Thursday, 30 November 2006

30 days hath November

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, November 30, 2006 with 2 comments
“Coaching Middle and Long Distance Runners” – Part Two

Article by Nic Bideau

Key elements
• Regular long runs
• Fast distance runs at around the anaerobic threshold
• Intervals or repetition work
• Speed work
• Recovery runs
• Gym sessions

The long runs should be of 90 minutes to 2 hours duration — longer for marathon runners - and at least once per week, and in some periods twice a week. The key Lydiard principle of maintaining continuous pressure on your heart for long steady periods of aerobic activity builds a fantastic aerobic fitness base and it is aerobic fitness that is a key factor in the success of athletes in all events from 800m upwards. I’m often challenged on the importance of these long runs for 800m runners. Some athletes have even suggested to me that they are damaging, but I have no doubt they are relevant. It worked for Peter Snell. He ran 1.44.3 on a grass track off long aerobic runs. In later years much has been made of the Great British 800m and 1500m runner, Seb Coe’s speed, but Coe also possessed outstanding aerobic endurance. He demonstrated this when in 1978 the year before he first began setting world records at 800m and 1500m races, when he beat Eamon Coghlan, who was later to win a world 5000m title and Mike McLeod, who later won an Olympic 10000m medal in a 4 mile road race in Ireland. I’d be surprised if any of our current top 800m runners could get within a minute of Craig Mottram over 4 miles today; and I see our lack of success in this event as relative to a lack of aerobic endurance in the athletes doing these events. Mottram has run 1.46 for 800m in training two weeks after he won his world championships 5000m bronze medal so his regular long runs don’t appear to have greatly reduced his ability at 800m.

I prefer these long runs done in a group as that helps runners stay relaxed and enjoy them more. I also like them to run in nice scenic surroundings on soft surfaces and on hilly courses. Hills help build strength and maintain the pressure on the heart without requiring the athletes to run faster. Hills also require athletes to vary the requirements of the key working muscles whether they are going up or down. I like big challenging hills in the second half of these runs as I believe it helps an athlete develop efficient technique and rhythm running up these hills when they are already feeling fatigue. I tell athletes that the first 75 minutes of these long runs is to get them sufficiently tired so as they are in a position to really affect their fitness in the last 15 to 45 minutes when their glycogen stores are getting seriously depleted.

In any training program, the first time an athlete is able to achieve a milestone builds confidence and I’ve often seen that when an athlete completes their first 90 min run of a preparation, or their first 2 hour run. They soon notice a big step up in their aerobic fitness in the following weeks. This increased aerobic fitness needs to be constantly monitored with regular 90 min runs throughout the year. I don’t believe that these long runs necessarily leave residual fatigue in athletes’ legs harming athletes going into important races. I see many athletes run very well within a few days of a long run. Mottram ran a 90 min run seven days before setting his Australian 5000m record of 12.55.76 and Benita Johnson ran a 90 min run six days before she won the World Cross Country. Any time I look at an athlete’s diary and I see regular long runs it usually translates into consistent form. In contrast, when I see big gaps from one long run to the next recorded in an athlete’s diary it often corresponds with a gradual decline in form.

Nic Bideau "Coaching Middle and Long Distance Runners: A Commentary" - Modern Athlete and Coach, Volume 44, Number 3, July 2006.

To be continued …


1. Thirty days dirty days. So today is 30 November. At the BBQ Stakes at lunch time yesterday it was about 30 degrees. My name on the starters' list had a "30" alongside it as I had completed 30 runs. So off I set with Roger; we started fairly slowly in the heat and built up momentum later. I sprinted at the end to pass Ted who had also built up momentum over the last downhill bit. The time on my watch read 30:30. What place tag was I given after I had crossed the line? Yes you are right. 30.

2. Thirty days hath September April June and November all the rest have 31 except blah blah blah blah blah. I cannot remember. A nifty mnemonic which gets very boring very quickly.

3. Thirty degrees. Welcome to summer tomorrow! Except that summer in Canberra lasts five months so we are already one month into it. Was it twelve days in a row with temperatures 30 degrees or more in November? That must be some sort of record.

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

“Coaching Middle and Long Distance Runners” - Introduction

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, November 29, 2006 with 4 comments
[Edit. The article in full can now be found at]

Article by Nic Bideau

The training structure I use to coach athletes does not actually involve anything that hasn’t been used before. I would describe it as strongly influenced by the type of work used by many Australian, British and New Zealand athletes in the 60s and 70s involving running high volumes of over 160km per week with the primary focus on aerobic conditioning. This type of training yielded huge successes for amongst others, Ron Clarke, Brendan Foster and John Walker, yet for one reason or another has tended to be neglected today.

