Sunday, March 22, 2015

Craughwell 10 miler

This was my 5th time of running the C10. I ran my 10 mile PB here back in 2011 where I had a ding-dong battle with Paul Buckley. That was probably my favourite 'race' of all time as we swapped the lead many times but he got away from me in the last 2 miles. I ended up running 53:20. Since then I've ran 53:33 in 2012, 55:14 in 2013 and 54:02 last year. Pretty consistent times but was hoping that I could have a big race today and maybe dip under 53....

Traning-wise I was happy though a little underdone. I knew I'd be good until around 8 miles, and then the last couple were going to hurt. My plan was to run the first 10km in 32:45 and then hang on. My best times on this course were all negative splits and the way the breeze was blowing today it was going to be a tough first few miles, with a friendlier run home. That worked well for me.

A few kms warm-up and then lined up for the start. Mick Clohisey was the stand-out runner - with a big group of Raheny green and whites for company. The race started (one of the weirdest starts I can recall - we all looked at each other as if to say "was that the start?"). And we were off...

Mick hit the lead and I went straight into second. Nobody went with me so within 400m and I was in no-mans land. It was going to be a 10 mile time trial. I felt good from the start and despite running into the breeze you get a nice downhill to get the revs up. My watch was set to 1km auto-lap so I had the updates from the watch each km, and I was manually keeping an eye on my mile splits by making a note of the time as I passed each mile marker,

After the first mile it was starting to get a bit tougher and you could certainly notice the breeze. Mick was already a good way up the road and I'd opened up a decent gap. I knew if I could run a solid first few miles it was going to get easier. The course is tough but fair - a few drags here and there where I really focused on keeping my cadence high and I knew from my km splits that my time was okay.

At around 3 and a half miles we took a right turn and it got a lot easier - I could feel my pace lift straight away. It was all about keeping focused and ticking off the miles. On reaching half way I looked at the watch and I was around 26:30 and I knew I could run the second half quicker. Just had to do it. After another right turn it got easier again and I really started to motor. My km splits were well under target time but in the back of my mind was the nagging doubt of the wheels coming off at some point. Through 6 miles and still felt great and then crossed the 10km point in 32:41 so I had a bit of time on my side....

It was a shade over 6kms to go and I knew if I could hold 3:20/km pace I had a new PB. That's pretty much what happened - I was on the km countdown and my splits were all good. If I ran a slow one the next one would bounce back to get me back on track. Just before 8 miles we took another right turn and this is the twisty part of the course - a small country lane. No support whatsoever down there and I was glad to take a left hand turn back onto the main road and I got a good lift from the supporters on that last mile and a half stretch back up to the finish. I was still feeling okay and I really attacked and lifted the pace and felt very strong right up to the finish line where I recorded a new PB of 52:41 for second place. That's 5:16/mile pace or 3:16/km pace so a very solid race.

Well done to Mick who won in classy 49:29 (on tired marathon training legs). He'll have a super run in Rotterdam in 3 weeks time when he freshens up. The Raheny lads then filled up the next 4 spots and then a few more familiar local faces started to filter through the finish. All in all a great day and I was delighted how I ran as I felt in control the whole way.

Here are the km splits:

3:04 / 3:19 / 3:25 / 3:18 / 3:19 / 3:26 / 3:13 / 3:18 (8km in 26:22) / 3:09 / 3:10 (10km in 32:41) / 3:22 / 3:14 / 3:14 / 3:17 / 3:24 / 3:08 (16km in 52:19 - second 8km in 25:57) / 0:22. Finish 52:41.

That's 87.9kms for the week. According to McMillan that's my best ever run - any distance so that's extra pleasing. It still doesn't give me the sub 70 minute half though (70:16) but I'm sure it's there or thereabouts....

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mon to Sat

Here's the first 6 days of the week:

Mon - Treadmill 10km recovery run 35:59 (3:36's)

Tue - 2.0km up, 12km threshold 39:51 (3:19's), 2.3km down (outdoors)

Wed - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 40:34 (3:39's)

Thu - 2.0km up, strides, 6 x 1km at 3:00/km pace (2% incline - recovery 90 secs), 2.3km down

Fri - Claregalway 12.6km recovery run (3:46's)

Sat - Claregalway 5.0km out of zone 21:17 (4:15's)

A good couple of sessions there - a very encouraging outdoor threshold run on St Patrick's day in perfect running weather. That's 51 seconds quicker than the previous week. So much more benefit getting the runs completed outside as compared to the treadmill - I feel a lot stronger as a result.

A repeat of my speed session on Thursday from last week. I was at the top of my threshold zone and dipped into the tempo zone towards the end of the session. Felt much more comfortable this week so I think I'll keep doing this session but lengthen the reps slightly.

