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ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

- THE ASHES

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

INJURY IN FOCUS


EDITOR’S LETTER

MY FATHER ONCE TOLD ME THAT YOU CAN’T MAKE A LIVING OUT OF SPORT, WHICH I REGULARLY REMIND HIM OF. THAT’S ONE THING I DIDN’T LISTEN TO HIM ABOUT - I’M GLAD I DIDN’T, BECAUSE EVERY DAY I WORK, TRAIN AND COMPETE WITH INSPIRING, PASSIONATE AND INTELLIGENT (WELL MAYBE THAT’S A STRETCH) PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. I STARTED JOCK ATHLETIC IN 2006 WITH BUSINESS PARTNER PAUL WATSON AND EACH YEAR HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY, WITH 2013 BEING NO DIFFERENT. SOME OF THE YEARS HIGHLIGHTS: I COLLABORATED ON A FITNESS DVD WITH BRETT LEE CALLED “PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES”; WE HOSTED THE 7TH ANNUAL JANE MCGRATH CLASSIC, A CHARITY FUN RUN WE CREATED IN HONOUR OF OUR GOOD FRIEND JANE MCGRATH: WE HELD OUR FIRST ATHLETE TRAINING CAMP ON HAMILTON ISLAND; WE WERE INVITED TO HOST AN EXCLUSIVE ATHLETE TRAINING SESSION WITH OLYMPIC TRACK STAR BEN JOHNSON AS PART OF THE SKINS PURESPORT ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN; WE FURTHER STRENGTHENED OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR AMAZING SPONSORS CRUST GOURMET PIZZA BAR CRONULLA AND T-BONE MEDIA; PUBLISHED THE 3RD ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF OUR MAGAZINE AND CAPPED OFF THE YEAR WITH ANOTHER DVD COLLABORATION, THIS TIME WITH MR CRICKET, MIKE HUSSEY, ON CRICKET FITNESS. OH YES, AND TO CAP IT OFF, WE’VE GOT A THIRD BABY ON THE WAY, A PRETTY GOOD YEAR REALLY! WHAT CONTINUES TO AMAZE ME IS THE CALIBRE OF ATHLETES THAT COME THROUGH THE DOOR, AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL. THEY ALL HAVE THEIR OWN QUIRKS, DEMONS AND STRENGTHS. BUT THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON - TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES PHYSICALLY, WHETHER ITS TO BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD, OR FINISH THE 5KM FUN RUN NEXT WEEKEND. THERE ARE SOME THAT MAKE EXCUSES, OTHERS WHO WILL SHOW UP, WEEK AFTER WEEK,


Sandhills shenanigans - the best session of the week.

CONTINUING TO GIVE THEIR BEST. IT’S WHAT MAKES MY JOB INTERESTING. I COULDN’T BE MORE PROUD OR GRATEFUL FOR THE CALIBRE OF WRITERS AND CONTRIBUTORS THAT HAVE HELPED US GROW OUR MAGAZINE. EACH A CHAMPION ATHLETE OR COACH IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. ON THAT NOTE, SPECIAL MENTION TO OUR RESIDENT SPORTS DIETICIAN REBECCA GAWTHORNE, WHO RECENTLY MARRIED ANOTHER TOP ATHLETE LAURENT STEWART - BEST WISHES AND CONGRATULATIONS. ALSO TO LAUREN KITCHEN, PRO CYCLIST WITH WIGGLE HONDA, WHO TOOK LINE HONOURS IN THE NSW INTERNATIONAL CYCLING GRAND PRIX IN CRONULLA RECENTLY. THIS WAS HER LAST IN AND RIDE FOR THE WIGGLE HONDA UNIT BEFORE HEADING TO ANOTHER TEAM IN 2014. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR TRAINING ADVICE AND WISDOM IN 2013 AND BEST OF LUCK IN 2014. WELL DONE TO THE AUSSIES IN THE FIRST ASHES TEST, PARTICULARLY BRAD HADDIN WHO HAD A GREAT PERFORMANCE IN HIS 50TH TEST MATCH, CAPTAIN MICHAEL CLARKE WHO TURNED THE SERIES AROUND WITH A FEW BRUTAL PULL SHOTS IN THE SECOND INNINGS AND MITCH JOHNSON WHO BULLIED ENGLAND INTO SUBMISSION. BRING HOME THE ASHES BOYS, THEY’VE BEEN GONE FOR FAR TOO LONG! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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JOCK ATHLETIC HONOURS OUR ATHLETES AND MEMBER OF THE YEAR TO WIN THESE AWARDS YOU HAVE TO SATISFY SEVERAL CRITERIA, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GREAT PERFORMANCES, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE DULY NOTED. IT’S A COMBINATION OF GREAT PERFORMANCE, ATTITUDE TO TRAINING AND OTHER TEAM MEMBERS, COURAGE, COMMITMENT AND WHAT YOU ALSO BRING TO THE GROUP. AT THE END OF THE DAY WE WANT MEMBERS THAT ARE AN INSPIRATION.

