Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hollymount 10km 2015

Training wasn't great but it's all about the racing!

Mon - 10.0km treadmill recovery run 36:26 (3:39's)

Tue am - 2.0km up, strides, 4 x 5 mins off 3 mins, 1.0km down. All up 11.2kms

Tue pm - Easy running Tuam AC 12.3kms

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km easy run 41:35 (4:23''s)

Thu - 2.0km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:37 (3:10's), 1.0km down. All up 13.0kms

Fri -  Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 55:37 (3:45''s)

Sat - 8.3km easy treadmill run 35:00 (4:13's)

Sun - Hollymount International 10km Road Race 1st in 33:11 - all up 16.3kms

Total for the week 95.4kms

The weather has been very bad so that meant lots of treadmill running. I did a speed session which I wanted to do on the track but the conditions weren't right so I did some 5 minute efforts on the treadmill instead, Four by 5 mins on 1.5% gradient at average speed of around 2:56/km. A good hit-out and really pushed the last effort to get the HR as high as I could (157). I followed up with some easy running that evening with Tuam AC but after the session I could feel my right Achilles wasn't right - maybe a slight strain....

I did an easy run the next day to test it out - I could run no problem but I could feel it all the time. On Thursday it didn't seem any better but I wanted to get one more session in so I went and did a quick threshold run on the treadmill (sh!t or bust). That went well so I knew I'd be good to race on the weekend.

I had a massage on Friday and I was very tight - I was hopping about on the table despite only a light rub. I felt great after and had a good run with Fintan after wearing my new pair of Mizuno Wave Riders - averaging 3:45 pace in windy conditions. Then a light run on Saturday before Hollymount,...

Conditions on Sunday were the opposite of really good. Very windy and wet and in my short warm-up of around 3km I was soaked to the skin. Despite this standing on the start line there was a good buzz and soon this historic race was underway for the 50th time, To my surprise I took the lead as we ran up through the village into the stiff wind. The pace wasn't quick but it was a day for racing and quick times clearly weren't going to happen. By the time we took the left turn just through the first km it felt like a weight had been lifted (no wind) and I immediately put in my first surge just to stretch out the legs. I felt great but this move was easily covered by Jason Broderick and another runner over from the UK. We had broken away from the chasing pack and we settled into a small group of 3.

The course was very wet and there was one section where you were running through ankle deep water for around 20m. Nothing much happening and the thoughts for me were on how we had to run the loop another couple of times so no point doing anything stupid. Each left turn the wind became more of a factor and as we turned onto the main road leading up through the village for the second time myself and Jason were starting to work clear of the runner in third.

No moves were made as we tackled this very tough section up through the village. Not exactly taking a breather but certainly not red-line. Again at the turn I tried another surge and despite getting a few metres lead, Jason would quickly work his way back onto my shoulder. I must have tried another 3 or 4 surges on this second lap but there was no shaking him. As we turned to run up through the village for the start of the third lap we were still side-by-side...

At this stage Jason started to lift the pace. For about 1km I was hanging on as he put in a big effort into the wind. He may have got a few meters in front but as we turned left out of the wind I managed to get back in touch. So still together with less than 3km to go. At this point we were starting to lap people and I put in another couple of half-hearted surges that didn't result in a break. Then another left turn and Jason took the inside line and I went round the outside as we lapped a few more runners. At this stage I made a split second decision to run as hard as I could for 30 seconds in an attempt to break clear. I was listening to the commentary from the lead car and it was apparent that I'd opened up a slight gap so I just had to keep strong for the last km and a bit...

As I turned back onto the main road the wind started knocking me around and I was just focused on keeping the cadence up and the effort level as high as I could muster. One last turn and the long climb up to the finish line. I had some huge support at this stage - mainly from the Mayo AC ladies from training and I though by their reaction that Jason was right behind me. So I kept pushing all the way to the finish line to take the win in 33:11 for a very hard-fought win.

A solo warm-down of 3.3kms running another loop of the course in the opposite direction supporting  some of the other runners who were still finishing their race. Time to reflect on the run where I'd pretty much given it everything. Fair play to Jason who ran a very strong race - he has had a great year and on that from I would be confident in saying he will break 32 minutes for 10km in the very near future. Well deserved for one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet.

After a quick shower it was back to the hall for the presentation. Great to see some of the past winners of the race which is now in its 50th year. A huge effort by the organising committee to put on such a brilliant weekend and it was a race that will live long in my memory, Excellent work all round.

