If you are looking for a unique holiday gift for the runner in your life (or simply to treat yourself, there is nothing wrong with that either) then this marathon package may be the answer for you. I know of no other set that includes a video, T-shirt, booklet, bars, gels, drinks, lotions, sunscreen, and more in one convenient location. Whether you are considering running your first marathon in 2004 or are wanting to improve your previous best, this marathon survival kit will have something to offer you.
The centerpiece of this package is the video that was written and hosted by none other than Don Kardong. You may know of his work from a variety of places: 1976 Olympic marathon, senior writer for Runner's World, coach, author, speaker, race director, past president of the Road Runners Club of America, the list goes on and on as he has been involved in the sport of running for over three decades.
Looking inside this video you will be taken from considering the marathon distance to creating a plan to make this dream come true. Many workouts are explained as well as the benefit from each. Of course other essentials are not overlooked like mental preparation, nutrition, shoes, and coping with injury. Race day is examined to allow you the benefits of an experienced runner's rituals, even if this is your first time at this distance. (Remember: The most common mistake is running faster during the first few miles when you are feeling great.) The 21 page booklet is loaded with supporting information including a sample training schedule, race weekend packing list, marathon evening checklist, and other resources both in print and on the web.
To order this complete package that is sure to please visit Virtual Brand Video. This 2003 release has a cast of thirteen with Britt Brewer and Judy Van Raalte bringing their past running video experience in the roles of executive producers. Mark Archer completes the production as producer, director, and editor of this well rounded program.
Quotes from the host, Don Kardong:
"Each year in the United States nearly half a million people get bitten by the marathon bug and develop a most pleasant fever. Maybe that's you, and if it is, let's just make sure you survive."
"Think about the marathon for a minute. It's a long ways. It requires you to keep moving your legs at a fairly quick rate. It drains your radiator, and empties your fuel tank. It's mentally challenging. The key to survival then is to teach your body and mind to handle these stresses. Prepare and you will survive."
"You can do it. You will survive and you will finish. And no matter how tired you are, you are going to love what that feels like."
If you are the type of person who starts your marathon training by pulling out an atlas and then calling your travel agent than this video is a must for you. Covering 34 events on six continents, only Antarctica is missing, after watching this video you will be reaching for your passport to see if it needs to be renewed. You may even find yourself wanting to join a small group of runners who have ran a marathon on each continent. This 2003 release has a run time of 60 minutes and the events are covered in chronological order with the voice of Spencer Ross providing narration. Often the start and finish are shown, as well as some course maps, event history, size of field, local landmarks, weather conditions, course records, and web site information to learn more. Here are the listings:
Start the new year with the Midnight Run, a 4 mile run in New York City complete with costumes and fireworks.
Elite men compete in Beppu Mainichi, Japan while there is another small event along the Mediterranean Sea in Valencia, Spain.
Visit the sights and sounds of the "Eternal City" in Rome, Italy.
Large events such as the Paris marathon, Rotterdam, Boston, London and Nagano are featured as well as some smaller event such as Turin, Italy, the North Pole, Two Oceans ultra in South Africa, and Big Sur along the Pacific Ocean.
Race in Wroclaw, Poland, try the largest race in South America in San Paulo, Brazil, or visit Europe for the Prague International marathon or the clover leaf course in Vienna City, Austria.
The diversity is great in contrasting the Rock 'N Roll marathon in San Diego to the Comrades 89K ultra in Africa and the 14,000 runners in Stockholm, Sweden.
Run Negril's famous coastline in the Raggae marathon (Jamaica) or go North to Iceland to do the loop course in the world's most Northern capital, Reykjavik.
Fun times abound for the 2,000 person field in Quebec City, Canada.
Sydney, Australia, Berlin, Germany, and the Maui marathon are all highlighted this month.
The Chicago marathon has been a world record producing course or shift gears by visiting Amsterdam, Holland, the Ocean State marathon, or Long Beach marathon in California.
The New York City event has 2 million spectators lining the 5 boroughs.
