Wednesday, 30 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 with 2 comments
It took me about six attempts to start up the computer this morning but we're finally there. once it's working properly it stays working, thank goodness.

Fortunately I have a magic new device on which I can make phone calls, check my emails (and reply and initiate emails), update Facebook if I want to, read and send SMSs, and no doubt many other things I haven't discovered yet. Note my new mobile number: 0425 276 811. If you message me your number, let me know too if you're on the 3 network; calls 3-3 are free. I like the integrated contact list; name, mobile and email all in one place. Oh, and I like the touch screen. It's a Blackberry Storm 2.

And now to today's run: a chilly BBQ Stakes.
Gary Bowen 25:13 (yet another pb)
me 26:50
Kerrie Tanner 30:15. I include Kerrie because every time I see her, which is more or less weekly over many months, she has threatened to join the speedygeese "next Monday", with her daughter. Today I told her she would become much speedier if she ever did join the geese. Actually her Stakes pb is one of the fastest; she's had a few injury issues, that's all.

Gary Bowen running well!

Ewen in typical non-running pose

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 with 1 comment
Best wishes to all participants in the Gold Coast marathon this weekend; or in the half marathon or 10k if that is what you are running in. I have heard that a couple of entrants have transferred down to a shorter race, I am confident all will go well and you will run a great time whatever distance you end up doing. There is no entry list on the Gold Coast website, so rather than list those I know and risk missing somebody, I will wait until the results come out to post the names.

Training last night was about 20 degrees colder than the Gold Coast is going to be. It was freezing! Still, quite a few ran; Craig, Jennifer, Ewen & I ran 8k first, then we were joined by Brett, Caroline, Christopher, Emma, Leanne, Nadine, Neil, Ruth, Tony & Warrick for our last Parliament House speed-endurance interval session, 30 minutes of continuous running and surging around the Rose Garden loop. Next week, we start hill work.

Brett racing Mount Ainslie on Sunday. Brett backed up with a solid hit-out on Monday night at Parliament House in the cold, "winning" the training session by a good margin.

Warrick & I battling it out at Mount Ainslie. Warrick still managed to run well Monday night but I was a bit tired after the hard run the previous day (though not at all emotional).

Monday, 28 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, June 28, 2010 with 3 comments
I like it when genuine improvers win handicap medals. This didn't happen yesterday; Cathy Newman was the third honest runner but was officially fourth on handicap. It probably doesn't matter what the rules are; there are always one or two dishonest runners who over time will manipulate the system to suit themselves and so deprive deserving people of their place medals. Happens everywhere. By the way, great run by Cathy. From one group behind her, I caught up with her and passed her sometime after 2k, and when I finished after 9.3k she was still just behind me. I ran well all the way, and Cathy ran really well too. [edit: In case you're worried, William, Colleen and I who finished in front of Cathy were not eligible for handicap honours and did not affect the result]

Cathy Newman and friend. Photo by Jennifer.

What's on this week:
Monday 28 June
: Parliament House 4:30pm 8k jog; 5:30pm speedygeese interval training.
Wednesday 30 June: 12:15pm BBQ Stakes 6k handicap
Wednesday 30 June: 5:45pm Parliament House, easy run, about 12k
Thursday 1 July: Dickson 4:00pm long run; 5:30pm speedygeese interval training
Friday 2 July: 12:15pm Customs 5k handicap, Stage 88
Saturday 3 July: ACTVAC Cross Country at Weston Park: 11:10am 8k ACTVAC women & ACTVAC men 60+; 11:40am 12k ACTVAC men 30-59
Sunday 4 July: 9:00am ACTCCC women's 6k Jogalong at Weston Park

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, June 27, 2010 with 4 comments
Some great performances this weekend!
27/06/10 - Mount Ainslie 4.5k

5 Rachelle Ellis-Brownlee W35 19:33 72.7%
9 Jill Pearson W50 24:41 67.8
16 Amanda Walker W40 20:21 73.3
19 Cathy Montalto W55 23:25 75.5
23 Gary Bowen M50 18:29 79.3
27 Katie Forestier W40 18:25 82.0
37 Graeme Patrick M55 22:17 68.0
40 Leanne Steinman W35 26:56 53.4
50 finishers

27/06/10 - Mount Ainslie 9.3k
4 William Chin M30 47:27 57.6%
6 Colleen Koh W30 47:37 63.7
9 Geoff Moore M60 43:07 80.4
11 Cathy Newman W45 44:09 79.9
13 Roger Pilkington M50 42:47 73.6
23 Michelle Wells W35 43:04 74.2
26 Alan Duus M60 50:03 69.7
30 Christopher Lang M55 51:08 66.8
33 Caroline Campbell W65 52:06 85.5
36 Charlie McCormack W45 45:29 72.2
43 Warrick Howieson M40 44:56 64.0
44 Alan Williams M60 50:08 69.4
49 Margaret McSpadden W60 59:35 69.4
50 Janene Kingston W45 46:57 71.2
53 Kathy Southgate W50 40:17 92.5
56 Rod Lynch M50 39:41 78.6
58 Nadine Morrison W40 44:56 72.1
61 Neil Boden M55 50:09 68.1
63 Jennifer Bright W30 42:41 72.5
70 Debbie Cowell W50 46:36 77.0
74 Troy Steinman M35 41:09 68.0
79 Bronwyn Calver W40 49:27 65.5
83 Brett Morrison M40 45:33 63.8
88 Ewen Thompson M50 55:46 57.6
96 Mick Charlton M55 59:18 57.0
98 Ruth Baussmann W60 60:01 66.1
100 Tony Booth M70 56:30 68.9
103 finishers

26/06/10 Symonston 9km
25. Michelle Wells 42:03
32. Yili Zhu 44:33
36. Ewen Thompson 50:09
39 finishers

Jennifer Bright

I would like to point out that Jen ran a faster time today than Roger, Michelle, or I did. Also I hope Jen, Ruth and others give me access to the good photos they took today so I don't have to keep using my crummy ones.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, June 26, 2010 with No comments
For a change there is no inspiration this morning so this is taken from ACTVAC NEWS on the Veterans Athletic Club Website.

·        Event Fees: Members are reminded of the motion passed at the recent Annual General Meeting to increase event fees per participant from $3 to $4 per event (day members $5), with effect from 14 June 2010. The new fees will therefore apply at the June run walk and throwing handicaps.