Hitting my zones and found it much easier to get into the zones this week - you won't hear me saying that very often. I think that 3,000m lifted my heart rate to new levels and anything below that suddenly seems a lot more manageable.

Left knee still giving me some grief. Lots of stretching and foam rolling and all that - if I could only get it fixed once and for all I'd really put in a good block of training....

Craughwell 10 tomorrow. If I can maintain the pace from the run on Tuesday for another 4.1kms I'll be in with a PB shout....

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Masters gold medal

Another week to report:

Mon - Treadmill 10km recovery in 36:13 (3:37's)

Tue - 2km up, 12km threshold in 40:42 (3:24's), 2km down

Wed - 2km up, strides, 6 x 3 mins at 3:00/km pace/2% incline, 2km down

Thu -  Treadmill 10km recovery in 36:12 (3:37's)

Fri - Claregalway recovery run 14.8km in 54:39 (3:42's)

Sat - Claregalway 9.5km in 38:58 out of zone (4:06's)

Sun - Masters indoors 3,000m gold in 8:56 (all up 6.6kms)

Total for the week 78.0kms.

A good outdoor threshold run on Tuesday but died a bit the last 4km. A speed session on the treadmill running 1km reps in 3:00 on 2% incline off 90 seconds recovery the next day. Then the indoors on Sunday. I went out to the front and ran the first km in 2:58. Started to feel it towards the end of the second km (2;59) and was overtaken by a V35 runner who I couldn't respond to. Managed to hold the pace until the finish but had no zip to finish really strong (last km 2;59), A good run and nice to win this the V40 category for the third year on the trot, Great to run on the indoor track as well and really enjoyed it.

Craughwell 10 miler next week.....

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Just not happening

Here's another week:

Mon - 9.5kms recovery run in 36:21 (3:50's)

Tue - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:15, 2km down

Wed - 2km up, 4 x 30 sec strides, 6 x 3 mins tempo, 2km down

Thu - treadmill recovery run 10km 36:10 (3:37's)

Fri - gentle 20 mins out of zone plus strides

Sat - Kinvara 10km 2nd in 33:19

Sun - 14.8km recovery run in 55:53 (3:47's)

I ran some 3 minute efforts on the treadmill on Wednesday. I started out at 3:00/km pace at 1.5% incline and got quicker each rep. A tough workout but the heart rate just not getting high enough...

The race on Saturday was another tough one. Very windy and the first 5.5km of the race was challenging. Then felt great for the run home with the help of the wind. A sponsored athlete was over from Wales and he won in a classy 31:17. He was a sub 30 minute guy (3:38 for 1500) and even he found it tough. I'd say I'm in a minute better shape than 33:19 but just not getting good conditions for quick times....

I'll keep plugging away. Masters indoors next weekend - I've entered the 3,000m and I also have the option to double up in the 1,500......

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Just like that

The week just gone:

Mon - Treadmill recovery run 10km 36:41

Tue - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:29, 2km down

Wed - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:30, 2km down

Thu - Treadmill recovery run 10km 36:20

Fri - 2km up, 2 x 3km tempo 8:57 and 8:52, 2km down

Sat - Treadmill recovery run 10km 35:59

Sun - 2km up, 14km threshold 45:07, 2km down (went through 10km in 32:17...)

Total 86.0kms for the week.

A good week all in all. Three threshold runs and tried to up the pace a little and get a bit higher up my threshold zone. And my first tempo session in yonks (maybe since last November?), I was happy with that - both 3km efforts nicely under 9 minutes and was certainly working hard but that heart rate wasn't going as high as I'd like. But it was a start. I may try a sub 15 minute 5km next week for something different...

All the above were treadmill runs due to very poor weather. I need to get outdoors. The paces are very flattering and I reckon I'm 6 or 7 seconds per km quicker on the treadmill compared to perfect outdoor conditions.

Knee still not right ever since the XC. Going for a rub tomorrow. It's fine when running but aches a lot post run. Something I'm going to have to live with for a while I'd say.

Other than that very busy with the lactate testing. Plus I've started taking a track session in Claremorris on Thursday evenings which is great fun. Still playing snooker once a week and actually played okay on Wednesday for the first time in a while (high break of 36 but kept missing the key balls). Darts are also going well - doing a bit more practise and that's what it's all about. Beer intake steady but room for improvement....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another week done....

Quick summary:

Mon - Treadmill 10km recovery 37:02

Tue - Treadmill 10km recovery 35:55

Wed - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:36, 2km down

Thu - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:36, 2km down

Fri - 2km up, 10km threshold 32:36, 2km down

Sat - Claregalway 9.5km easy run 37:42

Sun - Kilconeiron 5m road race. First in 27:22. All up 18.4kms with up/down.

Total 89.9kms for the week.