The one area where I would say we are much more advanced than athletes of that era is with recovery and the control of the workouts. Today athletes employ a host of techniques including ice baths, sports recovery drinks, regular massage and physiotherapy sessions that assist athletes to recover from bouts of hard work and allow them to maintain a more consistent high volume of good quality training for longer periods.

Hard running on the track or fast long distance runs are now more controlled to achieve very specific aims with the use of heart rate monitors and stopwatches to assist us to enforce the principles that Lydiard was teaching runners 40 years ago — to train mostly at levels of intensity that are aerobic and to limit or accurately control the amount of anaerobic activity in training.

The training is only one key element responsible for the success of, among others, our two leading Australian distance runners, Craig Mottram and Benita Johnson. But I would add that just as relevant is (a) the environment they train in, (b) the planning undertaken (including their competition program) and (c) the belief I have in them to run as well as they have. Getting fit in training is certainly critical but I have certainly seen cases where despite being incredibly fit, a lack of confidence and belief in their ability to compete well has cost an athlete in important races. The right training helps to build these elements but the structure of the training groups they exist in and the very carefully planned racing program they follow certainly enhances this confidence to take the athletes to a very high level. But that’s a whole other article. For now, I’ll stick to an explanation of the general training structure I advise athletes to carry out.

Key elements
• Regular long runs
• Fast distance runs at around the anaerobic threshold
• Intervals or repetition work
• Speed work
• Recovery runs
• Gym sessions

Nic Bideau "Coaching Middle and Long Distance Runners: A Commentary" - Modern Athlete and Coach, Volume 44, Number 3, July 2006.

To be continued …

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

This week - an article by Nic Bideau

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 with 1 comment
"My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble." - Bill Rodgers


ACTVAC this coming Thursday
6.00 3000m, Weight Throw, Pole Vault
6.15 60m
6.30 1000/5000m Walk
6.45 High Jump
7.00 1500m, Javelin, Shot
7.30 400m
7.45 Long Jump, Javelin, Shot, 200m Hurdles
8.00 4 x 200m Relay
8.15 Spiral 7

Over the next few days I will be publishing an article by Nic Bideau called "Coaching Middle and Long Distance Runners: A Commentary". The article appeared in “Modern Athlete and Coach” - Volume 44, Number 3, July 2006. I have permission to reproduce the article.

“Nic Bideau has become one of Australia’s most successful coaches. His involvement at the elite level in track and field has spanned more than two decades and his collective experiences as a sports journalist, manager, and coach have enabled him to mix with some of the greats in middle and long distance running. These experiences have assisted in shaping his views on coaching endurance athletes. Here he outlines some insights into his coaching philosophy.”

This is one of the very best articles I have read on the subject, I highly recommend you read it. For the rest of the week parts of the article will appear here.


1. Running 18k this morning in the heat was hard. Next time I bring three bottles of drink, not two.

2. Alan Duus backed up from last night's training to run this morning. He said the 600m intervals and recoveries felt very long. Welcome back Charmaine to our Monday sessions, too.

3. Bloglines suddenly woke up and discovered my last nine posts. It discovered some other bloggers' posts too. So welcome back if you haven't visited for a while!

Monday, 27 November 2006

Annette's Golden Week

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, November 27, 2006 with 3 comments
quote of the week: The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. -- Pierre de Courbertin

My training progress
last week's target: 100k, actual 65k
this week’s target: 100k
weight: 63.5kg and falling. maybe. possibly.

Not the best week, the niggles won so 100k didn't happen, I pulled out of the BBQ Stakes run after 600m with calf pain but immediate treatment worked. An average 3000m on Thursday, days off Friday and Saturday, a "very average" Vets Handicap on Sunday. Poised to get back into it this week if the heat wave doesn't intervene?

song of the week: Nothing In My Way - Keane, from Under The Iron Sea.

“It seems to me that you're having such a nice time”


Reconciliation Place 5k
8. Kathy Sims W55 22:47
25. Caroline Campbell W60 26:54
29. Ruth Baussmann W55 27:46
42. Julie Tzvetcoff W40 31:15

42. Mick Saunders M55 22:02
43. Roger Pilkington M45 22:04
65. Mick Charlton M50 28:01

ACTVAC track
4 x 800m relay W40 team Australian record
(Annette Sugden, Bernice Matthews, Gabrielle Brown, Charlie McCormack)

M45 Amalendu Edelsten 37:23.84
M45 Mick Horan 42:50.82
M50 Thomas Lane 43:54.63
W35 Amanda Walker 45:46.52 pb
W50 Kathy Southgate 39:07.42 ACT W50 record
W55 Ruth Baussmann 53:46.51
W55 Margaret McSpadden 54:16.83