·        ACTVAC Cross Country Championships: 3 July at Weston Park, Yarralumla. Attached is the Entry Form and the Race Schedule for the Cross Country Championships which are on Saturday.
If you are not competing, or even if you are and have some extra time, would you be able to help out on championship day?  There are a number of tasks to be done - from setting up at 9:00, taking entries and marshalling, through to packing up at about 1:30.  Any budding sports photographer would be most welcome to provide digital photos for Vetrunner.
If you are available for any time, please contact or 0415 653 151.

·         High Noon Meets: 11 July and 1 August. Programs are on the AACT website

·         Annual Report: The 2010 annual report is available on the ACTVAC website at Hard copies are also still available. To obtain a hard copy contact Narelle Blackaby,

·         The Uniform Survey has closed: here is a summary of your feedback via the survey. Please continue to provide informal feedback.

·         Uniform Specials: There is a sale of old stock taking place, various items of club uniform clothing, various prices. See Sue Archer at one of our Vets events, or email Sue at this email address

·         News items: If members have items which they would like included on this News page, please email their story and any relevant links to the News editor. [That's me.]  

Friday, 25 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, June 25, 2010 with 2 comments
Thursday night attendees at Dickson: Alan, Brett M, Bronwyn, Craig, me, Heidi, Marlon, Michelle, Nadine, Roger, Susan & Troy. We ran 8 x 220m in relay teams of 3 with a 200m recovery jog. Slightly faster than a jog in my case as Troy & Michelle are speedier than speedy and they are who I was teamed with. Before the speed session I went for a long run and met up with Kathy Southgate and jogged with her (at her jogging pace anyway) for a short while; later I met up with Rae Wells and ran a few kms with her; and in between I ran up Mt Ainslie. So it was quite a busy session in all.

Miranda and Andy have spent two weeks walking from west to east across England - 330k! Miranda sent this post card, "I'm afraid these are ducks instead of geese!" she says.

Resident ducks at Whitby Abbey. Card slightly mangled by British Post Office. Still, can't complain, it arrived within the month.

Another globe trotter, Rae Palmer, is due to return from France today - and today is also Rae's 63rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Rae, welcome back!

Here's the plan for training at Parliament House in the next few weeks. There is just one more week of speed-endurance, then in July we move to hill sprint sessions which everyone will do. In August then I plan to divide the training into two or perhaps three groups depending on who participates. Let's see a big turn-out so that I can enjoy the challenge of having three separate groups to monitor at the same time! The groups will be (a) those looking at 800m as their primary track event, (b) those looking at distances around 3k/5k, and (c) those whose main goals are half marathons or longer. Of course many will have other distances or events as their focus; I am sure from week to week one of the groups will suit you. Some might have no actual focus but will want to excel in "everything", talk to me! Meanwhile I plan to send out a quick survey to everyone to see what if any group(s) they would prefer to be part of. And if you nominate for a group to train with it doesn't mean you have to compete at that distance all the time or even part of the time.

Today I will be jogging at Customs there's a pack run only, which is why I pushed the pace yesterday in training; late night tonight (Go Portugal!) so tomorrow I will wag Acton but plan to run at Symonston if I'm not too tired/busy; Sunday I plan to revert to the long handicaps starting wih my favourite course, Mt Ainslie 9.3k! All part of fast tracking to fitness and I am most content with progress so far. Hope you are the same, see you soon!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

half of what i say is meaningless

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, June 24, 2010 with 2 comments
Song of the day: Julia, by The Beatles

BBQ Stakes result Wednesday 23 June
Geoff Moore 26:30
Roger Pilkington 27:15
Caroline Campbell 35:45
The last few week's results will be available soon. Meanwhile, this is my best BBQ Stakes time since 2 September.

More catching up: High Noon Meet Sunday 23 May
400m Karen Just 1:06.60

High Noon Meet Sunday 13 June
200m Karen Just 31.43
800m Karen Just 2:29.54
3000m Katie Forestier 11:31.354
3000m Amanda Walker 12:08.84
3000m Roger Pilkington 11:43.43
3000m Ken White 11:46.14
3000m Brett Lynch 12:30.12
The next two High Noon meets are on 11 July and 1 August. Programs for these are found via

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 with No comments
Training report backlog cleared
[Edit: Monday 31 May Parliament House 20 minute Rose Garden runs: Bronwyn, Chris, Craig, Emma, Ewen, me, Jodie, Joel, Katherine, Kathy, Leanne, Neil, Rachelle & Warrick].

On 3 June Craig ran the early run around Mt Ainslie, then for the main session (from Bronwyn's blog) attendees: Colleen, Craig, Neil, Roger, Susan, Troy, Yelena and Bronwyn... warm up: 2.78k (2 x small loop + jog to far corner near Dickson College). The lights went out not long before we finished our 2nd small we headed over to the far corner (Dickson College/drain corner) to do our efforts... Yelena was restricted to 3k in her comeback while Roger was taking it it was the boys v the girls - in order: Troy/Neil/Craig & Susan/Colleen/Bronwyn... Our area was limited, 8 x 200m effort / jog 200m - we did our 200s along the length of a soccer field so there was a 180 degree turn involved at the half way point... this followed by 8 x 100m effort / standing recovery - we did the 100s as out & backs as well...warm down: 0.55k (reverse jog back to start).
Bronwyn writes a more detailed account than I!

William and Colleen at our May group dinner

7 June Rose Garden 200s for thirty minutes. Andrew, Bronwyn, Caroline, Chris, Craig, Emma, Helen, Jodie, Joel, Leanne & Neil. Just Craig for the early run.

10 June 8 x 3 x 400m with 400m jog recovery; a 45 minute session in 1 degree celsius. Attendees: Alan, Brett M, Brett L, Bronwyn, Caroline, Craig, Nadine, Neil, Roger, & Troy.

14 June Craig, Ewen, Jen did the early 8k run, and Neil, Tony, Emma, Katherine, Warrick, Jill, Jen & Craig ran 200m hard with 200m jog recovery on 2.5 min for 30min.

And thanks to Craig for organising these sessions while I was away!

There will be a Book Prize for the 100,000th "school of running" reader, or as close to the 100,000th as I can identify. Way back when, the 50,000th visitor prize was won by Sonia Veldhoven. Will you be the 100,000th? We will know in about three months' time, roughly!

Song of the week. “Yesterdays" by Switchfoot. Still an amazing song after three years of yesterdays.

Great song.

