Monday, April 21, 2014

Labane 10km

Dry and windy conditions today. We'd have the wind on the back for the first 4km, then it would be a tough run for the remainder of the loop. A warm-up of 2.2kms with a few of the lads, and it was time to line up at the start. There was some decent guys around - and John was targeting sub 34 minutes so I wasn't going to have it all my own way.

The race started and I took the lead. I felt great to start with being pushed along by the wind and by the time I hit the first km marker I had opened up a decent lead. From then on I just ran on feel - trying to lock into the threshold pace that I've been accustomed to lately. I was slowing slightly each km marker, but still felt good - that was until we took a 90 degree left turn at around 4km where the wind and hills started to slow things down.

For the next 4 kms it was tough going. I was running 15 seconds per km slower and feeling a good bit worse for it. Constant ups and downs and very little shelter from the breeze. Luckily there was nobody pressing me but it's one of those situations where you don't want to relax too much and risk getting caught.

At 8km it was the straight run home. I was switching from side-to-side on the road to try and find shelter but that was a waste of effort. A nasty bridge to climb over before the last km where I backed off and cruised into town for the win in a time of 33:49 with all the kids chasing me down the finishing chute. Great stuff.

A warm-down of 4kms with John and Gary who completed the top 3 places.

So another nice hit-out at a well organised event. Well done to everyone who helped put this race on.

Here's a photo of me being chased at the finish (courtesy of Sean at AK):

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jog on

A recovery run. Glorious weather so ran outside and had to get the legs moving to get in the right hear rate zone (133 to 142). The legs didn't feel too bad to start but seemed worse after the run. All up 12.7kms in 51:32 (4:03's).

The plan is to race another 10km again tomorrow. In an ideal world it will be done at threshold pace...

Another photo that shows off the lovely flat course in Kilmovee. Checking my watch to see if the pubs are open yet...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Kilmovee 10km

About an hours drive to Kilmovee. A glorious sunny day and very still - perhaps too warm but I wasn't complaining. A quick registration/warm-up and soon I was lining up with over 500 other participants. My old sparring partner Roger Barrett was running which was great as I'd have someone to try and hang on to. Lots of other familiar faces also - John Byrne, Timmie Glavey, Paddy O'Toole - to name a few. Great to see all of these guys after a long break for me running in Co Mayo.

After a short delay at the start we were underway. I hit the lead and my plan was to take it out quick and hang on. I was a little surprised that Roger didn't go with me, but I was moving nicely and the km markers seemed to be arriving quicker than anticipated. By the time I had reached 5km in 15:57, I was starting to feel the pinch and Roger had worked his way to the front and I was hanging on. The next couple of kms were really tough - perhaps it was slightly uphill and into the breeze but I was battling away but was determined not to let Roger gap me. Then just before 7km we took a sharp left turn and I suddenly felt much better and started to push the pace.

I started to open up a bit of a lead and I continued to run well up until 9km, but in the back of my mind I knew the last km was tough as there was a nasty climb to tackle. Sure enough with about 600m to go I was reduced to a shuffle. Lots of negative thoughts at this stage but I managed to keep the legs moving and upon reaching the top of the hill I could see the finish and I gave it everything to cross the finish line in 32:20 for the win.

Finally a PB after a couple of years in the wilderness! Okay only by 2 seconds but I'll take it. Lots of positives to take out of this - a good win over Roger who has been in cracking form lately (a sub 32 runner) and it seems like the new training regime is working! I spoke to a fair few people after who found the course and conditions tough but when you have a good race you don't seem to notice these things. Perhaps I have a bit more to come!

A few kms warm-down to give me around 14.0kms for the day. Here are the splits:

3:07 / 3:10 / 3:07 / 3:16 / 3:17 (15:57) / 3:26 / 3:15 / 3:10 / 3:12 / 3:20 (16:23). Total 32:20

In summary, a fantastic day. A real community event with first class organisation. Gerry Duffy was there and described it "as the most friendly race I’ve has been at, a fantastic event, testament to John Roddy’s leadership and the involvement of the whole Kilmovee Community team". Hard to disagree with that!

