Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mini taper

A repeat of Monday's session. This time the 6.5km took me 28:16 so a little quicker. I hope to do something similar tomorrow, then rest on Saturday before the race Sunday. Speaking of which, there has been snow in Norwich with more forecast on the weekend. So I may have to get some of those snow shoes that look like tennis rackets....

Okay, so the cricket was ordinary if you are an England fan. Thanks for your comments David. But I don't think you can get the brass band out until the Aussies have at least had a bat. Plus being a Spurs fan I can always harp on about our recent win over the scum. You still there David?!?

I tried watching the cricket sober last night and that didn't work. So a few beers tonight....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Km Reps

Out at the track again this evening. About 30 hardy souls for 6 x 1km with 200 jog recovery. I was planning to run them feeling relaxed and in control as opposed to red lining them. I forgot my racing flats so was wearing my normal jogging shoes as an added handicap.

After a 3km warm-up it was on. I was running well within myself and focused on keeping the upper body relaxed. The weather was cold (approx 4 degrees) but much better than the previous week as it was dry (ish). My times were:

3:20, 3:21, 3:21, 3:19, 3:17, 3:13

The average jog recovery was approx 80 secs.

Happy with that. I finished up with a 2km warm-down and now watching the build-up to the Ashes. England have won the toss and are batting. Please let it be a good day for the England. Barmy Army.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rest day

I didn't get a chance to run today - that said, I would have only done an easy half hour so no big deal in the scheme of things.

Tomorrow it's back to the track. Please don't rain...

Monday, November 22, 2010


It was 4:45pm when I went out for my run. A cool 4 degrees at that time with temperatures forecast to go 4 negative during the evening. The central heating is getting a real workover...

I think I set a new record for the number of garments worn for a run. Two long-sleeve tops, tights, gloves, beanie, socks, shoes and my watch. Are you supposed to wear anything under or over running tights? I've no idea so I went commando. Oh yeah, the gloves. This was a running first, I've turned into one of those poncy footballers who I find myself swearing at on the tele.

Anyway, I did a very easy half hour run. I had to come up with a new route that stuck to the main roads as the country lanes are now a complete no go. It would be like running through Lane Cove National Park in the pitch black with the occasional car whizzing by at 80km/hour. Not recommended.

The exact run measured 6.5kms and this was covered in 28:43 (4:25/km). Basically an out and back run along the main road where I have the benefit of a footpath and street lights.

This week I'll do some km reps on the track on Wednesday. The rest of the week will be easy running. I may throw in a mile at race pace at some point which gets me thinking that I need to decide what time I should be targeting. A PB to finish off the year would be nice...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Very cold today, but good for running after warming up. I did a repeat of the session from Nov 12th. So a 15 minute warm-up, then 2 x 12 minute efforts with 3 mins walk/slow jog recovery, followed by 15 minutes warm-down.

The efforts felt really good. I did my first 12 minutes and ran about 5 seconds quicker than last time to the same end point and continued running on. On the return leg I really pushed it and got to the start in 11:47 and continued to run until the 12 minutes was up. One of those runs where the breathing felt really good. I was running as quick as my legs would allow and I still felt in control. No sign of the hamstring problem so all good - I can stop being a drama queen. All up 13.7km for the session.

This week it's another 64.8km for the annual total. I have now run more kms in 2010 than in any other year and there is still another 5 or 6 weeks to go...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dodging a bullet

I headed out to see how the leg was. A horrible feeling not knowing, just hoping that each stride brings no pain. A very slow start, and after about 10 minutes I was still running with no pain. I completed my 9.5km route in 41:10 (4:20/km). The hamstring was a little tight at the end - bit at the top of the thigh and not where the pain was before. So all looks good and a smile on my boat.

I'll try some longer intervals tomorrow. Maybe 2 x 12 minutes or something similar. That will really test it...

Friday, November 19, 2010


No run today. Just resting up and hoping the hammy will come good. It feels okay - no twinges all day, but obviously the most exercise I've done is going up and down the stairs...

So on to McMillan. I know a lot of runners use his race calculator which is a very useful tool. So I entered my recent marathon time and this is what it predicted across various distances:

3km 8:43 (15 seconds quicker than my PB)
5km 15:13 (1 second quicker than my PB)
8km 25:05 (33 seconds quicker than my PB)
10km 31:36 (59 seconds quicker than my PB)
Half 1:10:20 (1 minute 34 seconds quicker than my PB)

So according to McM, that marathon was my best ever race. That's very surprising as I've always considered it to be my weakest distance. Having said that, for me the marathon is where the challenge lies and so that has been my focus. If you have a bad 5km or 10km race, no problem, you simply do another race. You can't do that with the marathon. If you are lucky you get to run a couple of marathons in a year. It's the ultimate test.

In the build-up to this marathon, I was using McM and the best I could hope for according to my races was 2:31 ish. And that's what I believed I was going to run. But I took a chance and went for the sub 2:30 by running a 1:14 first half. And the rest is history. So don't believe all that McM tells you. It pays to roll the dice every now and then...

I'll see how I am tomorrow. I'm hoping I can get out for a few km to see if there is any improvement...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I headed out for my lunchtime run and pretty much straight away I could feel a pain at the base of my right hamstring (about 6 inches above the back of the knee). Not a real severe pain, just a sharp jolt every now and then as if someone was pricking the back of my leg with a needle. I had felt a bit of pain in that region on the track the previous evening but didn't think nothing of it at the time...

