Monday, 31 March 2008

how to become an amazing long distance runner in a week

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, March 31, 2008 with 4 comments
Today's title is the text of a google search someone did yesterday. I hope the person discovered the answer. It was a UK site so I guess it wasn't Bob, who's in Nepal.

Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: no target
achieved: 76k
year 2008 total to date: 1158k in 13 weeks
this week's target: 80k
weight: 62kg ▼
song of the week: "Army Corps of Architects", by Death Cab for Cutie, off "You Can Play These Songs With Chords".

"Leaving the central state from shallow ground
Home in the valley but the rent's paid south
You said the urn was half full when I said it was half empty
With what was left of our fair city

"Call in the army corps of architects
To flatten the skyline and begin again
I knew the years would move quickly,
But never quite as fast as this
So bring the discrepancies, I'll pour the drinks"

I will probably have a day off this Saturday, as the birthday party season is starting in earnest. Otherwise, easy longish running each day, about 12k, with a longer run of about 24k Tuesday or Wednesday.

And there's Parliament House Training tonight; Dickson Thursday; Women's & Girls' Fun Run Sunday as daylight saving ends; and the marathon looming.


Never underestimate how slow the other person might be.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

this weekend's speedygeese race results

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 30, 2008 with No comments
Saturday - Road Runs West Basin

12. Colin Farlow M45 1:06:40
47. Rae Palmer W60 1:25:20
51. Geoff Barker M60 1:27:30
59. Caroline Campbell W65 1:28:41
62. Charmaine Knobel W55 1:30:58
64. Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 1:31:23
68. Ruth Baussmann W55 1:32:33
69. Geoff Moore M55 1:32:35
71. Margaret McSpadden W60 1:34:57
108 finishers

3. Richard Faulks M45 2:16:16
14. Emma Adams W35 2:46:30
15. Roger Pilkington M45 2:50:53
19. Kelley Flood W45 2:52:31
23. Annette Sugden W45 3:01:52
24. Helen Larmour W45 3:06:52
24 finishers

Vets Handicap Kowen Forest 7.5k

13 Geoff Barker M60 40:29
17 Rod Lynch M45 29:56
19 Richard Faulks M45 30:47
24 Alan Duus M60 39:08
28 Christopher Lang M55 41:12
29 Mick Charlton M55 41:12
40 David Webster M55 35:26
41 Miranda Rawlinson W50 45:39
46 Colin Farlow M45 30:56
59 Tony Booth M65 40:25
76 Ruth Baussmann W55 45:01
82 Margaret McSpadden W60 47:27
93 Kelley Flood W45 41:13
98 Roger Pilkington M45 40:43
99 Caroline Campbell W65 48:21
100 finishers

Vets Handicap Kowen Forest 3.5k
13 Katie Forestier W40 14:45
15 Michael Roche M65 21:19
16 Neil Boden M55 16:09
19 Ken White M50 14:43
25 Cathy Montalto W55 17:49
28 Amanda Walker W40 16:23
32 Gary Bowen M50 15:36
54 finishers


Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 30, 2008 with 7 comments

Who We Are
I haven't really even started to develop the idea, but here is a possible design for a speedy geese T-shirt. I wil follow this up when I have time!

And That Marathon, or, 14 days to go
I really don't want to race the marathon if I am not 100% ready for it! Mainly because I know how difficult the recovery from it might be. So it will be a last minute decision on the morning of Sunday 13th! But to help motivate me, I present my marathon record to date!

01 NSW Titles - Richmond NSW 13th 2:43.45 30.06.1973
02 NSW Titles - Richmond NSW 26th 2:50.35 28.06.1975
03 Vic Country - Benalla VIC 14th 2:44.25 15.08.1976
04 Canberra Marathon - East Basin 9th 2:50.54 20.11.1976
05 NSW Titles - Richmond NSW 8th 2:35.01 25.06.1977

06 Australian - Cressy TAS 39th 2:41.06 06.08.1977
07 ACT Championships - Telopea Park 1st 2:30.24 15.04.1978
08 Com Games Trial - Point Cook VIC 9th 2:29.03 13.05.1978
09 Australian - Caboolture QLD 7th 2:30.05 06.08.1978
10 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 1st 2:26.58 05.11.1978

11 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 6th 2:29.50 01.04.1979
12 Griffith - Hanwood NSW 1st 2:47.25 29.07.1979
13 Australian - Perth WA 22nd 2:30.26 12.08.1979
14 Hamilton NZ 17th 2:27.42 20.10.1979
15 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 7th 2:28.00 13.04.1980

16 Australian - West Lakes SA 27th 2:34.12 27.07.1980
17 Vic Country - Benalla VIC 4th 2:36.47 10.08.1980
18 Traralgon VIC 2nd 2:35.44 13.09.1980
19 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 18th 2:28.30 12.04.1981
20 Australian - Werriby South VIC 30th 2:39.42 25.07.1981

21 Festival City - Adelaide SA 18th 2:46.38 29.08.1982
22 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 36th 2:36.25 10.04.1983
23 Festival City - Adelaide SA 29th 2:38.08 26.08.1984
24 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 17th 2:35.53 13.04.1985
25 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 25th 2:41.30 13.04.1986

26 Festival City - Adelaide SA 16th 2:38.42 31.08.1986
27 Australian - Gold Coast QLD 29th 2:33.41 23.07.1989
28 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 5th 2:32.50 08.04.1990
29 Australian - Gold Coast QLD 42nd 2:36.29 22.07.1990
30 Melbourne - Olympic Park VIC 265th 2:59.05 06.06.1993

31 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 111th 3:05.44 09.04.1995
32 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 544th 3:58.38 09.04.2006
33 Canberra Marathon - Telopea Park 189th 3:21.24 15.04.2007

Now there's a record to be proud of.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Powers of Observation

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, March 29, 2008 with No comments
Lame Duck
I was surprised today when someone in the training group referred to "the photo of the runner and the duck" which appeared in Thursday's post. "You didn't recognise the man in the photo then?" I asked. "No" was the answer. If you are in the same boat, have another look. If you still don't know, here's a hint: sometimes the filename is a giveaway.