And Happy Birthday Bob Harlow, 63 today!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 with 1 comment
Last night's Parliament House training attendees: Andrew, Bronwyn, Caroline, Christopher, Colleen, Ewen, Helen, Jennifer, Jodie, Nadine, Neil, Ruth, Tony & Warrick. Ewen and I ran early (in fact I totalled over 20k for the day, it's good to get back into it) then we ran a 20 minute session of our favourite "Rose Garden 200m" runs on a sandy slightly downhill track with an undulating recovery of about 260m. In due course I will publish who trained while I was away and what the training was... but I can tell you I didn't train, I was very slack.

I am tightening up my training pattern to try and get more long days and more speedy days! And for the first time since I started running in 1962, my training week will start on Wednesdays. Reason being, Tuesday will be a day off unless I have to catch up a missed day.
Here's the plan:
Wednesday speed (BBQ Stakes, a time trial)
Thursday long (with Dickson training)
Friday speed (Customs tempo run over 5k)
Saturday long (two or three runs if necessary)
Sunday speed (race when on, or 1km/2km intervals)
Monday long (with Parliament House training)
Tuesday rest, catch-up if I missed a day. If I do miss a day I can move each session to the next day for that week. For example if I were to miss out on Friday's tempo run then on Saturday I would race, Sunday run long, do the Monday session fast, and go out for a long run on the Tuesday. Currently if I miss days I haven't been able to catch up.

The total distance I will target for is 100k per week. You should see some improvement soon if I can stick with it. It will be a challenge, especially on freezing Canberra winter days, but still achievable.

Recent Customs 5k results to be improved on.
28 May
Geoff Moore
Jennifer Bright 21:42
Bronwyn Calver 24:14
Colleen Koh 24:20 first run
Caroline Campbell 26:25
Sharene Hurnen 31:28
4 June
Jennifer Bright 21:42
Bronwyn Calver 23:49
Colleen Koh 24:04
11 June
Bronwyn Calver 24:03
Caroline Campbell 26:16
18 June
Geoff Moore 23:00
Bronwyn Calver 23:22
Colleen Koh 23:55
Caroline Campbell 27:13

Monday, 21 June 2010


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, June 21, 2010 with 8 comments
I am resuming full training this week, preparing to set myself for my next goal, whatever, I haven't decided quite yet, see below.

What's on this week:
Monday 21 June: Parliament House 4:30pm 8k jog; 5:30pm interval training.
Wednesday 23 June: 12:15pm BBQ Stakes 6k handicap
Wednesday 23 June: 5:45pm Parliament House, easy run, usually about 12k
Thursday 24 June: Dickson 4:00pm long run; 5:30pm speedygeese interval training
Friday 25 June: 12:15pm Customs 5k handicap, Stage 88
Saturday 26 June: 9:00am I run with a group from the Acton Ferry Terminal
Saturday 26 June: 1:00pm ACTCCC 9k race at Symonston Callum Brae Nature Park Narrabundah Lane
Sunday 27 June: 9:00 am ACTVAC Handicap, Mt Ainslie 4.5k/9.3k

ACTVAC promotional flyers: I have a whole bunch of new flyers which you can use to invite people to join our club the ACT Veterans Athletic Club. See me if you would like to take some.

Canada Fun Run 20 June - results for the first 25 places, many more speedygeese ran.
10k Women
12 Cathy Newman 45:06
24 Bronwyn Calver 48:04

5k Women
5 Katie Forestier 19:33
7 Emma Adams 19:41
9 Kathy Southgate 20:20
11 Helen Larmour 20:46
13 Karen Just 20:53
14 Amanda Walker 21:43
23 Maria O'Reilly 23:42
25 Colleen Koh 24:26

5k Men
22 Ken White 22:04

Brilliant performances everyone, well done and keep up the good work.

In planning stage
I will invite the speedygeese to "sign up" for one of the following so I know who I am working with:
Training pattern for the speedygeese working towards 3k/5k for next track season
Training pattern for the speedygeese working towards 800m for next track season
Training pattern for the speedygeese working towards half marathon/marathon for next March/April/May

And my own goals: in the short term
ACTCCC 8k Cross Country
ACTVAC Half Marathon
Then what? The program being prepared for the track season starting in October looks very good. But I will wait and see the date of the 2011 National Capital Marathon and any 2011 Half Marathon before finally deciding what I am training for.

Happy Birthday to my son Nathan, 39 yesterday!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

cross country catch-up

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, June 20, 2010 with 3 comments
ACTCCC results while I was away:
Goorooyaroo 8k 12 June
22. Yili Zhu M45 37:07
30. Neil Boden M55 42:43
33. Sharene Hurnen W40 54:02
33 finishers

Jogalong 6k 6 June
66. Michelle Wells W35 26:22
128 finishers

Weston Park 8k 5 June
16. Michelle Wells W35 37:33
17. Jen Lee W35 38:17
25. Yili Zhu M45 41:31
26. Ewen Thompson M50 44:05
32 finishers

Weston Park 12k 5 June
no speedygeese ran

Campbell Park 6k 29 May
18. Jen Lee W35 26:10
33 finishers

Isaacs Ridge 8k 22 May
21. Jen Lee W35 34:44
34 finishers

It appears there will be small fields in the coldest Winter CCC events this year. The Mt Ainslie Vets handicap on 27 June will attract much larger fields, however cold it is that morning! Good turn-out in perfect conditions for this morning's Canada Fun Run, however.

Announcing the 2010 AACT and ACTVAC Cross Country Championships
Weston Park, Yarralumla Saturday, 3 July 2010

Event Schedule:

10:30am        Under 12 Girls/Boys        2km    (2 x 1km)

10:35am        Under 14 Girls/Boys        3km (1 x 2km + 1 x 1km)

10:45am        Under 16 Girls/Boys        4km (2 x 2km)
                     Under 18 Women

10:55am        Under 18 Men                6km (2 x 2.5 + 1 x 1km)
                     Under 20 Women

11:10am        Under 20 Men                8km (2 x 2.5 + 1 x 2km + 1 x 1km)
                     Open Women
                     Veteran Women
                     ACTVAC Veteran Men (60+)

11:40am        Open Men                     12km (4 x 2.5 + 1 x 2km)
                     AACT Veteran Men
                     ACTVAC Veteran Men (30-59)

The laps indicated in the schedule refer to the Stromlo course but I'm not sure they still apply to Weston Park?
See you at training this week.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Another Brisbane highlight

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, June 19, 2010 with 3 comments
Another Brisbane highlight was meeting up with Tesso and Clairie again, at the Half Marathon at Doomben. On the day, Tesso ran an all time pb of 20:58 for the 5k race, and six days later she backed up with a 3:19 marathon, yet another pb and a great one at that!