Yes a few beers were had later that evening upon the return to Galway. Time to read the race programme and fully appreciate some of the history behind this event where numerous Olympians and Internationals have competed over the years....hopefully some of these glory years will be repeated in the next 50 years and this race will again become one of the highlights of the Irish road running calendar.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Three threshold runs

Starting to take shape:

Mon - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:19 (3:49's)

Tue am - 1.0km up, 12km threshold 40:58 (3:25's), 1.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Tue pm - Easy running Tuam AC 11.8kms

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:19 (3:49''s)

Thu - 2.0km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:36 (3:10's), 1.0km down. All up 13.0kms

Fri -  Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 56:02 (3:47''s)

Sat - Claregalway 9.5km easy run 38:36 (4:04's)

Sun - 2
.0km up, 17.3km threshold 59:31 (3:26's), 1.8km down. All up 21.1kms

Total for the week 104.8kms

I feel like I'm in good nick. I haven't trained as hard as I did last year for the Norwich half but I feel like I'm in similar shape - certainly less knackered. I've done lots more runs outside this year and I'm trying to limit my treadmill runs to one per week. Last year this was 2 or 3. My go-to treadmill session of 10km threshold top of zone had me running a new PB this week of 31:36 - that's 19.1km/hour pace for the entire run. Not bad going but it's a tough session - you have my word on that. So I feel strong, maybe the pace is a little off but it's all a balancing act. So half marathon sub 70 minute attempt number - lost count - is nearly here. Please let it be a good day conditions wise - I'm certainly due a good day.....

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Dublin Marathon and beyond

A better finish to the week:

Mon - Claregalway 9.0km easy run 37:02 (4:07's)

Tue am - 2.0km up, Threshold treadmill reps 3/2/1/2/1/1kms, 1.0km down. All up 13.0kms

Tue pm - Easy running Tuam AC 9.9kms

Wed - Treadmill 10.0km recovery run 36:08 (3:37''s)

Thu am - 2.0km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:45 (3:11's), 2.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Thu pm - 
Easy running Mayo AC 7.8kms

Fri -  Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 57:39 (3:54''s)

Sat - Halloween 5km 1st in 16:42 as part of a 15km threshold run 51:43 (3:27's). Total 18.7kms

Sun - Claregalway 7.4km easy run 31:05 (4:12's)

Total for the week 104.6kms

A difficult week for training with the kids off school so lots of treadmill running. I wasn't right on Tuesday and really struggled running some intervals at threshold pace on the treadmill. I then bounced back with a much better run on Thursday and I decided to do a local Halloween 5km on Saturday and after completing the 5km in 16:42 I kept on running for a total of 15kms at a nice healthy pace.

I watched the Dublin Marathon on Monday and it looked very tough. Windy conditions would have slowed down the runners and heart rates were tracking much higher than training runs where conditions have been very good. Nonetheless there were some excellent performances from various clients and I'm inspired to give the marathon another go next year. Maybe Berlin which looks to be a good one.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A week that tailed off

Just didn't really get going this week:

Mon - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:42 (3:51's)

Tue - 2.0km up, 14km threshold run 49:06 (3:30's), 0.5km down. All up 16.5kms

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:53 (3:53''s)

Thu - 2.0km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:42 (3:10's), 2.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Fri -  Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 56:54 (3:51''s)

Sat - Clontarf 13.9kms easy run 55:21 (3:59's)

Sun - Clontarf 12.2kms easy run 50:35 (4:09's)

Total for the week 92.0kms

I good start to the week with threshold runs on Tuesday and Thursday - and a new treadmill PB for a threshold run on Thursday clocking 31:42. Top of the zone the last 10 minutes and feeling good.

In Dublin on the weekend for the marathon. Lots of easy runs and no quality - just ticking over to burn off some calories after eating rubbish plus additional beer consumption.... 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Always run well in Tuam

More training completed and a race to gauge progress:

Mon - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 41:52 (3:46's)

Tue - 2.0km up, 14km threshold run 48:47 (3:29's), 1.3km down. All up 17.3kms

Wed - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:41 (3:51''s)

Thu am - 3.6km up, strides then 5 x 1km off 200m jog recovery (90 secs), 3.4km down. All up 13.7kms

Fri -  Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 56:53 (3:51''s)

Sat - Claregalway 9.5kms easy run 39:14 (4:08's)

Sun - Bert Gillard 8km 1st in 25:22 (3:10's). All up 14.8kms

Total for week 92.3kms

Another track session on Thursday - this time longer km reps. Times were 2:59/2:58/2:57/2:58/2:56. Very pleased with that.