Sunday ACTVAC handicap results
Innabaanya 8k
2 Mark Kethro M45 36:49
3 Annette Sugden W40 37:41 gold!
8 Mick Saunders M55 38:45
10 David Baussman M45 38:51
16 Rod Lynch M45 32:21
21 Amanda Walker W35 40:04
29 Peter McDonald M50 41:49
30 John Alcock M60 41:05
35 Colin Farlow M45 32:33
37 Charmaine Knobel W50 43:05
39 Alan Duus M60 40:19
47 Graeme Small M65 49:22
48 Helen Larmour W45 37:58
52 Tony Booth M65 45:25
54 Barbara Tucker W55 46:11
64 Margaret McSpadden W55 48:40
67 Roger Pilkington M45 39:17
70 Ruth Baussmann W55 47:29
79 Mick Charlton M50 50:54

Innabaanya 4k
6 Julie Tzvetcoff W40 24:24
10 Michael Roche M65 23:49
17 Ken White M50 20:28
21 Kerry Boden W45 23:30
23 Carol Baird W55 19:39
24 Tony Bond M40 15:42
26 Geoff Moore M55 17:16
28 Gary Bowen M45 17:21
41 Neil Boden M55 20:10


1. It was Annette's week - a member of the Australian record 4x800m team on Thursday, then winning the monthly handicap on Sunday. She will get faster, too!

2. Monday training is definitely on - although I may not be there for a Monday or two, being very busy at present. Trevor will take care of things.

3. I will re-start Saturday morning training at Aranda first week in January. And possibly 30 December? If you can make it then, let me know.


Sunday, 26 November 2006

Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished. - Jack Lovelock

There were lots of Speedy Geese at today's monthly handicap, getting various awards. And great to have the new club hats available, strong UV protection. I bought two.


1. Is that the ACT Veteran hurdler Conrad Burge prominent in beer ads during the TV cricket coverage? The one with the big fake moustache, not unlike his real moustache. Nearest to camera. It sure looks like him!

2. Some of the 4 x 800 splits from Thursday (very approximate)
Gary Bowen 74, 77
Amalendu Edelsten 67, 73
Tony Booth 91, 87
Kevin Chamberlain 70, 75
Charlie McCormack 84, 85
Annette Sugden 90, 91
Gabe Brown 88, 94

3. Life of Brian has been quoted a couple of times recently. Today's movie is pretty well about geese. I haven't seen it, is it any good?

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Eight of the first eight!

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, November 25, 2006 with 1 comment
Ten of the first eleven!

Kevin hits 80%!

Speedy Geese in the Pennington 3000m
1 M45 Colin Farlow 10:34
2 M60 Kevin Chamberlain 11:29
3 W50 Maria O'Reilly 12:17
4 W55 Kathy Sims 12:53
5 M55 Trevor Cobbold 11:32
6 M45 Richard Faulks 11:08
7 M55 Geoff Moore 11:44
8 M45 Roger Pilkington 11:21
10 M50 Neville Madden 11:42
11 M65 Tony Booth 12:52
15 M50 Ken White 12:20
19 W55 Ruth Baussmann 15:23
21 M55 Neil Boden 14:01

As usual for the Pennington, actual times would have been a second or two faster than the official times above.

Hiding from the wind and rain

Reminder - tomorrow's run start at 8:30am:
Date: Sunday 26 November 2006
Time: 8:30am
Venue: Innabaanya

"The final ACTVAC Handicap for the year is held at the end of November, followed by presentations and a barbecue. The venue has been changed to Innabaanya, located on Majura road, and the start time changed to 8:30am. Members & their families are invited to a sausage sizzle following the handicap. A gold coin donation is requested, with proceeds going to the cancer council. Some alcoholic beverages and soft drinks will be provided."

Friday, 24 November 2006

Day at the Races

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, November 24, 2006 with No comments
Last night at Vets was a great day at the races.

First up, the Pennington 3000m race. This event has runners starting at different times in groups, handicapped on age and sex, not on individual times. So for example the W50 group starts before the M60s, then the W45s, then the M55s, then the M50s and so on. An M80 led out. The gaps between groups varies and seems quite large.

I will publish full results when they appear in a coupla days, but we took seven of the first seven places. I know, because I was seventh. Ahead of me was Colin (first), followed by Kevin, Kathy Sims, Maria, Trevor, and Richard. And we had more runners not that far back. Well done Speedy Geese!!

More amazing efforts in the 10k; Southy broke Rosemary Longstaff's W50 record by 2 to 3 minutes; Amanda ran a PB (being a mum is doing her good), and Strewth established a track 10k PB. Despite it being a bit warm for 10k. Strewth and Southy met "off-line" for the first time!

In the 4 x 800m relay, an ACT and Australian record to the W40 team including Charlie (a photo of Charlie appears at the bottom of Wednesday 22nd's post below!), Gabe and Annette. (Team captain Katie did not run and was replaced by yet another fast W40, newcomer Bernice). Charlie’s 2:49 in the relay was a new PB.

And in the 4 x 100m relay, the W55 team, which included Kathy Sims and Maureen, broke their own ACT record.