Result Macleay River Marathon:
22 THERESA FABIAN 03:19:59 W50 winner. First woman outright, actually!


Slowly catching up with recent results...
Also in Queensland a week later was a national ultra-marathon event up at the Gold Coast attended by our own Kerrie and Pam.
Gold Coast 100km Australian Championships - womens result:
1 Kerrie BREMNER 8:55:45 (first 50k in 4:23.35)
3 Pam MUSTON 9:52:09 (first 50k in 4:38.50)


Back home life goes on:
Happy birthday Susan Sturgeon 36 yesterday.


If you are on Facebook you can befriend and chat with these athletes and many more, and browse their profiles and photos!

Friday, 18 June 2010

some highlights from my Brisbane holidays

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, June 18, 2010 with 5 comments
1. Having pencilled in Benalla as an overnight stop, we decided to stop at Woodburn for the night instead, as the weather ahead looked very threatening and it was getting very dark. I am rather glad we did, I estimate well over 100mm of rain fell on us overnight that night; and Lennox Head just 50km ahead of us was hit by a mini-tornado at 7:30am the next morning which destroyed trees, houses, cars and caravans. The mini-tornado was a water spout that crossed over to land for thirty minutes and ripped through the town of Lennox Head; miraculously no-one was injured. As it was, it took us 90 minutes the next day to cross a flooded section of road out of Benalla.

2. Reaching the Queensland border the same day, all was still, bright, sunny, no sign of rain at all. Everything they say about Queensland is true! The storm was confined to Northern NSW.

3. At my son's place in McDowall I realised we were only five minutes away from the "Run Inn", the shop handing out our half marathon race packs. So we drove over, and as I entered the shop there was Bruce Cook, a former neighbour in Holt and a former North Canberra Athletics team mate. A very good runner and race walker. He was working there and it was great to catch up.

4. Warming up for the half I was focussing on winning the M60 age group by running very evenly about 4:24 per km (after all the course was flat, or that is what I believed then, and conditions were perfect) and edging away from the 95 minute balloons which would be running exactly 4:30 per km if the pacer was any good. Then I saw John Sheer warming up, and immediately revised my goal to running second in the M60s by ignoring John and still trying for my optimum pace.

5. 300m into the race the 95 minute balloons - each pacer carried three balloons - and a large entourage passed me already and I felt I had no zip - something to do with driving three days and not running, I suspect. Anyway I hung onto them grimly for the first 7k. At 2k in 9:00 I threw away my 4:24 pace cheat sheet. For 6k the balloons moved nicely along at exactly 4:30s which I thought was cutting it a bit fine, I had expected them to be ahead of that. As I said conditions were pretty much perfect, but there was warmth and there was a breeze and I wasn't totally comfortable. However when at 7k the balloons were ten seconds behind schedule I decided I had better go ahead of them and picked up the pace (back to 4:30s or just faster). Then it was a struggle, at one stage I "knew" 95 minutes wasn't possible, and the balloons were 20-30 seconds back so I knew they would find it difficult to break 95. Anyway I pressed on and at the end tried to sprint rather unsuccessfully the last couple of kms, aware that the balloons were catching me again albeit without an entourage. In the end I just cracked 95, I just beat the balloons, and the balloons just failed to break 95 despite a very fast last few kms to make up for lost time. I am glad I went ahead of them, I wouldn't have been able to hang on to the end. So while the pacer had excellent pace judgement to a point, he should have planned to run just a little faster than the 4:30s he targetted.

6. The altered course included hills that weren't there before. In the form of longish bridges. Many were surprised to encounter them, not least me. I don't do hills, I crawled up them and several runners passed me each time.

7. In the end I was very happy with second and pleased enough to run 94:56.

8. I have done nothing since so I will down tools and go out for a run now.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

wintry weather at last

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, June 17, 2010 with 3 comments
Today's planned training session at Dickson has been cancelled owing to the weather. All ACT sports-grounds are closed, which means there wouldn't be any lights. Anyway, it is wet cold miserable dark and windy.

How to choose an event
Inspired by Ewen - see his excellent post here ... explaining why the 5k will be his major focus in the foreseeable future.
Ewen's table
Marathon5k100 metresOlympic Tri
Like racing it2945
Like the training61054
Good at it2532
Friends do it7712
Emotional attachment6922
... I have created my own table similar to his.
My version of the table
15003k/5k10kHalf MarathonMarathon
Like racing it?98798
Like the training?66642
Good at it?86546
Friends do it?57101010
Emotional attachment23234
Which does not seem to be of much help.

Queenslanders are strange
A sign on our way out of Brisbane: "Warrego Wines, open 5 days, Thurs - Sun"

"Customs" could be a little cold on Friday but I plan to run it. See you there.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

wow indeed

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 with 5 comments
Results Queensland Half Marathon 6 June:
Geoff Moore 1:34.56 (2nd M60)

The end in sight with the clock ticking fast towards my A-goal of 95 minutes. Can I make it?

Results Christchurch Marathon 6 June:
Janene Kingston 3:37.51

It looks very cold but the gloves have been discarded, is the pace hotting up towards the finish?

What I am reading: "The Man Who Knew Too Much". My third G.K.Chesterton book in a row, I am quite hooked.

Reading Backlog: I have cleared most of my email backlog, only 120 emails to go! Please bear with me if you are waiting for me to do something.

What I am watching: "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", by Terry Gilliam. Everything he has made since "12 Monkeys" has been rubbish, and it's good to see such a brilliant return to form. Of interest is that Heath Ledger, who plays a major role, died during production and three other actors were used for his part in the latter half of the movie, with some rewriting of the script along the lines of "wow you look different". Also this red blooded male enjoyed watching red headed Lily Cole, a lovely actress looking not unlike Amy Pond. Wow indeed!