Purpose of Training
I was also asked by one of the long-time regulars what Thursday's training session was meant to be for. I guess I was surprised as I thought reasons for how my training sessions are structured are well and truly spelt out at training, in Vetrunner magazine articles, and in this blog!

It's not a one sentence answer. But it's all written down in this blog, somewhere. See the "feature articles" link for a start. All my training fits within a 12 month plan with its various phases, all my training is focused on middle distance running so that runners hit a peak by about March each year in time for state and national competition and all my training is still adaptable by anyone wanting to specialise in longer or shorter distances rather than the main focus, middle distances. And by middle distances I mean 800m, 1500m, and 3000m.

I am sure I have said this better elsewhere!

Currently then we are just starting the next phase where, while trying not to lose too much speed, we are establishing or re-establishing a solid base for next summer.

Our interval work therefore has just moved into higher quantity, slower speed, more emphasis on continual running than usual.

Here's my current structure.

Jan-Feb6 weeks anaerobicraces6 weeks km intervals
Feb-Mar6 weeks speedraces6 weeks short intervals
Apr-May6 weeks long intervals/circuit6 weeks short continuous
May-Jun4 weeks longer speed/endurance4 weeks long intervals
Jun-Jul6 weeks hill sprints6 weeks long intervals
Aug-Octspecific focusspecific focusspecific focus
Nov-Dec2 months shorter speed/enduranceraces2 months of long intervals

And all the speed work we do is based on an assumption that longer easier running is happening on other days and that people select appropriate times to build up distance.

While I emphasise principles, not programs, it might be instructive to show what my current personal program looks like for this coming winter season, once I have recovered from the marathon (if I run it).

My personal plan for winter 2008
Mondays: Parliament House 14k (starting at 4:30pm, doing the session as well as supervising it).
Tuesdays: Vets "Tuesday Group" 24k (starting early and running twice)
Wednesdays: One hour of "flexibility & strength" work, then off to the BBQ Stakes 6k race (full warm-up: 12k total)
Thursdays: Two runs: a long run early then more running while coaching/supervising at Dickson = 24k altogether
Fridays: A 12k speed session on the grass at Stromlo - generally, repeating what I got the training group to do Thursday evening
Saturdays: A long run, 26k or so (shorter if racing Sunday)
Sundays: A rest day or race. Or catch-up to make the weekly target.
Weekly total: 120k

Friday, 28 March 2008

Transition to winter

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, March 28, 2008 with 2 comments

Kathy racing in Canberra. Kathy had a great AMA nationals, coming back with two silver medals in her two events, the 800m and the 1500m.

Who trained at Dickson's first winter session? Miranda, Neil, Bronwyn, Thea, Kathy and I. What did we do? We ran 12 x 200m with a 100m recovery jog.
This session will be repeated over the next few Thursdays at Dickson, while a complementary session will take place Mondays at Parliament House.

Coming Events
Kowen Forest ACTVAC handicap - this Sunday, 9am. Allow plenty of time to get there. Note - daylight saving still applies! It won't end for another week.

Cross Country Club's 16k/32k tomorrow (Saturday) - Black Mountain Peninsula, 7am.
I will be running the 16k as preparation for the marathon, and I won't be at Kowen as I have other things on at the time. In fact, I will have a rest day from running on Sunday if Saturday goes all to plan.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Winter Training

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, March 27, 2008 with 7 comments
Winter! It's cold enough this morning! Winter training starts today; we meet at Dickson oval at 5:30pm, for a warm-up, stretch, some run-throughs, and then some intervals. I have planned a good challenging session for seasoned athletes, and less demanding options for newer members of the training group. We will see some old faces, some familiar faces, and some new faces, I am sure. It will be good to catch up with everyone!

Cotton Tales
My niece Melanie has written an amusing post about her visit to Canberra at Easter, at

Canberra Marathon
A course map, with km marks, can be found at If you are not running, I want to see you out there on the course cheering us on. And not arriving after it is half over, either!

Seen in Canberra

You might see one of these lakeside as you run in or watch the marathon. Or then again, you might not.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 with 7 comments
I seem to have recovered instantly from three long races in four days, woohoo! I think the cross country race in humidity on very soft ground cured me woohoo!

10k start woohoo!

10k over, with lap scorer woohoo!

10k still over woohoo!

cross country over woohoo!

cross country still over woohoo!

cross country M55 silver medal presentation woohoo!

cross country M55 place-getters woohoo!

Here's a photo of a couple of happy speedygeese with their silver medals after the cross country woohoo!

Click on any photo to see the large version. All photos by speedyJenny.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Easter Rundown

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 with 6 comments
I jogged around the track at Blacktown to see what it was like. The track is about four months old and very like Canberra's, only no lumps or bumps anywhere. It felt very soft and spongy too, but it was mid afternoon, about 33 degrees, and I guessed that when Friday's cold and wet change arrived it would become firmer. Which it did.

Early start for the 10k, humid, squally and wet, a head wind on the home straight. I settled into 4:00 pace for the first 2k but couldn't hold it and at 3k was just aiming to break 41 mins. At 7k the left hamstring started to hurt - an old injury going back twelve months. I limped on to a 40:41, which turned out to be fourth place, with third running the 39:59 I would have liked to have run.

I had entered the 1500m but there was no way I could have run it. I had a massage and did a lot of work on the hamstring and felt reasonably good. A time close to 5 minutes would have got a medal but I was more interested in watching the M60s where I will be in May; Kevin won silver just behind the first placegetter in 5:13, a time I should be able to run next year. I seriously think trying to recover from a 10k in 1 or 2 days just isn't on any more! Next year in Adelaide it would be smarter to run the 1500m instead of the 10k.