Fly Goose Fly!

Strewth, Aki, Margaret and Barbara at Brindabella

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Improving our club's website

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, November 23, 2006 with No comments

To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who's never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind - Jerome Drayton

The ACTVAC website is poised to become the club's main communication vehicle. I wonder how many ACT Vets are in the habit of using it?

Having discovered that otherwise well informed club members are still not accessing the ACTVAC web site, I have decided to acquaint readers with some of the features.

The news at is updated weekly if not more frequently.

All race results are at, and you can drill down and get your ARCHIVED TRACK AND FIELD RESULTS, which have not been available until now. Thursday night results seem to be up by Sunday. (I am not sure why the delay).

The latest Vetrunner is at, as of this moment it is still the November issue but the December version should appear any day now.

The website should be used by more members very soon, because the future of Vetrunner magazine is in doubt, with no guarantee there will be a January issue. In fact there won’t be one unless an editor is found. We have been searching for 18 months. The best Masters running magazine in Australia may be no more.

Improvements to the website are coming. Suggestions can be sent to me! So if it does become our main communication vehicle, how can we improve it? What should it contain? Please inform me and I will implement all good suggestions!

Bye for now, I am off to watch the cricket (on TV with the sound off) and listen to it (on the radio). As one does. Then I may struggle around a 3k tonight, but I felt some worrying niggles running yesterday, so this may not be possible.

What we don't want to see half way through a road race.

[Edit. bloglines seems not to have noticed me lately so I am editing a post to see if that can activate it.... a long shot I am sure]

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Do you find it... wisible... when I say the name... Biggus...

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 with No comments
No one knows the fear in a front runner's mind more than me. When you set off at a cracking pace for four or five laps and find that your main rivals are still breathing down your neck, that's when you start to panic. - Ron Clarke

SpeedyJarod. Just a blur. Yes there are other runners in his race.

track program tomorrow night
6.00 3000m (P & GM), Hammer Throw
6.30 100m (B)
6.45 1500m Walk (PH), Long Jump
7.00 4x800m Relay, Javelin/Discus
7.30 200m (D)
7.45 Triple Jump, Javelin/Discus
7.50 10,000m Run
8.00 Sprint Hurdles followed by 4x100m Relay.


1. No one has guessed this movie yet.
2. Loosy the Goosy will be at the track tomorrow. (Spelling corrected!)
3. I just heard the new Switchfoot song "Oh Gravity" on the radio. So I'm off to JB Hi Fi to see if it's in yet!

"Done it! I've finished!

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 with No comments

By popular request. Our new mascot.

"Alternate Route Tuggeranong"

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 with 3 comments
I don’t know what the fuss is about. The sign is clear and unambiguous. Every second time you want to travel from Belconnen to Tuggeranong, you take the Coppins Crossing Route.

These "alternate route" instructions springing up around Canberra are obviously designed to split the traffic fifty-fifty, ensuring cars are spread evenly around our roads..

quote of the day "Cross-country. Finally a good use for golf courses."

Fruit Chutney Pork Chops

Article in the Canberra Times on 12 March 2003!


1. Southy’s W50 record 1500m of 5:02 has certainly destroyed Maria's old and very good time of 5:28. Poor Maria! A little goosey tells me Southy is running the 10k this Thursday. Even if it reaches 40 degrees on the track, the existing W50 record, 41:04 held by Rosemary Longstaff, will be smashed!

2. We now have a team mascot, a soft toy named Loosey. (Yes, Loosey is a goosey)

3. It is hot out there now! Summer is here, for how long I do not know, but 100k weeks for me - who always sleeps in - will be a challenge.

Roger and Marion

Monday, 20 November 2006

quote of the week: "Those who say that I will lose and am finished will have to run over my body to beat me." - Said Aouita

My training progress
last week's target: 80k, actual 102k
this week’s target: 100k
weight: 64kg and holding

I am feeling 95% better. Now to get fit, again!

How Speedy Geese are going:

Long-Distance World Triathlon Championships
212 Bob Harlow 8:04.47
Way to go!

ACTA track Saturday
W50 Kathy Southgate 5:02.76 ACT W50 record
M55 Trevor Cobbold 5:04.84
Trevor, you took the lead and got swamped!

One Peak Challenge (15km)
10 Charlie McCormack 1:24.44
19 Charmaine Knobel 1:34.31
The "Chars" have it.

ACTCCC Spring Series – Weston Park last Tuesday
Women 5k
24 Carolyn Campbell 26.15
Men 5k
36 Roger Pilkington 22:08
47 Geoff Moore 23.10
48 Mick Saunders 23:35
69 Mick Charlton 30:00
Surface Soft and "Springy" alright

Springing to Victory


1. Temperatures of 30 and above are forecast all this week. Drink early drink often!

2. I went and watched the triathlon yesterday. After the freezing weather we had mid-week, so hot! The competitors were very inspiring. Well done to Bob Harlow for pushing through the pain and finishing. The Canberra Times has a one page coverage today, and all the final times.