MEMBER OF THE YEAR – DEE MCCARTHY (RIGHT) - FOR HER COMMITMENT TO THE GROUP AND TRAINING! EVERY DAY DEE SENDS ALL MEMBERS OF THE RUNNER’S CLUB A MESSAGE ENCOURAGING, SOMETIMES EVEN DEMANDING, THEY TURN UP TO TRAINING. EVEN WHEN INJURED THIS YEAR DEE WOULD TURN UP TO TRAINING, DO SOME STRENGTH WORK AND TAKE PHOTOS, BRINGING SOMETHING POSITIVE TO THE GROUP EVEN WHEN DOWN HERSELF. AND SHE IS NOW ALSO RUNNING AS FAST AS EVER. WELL-DONE DEE.

SENIOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – ALI NAJEM (LEFT). IN HIS FIRST FULL YEAR OF REGULAR COMPETITION ALI HAS GONE FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH WINNING SEVERAL RACES, CULMINATING WITH DOUBLE GOLD AT THE SURF LIFESAVING STATE TITLES IN THE 2KM BEACH RUN U19 & OPEN DIVISION FOLLOWED BY DOUBLE SILVER AT THE AUSTRALIAN TITLES IN THE SAME AGE DIVISIONS. IT WAS MORE THE UPS AND DOWN HE HAD, INCLUDING BEING IN A COMA AFTER A CAR CRASH , HIS FIGHT BACK AND HIS ENCOURAGEMENT OF THE REST OF THE GROUP, AND THE WAY HE COMPETES THAT WON HIM THE AWARD. CONGRATULATIONS ALI.

JUNIOR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – CHLOE GENTLE (CENTRE). IN ALL MY YEARS AS A COACH I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE ENJOY THE HARD SLOG OF TRAINING MORE THAN THIS YOUNG WOMAN, WITH MANY PB’S THIS YEAR IN X COUNTRY AND MIDDLE DISTANCE RUNNING AND A FANTASTIC ATTITUDE. AFTER HER FIRST EVER SAND HILLS SESSION, WHERE SHE DOMINATED, CHLOE TOLD ME IT WASN’T THAT HARD - THE FIRST PERSON EVER TO SAY THIS ABOUT THEIR FIRST SESSION IN 30 YEARS. I HAVE NEVER HEARD HER COMPLAIN AT ANY TRAINING SESSION, A JOY TO COACH. WELL-DONE CHLOE. DECEMBER 2013

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CONTENTS

12 ATTITUDE: IS YOURS WORTH CATCHING? Jock Campbell

18 LEADING FROM THE FRONT Dan Atkins

EZINE BRAINS TRUST PUBLISHER Jock Athletic EDITORS Jock Campbell / Melissa Campbell ART DIRECTOR/DESIGN Kiss the Sky ADVERTISING/PRODUCTION Melissa Campbell 8

24 PLANTAR FASCIITIS

38 OUT OF T

30 VALE ALBIE THOMAS

42 ATHLETE

Peter Colagiuri

Peter Hadfield (OAM)

Siobhan M

Jock Athlet

CONTRIBUTORS Dan Atkins, Jock Campbell, Peter Colagiuri, Empirica Research, Rebecca Gawthorne, Peter Hadfield, Lauren Kitchen, Siobhan McCarthy, Paul Watson, Eloise Wellings

COVER IMAGE: Brisbane, Australia, 24 November- Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Graeme Swann of England during day four of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba jockathletic.com (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


THE DARKNESS McCarthy

NEWS tic

EDITORIAL OFFICE Jock Athletic | PO Box 1186 Cronulla 2230 0415 998 636 | EMAIL ezine@jockathletic.com www.jockathletic.com ABOVE: A very happy Wiggle Honda Cycling team, led by Jock Athletic athlete Rochelle Gilmore (far right), after winning the NSW International Grand Prix in Cronulla. Lauren Kitchen (3rd from left) took line honours in the event!

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E D U T I T AT HING?

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JOCK CAMPBELL DECEMBER 2013

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TO SEE MITCH JOHNSON, RYAN HARRIS AND PETER SIDDLE CHARGE IN EACH AND EVERY SPELL WITH FULL INTENSITY, AT AN UNWAVERING SPEED, AS CONFIRMED BY THE SPEED GUN THIS TEST, REMINDED ME OF SOMETHING CURRENT AUSSIE SELECTOR ANDY BICHEL USED TO SAY AS A PLAYER -YOU NEED TO BEND YOUR BACK ON FLAT WICKETS TO GET ANYTHING OUT OF THEM, WHICH SUMMED ‘BICH’ UP EVERY TIME HE TOOK THE FIELD.