Run Barbados in the Caribbean is a low key race compared to the California International or Honolulu marathon with 30,00 runners enjoying fireworks at the starting line at 5:30 AM.
I would highly recommend the DVD format since each of the races are indexed, allowing you to select any event with a push of a button. So when you start to plan your next marathon, or hear of a great performance (and want to see more than the 3-second news clip from the TV) this is the reference you will return to again and again to get a greater feeling of race day. Order your VHS or DVD copy from Sportfilm.com then make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened for this round the world running adventure. If you find yourself wanting even more, get a second serving from Marathons of the World II that covers 26 running events including: Los Angeles, Hamburg, Vancouver International, Gold Coast, Siberia, Panama, Dublin, Tokyo, and Mount Everest.
If you are going to be one of the 20,000+ registered athletes who line up for the start of "The People's Marathon" in October, than this video is a must if you want to improve your marathon experience. The premise to this video is using the mental strategy of visualization to improve performance, yet it goes far beyond this aspect during the 30 minutes run time. With Don Kardong as your host (you may know him as a Senior Writer for Runner's World magazine, 1976 Olympic Marathon participant, author, or speaker) the enjoyment of touring the Capital of the United States could not be more enjoyable. Originally released in 2000, this film was updated and make current again in 2003 and is scheduled for another revision in 2004 due to all the course changes.
You will see the course from the view of a pace car with the major landmarks and mile markers described along the way. Many attractions are pointed out with a bit of interesting history described. These landmarks include Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, Potomac River, Georgetown, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, U.S. Capital Building, Union Station, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Museums, and the Iwo Jima Monument at the finish line. If this seems like a long list, remember that you are in an environment that is blanketed with history.
Six tried and true tips are outlined to make your race day experience a good one: Enlist in a good training program, visualize the course, adjust your training to meet specific course requirements, practice eating and drinking, stay rested, read your race information, be courteous on the course, and stick to your race plan. After watching this video you can imagine being there and if you have yet to consider running this race it will likely move up to the top of your list for next year. Race Director Rick Nealis states "If you want to do your first marathon, you want to be pampered, want to be taken care of, if you want to feel safe, you're going to come running with the Marines."
The Virtual Marine Corps Marathon can be ordered directly from Virtual Brands where you will also see two other videos that cover race courses, Virtual Chicago: The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon Course Video and Virtual Van Corlandt Park. If you want to view more information about running this event in the future visit Marine Marathon.com. Here is a parting word by the Host, Don Kardong: "I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of the Marine Corps Marathon. Watch it again if you like. Visualize it as you train and recall it on race morning. It's a long forced march, as you know, and one you will get more tired with each step. It's a struggle, no question about it, but you know what, when you reach the line your going to feel really really good. Have fun in Washington, D.C., you owe it all to the Marines, and of course to your own fortitude."
396 people were selected for the start of the Western States 100 ultra running event by lottery. On June 23, 2001 at 4:20 AM their quest begins and so does this 52 minute documentary. Starting as a horse race in 1977, 14 original competitors raced to earn belt buckles for completing the distance. Now, without the horses, men and women test themselves in a quest for the same prize, if they complete the event in under 30 hours. Beyond the start in Squaw Valley, CA, some of the featured checkpoints in this video include: Robinson Flat, Devil's Thumb, Michigan Bluff, Foresthill School, Rucky Chucky, Highway 49 and the finish at Placer High School. You will meet many athletes as they trying to stay in front of the cut off times, maintain their body weight, and keep their feet in condition to keep going. Complete with helicopter footage, athlete interviews, and developing race dynamics, you will get a taste of what will be sacrificed if you dare to run 100 miles that includes 15,500 feet of elevation gain and 23,000 feet of decline. KVIE television offers this tape for sale in both NTSC as well as PAL format if you want to live this adventure again and again. You can also buy this production in DVD format that has an additional 55 minutes of bonus footage, including more check points and more emotional scenes from the finish line. The official Western States 100 web site offers past race results, maps and course information, training and qualifying standards, and applications for the 31st annual run scheduled in 2004. On the cover of this video is Jennifer Devine-Pfeifer followed by Emma Davies.
