Running Writing ©
No. 32    July 2001
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luke tierney (49k)
David Appleby's photo of Luke Tierney running an 800m race at ACT Interclub

anzac relays 2001 (56k)
Luke is one of the first-leg runners in the ACT Cross Country Club Anzac Relays

debbie mikita, luke tierney and dot mills (30k)
Debbie Mikita and Luke Tierney are presented with the award as SCT senior track & field pointscore winners for 2000 by Dot Mills

jim the athlete (47k)
A rare competitive outing for Jim in the 2000 cross country fun run

rosemary longstaff (42k)
SCT's World Veterans bronze medallist Rosemary Longstaff accompanies a 'legend' to the finish of the 2000 Canberra Times Fun Run

unbelievable runners! (41k)
Some of the successful graduates of the Canberra Times Fun Run Training Program enjoying the post event catering

legends (59k)
The class of 2000 are all smiles after their legendary performances in the Canberra Times Fun Run

women's and girls' fun run (38k)
The second group of runners in the 2001 GIO Canberra Women's and Girls' Fun Run

darryl hill (36k)
Darryl Hill is SCT's under-16 2000m steeplechase record holder clocking 6:34.02

justine shepherd (49k)
Justine Shepherd at the water jump on her way to breaking the SCT under-16 record for the 2000m steeplechase (7:47.24)

photo by david appleby (54k)
Mark Shepherd, Jonathan Symonds and Tod Berry running in the 2001 under-18 ACT Cross Country Championships

sct winning athletes (44k)
Some of SCT's 2001 pointscore winners for the 2001 track & field season

Luke Tierney

by Jim Tucker

Jim Tucker is well known as a frequent contributor to Canberra running publications. He has been variously described as 'an athlete looking for an event', 'the bloke holding the clock' and 'every runner's big brother'. As well as being a prolific writer Jim has also competed at a high level in veteran's competition - his favourite event being the 800 metres. The following article on SCT athlete Luke Tierney was first published in Canberra Runner #142 - December 2000 and will also appear in Tuggie Athlete #57.

One of the most improved runners during the 2000 ACT Cross-Country season was Luke Tierney of the South Canberra Tuggeranong club.

Luke, now aged 23, commenced his athletics career with the Cooma Little Athletics Club at the age of 12. After representing the ACT Little Athletics in the 400 metres he joined South Canberra Tuggeranong for the stronger competition and coaching from Alan Bishop. Luke commuted from Cooma each weekend with his older brother Paul to compete at the Bruce track in summer.

He quickly established himself as a leading ACT junior with PB's of 1.59 for the 800 and 4.10 for the 1500 metres. He also represented the ACT in the Australian U/16 and All Schools Championships.

Injuries and study commitments forced Luke to forego athletics at the age of sixteen. He made a low-key comeback during the 1999 cross-country season. Steady improvement enabled him to be the leading senior men's pointscorer for South Canberra Tuggeranong in the 1999/2000 track season.

Early this year Luke began training with the squad of talented athletes coached by Gary Hosking. Within this group Luke trains with runners he competed against as a junior and renewed his strong friendship and rivalry with Shaun McCabe - another athlete striving to establish himself in the senior ranks after a successful junior career.

Luke regularly finished among the top fifteen placegetters during the last winter series, citing the ACT Cross-Country and Mountain Running Championships as his best two performances. He discovered a penchant for uphill running - being a regular placegetter in the monthly John Harding organised Mt. Ainslie run and representing the ACT in the Australian Mountain Running Championships.

Luke is studying for his degree in Guitar Performance and Classical Composition at the ANU School of Music. He is travelling to China in January to perform classical guitar in a partially government funded cultural exchange. He also dabbles in rock music, occasionally playing lead and rhythm guitar with local bands.

For income, Luke teaches guitar at two Catholic High Schools as well as private tutoring. One of his star pupils was Brian Wenn, proprietor of the Runners Shop. Brian loves to showcase his mastery of the guitar and will gladly perform for any buyer of a new pair of shoes an exquisite classical arrangement of the rock standard "Smoke on the Water". If he attempts to sing put the shoes back on the rack and leave the shop.

Luke's major goal is to complete his degree then review his options within the music world regarding performing, composing or teaching. Hopefully his qualifications and talent will enable him to work and travel anywhere in Australia and overseas. Meanwhile he is looking forward to further improvement and continued enjoyment as an all round athlete.

How to Maximise Performance with Less Effort!

by Ed O'Keefe

Ed O'Keefe is known as the "Pro's Pro". He consults with the highest level athletes and coaches on teaching athletes how to focus, concentrate, and enter the Zone through mental training and conditioning. Ed has created a one-tape program called "Focus Like A Champion" and a 4-tape program called the "Ultimate Mental Training Program For Athletes: Secrets For Speed Mental Toughness". He has also run the Chicago Marathon and frequently runs 10k races. Ed speaks to corporations, athletic departments, and works with individuals one on one. You can visit his Home Page at

"I need to try harder!"
"I need to run more!"
"I need to spend more time in the gym lifting weights, or on the track training more!"

This is what I hear from most runners at all levels who are trying to improve their performance. It's not a bad theory if you aren't putting in the time in the gym, on the track, or working on your form; but if you are, spending more time may actually hurt your time and endurance in a major way.

When you are relaxed and feeling good about your ability, you perform better. In other words, when your emotion is one of confidence and certainty about your ability, the end result will be better. If you are over stressed, over anxious, angry, or too nervous, your end result will be much worse. During these times, trying harder just makes you get more stressed, more anxious, and more frustrated. This can cause your muscles to tense up, making you think too much, causing you to focus on what you are doing wrong, which just makes you do worse, and then the whole cycle starts again. This is how a person can start off performing well, lose their rhythm a little, then start focusing on what not going right for them, and "try" to make it better by trying harder, rather than just letting things flow.

Here are 3 Master Keys to enter the Zone and create the Peak Performance more consistently:
  1. Your Physiology: Your physiology is how you use your body. How you breathe. How you move. Whether you are moving fast or slow. Where your shoulders are at: Are they shrugged or are they back. Where your head is at: Is it up or down? Your physiology is the fastest way to change your emotions and the structure of you focus! In other words, remember how you move when you are having an outstanding day, and walk, breathe, and move the same way. What happens is your brain will fire off the same messages you had the day when you were unstoppable. Also, you can walk around like someone else, and notice what it is like to move like him or her for the day.

  2. Your Language: The second way to master your focus is through your 'language' (otherwise known as your self-talk). What you say to yourself and how you say it will determine how you feel and where your brain focuses. Your language describes what you are thinking and also determines what you are thinking. Use phrases like: "I can stay relaxed and let things flow. I have total control over my breathing and it's easy. I am running with smoothness and confidence. I get better as I go and I get stronger as I go. The more energy I give the more that comes back to me."
    Point #2 about your language: Never ever, ever, tell your mind what it is that you don't want to happen! For example, if you say "I don't want to struggle on my run today", or "I don't want to have a poor last couple of miles", your brain goes right to that thought and that is what you just programmed your mind to do. Instead of using don't, replace it with what you'd like to happen. "I will run with ease today. It will be fun. I'm keeping my balance and really aware of what's around me. I will have my best finish today!"

  3. Visualisation: The third way to master your focus is through the process of visualisation. Now, this is where I begin to teach you "How to maximise your performance with less effort!" This is probably the most effective way to pre-program your mind and body before competition so that you respond without thinking and you compete naturally.
    Key points: Visualise yourself performing perfectly, right before you go to bed at night. Whatever you think about before you go to sleep runs through your unconscious 16 times. (Now that's practice!) Also, go through parts of your running form, or times during a race when you don't do well and see yourself perform that skill perfectly over and over again. One last note - if you are out there to win the race, you must visualise yourself being ahead of the pack in your mind at the time you want to break away in a race. In other words, make sure that no one is ahead of you at the end of the race unless you want to imagine an amazing comeback.
By simply learning these 3 skills, you can easily improve your level of performance. Go ahead and try it for a day or two. You may not be perfect right away, but that's okay. Once you've used those 3 Master Keys, then move onto another one or two. Until then, Good Luck and those who focus like a champion feel like a champion!

To sign up for Ed O'Keefe's Free Peak Performance Newsletter and a chance to win his audio-tape program "Focus Like A Champion", go to or call 708 424 5074.

Ka Huna Massage

By Sean Melbourne

Sean Melbourne operates a Ka Huna massage clinic in with his partner Lisa. Sean has represented Australia in Biathlon at two Junior World Championships. When he is not giving Ka Huna massage, Sean is also President of the Australian Biathlon Association and is a delegate to the Australian Olympic Committee. Sean & Lisa are based in Curtin. If you would like to receive a Ka Huna massage or would like more information, call them on 0402 660 518. SCT members receive a $10 discount!

"Ka Huna massage touches something deep inside us, regenerates us and powerfully and gently opens us to our full potential"
- Mette Sorensen

Imagine a recovery technique that drains your whole body of lactic acid, brings fresh oxygen, nutrients and energy to every cell, releases tension from your muscles, clears emotional stress and brings a feeling of peace and clarity to your mind. That is the experience of Ka Huna massage, an ancient Polynesian healing technique that is now available in Canberra.

Ka Huna massage originated in the islands of the Pacific and was once performed during the rites of passage with royalty only being allowed to receive it. However, this powerful yet gentle healing technique is now available to any body, shape, form, age or profession. Put simply, Ka Huna massage is the Rolls Royce of massage - this beautiful healing art is like no other. The practitioner uses the soft part of their forearms and hands in long flowing, energetic massage strokes that leave the recipient feeling relaxed, refreshed, happy and energised.

As well as being an excellent means of improving overall well being, Ka Huna massage is an excellent way of improving performance in sport. One of the main benefits is that, due to the long flowing strokes that are used which drain the lymphatic system, Ka Huna massage is an extremely effective way of releasing lactic acid from the body. As we all know, releasing lactic acid from the body is a key way of assisting our bodies to recover from training. Also, improving our body's ability to deal with lactic acid is an important factor in increasing athletic performance.

In addition, because Ka Huna massage uses continuously flowing strokes around the entire body, the circulatory system is energised while the recipient remains in a relaxed state. This has the effect of bringing fresh oxygen, nutrients and energy to the cells of the body so that the body regenerates more quickly and becomes revitalised. All major muscle groups in the body are worked and moulded in a way that releases tension, ensuring optimum recovery takes place. As well as energising the circulatory system and relaxing the muscular system, Ka Huna massage also boosts the immune system, refreshes the respiratory system and stimulates the digestive system.

Because Ka Huna massage is deeply rhythmical and calming, recipients also have the opportunity to enter a deep state of relaxation which itself is of incredible benefit in assisting the body to regenerate. As tension is released from the body, emotional stress is relieved, producing incredible peace, positivity and clarity of mind.

Ka Huna massage is wonderful to give, beautiful to watch and magical to receive, making it the perfect technique for recovery from training and performance enhancement.


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