Happy birthday David Baussmann 60 today
Also happy birthday to my niece Heather Lowes, 21 today!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

shake, well before using

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 with 1 comment
What's on this week:
Monday 14 June: Parliament House 4:30pm 8k jog; 5:30pm interval training as usual.
Wednesday 16 June: 12:15pm BBQ Stakes 6k handicap
Wednesday 16 June: 5:45pm Parliament House, easy run, usually about 12k
Thursday 17 June: Dickson 4:00pm long run; 5:30pm speedygeese interval training
Friday 18 June: 12:15pm Customs 5k handicap, Stage 88
Saturday 19 June: I run with a group from the Acton Ferry Terminal
Sunday 20 June: 10:00 am Canada 5k/10k Fun Run, Forster Crescent Yarralumla

Happy birthday Kayleigh 11 years old today!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Touch and Go #14

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, June 14, 2010 with No comments
Lastly, a new study yet to be published by Storen et al. (here)  found that peak forces were inversely related to running economy. Meaning, the better running economy, the lower peak forces. In their paper, one of the key suggestions was to minimize horizontal braking forces. How do you do that? Forefoot striking.

Given these conclusions, what should you actually do with your own running?

Goal #1: Change Footstrike
The Lieberman studies demonstrated an important point. Barefoot runners can still hit heel first and when they do, their ground reaction force graph looks remarkably similar to if you had a 1 pound stability shoe on your foot. Thus, it doesn't do us a lot of good to go run barefoot without changing the foot strike. Do not run barefoot hoping that it changes your footstrike. It may alter it slightly and maybe eventually change it, but for most unless you are doing a massive amount of barefoot running, the foot strike change needs to be helped along. For an example, here's a blog that shows a runner running in shoes, vibrams, and barefoot who has done a decent amount of minimalist running, yet still lands heel first. (link here)

Step 1-Regain the feedback
Your body is so used having a heavy shoe on your foot that, heel striking has become second nature. The first step is to slowly regain the proprioception and feedback and let your body figure out how to interpret that data. What happens most of the time when you try and switch foot strikes is that the runner can't feel what they are doing. They can't really tell how their foot is striking.

To fix this, you need to see what you are doing. Grab a video camera and have someone film you doing easy strides. Take a look at how your foot is striking, then take the shoes off and do another short stride barefoot. Again, look at the video and see how you are striking.

If you strike more forefoot barefoot then the process is simple. Simply do some more easy strides barefoot trying to focus on the feeling you are getting and what your legs are actually doing. Then, put shoes on and try and mimic this feeling, being sure to video tape it to see if you are translating that barefoot feeling to running with shoes.

If you strike heel first barefoot then the process is a little longer. You need to try out a variety of cues running while barefoot. By cues, I mean things you think of doing while running. The best way to do it is try one cue out, then watch the video and see if anything changed. If it doesn't work try another cue. Repeat the process until you find something that works.

Possible cues include:
-put your feet down sooner
-drop your foot as soon as knee comes through,
-feel like you're striking behind you.
-Shorten your stride

Barefoot running should be used as an aid to learning how to change your footstrike initially. It's easier to feel how you strike barefoot. Once you've got the feeling down, we move to the next step. It's important that you periodically go through this video taping exercise throughout the process to see if the changes you are making are actually working.

Lastly, remember that footstrike is not only a result of what your lower leg is doing. The entire body is connected and works in a connected way. The lower leg does not act in isolation. Look at the entire body to see if something else might be throwing off your foot strike. Everything has an equal and opposite reaction

Some things to consider:
- Watch the opposite shoulder. If the opposite shoulder is turning inwards too much, that makes the lower leg extend out.
- Watch the opposite side arm stroke. If the arms keep going (i.e. upwards too much or across the body), then the leg keeps going.
- Look at body position. Leaning back causes the lower leg to go out.

 Step 2- Strengthen
The next step is to prepare your body for the foot strike changes its about to make. If you look at the different stress patterns of the foot strikes, the most problematic area will be the achilles tendon. We have to prepare it to take the stress that it's supposed to take but hasn't in years because of how you run.

We do this via two ways. First, the problem with the achilles is that it needs to handle a good deal of eccentric stress while running. Research has shown that the best way to actually strengthen and remodel the tendon itself is through eccentric calf lowering exercises. These exercises consist of basically the lowering portion of calf raises. The difference, obviously, is that we are concerned only with the lowering portion of that exercise. To do these, find a step, or use a calf raising machine, and raise up high with both feet. Once you've gotten up high, take one foot away and lower slowly all the way with only one foot. Then, come back up with both feet. Repeat this approximately 10-15 times for each foot. The goal is actually to do these with a good amount of weight. The high weight is partially what triggers the tendon remodelling. Start with body weight only, and progressively add weight, either by machine, or by holding dumbbells or a barbell or any other technique you can think of.

The second way to prepare for the foot strike change is the obvious one, start doing some walking/jogging barefoot and/or start introducing a minimalist shoe to your training. Not much, just get used to being barefoot. Start with walking around and including barefoot running as part of a cool down after a run.

Step 3- Think about it and practice! Forget Drills!
This step is probably the most obvious but hardest to do. You have to actually practice changing your foot strike. Start with focusing it only on strides following runs. Then progress to thinking about it on cool downs. The next step is to think about your form during normal easy runs. It is impossible to focus on form for a whole run. You won't accomplish anything. Instead, pick out certain time periods during the run in which you REALLY focus on it. Start with maybe 30sec every mile spent concentrating on it. The goal is to extend these periods of focus until it starts to translate into being automatic.

Forget about drills. Running form drills don't change foot strike. Forget them.

SPRINT! Most people will change their foot strike to at least a bit more forefoot when sprinting. You'd be surprised on how much actually sprinting helps change foot strike. In particular spring uphill. Why? Because it's almost impossible to sprint uphill and land heel first. Use these uphill sprints to get the feeling right on how to land and then progress to getting that same landing on the flat ground.

Step 4- Go minimalist
The fun part is finally here. Go minimalist!
At this point, your body should be prepared mechanically to deal with the change in foot strike. So, start introducing actually minimalist running. How much will depend on your background. Most high level runners already do some minimalist running on a regular basis. They run faster workouts in flats or spikes. This is a great way to transition. If you haven't already done so, do your faster runs each week in flats.

If you are already at that step, then steadily increase the amount of mileage done in a minimalist shoe. Keep track of it in your log and make sure it's progressive and steady. The best ways to do this are if you run once per day, then alternate a minimal shoe and your old shoes every other day.

Step 5- Extend barefoot running
The last step is to extend the amount of barefoot running you do. If you are at this step, you should have already been doing strides and/or cool down jogs barefoot. Now, the goal is to extend these.

Once again, steady progression is the key.