3. song of the week: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle. Sung at a recent celebrity funeral.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Soar like an Eagle, Spit like a Llama

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, November 19, 2006 with No comments
The perfect run - the wind at your back, the sun in front of you, and your friends by your side. - Aaron Douglas Trimble

Results from Thursday night for our training group
M45 Colin Farlow 10:29.68
M45 Richard Faulks 10:57.80
M45 Ewen Thompson 14:08.14
M50 Ken White 12:08.90
M55 Geoff Moore 11:44.95
M55 Mick Saunders 12:32.94
M55 Geoff Sims 13:20.86
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 11:32.77
M65 Tony Booth 13:15.87
W40 Gabrielle Brown 14:19.19
W55 Kathy Sims 12:54.12
W55 Barbara Tucker 15:09.19

M45 Mick Horan 4:47.62
M55 Neil Boden 6:19.13
M65 Tony Booth 6:17.75
W35 Amanda Walker 6:04.49
W40 Katie Forestier 5:48.69
W40 Gabrielle Brown 6:37.54
W40 Carolyne Kramar 8:24.87
W50 Charmaine Knobel 6:21.23

M45 Gary Bowen 66.70
M50 Ken White 68.68
M55 Geoff Sims 62.29
W40 Katie Forestier 77.50
W40 Gabrielle Brown 83.54
W45 Vicki Matthews 73.80
W50 Charmaine Knobel 83.40
W55 Maureen Rossiter 73.88

There was a little incident the other day, which made me wonder if one of the golden rules of running should be "look before you spit"?

It would have helped if the cyclist in question had rung his bell as he came up silently behind me. Well, that's one up for the runners I guess.

You self conscious ones, learn how to spit and some of your runs will be so much more comfortable. Watch out for sudden wind gusts though. And be prepared to say "sorry" occasionally.


1. Kevin is poised to take some M60 track records very soon. The M60 800m record is 2:21, and the 1500m 4:43. Hmmm. They are very fast times for an M60. Come to think of it, "poised" is not the correct word. "A remote outside possibility" might be more accurate.

2. Southy said it was going to by difficult for her to break Maureen's W50 800m record of 2:35. Yesterday she went through the 800m mark of the 1500m in 2:37. It is only a matter of time...

3. Friday's movie was "Run Lola Run". More movies next week?

Saturday, 18 November 2006

Overcoming Injury

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, November 18, 2006 with 1 comment
Life is short... running makes it seem longer. - Baron Hansen

Ease those sore muscles. (reprise)

COLD WATER. Animals stand in cold streams straight after a long hard chase. You could too. Standing in cold water or sitting in a cold bath (brrrr!) could help recovery after a hard run.

WALKING. Long walks are an option when it hurts to run, whether tired from an exhausting race, or suffering muscle damage, blisters etc.

MASSAGE. Massages might assist recovery after races, but they may also be beneficial the week before a major event.

REST. "Putting the feet up" is a good strategy!

WARM-UP. As you get older and start carrying a few old injuries, a proper warm-up is essential.


1. Don't forget to go out and watch the World Triathlon long-course championships, on in Canberra all Sunday.

2. Next Thursday is not only a Pennington 3000m, and a 10k, there is also a 4x800 relay.

3. Katie has already organised a W40 team for the relay. How about it, 800m runners in other age groups? Get your team together in advance and have a crack at the ACT records. Or even the Australian records!

on your marks...

Friday, 17 November 2006

A medal for the 19:26 I ran in April; a 5km time I am unlikely to see repeated this year but you never know. I only did 11:45 for 3km last night and it is nearly December already!

"Run hard, be strong, think big!" - Percy Cerutty

1. Maureen Rossiter: on the right in a relay team last April; Maureen has run only a handful of 800m runs, all very fast, holds the ACT W50 record of 2:35.2, and recently set a new W55 record of 2:47.

2. Yesterday was a quote from "Cars", a speedy movie indeed.

3. Today's title is a quote from the start of a movie which is about running, NOT about football! The last line of the movie is "What's in the bag?"

Thursday, 16 November 2006

I'm a precision instrument built for speed and aromatics!

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, November 16, 2006 with 4 comments

Warm-up! More important than you thought!
How important is a warm up? Whatever your answer, a warm up is more important than that!

You should always allow time to perform some type of warm-up routine for all racing, tempo runs, and speed work sessions. A warmer muscle moves faster, has a better range of motion, and is less prone to injury. Blood flow is improved and the strain on the heart is reduced. Sweating is initiated so over-heating is less likely.

A good warm up starts with light jogging, then adds some flexibility exercises after the jog. Then after a bit more jogging, proceeds to getting the legs moving at racing or training tempo but with shorter strides at first, and finally ends up with a couple of run-throughs at race or training speed, striding out but keeping the distance short at first.

