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Lynne’s Christmas 1999 Column

Lynne Bermel

Our interview with Lori Bowden brought on a storm of positive emails. Lori is every bit as unassuming and disarming as she comes across in the interview. She has an inner radiance that finds its form in outward grace. This comes across very clearly in this month's Triathlete Magazine.

No question, Lori Bowden is a champion. She is someone we should all look up to, as much for her incredible physical prowess, as for her humility, humanity and levelheaded allure.


Lynne's Christmas Column: The Top 11

It seems everywhere you look these days, someone is coming up with a list: The most influential people of the century, the top 20 inventors of our time, the top 100 athletes of all time - there is no end to it. Even in laid back Australia - a country more used to talking about beer and surfing - they've named the top 10 sites visitors should take in when they descend on the Sydney Olympics next summer. Here at the Runner's Web, we thought we'd throw our hat into the ring. We've come up with our own list of the top 11 goals (thought we'd be different) you might want to consider as you plan your training and racing for next year. You never know, 2000 could be your best year ever:

1. Set one specific goal for every workout. It could be to work on relaxing your arms in running or increasing your leg turnover. Perhaps you might want to focus on pedaling in circles in your bike training or working on a strong pull in swimming. Throughout your entire workout, dedicate yourself to concentrating on that one specific goal. Do that each time out and you'll be amazed at the gains you'll make.

2. Commit yourself to four key ingredients to long-term success: proper warm-up, warm-down, stretching and rest. Always warm-up slowly for 10-15 minutes before a workout and do the same after a workout. That, along with a consistent stretching programs. will go along way to keeping you fit and healthy in 2000.

3. Listen to your body. With apologies to Nietze, that which does not destroy you doesn't necessarily make you stronger. You improve by stressing the body and then recovering from the stress. Just because you've survived a killer workout one-day, doesn't mean you should go out and trash yourself the next. You'll improve the most when you can get in a season - better yet a year, or years- of consistent, progressive training.

4. Always make a habit of replenishing yourself immediately following a workout. Remember the 20 minute window: to recover for your next workout, you'll reap the most benefits if you take in a sports drink, a bagel, banana or an energy bar as long as its consumed within 20 minutes after your session.

5. Try to drink more water. Commit yourself to getting more of that good old H2O. We know - BORING. It's not hard to get down in the summer but in the winter? You want me to drink 10+ glasses a day? Try to mix it with a little drop of orange juice, or Gatorade, or lemonade, or Kool-Aid, or whatever Aid that keeps you drinking water. You'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel when you're properly hydrated.

6. Work on your mental side. Dedicate yourself to being a more focussed athlete during training and racing. Work on concentrating and living in the moment rather than how much farther you have to go and how much pain you're going through. Mark Allen used to say: "Of course it's gonna hurt, that's what's racing is all about. When the pain comes on, I'm almost relieved because I realize it's not as bad as I thought it would be." Remember, of course, to differentiate between the pain that comes with pushing your limits and the pain that could mean an injury.

7. Give a little back. Volunteer to work at a local race. Serve on the race committee, work at registration, hand out bananas, catch the finishers - you name it. There wouldn't be any races without volunteers. You'll be helping your fellow athletes and you'll be surprised at how much fun you'll have on the other side of the street.

8. Dedicate one race where your main purpose is to help someone else achieve his or her best. If it's a road race, pace a friend to a personal best. If it's a triathlon, show a beginner the ropes. Help them set up their transition, show them the proper placing for the swim, give them little suggestions on what to do. Watch for them and cheer them on at every turn. They, and you, will be glad you did.

9. Plan a race around visiting a new town. Rather than just going to "race", plan an event around seeing something different, meeting new people, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of something completely new.

10. At the next social get together, try to talk about something other than the final 400m of last night's workout, your last race, your next race, or the last race you saw on TV. Seek out the spouses and friends of fellow athletes and ask them about themselves. You may be surprised to learn that people who don't run, bike or swim lead equally interesting lives.

11. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination. We only have one life to live so we might as well live each day to the fullest. Be thankful for it all: your physical health, your friends, and your supportive family. And above all, have fun.


Contact Lynne via email @

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