Perfect conditions for the 8km race in Tuam. I took it out fairly hard and after covering the first mile in 4:49 I decided to push it all the way. A nice flat course and I felt great and was running low 3 minute kms. At 5km I checked the watch and at 15:47 I decided a PB was in reach. A nasty climb followed but after that it was the push for home. I fell asleep a bit in the last km and crossed the line in 25:22 for a comfortable win and recorded a 3 second PB. Happy days:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Back on track

Another week in the bank:

Mon - Treadmill 10.0km recovery run 37:55 (3:48's)

Tue am - 3.6km up, strides then 12 x 400m off 60 secs, 3.0km down. All up 13.3kms

Tue pm - Tuam AC easy 2.1kms

Wed - Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 57:39 (3:54''s)

Thu am - 2km up, 8.0km threshold run 28:30 (3:34's), 4.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Thu pm - Mayo AC 1.6km easy

Fri -  Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 37:38 (3:58''s)

Sat - Claregalway 7.6kms east run 33:15 (4:23's)

Sun - Breaffy 10km 1st in 32:43 (3:16's). All up 17.3kms

Total for week 90.2kms

My first track session of the year on Tuesday. I eased in with some 400's off a 60 second recovery. Perfect conditions and averaged 66.2 for the set which wasn't too shabby. The downside was that my legs were in bits for the next few days. Hence only a short threshold run on Thursday. Anyway good to do some speed stuff and I'll be doing a few more sessions like this over the next few weeks.

On Sunday I ran in Breaffy. I took it out fairly quick and was never challenged. I went through 5km in 16 minutes and then hit the tough part of the course and had nothing. Struggled home and was disappointed with my time but I think it was one of those days were all times were a bit off. Maybe it was the heat as it must have been close to 18 degrees. Yes you read that correctly. I thought I was in 32 shape but that will have to wait for another day. An enjoyable day nonetheless and I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.

Here's a photo of me in action (courtesy of Mayo AC):

Sunday, October 04, 2015


Here goes:

Mon - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:21 (3:50''s)

Tue - 2km up, 17.4km threshold run 1:00:02 (3:27's), 1.1km down. All up 20.5kms

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:42 (3:52''s)

Thu am - 2km up, 17.4km threshold run 1:00:57 (3:31's), 0.8km down. All up 20.2kms

Thu pm - Mayo AC 1.6km easy

Fri -  Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 35:57 (3:47''s)

Sat - Lactate Threshold Test Athlone IT. All up 9.8kms

Sun - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:58 (3:12's), 2.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Total for week 94.6kms

That's a much better week - 2 good outdoor threshold runs of 60 minutes each time at a decent pace. Then I was tested on Saturday to see how the lactates are looking (awaiting results but put in a very good test). Then a treadmill threshold run on Sunday where I felt pretty comfortable at didn't max out at the top of my zone.

Snooker on Wednesday and highest break was 48 after missing a yellow with the rest for a 50....

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bad start/good finish

Here goes:

Mon - Rest (travelling)

Tue - Claregalway 14.8km recovery run 1:00:18 (4:04's). Evening easy 2.1kms with Tuam AC

Wed - 2km up, 13km threshold run 46:16 (3:34's), 1.1km down. All up 16.1kms

Thu - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 37:07 (3:54's). Evening easy 3.2kms with Mayo AC 

Fri -  2km up, 5km threshold run 17:54 (3:35's), 2.5km down. All up 9.5kms

Sat - 2km up, 10km threshold run 34:23 (3:26's), 1.9km down. All up 13.9kms

Sun - 5km up, 10km threshold run 35:05 (3:30's), 1.9km down. All up 16.9kms

Total for week 86.0kms

A nice run with Fintan on Tuesday who furnished me with a nice birthday cake (44 now)....

A threshold run on Wednesday and legs still not quite right. On Friday I tried again but gave up after 5km as I felt knackered. Then bounced back and ran a bit better on Saturday and Sunday. Not a great week but I'm focused now on getting the head down for some big November targets (10km and half marathon). It would be nice to finish off the year with a couple of PB's!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Double race week

A busy week of racing:

Mon - 2km up, 13km threshold run 45:31 (3:30's), 1.1km down. All up 16.1kms

Tue - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:11 (3:49's)

Wed - Club Vitae 5km 15:51. All up 12.6kms

Thu am - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:34 (3:50's)

Thu pm - Mayo AC easy 4.4kms

Fri -  Rest

Sat - Round Norfolk Relay 28.8kms in 1:40:54 (3:30's)

Sun - Sprowston 6.9km recovery run 31:09 (4:31's)

Total for the week 89.4kms

I ran a 5km race in Wednesday in Oranmore. An out and back course and quite windy for the first half and was struggling somewhat. Then after turning I was flying and I ran the last 2km in 6 minutes flat. I think the course was slightly short but nice to have a good hard hit-out and see if there is any speed there (there wasn't.....). A good win nonetheless.

