Sunday, November 16, 2014

That's me done

Outside recovery run for 11.1kms in 41:06 (3:42's) - a perfect day for running.

Felt mighty today. A slow first km (4:05) and then into the groove. Running sub 3:40 for a good while and a couple of 3:26's in there on the downhill sections. Feeling really strong and really looking forward to the race now.

That's 106.2kms for the week. Just looking at average pace for the week - and putting in 16kms of warm-up/warm-down running at 4:10/km pace (it's probably quicker) - it works out to 3:34/km for the week. That's pretty solid.

All set now for my nice easy taper week. Just hope the weather gods are kind next Sunday...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three down

Legs tired and with little mojo it was back on the treadmill to complete the third threshold run. Same drill that I do every time - 2 up, 45:16 zone 2 (13.6kms at 3:20 pace), 2 down. All up 17.6kms.

Didn't feel great throughout and looking at the clock every nano-second didn't help. Glad to see this one through and certainly another good sweat. Legs in bits after so hopefully a nice easy taper week next week to look forward to (hint, hint, coach!).

That's 150 minutes of threshold running in 3 days (45.3kms). No wonder my legs are gawne. I've never trained as hard for any race I've ever done and that includes numerous marathons.

Not much planned for the rest of the day. A homemade chicken vindaloo and maybe a couple of beers. A good recovery diet.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Watching the clock for 60 minutes

More of the same - this time a longer 60 minute threshold run....

2km up, threshold 18.0kms in 60:06 (3:20/km pace), 2km down. Today I hit the bad patch just on 45 minutes so I had 15 minutes to battle through. I was being a bit of a cellar dweller zone-wise today (right at the bottom of the zone) so I took the easy option and lowered the incline to 0.5% for the last 15 minutes which made it a good bit easier.

Still through 10km in 32:59, and 10 miles in 53:40 so not a bad hit-out. Two down, one to go...

Darts in the evening. I won both my pairs and singles but playing pretty average. Just haven't put the practise in this year and it shows...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Run Hold Thresh

A hat-trick of threshold runs and then my training is just about done. Faced with the quandary of should I run outside and not fully hit my zone, or run on the treadmill and get in the zone but have to go through the mind-numbing experience of watching a clock for 45 minutes.....well the latter won.

Why do I find it easier to get in the zone on the treadmill? A few reasons I think - firstly you have to keep up with the belt if not I'd end up on the driveway. Secondly it's a lot warmer indoors and it has you working that bit harder. Plus I wear my normal runners so again I think that makes it a bit tougher. Or it could all be in my head....but boy do I find it hard to get into that threshold zone outside.

2km up, 45 minutes threshold, 2km down. I covered 13.7kms in 45:01 (3:17 pace). Again on 1% incline for the guts of the run. I've noticed that I hit a bad patch on these runs - anywhere between 35 and 45 minutes. It goes from feeling like you're ticking along nicely, then suddenly it feels like you're running really hard uphill (and the HR suddenly jumps so it's not in my head this time). Today it happened on 36 minutes and it was a really tough last 9 minutes.

One down, two to go...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's all about the knee

Outside for a recovery run. Felt good today and was in zone. Running sub 3:40's for the middle section and it felt like I was jogging. All up 14.8kms in 55:17 (3:44's).

You'll notice I haven't blogged about the knee lately. That's because I don't want to jinx it but it's a lot better. And I mean a big improvement. Still a little bit of pain when I run but almost to the point where you don't notice it. So what fixed it? After focusing all my attention initially on tight quads, then perhaps hip alignment, I've come to the conclusion that it may have been due to tight calves. I now stretch my calves after every run and it seems to have made a world of difference. After over a year of discomfort in the knee I have definitely turned the corner...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

4 x 5 mins tempo off 3 mins

A repeat of a session from a fortnight ago. This time a longer recovery but to make up for it I was going to run quicker and using a higher incline (yes I was on the treadmill again).

A 2km warm-up and then 5 lots of strides - quick paced efforts for around 25 seconds each time to get the ticker tocking.