And finally, here are a few photos to finish with courtesy of This one just after the start:

This one somewhere in the middle:

And this one at the nasty speed bump near the end where I'm grinding away on my axles:

Needless to say a few beers was had in the evening...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

A short 6.7km run in 30:12 (4:30's).

Race tomorrow. If the weather looks good I'll be travelling to Kilmovee, Co Mayo for a 10km. I'm hoping I'm in decent nick so will be targeting a big sub 33 run. How much below 33 remains to be seen - hopefully the new training regime will be starting to pay dividends and I'll be well inside the 32:50 I ran on March 1st.

Snooker World Champs start tomorrow. Ronnie all the way.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Early morning run with Owen, Fintan and Sean. Good conditions and ran at a decent clip covering the 14.8kms in 1:00:13 (4:04's). Sean looks to be in great nick and I'm sure he'll have a super run in Boston on Monday. Also good luck wishes to all of the other Harriers running Boston - namely Gerry, Paul and Larry.

Watched the Premier League darts in the evening. The Power looks to be back to his best brushing aside MVG. I also think that Anderson is the dark horse to win it - I may have said that a few weeks back.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Legs sore after the track session and the left knee a little on the tender side. So a recovery run was called for. A total of 12.7kms in 50:15 (3:57's). I resisted the temptation to speed up at the end to get under 50 minutes. Must be going soft.

Snooker in the evening. Potted some lovely balls but couldn't string the breaks together. My best effort was a 42 where I missed the sitter of all sitter blacks whilst dreaming of a 100. Still peeved about it 24 hours later...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4 x (400m / 500m / 600m)

Back to the track. I think my last trip to Dangan was Jan 21st so a long time between drinks. Not sure what to expect due to all of the threshold running but all the advice given suggests your top end speed naturally improves as your threshold pace develops.

A warm-up of 3.8km on the roads followed by 3 laps of the track. Good to see some familiar faces and the session didn't look too bad (recovery times were 60 secs, 75 secs and 90 secs). My target was 72 second laps (or better) and I was leading out group 2 so I was always getting a few extra seconds recovery. Here are the times:


Happy with that and well within target. A strong headwind in the finishing straight made for a tricky 100m but apart from that the conditions were good and I enjoyed the session. I suppose the recoveries were a little on the generous side so that may flatter the times...

All up 14.8kms with warm-down. Easy/recovery running now before the weekend.

Monday, April 14, 2014

10km threshold

I felt pretty exhausted today. Pace was a little down and I made sure I was at the lower end of the HR zone. The 10km took me 34:12 so still not bad. All up 14.0kms with the usual 2 up 2 down.

Considering track tomorrow to break things up a bit. See what speed I have and a good sharpener for some racing on the weekend.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday with Fintan

A recovery run. A break from the treadmill and nice to get outside. Very breezy and it seemed like we were copping the wind in every direction. I'd have been pleased with anything sub 4:00's today and was well inside that covering 14.8kms in 57:07 (3:52's).

Great to see Fintan back. Not much time for chat mind as that pace doesn't feel very conversational...

I watched the London Marathon earlier in the day. I thought Mo ran a great debut of 2:08 though he did it the hard way running solo most of the time (strange tactics?). I usually get an urge to dip my toe into marathon training having watched one of these big races but that didn't happen today. Phew.

Watching the Masters now. Looks like Bubba has it in the bag...

Oh yeah, 98.8kms for the week. Three decent threshold runs in there and the average pace well under 4:00/km. If I'd have done the math before today's run I'd have tagged on an extra 1.2kms....

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Almost a carbon copy of yesterday. Today the HR wasn't climbing quite as fast so I managed to find a bit of extra speed/distance. A total of 13.04kms in 45:11 (3:28's). Drenched in sweat at the end.