I suggest, and did, the following:
- Think of your barefoot running as if it were hard interval training. That means start with a relatively small amount (1mi) and progressively increase that as you adapt. Also, this means that you need recovery after this "hard training". Start with 2-3 days 'recovery' where you run in flats or regular shoes before you attempt your next barefoot running session. Then cut the recovery to one day, and so on, for however long you want to go.

- Have a mileage limit. Have a mileage cap on how much barefoot running you can do per day and per week. This can progressively increase but should start relatively low.

- It's best to start with including a short amount of barefoot running at the end of regular runs. Meaning if you have a 9 mile run, then run 8 miles of it and then throw off the shoes and do an easy 1mi barefoot. Progress this to where now you are doing 1.5mi, then 2mi, then 3mi barefoot at the end of that run.

- Barefoot running is done to support the foot strike

There you have, that's my quick guide to transitioning to a forefoot strike and some barefoot running. How far you want to go is up to you.

Just remember that going barefoot without the foot strike change is pretty much pointless. They have to complement each other.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. That’s all folks...


Sunday, 13 June 2010

Touch and Go #13

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, June 13, 2010 with No comments
How to go from heel striking/orthotics wearing to forefoot strike/ barefoot running
Should you train barefoot?
This concluding post on the barefoot vs. shoe debate will look at some of the practical applications to all the research that we've discussed. In part 1, I questioned whether cushioning or pronation even mattered. In part 2, I looked at the new study by Lieberman on barefoot running and footstrike, and finally in part 3 I discussed foot strike in relation to performance. With all of this information at your disposal, what do you do? Let's look at some relevant conclusions that were established in the other parts of this series:

- Cushioning may not matter for injury prevention as the body adjusts using feeback.
- Pronation may not be relevant for injury prevention.
- Your body has a complex system of adjusting for whatever surface you land on and whatever is on your foot.
- Footstrike matters for performance.
- Footstrike, not necessarily barefoot running, affects impact forces and energy storage.
- Footstrike is more important than barefoot vs. shod in a number of conditions. In other words, it does little good to run barefoot if your footstrike does not also change.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued... one more section to go!


Saturday, 12 June 2010

Touch and Go #12

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, June 12, 2010 with 1 comment
Practical Implications: What do we learn from all of these studies?
 It lends credence to the idea that footstrike is important when we are concerned with speed and speed only. There is a tendency for faster runners to adopt a non-heel strike in a variety of events. In addition, these foot strike types allow for shorter ground contact times, which also correlate well with speed. One other variable to consider is how that foot strike occured? It's impossible to know but where the heel strike took place is incredibly important. There is a big difference between striking close to under your hips to striking way out in front of you. Perhaps we should consider looking at foot strike in terms of where it occurs in relation to your center of mass, instead of where it occurs on the foot.

Using this data, I’d recommend a switch to a more midfoot or forefoot running style if speed is your main concern.

Secondly, these studies provide some interesting data on fatigue and foot strike. Seeing that ground contact times lengthen, some training should be done to avoid this decrease. I’ve written an entire article (and done a presentation, which I have not posted yet) on a related phenomenon, Strength endurance work, that explains some of the ways to combat this fatigue. We need to train the body to maintain force production (and muscle fiber recruitment) under heavy fatigue. This means start off with being able to increase force production, move to being able to produce force quickly, then move to being able to produce force in heavy fatigued conditions.

Basically, strength endurance work combined with plyometric and power training would seem the best way to train for this type of fatigue resistance. In practical terms:

- Strength Training -> Power training/ Sprint training -> Strength Endurance (Circuits/hills) -> Strength Endurance under fatigued conditions (hard circuits/ 200m reps at 800m pace w/ bounding in between)

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...

It is I

Friday, 11 June 2010

Touch and Go #11

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, June 11, 2010 with No comments
Ground contact time and footstrike related to running speed. What it all means:
What does this all mean? It’s hard to make a lot of conclusions since the hard data on the British studies could not be evaluated yet. The preliminary observations are very interesting though.

In regards to foot strike, there is a relationship between running speed and footstrike. Do all fast runners forefoot strike? No, but there is a tendency for the faster runners to forefoot/midfoot strike more so than the slower runners.

Is this a function solely of the speed that they are running? Speed of running certainly plays a role in where you strike to an extent but it’s unlikely that it plays as much of a role as people make it out to. Meaning that someone is not going from a straight heel strike while running easy to a forefoot strike while running 800m pace. The Lieberman study provided the first evidence showing that forefoot strikers struck forefoot regardless of condition. Similarly, if we look at the data in the studies above, you can see that the percentage of footstrike types is remarkably similar despite the significant increase in average running speed (from 63-64sec per lap down to 57.5sec per lap). Even though these are different people running each event, if foot strike was solely a function of speed, like many have claimed, then you would expect to see a definite trend away from heel striking as the group got faster.

Perhaps most interesting is what seems to happen during fatigue. Ground contact times increase in both studies, regardless of footstrike. If we look back at what typically impacts ground contact time, it provides some interesting clues. Ground contact changed even when footstrike did not, so we can eliminate that possibility. The other two possibilities are that leg stiffness and use of elastic energy changed, which is entirely possible, but impossible to know. There is some research showing fatigue changes leg stiffness and stretch shortening cycle fatigue. Lastly, the most likely scenario is that fatigue is impacting the body’s ability to produce force in as short a time period.

Lastly, in the 1500m study it was interesting to see a change in footstrike pattern. During the last lap, you saw an increase in heel striking. This would seem surprising as generally one of the faster laps in the race as people try and kick it in. The question is why do runners switch to a heel strike under heavy fatigue? I’m not sure I have the answer. One possibility is that stride length tends to decrease with fatigue and runners are trying to compensate by lengthening their stride, but instead of doing it by pushing off and covering more distance, they simply let their lower leg reach out. Another possibility is that fatigue may impact fine control of the lower leg.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Touch and Go #10

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, June 10, 2010 with No comments
New studies on footstrike. Do faster runners heel strike?
Perhaps the most interesting finding in Lieberman’s work is that it may not be so much the barefoot vs. shod but the footstrike that is the important part. Barefoot running allows for the footstrike to happen properly, so they are interconnected.

Let’s leave behind injury prevention for a bit here and focus on speed. Is one footstrike better for speed in distance events? There are several theoretical arguments that point towards yes.