Another early start; conditions better today, still hot on the track but the wind not so strong. I decided I had nothing to lose as on paper the placegetters should be way ahead. But "on paper" was wrong - some of the other runners weren't that close to their best recent times. Whereas I was. My 5k splits - 3:44, 3:49, 3:55. 4:01 and 3:56. In that 3:56 last km, the second last lap was a woeful 100 seconds! This is because the injured hamstring really tightened up halfway through the race and it was difficult to keep the pace going. I was with the eventual third placegetter at the half way point and had moved ahead of him when the pain started. At that stage the eventual fourth placegetter was about 60 metres ahead but we were gaining. At the finish despite the hammy I was only six seconds behind third and five seconds behind fourth, they didn't really get away and were probably struggling as much as I was. Anyway, my time of 19:25 was a season's best and a much better run than the 10k.

And that time would have given me a medal in any other age group! That's right, it was faster than the time of every other bronze medallist, except the M55 one.

I had written off Monday as I do not bounce back from two races in three days, especially with all the niggles I experience and have to manage. And cross country is not my forte, unless the course is flat, firm and fast. This course had long treacherous grass; holes on the course meant you had to watch every step and skirt around dangerous bits; the grass was wet too which meant waterlogged shoes and some slippery bits, and the course was "undulating" which should have meant I would be crawling up some of the hills and holding back down them, as I do, to protect the back and legs. Then in the warm-up my hamstring was seriously sore, and I was wondering how long I would last before I would have to pull out - probably the first hill, and it was an up-hill start. However, on the positive side, my opposition had their problems too - of the nine entrants there were six starters; one guy had gone home fatigued unable to compete, another had injured himself, and a third, the one I had raced with in the 10k, had the "trots" so bad he did not line up at the start. The course was four laps of 2k. The gun fired, off we went, I was at the back, and miraculously all hamstring pain disappeared. I looked around and there was one M55 just behind me, and three just ahead who hadn't raced off. Five of us towards the back of the field which meant only one was ahead somewhere. So I moved up ahead of three of them and followed at a "slow" pace the NT guy who I thought I could beat by running steadily, as he had run very inconsistently on the track. And indeed, it was a hard slog, the sun was beating down and bringing up the moisture from the grass, and I trod in holes three or four times, but I caught him at 1k and got away from him at 3k, and that was that. A pain free run; a silver medal. The 2k lap splits? Fastest was 9:03 and slowest 9:09, now that's even pace! How do I explain feeling great on a course like this? It's the training at Stromlo that's done it: perfect preparation for a tough grassy cross country.

Bring on the marathon!
Three easy weeks then the marathon; then five easy weeks then the half marathon!

My training progress
last week’s target: no target
achieved: 63k
year 2008 total to date: 1082k in 12 weeks
this week's target: 70k
weight: 63kg ▲

Speedygeese at the AMA Nationals
M55 Geoff Moore 40:41.65 4th
W30 Jeni Greenland 44:18.0 2nd (hand timed: the electronic timing failed!)

M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:26.20 bronze
W55 Kathy Sims 3:01.66 silver
M55 Geoff Sims 2:25.56 sixth
M45 Mick Horan 2:13.55 sixth
And in the M55's, Canberra's John Lamb ran 2:16.14 to break Kevin Chamberlain's 5-year-old record by 0.06 second

M60 Kevin Chamberlain 5:13.32 silver
W55 Kathy Sims 6:09.78 silver
M45 Mick Horan ~4:45 fourth

M45 Mick Horan 18:54.57 fourth
M55 Geoff Moore 19:25.87 fifth
W30 Jeni Greenland 20:42.61 silver
That's an excellent time from Jeni.

8k cross country
M55 Geoff Moore 36:26 silver
W30 Jeni Greenland 42:19 silver

Monday, 24 March 2008


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, March 24, 2008 with 3 comments
Looking ahead
A word of explanation! I have post dated a few posts! Because, I will be away! Enjoy reading them at your leisure.
Here's a cartoon to start you off, selected specially for Ewen & Strewth.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

We Are the Speedygeese

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 23, 2008 with No comments

We fly whereas others waddle.

We rise high above all mediocrity.

The more we run, the more we like to challenge and test ourselves!

We have no fear of greater heights!

Fly! Goose! Fly!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Real Ron Clarke Story.

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, March 22, 2008 with 1 comment

There is a tv movie called "The Ron Clarke Story" and it's the wrong Ron Clarke! Ron Clarke is one of my heroes.

They called him a failure- and he was the best of the best

The Ron Clarke story illustrates why you should take no notice of others’ remarks – especially if the others are media, officials, or bureaucrats.

Read all about it at Absolutely amazing!

Wikipedia gives some of his running history:
“During a 44-day European tour in 1965, he competed 18 times and broke 12 world records, including the 20,000 m (just short of a half-marathon). He lowered his own 10,000 m world record by 39 seconds to become the first man to break the 28 minute barrier, running a 27:39.4.
"To win against a field of kickers, Clarke needed a fast pace throughout or a sustained surge at the end. He improved his 2-mile speed in 1967 and 1968, lowering Jazy's world record by 3 seconds, running an 8:19.8 and then an 8:19.6."

“I loved testing myself more than I feared being beaten.” - Ron Clarke.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Good Friday but could be better.

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, March 21, 2008 with 3 comments
The Real Easter story involves Jesus' suffering and death on Good Friday, then rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. I am not planning to parallel that story as I race a 10k on Friday morning and a 5k on Sunday morning! But suffering, yes I am going for it, it will be make and/or break!

I could do anything from running a great sub 40 and getting amongst the medals, through to finding my small niggles turn into larger niggles and I dnf, or even worse, dns!

