Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1 x 1600, 12 x 400 take 2

The same session as last Tuesday. Dreading it I was.

Perfect conditions. Track to myself.  Warm-up of 3.5km on the pitches, then strides, and straight into it. The legs didn't feel as good as last week and I was a little disappointed with the mile primer in 5:00.

The fist couple of 400's were also not great. But then I got going and was running each lap basically as hard as I could. I'd like to have gone quicker but I'm not sure my body has much more to give. Times were as follows:

68.7, 67.1, 65.4, 66.2, 65.2, 66.1, 65.8, 65.6, 65.2, 65.4, 65.5, 64.7 (average 65.9)

That's 0.3 seconds per lap quicker than last week - progress! But I wasn't elevating the heart rate as much as last week which is a little disappointing as it felt like I was on the red line.

A 3.5km warm-down and 13.4kms for the day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Recovery struggle

A total of 14.8kms today. Legs felt very heavy and just couldn't get going. At one point I dropped in a 3:30 km but just couldn't settle into my zone. By 10km I'd had enough and backed off a little.

Not a great start to the week. Time 57:06 which equates to 3:51 per km. So not sluggish by any stretch of the imagination.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Long run mixed zones

I started off with a long loop in my recovery zone of 11.1kms in 41:06 (3:42's). Then a quick change of shoes into the flats and out for 9kms at threshold pace. I felt pretty good and it was easy to lift the pace (time 30:56 @ 3:26's). Then a slow romp home to give me 22kms on the knocker.

That's 108.7kms for the week and another good week in the bag. Things going nicely but just knackered all the time.

A similar week again next week with a slight difference being that I'm back to Norwich to run a leg of the Round Norfolk Relay. Great fun and this year I have an earlier, shorter stage of 18 miles starting at around 8pm on the Saturday. The plan is to run this all in my recovery zone and the way I'm going at the moment that should be sub 6 minute miles...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

4 x 10 minutes threshold

I was determined to put in a good session after yesterday. Perfect conditions for running and did my 2.2km warm-up, and then 4 x 15 second quick strides and it was time for the off. I ditched the top and took off as if I was starting a race.

I felt good straight away and was cruising today. Easily into my threshold zone and was running at a good clip. I did 2 outwards 10 minute segments, then turned at the castle for 2 x 10 minutes coming back the other way. The recovery was a huge 3 minutes which was used for a nice little walk.

Paces per km were: 3:15 / 3:13 / 3:21 / 3:19 (average 3:17/km).

A 2.2km jog home and that's 16.6kms running for the day (ignoring the walking segments).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Failed threshold segment

The plan today was 30 minutes recovery and then 15 minutes threshold to finish with....

I did 8.5kms recovery to start with averaging around 3:50/km pace, then lifted the pace for the threshold segment. I ran hard for the next 15 minutes and was running 3:31/km pace but couldn't get into my threshold zone....

Feeling a bit dejected I walked/jogged home to give me 13.8km for the day. Those 400's on Tuesday seem to really knock me and had nothing in the tank today...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

45 minutes borderline threshold

A repeat of the session from last Thursday. A 2km warm-up, then 45 minutes threshold, then 1.9km to finish with. Struggled to get into my threshold zone and I was borderline for the first half of the run. Very frustrating as every time I looked at the watch the heart rate was always a beat or two lower than where it needed to be. I finished up running 13kms in 45:30 which was exactly the same time as last week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recovery run and strides

A recovery run. Legs a bit heavy but nothing compared to this time last week. All up 14.8kms in 57:35 (3:53's). A few strides at the end - not sure why but did them without thinking.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

1 x 1600 then 12 x 400 off 60 secs

Out to Dangan on a glorious sunny morning. I ran a lap of the pitches to warm-up (3.6km) and then down to the track. A quick change into the flats and a few strides and it was time to get started.

First up was a 4 lapper just to get some lactate in the system. I ran fairly hard and clocked 4:54.6 and didn't even get out of my threshold zone....then 3 minutes recovery and then into the 400's (after first removing the top).