I always tend to be a bit soft on the first rep to gauge how the heart rate will react. I settled for 3:00/km pace on 1.5% incline but going into the last minute I still felt okay so I notched the pace up to 2:58/km. Max HR 151 so a couple of beats down on target (153+).

Second one ran at 2:56/km pace and got the HR up to 154. Same again for reps 3 and 4 (I did add an extra 0.1km/hour to the speed but that still comes in at 2:56/km pace). HR 155 and 156 respectively.

I love doing these quicker sessions on the treadmill. Really focused on nice relaxed breathing and good form and although I was working hard, I was just about in control. I'd say I'd go well on the track at the moment (if the conditions allowed). It's just nice to do some different sessions to the threshold runs (talking of which I have 3 planned this week Thu/Fri/Sat...).

A 2km warm-down for 10.8km all up.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weather bad so....

Treadmill recovery run. Gradual increase of pace and incline to get into first gear (zone 1). It took me a good 15 minutes to get there but once in it was easy to hold. All up 12.2kms in 45:11 (3:42/km pace). Running at around 3:35 pace for the guts of the run and went through 10km in just over 37 minutes.

Forgot to mention the snooker yesterday. Nice to see Ronnie pick up another title in the Champion of Champions. Fantastic standard of snooker in the final. He's still the best in the business.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Not as good today

Another threshold run to finish the week off. Outside this time and it was wet and windy but I wanted to give it a good effort.

A 2km warm-up and then straight into threshold mode. The plan was to run 17kms hard and hopefully that would see me up in zone 2. After a quick start it gradually became apparent that there was no zip in the legs today - I struggled when I hit the wind and never made the time back in the second half of the run. I clocked 58:50 for the 17kms (3:28's) so still a decent effort but zone-wise the heart rate wasn't up high enough.

A bit disappointed with that - but it could be down to a number of factors - more likely the 3 tough runs in the previous 3 days, Plus I still feel a little under the weather.

All up 107.5kms for the week. I've averaged over 100kms the last 8 weeks and 98kms per week over the last 16 weeks so some decent mileage. One more decent week next week and then it's taper time.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

3 x 10 minutes threshold

My 3rd treadmill run on the spin. Usual 2km warm-up and then into 3 long 10 minute efforts with the aim to get up into that tempo zone (next zone up from threshold). My zone target was 153 to 162.

I used incline during the efforts - starting at 1.5% and then lowering to 1.0% when that felt tough. I perhaps didn't push the first one enough and I was only at HR 152 by the end of the first 10 minutes (covering 3.24kms or 3:05/km pace).

Second one was much better - started quicker and hot the zone no problem. Clocked up 3.3kms (3:02/km pace). Max HR 154.

Last one much the same as the previous one except the heat rate went a little higher. Again 3.3kms at 3:02/km pace. Max HR 156.

Total 9.84kms in the 30 minutes. 

I was getting a massive 5 minutes recovery between efforts which helps. Felt good today - could have pumped out another one I'd say.

A 1km warm-down and that gives me 12.8kms for the day. Really enjoyed that session.

Out in the evening to Dublin to watch The Wedding Present play. Brilliant. They never disappoint. I was front and centre and even did a bit of moshing. Just like the good old days:

Friday, November 07, 2014


Same run as yesterday. Covered an extra 100m in the 45 minute threshold and that's about the only difference. Total 17.7kms. Feeling marginally better.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

45 minute threshold

Awful weather so treadmill it was. 2km up, 45 mins threshold (13.6km), 2km down. All up 17.6kms.

Despite not feeling great the run went pretty well. The heart rate was slightly higher than normal, and the pace was marginally down. Job done. More of the same tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Final recovery then back into it

12.6kms in 47:59 (3:48's).

Definitely not feeling myself at the moment. Backed off a little today and it was a bit out of zone-ish. I'll see how I am tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Recovery run with Fintan

Distance 14.8kms in 58:10 (3:56's). A bit slower than normal but still in my zone. Not sure how that is - maybe I'm not feeling quite right? Or it could have been all the chatting I was doing? Good to run with some company for a change!