Let's make a prediction then. This is how I will go in the M55 age group:

Friday I run 4th in the 10k in 40:00.05. In the pouring rain. Third place laps me.
Sunday no big resurrection for me! I run 6th in the 5k in 20:20. First three break 19 minutes.
Monday in the Cross Country I jog it and still run 8th.

My Real Easter Story will be revealed by Tuesday. The above is a prediction.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Some ideas for next track season

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, March 20, 2008 with 2 comments
I have emailed our new Track & Field Coordinator, Paul Considine, the following suggestions which have come out of the Member Services Subcommittee. Any additional thoughts?

"We thought re-ordering and simplifying the program some-what would help improve it. We are not big fans of lots of events each Thursday night, however we do appreciate that there is a demand for many different kinds of events. We think there may be “too many feature events” but we also appreciate they exist to encourage participation and there are many end-of-season trophies on offer for various series, which would be difficult and unpopular to cull.

"So we came up with a simple pattern for the track component which might be more successful than the current one which has been developed over recent years.

"First up at 6pm a novelty event: spirals or long relays come to mind. Alternating perhaps.
"Secondly (say at 6:30pm) the walk.
"Straight after the walk, the main middle distance races/divisions.
"Following the middle distances, the main sprint events. Because of the nature of sprints/recovery, you could even have two sets of sprints in there, to give the distance people a longer break. Not forgetting 400m, which for Vets falls somewhere between “sprints” and “middle distance”.
"And the final event on the program, the main long distance race.

"Moving the spirals from “prime time” to the start of the program is our main suggestion. Some feel that the 3000s at the start and the spirals at the end had things the wrong way round.

"Also a personal comment, as a distance runner I would love to see the return of the 5k, as these – without me checking - seemed light-on this year. Particularly in October/November/December when it is cooler, a 5k option at the end of each program would be good (except obviously if the hour or a 10k were scheduled)."

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Leaving Tomorrow Morning for Sydney

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 with No comments
ACT entrants in the AMA Championships
I am happy that five other speedygeese will be competing: Kathy & Geoff Sims, Mick Horan, Jeni Greenland and Kevin Chamberlain, as well as me. The low representation from the training group is easily explained, given that we have training together people with a diverse range of interests and goals across the spectrum of running (and other!) events so not that many would want to target the National Championships in track. This does help to highlight the dilemma I often face in working out what training sessions to organise!

ACT competitors
Jeni Greenland
Brad Osborn
Lachlan Granger
Sharon Gibbins
Jayne Hardy
Michael Horan
Matthew Muell
Michael Rutter
Denise Palmer
Geoff Crumpton
Colin Heywood
Leo Kennedy
Antoni Podolak
Margaret Taylor
Kathy Sims
John Lamb
Bob Banens
Geoff Moore
Geoff Sims
Raylea Rudov
Trish Thomas
Garry Maher
Ray Green
Kevin Chamberlain
Jen Bourke
Jan Banens
Kevin Blewitt
Bryan Thomas
Robin Whyte
Mary Wahren
Anne Young
Joyce Schmidt
Cory Collins
Col Robbie
Gwen Gleeson
Raphael Sette
Jack Thackray

Some recent Cross Country Club races:
Summer Series #6. Molonglo Reach 5k
30. Richard Faulks M45 19:09
60. Mick Horan M45 22:28
69. Neil Boden M55 23:02
93. Geoff Barker M60 25:10
99. Mick Charlton M55 26:13
100. Caroline Campbell W65 26:23
108. Margaret McSpadden W60 27:40

Summer Series #7. Regatta Point 4k
20. Richard Faulks M45 15:31
55. Neil Boden M55 18:40
76. Rae Palmer W60 21:17
78. Mick Charlton M55 21:45
85. Caroline Campbell W65 22:26
96. Roger Pilkington M45 27:05

Summer Series #8. Stromlo 5k
32. Richard Faulks M45 18:57
43. Mick Horan M45 19:55
82.Roger Pilkington M45 23:32
85. Neil Boden M55 23:39
98. Mick Charlton M55 25:54
104. Geoff Barker M60 26:47
105. Caroline Campbell W65 26:58

Did you notice Mick Charlton's photo in today's Canberra Times?

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Wishing You All A Very Speedy Recovery

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 with 2 comments
How we trained last night
We ran 3x4x40seconds on 2 mins with an extra minute break between sets. Training were Alan, Al, Amanda, Bronwyn, Cathy, Emma, Ewen, Geoff B, me, Helen, Katie, Ken, Maria, Mick C, Mick H, Peter, Tim, and Trevor. Welcome back Trevor! There will be no Parliament House training next Monday, as it's the Easter holiday weekend and many are away.

Emma's recovery from the six foot track was very speedy!

While we were there, Parliament House had a visit from Damascus College Energy Breakthrough team - see Allrounder's blog for what it was all about and a link to their website.

My New Desktop Computer is very fast compared with the old one. And starts up and shuts down quickly. But it does seem to be downloading a lot of updates. What kind of computer is it, I hear you ask?
OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6000 Build 6000
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer HP-Pavilion
System Model GQ559AA-ABG a6220a
System Type X86-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2140 @ 1.60GHz, 1600 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 5.18, 24/08/2007
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Locale Australia
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.0.6000.16407"
Total Physical Memory 1,014.75 MB
Available Physical Memory 282.19 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.23 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.16 GB
Page File Space 1.28 GB

Now you know (probably more than I do). I am also running Office 2007, a vast improvement on what I had. All in all, lots to learn, once I find the time. By the way, is it possible to create a simple html file from Excel 2007? I believe not, but there must be a way around it, somehow?