I wanted to keep the effort level constant and was hoping for similar lap times. After around 5 I was feeling the pinch and 12 seemed a long way off. But I kept battling on with each one getting slightly tougher then the previous one. Here are the times:

67.7, 66.2, 66.1, 66.1, 65.8, 66.3, 66.8, 66.4, 65.6, 66.1, 66.0, 65.2 (ave 66.2)

Looking back through the records that looks to be my best ever set of 400's - so happy with that. Heart rate-wise it would have been nice to push it a bit higher but I couldn't have done much more today. I was staggering around like an old soak at the end of the set...

A further 3.5km warm-down for 13.5kms for the day. I expect the legs will be destroyed now for a few days...

Monday, September 08, 2014


Another recovery run. A similar effort level to yesterday but much easier to get into the recovery zone today. All up 11.1kms in 41:39 (3:45's). A nice slow trot...

A few strides at the end (4 x 15 seconds).

Back to the track tomorrow for some more 400's.....

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Long recovery run

A long run from Claregalway to Oranmore via the city to pick up my car which I'd ditched the night before. I was pushing hard but was always struggling to get the heart rate up into my recovery zone for most of the first half of the run.

Very happy to have this one over with. A total of 22.3kms in 1:24:19 (3:47/km). When I look at the splits I only managed to get into the recovery zone for 12 of the 22 kms so in that respect it was a bit of a fail. Certainly not a slow run for recovery....

That's 109.1kms for the week. A good week but stuffed up my 400's but apart from that not too bad. I find it much easier when the threshold running is broken up into segments so more of that please.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

8 x 5 mins threshold

More of the T word stuff today. This time broken down into 8 x 5 minutes off 60 seconds. Usual 2km warm-up and then ran out-and-back along the Claregalway 10km course turning after the 4th rep (close to the castle).

All went well. Run hard the first minute each time and then settle into the rep for the remaining 4 minutes. Looking at my splits I was very consistent distance-wise covering just over 1.5km each time. Average pace was around 3:18/km so happy with that.

A 2.3km warm-down to give me 16.6kms for the day.

Out in the evening for a few beers and a curry.

Friday, September 05, 2014

8km Recovery / 6km Threshold / 2km recovery

An hour recovery run today with a 20 minute threshold segment. Legs felt a bit better but still not right. I was having to run the first 8km quite hard to get into my recovery zone which had me worried (I was averaging 3:49/km). Then into the threshold segment - I managed to lift the heart rate okay and knocked off the 6kms feeling pretty good at 3:30/km pace. Then another 2.1km in my recovery zone to finish with.

All up 16.1kms (10 miles) in just under an hour. Not bad running that!

Out in the evening for a table quiz. My general knowledge is fairly shocking but there was decent Guinness so all was good.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

John Wayne Threshold Run

Legs not happy today (still). After a 2km warm-up, it was straight into it. Took a few kms of hard running to get the heart rate there or thereabouts - and I didn't really settle into the run until about 7km. I was running an out and back course and after turning I felt a bit better but that was short-lived and I struggled the last 3-4km into a stiff wind. All up 13kms in 45:30 (3:30's).

A 2km warm-down to give me 17.0kms for the day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

In bits

Recovery run with Fintan. Lots of chat so the pace suffered a little and I was borderline shopping zone/recovery zone for most of it. All up 14.9kms in 58:47 (3:57's).

Legs got gradually worse as the day went on. Those 400's have destroyed my calves...

A photo of the recent Claregalway podium courtesy of 77edenhill:

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

12 x 400's plus bonus 2

I had planned to make the track for this session but time was against me. So instead I used the treadmill like I did last time I did this session 2 weeks ago.

Same routine, a 2km warm-up, then some very quick strides to spike the heart rate and then into it. Recovery was only 45 seconds compared to 60 seconds previous so I thought 21.8kms/hour (66 seconds per lap) would get that heart rate up for each 400m. After the first 3 I was only in my threshold zone and from there on in I was playing catch-up. I kept upping the treadmill by 0.1kms/hour each rep and by the time I reached no 10 I still wasn't in my tempo zone...

Speed was very quick by this stage and managed to get into the zone on reps 11 and 12. Feeling guilty I decided to do a couple more (still increasing the speed each time) and again I was up into my tempo zone. I should add that I was still running 66 seconds each time even though I was down to 63 seconds for the 400m by the end of the session.