The race on Sunday was really tough. Very windy especially in the middle section of the course which was very exposed. I lost the will to live at one point and was grinding away going nowhere. This was on a course where I've ran 25:46 and I'm arguably in better shape now! Another win and a great charity event. Onwards and upwards - I'm getting slower each race I do at the moment which isn't a nice trend!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gorgeous Gort 8km

This turned out to be an action replay of last year. In tougher conditions...

I warmed up with Owen and we made our way down to the start for the 1:30pm off. The race was soon underway and I was a little disappointed not to see any tractors parked on the high street this year as we made our way through town. A left turn and then it got a whole lot tougher as we were then running into a stiff breeze.

I'd opened up a bit of a lead and any thought of getting a bit of a drafting benefit of the lead van were quickly erased as said van was several hundred metres up the road. A couple of tough kilometres followed and then it got a bit easier as the course took another turn to the left. I didn't feel too great - maybe one too many beers the night before; a sore knee; or any other excuse you can think of.

The pace had at least picked up a bit and just before halfway it was time to make another left turn onto the main road just before the half way mark. Now the wind was on the back but that didn't seem to help me much. One of those days where I just felt a bit flat. At around 5km the course took a right turn and then it was time to welcome a lovely tough climb. Then a few more drags before a left turn where the course flattened out a bit.

At 7km there was another speed bump just to keep you honest. Then some welcome downhill back into town. I pushed on as best I could and crossed the line in 26:19 for the win. One year wiser and 15 seconds slower. Progress of the backwards variety!

A very enjoyable run and good to see the same top 3 as last year with my wingman Owen finishing in second place. Credit where it's due to South Galway AC who put on another great event and great to see so many marshals out on the course.

About 14.7kms for the day. And 71.7kms for the week. Pathetic volume but hopefully I can get back into it next week and get some threshold runs under the belt...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mon to Sat

Here goes:

Mon - recovery run 12.6kms in 46:55 (3:43's). Left knee sore after XC - think I twisted it slightly...

Tue - 2km up, 13.8km threshold 45:10 (3:16's), 1.6km down. All up 17.4kms

Wed - rest. Previous days run was stupid and I was limping around as a result with a very sore knee.

Thu - 7km shuffle on the treadmill. Average HR 111. My zones start at 131 so they were junk miles.

Fri - 10km on treadmill in 37:13. Wound it up a bit and knee feeling a little stronger.

Sat - 10km treadmill in 36:36. In recovery zone and good to race tomorrow.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

The week that was

Sorry for short updates....

Mon - 11.1km recovery run 41:37 (3:45's)

Tue - 2km up, 13.9km threshold run 45:06 (3:15), 1.6km down. All up 17.5kms

Wed - 11.1km recovery run 41:06 (3:42's)

Thu - 2km up, 10.0km threshold run 32:19 (3:14), 1.0km down. All up 13.0kms

Fri - 10.0km recovery run 35:58 (3:36's)

Sat - Rest

Sun - National Masters XC - 4km up, 7km race, no warm-down...

I had a very solid run in the XC. Conditions were perfect for me - nice and cold and fairly solid ground (not a mud bath). Lots of twists and turns and undulations and good fun to race on. One small lap of 1km and then 4 more laps of 1.5km. I settled into the lead group for the first couple of kms and was feeling great but lost a bit of ground in the middle of the race where I should have pushed on. I then finished the last couple of laps strongly and pegged back a few places to finish 10th overall and 3rd in the V40 category. Great to get a national medal at XC but looking back I think I could have done a bit better if I'd really pushed it in the middle section. Looking at the results I was only 16 seconds behind 3rd place and I committed the cardinal sin of falling off the back of the lead group. That wouldn't have happened on the road so I need to learn from it.

Here is a great snap:

That's 73.7kms for the week. Doing okay at the moment and building nicely towards some goal races in March.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Weekly Update

The week that was:

Mon - 11.1kms recovery run 42:00 (3:47/km)

Tue - 2km up, 13.7km threshold run 45:11 (3:18/km), 2km down, Total 17.7kms.

Wed - 10.0km treadmill recovery run 35:57 (3:36/km)

Thu - 2km up, 13.9km threshold run 45:06 (3:15/km), 1.6km down, Total 17.5kms.

Fri - 11.1kms recovery run 41:55 (3:47/km)

Sat - 10.0km  treadmill recovery run 36:31 (3:39/km)

Sun - 2km up, 14.0km threshold run 45:08 (3:13/km), 2.0km down, Total 18.0kms.

Total 95.4kms for the week.

Three good threshold runs in there (all treadmill). Pace getting quicker each time so that's a good sign. Happy with my progress.

Next week - more of the same with the National Masters XC in Tuam on the weekend.