Runners featured in this movie include:
Scott Jurek. Will this two time winner make it three in a row during this 2001 event?
Ann Trason. This woman has won this event an amazing 11 times. She placed 2nd overall in 1994 and has she now regained the form to challenge for the overall win this year?
Tim Twietmeyer. This 42 year old from Auburn has ran under 20 hours on twenty consecutive races, winning five previous times. Is this his year to reclaim the title?
Topher Gaylord. With severe cramps at Michigan Bluff will he have enough to finish this year?
Lucinda Fischer. With eight previous starts and no completions (she did reach 96 miles one year) will this year be different as she learns from her past experiences?
John & Terry Rhodes. This couple met on these trails, fell in love, and now compete together as husband and wife. Will they beat the cut off time and earn a belt buckle for their effort?
Patti Harden. Can she beat the horn sounding at the track to say she officially completed the Western States 100?
"These people, every one of them, is setting out on a magnificent experience, that even if they've done it before, it will change their life. I know that the trail and the event has that epicness in it and so few people in our day and age are able to do something epic." ~ Gordon Ainsleigh
"It's got heat. It's got hills. It's got rugged trails. It's tough. There is no doubt about it, it's an incredibly physically demanding challenge" ~ Topher Gaylord
"It's just long no matter how you cut it." ~ Scott St. John
"The soul is touched when you run ultra running because you are completely broken down and then you rebuild yourself out there. And that is just the way ultra running is. It's a test and you will be broken and rebuild yourself." ~ Narrator
"The runners who finish after 24 hours are able to say that they have seen the sunrise, twice. Their bodies are broken down, their hearts are strong, they're determined to finish. And the runners keep coming in." ~ Narrator
The finish line words spoken by Patti Harden are too profound and emotional to print here. View this video and you will not forget her words anytime soon.
Postscript: Jurek has claimed seven titles in a row from 1999 to 2005, setting a course record in 2004 with a time of 15 hours, 36 minutes. Trason continued her win streak in 2002 and 2003 to cement her 14th victory and the right to be named one of the greatest ultra runners of all time. She did not compete in 2004.
This 1998 instructional video lasts 33-minutes and was produced and directed by Doug Fink with narration by Dan Simeone, and David Anderson acting as host. Other contributors include Dr. George Dintiman who is co-author of Sports Speed, Second Edition (Note: An updated edition, Sports Speed, Third Edition, is now available) and Bob Ward, former Dallas Cowboys strength coach and masters track and field competitor. If you have wondered if you could improve your speed, then the answer shown in this video is "Yes", as long as you are willing to do the work that is outlined.
After a brief overview the next nine minutes presents the five methods of assessing speed in order to identify an athlete's strengths and weaknesses. The five tests are outlined and demonstrated with precision. The tests include the 120 yard dash, leg press, leg extension/leg curls, leg hops, and quick feet test. You will be provided parameters of scoring each test using ratios, percentages, comparisons and charts that outline specifics based upon gender and age. The main concept is to identify weaknesses to devote maximum time in specific drills to correct them while maintaining the identified strengths.
Specific drills to improve speed based on the assessment are outlined in five categories of training. Strength and Power involves the use of weight training, ballistics (such as the medicine ball), and plyometrics. Sprint Drills take up most of this section with footage of drills done on grass as well as the track with catchy names like butt kickers, wall slide, quick heel drill, inside/outside bounding, down and offs, pull throughs, ladder drill, African dance, and drum major. Details for how many intervals make each set and how many sets to perform are outlined as well as what drills can be performed during a warm-up period. Speed Endurance Training is sports specific and involves maximum effort for a short duration with complete recovery. Over the course of the season the distance will increase while the rest decreases. Sport Loading adds extra resistance to running. This can be completed with the addition of a weigh vest, using stadium stairs, weight sleds, and harnesses training. Overspeed Training includes the use of towing with surgical tubing, downhill sprinting, and high speed treadmill.