Then you will be ready to work at your best...

Michael Roche is running well again

Running quote of the day: Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished. - Jack Lovelock

FOOTNOTES1. Barbara Tucker: a very keen walker and runner who would like to race regularly under 5 minutes per km – at least before turning 60 in 2009! And a Kiwi to boot.

2. More quotes from today's movie, which I have just acquired on DVD.
"Speed. I am speed."
"She just likes me for my body"
Yesterday's movie was "Men In Black" - in the list of ten movies with "The best use of sunglasses".

3. I am planning a slow 3000m at a cooler night tonight at Vets. See you there?

clear advantage

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Congratulations, Reg, it's a . . . squid

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 with 3 comments
quote of the day: The start of a World Cross Country event is like riding a horse in the middle of a buffalo stampede. It's a thrill if you keep up, but one slip and you're nothing but hoof prints - Ed Eyestone

There is nothing quite like putting the feet up after a long hard run.

1. Naps are ideal, but even ten minutes with your feet up is beneficial - promotes circulation, relaxes heart rate.

2. A bit of a break, even a whole day off, is best after after your longest day. More so than after your fastest day, from which you can expect recovery to be quicker!

3. So when you have run long, elevate your legs for recovery every chance you get.

4. “Putting your feet up” is not just a synonym for inactivity!

Now that I am here I might as well take a break.

Vets track program for Thursday 16 November
6.00 3000m, weight, pole vault
6.15 60m
6.30 1000/3000m walk
7.00 high jump
7.00 1500m, shot/discus
7.30 400m
7.45 triple jump, 200m hurdles, shot/discus
8.00 4 x 100m relay
8.15 spiral 6


1. Annette Sugden has been running in the ACT since at least 1990, and has bursts of consistency- for example her half marathons are always around the 1:40 mark. Rumour has it she might be seen on the track this summer, running in some record threatening relay teams.

2. Yesterday's movie was Bruce Almighty. Many of the Jim Carrey movies crack me up; he is good too in straight roles. A different sort of comedy today.

3. It is supposed to snow today (in November!). No sign of it yet though. I will tempt fate & run the Stakes today. Although the sky is starting to get black out there.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 with 3 comments
running quote of the day: Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. (that just about sums it up for me)

hurdle champ

MASSAGE as an aid to recovery. I think everyone over 40 years old or 10,000kms, whichever comes first, could benefit by regular sports massage, as part of their serious training.

(a) Marathon preparation is a good example. After all those kms of training, it is good to loosen up the muscles as you start easing back for the big race.

(b) A good massage will help restore mobility in injured muscles.

(c) The question is whether massage is of most benefit after serious training or racing, or before.

Not many other runners can say they have been competing in athletics for 44 years; what keeps me going now is the massage.

I like to have a massage leading up to a big race; but muscles that are sore or overly relaxed from a massage do not perform as well, so the massage ought not be too soon before the race. I find a week before the race is optimal.

Likewise I think it helps to wait a few days after a big race before having a massage. I could be wrong, because I see masseurs busily working away at the finish line of marathons and fun runs. But I prefer to wait to see if I have sustained any injury, and if so, to give it time to start healing, before I let a masseur at it.

In summary I wait to have a massage leading up to a big race. Or when injuries have got the better of me and I am not doing much running.

1. Amanda Walker: Coming up to her and Colin's second wedding anniversary next month. Their “baby’ Ben has turned one year old. By the time Ben is running in the under 6s in Little Athletics, breaking ACT records no doubt, Amanda will be in the W40s in big athletics, and still running fast 3ks. Good effort last Thursday Amanda to get under the 13 minutes!

2. OK, that movie title was too easy, "Fried Green Tomatos at the Whistle Stop Cafe". An oldie but a goodie. Sorry Ewen I haven't seen any Star Trek movies so I don't know any of those quotes, but I have watched the Star Trek satire, "Red Dwarf", many times over and will definitely be quoting them one day. But not today.

3. A great non-running blog I enjoy reading is crazymomcat. She has just taken up jogging! See finding-hidden-strengths for a motivating read. (If blogger is working!)

B-E-A-utiful. Now turn off your PC and go and help your wife with the photo album.

Monday, 13 November 2006

The secret of life? The secret's in the sauce.

