Tag Archives: running

Big Schtick – Sheepish

29 Aug

Big Schtick - Sheepish

Runners like to make fun while running. However, it’s a basic kind of fun without little refinement. Especially long distance running can be a bit boring at times and a joke to lighten the mood makes the boredom go away.

Big Schtick – Coach

22 Aug

Big Schtick - Coach

The sport of running is very prone to injuries, much more so than for instance swimming or cycling. This means you need to train responsibly and for most this means training under the guidance of a coach.

Now top athletes can pay personal coaches, but less talented runners usually take part in a running group, either physically or virtually. Most, if not all, track & field clubs offer programs for runners of all levels and they supply a coach to guide the runners in group activities, called training sessions.

If you’re serious about running, you will probably also run on your own, and some coaches (but not all) will help you with that as well. Of course, all this is not free, but because you’re with many, it’s affordable.

Sometimes when I see how coaches approach training I can only frown.

Especially male runners want to train hard and far, which actually goes against common wisdom among experienced runners. You’re supposed to train according to what your body can recover from just enough to do the next training session without getting injured or burnt out over the weeks or months. However, since for many men their weekly (or twice-a-week) training session is their only outlet from office life; they want to release their tension and lose themselves in training, like a mental short break. Many coaches give in to that urge and make their training too intensive, too tough.

Then there is this common belief among runners (both beginners and experience runners) that in order to run faster in races, you need to run even faster in training (but shorter, of course). Few believe that taking it easy on the speed is better on the long run. It prevents excessive training load and lets it adjust to slowly increasing demands. Yes, even if you keep training the same, but moderate, you will get faster, by virtue of your intent to be faster. If you lack this intent, no amount of training is going to make you faster than a certain initial bump in speed when you start a training program. It’s mostly between the ears.

I hope you like the comic and keep reading it. Until next week!

Big Schtick – Information = Knowledge

15 Aug

Big Schtick - Information = Knowledge

Many runners pride themselves in their achievements. They keep track of the speed, distance and how often they train. It sometimes seems to take on a life of its own. Stats don’t make you a better runner, running does.

Okay, okay. I used to think having fun while running is the only thing that counts, but I too have fallen prey to the soothing words of marketers and have bought equipment to keep track of my achievements. Now I can share with like-minded people.

However, it’s not the same as actually running. I mean looking back at what you have done is different from being in the moment. This may sound very Zen-like or hifalutin, but it’s not meant that way. Having fun while doing something and not having to justify your actions is liberating. In most things we do in life, we are dependent on others. However, when we run, we propel our bodies by pushing against Mother Earth and we do it on our own. This is what is so fun about running. At least for me and if I listen to other runners, for many of them as well.

That doesn’t stop me being competitive, though. I enter road races with the intention to beat others. However, it’s all in fun and play, since there’s no money involved (at least, not at the level I’m running). It’s largely pretending to be better than others.

I hope you like the comic and keep reading it. Until next week!

Big Schtick – Motivation

8 Aug

Big Schtick - Motivation

Welcome to my first ever web comic! It’s going to be a rough ride, since I’m new to this. The comic combines two passions, drawing and running. It appears both in Dutch on my Dutch blog about my running hobby and in English on this blog, “So Much to Do, So Little Time.”

Runners all had their reasons to start running and especially keeping at it. It’s a serious commitment and it isn’t all fun, but the return on investment is great, since you have more energy in your daily life and most runners like to commiserate about their hobby (for most it is a hobby, not something they earn money with, or too little to matter much).

In this week’s comic you can read some of my reasons. My father died from a heart condition, while my mother had a propensity to be obese. Combined they offer a challenge, which I hope to overcome by keeping fit, although there’s always this fear I’ll get sick from overeating, which I do on occasion.

I hope you like the comic strip and keep reading it.

Speed Demon

3 Jul

Based on a drawing I did earlier (I redrew it), I made a cartoon of a speed demon on running shoes.

The original sketch was done in red colored pencil and scanned in at A4 format (210 by 297 mm). I can say making this sketch was a lot of fun.

Speed demon (rough sketch)

After cleaning up, leveling, enhancing and posterizing the sketch, I colored it in GIMP on a separate layer.

Speed demon (final version)

Robin: “Holy crap, batman. I just blinked and there he was. Speed demon sure is fast. Do you suppose he is a villain?”

Batman: “No, Robin. As you can see from the halo above his head, he clearly is a good person. Let us go to him and introduce ourselves.”

After this incident Batman and Robin were never seen again. Perhaps Speed Demon wasn’t a good guy after all…

It was a lot of work to get it right, but it was a hoot to do.

That is all.

Good day for running

2 Jul

This drawing is based on a photo I made of a good friend of mine, who I primarily know from running.

Good day for running

The sketch was made on paper with pencil, scanned, cleaned up, and the pencil color made darker by adjusting the levels. The fill of the jacket was done with a solid gray, color noise and a Gaussian blur filter. The shadow is a copy of the sketch, made black, 60 % transparent and blurred on the edges with a Gaussian blur filter.

I hope you like it, my running buddy!

That is all.


1 Jul

Running Ronald is famous among Dutch blogging runners. He is a likable guy with a passion for running.

You can read his blog at www.runningronald.nl.


This sketch started as a red colored pencil sketch, which I refined with black lead. The scanned result looks like this.

RunningRonald.NL (rough sketch)

As you might have guessed if you’ve read my previous posts, I removed the red color with decompose into CMYK and only using the K channel. The clean up/retouch was mostly done with the stencil tool in GIMP. After I changed the levels on the image, so the light gray pencil lines became darker, I added the text, and put an outline around it.

It was a fun project, based on one of the many photos featuring Running Ronald in his Flickr feed.

That is all.