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Arboles y Agua, Our Isla de Ometepe Reforestation & Water Project

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Arboles y Agua, Our Isla de Ometepe Reforestation & Water Project

While the Calzado Kids Runs have been a great success previously we have been concerned that there is no lasting legacy from the project and that the "donation" style of charity helps foster greater dependency versus trying to offer communities lasting solutions to local problems with their active participation. This is what motivates our change in direction.

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Ultrarunning and Overtraining

Ultrarunning and Overtraining

by Dr. Adam Friedman

I had a brief consult with Johnson the other day. I was finishing up my workout on the basketball court, here in Moyogalpa and he had just finished his training run for the day. We chatted a bit about his training. He told me he probably wasn't going to run in the race in Managua on Sunday. This is a big race that if he won, he'd have a place in the New York Marathon, in the fall. He said he felt run-down and weak, as if he had no desire to run anymore. Those are pretty clear signs of overtraining. Johnson, is a good example of what many high-level athletes run into; a wealth of heart (both physiologically and mentally) but not enough training smarts. Training smarter, not harder is difficult for two reasons:

1. Most of us have had 'coaches' when we were little (Little League Dads, well-meaning but clueless assistant coaches) who instilled in us ridiculous ideas of what we should be doing.  Most detrimental is the idea that failure is the result of not trying hard enough.  If you want to succeed, you're going to have to train 'harder' than the other guy.  To remedy this is not an easy fix.

2. Change is scary and no one likes to be afraid. When asked to change a training routine, the athlete needs to be able to take a leap of faith that the new way is not just different, but better.

From the brief talks I've had with Johnson, I've gathered he's running upwards of an hour and a half most days.  I told him to take the next three days off and do nothing but stretch and relax. If, after reassessing on Friday, he still feels lethargic and heavy in his muscles, don't run on Sunday. There will always be other races and the risk of doing greater damage, both to his muscles and joints as well as his immune system. People who overtrain are chronically ill. Colds last weeks instead of days and strains and sprains last months instead of weeks.

One other thing I recommended he try is to take his true resting heart rate (taken first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed). A sure sign of overtraining is an elevated resting heart rate due to the body's inability to function optimally.

When next we meet, I'll get a better handle on his diet and training program.

Until next time...

Ultramaraton Fuego y Agua collaborates with Carrera Verde for running shoe donations to Nicaragua

Ultramaraton Fuego y Agua collaborates with Carrera Verde for running shoe donations to Nicaragua

This June, over 400 Nicaraguan runners will receive a pair of running shoes donated by Ultramaraton Fuego y Agua in collaboration with the US Embassy, Fundenic, Managua Runners, and the American Nicaraguan Foundation. The first presentation of this donation will be on Sunday, May 13 at the Carrera Verde in Managua. Fuego y Agua started in 2008 as a vision to bring responsible eco-tourism in the form of an extreme ultramarathon on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. One of the projects every year has been to donate new or gently used running shoes to the children of Ometepe for the NDI/FYA Calzado Kids Race the day after the ultramarathon. This year there were over 450 children running and over 450 pairs of running shoes were donated! There is nothing more wonderful than seeing the children’s faces as they finish the race with their new shoes. After several years of exciting growth, Fuego y Agua has decided to expand their “side” project to all of Nicaragua. The American Nicaraguan Foundation will be providing shipping and logistics support while Managua Runners will provide assistance in distributing the shoes to those runners who need it most. Donations come from runners in the US as well as Soles4Souls, RunningWarehouse.com and Marathon Kids. The purpose of the donations is to provide those who cannot afford running shoes an opportunity to train and compete. Fuego y Agua encourages healthy living through running and intends to grow the sport in all of Nicaragua. Fuego y Agua is proud to work with Fundenic (Yo No Tiro Basura), the US Embassy, Managua Runners, and Nicaragua’s Carrera Verde to make this donation possible. We look forward to working together in the years ahead to accomplish the mutual goals of growing responsible eco-tourism, a better protected environment, and an increasingly healthy population.