Knee just about okay. I have to be very careful with the back-to-back sessions and I'll manage the training on how the knee is feeling each day. All up 17.0kms for the day.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Treadmill threshold. Started quick to get me up into the correct HR zone. Then had to spend the rest of the run winding back to the pace to stop the HR topping out. Overall 12.84kms in 45:02 (3:30's).

All up 16.8kms with warm-up and down. I ran today in my Mizuno Inspires - with so much quick running I'd be going through racing flats at a rapid rate so decided to go with a lighter shoe that should still give me decent mileage.

These runs are very tough. More of the same on the cards tomorrow...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday with Sean

Just myself and Sean today who is putting the finishing touches to his Boston Marathon training. Nice conditions and plenty of chat and soon we had completed 14.8kms in 1:02:52 (4:15's).

Under the new regime that's too slow so today can be classified as a rest day. In the coaches words "you're getting about as much training benefit from that run as a walk to the shops!".

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Quick 10km

Today I was to get back into the threshold training. I thought 10km in the right zone would be a good start. I ramped up the speed and the heart rate was taking an age to climb. I went through 5km in 16:18 before backing off a little, but still ended up running the 10km in 32:58 - all below the upper heart rate limit of the threshold zone. Not bad going...

All up 14.0kms with the 2.0km warm-up and down. Enjoying the training but the left knee is taking a real hammering with all this quick running. I firmly believe I will either run a big PB or end up in traction...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Recovery #2

Again on the treadmill. A total of 11.0kms in 41:42 (3:47's). Pace not too shabby but it was still well within the recovery zone. It's all about the heart rate for this new type of training.

A few beers this evening for my Mum's last night in Galway.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Recovery #1

A recovery run on the treadmill. A total of 10.4kms in 40:02 (3:51's). Legs didn't feel too bad after yesterday. Another easy day tomorrow and then back into the old threshold training...

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Connerama Half

Got up late, had no time for breakfast, just made the last bus out to the start.....time for a coffee and a Kit Kat chunky, a bit of a warm-up and soon we were lining up for the start.

The Kenyan shot to the front, I settled in second, with around 2,000 behind me. I took it handy enough running at the comfortably hard pace, but not flat-out. Plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings, speak to a few fellow competitors in the half and ultra. Conditions were similar to last year - very windy and it felt like we were running into a strong head-wind/cross-wind all the way to Maam Cross. So the speed was slow but the effort level was where it needed to be.

The last climb between 9 and 11 miles was a killer. A few squally showers and very blustery conditions and you were hardly moving. But once at the top I could enjoy the last couple of miles down to the finish crossing the line is 1:18:32 for second place. The Kenyan ran 69 minutes and I think he was targeting 65 minutes so that gives you some idea of the conditions.

All in all still very enjoyable and I think that's the first time my Mum has watched me race. Another great day and I guess I'll be back next year to give it another shot! Well done to everyone who took part and to the organisers. Certainly a very unique event which should be done by all at some point.

All up 23.1kms (a 2.0km warm-up and no warm-down). And that's 91.8kms for the week.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

How not to prepare

A slow run outside in the wet to burn off a few pints of Guinness. A total of 6.9kms in 30:35 (4:26's).

Out in the evening for a meal and more drinking. Another 6 pints to be exact. That should give me plenty of energy for the half tomorrow...

Friday, April 04, 2014

Sub 4's

Same route as yesterday - again at recovery speed. A total of 14.8kms in 57:59 (3:55's). Felt great.

The plan is to run the Connemara Half on Sunday at threshold pace. I don't have any chance of winning as there are some rather good Kenyans running but should still make for a nice hit-out.

Darts semis in the evening. We won 5-2 so through to the final. I played okay and was saved by hitting a lucky 180 in the first leg which got me out of trouble. That gave me the confidence to go on to win 2-0. Roll on the final!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

My easy day

Early morning run with Fintan and Owen. Speed not as quick as required under the new regime but everybody is entitled to one really easy day!