I then travelled to Norwich on Friday for the Round Norfolk Relay. I was to run stage 9 from Horsey to Fritton which was just under 18 miles. I was running at around 8pm and conditions were spot on. I locked into pace and just held that for the entire run - I felt fairly comfortable throughout and I finished strong and it left me thinking about another's only another 8 miles!

Here's a photo of me receiving the baton:

Our team won the masters category and I also posted the quickest time for my stage. I must say I really enjoyed the event and it was good to put in a good team performance as a tribute to our team-mate who lost his life in the race last year.

My legs were in bits on Sunday so I turned them over with a very easy run. Felt okay after. Then out with the old man and a mate in the evening for a few real ales. Lovely.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Only 6 days

Another week:

Mon - 2km up, 13km threshold run 45:28 (3:30's), 1.1km down. All up 16.1kms

Tue - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 43:21 (3:54's)

Wed - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 32:04 (3:12's), 2.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Thu am - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 39:56 (4:12's)

Thu pm - Mayo AC easy 6.5kms

Fri -  2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:56 (3:12's), 2.0km down. All up 14.0kms

Sat - Claregalway 11.9km recovery run 50:03 (4:12's)

Sun - Rest

Total for week 83.1kms

Three threshold runs but two of them on the treadmill. But they are getting quicker so I think I'm making some progress. No run on Sunday as I was on a coaching course on the weekend so basically no time to fit it in. Nice to have a break mind.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Another good week

This week:

Mon - Treadmill 10km recovery run 35:56 (3;36's)

Tue - 2km up, 12km threshold run 42:11 (3:31's), 2.1km down. All up 16.1kms

Wed - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:39 (3:51's)

Thu am - 2km up, 13km threshold run 45:17 (3:29's), 1.1km down. All up 16.1kms

Thu pm - Mayo AC easy 2.7kms

Fri -  Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 41:54 (3:46's)

Sat - 2km up, 11km threshold run 37:50 (3:26's), 1.4km down. All up 14.4kms

Sun - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 38:30 (4:03's)

Total for week 91.0kms.

Three good outside threshold runs so definitely making progress. I ran the Saturday one late at night and felt really good - cruising along nicely at sub 3:30/km pace.

I was on an Athletics Ireland coaching course Saturday and Sunday. Quite interesting and the highlight was having Brother Colm O'Connell there for the second morning and he was very good to listen to getting an insight into how the Kenyans train,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back to the grindstone

Time to get off that treadmill - from Thursday onwards:

Mon - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 35:52 (3:47's)

Tue - 2km up, Treadmill 10km threshold 32:22 (3:14's), 1.6km down

Wed - Treadmill 10km recovery run 36:15 (3:38's)

Thu - am: 2km up, Claregalway 12km threshold 42:02 (3:30's), 2.1km down, pm: Mayo AC easy 4.7kms

Fri - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 37:29 (3:57's)

Sat - Claregalway to Tuam 22.8kms 1:43:33 (4:32's)

Sun - 2km up, Claregalway 14.4km threshold 50:04 (3:29's), 0.9km down

Total 103.5kms for the week

A couple of outdoor threshold runs in the second half of the week. Good to be back. I felt good on the Sunday run and the watch was playing up so I suspect the pace was a bit quicker than shown. A couple more weeks like this and I'll be flying.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Claregalway 10km

Here's another week:

Mon - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 32:15 (3:14's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms.

Tue - Am - 10km treadmill recovery run 36:36 (3:40's), Pm - Easy 6.8kms Tuam AC

Wed - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 32:17 (3:14's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms.

Thu - Mayo AC cruise intervals (threshold) - all up 12.6kms

Fri - Claregalway easy 7.0kms in 31:08 (4:27's)

Sat - Claregalway 10km 1st in 32:24 (3:14's). All up 15.1kms.

Sun - Claregalway recovery run 14.8kms in 56:04 (3:47's)

Still not a great week - too much treadmill running but no other option with the kids being off school. A total of 94.3kms.

Perfect conditions for the Claregalway 10km, I took it out quick and felt great up until half-way (under 16 minutes). Then I struggled all the way home (with Jason not far behind keeping me very honest as you can see below). I'd say that time is a fair representation of where I'm at currently - hard work now required to get back under 32 minutes.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Holiday in Donegal - training suffered!

