slide7Written and published back in 1975, it has a wonderful description of running a race that is well worth reading, so we have reproduced it here, but if you can ever get your hands on a copy we recommend it, even after 40 years much of it is still relevant as well as being a great read.


On the starting line for that one silent moment. Then the start. Always faster than you remembered. The mind goes through the instructions. Relax. Push off with each stride. Run from the hips. Belly breathe.

At the half-mile mark, you settle for a pace that keeps breathing just bearable. Everything makes a difference. Every change in footing—grass, cinder, dirt or stone. A grade that would escape a surveyor adds its toll. The environment occupies you completely. Wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity can either aid or hinder. Forget the watch; the course runs different every time.Continue reading



1,  Do not ever think of it as a circuit it’s just uphill, flat, downhill, flat, OR North, East South, West. If that doesn’t 

2one size

man running on track

work, then just start singing that old song, Road to Nowhere.

  1. Do not start with any set number of laps in mind, just start RUNNING, focus on your breathing, maintaining an even pace, maybe work the uphill a little and cruise the flat, check your stride length and turnover, look around, clouds above, birds flying past, and then when you have no idea how many times you have been around, then you can look at your GPS watch.
  2. It helps to be obsessive about setting a weekly distance goal and achieving it, this means if you’re a bit slack early on, you can find yourself later in the week doing days of 10 – 12k in the morning, followed by 10 – 15k in the evening, this is certainly a wakeup call and rapidly gets you back on track.
  3. Mentally it can be quite challenging but only for the first few kilometres, until you zone out and start solving problems or planning your next big running adventure, which gets you through to 10km and by then you feel so good if it weren’t for the time constraints you would just keep running.
  4. The biggest mind blowing, drag your butt out there and go for it challenge, is the 20+km long run. Always difficult to get motivated to run in circles 20 to 25 times, however this is where the big goal comes into play, the 50k race or similar that you have already committed to run. The trick is to break it into smaller segments of 4 or 5 laps and after 3 sets of these you find the brain has adapted and the thoughts are, another sets a breeze, and oh if I tag on another couple of laps I’ll crack 85k for the week, works every time

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KURRAWA  TO  DURANBAH  50KM  ULTRA. The return of a 70 year old shuffler.

KURRAWA TO DURANBAH 50KM ULTRA. The return of a 70 year old shuffler.

Robert crossing the finish line of the 50 km Ultra

My return to Ultra’s after 20yrs was a decision brought about by an injury to my buttock that prevented me from doing any running for almost 6 months and the realization that I needed to enjoy it while I still could. Starting at the end of 2013 I began the rebuild from zero up to around 40k per week then over the last 3 months to 80k per week, knowing I would be there just to complete it not to compete.
On the morning of the race my partner and running buddy of 23yrs Bernice ( I am not a morning person) Fitzgibbon, had me out the door and on our way just after 4am in plenty of time for the start at 5, no time to be nervous, I knew mentally I could do it but the question was how well? After hugs and good wishes I was on the start in time for some last minute instructions from the Race Director and we were away, at this stage the thoughts were, its only 50k, this will be the shortest ultra you’ve ever done, oh this could be fun.Continue reading

Do You Smile?

Do You Smile?

Runners high five each other on a bridge

Two runners high five as they pass each other.

Don’t know where this came from or who wrote it but it is worth sharing and if you recognize it then let me know so I can give you credit and say thank-you with a smile.

When you’re out there on the footpaths, do you smile? When your feet fall into the rhythm, one after another, do you smile? When the person running towards you has a grimace of pain and determination on their face, do you smile? When the person running towards you nods their head in your direction, do you smile?

The runners smile. The nod. The acknowledgement. A shared understanding of so many things. A shared moment.Continue reading

My Beliefs About Training.

My Beliefs About Training.

plantation 2While it is on my mind I thought I might share some of my beliefs about training!  None of this is based on science or current practice but there is so much out there it can be so confusing especially if you are just starting out!

