The wisdom of Isidro Rico
As time flies, I suddenly realize that you can really get tired of running, however it also rejuvenates you! I really consider myself very lucky, it’s been 30 years now I started running. What started as an illusion and a huge desire to represent Mexico in the Olympic Games, became a reality. I retired from competition and still do feel the adrenaline when I put the BIB number on my shirt, I’m excited to choose the shoes I will use in the race or marathon and I definitively will confirm that it after so many years, if you love running and you train, that competitive moment will always be an instinctive matter, the experience will allow you to run at a pace that you’re in shape for.
The marathon expo opens on Friday 2 October at the Congress Centre and about 19 thousand runners will pick up their BIB numbers and chips. There’s where the adventure and excitement for the runners start. As usual you’ll find shoes, newest technologies, seamless and compression socks, garments and many brands offer comfort. Even some of them offering to help you improving your performance. For the marathon and half-marathon, everyone is gathering around the gels, gummies and bars, high in sugar or glycogen depending upon how they are promoted. Then there are the accessories such as watches and heart rate monitors. Actually, nowadays you can find everything on the marathon expo, but on our last visit to the one of New York, my friend Isidro Rico and I were watching, while I said “Hey Isidro here you really can find everything, but hardly anyone knows how to use it.” Isidro answered me on his own particular way: “But they do not sell the balls, they are not training as before and are afraid to compete”.
I almost died of laughter, Isidro is one of those rough runners, a great friend. We still enjoy running together. We just start and without looking at our watches, we always know the route, kilometers and our pace.
I will give a conference at the expo regarding the following topics:
* Race pace in relation to your goal and strategies
* What, when and how to consume gels and hydration
* How to get your own pulse areas as % of your capacity in min./km.
* At what % of your capacity you must run the marathon or half marathon
* Confronting myth or reality regarding your running style, kind of shoes and strengthening your own running style.
* Tips and additional training to run faster.
After the conference I’ll go to dinner to get the fuel for the next day. I promised some friends over 45 years to pace them to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The target will be 3:20. Three days later’ll take the plane and cross the ocean to take me to the Amsterdam marathon, where I´ll simply do the same, with the difference that at sea level, the goal is to break the three-hours in the land of tulips and good cheese. “I never said ‘cheese heads’, as some already speak better Spanish than I speak Dutch”
Gerard and his hands of God.
I’m on the plane en route to Mexico to stand at the start of the marathon Chiapas. I still have doubts, because I have pain in my calves and legs. However, I recognize this pain and it is a ‘good’ pain and then I also know that I will run and try to run under 3 hours.
But, first I have to talk about the hands of Gerard, the masseur. I’ve found Gerard between the ‘old’ guard runners, those who run for many years and will continue to do so until the end of time. They recommended me to him also because he’s according to them the best in the Olympic Stadium.
It may have been a coincidence. I came to the point where I said to myself: “Stop and think.” When I was a professional runner and ran 200 kms per week and did not get injured, it was not only because of training. The formula was simple: training, 1 x per week on the volcano Nevado de Toluca (at 4000 mts height), eat, rest and massage. I had twice a week massage and I remember well who was never missing at my training camps to Africa, that was my masseur Conrado Martinez.
Today I am no longer a professional athlete, but I keep daily running, with my pupils, friends or I do my own training. Back to basics. A good masseur will help you to prevent injuries and takes at least one hour. Physiotherapists are mainly to heal an injury with different techniques or devices. But even the best equipment can not replace the hands of God, Gerard’s hands. From the first time I could feel his experience on how he was able to relax my muscles and it’s not necessary to feel enormous pain. His hands warm themselves and know how and where the muscles must be treated. So I was very happy, but still wanted to try out by running the next morning. That day a run with Sunny was on the program. Upon awakening, I felt like I was beaten and I thought I could not even run a kilometer, but Sunny was like a good Dutchman: five minutes before the appointed time he was knocking on the door and as I experienced Mexican I replied “Vámonos” (let’s go). That first kilometer I felt like a plucked chicken, but I felt how magically my muscles relaxed and between our conversations and through mental training tips we suddenly were running just 4:10 min / km. The same rhythm we also ran during a 30k race the Sunday before in Amsterdam North, so Sunny has proven to be able to hold a pace to run under three hours in Chicago.
As a coach, you can not treat everyone the same, you have to learn to listen, that’s the basics. I like to “read” the minds, interpret needs, so I can guide people the best and learn them not only to run. Running is more than running. It is more than a sport, running can help you to discover magical places not only in the world or in person, but it will allow you to penetrate to the depths of your inner. I myself still do not completely understand this magic. It is like the grandfather and the fire, you just need to sit down next to it, keep all your senses open to learn every day something new. And then what does it matter that more than half of those who came over the finish line in Mexico City marathon had started only halfway. Ultimately, only you will know the why of your marathon. Each of us gives importance to his or her effort. I can only conclude the following: “If you’re able to jog one minute, you’re a potential marathon runner” And you do the rest “just train.”
Running is global
Let’s talk about running, marathons, trails and much more. Today I wrote my first blog. I will write about what I do. I run, so I talk with people while running, I train them and always think about how I can help them. I share my experiences and knowledge and I try myself new products particularly in the field of injury prevention.
Above all, I passionately continue running. I am convinced that a marathon runner should not only run. The 42.195 mts of a marathon you can “shorten” by investing more time in extra exercise, especially strength exercises (for runners). Because the heart will always respond when you put your body in motion. And yes, there is a minimum percentage of people with genetic heart problems who are at risk, unfortunately the same risk that they would have in everyday life. In fact, there are proportionally more people who die from cardiac arrest outside of a marathon. Once a doctor told me that the chances of survival are greater at an event like a marathon, thanks to prompt medical care provided there.
Last weekend, August 31, was the Mexico City marathon, the marathon with the largest attendance in Mexico. 30,000 runners ran this marathon, a phenomenon that afterwards engulfed the social media, with many commentaries. And although I didn’t participate this time, I think this marathon is a great challenge for my country and in turn a great opportunity to show that a big city like Mexico City can organize a major marathon. What should never be forgotten when planning such an event is that the main concern should be the runners. Those who complete the marathon completely deserve the medal, not the runners who do not run the marathon completely (many run only a portion, in preparation for another marathon).
In the last six weeks many things have happened . One of the highlights for me was to be able to run with lots of happiness with someone very special to me, in the mountains of Baja California Norte.
In addition, I have friends who are preparing for the ultramarathon of Wisconsin who I assisted and the final push I gave to my runners in La Loma San Luis Potosi and Queretaro by accompanying them to the volcano, the Nevado de Toluca (4000 mts height). This is a training experience that I recommend everyone. I’ve been there many times as a professional athlete and every time it is again a unique educational experience. During these weeks I thought I was ready to plan my new season of races, marathons and maybe an ultra marathon. I decided this time not to “experiment” with my own body. I ran nine marathons and three ultras between August 2014 and April 2015 (all with the goal of breaking 3 hours). So I ended up paying the price for it in the Rotterdam Marathon with a muscle tear. Now I can only say that you are the only master of your body and make decisions that should be in your favor.
Well, and then there are also other risks. In the second week of August, after a special training, the runners thought to get a joke out. This got out of hand, almost fatal. Without understanding their intentions I was nearly four meters launched into the air and I thought or hoped I would fall back on a bouncy cushion. I ended up next to it. I’ve never felt so bad with so much pain. So much that after four days of continuous high fever I was hospitalized.
Thanks to a good strong condition I think I can recover faster. I even surprised myself. I could start with swimming, followed by some exercises and now I can again do some interval training with my runners. What I love about this sport is that it is a global sport. This past week I was able to coach runners on their way to the Amsterdam marathon and other marathons. And next week I’ll attend the first international marathon of Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico and of course, I think I can not resist run this marathon. Then, I will again give some training and impatiently waiting to see the 15 000 runners in the marathon of Queretaro pass by, or am I gonna run it ……………?