A total of 15.0kms in 1:04:12 (4:17's). Good to see the boys back running!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Mum arrives

Back in Ireland and the Mum arrived from Spain. So lots of socialising over the next week or so...

A treadmill recovery run after yesterday's test. A total of 12.5kms in 50:04 (4:00's). My recovery running HR zone is 131 to 142 so I'd say all my runs will be sub 4 minute clicks going forwards. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Remember this is recovery pace - threshold will be much quicker!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


A good chat with my new mentor. All aspects of my running were examined - diet (crap), flexibility (crap), weight (too heavy), running (good but can be improved)...

My results from the lactate test itself were very good and showed that I still had a lot of room for improvement. The focus is on strength and conditioning work which a solid bout of threshold running will deliver. The sub 32 10km is definitely achievable and all being well I'll have a crack at that within the next couple of months. All good.

A really enjoyable day and difficult to gauge the total distance ran. I'll say 12kms and that includes the test itself, plus warm-up and down.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Fell a bit behind with the blog. A few quick updates required...

Today I ran an easy 7.5kms in 31:00 (4:08's). Heading to the UK tomorrow to meet my new coach and also for a lactate threshold test. Should be fun.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another ton

I ran the Thursday route which I knew would give me another 100km week. A total of 14.8kms in 59:03 (4:00's). Feeling good this week and enjoying the recovery time.

That's 100.4km for the week. A total of 65 days running on the bounce - though I've had several very easy 30 minute days in amongst that lot. Happy with how things are progressing.

Out in the evening for some more darts practise. And for some more drinking practise...

Saturday, March 29, 2014


A spin around Claregalway. My cruising speed seems to have improved a lot in the last couple of months - today I covered 14.0kms in 56:44 (4:03's). Felt very easy and maybe the improvement in economy might be due to the threshold sessions. Encouraging whatever the reason.

A few beers in the evening whilst watching crap on TV. I missed the PTC final which Barry Hawkins won 4-0 against Gerard Greene. All the top players were knocked out (including Ronnie - I gave him the kiss of death). Sort of lost interest in it after that...

Friday, March 28, 2014


Back to the treadmill. A quicker run but not quite at threshold pace. A 2.0km warm-up, then 12kms in 44:02 (3:40/km pace), then 2.0kms warm-down. Feeling good and don't think it took too much out of me.

No darts match this week - a rest week before next week's home semi-final. Instead the team got together for a practise. We played a mini-round robin and I went unbeaten and was playing some pretty solid darts (even though my double hitting wasn't great).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quicker Thursday

Cracker of a morning. Early start with Sean and Owen. Usual Thursday route and felt very easy paced and a little surprised by the time - all up 15.0kms in 1:03:13 (4:13's). Rare to run sub 4:20's at this time of today - must have been because we didn't have Fintan to slow us down!

Watched the darts in the evening. Some great needle between Peter Wright and MVG. MVG getting a bit big for his station lately so good to see Snakebite play to the crowd and ruffle a few feathers. Great entertainment!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

8 x 5 mins off 60 secs

A 2.0km warm-up, then 8 x 5 mins, with 1.2kms to warm-down.

I started the 5 minute efforts at 3:20 per km pace. After 4 my HR was getting too high so I ran the next 2 at 3:26/km pace. Same again - had to lower the pace again to 3:32/km for the last couple. A clear sign that I haven't recovered from the race.

All up 15.0kms. Then straight on for a rub focusing on the left quad (to help the knee). Bloody hell that was sore. I clearly have no pain threshold. Felt a lot better after mind.

No snooker for me tonight. Instead stayed in and had a few beers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More snooker

The legs felt a bit better today so I upped the pace a little. A short run mind - 9.5kms in 39:30 (4:09's). I might try some quicker stuff tomorrow and I also have a rub booked.

The finals of the PTC snooker started today from the Preston Guildhall (not Galway this year). Ronnie won at that venue 20 years ago as an 18 year old. And he is favourite to win the title this year arguably playing the most consistent snooker of his career. Some player.