Now I am a rebellious soul so if someone says you have to do it this way or that way odds are I won’t listen!!    Anyway, there are a few things I have come to learn and one is no one training program fits all!!  Continue reading

To Stretch or not to stretch that is the question

To Stretch or not to stretch that is the question

people stretchingThere has been so much written about stretching!  Should you stretch before a run, after a run or both and does it help to prevent injury?

To answer this let’s look at each stage separately.

Static Stretching

Before a run or for that matter any exercise you need to get the body prepared.  To do this properly you need to get your heart rate up and increased blood flow to the muscles to ensure they are ready for work.    Doing a few static stretches is not going to do this and in fact can be detrimental to your training and overall performance. Continue reading

Sodium and Dehydration

Sodium and Dehydration

Screen shot 2011-07-12 at 9.10.31 PMWe are experiencing very hot humid conditions at present which makes running very difficult.  I am finding it hard to run even short distance despite the fact I am up very early as the humidity is so high it just sucks the life out of me!!   The other night my partner who is working night shift on a construction site complained he was having trouble staying awake and just felt so drained despite drinking heaps of water to keep hydrated. No it wasn’t just because he was working nights.  I suggested he try having some salt as I felt this may help!Continue reading

The 3 Main Causes of Injury

The 3 Main Causes of Injury

ankle-injuryBefore I get started let’s look at the 3 main reasons we get injured in the first place this will also give a better insight into injury prevention.    Exercise by its shear nature is putting our bodies under stress so when we put our bodies under stress it can break down.  Your body is made up of multiple moving parts, any one of these moving parts can give under the demands you put on them.  So what are these 3 main causes of injury?Continue reading

The Many Benefits of Running

The Many Benefits of Running

people runningFor most people, running is exhausting, boring, and sometimes painful. However, you see today so many people running as if their lives depended on it. (That is actually true to a point.)

There are many reasons why people engage themselves in running these days. Foremost of which is to stay in shape or to reach their ideal body weight. Studies show that the potent combination of correct diet and the right exercise is the most effective method in losing weight.

Weight loss

For all its boring features, running is very effective in allowing a person to burn an average of 100 calories for every run mile. Biking and walking, on the other hand, only burn a fraction of these calories in the same amount of time.
While we burn around 2000 to 5000 calories every day doing nothing, running 5 miles a day burns an additional 500 calories.

The speed in running has little or no effect on the number of calories burned. Rather, it is weight that counts. A 220-pound person running an 8-minute mile burns 150 calories. A person weighing 120 pounds running the same pace burns a measly 82 calories.

Understand that a person needs an excess of 3500 calories in order to gain a pound. This means you need to burn that much number of calories in order to lose a single pound.

Overall health

Another motivation that drives runners is the health benefits they get. Running helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. During a run, the arteries get exercised as well, what with all the blood moving about.

Running also maximizes the lung’s potential, keeping it strong and powerful. Deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissues, but half of both are unused. Running makes the lungs use almost all of its tissues.

Running also strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. During a run, the heart muscles are exercised, thus keeping it fit and strong by itself.

The heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times every day compared to that of a runner. The reason is simple – the runner’s arteries are wider and blood flows smoother.


Most runners keep this secret to themselves: running gives an intense exhilaration and euphoria right after a run. And they are addicted to the feeling and it motivates them the most.

Science had already found out the nature of this natural high: beta endorphins. These are released by the body’s neurons intended to relieve the pain after a run. It creates a feeling of extreme happiness and exhilaration and can be so intense it often can replace other addictions to drugs, alcohol, including appetite for food.

Natural tranquilizer

There is a trend for doctors now to recommend to their patients suffering from clinical depression and other psychological disorders to try running. This is based on studies that show running as a natural tranquilizer. Patients are reported to be less tense, less confused, less depressed, and less fatigued.

Whatever your reasons for running are, it is a safe bet that it is one of the best natural disease-fighters man had discovered. What’s more, it’s free and it’s delirious as well.