What should we Canberrans train for in winter 2008?
The last of the Summer Series races is on today, a 5k race at Stromlo. Then coming up are the Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning races put on by the ACT Cross Country Club. The following are some of the better runs, but see their website for more runs and more details of these runs.
Sat 3 May NORTH LYNEHAM 1/3.1/6.2KM
Sat 7 Jun STROMLO FOREST PARK 1/3.25/6.5K

Monday, 17 March 2008

Monday Monitor

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, March 17, 2008 with 4 comments
My training progress
last week’s target: 70k
achieved: 70k
year 2008 total to date: 1019k in 11 weeks
this week's target: no target: there will be a big 10k race on Friday to prepare for, and then to recover from!
weight: 62.5kg►◄

Blogs of note!

"Wombat’s next 5km" was to have been last Thursday - is it still advertised on this blog as his next race? Quote: "About a Ewen" is usually updated once per week.

We have a pact to run lots of 5ks before the end of this year.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Where we are coming from.

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 16, 2008 with 3 comments
Times Past

Before there was a track at Bruce, before there was an AIS even, we used to race on the grass at Woden. Which is where was set my lifetime pb for 800m (1:57.2) and 1500m (4:04.3), and where I broke 16 minutes for 5000m for the very first time.

Who am I and why do I lead the "speedygeese?
As revealed yesterday, I started running in 1962 at the age of 13, and until 1973 mainly specialised in the 800m. Then I decided to get serious about longer distances, and ran some fast cross country races in my twenties, including half marathon races in about 70-71 minutes, and soon decided to run marathons as I seemed to do better the longer the race. A win in the Canberra marathon in 1978, 2:26.58, then an ACT open record, came in my ninth marathon. For the next 15 years I did manage to maintain peak form, but by about 1983 the form had started to wane just a little, and it was then I took up coaching. The next ten years saw the development of a very strong training group; there were as many women as men in the training group, but it was the women who shone in particular and one year I had five of the top six female distance runners in Canberra training together in the group. It started with Kaaren Sutcliffe and Carol Ey training with me, and their success attracted others; the stars also included Susan Hobson, Isabella Woo (now Isabella de Castella), Glenda Regan, Mary Silver and others of similar ability. In the early 1990's the group disbanded and the only person I continued to coach was Kevin Chamberlain; we met at Dickson oval on a regular basis and worked on Kevin's 800m training. When he started smashing M50 records the word got around and a few others joined us at Dickson. That's how the current training group began: low key informal training, people invited to join in if they wished but no compulsion to stay, they could come and go as they pleased. With the first more elite training group I used to write programs for everyone; up to 20 at a time. For this new training group, I rarely draw up individual programs but let anyone join in and enable people to learn from each other. And we have 80 people "on the roll" now, probably 40 or 50 I would consider active members of the speedygeese.

Why do we run? What's in it for us?
We are all searching for something, we are all on a migratory trip from where we have been to where we are going. Some of us are searching for "the edge" over our rivals; some are searching for "consistency" for ourselves. Some of us are searching for worthwhile, fulfilling experiences. Some of us are on the drive to success. Some of us are filling a need to overcome difficulties and hardships, which need a sedentary and mediocre life does not begin to satisfy! Some of us are seeking to be somebody, to make our mark, and some are seeking to achieve self fulfilment and self development.

I think the fact that we are working together on a quest for self fulfilment and the like, makes it all the more likely that we will continue to be successful on that quest.

And the journey is often more important than the destination.

For more information, about who we are, and why we are geese, see this link!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

46 years running

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, March 15, 2008 with 4 comments
Today is my 46th anniversary. On this day in 1962, the 15th March, I threw away my tennis racket and took up running.

Little did I know I would turn into a goose.

Three gray geese in the green grass grazing. Gray were the geese and green was the grass.
Today Roger A and Miranda joined me for some 200m intervals on the green green grass of Stromlo, our last Saturday session. We ran 12k altogether. Mick H was there for our warm-up. I will be running some Wednesday lunchtime sessions there in the next few months (see below)

How to get fitter and faster
The key to getting fitter is to run regular long distances at a good pace, supplemented by interval training and speed work. The main training to focus on is the long running, which should be run just about as fast as you can go without compromising the on-going training plan. But when you come to Parliament House, Dickson, or Stromlo, the short and fast running there is additional to your main focus of keeping up longer distance running. And any jogging you do during the week is also supplemental to the main thing, solid long runs.

With that in mind, here is where we are meeting in March and April for speedygeese speed work:

Parliament House:
We will continue training there every Monday as at present. 4:30pm for early starters; 5:30pm main session warm-up. But not on Easter Monday.

Track training at Dickson oval, Antill St, will re-commence Thursday 27 March and continue every Thursday after that. Start time at Dickson is 5:30pm.

I will be using Stromlo a couple of times a month for some of my intense training. Anyone else is welcome to join me there. The first such Stromlo sessions will be on Wednesday 16 April and Wednesday 30 April. Starting time to be announced, but tentatively 11am. This would only be for people who aren't working then, obviously, and who cannot make Thursday night training. I know of three who said they'd participate and I need to check when they can come on those days. So if you want to join me there, the question is, what time suits? I can get there as early as 11am and that time suits me best; but a little later would be OK. Any suggestions?

Friday, 14 March 2008

On Track

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, March 14, 2008 with 7 comments
Last run at the AIS until “High Noon” meets.
A solid 5000m in a much better time than recent efforts means I am on track for a good Australian Masters championship - starting in just seven days!