I CANT SPEAK HIGHLY ENOUGH OF THE AUSSIE QUICKS IN THE FIRST TEST AT THE GABBA. ALL THREE BOWLED WITH RELENTLESS AND FEROCIOUS INTENT. Some say Mitch Johnson was a surprise to come back into the side, but over the past 12 months he has been bowling as well as ever and was clearly in great form last Aussie season. It was a great surprise that he wasn’t part of the first Ashes squad to be picked for the Ashes in England. He’s worked very hard on his physical condition over the past 18 months and is in the best shape and form of his career, clearly deserving of his spot. The clear ingredient from the first Test was Mitch and the other quicks great attitude, and they all did just what Andy Bichel used to preach. 14

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SOME SAY MITCH JOHNSON WAS A SURPRISE TO COME BACK INTO THE SIDE...HE’S WORKED VERY HARD ON HIS PHYSICAL CONDITION OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS AND IS IN THE BEST SHAPE AND FORM OF HIS CAREER, CLEARLY DESERVING OF HIS SPOT.

This was in stark contrast to the English quicks, apart from Broad who put in every time he bowled and was rewarded with wickets. Anderson and Tremlett’s pace dropped of from their second spells on. I’ve noticed this about Anderson in particular over the past year, world class when the


ball is moving around and conditions are favorable, but as soon as the wicket is flat and the ball stops swinging, he dawdles back to his mark, consistently asks for the ball to be changed and generally mopes around like the world’s against him, bowling low 130s, hardly inspirational. Tremlett’s drop off in place was dramatic, starting in the mid 130s and as the game wore on dropped to mid 120s. From the England set-up this is really surprising. Yes it was hot, but if that’s the bowling attacks excuse, they are advertising a lack of specific preparation for Aussie conditions. In case England forgot, the news flash is the Australian summer is hot and humid and the most basic of preparation for international cricket is heat and humidity preparation, which any sports science first year student learns about. Maybe a glaring oversight by England not to prepare for heat and humidity! If that’s not the reason, it comes down to lack of bowling preparation or worse even still poor attitude. The first Test of a series was the time to make a statement. That’s what Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting taught me when I was with the team, and a big statement is with attitude. The bowling attacks were poles apart in this area. The Aussie team of the early 2000s had an SAS motto: “attitudes are contagious - is yours worth catching? The Aussies certainly made a statement and the Aussie quicks showed great test match attitude. It was great to see.

JOCK CAMPBELL IS A SPORTS SCIENTIST, ELITE STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH & LEVEL 3 ATHLETICS COACH. FROM 2000 -2005 JOCK WAS THE HEAD STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING COACH FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM. DURING THIS PERIOD THE TEAM WAS WORLD CHAMPIONS IN BOTH TEST MATCH (NO. 1 IN TEST RANKINGS) AND ONE DAY CRICKET (WORLD CUP WINNERS 2003 AND NO.1 IN WORLD RANKINGS); IT WAS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PERIOD IN THE TEAMS HISTORY. FOR MORE ON JOCK , CHECK OUT HIS WEBSITE JOCKATHLETIC.COM OR EMAIL EZINE@JOCKATHLETIC.COM

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LEADING FROM THE

FRONT 18

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DAN ATKINS

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“THERE IS NEVER A PERFECT DAY IN COACHING”. THIS IS MY COACHING MOTTO. SO HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE UNCONTROLLABLE SITUATIONS THAT ARISE DAILY? WELL, IT ALL COMES DOWN TO PLANNING.

AS I DISCUSSED A FEW MONTHS AGO THE NATIONAL TALENT ACADEMY (NTA) WAS CREATED THROUGH A NEED IN AUSTRALIA TO SERVICE AND FURTHER DEVELOP THE ALREADY HIGH INTERNATIONAL CALIBRE OF TRIATHLETES WE HAVE IN AUSTRALIA. Across Australia there are now 4 programs servicing every state and territory with 4 coach/ program managers and the results are starting to flow. I can attest on behalf of each of us coaches that there is never a perfect day. We act as personal coaches (what we do best), we are administrators, dictators, psychologists, fighters for the better good of athlete’s needs and most importantly we are coach role models ( well I believe we are in any case). All of the above I mentioned is judged by the “non” system coaches, the ones that are self -funded and provide athletes on camps basis’s into our state based programs. These coaches are valuable with developing athletes into our program and should be supported to keep progressing them within their home based environment. 20

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I have the pleasure of working with two states, Western Australia, where I am based, and South Australia. Both states are very much in their developmental stage of having a program based around High Performance and I am to over- see both programs with the vision (my own vision) of having athletes in the top 5, both men and women, in Australia. The planning and structure I have tried to implement is different in both states. I must also stress that each state in Australia is completely different and each of us coaches work that way. We work with what works best in each of the states and territories.