Monday, November 03, 2014


Legs were understandably a little tender today. Recovery running for a few days. Distance 11.1kms in 42:59 (3:52's).

Here are my 5km splits from yesterday:

5km 17:01
5km 16:50 (33:51)
5km 16:29
5km 16:43 (33:12)
1.1km 03:42

Total 1:10:45

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Half PB?

Another long threshold run today - basically a replica of the run I did 2 weeks back in just over 1hr 12 minutes.

Conditions were cold, a bit damp and quite windy. I did my 2km warm-up and then straight into it. The first 4km was straight into the wind and was tough going - then as I changed direction it got a lot easier. I was consistently running sub 3:30/kms for the first 5km but then for the middle 10kms I was running consistent 3:20's and it felt effortless. The last 6km it was a bit tougher as I was hitting the wind again but the pace didn't really drop much. I felt really strong until the last couple of kms but the wheels were still ok. All up 21.1kms in 1:10:45 (3:21's). A PB which I can't really claim.

Certainly a great confidence booster 3 weeks before my target half. I'd say there is more to come effort wise as it always felt like I had an extra gear today which is nice to have when racing so you can drop in the surges.

A slow 1.6km warm-down to give me 24.7kms for the day. The sub 70 half is firmly on the radar now.

Oh yeah - 89.6kms for the week,

Saturday, November 01, 2014


A recovery run today. My first outdoor run of the week and did the old Thursday route. Legs were a little dead but nice to be outside. All up 14.8kms in 55:26 (3:45's).

Cinema in the evening to watch '71. The year I was born.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Basically a repeat of the session from yesterday - 2 up, 45 mins threshold, 2 down. I covered the same distance but around 10 seconds quicker today (3:17/km pace). Felt good for the first 10km and was then hanging on at the end. Another good sweat.

Another 17.7kms for the diary.

Darts in the evening. Away to the team that won the league last year (they beat us in the final). We had a good 6-3 win and I won both my pairs and singles. Still no confidence - just couldn't relax - but we got the job done and it was a good team performance.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Back into it

A visit to Ikea and then the drive back to Galway. Home around 5pm.

I decided it was time to get back into the training - outside was a no go as it was getting dark so it was on the treadmill. One of my bread and butter threshold sessions - 2km up, 45 minutes threshold (13.7kms), then 2km down. All up 17.7kms.

Pace was 3:18/km and the usual 1% gradient for the majority of the run (1.5% initially and then down to 1%). Sweated a good bit (read puddles on floor). Didn't feel great and the heart rate was a little higher than normal but good to get back into it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


More kids stuff - swimming and then Imaginosity. Another short run on the treadmill (7.7kms in 30 minutes) and then more pizza. This time with a few beers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


A bit of a struggle today - it felt like I'd run a marathon...

A day with the wife and kids and then a short run on the treadmill at the hotel (7kms in 28 minutes). A pizza in the evening and no beers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dublin Marathon 2014

Up early for the drive to Dublin to watch the marathon. I got myself to the start to see each of the 3 waves as they went past, Conditions didn't look great - warm and windy - with temperatures around 18 degrees it was going to be tough going.

I managed to get to the 20km mark just as the leaders came through. Already the field was strung out with lots of people running in no mans land. You could already see people starting to struggle and with the windy section to follow it must have been a real energy sapper.

A quick dash back to the finish to see the runners finish from around 2 hours 20 to 3 hours. By this stage the signs of a tough race were very visible. I counted about 5 people who had to be helped to the finish line and many others were zig-zagging up the road.

I then positioned myself a bit further back along the course at around the 41km mark. Lots of people struggling and hopefully all the support made that last stretch to the finish a bit easier. Congratulations to everyone who finished and if you got anywhere near your target time you would be amongst the minority!

Very inspiring watching this race and certainly gets the competitive juices flowing. Maybe I've got one more marathon in me!