The role of elastic energy storage and return is one such factor. I’ve already mentioned this quiet a bit, but the Achilles tendon and the arch of the foot store a large amount of energy upon footstrike and then that energy is subsequently used upon take off. A forefoot strike has shown that it potentially uses this mechanism much better. One reason is that upon initial contact the foot is in better position to store the energy from the ground strike. In heel running, a great deal of the initial strike energy is lost. On a similar note, it is possible that a forefoot strike utilizes the stretch reflex mechanism better due to the position of the foot upon contact. With a forefoot strike the whole calf complex is in better position to be stretched and subsequently respond than in a heel strike.

Another potential performance enhancement is that it allows for shorter ground contact time while applying the same amount of force. Several different studies have shown the importance of ground contact time in running. In two separate studies, shorter ground contact time was correlated with top running speed and better economy. This shouldn’t be a surprise when you think about it. Ground contact time is going to be a result of mainly the person’s ability to produce force quickly, footstrike, and the ability to use the elastic energy mentioned above. Obviously footstrike plays a role in the latter two.

Let’s look at a couple of studies on footstrike. Several of which have yet to be published.

In the one study that everyone quotes, Hasewage 2007, they looked at footstrike at the 15km mark in a half marathon. The anti-forefoot strike people use this as justification in their decry of changing running mechanics. However, there are several problems with this view. First, let’s look at what the study said. In the study, out of the 283 runners, 74,9% were rearfoot strikers. The rest were midfoot and forefoot strikers. That leads many to conclude that rearfoot strike may be the way to go. However, if we look at a couple of other factors the picture gets a little more cloudy. When you separate out the top 50 instead of using the entire group, those who midfoot or forefoot strike jumps from ~25% to 38%. That significant difference showed that there was a tendency for more mid/forefoot strikers to be faster.

Secondly, if we look at ground contact time, there was a linear relationship with the faster runners having less ground contact time and GC increasing as you got slower and slower. Basically, the faster the runner, the lower the GC, this isn’t unexpected. In addition, forefoot/midfoot strikers spent significantly less time on the ground than their heel strike counterparts (183ms vs 199ms). These findings led the researchers to conclude:

“The percentage of RFS increases with the decreasing of the running speed; conversely, the percentage of MFS increases as the running speed increases. A shorter contact time and a higher frequency of inversion at the foot contact might contribute to higher running economy.”

There are still two other factors that no one takes into account. First off, the video was taken at ~9.3mi into a 13.1mi race. In other words it takes place pretty late in the race when fatigue has already set in. Studies have shown that footstrike changes with fatigue. What happens is that more midfoot and forefoot strikers become heelstrikers. Thus, when you look this deep into a race, that potentially skews the percentages.

Secondly, the study was done in a large Japanese road race. While there were several elite Kenyans and other nationalities, of the top 283, the vast majority were Japanese. This is very significant. This means that technically, the results are only generalisable mostly to Japanese runners. Why is this significant? Because of how the Japanese historically train and how they historically run. Due to the heavy emphasis on very high mileage and moving everyone to the longer distances (half marathon and marathon) with neglect to the shorter distance races (1500,5k), the running style of Japanese runners is much different than Americans, Europeans, and even Africans. Similarly, the traditional ideas taught by Japanese coaches at the time favoured a running style that was more flat/scoot around type running. Researchers and scientists will probably scoff at this idea, but go watch any video of top Japanese running and you will notice a visual difference. In addition, one of my coaching mentors started spending time going to Japan educating Japanese coaches on running mechanics at around the time of this study. We’ve spent many hours discussing what their views were, what the runners were being taught, and how their athletes were running.

Due to these factors, it’s impossible to take this study and generalize it to anyone except Japanese runners. In addition, the study shows that speed is correlated with both footstrike and ground contact time.

British studies:
In all of the British studies they looked at semi-elite/competitive runners during 800 and 1500m competitions. They looked at foot strike and ground contact time on each lap. This will not only give us an idea on foot strike implications but also on fatigue. The conclusions that can be drawn based on the research about fatigue and training are very interesting!

In the 1500m, the range of times went from 3:45 to 4:22 with the average being 3:56.
Once again, ground contact time-ground contact time was related to foot strike. Forefoot strikers spent 161ms on the ground compared to 169ms for midfoot and 192ms for heel strike. The difference between heel strike and the other two are pretty remarkable. What is interesting is that ground contact increase basically on every lap.

Footstrike also changed based on lap. Initially on lap 1, 34.6% were forefoot striking, 46.2% midfoot, and 19.2% heel striking. On lap 4 the picture changed slightly. More of the midfoot strikers in particular had switched to heel striking (heel striking increase to 27%.)

What this means.
: “over the course of a 1500m race, ground contact time increased irrespective of footstrike position. This implies an element of fatigue, with runners presumably requiring longer to generate the same impulse.”

Before delving into the meaning of this, let’s look at the results of the other study on 800m runners quickly:

800m male runners
- 1:47 to 2:01 (avg: 1:55):
- forefoot-35% Ground contact (156ms)
- midfoot-48% Ground contact (161ms)
- Heel-17% Ground Contact (177ms)
- Ground contact lap 1- 156ms lap 2-168ms

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Touch and Go #9

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 with 1 comment

Conclusion and Practical implications:
This study provides further evidence to some of the issues discussed previously in regards to barefoot running. For runners, the major implication could be on foot strike. It’s more than just barefoot running, it’s footstrike that matters. A lot of the differences in collision force are due to footstrike variations. For years, shoe companies and others have said that heel striking is the way to go. Elite runner Mark Plaatjes even made the same argument earlier this week in a well written paper. Lieberman’s article helps lend credence to what I and many others have always speculated. It’s not.

The human body was designed to run with a forefoot/midfoot strike and shoes cause us to run barefoot. In one of the nature barefoot articles there is a great picture illustrating this (above). It is of 2 Kenyan boys running on a dirt road. One is barefoot and landing whole foot, one in shoes, slamming his heel into the ground first. Shoes decrease proprioception, change ankle kinematics and allow the body to change its landing habits.

Therefore, the major finding is that footstrike may be more important than running barefoot or not. Granted running midfoot is hard with heavy shoes. The study shows that footstrike was what mattered. Barefoot runners who landed heel first still had much higher impact forces than when striking forefoot/midfoot. Similarly, the rate of loading was still much higher in barefoot heel strikers than barefoot forefoot strikers. This finding that footstrike matters is something that track coaches have been saying for decades. One of my big mentors, Tom Tellez, has been preaching this for a long time.

More focus should be focused on changing footstrike with barefoot/minimalist running used as a way to aid that change.

A change to barefoot running should be accompanied by a change in running style to a midfoot/wholefoot/forefoot one. For information on how you should run read this (here)  and watch these (here and here) (no I don't think Pose or Chi are wonderful...)

