing to nine chapters participating in next year’s race.  Last year TNT raised over $400,000 and this year expects to raise over $900,000!  The chapters participating are as follows:

Greater Los Angeles
San Diego
Central California
Greater Sacramento
Greater San Francisco
Middle America – Kansas
Silicon Valley/Monterey Bay
New Mexico/El Paso
Rocky Mountain – Denver

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS’s) roots stretch back to 1949, when the de Villiers family experienced the devastation of leukemia with the death of their 16-year-old son, Robert Roesler de Villiers. Family members and friends declared war on the disease by creating The Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation, funding research to find a cure. The foundation later became The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Their mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Team In Training began in 1988, when Bruce Cleland of Rye, NY formed a team that raised funds and trained to run the New York City Marathon in honor of Cleland’s daughter Georgia, a leukemia survivor. Team In Training was born and has grown into the world’s largest endurance sports training program. 

Team In Training offers runners and walkers the opportunity to take on the challenge of a marathon and make a difference in the lives of an estimated 957,902 Americans living with or in remission blood cancers.  Along with a customized-training program and expert coaching, participants will train with a local group of like-minded individuals for motivation and inspiration.

Lauren from the Greater Los Angeles Chapter initially joined Team In Training in memory of her mother, Paula Sukenik, who passed away from leukemia in 2008 after a four year battle.

 “My mother fought the disease with such courage and optimism, and I knew that if she could be that strong during her challenge, I could overcome the challenge of running a marathon while honoring her legacy. It was especially important to me to train with TNT, so I could raise money for blood cancer research and patient support, because I witnessed firsthand all of the support my family was given by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and I wanted to give back to other families going through what we went through. I believe so strongly in this organization that my sister and I have collectively participated in 5 events as TNT athletes, rising over $17,000 for the cause, and I now am a full-time employee of LLS.”

Click here more information about joining Team In Training.

Ginger Williams


September 27, 2010

Tips from Coach Rod – Strengthening Your Foundation

If a tree is not rooted to the ground, a strong wind will blow it over. How about that huge building you have watched in construction?  They take months building the foundation, then each two weeks the builders add another floor!

Getting a strong ‘footing’ or Foundation from the ground up is the point here.

The Pyramids?, how about these marvels of life, about 6000 years ago they were built?…it’s all based on Foundation.

Our feet are the Foundation for everything, walking and running! they set the tone for our bodies to function at it’s best and they set the tone for Performance!  It’s said, ‘Weak feet will lead to defeat’.  Strong and healthy feet will make you quick, powerful and agile. Feet that are weak and not operating normally, will make you slow, achy, lack balance and wobbly.

There are a lot of muscles in and around your feet, actually about 20 in your foot and then the connective muscles in your lower shin area make up another 10 or so, that’s 30 muscles we rely on for every step we make.  Now that’s alot of muscles to assist us with pushing off the ground, absorbing shock and supporting the arch which helps gives us balance.

Try this, stand in front of a mirror in bare feet, lift one leg and watch what happens, most likely we drop into the inside of the standing foot (the arch and muscles can’t support us, we wobble and compensate by arm movement and over compensation of the hips to shift the weight)

What happened?  Our foot muscles weren’t able to hold our balance.

Introduction to the Roadrunners Beach Sand Walking.

Just as we need to build an aerobic base at the start of a marathon training program, we also need to focus on building this foundation to strengthen our feet.  In a week or so, I’m going to get the Roadrunners to have a beach walk.  At the conclusion of the run we will invite the runners to walk bare-foot along the sand, that is to just walk down the soft sand for a half mile and turn around and walk back, (we will take off our running shoes).

Strengthening your foot muscles can help propel your run and prevent injuries to your feet, hips, and back. By walking on the soft sand, your toes will naturally curl to enhance strengthening.  By simply walking barefoot you will start to use your foot muscles and your feet will soon become stronger, you will strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the underside of the foot.  We will gradually increase the time or distance as you gain better strength in your foot muscles.