No run for me today - instead it was a lot of drinking around Dublin.....home at 2am ish.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Another threshold

Wasn't looking forward to this. I planned to break it down into chunks but after getting going I felt okay so I kept telling myself I'd keep it going a bit longer. I ended up pulling the pin on 40 minutes covering 12.3kms ( pace). I thought the pace would be slower after the monster from yesterday but not the case.

All up 16.3kms with the 2 up 2 down.

That's a massive 113.8kms for the week. A good tempo run in there and 4 threshold runs to finish with. It doesn't get much better than that! Knackered now so will take it a bit easier at the start of next week as I'll be in Dublin to watch the marathon and then a few days with the family.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

3 x 30 mins threshold

Back to the treadmill. I was planning to do this on Sunday but decided to get it out of the way a day early. The plan was 3 x 30 mins threshold off 3 minutes recovery. A 2km warm-up and then into it.

Using gradient again to get the heart rate up. It took a while to get going and after the first 30 minutes I was thinking there was no way I could keep this going for another hour. Funnily though I felt better the second 30 minutes. Then the last 30 minutes I was good until 10 minutes in - and then it was struggle street. I resisted the temptation to slow-down and instead let the heart rate creep up north to the top of the zone.

Here were the splits:

30 mins - 9.21 kms
30 mins - 9.12 kms
30 mins - 9.12 kms

Average pace for the 90 minutes was 3:17/km pace on the 1% gradient so very happy with that. A short 1.0km to finish with and that gives me 30.4kms for the day.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Outside fast finish

Weather okay so outside for 8kms gradually winding up the pace (average 3:47/km). Then 6km of threshold running (average 3:23/km). Finishing up with 800m warm-down. All up 14.8kms.

New darts league started in the evening. Very rusty and won my pairs and lost my singles. Overall we won 7-2. It can only get better - that said the Guinness were hitting the spot nicely.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ted Rogers Pace

Threshold run on the treadmill. Started the threshold at 3:15/km pace on 1.5% gradient (after doing some fast paced 20 second efforts to spike the heart rate). Up into my threshold zone within a couple of minutes. Then after 7 or 8 minutes I lowered the gradient to 1% and every 5 minutes or so thereafter I'd lower the speed slightly whilst remaining nicely in the threshold zone.

After 45 minutes I had covered 13.5kms (3:21/km) and had lost half my body weight in sweat.

All up 17.5kms with warm-up and down. More threshold runs planned for the next 3 days with a monster one planned on Sunday. Some nice weather please as the treadmill is a mind-f***.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Treadmill junkie (weather poor)

Recovery run. Again using gradient so I don't have to turn the legs over quite as quickly. A total of 13.0kms in 47:36 (3:40's). It took me 4km to get into my recovery zone and then nicely in thereafter. Definitely a lot easier to hit the zones on the treadmill - when it starts to get tough you have to refuse to notch down the speed and just keep going. On the road you just slow down without thinking about it. Well I do - that's because I'm soft...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Track abort

The plan was to do a Harriers session but the weather looked very windy so I took the soft option and decided to give the treadmill a going over.

A 2km warm-up. Then 4 x 5 minutes off 90 seconds. Then 2km to warm-down.

I set the treadmill at 1% gradient to simulate normal outdoor running and set the treadmill at 3 mins/km pace for the efforts. That's a real lung-buster and the heart rate was getting nice and high for a change. The first couple of minutes felt okay, the middle minute it starts to get tough, the 4th minute you're blowing and the last minute is all about hanging on. Repeat another 3 times with a little bit of interest each effort.

Heart rate nicely up into the tempo zone for efforts 2, 3 and 4 so happy with that. All up 10.7kms and session done.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another struggle

Windy out there again. The weather has taken a real turn but you can't complain after having such a good year. Struggled from the off and couldn't get the legs moving - I ran 11.1kms in 42:59 (3:52's) and zone-wise it wasn't what it needed to be...

Spoke to my coach and he gave me some words of encouragement and I basically need to man-up a bit more and push myself that bit harder. Still loads of improvement to come if I can stick to the training!