Last Vets Track Night
M50 Ken White 2:20.97 85.3%
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:27.62 86.2
W55 Kathy Sims 3:02.66 75.3

2K Turkey Handicap
W35 Emma Adams 8:44.65
M65 Tony Booth 11:42.43

5000m ACT Championships
M45 Richard Faulks 18:41.44 75.9% Bronze
W50 Kathy Southgate 18:53.18 89.6 Gold
M45 Mick Horan 19:02.15 74.6
M55 Geoff Moore 19:32.05 79.6 Silver
W40 Katie Forestier 20:56.07 72.8 Silver
W40 Amanda Walker 21:57.84 68.3 Bronze
M45 Colin Farlow 21:58.34 63.6
W35 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee 22:26.40 65.0 Gold
W35 Bronwyn Calver 22:27.18 65.9 Silver
M55 Neil Boden 23:26.17 65.2
M65 Tony Booth 24:13.94 70.3 Silver

There were fantastic 5000m performances by Rachelle (huge pb) and Bronwyn (more than one minute pb). Which proves that running longer in training and doing both weekly speed sessions - the Parliament House session and the Stromlo session - produces huge results. Rachelle, Bronwyn and I have been doing all the training sessions.

Speedygeese award winners
The Vets end of year awards were announced last night, and Michael Roche received one of the two major awards. Congratulations Michael, you are a true overcomer and an inspiration to us all! Michael doesn't have internet access, so when you see him, be sure to congratulate him.
National Heart Foundation Trophy Michael Roche
Adler Trophy Winner (m) Roger Pilkington
Adler Trophy Winner (f) Kathy Sims
Pennington Trophy (2nd) Colin Farlow

Final Stromlo Training Session
Saturday morning, 7:30am, is the final Saturday Stromlo training session until Spring. So get on your sprinting shoes and come on down, the early start will be appreciated given the current heat wave!

Details of future training sessions, in particular about Dickson on Thursday nights, will be published here soon.

Shave your 5k
Ewen and I have entered the "Shave your 5k" challenge. I won't win! I suspect I have made it quite difficult to improve at year's end on current form! Anyone else want to participate?

Track of the six foot variety - Emma keeping her Garmin dry

Someone should tell Emma to wear her Garmin on the right hand wrist. That way, when she runs six foot again next year, she can hold onto the rope with her left hand and not lose her balance.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Track, six foot and otherwise

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, March 13, 2008 with 1 comment
Emma at six foot track

Head v Heart Part 3
Writing about this before, I didn't actually say what I would choose to train for next year, and to leave it up in the air is the same as not choosing. So, to bite the bullet, I choose track! Real track that is, not the six foot version!

But in case you are wondering, I will not cut the training distances back. Unless forced to by illness or injury of course.

And while on the subject of incompatible goals, the Canberra Marathon entries close tomorrow (Friday)

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Canberra's Birthday

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 with 6 comments
First of all
Fantastic job done by Mick Corlis and Vince Craig in getting the Weston Creek Half Marathon results up so quickly, then fixing up the myriad of little anomalies in a day flat. That's awesome! I have updated yesterday's post with the corrected individual and team results (times and places) and would like to highlight the fact that speedygeese teams were first (an FFM team, well ahead) and third (the first FF team). Great work, everybody. Let's support this excellent event in 2009, even when they revert to the usual course!

Thursday Night's Track Program
6.00 800m Walk
6.15 2000m Turkey Handicap
6.30 100m
6.45 4 x 800m Relay
7.00 200m
7.15 5000m Championships
7.45 Track & Field Presentations

We turn 95
Today was part of Canberra's 95 year celebrations (yes interstate/international reader, we are a young city). At the Canberran of the Year award presentations, both my wife and her mother, along with a handful of other long term residents who have made contributions to this great city, received special awards from the Chief Minister.

And I got a chance to try my new camera (if the photos came out, it's a good camera!)

C. E. May Lowes and Jennifer Anne Moore with their awards.

Angelo Cataldo's mum and dad at the presentations. Guiseppe Cataldo receiving his award from the Deputy Chief Minister was a feature of the event. My first day ever as a photographer not so great a highlight.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Catch-up day

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, March 11, 2008 with 5 comments

Weston Creek Half Marathon
All times and places have now been amended. And there is a complete list of results here.
90. David Webster M55 1:39:06 4:41/k
93. Michelle Wells W35 1:39:15 4:42
103. Mick Horan M45 1:41:58 4:50
109. Charlie McCormack W40 1:42:43 4:52
110. Geoff Moore M55 1:42:43 4:52
114. Annette Sugden W45 1:43:41 4:54
121. Jeni Greenland W30 1:44:43 4:57
153. Thea Zimpel 1:53:38 5:23
154. Rae Palmer W60 1:53:50 5:23
174. Caroline Campbell W65 1:57:25 5:34
201. Peter Hogan M60 2:02:32 5:48

That's an excellent W65 time for Caroline: sub 2 hours. And a very good come-back run by Rae.

Relay Teams
The relay names don’t always tell the story, but my educated guess is
1. RUN FAT-BOY RUN FFM 1:35:24 4:31 is Amanda, Katie & Ken. Ken would make a good “fat-boy”, but needs the shorts to go with the name. 4:31 per km – I must run with them next time!

3. SPEEDY GOSLINGS FF 1:43:59 4:55 would have to be Jeni & Rachelle. Jeni continued on to finish the whole run only 44 seconds behind Rachelle. The first time the results were released this team was given fourth in a slower time; this has since been fixed!! So they are now officially the winning "FF" team.

8. STREWTH AND TWINKLE FF 1:53:33 5:23 must be Ruth & David. “FF”? I thought our training group was hiding a number of secrets; David's secret is out!

Six Foot Write-up
Ewen tells the story at

Another historical photo - July 1971

1. At training yesterday were Alan, Bronwyn, two Davids, speedymoi, Neil, Rachelle & Ruth. We did short sprints on a warm evening.