Lastly, I think the take away message is that the human body is more complex than we give it credit for. The fact that it alters footstrike and pre-activation and numerous other mechanisms based on what is on the shoe or what ground you are going to strike is amazing. Think about that for a second. A couple years back Adidas tried to sell a shoe with an expensive microchip that adjusted cushioning each stride. The shoe cost several hundred dollars. The problem is, we already have a mechanism that does that for free….ourselves!

Lastly, a word of caution. This study will catch on fire. The major newsgrabbing headline will be the impact forces. However, that is likely a gross oversimplification of the process. Like with other variables (VO2max, lactate,etc.) don't get tied to one while missing the big picture.

If you enjoyed this or any other article, please help get the information out there and pass it on. Much appreciated.

To read more about barefoot running and running shoes read the below article on Why Running shoes do not work:

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Touch and Go #8

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 with No comments
What causes heel strike?
“A major factor contributing to the predominance of RFS landings in shod runners is the cushioned sole of most modern running shoes, which is thickest below the heel, orienting the sole of the foot so as to have about 5u less dorsiflexion than does the sole of the shoe, and allowing a runner to RFS comfortably. Thus, RFS runners who dorsiflex the ankle at impact have shoe soles that are more dorsiflexed relative to the ground, and FFS runners who plantarflex the ankle at impact have shoe soles that are flatter (less plantarflexed) relative to the ground, even when knee and ankle angles are not different.”

“Differences between RFS and FFS running make sense from an evolutionary perspective. If endurance running was an important behaviour before the invention of modern shoes, then natural selection is expected to have operated to lower the risk of injury and discomfort when barefoot or in minimal footwear.”

This essentially means, we’ve got millions of years of adjustment and fine tuning that went on to allow us to run barefoot with minimal risk. In addition, Lieberman points out several evolutionary changes that aid running. The development of the arch, which is essential for elastic energy return, is one of them.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Monday, 7 June 2010

Touch and Go #7

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, June 07, 2010 with 3 comments
In his accompanying article Jungers eloquently stated:

“Although there is no hard proof that running in shoes, especially hitech or PCECH (pronation control, elevated cushioned heel) versions, causes injuries, in my view there is no compelling evidence that it prevents them either. However, there are data that implicate shoes more generally as a plausible source of some types of chronic foot problems.”

Speed and footstrike:
One other interesting finding was that speed was NOT related to foot strike type or ankle and foot angles. That means, how fast the runner was in the study did not relate to how he struck the ground. That helps to get rid of the old argument that I have heard time and time again that footstrike depends solely on speed and that only fast runners strike midfoot because they run fast. WRONG.

From a range of runners running at speeds varying from about 7minutes per mile to ~4:20 per mile, footstrike didn't depend on speed.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Sunday, 6 June 2010

Touch and Go #6

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, June 06, 2010 with No comments
Barefoot/Forefoot runners have a “smoother” ride: Difference in collision forces:
Barefoot runners “take shorter strides and to run with greater vertical leg and ankle compliance (the lowering of the body’s centre of mass relative to the force of the impact). This serves to blunt the transient force and results in a less jarring, ‘smoother ride’.” (Jungers, 2010)

Basically this means that because of the footstrike difference, the body uses the lower leg in a more efficient shock absorbing way. The foot is more plantar flexed and the ankle is more compliant. This creates a situation where the collision is essentially absorbed and spread out better.

In heel striking the collision forces are concentrated in one area, and very sudden. Meaning a large amount of force in one place, very quickly. Meanwhile in a more flat footstrike, as mentioned above, the impact is spread out, absorbed better, and not so sudden. This leads to peak vertical forces 3x lower in barefoot vs. shoe wearing runners and a rate of loading that is half as much for barefoot compared to shoe wearing runners

This difference may lead to injury prevention, as some studies have suggested that it’s not necessarily the total impact forces but the high rate of force in a very short time. (Look at the drawings in my article below and remember that barefoot running doesn’t have the initial peak impact force). Still, the impact force debate can be VERY misleading. Just a word of caution to read my other blog post on running shoes and realize that peak impact forces do not relate to injuries

Concrete vs. Dirt:
Another interesting finding is the adjustment of impact forces that occurs based on the ground you are going to strike. The study found that barefoot running produced less collision forces on a hard surface than a cushioned shoe.

Similar to the conclusions I came to in the Running shoe article (see Steve’s blog), they found that leg stiffness was adjusted to control impact. This created a situation where there was no difference in rate or magnitude of impact loading based on the surface they were running on. As I have said many times, the body has a built in adjustment mechanism. It controls impact via adjustment of several different mechanisms.

So all those people who are worried about the impact forces of running barefoot on concrete should consider that when they stick a cushioning shoe on and heelstrike, there collision forces are higher!

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...


Saturday, 5 June 2010

Touch and Go #5

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, June 05, 2010 with 1 comment
THE first big study on barefoot running in Nature : Death to Heel striking.
The barefoot debate is about to get a little bit hotter.

A new study released this year by Lieberman in Nature takes an evolutionary look at barefoot running. In the study, they compared barefoot and shoe running on a whole variety of factors in both regular shoe wearers, regular barefoot runners, and even Kenyans!

The study is entitled and I HIGHLY recommend it:
Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners

This is a timely piece as it adds more evidence to the article I wrote a couple days ago below. The implications are great as they extend beyond barefoot running to foot strike too (heel vs. forefoot, etc.) I’ll highlight some of the findings.

Foot strike and Elastic response and energy transfer:
 As I speculated in my article, footstrike greatly effects the elastic energy return. In their study, it was found that forefoot and some midfoot strikes “reduces the effective mass of the foot and converts some translational energy into rotational energy; the calf muscles control heel drop, and the FFS runner can take fuller advantage of elastic energy storage in both the Achilles tendon and the longitudinal arch of the foot.”

On this topic, Liberman speculates that the arch plays a key role in reduced oxygen cost of running in barefoot runners. Essentially during a mid/fore foot strike the arch can stretch over the entire first half of the stance phase, while during the rearfoot strike, it has to wait until the last part of this phase, thus decreasing energy storage and return.

Also, forefoot and some midfoot strikes allowed for greater energy transfer. When heel striking a large portion of kinetic energy dissipates. With forefoot striking, some of the translational kinetic energy converts into rotational energy.

from Science of Running by Steve Magness. To be continued...