I have this to report:

Mon - Treadmill recovery run 10.0kms in 36:42 (3:40's)

Tue - Tuam AC easy running 12.3kms

Wed - Gortahork recovery run 13.3kms in 54:22 (4:05's)

Thu - am: Marble Hill easy beach run 4.4kms, pm: Gortahork recovery run 10.0kms in 39:34 (3:57's)

Fri -  Gortahork recovery run 11.5kms in 45:33 (3:58's)

Sat - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run in 32:24 (3:14's)

Sun - Claregalway recovery run 14.8kms in 56:50 (3:50's)

Total for the week 90.3kms

Another crap week so time to get back into it. We had a great time in Donegal and the weather was good. Some fantastic scenery but very hilly for running. Arrived back in Galway on Saturday and decided to do my first threshold run in 3 weeks. It was tough but I survived. The pace wasn't great so I've definitely gone backwards but that's to be expected.

Next week I'll be back proper training. There is the Claregalway 10km on Saturday evening so I'll use that to see where I'm at.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

The Streets of Galway 2015

The week that was in a nutshell:

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 11.1kms in 44:05 (3:58's)

Tue - Tuam AC easy running 8.6kms

Wed - Treadmill recovery run 10.0kms in 37:42 (3:46's)

Thu - Mayo AC easy running 10.9kms

Fri - Claregalway easy running 9.5kms in 38:20 (4:02's)

Sat - Streets of Galway 8km 25:25 (3:11's). All up 14.0kms.

Sun - Rest day

Total for the week 64.1kms

It's fair to say I had a pretty easy week leading into the Streets of Galway! The legs weren't right after the half so a few easy days were certainly called for. The weather on the drive in to the city didn't look good - very wet and windy and not what you'd want. Still that didn't put people off with well over 2,000 people lining up for the start.

I had another one of my shocking starts (not paying attention) but soon got into my running with a quick first km (3:01). The second km is a bit tougher as you climb up to Eyre Square and at this point I was in 4th position with the top 3 disappearing up the road in front of me. Running around the Cathedral I was joined by 2 other runners - one from Finn Valley (Gerard Gallagher) and a fellow GCH athlete (Mike O'Connor). A good second km also (3:10) and then it seemed to get a bit tougher - maybe the wind was a factor?

Our group stuck together until around 4km where we took a right hand turn up to Devon Park. A tough climb and that left me and Gerard to fight it out for 4th position. My plan was to hang on until we got down on the prom and then I'd look to push for home with a quick final 2km.

The pace had slowed and I was pretty much running 3:15's for kms 3 to 6 but upon hitting the prom the pace lifted with the benefit of a strong breeze on the back. Still running side-by-side with Gerard and I tried a few token surges which were quickly covered off. Upon reaching the 7km mark (3:06) I then tried to lift the pace but I was on the limit and there was nothing in the legs. By 7.5km I was toast and I had to sit-back and watch Gerard work a gap of a few metres. That last stretch seemed to last forever and I kicked for the line to finish in 25:25 (a 3:03 last km) to end up in 5th place.

A PB of 11 seconds but to be honest that was soft as I've run quicker than that at the 8km mark of a 10km race. But I'll take it! I'd say there is more there on fresher legs and maybe in better conditions - next year! That said I really enjoyed that and it was great fun to be racing properly and pushing yourself to the limit. I checked the heart rate data and that's the highest I've put my heart rate in any race before - maxing out at 159.

I received fantastic support on the course and I'd just like to thank everyone who gave me a cheer - it certainly makes a difference! Here's a photo of me looking a little worse for wear before the race!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

The week of the National Half Marathon

Well it wasn't the week I was after but you only get out what you put in!

Here goes:

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms in 36:48 (3:52's)

Tue - 2.5km up - 20 x 30 secs at 10km pace, 2.2km down. All up 8.0kms.

Wed - Treadmill recovery run 10.0kms in 35:53 (3:35's)

Thu - Easy 8.3kms with Mayo AC

Fri - Easy treadmill run 6.8kms in 30:00 (4:25')

Sat - Rest

Sun - National Half Marathon 12th overall and 1st in Age Cat 1:10:45

I knew I'd gone off the boil a little the last couple of weeks - too busy with work and Dad was over so there were a fair few visits to the pub for some darts and fun. Plus the Galway races on the Friday - not ideal preparation! I lined up for the race and felt good - conditions were calm and there was a good crowd. Settled into my running and felt great the first couple of kms. Then we turned off the quay and a short-sharp hill really knocked me and I seemed to struggle a bit thereafter. That was pretty much the pattern of the race - a good couple of kms and then struggling for a while. Very patchy and I just couldn't settle into a rhythm. The course wasn't great but I was still going well at 10km (32:50) and I was running solo by this stage. There was a horrible straight section as we worked towards the Phoenix Park and I just couldn't get going - this continued as I entered the Park and I was struggling to run 3:30's on a narrow path. Then we took a left turn and I managed to lift the pace for a good couple of kms. With 2 miles to go I knew I still had a chance to break 1hr 10 but it just wasn't happening and it was back to struggle street. Very strange as there was no middle ground - some good, some crap. I crossed the line in 1:10:45 which was still a good run but I know I can do so much better than that. In speaking with others it seemed that most people struggled and not many were pleased with their times. Maybe the humidity was a factor? Plus a tough course? Who knows but I must say I won't be rushing back if I was chasing a time. Still another National title and I only missed my PB by 15 seconds so when you look at it like that it wasn't all bad.