Each week I am looking at progressing our programs to further advance our athletes. Meeting with other HP programs is key to our development. I am trying to be as lateral with my thinking as possible. Hearing from other HP programs is such a good learning experience that even just a minute of the conversation is all that is needed to be of benefit if I can put it into practice. Triathlon is simple, but it is simply full time work trying to piece together the endless puzzle for success. Right now I have the following as my service providers - doctors; sports doctors; Nutritionists- both on state level and national (having different opinions

I CAN ATTEST ON BEHALF OF EACH OF US COACHES THAT THERE IS NEVER A PERFECT DAY. WE ACT AS PERSONAL COACHES (WHAT WE DO BEST), WE ARE ADMINISTRATORS, DICTATORS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, FIGHTERS FOR THE BETTER GOOD OF ATHLETE’S NEEDS AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WE ARE COACH ROLE MODELS ( WELL I BELIEVE WE ARE IN ANY CASE).

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can sometimes be the best way to work it out for yourself); massage therapists; physiotherapists ( about 3 I will contact weekly); biomechanics- I actually borrow these ones and ask for any assistance I can possibly can; physiologists in two statesthese guys and girls are the ones that can keep our heads above water, they back up our theories and challenge extra theories along the way; Strength and Conditioning expertsthese guys make us stronger in a way we can’t get through swim, bike, & run, alone; specialised coaches- swimming, running.

WHILST I ATTEST TO KNOWING QUITE A BIT ABOUT THIS SPORT, HAVING THE TIME TO CHAT TO DIFFERENT SPECIALISTS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL DISCIPLINES HELPS TO CONFIRM MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW OR CHALLENGES OUR THOUGHTS, WHICH I LOVE. All this in total accounts for approximately 25-30hrs a week of training. Well that is for the athletes. NTA coaches on average I would think work approximately 14hrs a day 6 days week. It all takes time and most of it is done behind closed doors and when most athletes are tucked into bed. As I mentioned earlier, the program is working. Of the total junior athletes at the world titles in London we had 5 out of the 8 athlete’s 22

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race where from the NTA program, one has graduated from program to a State institute, one was offered a position but refused for their own reasons and the final other was in my program. So for all the time and effort we all put in it shows that hard work pays off and most importantly that even though we have our battles most days, we generally get buy in from the people we seek out to help us.

BELOW IS MY NORMAL WEEK:

• Swim x 4 sessions including video analysis once a week. • Dry land once a week for 30mins • Bike x 4 – one pace line (2.5hrs), Hill session with some time trialling to finish off (2.5hrs) • Run x 5- one solid aerobic, one treadmill, one hill strength, one run off, one longer fartlek • Others - gym 1 session, 3 post run trigger pointing sessions.

All of the above are the contact sessions I am involved with. The individual athletes have other sessions that need to be done in their own time. Each week will also include about 20hrs a week in my office answering emails setting up meetings with specific coaches whether they be our service providers, the State development program managers, State Institute coaches/ managers, athletes, development coaches and if time permits ME


setting up Personal development meetings. The last one I believe is my own most important development and something as coaches, when we are buried in the grind of preparing our athletes, is almost forgotten. The most important role I believe for all the NTA coaches and our programs is to develop athletes, give them an understanding of how best to develop and best utilise any opportunity that is presented. Each program on average will have 3-4 camps a year inviting all the key performance athletes in each state for an intensive block of training. Coaches I believe are equally as important.

We as NTA coaches cannot coach all the athletes and it is more healthy for the progression of Australian triathletes that we have coaches willing to up skill themselves to progress and develop athletes in their home environments. But they have to be willing to take the time to invest into their progression. I love my job at the NTA and very quickly I have become a Western Australian and proud of it. We start our racing journey very soon and I am very much looking forward to seeing the progression we have made as a Statebased program with National Structure. Stay tuned and fingers crossed it all works out, but I am very much aware of the challenge ahead.