2. Happy Birthday to Adam who joined the M35s yesterday.

3. also to Christopher & Gary, who have birthdays this week.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Happy Canberra Day

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, March 10, 2008 with 4 comments

Speedygeese who ran in the ACT track championships:
W40 Katie Forestier 2:46.85 gold
M45 Mick Horan 2:18.36 gold
M50 Ken White 2:22.48 gold
M50 Gary Bowen 2:31.28 silver
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 2:26.58 gold

W40 Katie Forestier 5:32.80 gold
M45 Mick Horan 4:44.95 gold
M50 Ken White 4:57.43 gold
M50 Gary Bowen 5:21.00 silver
M55 Geoff Moore 5:19.86 gold
M60 Kevin Chamberlain 5:12.27 gold

3000m steeple
M50 Gary Bowen 13:15.48 gold

Friends of the geese -
800m W50 Kathy Southgate 2:36.80 gold
1500m W50 Kathy Southgate 5:11.60 gold
400m hurdles Lauren Boden 56.91 big pb, gold, no close competition.

Monday Monitor
My training progress
last week’s target: 110k
achieved: 117k
year 2008 total to date: 949k in 10 weeks
this week's target: 70k possibly, but play it by ear.
weight: 62.5kg ▼

Following on from yesterday’s comment: to succeed, the head must rule the heart; so next season I must choose between training for the marathon & training for the track & make just one of those the single focus. Meanwhile, today, again I am a bit sore, I will expect to come up feeling good and strong by Thursday night as I continue to prepare for this 5k.

One of those old photos: August 1974

My son Nathan and I. Something has changed since then; what, I wonder? I know, the back fence was visible then; it isn't visible now.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Head versus Heart

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 09, 2008 with 4 comments
"I'm a war of head versus heart
"And it's always this way
"My head is weak, my heart always speaks
"Before I know what it will say"
-from "Crooked Teeth", by Death Cab For Cutie, from the album "Plans"

My head says don't train both for the marathon and for track simultaneously, my heart says go for it, do both. So I find myself running a fast-tempo-but-not-race-pace half marathon today. At this time of the season the training needed to accomplish both goals diverges and the tension between the two sets of goals starts to tell. I know I should be easing back so that my track races, the few that are left, are as fast as possible, while at the same time I know I should be extending the length and pace of my long runs so that future half marathons and marathons are completed in the best possible time. Today's compromise is almost a capitulation to what feels easiest, and to the tired thought that all this training will help next season, when I should be biting the bullet and trying to do my best NOW. A plan which makes sense just for the marathon or just for track is not possible while the other is also part of the plan.

Next season then, which will win, the heart again, or the head?

By the way, in today's half marathon I ran most of the way with Charlie and crossed the line with her, at an average km rate of about 4.50, which is a reasonable rehearsal for a 4:30 per km shot at the marathon. And it was a "dress" rehearsal, the Free 7.0s were fine on the bitumen.

Now if I don't recover in time for Thursday's 5k track club championship, (or if I do), I will have learned a little more about what I am capable of. So for the first time since early December the plan is - three easy days, then a flat out race.

With Hearts As One

I have ordered this album - just released this weekend - the first "I-HEART PROJECT" album by United.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Vets championship weekend

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, March 08, 2008 with 2 comments
I ran the Vets 1500m today but didn't go out last night to watch the 800ms. Good performances from Mick, Ken, Kevin, Gary, and Katie in these events, also from Southy! And I managed a sub 5:20 for the first time this season. The highlight was Ken's first sub 5:00. Now I am off to watch the cross country and clock up a few more kms before tomorrow morning's half marathon.

**Breaking News** Geoff Barker fastest speedygoose in the six foot track:

Geoff BARKER 05:21:45

I THINK Geoff might get the "goose of the year" award....

but close behind (in "V" formation) the other geese:
Emma ADAMS 05:23:18
Roger PILKINGTON 05:33:45
Ewen THOMPSON 05:41:07

Friday, 7 March 2008

Coming Up

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, March 07, 2008 with 2 comments
There is so much happening, and we are about to change seasons, so here goes a short calendar of events:

Friday 7th:
Vets 800m championships tonight. Go Katie! Go the others!

Saturday 8th:
Six Foot Track. Go Ewen! Go Emma. Go Geoff B!
Vets 1500m championships. Go Ken! Go Kevin! Go the others!
6pm World Cross Country Trials at Stromlo. (Spectator Heaven!)

Sunday 9th:
Weston Creek Half Marathon. Go Jeni/Rachelle relay team. Can I hang on to them?!
Note that the Half Marathon starts and finishes at Black Mountain Peninsula.

Monday 10th:
Canberra Day Holiday
Training as usual at Parliament House

Thursday 13th:
Vets 5000m championships. Go me!

Saturday 15th:
7:30am Final Saturday Stromlo training session.

Seize the day!

p.s. Go the Crows on Saturday against St Kilda in the pre-season final!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Brother for Tessa

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, March 06, 2008 with 6 comments
If we have an Amelie, why not a Korben?

We have a new nephew Korben, who took about five days to arrive! Born this morning, a brother for Tessa, parents Bruce and Trina. Korben is an unusual name? The origin would have to be the character played by Bruce Willis in "The Fifth Element". In that case, it is a good name!

Add Tessa and Korben to our ten grandchildren, and you get twelve little people of that generation in our family.

My granddaughter Amelie, whose mother has a new cousin... that makes Amelie and Korben .... related .... (not "second cousins" .... what would you call it?)

[Edit - "First cousins once removed"]

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

BBQ today

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 with No comments
It was the 30th anniversary of the BBQ Stakes today so I decided to vary my routine and go and have a run there. All the indicators were that I would have a quite slow run; warmish, less warm-up than usual, hard one hour gym session just before it, two restless nights with sciatica or something equally uncomfortable, two hard runs yesterday, still not recovered from the 10k, etc etc. I had a very fast run! Where did that come from? I have been significantly faster only once in 66 previous runs there. I certainly didn't feel like I was over-extending.

