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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recovery week

Easy 10 miles to shake out the legs after the run yesterday. Legs a bit sore, and the weather had taken a nasty turn (wet and windy), so not the most pleasant experience. All up 16.1kms in 1:10:42 (4:23's).

The plan is to take it easy this week. I'll try some threshold runs but I'll wind back the pace a little as to not overdo it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Craughwell 10

A good sunny day with only a touch of a breeze which was perfect. After a 2 mile warm-up I lined up for the start and we were soon off and running. Mick Clohisey of Raheny took it out quickly, with Emmett Dunleavy of Sligo AC in pursuit, leaving me alone in third spot. As I settled into my running I was a little surprised to be running by myself in such a big race at this early stage, and as the first few miles ticked by I was basically left in time trial mode.

So not much racing to report - I felt great for the first 4 miles, then started to wobble between miles 4 and 6, and then had to grind out the last 4 miles. We were running into the breeze for the first half of the race, and then had the benefit of the wind in the second half. After passing 10km in 33:20 I was there or thereabouts for a 53 something but I had nothing to offer in the run home. It's very hard to remain focused when you have nobody in sight in front or behind, and even though it felt like I was slowing the mile splits were pretty consistent. That was until the last mile which seemed to last forever and I struggled with the final few drags crossing the line in 54:02 for third place.

Mick won the race in a great time of 50:14 with Emmett in second place in 52:21. That's great running so well done to them both. On a personal note I was initially a little disappointed but upon reflection I was perhaps being a little tough on myself. I only missed my time goal by a few seconds and that was all in the last mile, and what gave me some hope that I was moving in the right direction was that my 10 mile time was worth a 32:20 10km (according to Mr McMillan)...

As I suspected I was only really 10km fit so I need to continue to work on my strength and stamina which the threshold sessions will develop once I increase the duration. So more hard training in the next month and I'll be ready to conquer the longer stuff!

Here are the mile splits:

5:10, 5:25, 5:17, 5:26, 5:27 (26:45), 5:26, 5:25, 5:24, 5:27, 5:35 (27:17)

Total 54:02

A few photos. The start:

During the race:

The finish:

The top 3 (Mick and Emmett had already done their warm-down before I crossed the line...)

All up 22.5km for the day after a very slow couple of miles warm-down. And that's 82.9kms for the week. A few beers in the evening and that was that.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Better weather

The same session as yesterday - 8.4km including 6 x strides. That's it now until the 10 miler tomorrow. I'm targeting sub 54 and if I have a good run I'd love to give my 10 mile PB of 53:20 a shake. We shall see...

A few beers in the evening to ensure a good night's sleep...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another drubbing

Not great out there but ventured out for an easy 30 minute run with 6 strides at the end. All up 8.4km in 38:54 and that included the strides with the walk back recovery. Soaked come the end...

Darts in the evening. Another 9-0 win - we were lucky winning all the close games. On a personal note I played okay - I cleaned up the doubles nicely but the scoring was very hit and miss. We finished joint top of the league so onwards and upwards with the top 4 teams now progressing into the finals. A few too many beers mind...

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I hope this weather improves in time for Sunday - not pleasant. So more treadmill running - this time 10.0kms in 41:17 (4:08's). Feeling good.

I watched the Premier League darts in the evening. An incredible crowd of 11,000 to watch darts. The Power looks to be finding some form and he's certainly not finished yet. Good to see Gary Anderson playing well also - and unlucky to lose the last couple of weeks 7-5. I'd tip him as an outsider to win it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sport double

Easy week continues - a treadmill 8.0km in 32:59 (4;07's). Awful weather at the moment so took the easy indoor option.

Snooker in the evening. Started well - a 41 break in the second frame missing an easy black, and then finished well with another couple of 30 odds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

6 x 800 off a rolling 4 minutes

More running on the treadmill. A 3km warm-up, then 6 x 800 at 10km pace, then a 3km warm-down. I wasn't sure what my 10km pace was so I ran them at 32:30 pace which is 3:15/km or 2:36/800m. That could be optimistic but it felt relatively comfortable and the 1:24 recovery felt like a lifetime.

All up 10.8kms. A nice easy session for a change and even the knee seemed a bit better today. All positive.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An easier week

I plan to run the Craughwell 10 miler on Sunday so I'll wind things back a bit this week in order to freshen up. I did an easy hour today to help clear the head after another night on the drink....a total of 14.8kms in 1:01:30 (4:09's).

So no threshold running this week. Maybe just some 800's on Tuesday at 10km pace, and then easy running thereafter. It will be interesting to see how I fare on Sunday - the training to date will be more suited to 10km so 10 miles will be a stretch but we will see. Looking forward to it and here's hoping for some good conditions for racing.