DAN ATKINS IS THE A NATIONAL TALENT COACH FOR WA & SA FOR TRIATHLON AUSTRALIA, HEADING UP THEIR HIGH PERFORMANCE PROGRAM. HE HAS SOME 25 YEARS EXPERIENCE AS A TRIATHLON COACH AND ATHLETE. NOW BASED IN WA, YOU CAN CONTACT DAN DIRECTLY: DANATKINS08@GMAIL.COM

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PLANTAR FASCIITIS INJURY IN FOCUS

AS A RUNNER, IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD PLANTAR FASCIITIS, YOU’VE AT LEAST HEARD ABOUT IT OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO’S SUFFERED FROM IT. SO WHY IS IT SO COMMON, SO FRUSTRATING TO FIX AND SO DEBILITATING?

PETER COLAGIURI

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THERE’S THE LONG LIST OF UNDERLYING CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS: BAD SHOES, WEAK OR FATIGUED MUSCLES, POOR STRIDE MECHANICS AND RAPIDLY INCREASING TRAINING LOADS, JUST TO NAME A FEW. BUT THE EASIEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND THE CAUSES IS TO LOOK AT THE COMMON LINK BEHIND EVERY CAUSE: PLANTAR FASCIA LOADING.

commences at the base of the fascia, where it connects on to the calcaneus (heel bone). From there, it can cause an associated bone reaction and/or it can spread further forward along the fascia.

THE KEY IDENTIFYING FEATURES OF A CLASSIC CASE OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS ARE:

• Excruciating pain on putting weight through your feet first thing in the morning (and occasionally after a long period of sitting) • Easing pain as it “loosens up” in the morning and on runs

Firstly, we need to look at the anatomy and function of the plantar fascia. It’s a moderately springy band of tissue under the foot that absorbs force as the arch collapses, helps to lift the arch as you’re preparing to push off and gives the foot some rigidity when you’re pushing off. Very handy thing to have and very busy little structure. It gets it’s versatility from the design, connecting on to the toes so that it can stretch out when you first hit the ground (and the toes are flat) and tighten up late in the stride (as the toes bend back). But with complex design comes complex dynamics and the potential for abnormal loading. And this is where plantar fasciitis comes onto the radar. Technically it’s not an “itis” (suffix used for inflammatory conditions) as there’s no direct source of inflammation. It arises when the structure undergoes abnormal or excessive load. The irritation usually 26

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• Worse in unsupportive footwear or barefoot walking

These features aren’t exclusive to plantar fasciitis but should raise the degree of suspicion if they are occurring, and slowly getting worse. When you run further than usual, your stabilising muscles begin to fatigue midrun and your arch collapses with greater speed, leading to increased loading. The same dynamic is behind causes such as old shoes (worn cushioning can accelerate pronation), increased body weight (leads to earlier fatigue) and plantar fasciitis soon after returning from another injury (weaker muscles fatigue earlier). Poor stride mechanics can increase plantar


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fascia loads as longer strides make it difficult for stabilisers to function, making them less effective at supporting the foot and placing more demand on the fascia. Treatments for plantar fascia fall into two main categories: those that minimise the pain to keep you running and those that fix the problem. Although the first type of treatment can keep you moving in the short term, you will need to fix the underlying cause to actually be free of the problem. Pain-relieving treatments include ice, stretching and self-massage (rolling a frozen bottle of water under the foot). There’s even a special sock to maintain the tension on the fascia overnight so you minimise that early morning pain. But each of these methods only relieve the pain to some extent; they won’t fix the problem. In addition to the DIY treatments, physio can offer a very effective

taping to support the foot and take away most of the pain. The fixes for the underlying issue can be strength/stability programs, joint mobility work, running technique corrections, new footwear or training modifications; the trick here is that it needs to target your particular problem otherwise it won’t be successful. These approaches are often used in conjunction with the pain-relieving treatments to keep you running, partly to maintain your sanity, partly to minimise the risks associated with time off running. The best advice I could give to anyone suffering from plantar fasciitis is to get running-specific help. The function of the fascia and causes of the problem are quite complex and aren’t likely to be fixed without a thorough understanding of what’s going on. Timely good advice saves you frustration, lost running time and frustration.

PETER COLAGIURI IS A SPORTS PHYSIOTHERAPIST, SPECIALISING IN RUNNING INJURIES. HE PRACTICES IN MIRANDA AND MANLY IN ADDITION TO RESEARCHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY. FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE BIOATHLETIC.COM.AU, OR BOOK AN APPOINTMENT (02) 9977 1580 MANLY@BIOATHLETIC.COM.AU

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Top Tips For treatment 1. Adding a higher heel can help ease the stretch and the pain. It can be done with a heel left inside your runners or by selecting a medium height heel for ladies dress shoes (12” heel should be sufficient) 2. Roll the foot over a frozen bottle of water. Just pop a 600ml bottle of water upright in the freezer with 500ml of water in it (to allow for expansion) 3. Old-school toe crunching exercises don’t work as they encourage abnormal muscle function around the foot 4. Stick with your treatment approach long enough to evaluate its effectiveness and adjust it if needed