Here are a couple of additional exercises to help build your foundation at home:

Toe Walk:
Walk barefoot on the balls of your feet, maintaining a slow pace.  This tenses and strengthens the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the underside of your foot.

Toe Raise:
Hold the wall or a chair and raise up onto your toes and then drop down onto your heel. Do this for a set of 10 toe raises, rest and walk around and then do another set of 10 only do 3 sets to start with.  Each week increase the number of sets by 1 more until you can comfortably do 10 sets of 10.(This then becomes your every other day routine)

Pencil or Marble pick up:
Sit in a chair with a few pencils or marbles spread out in front of you.  Use your toes to grasp a pencil or a couple of marbles (start with the right foot).  Lift your foot to thigh level and remove the pencil or marbles with your hand (do 4-5 of these).  Repeat with the other foot.

Bottle Roll:
Get an old Coca Cola bottle, and use as a foot roller.  Sit in a chair and place the bottle under the right foot and apply a little pressure as you roll the bottle from the toes all the way to the heel.  The shape of the bottle is great in getting all the underneath of the foot, you will soon get good at the ‘rolling’ and in time you will be able to stand up and roll.  The extra pressure from you standing will help in building strength and you get a massage as well!

Here are a couple of books that are also well worth getting.

Fantastic Feet, by Aliesa George.

The Foot Book, by Dr Paul Conneely

I’ll see you in the sand.


September 26, 2010

Charity Awareness Day

Wednesday was Charity Awareness Day here at the Honda LA Marathon.  What does that mean?  It means that almost half of our 65 Official Charities came out and ran the entire Stadium to the Sea route as a way to highlight the important fundraising they’re doing with us.  Capably guided by LA Marathon Director of Operations Stacy Embretson, some runners took on the whole course by themselves.  In other cases, teams of 4 runners divided up the distance.  Either way, it was a tremendously energizing day, and KTLA was on hand to document the event.  Their video clips can be seen here, here, here, and here.  If you haven’t already, please consider “making your miles count” by running the 2011 Honda LA Marathon while raising money for one of our important charity partners.  Kudos to Director of Community Relations Ginger Williams for putting together this amazing day.


September 21, 2010

LA Roadrunners Hit the Ground

We had a terrific first day of training in Venice on Saturday.  The turnout was huge, with hundreds of LA Roadrunners lacing up their shoes for the first run of the training season for the 2011 Honda LA Marathon.  Once all the groups got organized with their pace leaders, it was off to the boardwalk for a timed 3-mile run.  Beautiful running weather (that’s what I call gloomy fog) greeted the runners as they took off.  It’s amazing to see how big the groups are already.  We’re still over 180 days out from the 2011 event.  I can’t imagine that every runner there wasn’t motivated by the tremendous energy present on Saturday.


Nick Curl addresses the crowd

Pace leaders finding their runners

Who says endurance sports aren't fun?

Rod Dixon sending another group off

September 21, 2010

Making Your Miles More Meaningful – Charity Awareness Day

Having charity awareness creates a desire to help others and by this, enables a person to think of ways and means to inspire more and more people to have awareness of the world around them.  As more become aware, they are better able to reach out, help, and share what they have to those who are in need. Hence, reaching out and creating a big difference in other people’s lives.

I was recently shocked to learn that a 5 time Honda LA Marathon runner didn’t know there was an Official Charity Program associated with the Honda LA marathon. …thus the Official Charity Awareness Day was born! 

On Wednesday, September 22, 2010 approximately 50+ runners representing our 65 Official Charities will run all or part the 2011 Honda LA Marathon course. They will be starting at Dodger Stadium at 7:00am and finishing in Santa Monica approximately around 1:00pm. There will be pit stops along the way. They are taking on this challenge to bring charity awareness to all of Los Angeles. If you are on or near the route feel free to come on out and join in or just give a cheer!