So a big improvement on 2 weeks ago but I wasn't putting the heart rate where it needs to be so a fail as far as the session goes. A 2km warm-down and that's 9.6kms for the day.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Start of another week

Recovery run 12.6kms in 49:26 (3:55's).

Plenty of lactate threshold test appointments so that's good to see. A really nice feeling to help people with their running and I'm getting some great results with people who were in a few months back.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

14km Threshold

A longer run today with a 45 minute threshold segment. Again outdoors in the wet and wind. I'd picked up a new Garmin 220 and was looking forward to giving it a try.

A 4km warm-up in my recovery zone and then lifted the pace. The HR took an eternity to lift but I was moving well. Just kept it ticking over and was feeling great for the next 12km but the next couple of kms I was starting to tire. After 14kms of threshold running I stopped and ran the final 3.1km home in my recovery zone. All up 21.1kms.

The threshold segment took me 48 minutes (14kms at 3:25/km). Very happy with that and as good as I've ran on the road. And most of that was at the bottom of my threshold zone.

That's 105.8kms for the week. Very happy with how things are going. The knee is good, the training is going well, the weight is down, and I still like a few beers just to help balance the ledger. Plus I'm very happy with the new watch.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

13km Threshold

Threshold running today. Outside. To make it easier I slipped into the racing flats. I was running short of time so it was a 2km warm-up, then 6km out on the Claregalway 10km course, then turn and run another 7km at threshold pace. Finishing with a 1km warm-down. All up 16kms.

Felt great and ran the 13km in 46 minutes. Not a great pace (3:32's) but after yesterday it was brilliant. The best news being the knee was giving me very little in the way of gyp. The worm has finally turned.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Another recovery run. Felt very sore and tired right from the off and just couldn't get into my recovery zone. After about 20 minutes I'd had enough and I jogged/walked home. Very low energy. I did some token strides when I got back (not sure why). All up 9.1kms in 38 minutes. When in doubt reach for the fridge and have a few beers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


A massage in the morning with Peter Forde who had sponsored the Claregalway 10km. A great session and just reiterated how low a pain threshold I have. Lots of sore spots and lots going on in the back/glutes/piriformis. Plus an almighty knot on the outside of my left quad. Felt much better after but still had an hour recovery run to do...

Struggled to get going in the run. Was always just below where I wanted to be HR wise. I ran the Thursday route solo in a time of 59:49 for the 14.8kms (4:03's). Rare these days to creep up above 4 minute clicks. I'll put that down to the massage.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oranmore 5km

A warm-up with Greg and Justin for a couple of kms. Then a bit more by myself. Conditions were very blustery and rain threatened so wasn't sure what to expect.

Lined up at the start and lots of chat. Then a countdown from 10 and we were off. I hit the lead and opened up a gap straight away. The plan was to run at the bottom of the tempo zone and as I reached the first km I was still in my threshold zone. An undulating route and by the time I reached the second km I was feeling good having just lifted the heart rate a little. Another 500m then the hairpin turn for the run back to the start.

I could see that I had a decent lead and oddly enough it seemed easier after turning as I was expecting a headwind. I pushed on and started to feel really relaxed despite lifting the pace a little. Through kms 3 and 4 and my only drama was the heart rate strap that kept slipping down. I kept the pace the same during the last km and enjoyed the last 100m to cross the line in 16:09 for a comfortable victory.

A very relaxed run but after a quick drink I was back on the course for a further 3 x 5 minute efforts again in my tempo zone (similar pace to what I'd just ran). By this time it had started raining and I was getting lots of strange looks as I ran hard back down the road with people streaming up to the finish running the other way. I didn't feel too bad and I did 2 x 5 minutes running towards Galway, then stopped and ran the final 5 minute effort coming back. Then the reaming run home at recovery pace.

All up 14.8kms for the night with around 30 minutes of tempo running. All going well and a very enjoyable run. Great to see a big turn-out for this race with all the proceeds going to charity.

Here's me at the finish courtesy of Maree AC:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Threshold then physio

My only option was the treadmill and with a 45 minute threshold run on the cards it was going to be a good sweat. Usual 2km warm-up, the 13.4kms in 44:57 (3:21's), then 2kms to finish with. All up 17.4kms.

Not too bad and kept to the bottom of the zone as much as possible.