5. Low-Dye taping is very effective at relieving pain and taking the stress off the area. It can be part of the solution for short episodes of plantar fasciitis but it’ll need to be applied by a physio, podiatrist or chiro 6. Be patient! Plantar fasciitis takes weeks or months to build up; don’t expect it to disappear overnight 7. Anti-inflammatories (e.g. Nurofen, Voltaren) don’t fix the problem and can often complicate the treatment by temporarily masking the pain feedback to abnormal loading of the fascia 8. Stretching may relieve some of the pain but forceful stretching can make it worse

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VALE ALBIE THOMAS 1935-2013

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Albie Thomas (38) passing Herb Elliott and Frank White (Avondale AC and Clonliffe Harriers) in the 2 Mile World Record Race, 1958.

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IT’S A CONUNDRUM THAT PEOPLE OF GREAT ACHIEVEMENT OFTEN DON’T RECEIVE THE PUBLIC RECOGNITION AND FAME THAT THEY DESERVE, YET OTHERS WHO APPEAR TO HAVE ACHIEVED VERY LITTLE RECEIVE WIDESPREAD CELEBRITY.

Albert “Albie” Thomas was one of these quiet achievers. He was one of Australia’s athletic greats and after a year- long illness Albie sadly passed away on the morning of Sunday October 27, 2013. Albie was well known to those members of the Jock Athletic squad who regularly ran on Saturday mornings at the Cronulla sand hills because Albie was a regular until just a year or so ago, working with his young charges – those young athletes who had an interest in middle distance running – with whom he provided his years of experience and passion coaching them to be the best that they could be in his life long pursuit. Albie was born in Hurstville on February 8, 1935 and lived the vast majority of his life in the St. George area. In 1951 at aged 16, while attending Canterbury Boys’ High School, he started to show promise as an athlete, winning bronze medals in the open 880 yards and mile races at the NSW Combined High School 32

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Championships, clocking times of 2:14.0 and 5:01.4 and he was encouraged to join St. George Athletics Club. A catalyst for Albie’s athletic success was a visit to Percy Cerutty’s Portsea training camp. Cerutty was the guru of middle distance running at the time and coached World Recordholder and Olympic Gold Medallist Herb Elliott.

CERUTTY INTRODUCED THOMAS TO THE HUGE BENEFITS OF SAND HILLS TRAINING AND COACHED HIM BY CORRESPONDENCE. AS A RESULT ALBIE BECAME A REGULAR AT THE DUNES AT KURNELL. In the mid fifties, the kurnell sand hills were a completely different landscape to the pitiful remnants that now exist. In those days the sand hills covered an extensive area from Cronulla Golf Club to Kurnell and from the coastline to Captain Cook Drive. 60 years of sand mining have reduced the hills to their current geography but the remaining sand still provides a landscape in which to conduct a leg-destroying training session! Albie spent almost 60 years training or coaching athletes in the sand hills and it made me reflect that I have used these hills


as a part of my training on and off for 45 years (which is a frightening thought)! In 1955 Thomas was continuing to improve as a sound state level junior runner.

With the Olympic Games in Melbourne looming he decided to purchase some tickets to attend these Games for his then girlfriend Nola and himself. Little did he realise that within 12 months he would be selected to represent Australia at the Melbourne Games and he certainly wouldn’t need his tickets. Albie was a diminutive athlete, only 165cm

tall and weighing just 57kgs, running in an era of middle distance greats – John Landy, Herb Elliott and Ron Clarke. He didn’t run in the National Championships in 1956 but he received recognition as the photographer who snapped the iconic moment where John Landy stopped midrace in the Australian Mile Championship to help Ron Clarke back to his feet after he had fallen, before going on to win the race. It was later in September where at the Olympic trials he earned selection in the 5000m and was named reserve for the 10,000m at just 21 years of age. At the Melbourne Games he won his 5000m heat and placed fifth in the final. DECEMBER 2013

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Albie’s athletic career is outstanding. He created four world records and represented at three Olympic Games – Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo in 1964 and at two Commonwealth Games - Cardiff 1958 where he won a Silver Medal in the 3 miles and Bronze in the mile and Perth in 1962.

He was prolific across the full spectrum of distances. Albie won eight national titles and won 18 minor medals. He also won 20 NSW state titles from the mile to the Marathon. In 1963 he won the NSW marathon title (2:29.04) and Australian mile title just three months apart! His personal bests would be generally competitive now: • 1500m- 3:42.61 • One mile - 3:58.3 • Two mile- 8:32.0 • Three mile - 13:10.8 • 5000m- 13:50.0 • 10,000m - 29:21.02 • Marathon – 2:29.04 Albie was a firm believer in competition being the best form of preparation (a lesson which could be well-learned by many of our current crop of athletes) and in 1958 he had a dream run of performances. On July 8 he won a mile in Belfast in 4:07.4. The next night in Dublin he set a world record for three miles of 13:10.8, nearly four seconds under the old record. In August he won a three mile race at White City, London, then travelled back to Dublin where

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HE RAN THE FIRST SUB 4 MINUTE MILE IN NSW ON A GRASS TRACK WITH 3.58.8 IN 1960.


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he helped pace Herb Elliott to a 3:54.5 mile world record. Thomas finished the race fifth in 3:58.6. The next night at the same venue, a tired Elliot was unable to provide the required pace for Thomas who was attempting a two mile world record. Taking the lead himself, Thomas nailed the record with a 61 second last lap, an extraordinary achievement. Thomas is so revered in Ireland that they still contest the Albie Thomas Men’s 3000m annually at the Morton Pre-Games Track Meet. Albie continued his love for running after his official competitive retirement running Masters Games events. He was instrumental in the establishment of corporate racing in the Domain in Sydney and he launched into a coaching career in the 70’s, a career which he continued until poor health prevented it in 2012. Albie was also a key figure within the Olympians Club and he was installed into the

St. George and Sutherland Shire Sports Hall of Fame. He was still club President of the St. George Athletics Club at the time of his death. One of his proudest achievements was the awarding of an OAM in June 2013. Because of his poor health he was unable to go to Government House to receive his award, so Governor Marie Bashir visited his home on August 23 to present the medal. Albie wore his Medal of the Order of Australia on his pyjamas every day until he passed away. Albie Thomas was a special and rare person and a true gentleman. The Jock Athletic community send our condolences and deepest sympathies to his wife Nola; daughters Robyn and Patricia; and four grandsons Thomas, Mark, Liam and Mathew. [Thanks to David Tarbottom, Athletics NSW for statistics]

PETER HADFIELD OAM IS AN OLYMPIAN WHO REPRESENTED AUSTRALIA IN TWO OLYMPIC GAMES AND TWO COMMONWEALTH GAMES, WINNING A COMMONWEALTH GAMES SILVER MEDAL BEHIND OLYMPIC CHAMPION AND WORLD RECORD HOLDER DALEY THOMPSON. AS WELL AS WORKING AS A TV AND RADIO COMMENTATOR AND MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, PETER PROVIDES TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR SPORTING TEAMS AND INDIVIDUALS.

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OUT OF THE

DARKNESS IN THE FEBRUARY 2013 ISSUE OF JOCK ATHLETIC I WROTE ABOUT MY STRUGGLE TO TRAIN FOR TRIATHLON, MY OBSESSION WITH BODY IMAGE AND THE STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN NORMAL EATING HABITS. I WOULDN’T EAT PROPERLY AND ONCE THAT HAPPENED MY SUCCESS DWINDLED AND SO DID MY LOVE OF TRIATHLON. THESE DAYS I’M HAPPY TO REPORT THAT I EAT ICE CREAM AND ALSO RUN WITHOUT FEAR. AND THAT TO ME MEANS MORE THAN CROSSING A FINISH LINE.

SIOBHAN MCCARTHY 38

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WOMEN IN SPORT & EXERCISE

DECEMBER 2013

39


WOMEN IN SPORT & EXERCISE THOSE DAYS WERE A VICIOUS CIRCLE FOR ME. I WOULDN’T EAT PROPERLY AND ONCE THAT HAPPENED MY SUCCESS DWINDLED AND SO DID MY LOVE OF TRIATHLON. I OFTEN SIT AT MY COMPUTER AND FOLLOW RACES AND THINK “COULDA, SHOULDA, WOULDA.” WHAT IS FUNNY IS THAT ALL THOSE MONTHS AGO I SAID “BEING HEALTHY DID NOT INCLUDE SPORT” BUT THAT HAS CHANGED. These days I don’t swim or ride or run my heart out. Instead I have returned to my youth of playing touch football and netball. Each week I take the field and I am as competitive as ever and realised that being healthy actually includes sport again. Like all great ideas mine came to light over a glass of wine. I was coerced in to playing netball with one of the local competitions. We may not be incredible on the court and I think we lost more than we won. But with the help of these wonderful girls they helped me find my love again.