The last two minutes provides tips on the best time to take the assessment and a schedule to implement the drills for maximum benefit. The off season preparations are contrasted with the in season training to maintain strengths and build optimal speed for a successful season. If you are looking for an edge for increasing your speed, and will follow up with the effort of completing the drills, then this instructional video is a must for your program. Order your copy directly from its manufacturer, Human Kinetics.com, in VHS format (also in PAL video format for the viewers in Europe).
This instructional tape that was directed by Ambrose Salmini and hosted by Alberto Salazar is just as relevant today as it was during its release in 1990. Packed full of elite runners, primarily in competition against one another, each aspect is illustrated well as the slow motion movement drives home the main points that are also summarized on screen for emphasis. Purchase your VHS or DVD formatted video directly from Sportfilm.com to watch this nostalgic filled hour long lesson that is divided into seven sections, outlined below:
Setting Goals: Whether it is to improve fitness, maintain speed in a race, or set a PR, by setting your focus on both short and long term goals you are sure to improve. Salazar states: "We may train or peek for a certain race but running is a lifetime sport."
Philosophy: Taking less than two minutes on this tape, you will see that an individual at any level will find rewards by running.
Running Technique: A quarter of this video is dedicated to going through a runner's form from "top to bottom". Salazar states: "I'm a traditional marathoner with a shuffling stride...I'm not the prettiest runner in the world, but I am efficient". Compare the technique of many elite athletes including Ignacio Fragoso, Doug Padilla, Ibrahim Hussein, Salvatore Bettiol, Ed Eyestone, Kim Jones, Geoff Smith, Steve Jones, Toshihiko Seko, Francie Larrieu Smith, Pat Peterson, Julius Kariuki, Steve Scott, John Sinclair, and other award winning athletes.
Training Methods: Encompassing nearly 20 minutes, more athletes are used to demonstrate specific concepts of mileage, intervals, hills, cross country, cross training, fartlek, adventure running, ultra-running, uphill and downhill form, drills, and weight training. Race footage from the New York City Marathon, Bloomsday, Cascade Run Off, Carlsbad 5000, Boston Marathon, Men and Women's Olympic Marathon Trials, San Blas Marathon, Honolulu, Peachtree and the Falmouth Road Races are all used to stress the variety of training philosophies.
Injury Prevention: Only a few minutes is dedicated to the need to being smart to avoid running injuries. The use of rest, moderation, cross training and returning to performance levels slowly are emphasized.
Mental Preparation: Alberto shares his experience with the 1982 Boston Marathon, where he and Dick Beardsley had their "Duel in the Sun" with Salazar winning in 2:08:52 (the best Boston time by an American until Bob Kempainen in 1994).
Racing: Know your pacing, review the course, hydrate properly, and then go for it! You will improve your competitiveness by adapting to the weather, keeping contact, initiating surges, using the aid stations correctly, tucking into the pack, and knowing your limits based on your fitness level. These points are revealed with footage of Rolando Vera, Janis Klecker, Cathy O’Brien, Cyndie Welte, and Alberto Salazar finishing the 1980 New York City Marathon in 2:09:41 (the first of three consecutive wins), that are all shown in the last ten minutes of this presentation.
Quotes from Alberto Salazar:
"Efficient, relaxed- two words I've used a lot to describe the elements of good running technique."
"An athlete who tells you the training is always easy and always fun simply hasn't been there. Goals can be elusive which makes the difficult journey all the more rewarding."
"Early in my career I was accused of being overconfident and even cocky, but I really was confident that I had done the training and didn't see any other reason to say otherwise."
"Mental preparation for racing is an important as tying your shoes. Don't get locked into only one way of doing things. The best laid plans have a way of coming apart quickly. Always be positive, work at being positive, it can be a learned skill."
"I've run a lot of miles over the years, some fast and some not so fast. I've won some big races and I've had some big disappointments, but I enjoy the freedom of running and the challenge of training and competition as much now as when I first started back in high school. It's a great sport. I hope to enjoy it for a long time to come and I hope you will too."