Dad arrived Wednesday so a few visits to the pub to report.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Getting there

The week of the treadmill runs....another threshold. Pushed it for 10km (32:50) and then pulled back a bit and ended up running 13.7kms in 45:07 (3:18's). The last 9 minutes were getting tough - so I took the easy option and lowered the incline and pulled back the speed.

That's about what I was doing in the build up to the half last year so I think I'm getting back to where I was. That's 8 threshold runs completed now in the last 3 weeks and I guess I have to keep building them up until I get back to an hour.

88.4kms for the week.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Busy day

Busy with work and squeezed in another treadmill run in the evening. Pushed it a bit today but still well into the recovery zone. Time 35:57 for 10km (3:36's).

A few beers in the evening.

Friday, January 23, 2015


The treadmill runs continue. 10km recovery in 37:09 (3:43's).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting it up there

2km up, 10km threshold, 1.6km down. All up 13.6kms on the treadmill.

Getting tougher to get into that threshold zone - a sure sign the fitness is coming back. 33:09 for the 10km.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Outside recovery run 11.1kms in 42:53 (3:52's).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

40 mins

A longer treadmill threshold run today. A total of 12kms in 39:47 (3:19's). I felt pretty good up until about 35 mins and then I was hanging on at the end. Heart rate getting up there also - a good bit higher than normal.

All up 16kms.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Back into training

Treadmill 10km recovery run of 37:11 (3:43's). Legs not too bad after the race but pace a bit down on normal so that shows I was perhaps a bit tired.

I had a look at my HR data from the race yesterday. Could do better. I didn't even get into my tempo zone. That's not good.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tuam 8km

A good crowd for this and pretty good conditions. After a 3.1km warm-up it was time to line up for the start. The horn sounded and Gary Thornton took the lead, with another guy in quick pursuit leaving me back in third.

That soon changed and midway through the first km I had moved up into second with Gary disappearing up the road. That's pretty much how it remained. I felt great for the first 4 kms and I was running sub 3:10 pace feeling like I could hold that for the full 8km. Then we took a few left hand turns and started running into quite a stiff breeze and I decided to slip into a pair of lead boots.

A very tough run home. Especially the long section on the main road. I finished in 25:53 after being 12:30 at 4km so a big positive split. The effort level was consistent but the breeze had me beat today. Still a good result finishing second to Gary who ran 24:34.

A 3.2km warm-down to give me 14.3kms for the day. That time is probably a fair reflection of where I'm at right now. More time needed in that threshold zone to get the strength and speed back up to where it was.

That's 75.3kms for the week. I love racing and really enjoyed that today. I think I need to race a bit more this year.

Well done to Shaun Murphy for winning the Masters. I didn't give him a hope against Robertson in the final and he won easily defeating the Aussie 10-2.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

No zone today

Gentle 20 minute run on the treadmill (quite late in the evening). Only 4.4 kms and felt very slow. Tuam AC 8km run tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Beer intake suffering due to work

Outside for a change for my usual 11.1km recovery loop in 42:26 (3:49's). Not much else happening - no darts this evening as a busy day of testing tomorrow. Just watching the snooker as you do.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sub 33

Short of time bit squeezed in a 10km threshold in 32:56 (3:18's). Again a bit quicker and the first sub 33 threshold 10km for a while.

Only 12kms today in total with a short warm-up and down.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Treadmill 1, Bad weather 0

Treadmill recovery 10km in 36:25 (3:39's). Again getting quicker in that recovery zone.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Quicker pace at same effort level

Threshold 10km on the treadmill in 33:10 (3:19's). A bit quicker than last week so getting a bit fitter. Still a long way to go. All up 13kms.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Keep it going

Outside recovery run 11.1kms in 42:14 (3:48's).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Oh no he doesn't.....

Another 10km threshold run in 33:30, All up 13kms with the up/down.

That's 90.9km for the week. Four threshold runs done. I reckon it will be 6 weeks at least before I get back to where I was at the end of November....

Pizza and then the annual pantomime with the kids in the afternoon. Good fun.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Treadmill 10km recovery run in 36:51 (3:41's).

Apologies about the infrequent blog updates - no coincidence that me getting busy at work is impacting my spare time!

Masters snooker starts today. Marco Fu hits a 147 to get things underway!

Friday, January 09, 2015


Another 10km threshold run today in 33:40 (3:22's). Slower today but felt really tired....

I had to turn out for the darts team as they were short of numbers. I won both my pairs and singles which was a miracle considering I've hardly picked up a dart in the last month. The highlight was a 130 checkout to win my singles finishing on the bull (20-60-50). The highest checkout of the league this season!

Thursday, January 08, 2015


Myself and Fintan - cold again but lovely for running once you got going. All up 14.8kms in 56:22 (3:49's).

I talked about threshold testing and Fintan couldn't talk...which is nice...