Me outside a pub. Pretty much sums it up:

Only 64.7kms for the week. I'll take it easy next week and see if I can pull something out of the bag for the much loved Streets of Galway 8km.

Lots of fun Sunday lunchtime onwards as me and the old man hit the pubs of Dublin. I was certainly hitting my straps on the drinking front....

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Crap training and the Balla 10k

Here goes:

Mon - Treadmill recovery run 10kms in 36:00 (3:36's)

Tue - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run in 31:53 (3:11's), 2km down. All up 14kms

Wed - Treadmill recovery run 10kms in 35:53 (3:35's)

Thu - am - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run in 31:48 (3:11's), 1km down. All up 13kms

Thu - pm - Mayo AC easy 7.3kms

Fri - Claregalway 9.5kms easy in 44:06 (4:39's)!!!

Sat - Balla 10km 1st in 33:42. All up 14.5kms

Sun - Claregalway recovery run 11.1kms in 42:06 (3:48's)

All up 89.4kms for the week.

Another win in Balla. A very tough course and took the lead from the gun and nobody went with me so settled into threshold mode. I didn't feel great though and struggled to find any rhythm on the rolling hills. I added an extra 2km threshold at the end and then stopped as I was knackered. Not a great confidence booster with the half only a week away.

My other training was crap. Lots of treadmill running which was enforced with the kids being on summer hols. My treadmill pace is getting better with 2 sub 32 threshold runs but not proper training as it's all about getting out on the roads....

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Poor week

Very busy with testing this week so the training suffered a fair bit:

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 9.5km in 36:25 (3:50's)

Tue - 2km up, Treadmill threshold run 10km in 32:07 (3:13's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms

Wed - Claregalway recovery run 9.5km in 36:21 (3:50's)

Thu - 2km up, Treadmill threshold run 10km in 33:30 (3:21's). All up 11.0kms.

Fri - Treadmill recovery run 10km in 36:35 (3:40's)

Sat - 2km up, Treadmill threshold run 10km in 32:01 (3:12's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms

Sun - Rest day

Total for the week 68.0kms.....

Lots of lactate threshold testing so that was good fun. But the weather has been poor and I have the kids also so it was difficult to get outdoors. So on the treadmill a fair bit which is better than no run. Certainly my pace on the treadmill is getting a bit quicker so that's a good sign. But my run on Thursday I felt terrible so I pulled back on the pace and didn't bother with a warm-down. But I bounced back well on Friday and Saturday so I'd say I was just knackered.

Only 2 weeks now until the National Half so I need to find a decent week next week and then I'll pull back.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Building volume and the Martin Egan 10km

Another week under the belt:

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms in 38:06 (4:01's) - was feeling tired

Tue - 2km up, Treadmill threshold 10km 32:19 (3:14's), 1.6km down. All up 13.6kms

Wed - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms in 36:06 (3:48's)

Thu - AM - 2km up, Claregalway 14km threshold 49:00 (3:30's), 0.5km down. All up 16.5kms

Thu - PM - Mayo AC easy 6.4kms

Fri - Treadmill recovery run 10.0kms in 36:47 (3:41's)

Sat - Treadmill easy run 8kms in 35:00 (4:23's)

Sun - Martin Egan 10km 1st in 33:13. All up 20.7kms

I raced on Sunday again using a local race as a threshold run. Had a good duel over the first 3km with a young lad and then he dropped off and I was back running by myself. The course was good - a few drags and bumps and the wind wasn't too bad and I felt like I was cruising. I won in 33:13 and then carried on adding an additional 8km at threshold intensity and I went through 10 miles in just over 54 minutes and 18km in 61 minutes. Happy with that as I didn't have to push the pace at all.

That's another good week - a total of 94.2kms with 3 good threshold runs. My pattern over the last 3 weeks continues and if I can keep it going for 3 more weeks I should have a strong run in Dublin.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Another week and the Headford 8km

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 11.1kms 43:19 (3:54's)

Tue - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 32:13 (3:13's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms.

Wed - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms in 36:30 (3:51's)

Thu - 2km up, 12.0km Claregalway threshold run 42:34 (3:33'a), 2.1km down. All up 16.1kms.