Then on to the physio with nicely primed sore knee. Some work on the hips and lots of stretches and exercises to work on. I'll stick to the plan and see how I get on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Second recovery day

Another recovery run. A total of 12.8kms in 49:23 (3:51's). Knee still sore and I have a physio appointment booked for tomorrow.

Back into some quicker stuff tomorrow also.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Recovery run. Felt okay though the knee a little sore. Total 14.8kms in 58:41 (3:58's).

I've decided I'm going to take some action to get this knee fixed once and for all. I suspect it stems from the hips which are tight/weak/misaligned. Physio appointment calling.

A total of 80.4kms for the week. Not great volume but I feel like I'm back in form and ready to knuckle down into another block of training.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Claregalway 10km

Perfect conditions. Well rested. No stomach bug. Quick course. What could possibly go wrong? Your coach telling you to take the first 5km handy and then pull the trigger...that plan was great if nobody was taking up the running...

Well after my warm-up which included some quick strides and a 2 minute blast (to lift my HR above 153), I was lining up at the start. So the first 5km in my threshold zone (ideally at the bottom), then run hard for the second 5km. The race started and I hit the lead but another guy went with me so at least that kept the pace honest.

By 1km I was in my threshold zone but mid-zone rather than at the bottom with the guy tucked in behind me. That's pretty much the pattern of the first 5km. I wasn't recording splits, I was just checking my HR as I passed each km marker. Very sad.

Somewhere before 2km I swallowed the biggest flying insect you could imagine. That wasn't pleasant but despite my best effort I couldn't manage to regurgitate crazy legs crane. On with the race and although my HR was a little higher than planned, it felt like I was jogging as we went through kms 2, 3 and 4.

Still the guy behind and as we hit the 5th km (time 17:05). Then on one of the drags of the course and I took off. I felt pretty good and straight away I had opened up a decent gap. It was then all about keeping up the effort level for the run home.

Not much detail here - again I was looking at my HR splits each km (I really need to invest in a good watch). I know the course like the back of my hand so was on auto-pilot. By the time I reached the N17 I ran in the bus lane and started to push a little harder. Through 8km, then past the castle, and then it was nice to run back through the village with plenty of support from onlookers over the last mile.

Running hard but still not flat out I crossed the line for the win in 32:57 (second half 15:52). Happy with that and a good confidence booster. Clearly I wasn't right for the Streets and I felt very comfortable tonight at my target 10km pace of around 3:10's. A quicker time than last year where I was on the red-line for most of the race...

Hopefully back on track now for some quick races in the coming months. I think the sub 32 is there for the taking now so that will be my aim before an attempt on the half in November.

All up around 14.0kms. A few beers and then nighty night.

Thanks to Ian for this photo:

T minus 1

Another recovery run. This time outside. Felt okay but the legs haven't been quite right since those 400's on Monday. Time 43:24 for 11.1kms (3:55's). I finished up with a few strides. Race tomorrow at 6pm with a twist.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Treadmill recovery run of 8.0kms in exactly 30 minutes. I'm going to have a dig at the Claregalway 10km on Saturday so a couple of recovery days before then.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More threshold stuff

I was down for a 30 minute threshold run with a good warm-up and down. I took the eldest to hurling and took the opportunity to run from there. I ran down to the turkey trot 5km course in Carnmore and after about 12 minutes I lifted into threshold mode. I couldn't remember the turn after about 7-8 minutes of running and I went wrong but I then discovered I'd ran onto one of my bog standard Claregalway training loops without knowing they were inter-linked (from a road I'd never ventured down). That was odd but I soldiered on running for a total of 15 minutes before doubling back to give me the 30 minutes at threshold. Then another 12 minutes to finish with.

All up 14.2kms and I covered about 8.6kms during the 30 minutes (3:29/km pace). Tough going with a hangover but what doesn't kill you and all that....

More beer and a curry in the evening.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Guvnor

Recovery run. Short loop of 9.5kms due to lack of time with a 10 minute threshold segment thrown in. I felt mighty tonight despite the hammies being a little sore after those quick 400's yesterday. All up 34:36 for 9.5kms (3:39/km pace).

And a mate in town who was over from Oz. Out in Galway on a pub crawl and had a few too many but great fun: