Weekly Newsletter – 9 May 2016



Tickets are now available to our Premiere event of the year through RegisterNow for $35 per person.  This covers a 3 course meal, music and the venue decorations. Ticket sales will remain open until a week prior to the event on Saturday 18 June, as we have to confirm numbers for catering. What is needed now is for Vikings Triathlon Club members to jump on line and secure your tickets.  Guaranteed to be a great night.  Theme: “Heroes and Villains”. Click on the following link to secure your tickets.



The next course will be a Development Coach Course which will be held on the weekend of the 6th and 7th August 2016. If you are interested, please contact Craig Johns at director@act.triathlon.org.au. More information can be found on the TACT website. If you are interested this course can be subsidised by the club. Please speak to a committee member regarding subsidies.

(Author ‘Wired to Play’)

How many athletes end their careers prematurely because they are simply burned out and need a break but they can’t see it? Or as is usually the case, they are not given the opportunity to have that break due to the threat of funding cuts or the pressure to perform? Our answer is probably hundreds of thousands.

Even when successful outcomes are achieved many elite athletes suffer from post competition let down, politicians from post-election weariness, or students from post exam blues. Having achieved something special we may expect to feel elated, but just as often we feel flat. Any prolonged and intense period of mental effort can trigger neural depletion, commonly known as burnout and if not understood or appropriately managed can lead to depression.

In his autobiography, Olympic swimming champion, Ian Thorpe, surmised, “… depression is high amongst elite athletes, not just because they get burnt-out, but because many are attracted to sport in the first place as a way of regulating how they feel, because exercise is a great mood stabiliser.”

While sport and exercise generally improve mental health and well-being, releasing helpful neurochemicals that moderate and enhance mood, these neurochemicals are a limited resource. In elite athletic populations the demands made on the athlete’s personal reserves can easily be tipped in the wrong direction, resulting in neural depletion and burn-out.

If asked to run for 24 hours nonstop most individuals would say “don’t be ridiculous.” Without sufficient glycogen and water in our muscles most of us would slow to a walk, find a park bench to sit on and in all likelihood fall asleep. A car requires fuel in order to operate so does the human body, it needs to continuously refuel to replace depleted energy stores.

Like the body, the brain also needs energy to function. Higher states of emotional energy, both good and bad, burn more fuel. Excessive mental busyness depletes important neurochemicals that feed the brain and can lead to burnout. While a car revving its engine burns through its petrol faster, a busy mind can also empty our mental tank. This busyness does not have to be negative, we all like to party and flick through our social network pages, but even positive energy can rapidly burn through mental energy stores, leaving us feeling depleted.

Even positive experiences can burn through our mental energy stores.
When serotonin, the neurochemical which helps to produce feelings of calm and aids in melatonin production to regulate sleep, is depleted, burnout and/or depression are a likely consequence. When dopamine, the fun neurochemical that excites us into action and motivates us to do things is depleted, burnout and depression are also possible consequences.

Both serotonin and dopamine are enhanced through physical movement and exercise, but intense exercise or excessive worry are likely to burn through our feel good neurochemicals too fast while at the same time producing an excess of stress chemicals such as too much adrenalin and cortisol.

Poor lifestyle choices and a frenetic head space can tear through our mental energy resources and lead to feelings of agitation and/or despair. When the mental demands placed on a person are greater than their personal resources to meet those demands, not allowing adequate rest and down-time, the mental tank can also become depleted.
A vast amount of the general public love sport and admire athletic talent, hard work and exceptional skills. Supporters love to be inspired by athletes and feel great pride and elation when their favourite athlete/team performs well. Friends, family and supporters often get to live vicariously through the athletic achievements of athletes.

However, public expectations combined with the demands of rigorous training, intense competitions and inevitable injuries, can take their toll on athletes. It doesn’t take much to dip into the athletes mental reserves when they already ride the fine line between optimising performance and tipping the balance into burnout.

Triple Olympic gold medalist, Petria Thomas, wrote about her struggles with depression in her biography ‘Swimming Against The Tide’. Thomas suffered from numerous injuries during her career and depression often accompanied them. Injury was an enduring threat to her swimming career as it is to the careers of many elite athletes.

Thomas commented, “In a sense, swimming is all I felt like I had in my life.” “If I wasn’t swimming I didn’t know what the hell else I was supposed to be doing, so that scared me.”
What Thomas may not have realised is that it isn’t just identity that is compromised through injury or poor performance, but also an athlete’s neurochemistry. Without the appropriate self-knowledge and education on how to refuel limited neurochemistry reserves burnout is an ever looming menace for all athletes.

Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Run Series

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is delighted to announce the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Run Series. With some of the best trails of any city anywhere, we felt it was time to dedicate a Winter series to one of our greatest joys – running in the bush around Canberra.

Race 1: 29 May “Cotter Canter” 5km & 10km
Race 2: 26 June “Tuggeranong Trot” 8km & 20km
Race 3: 17 July “Gungahlin Gallop” 10km & 30km

The Series will explore trails on the fringe of Canberra – west, south and north. With shorter and longer distance options at each event, and distances increasing with each race, the Series is the perfect introduction to Trail Running and ideal preparation for the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra in September.


All Club Training Information is on our website, for up to date club training – coached and un-coached sessions.


This Sunday being the 15 May is the 3rd Sunday of the month the run is at Point Hut – meet 8am in the car parking area at Point Hut picnic area Point Hut Road, Gordon.


May 29Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Run Series – Cotter Canter

June 13Sri Chimnoy Half Marathon – Telopea Park

June 17 – Triathlon ACT Annual Awards – CSCC Woden

June 18 – Vikings Triathlon Presentation Night – Vikings Lanyon

June 26Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Run Series – Tuggeranong Trot

July 17Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Run Series – Gungahlin Gallop

Tuggeranong parkrun – by Scott Marshall

Results for parkrunday 7 May – 12 Vikings were out and about on parkrunday getting their weekly parkrun fix; 9 at Tuggeranong, 1 at St Peters in Sydney, 1 at Batemans Bay and 1 at Traralgon. Cool autumn weather was the order of the morning at all locations, including a crisp 5 degrees at Tuggeranong.

As it was Mother’s Day on the weekend, all volunteer duties at Tuggeranong parkrun were in the hands of the juniors (many supported by Dad) so their parkrun Mums could run solo – what possibly could go wrong? Seriously, from all accounts they did a fabulous job. Nick Walshe from The Runners Shop (one of the Vikings Club sponsors) finisher first again (his 11th first) and Adam Maiden was 5th across the line

1 PB this week to Emma, her 3rd in a row taking another 2 minutes off her previous best. Luke was pretty close to his PB a tantalising 13 seconds over.

Breanna had her 2nd run at St Peters, and Sue had her 3rd run at Traralgon.

I headed down to Batemans Bay parkrun for the launch, whilst I was the only Viking to make the trip, a number of Canberra parkrunners were there as well. Some may know Canberra runner James Minto, he has the honour of being Batemans Bay parkrun’s first, first finisher, with a handy 16.41. A good time for a course that has four U turns. The course starts at Rotary Park near the Batemans Bay Marina on Beach Road, down from the Soldiers Club and is as flat as a pancake. #dfyb if you are heading down the coast for a holiday.

parkrun has recently put in place an agreement with Athletics Australia. Two of the primary reasons behind this agreement are; AA will continue to provide parkrun Australia with public liability insurance covering all events, and to have a greater voice with both government and the corporate sector for the long term growth of both organisations. Hopefully parkrun can help to rejuvenate athletics and shine a light on many of the dedicated and talented athletes, coaches and administrators, and in turn getting more people moving, more often.

All this week’s Tuggeranong results are on the parkrun website.

Tuggeranong parkrun event #167, 269 parkrunners

1 Nick WALSHE, 5 Adam MAIDEN, 67 Jeffery MARTIN, 131 Luke LOWES, 145 Elouise O’TOOLE, 152 Geoff WILLIAMS, 159 Alison HALE, 173 Fiona JOHNSTONE, 180 Emma PARKER, 257 Zoe ROBERTS

St Peters parkrun event #223, 389 parkrunners

186 Breanna GASSON

Batemans Bay parkrun event #1, 115 parkrunners


Traralgon parkrun event #59, 153 parkrunners

49 Suzanne WIRKEN

Don’t forget your barcode #dfyb.

Volunteers are important for the parkrun to go smoothly. If you are having a rest day or have time please consider volunteering.

Vikings Triathlon Club is the largest club on the Tuggeranong parkrun list with 133 parkrunners! Club list. You can view all our members who have done the parkrun on their website. Vikings Club history. To have your name added to our list above, go to the details page on the parkrun and add your club.

The parkrun is free – yep, it costs nothing! It is aimed at all types of runners and walkers, from juniors and first timers to Olympians and nonagenarians. Please register before your first run, and you only ever register with parkrun once. Then remember to take a printed copy of your barcode to any of the more than 165 Australian, or more than 800 parkruns worldwide.

Motivational quote No 17


As the weather turns colder it is harder to get out there so just remember it’s easier to wake up early in the morning & work out, than it is to look in the mirror each day and not like what you see. You are only one workout away from a good mood so everyone keep up the good work and see you out there.


Karen and DJ.