Fri - Treadmill easy 9.3kms in 40:07 (4:19's)

Sat - Headford 8km first in 26:27. All up 19.5kms.

Sun - Claregalway recovery run 14.8kms in 56:25 (3:49's)

Total for week 94.3kms

I was expecting a good hit-out at Headford but after the gun had sounded I was well in control within the first 500m. So I decided to pull back and run at threshold intensity. I crossed the line for the win in 26:27 and kept going - running another lap to end up with a 15.8km threshold run at an average pace of 3:21/km. Very happy with that as conditions were wet and windy and heart rate was middle of the zone all the way. A few more runs like this as the build-up for the half marathon continues.

The guts of the training are still the threshold runs. I'm settling on 3 per week - one treadmill and two outdoors. The treadmill run is top of the zone, the race environment sees me middle of zone and the remaining outdoor run is lower zone. If I can get around 40km a week in at threshold for the next few weeks I will be in good form for the half.

Here are a few photos from Headford:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The week that was and Irishtown 8km

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 9.5km in 36:19 (3:49's)

Tue - Claregalway recovery run 11.1km in 43:14 (3:54's)

Wed - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 32:24 (3:14's), 1.6km down

Thu - Am- Claregalway recovery run 9.5km in 37:03 (3:54's), Pm - Mayo AC Easy 4.6km

Fri - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 32:17 (3:14's), 2.0km down

Sat - Claremorris easy 7.4kms

Sun - Irishtown 8km in 27:29. All up 18.0km.

Legs in bits at the start of the week so a couple of days recovery.Then a couple of midweek threshold runs on the treadmill. I then raced on Sunday in Irishtown which was the third race in the Move to Improve series. I took it handy on a tough hilly windy day and ran 27:29 to win comfortably. I was threshold zone all the way so decided to run the loop a second time at the same heart rate - this time around a minute slower. A nice 10 mile trot all nicely in the middle of the zone.

That's 87.7kms for the week. I need to get a few more hour long threshold runs completed as I've agreed to run the National Half on August 2nd in Dublin. Looking forward to that.

Here's a photo from Irishtown (credit Tom Hunt):

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Another week and Annaghdown 10km

This week went something like this:

Mon - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms 37:20 (3:56's)

Tue - AM - 2km up, treadmill 10km threshold run 32;18 (3:14's), 1.6km down. Total 13.6kms.

Tue - PM - easy 6.5kms Tuam AC

Wed - Claregalway recovery run 10.3kms including strides 43:38

Thu - 2km up, Claregalway 10km threshold run 33:50 (3:23's), 1.5km down. Total 13.5kms.

Fri - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms 36:03 (3:48's)

Sat - Claremorris easy 5.8kms including strides

Sun - Annaghdown 10km 31:58. All up 14.9kms with up/down.

Total for the week 83.6kms

I felt good on my outdoor threshold run on Thursday dipping under 34 for 10km at the bottom of my zone. That was a good confidence booster heading into the race on Sunday, Conditions were very breezy throughout the day and the 7pm start made  for something different for a Sunday race. My plan was to take it out hard using the benefit of the wind the first 4kms. Then hang on. That's basically what happened - I took the lead from the gun and ran hard clocking low 3 minute kms for the first 4 kms. Through 4km in 12:20 so I knew I had put some time in the bank in attempting to break the course record of 32:31.

After a left turn at 4km things got a lot tougher and the wind was always a factor. I broke it down into 1km sections and kept focused on my cadence which I know drops off when I start to struggle. Through 5km in 15:40 and some quick mental arithmetic and I knew if I could hold sub 3:20 pace I'd be there or thereabouts. Each km passed under target and by the time I got to 7km I knew barring a disaster I had it in the bag. Still some tough sections in the last 3km including a nasty climb up to the cemetery around 9km. I pushed hard the last km crossing the line in 31:58 for the win.

Delighted with that as it was a tough day and the course although predominantly flat certainly has you working hard in spots. I feel that was a better run than my PB of 31:42 (on a flatter course and in better conditions). My target now has to be a crack at sub 31:30 but I'll need some company to help pull that off.

That's my 4th sub 32 now so I'm very consistent. I just need to take it up a notch and I know it's there. 

