A few of you may remember my gushing over the chance to talk with Andrew Kastor at the Oakley event this summer. I love to talk about running and the chance to talk about it with an expert…well yes the run geek appears.
As my desire to spend more time writing and entrenched in the running world grows, I am thrilled to have opportunities to talk with people like this and just learn more! I learn about running, about jobs, about all kinds of things. Here are a few things I picked up this week that I think you’d love to know too!
Most of us who read Runner’s World know of Mammoth in California as the “premiere high altitude place to train” because it’s where so many of our star American marathon runners have trained: Deena Kastor, Josh Cox, Meb (infamous enough to need only 1 name). Hence it was fascinating to find out that they don’t have a local track! The school rebuilt the football field in 2006 and didn’t put in a track.
Pictures from RunMammoth.com
Deena and Andrew decided something needed to be done and started the Mammoth Track Project in 2007. They needed over 1.8 million to make the project happen and are very close to hitting this goal. This tells me two things: A. They are extremely determined and B. While running continues to grow in popularity it still doesn’t have the funding of other sports. They are still taking donations which can enter you to win prizes, so check it out!
Now the second part of this which is extremely exciting is that next year they will be holding their first week long running camp! That’s right it’s like the yellow brick road to OZ for a runner! It’s not a cheap endeavor because it includes SO MUCH from running clinics to organic meals to lodging to daily runs and yes a dinner with OLYMPIANS. I am pretty sure this will be what I beg for on my birthday…ok long before my birthday as it will sell out.
Coach Andrew not only spends time helping Deena work towards here Olympic goals, but coaches a local college and 12 other individual athletes…while also serving as the Asics Running Expert. Which means he answers all kinds of magazine questions and helped editors across the country get ready to run NYC.
After asking him a few questions, it was very apparent his coaching style is completely in line with my way of thinking. He is very honest that coaches and runners need to have a “try out period” because it is a complex relationship and not everyone is a perfect match. Each runner needs something different to achieve their goal whether it is a first marathon or an Olympic medal.
Downhill training: I posed the question to all of you last week about training without hills and it’s no surprise that Andrew had answers! Working with many different people in lots of places can do that. He recommended plyo drills that focus on the down movement. i.e jumping down off boxes and running down stadium stairs.
Form: Andrew believes that if we take a lesson from the Kenyans and simply approach ours runs more relaxed and standing tall we are likely going to be in our best form. He also made a fantastic point about wearing sunglasses. When you start to squint, you are tensing up your face which then leads to your shoulders and so on.
Long Runs: His general rule is to alternate long and easy (30-45 sec slower than MP) one weekend with a slightly shorter run that contains more miles at MP the next weekend.
I hope to get a chance to chat with him more in Houston and possibly at a future Oakley event. I could pick the poor man’s brain for hours on everything about running, but I won’t…can’t have him running away when he sees me since he is clearly faster.
I am grateful for people who make time
I am grateful for sounds of nature
I am grateful for no one seeing my chick scratch note taking
I am grateful for time to simply sit
I am grateful for big dreams