 Start @ Dodger Stadium / 7:00am 

Mile 6.5 @ Sunset & Mohawk  / 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Mile 13 @ Sunset & Fairfax  / 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 

Mile 19.5 @ Santa Monica & Veteran   /  10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Finish @ Santa Monica & California  / Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Being charitably aware brings about a sense of fulfillment to those who turn their desire to actions and thus enrich the lives of those who are in need!

If you like to Make Your Miles More Meaningful check out our 65 Official Charities.

Ginger Williams

September 20, 2010

Tips from Coach Rod – Getting Started With Roadrunners

The LA Roadrunners Marathon Training Program started Saturday, September 11th with the orientation and introduction to the 27 week program.

Last Saturday, September 18th we had our first training run, 3 miles for the Beginner and Intermediate runners, and 8 miles for our Advanced group.  Now that we are off and “running”, I want to review the philosophy behind our 1st phase of training.

LA Roadrunner Training – Phase 1
(weeks 1 through 14)

The first phase of the LA Roadrunners training is “endurance/aerobic” development.(That’s Money in the Bank)

Aerobic exercise is physical exercise that intends to improve the oxygen system.  Aerobic means “with oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in the body’s energy-generating process. Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time. In a running context this means that you aren’t breathing hard and your muscles are getting the necessary oxygen to continue to work well. Most training should be done aerobically (unless you’re a sprinter).

Think of aerobic running as your “home or foundation base”, the place where you feel most comfortable, and also somewhere you come back to when things are not going well, through stress, emotional, or physical exhaustion.  As the miles build up in volume and distance, we increase the capacity of both the heart and the lungs for effort, and we build endurance to our muscular-skeletal system as well.     

Aerobic training is considered the TRAINING for all other training.  There is no argument, the greatest gain for our runners is made during the Aerobic phase of the Training Schedule.

When I say “train your training’ it means to do your training as it is set in the schedule, just as it reads. (it’s very important in the aerobic phase)

If your ‘race your training’ you will not be able to increase your pace when we begin to train at our ‘Goal Pace’ which is the estimated time for running the marathon (I’m sure most of you have all set a Goal finish time for the LA Marathon), If you train too fast or too hard in the first 14 weeks you will not have developed the aerobic base of endurance and this will be because you will be constantly tired from training too hard .

I want you to ‘ Train your Training’ .

It’s not too late to join us!  See you Saturday for our next ‘Training’ Run.

Don’t forget to smile.


September 14, 2010

Making your Miles More Meaningful – Children’s Charities

How we care for children, protect their welfare, and prepare them for the future are the most important issues we face during our lifetime.  – Anonymous

This week I’d like to highlight our children’s charities.  Our Official Charities Program has 16 children’s charities many of which are Los Angeles’ finest charitable organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of children locally and worldwide.

Blind Children’s Center is a family-centered agency which serves young children with visual impairments.

Child S.H.A.R.E. (Support, Hope, Advocacy, Resources, Encouragement) is a non-profit organization that helps to find safe, loving and stable homes for abused children.

Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County uses the power of running to prepare girls in 3rd thru 8th grades for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.

Justice For Murdered Children is determined to see that the scales of justice are balanced, that our murdered children are not forgotten and that the rights of the victims’ families are zealously protected.

Love Without Boundaries Foundation is a worldwide group of volunteers dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China.

The Pablove Foundation mission is to fund pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment, educate and empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs.

Stoked Mentoring mission is to empower youth from underserved communities by providing programs based in action sports culture. 

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases

Sunshine Kids Foundation provides a variety of programs and events, free of charge, for kids who are receiving cancer treatments in hospitals across North America.

The Alliance for Children’s Rights is protecting the rights and futures of abused and impoverished children throughout Los Angeles County.

The Karno Kids Foundation is a non-profit organization inspired and energized by kids.
Karno Kids supports, encourages and motivates fellow youth to get outside and become physically active and helps restore and preserve the environment.  

The Painted Turtle mission is to provide a year-round, life-changing environment for sick children and their families – one that allows these children to participate in an authentic camp experience by supporting their medical needs and offers their families care, education and respite.

The Story Project is committed to building a stronger society by strengthening communication skills in kids through our after-school programs.

Wildwoods Foundation with a motto of “Building Community by Exploring Nature” the Wildwoods Foundation provides innovative outdoor and nature-based programs to the communities of the greater Los Angeles region.

Youth Mentoring Connection awakens at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose by matching them with caring adult mentors

Zimmer Children’s Museum is dedicated to teaching people about the BIG IDEAS of global citizenship, community responsibility, and cultural sensitivity

Consider running on behalf a children’s charities and help to give children all over the world a fighting chance at a brighter tomorrow and a more fulfilling future.

“Sunshine Kids has given me the opportunity to be a kid. I will remember it for the rest of my life. Even though I had a below the knee amputation, I now feel I can do any sport or anything” - Katie Divulus, Sunshine Kid

September 13, 2010

Tips from Coach Rod – Nutrition for Runners

Nutrition is a huge subject and yes I could write a full length book on it. There are plenty of good books out there, I especially like the book “Eat This Not That” by David Zinczenko, it gives you a choice of simple food swaps that can save you unnecessary calories, fat and sugars.  They are not always the ‘healthy alternative’ but in most cases a ‘smarter’ choice. I’m just going to give you a few things I have learned along the way. It’s really each runners responsibility to find the right connection of ‘exercise and nutrition’.

My thing is keep it simple.  I’m sure you know about good healthy eating and maintaining a good balanced diet. And yes we do “stray” from time to time and indulge in the not so good “unhealthy” foods, but if we are training we do need to be consistent and focused on a good healthy nutritional diet.

Knowing about nutrition and having a balanced diet is an important part of running. What you eat, can have a dramatic effect on your running performance, so it is very worthwhile giving some thought to what you put into your body when you are expecting it to perform well.  According to the CDC, it may consist of 45-65% carbohydrates, 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat and include healthy components such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein and heart healthy fats.   In examining a proper diet, we first should consider the macronutrients which includes carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each of these macronutrients is important for optimal health. The percentages listed above are generally for most people, but runners may wish to consider adjusting these percentages based on their specific training and running goals. LA Roadrunners preparing for the LA Marathon may wish to increase the percentage of carbohydrates during periods of the longer training when we build the mileage each week. This can help our bodies to remain properly fueled to do this type of training.

Eat Fruit, Feel Better: Brightly colored fruits such as kiwi, berries, and oranges are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.  Fruit juice will provide you with these too, but you’ll obtain more fiber and other nutrients from whole fruit.  Tip: You should eat some fruit daily and at least half of them should be brightly colored antioxidant powerhouses such as mangoes, pineapple, and cantaloupe.

Fiber: A diet high in fiber may help you shed some pounds, try to consume two or three servings a day (14g fiber for every 1000 calories consumed) from whole grain cereals and bread, vegetables, fruit, and beans.

Protein Power: Runners need 80 or more grams of protein a day. The micro-nutrients in protein help in muscle repair. Good options for protein include soy foods, fish, eggs or lean meat. Be sure to include these foods in your post-workout meals.

Need More Fuel? Try including more grains, beans, and potatoes into your daily diet. These foods supply the carbohydrate you need to fuel your muscles. Grains also contain important B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin that your muscles need to convert the carbohydrate you eat into energy.

Healthier way to cook veggies: If you’re boiling vegetables, you’re losing key nutrients. There is a better way. Try steaming your vegetables (don’t over do it though, they should be firm and crunchy) another good process is to roast them. High heat seals in the veggies’ juices — and the nutrients, (which leech out in boiling water) The flavor is better, too. When roasting, cut the vegetable into pieces to ensure even cooking. Sprinkle some olive oil in a pan or tray, spread out the veggies evenly. Add your favorite seasoning and roast until the veggies are tender on the inside.

Benefits of Olive Oil: Research suggests that a diet that emphasizes cooked vegetables and olive oil may be a healthier option.

Fat facts: A study in New Zealand found that total body fat, lean tissue mass, and body weight did not change when the athletes ate a high-fat diet. Some Marathon runners had diets in which 50 percent of their energy intake came from fat for three months. Being engaged in endurance training allowed their bodies to maintain an energy balance and continue to perform at a high level of physical fitness.

More fat = more endurance: On the flip side of this, according to a new study by the University of Buffalo, a low-fat diet may hamper your endurance. Researchers concluded that a medium or high caloric intake from fat, about 30 to 45 percent of your total caloric intake, is your best bet for improving performance if you run at least 35 miles a week. The reason that some runners simply need more calories. Also, when your body burns fat for energy, it conserves glycogen, which is always in relatively short supply. 

Eat well my friends.


September 12, 2010

Roadrunners are GO!

It may feel like the 2010 LA Marathon just ended, but our LA Roadrunners program, in its 21st year, is already kicking off. The program launched today in two locations, Venice Beach and Chino Hills. Many of our LA Marathon staff were present in Venice to greet the Roadrunners on their first day. There were many runners who’ve participated in the past, and a bunch of new faces as well. It was so much fun to catch up with old friends and look forward to the 2011 Honda LA Marathon presented by K-Swiss.

The LA Marathon staff put a lot into today’s event, and the energy was incredible: Ginger Williams had many of our charities come out to meet runners and talk about their respective missions. We’re proud of the work we do with charities to raise money via the LA Marathon.  Today was a great introduction to that process, especially for runners who may not have considered participating with one of our charity partners.

We had music going as well as free coffee from LA Marathon partner Don Francisco’s Coffee. What’s not to love about that at eight in the morning? In addition, K-Swiss showed up with their nifty van so Roadrunners could check out their outstanding line of running footwear. To top it off, we had a series of seminars from Rod Dixon, Podiatrist Dr Pagliano, and Physical Therapist Bob Forster talking about nutrition, injury prevention and other topics of interest to runners.

All in all it was an energizing kick off for the 2011 LA Marathon training season. Spaces are still available in the Roadrunners program, but don’t wait long. We expect the program to sell out soon. More information can be found at the LA Roadrunners website.


September 8, 2010

Tips from the Race Director – And a Cast of Thousands!

Without a cast of thousands we couldn’t provide you a world class experience.  For our 2010 event we had over 6,000 volunteers helping race week and race day.  So what do 6,000 volunteers do?  The vast majority of these wonderful folks work at the 25 water stations along the course distributing 1,000,000 servings of water, and 200,000 servings of replacement fluid.   Each water station has a coordinator who works with our staff throughout the year preparing for race day.  And every station begins setting up their area hours before the race starts. 

Don’t forget that after you’ve left that station and moved onto the finish, they’re probably still raking up cups, recycling the cardboard, plastic and other detritus, and then they have to put it all back on the truck that delivered it.  Many of these dedicated folks work well over 8 hours making sure you have the water and fluids you need to perform.  In the coming weeks I’ll let you meet some of the other amazing folks who make our event and our lives so much better.  Don’t forget to say thanks next time you see them.

Lastly, I’d like to pay tribute to one of our great volunteers who passed this week, Clara Sibley.  Clara and her husband Arthur had been running our Family Reunion Tent for over 15 years.  They both retired from the US Postal Service many years ago, but they never stopped volunteering for a multitude of events and causes here in Southern California.  They made our community better because of their efforts.   Our thoughts and prayers go out to Arthur and his family.  Clara will be missed.

Nick Curl

Next Page »

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015