Here are a few photos from the day courtesy of Outback Jacks - the start and the finish:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

More of the same

Back into things in Ireland:

Mon - attempted threshold run but turned into recovery run 16.4kms in 1:01:59 (3:47's)

Tue - Am - Claregalway recovery run 11.1kms in 43:00 (3:55's), PM - easy 6.5kms with Tuam AC

Wed - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 32:24 (3:14's), 2km down. All up 14.0kms

Thu - Am - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms in 36:08 (3:48's), PM - easy 5.1kms with Mayo AC

Fri - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 32:26 (3:15's), 1.6km down. All up 13.6kms

Sat - Claregalway recovery run 11.1kms in 42:26 (3:49's)

Sun - 2km up, Claregalway threshold run 14.0kms in 49:00 (3:30's), 1.5km down. All up 17.5kms

Total 104.2kms

I think I was knackered on Monday - I was pushing hard to try and get into my threshold zone but I was nowhere near it. About halfway through the session I backed off and settled into a recovery run. Three more threshold runs later in the week including a long outdoor run on Sunday.

Looking to race next week (Sunday in Annnaghdown at 10km). Will see how I go.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Tough going but ticking over

The holiday in Portugal continues:

Mon - Vilamoura 13.2kms out of zone 57:06 (4:20's)

Tue - 6 x 1.34kms threshold reps plus up/down - all up 14.2kms

Wed - Rest (went to the theme park)

Thu - 6 x 1.34kms threshold reps plus up/down - all up 14.9kms

Fri - 6 x 1.34kms threshold reps plus up/down - all up 14.9kms

Sat - Vilamoura 11.6kms out of zone 50:02 (4:19's)

Sun - Treadmill recovery run 10km 35:52 (3:35's)

78.8kms for the week

Too hot for proper training in Portugal. Was going through the motions to be honest. Hitting the zones out there just about impossible for me - some token threshold reps so hopefully I've at least maintained my fitness. Beer consumption was the real winner...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Start of holiday

This week went something like this:

Mon - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 42:12 (3:48's)

Tue - 2km up, 13km threshold 46:33 (3:35's), 2km down (felt tired - not recovered from race)

Wed - Treadmill 10km recovery run 36:17 (3;38's)

Thu - Treadmill 9km recovery run (am), Mayo AC recovery session 9.4km (pm)

Fri - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 32:23 (3:14's)

Sat - Vilamoura 12.2kms out of zone 52:31 (4:18's)

Sun - Vilamoura - 6 x 1.34km threshold reps plus up/down - all up 15kms

Total 97.2kms for the week

Travelled to Portugal Friday evening. Tried a run there on Saturday and it was bloody hard going in over 30 degree heat. Did some threshold reps on Sunday to finish off the week - about 4 mins 30 seconds each effort and well up into that threshold zone (pace around 3:20 ish/km). Again it was very hot and this was running at around 6pm...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Mayfly Week

Another week:

Mon - Treadmill 10km recovery run 36:09 (3:37's)

Tue - 2km up. 13km threshold 45:31 (3:30's), 2km down

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km out of zone (to test twisted knee) 39:55 (4:12's)

Thu - 2km up, 10km treadmill threshold 31:59 (3:12's), 2km down

Fri - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 41:50 (3:46's)

Sat - Claregalway 9.5km out of zone plus strides

Sun - Mayfly 10km 32:56 - all up 14.5kms

Total 85.9kms

I managed to twist my knee somehow mid-week so the Wednesday run was to see if I could run. That went okay. The race on Sunday was a good one. A very tough course with a big climb between 2 and 4 kms. I had already opened up a decent lead and after 4km I got into a nice rhythm and ran the last 6km at 3;10/km pace. Very happy to break 33 on that course and the heart rate was as high as I can recall it going (max 157). Another win by a shade over 4 minutes!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Solid and feeling good

Another good week in the bank. No racing but might look to change that next week:

Mon - 2km up, 10km threshold treadmill 32:19 (3:14's), 2km down

Tue - Claregalway recovery run 9.5kms 35:45 (3:46's)

Wed - 2km up, 13km threshold Claregalway 45:32 (3:30's), 1.5km down

Thu - Mayo AC relaxed intervals on the track - all up 10.6kms

Fri - 2km up, 10km threshold treadmill 32:30 (3:15's), 2km down

Sat - Claregalway recovery run 12.8kms 48:14 (3:46's)

Sun - 2km up, 13km threshold Claregalway 45:00 (3:28's), 1.5km down

Weekly total 93.9kms.

So 4 good threshold runs - 2 inside, 2 outside. Feeling super strong at the end of the week and it felt like I was jogging on Saturday and I ran the first half of the run at sub 3:40/km pace. A good threshold run today to finish the week in very windy conditions (good for toughening you up). All good at the moment - knee behaving nicely and I seem to be able to push the training a bit more at the moment. That could be due to the iron supplement or it may just be placebo.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Treadmill recovery run to finish up the week. All up 10.0kms in 35:59 (3:36's).

That's 88.8kms for the week.