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, November 13, 2006 with 2 comments
My training progress
last week's target: 80k, actual 40k
this week’s target: 80k!
weight: 64kg and steady
comment: I am still not 100% so I have not been running too well or too often.

running quote: " Blink and you miss a sprint. The 10,000 meters is lap after lap of waiting. Theatrically, the mile is just the right length - beginning, middle, end: a story unfolding. ~Sebastian Coe

song of the week: U2 – With Or Without you. Some of my friends were at the U2 concert on Saturday night. They do a brilliant live version of the old song “With Or Without You”. I still remember using this as a warm-up track for aerobics classes I used to take, back in the 1980’s.

how myths start

recovery by walking
As you age, even after a short run your legs may refuse to recover for two or more days. Certainly they will not recover as well as they used to. So to speed up recovery without trying to keep on running, maybe a long walk is in order? One of my best marathon recoveries was walking around the streets of Perth after a national marathon. Though I do recall dropping into several pubs during the walk....

As long as you are doing some hard and intense training during the week, such recovery days are fine!

1. Amalendu Edelsten has recently joined our training group, and has just entered the M45 age group, where he beat off Paul Considine and Colin Farlow to finish second to Elaine Cooper in the Pennington 3000. What other sport did Amalendu originally compete in, at the elite level?

2. Today’s movie is a classic "girls" movie which I also like! It has a longish name. And some great one liners.

"Face it, girls. I'm older and I have more insurance!"

"Oh, it don't make no kind of sense. A big old ox like Grady won't sit next to a coloured child, but he eats eggs which shoot right out of a chicken's ass."

3. Yesterday’s title is from the famous “aardvark” episode of Blackadder, where Dr Johnstone is writing his dictionary, and Blackadder & co try to write a replacement, producing definitions of “C” a wobbly thing that mermaids swim in, “Cat” Not a Dog, etc.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Anything I can do to facilitate your velocitous extramuralisation!

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, November 12, 2006 with 3 comments
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise. ~P.Z. Pearce (not to mention “Brindabella Classics” and “triple-tri’s”!)

How the speedy geese ran last Thursday at Vets:
Steeple 2000m
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 7:56.23 ACT RECORD
M60 Geoff Barker 10:20.97

Steeple 3000m
M45 Gary Bowen 13:55.03

M45 Colin Farlow 2:16.96 - good time first up.
M45 Amalendu Edelsten 2:20.85
M45 Rod Lynch 2:27.26 - faster than last season's best
M45 Roger Pilkington 2:40.73
M55 Trevor Cobbold 2:30.51 - recent pb
M55 Neil Boden 3:10.76
M60 Geoff Barker 3:30.79
M65 Tony Booth 3:04.33
W40 Katie Forestier 2:49.08
W45 Helen Larmour 3:00.92
W50 Maria O'Reilly 2:51.05
W55 Maureen Rossiter 3:08.54
W55 Ruth Baussmann 3:34.28 - new lifetime pb

M45 Amalendu Edelsten 10:39.05
M45 Rod Lynch 10:56.49
M45 Roger Pilkington 11:40.75
M45 Colin Farlow 12:51.53
M55 Trevor Cobbold 11:59.84
M55 Neil Boden 14:16.93
M60 Geoff Barker 14:38.88
M65 Tony Booth 14:01.47
W35 Amanda Walker 12:51.35 - pb
W40 Katie Forestier 12:27.45
W45 Helen Larmour 12:30.31
W50 Maria O'Reilly 12:20.11

M45 Richard Faulks 19:07.92
M45 Mick Horan 19:19.55
M45 Roger Pilkington 19:52.43
M55 Geoff Moore 20:30.16

"Not a cat." People name their small businesses “aardvark” to get to the front of the phone book. Of course, none of them stand out because there are so many of them.


1. How many Brindabella Classics has Alan Duus run? (Hint – a lot!)
2. Today’s “movie” is actually an episode of a television series.
3. Yesterday's movie:

Amelie - best movie ever made.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

It's better to help people than to be like a gnome in the garden

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, November 11, 2006 with 5 comments
Special Olympics in France

There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be. ~George Sheehan

Another (series of?) movie quotes starts today. I am hoping this catches on, my earlier "guess the movie" posts has so far attracted suggestions from four people. I will try and make it fairly easy, as I have today, so that if you do not remember the quote, it might still remind you of the movie, and a guess might be correct.

Just to make it more interesting, starting today I will also include a devious clue somewhere else in each post. For example today I could have said hello to my grandchildren; or I could have mentioned in passing the movie's country of origin.

We don't always like photos taken of ourselves; this one is a shocker! I did not even recognise who it was when I first saw it. Despite the lovely pink cap.
And that's Cory standing beside me.

Friday, 10 November 2006

some farcical aquatic ceremony

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, November 10, 2006 with 1 comment
"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." - Emil Zatopek

"I'm never going to run this again." - Grete Waitz after winning her first of nine New York City marathons

My calves have been very sore lately and the advice is to stand in cold water, e.g. the lake, after a run. There is evidence that cold water aids in recovery or prevention of some lower leg conditions? The temperature of water may be important. Colder water may relieve pain and have some anti-inflammatory affect?

The concentration of salt may also help reduce inflammation.

Water pressure may also help, which points to deep water being better than shallow.

