About Me

ivans-ugly-face

My name is Ivan.

I used to call myself “a runner” but now I just run.

As a runner, I never knew when to stop, or when to work out.

I want to develop as much speed, power, and endurance as possible, and that identity was getting in the way.

I couldn’t see past it. I couldn’t see all the variables that affected how fast I was one day, and how I recovered the next.

I’ve been asked before: How do you express your creativity in running?

By grabbing ahold of those very variables: How do you interact with a changing slope? How do you alter your breathing or your form to accomodate an increase in speed? How do you engage a running partner, or a fellow competitor, during the run?

Plowing through my long runs, unheeding of those variables, I thought myself above them. I thought I had control over my self-determination.

I did not. I was at their mercy, and I didn’t even know it.

I used to “be” a night person. Turned out to be adrenal dysfunction.

I used to “be” a very anterior forefoot-striker. Turned out to be a tightness in my hip and knee extensors.

I used to “be” aggressive, a smoker, a raw vegan, a dedicated drinker. They all turned out to be something else.

All of these minor identities were just getting in the way of my development of speed.

Anything I “am” is something that I consider too holy to screw with. Anything I “am” is because I consider it either a finished product, or an immutable property. Both are by definition off-limits to my creativity.

If you ask me now: What are you? Who are you?

I’ll tell you: Nothing in particular. No one in particular.

I look for ways in which I am presently someone in particular, or something in particular.  Then I tear them apart. I juggle paradoxes. That’s how I express my creativity.

And in return I get speed.


11 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Hi Ivan

    Around 18 months ago I recommenced running after a 15 year break. I was a 35m 10k runner and sub 17 5k runner. I am now 51 and those times have clearly deserted me. A friend asked me to fill in for a 100k team race and I happily said why not……! One thing led to another and 4 100k races and a couple of trail marathons later I have had an operation to stabilise A cracked pelvis, torn groin muscles and a couple of hernias.

    I want to start training using the MAF system and rebuild a base over 4 months. I know I pushed the curve too quickly and too often, hence the injury. I am nearly allowed to run again and need some guidance

    HavIng read Dr Phils (Maffs) book I am still a little confused and wondering if I can pick your brain? Or, can point me in the right direction.

    Thank you

    Like

    1. David:

      Thanks for getting in touch with me. Why don’t you tell me a little bit more about your case?

      For now I’ll give you a couple of general suggestions:

      One of the most important things that you can develop is the correct timing at which your joints move and your muscles fire. In any machine (be it the body or a car) timing is everything. If the pistons on a car were just even slightly out of time, you’d probably end up breaking the engine. In one form or another, that’s what happens to a majority of athletes.

      Given this, one of the best things that you can do during base-building with the MAF system is to go to a chiropractor or physical therapist and get a full musculoskeletal exam, and do all the corrective exercises. Personally, I’d recommend you look for someone certified in FMS/SFMA. Why? Suppose that you have a bad left quadratus lumborum (bad here meaning “with little mobility, sensation, or control). Not only won’t your spine be able to rotate and counterrotate to your hips correctly during the gait cycle, but you won’t be able to maintain a steady breathing rate. As things go, that by itself could be the start of a snowball effect that grows over a 100K.

      If you get all of your muscles working correctly, and all of your limbs moving through the necessary ranges of motion, in a low-intensity activity such as MAF base building it’ll be really simple for your brain to just put all the muscles into the gait cycle, and develop the requisite endurance alongside the requisite muscle control and form. Furthermore, these kinds of correctives won’t really push you out of your MAF heart rate (and they’re a way to keep it interesting).

      Does this make sense to you?

      I’d love to hear more about your situation.

      Like

  2. G’day Ivan,

    Thanks for coming back to me. I have had a gait analysis done and I agree, clearly did not have the required strength in certain areas to run those distances with out much more body control. the distances simply then caused more damage. I am currently going through strength work for my core incorporating many visits to Physio’s, Pilates and simple strength work with a trainer at the gym. Been lucky to have great help.

    My resting heart rate is in the low 50’s but when i commence to run i can easily push it to 180 plus if i throw some hills in. A high heart rate for me brings nausea. I can still run under 20m for 5k and sneak under 40 for 10 if its flat. My goal is to run a good marathon time 3.15 – 3.25. but certainly need to get my heart rate settled quickly. I hear many great things re the MAFF Method and with out question i have been running far too much in the anerobic zones. Let me know what kind of info you would like to know so i can be more specific.

    Thanks Again

    Like

    1. David:

      What are your muscular weaknesses? Do you have reduced ROM in any particular joints? Where do you often feel pain when running?

      One thing I’d recommend for the nausea is doing breathing drills during all of your runs. Breathe in for two steps (left, right) and then breathe out for three steps (left, right, left), which is going to force you to remain at a more sustainable speed. It’ll also take you a long way on synchronizing all of your core muscles to your gait. The reason it’s an odd number of counts is so that you learn how to breathe in when both legs are pushing, so that you learn not to favor a particular side. It’ll work wonders on synchronizing your deep spinal muscles and your pelvic floor with your gait. Still, I think that the first step is to get all of your muscles integrated into your stride. Keep working on those correctives. Are there any FMS (Functional Movement Screen) specialists where you live?

      I think you’ll end up seeing a lot of benefit if you just stick to your MAF heart rate. Dr. Maffetone’s formula works really, really well.

      Ivan

      Like

  3. Ivan,
    I read about you at Dr. Maffetone’s website. It’s a very inspiring story. May I suggest that you write a book detailing how you recovered from your physical and mental limitations from your early childhood and how you have become so successful. I think many people will benefit from it. You should also write it for a record of what is humanly possible.
    I hope you will consider my suggestion.
    Thanks and congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

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Biological, psychological, and social systems affect our development of speed, power and endurance. Let's discuss them candidly.

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