Speedygeoff ~25:05
Roger ~ 27:00
Helen ~ 28:15

The 6km BBQ Stakes are run every Wednesday so in 30 years there have been a lot of them! Results are no longer accessible via the web so I cannot look them up to see who ran what when I am not there. Katie had recent two runs at BBQ Stakes, both in 27:13. These are good times and indicate Katie is finding some good form. Ready for a fast 800m this Friday!

I ran too fast to win the handicap! You're not allowed to improve that much. But it means I should now expect to run well in the big races of the next couple of months, however bad I feel going into them. That's a relief! I really want that sub 20 5k next week, looks like it's on.

It was sad that Doug Fry wasn't there. He is still in hospital, that's one month now. He is still having tests.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Retail therapy

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 with 7 comments
Maria's New Car

We are all so jealous!

Last night at Parliament House saw Gary, Christine G, Emma, Ruth, Miranda, Tim, Ewen, Rachelle, Helen, David W, Al, Alan, Katie, Ken, Geoff B, me, Bronwyn, Neil, Jodie, Christopher, Kathy S, Cathy M, Kirrilee, Mick C, Yelena, Joel, Maria, Peter and Mick H enjoy 12 40 second efforts with a substantial rest, not to mention a substantial cool-down. What a perfect night for a run! And Michael R came along just to get his name ticked off the roll. It was Miranda and Kirrilee (spelling?) 's first run at Parliament House.

I have a new computer and a new camera (I haven't had a real camera before). Think I will wait a few more years for a new car. Maria's looks good , though.

It's the newest new car smell I can remember, too, must be hot off the production line.

Grrrr. Still jealous.

Today I ran 12k+ not slow with Rachelle including hills, then 11k+ not slow with Charlie, on the same hills. That's a work-out! I am in danger of getting fit if I keep doing that. I did suggest I should speed up on my longer runs, didn't I?

Monday, 3 March 2008

I will keep the change.

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, March 03, 2008 with No comments
My training progress
last week’s target: 100k
achieved: 100k
year 2008 total to date: 832k in 9 weeks
this week’s target: 110k
weight: 63kg and falling rapidly!
status report: I am just in the process of configuring a new computer; my five year old system died this morning and I went shopping this afternoon. Obviously by the fact that I am typing this, everything is going swimmingly so far! Normal service will resume tomorrow, all being well!

I love new toys.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Autumn: Fine and Sunny.

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 02, 2008 with 2 comments
speedygeese at today's Jogalong:
Michelle W ~27.34
Amanda ~28.09
Rachelle ~28.24 pb
Helen ~28.29
Cathy M ~31.45

Now that the Jogalong is over, next month is the Women's, and not forgetting the Girls', Fun Run:
"The 2008 Women and Girls' Fun Run is on at 9 am Sunday 6 April at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park.
"The race charity is Marymead Child and Family Centre.
"Full details
"Entry forms will be emailed or mailed to entrants from the last two years and will also be available at Club runs and The Runners Shop.
"Online entry is now available at
"Download Entry Form (pdf)
"Results (when available):
here "

How to attract younger people to our Veterans Athletic Club, part 103:
(a) Move to ANU to be among the youth. Replace Vetrunner with a comic strip. Call it "Track Masters of the University". Buy He-man costumes for the throwers, Skeletor costumes for the long distance runners. Wage war games.
(b) Buy more containers and hire graffiti "artists" to deface them. Ring the Canberra Times and complain. Lots of free publicity ensues!
(c) Spice up our race meetings by inviting along the Spice Girls, Britney, and other celebrities.
(Actually that last one might work quite well for our demographic)

Real suggestions welcome, I'm compiling a list.

Highlights of this week's running blogs:
space for rent

Only one week until the Weston Creek Half Marathon!

This year's new course. Start/finish Black Mountain Peninsula.

See you at Parliament House, 5:30pm tomorrow! Early starters 4:30.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

I blog and I run

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, March 01, 2008 with 4 comments
...and I write and I am a goose

Thursday's speedgeese results (Pennington 1500m).
2 Kevin Chamberlain M60 5:12 84.8%
3 Mick Horan M45 4:56 79.9
4 Ken White M50 5:07 81.3
5 Gary Bowen M50 5:25 74.2
9 Tony Booth M65 6:38 71.0

I ended up having yesterday off. From running.
Because it was leap-day, that’s why.
I almost didn’t take the day off, as it meant missing my Friday routine. However, just because “they” have leap-day on a normal week day doesn’t mean it should be an official working day, really?
Next time (2012), please gazette an eighth day in the last week of February. This year it should have been Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Leapday Friday Saturday Sunday. An eight day week. And NOTHING scheduled for leap day. No festivals, no fireworks, no shops open, no television, no sport. NOTHING!

Unfortunately in 2008 it was a normal day. I didn’t run. But I did blog. And I had a dentist appointment too.

Cross Country Club speedygeese results – Summer Series #5 North Curtin 4k
25. Mick Horan M45 15:20
27. Richard Faulks M45 15:27
61. Cathy Newman W45 18:00
64. Neil Boden M55 18:33
67. Kelley Flood W45 18:36
70. David Baussmann M55 19:08
87. Mick Charlton M55 21:14
88. Caroline Campbell W65 21:30
115 finishers

This morning at Stromlo saw Rachelle, Bronwyn, me, and apprentice gosling Miranda, run 12 x 200 fast with 200 jog recoveries and three breaks. I don't know if it was the extra recovery or her extra-awesome fitness, but Bronwyn finished first in all twelve sprints. Not many others out there this morning; caught up with Bruce, Scott*, Roger* and Emma* at different times. A cool breeze was blowing but not too bad; just about right for distance running at pace.

Tomorrow: Jogalong. Monday: Parliament House. March is the last month of "summer" training before the "winter" program starts.

*footnote - these are a different Scott, Roger and Emma from the ones I usually write about! But the same Bruce.