But I am not sure about standing in the murky water of Lake Burley Griffin. It doesn’t seem very healthy, there is a genuine risk of infection.

Ocean swimming seems more beneficial! Now if only there were an ocean here in poor old land locked Canberra.

"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." - IT'S ...
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


cheatahs sometimes win

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Fetchez la vache

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, November 09, 2006 with No comments
I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs. ~Jesse Owens

Ease those sore muscles.
How best to recover when sore from hard running? COLD WATER. Animals stand in cold streams straight after a long hard chase. You could too. WALK. Next day, instead of running take a long walk on undulating terrain, or even around shopping centres. MASSAGE. Once recovery is underway, a good massage therapist will assist further recovery. REST. After massage, walking, or cold water, let the body recover properly by putting the feet up! WARM-UP. When next running hard, make sure you warm-up properly first.

- The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
- Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

A møøse once bit my sister.

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 with 2 comments

Suddenly it is working! Blogger had so far refused to let me on today. Nor could I even open my blog. Or anyone else's. Until now. Blogger, you are not reliable! There are other options you know!~ End of rant.

.Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?
.See the løveli lakes...
.The wonderful telephøne system... .
.And mäni interesting furry animals...
.Including the majestik møøse.
.A møøse once bit my sister.
.Nø realli! She was Karving her initials øn the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink".

.We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked.

.Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti.

.We apologise again for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

.(Møøse Trained by Yutte Hermsgervørdenbrøtbørda)
.(Special møøse effect Olaf Prot)
.(Møøse Costumes Siggi Churchill)
.(Møøse choreographes by Horst Prot III)
.(Miss Taylor's Møøse by Hengst Douglas-Home)
.(Møøse trained to mix concrete and sign complicated insurance form by Jurgen Wigg)
.(Møøses noses wiped by Bjørn Irkestøm-SLater Walker)
.(Large møøse on the left hand side of the screen in the third scene from the end, given a thorough grounding in Latin, French and 'O' Level Geography by Bo Benn)
.(Suggestive poses for the møøse suggested by Vic Rotter)
.(Antler-care by Liv Thatcher)

results Molonglo Reach 5k
5. Annette Sugden W40 21:24
12. Kathy Sims W55 22:56
18. Caroline Campbell W60 24:16
29. Barbara Tucker W55 26:43
35. Carolyne Kramar W40 28:23

15. Richard Faulks M45 19:23
27. Roger Pilkington M45 21:06
46. Geoff Barker M60 25:33

This Thursday's track program
6.00 2000/3000M Steeplechase, Hammer Throw
6.15+ 100M
6.30+ 1200/2000M Walk
6.45 High Jump (QA)
7.00 800m, Javelin, Shot Put
7.30 200m (D)
7.45 Long Jump, Javelin, Shot Put, Long Hurdles
8.00 Medley Relay
8.15 3000/5000m

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

The ten best use of sunglasses in film according to Paste Magazine.
10. Men in Black
9. Midnight Run
8. Blade
7. Cool Hand Luke
6. Top Gun
5. Reservoir Dogs
4. The Matrix
3. Risky Business
2. The Terminator
1. Blues Brothers

how we trained: Last night it was "follow the leader" around the gardens steps and slopes of parliament house. A welcome break from more intense running.

After training I took speedyjenny to our favourite restaurant, the 2 sisters at Kippax, where we enjoyed beautiful food - yellow curry with chicken; and Wok flamed mixed seafood in chilli, garlic and basil. Yummo! As well as a McGuigan Merlot. And a very special desert. A nice way to relax at the end of the day.

Tonight at 6pm is the first of the ACTCCC Spring Series races, a 5k event at Molonglo Reach. It's a flat course, so I might go and run it!

Now it's off to try and make it rain. I will hang up the washing, then wash the car. Ah, retirement!

Monday, 6 November 2006

An Intellectual Tortoise

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, November 06, 2006 with 1 comment
My training progress
last week's target: 85k, actual 34k
this week’s target: 80k?
weight: 64kg and rising rapidly!

song of the week: All Because of You – U2

“I was born a child of grace..”

A line from this U2 song is “An Intellectual Tortoise” What a great synonym for “slow learner”. I realise I am still learning after all these years; unlike much younger people who know everything and don’t hesitate to tell you so. In particular I am learning to postpone making important decisions until more facts are known, particularly if others are trying to rush you into it. It is OK to be an intellectual tortoise.

Posts in the last three days contain quotes from “Groundhog Day”.
Here’s a poem quoted in that movie.

ALL Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And WINTER, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten'd, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
WORK WITHOUT HOPE draws nectar in a sieve,
And HOPE without an OBJECT cannot live.

Now THAT poem I can relate to.
This week will see me back in regular training, with a stressful time now behind me. I hope. I would not like a repeat of LAST week.

Well, I will try quoting from another popular movie tomorrow.