IT REMINDED ME THAT A LOVE OF SPORT IS BECAUSE YOU WANT TO HAVE FUN AND TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE. 40

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It reminded me that without enjoyment you cannot succeed and never underestimate the importance of team spirit. Even if it is a solo sport you are taking part in, there is always a team of people who are there to get you across the line. I have started running again and I am on the road to getting fit. But the reality is it couldn’t have happened without plenty of encouragement and a snap back to reality to remind myself why I turned to sport in the first place. It seems like a long time ago that I was putting myself through a day-in day-out training scheme for triathlon.

But a change in scenery, a new sport and the adrenalin rush of sharing victories with a team as perhaps inspired me to get back on the bike – but perhaps just not the bike I thought it would be. SIOBHAN MCCARTHY IS A SPORTS JOURNALIST AT THE ARMIDALE EXPRESS, BEETROOT LOVER, FLOWER THIEF, COFFEE SNOB, KNEE HIGH TO A GRASS HOPPER! HER WORDS, NOT OURS - HA!


Rebecca Gawthorne - D i et i t i an & N ut r i t i oni st

B Nutr D i e t (H o n s I ), A P D , A N

“Feel, Look & Live Healthier” As an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Rebecca uses the latest scientific evidence to develop personalised dietary plans to help you reach your goals. Plans are tailored specifically to you, the individual, whatever your lifestyle. Rebecca will provide you with expert nutrition and dietary advice on easy ways to eat healthier and achieve your health goals faster. Should I see a Dietitian? If you need help with, or experience any of the following, you will benefit from seeing a Dietitian: ·

Slow or plateaued results from your exercise

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ULTS FROM S E R D N A S W E RING YOU N B E W H T N O M EACH athlon) ing) ALI NAJEM (Runn nce of running ie er p ex e th d ce Embra at Athletics meet te ta S e th in t me 3rd in his hea ca li A . sh u eb m o H 500m and 5th x1 4 e th in th 4 , in 3km cing experience ra t a re G . m 0 0 in 4x4 e te’s best. In th ta S e th st in a ag 2nd n he clocked a Balmain Fun Ru (6th overall) p u ro g e g a is h place in in the 10km.

MICHAEL FOX (Tri e e 5th place in th om es aw an ed h is Fin man, e Foster Half Iron recent Challeng om injury. Foxy fr ck ba g in m after co to later this month a rr be an C to s head d luck berra Half. Goo an C e th st te n co Foxy.

ALL (Running) AUDREY AMIYA-H e running, on th of th on m d A soli e Injury. Auds cam om fr l ai tr k ac eb com entral Group in the C e g A er h in t 1s State 4th at the recent Coast 10km, and

(Junior Athlete) D R FO W A R C IE SOPH cted hie, recently sele op S r fo p u it e iv G erpolo ney East Rep Wat in BOTH the Syd East Rep Cricket ey n yd S e th D N Team A , Ellysse Perry! Team. Move over

ztag) CHLOE GENTLE (O e St. George at th g n ti n se re p re Will be hloe February 2014. C in p u C te ta S ag Ozt letic as the Jock Ath ed am n so al Relays as w r her of the Year” fo “Junior Athlete itive attitude to G os IN p AV S d an FE LI n F io R U at S dedic the U11 Beach on e. w B LI A S g. Congrats Chlo in BRIGITTE n ai tr . al iv nulla 4-ways carn Sprint at the Cro ate up with team m ed ck ba e sh , After silver OPA to take the O K E D R A PA JA R JO relay final. Well h ac be 11 U e th medal in done gals!

42

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ROAD B A D N A E R E H ATHLETES, JOCK ATHLETIC s alifier for the Van

IC Pro is a local qu H (Football) rfing. MARK MILLIGAN Triple Crown of Su ce an rm fo er p a solid Once again put in their the Socceroos in r (Cricket) fo er d el fi id m as HAN FITZGERALD AT N . th on m st r Costa Rica la rform solidly fo friendly against Continues to pe t Grade, taking a rs Fi C C D d n la er Suth a5 urfing) (S Y R A E ’L cluding a 4 fa & O in R , O ts N ke ic CON w of n ntest to i last month to co ai aw H r fo f e Fitzy. of et S The Fa. Well don s. lt su re ed ix m h the HIC Pro wit

TREY BROWN League) y b g u R & y b g u (R recently Congrats to Trey, 17’s ARU selected in the U p South Junior Gold Cu as well m a te r u o rb a H mber of as being a me ragon’s the St. George D s team. Harold Matthew ed hard Trey has work with us on his training ear. Well since April this y deserved! dian here with Cana Trey pictured Ben Johnson. Olympic sprinter


Jock Athletic - December 2013  

The Jock Athletic online magazine is dedicated to sharing the training "game plan" of elite athletes and coaches in a practicle, usable way...

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