Anyway, in true runners style I decided I would run it off....but it didn't seem to be getting any better (or worse). So I soldiered on and completed the run at a very sedate pace. I ended up running my 14.4km double loop in 1:02:15 (4:19/km).

As I type this I can still feel it (aching slightly) so I may have to take a few days on the sidelines and see how I pull up. I can't really complain as I've had a golden run with injuries and if I'm sensible I think I'll still be okay for the half in just over a week. I'll take some Nurofen and hope for an improvement by tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

So instead of running tomorrow I'll have to bore everyone with some running stats analysis...

Can I have a few beers if I'm taking painkillers? I don't suppose a couple will harm...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weather Watch

This blog is starting to read more like a weather report. Today it was very ugly. Torrential rain, windy but not as cold as it could be. So there could be worse to of the guys mentioned it was the worst conditions he had experienced in his year of doing track. Which is nice.

So after a longer warm-up (2 laps of the football fields followed by 3 laps of the track = 5.7km), I lined up for some 4 lappers with 60 seconds recovery. The plan was to run 6, using the first one to get into the session, and then take it from there. The lap itself was a bit like running a fartlek - an easy 200m (wind benefit), then hitting the wall down the finishing bend/straight. I'd made the decision not to check the watch for lap updates and would run on feel. Well the first effort was clocked at 5:34. That was very slow. But I soldiered on with the session removing my jacket after the first 2 efforts (completely waterlogged). The remaining 5 "miles" were timed at:

5:22, 5:20, 5:20, 5:21, 5:23

Pretty consistent but very slow. The conditions played a big part - the effort level was up there but it simply did not translate into speed. I'd challenge anyone to run quick in those conditions.

I finished up with 6 laps warm-down so all up 17.7km for the session. Tired.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rain stopped play?

It was a case of "you are not going out in that are you?" - well I did. Wet, windy and cold - all the bases covered. Plus it was getting dark...

Despite all that I had a great run. I ran 9.5kms easy in 38:35 (4:04/km). If it's like this at the track tomorrow it's going to be ugly.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Rest

No running today.

This week will be similar to last week. A track session on Wednesday, long efforts on Friday and race on Sunday. The problem being that the race scheduled for Sunday has been postponed by a fortnight! I may have to do a long tempo run instead...

So my time yesterday equates to a 1:13:43 half according to McMillan. I think I can do better than that with a few more decent sessions under my belt.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Corofin 8km

The weather was as good as I could have hoped for - a barmy 9 degrees. The sun was out, and there was very little breeze. Perfect for running. I arrived in good time, registered, then ran 3km as a warm-up. The start of the race took me by surprise - without warning we were off and despite being on the front row, I lost a few metres. No problem, I was quickly into my running and within the first 500m I had hit the front.

From then on I was following the lead car, and after a quick uphill first km of 3:11, I had opened up a decent lead. I was feeling pretty good - and was just concentrating on running with good form. From then on the km markers seemed to tick round nicely - 2km with a 3:15 split, 3km with a 3:27 km (slow but uphill), then I reached halfway in 13:08 (3:15). Feeling good.

I was expecting to slow down a bit but that didn't really happen. The 5km marker passed in 16:27 (3:19), 6km 19:45 (3:18), 7km 23:08 (3:23) - then time to try and run a quick last km which was helped by a nice 500m downhill stretch. I crossed the line in 26:17 so a very pleasing 3:09 last km split. My time trial was over!

No warm-down - just straight to the community centre for hot cups of tea and biscuits. Very nice. I picked up my prize at the presentation, then headed home for a few celebratory beers.

All up 11km for the day and 78.5km for the week. After struggling a bit post marathon I now feel I've turned the corner and this race has given me the confidence that I can run a decent half in 2 weeks time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I rolled out an easy 9.5kms in 41:15 (4:21/km). Just to turn the legs over before tomorrow's race. Talking of which I have absolutely no idea how I'll go. The legs still aren't right. I've definitely lost some speed but that's par for the marathon. If I break 27 minutes I'll be happy enough.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Threshold or tempo?

Not sure of the difference. Perhaps someone in the know will tell me...

Anyway, after a 3.4km warm-up, I ran 2 x 12 minute efforts (hard). I had the luxury of 3 minutes rest between efforts (walk/slow jog). I estimate the pace to be sub 3:30 per km but not by much.

I finished up with a 3.4km warm-down. All up 13.7km for the session.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Well the weather has taken a real turn for the worse. Galeforce winds, horizontal rain and very cold. Am I a fair weather runner? Obviously yes as I decided the only way I was going to run today was to check out the local gym.

An hour on the treadmill later I had notched up 14.6kms. It felt tougher than running on the road. I'm not a big fan of treadmill running but having said that, treadmill running is better than no running. It's going to get colder still so I think I'll sign up for 3 months. I tested out the top-end on the treadmills and they go up to 18.5km per hour (3:15/km). A bit quicker than the ones I used to use in Pymble...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


More nasty weather, but that's to be expected...

After a 20 minute warm-up (4.5km), I did some drills on the track and then started proceedings with an 800m effort in 2:40. That felt like hard work as the wind on the home straight was blowing right in my face. Anyway, the rest of the group disappeared to run some longer efforts on the road so I decided to stay on the track and run 5 x 4 lappers (miles) with 60 seconds recovery. After a couple of minutes I started with a 5:15. Again, that was a real struggle. From then on it was a case of hanging in there and the remaining 4 efforts were knocked off in 5:20, 5:19, 5:20 and 5;19. Not a great session and it seems like I have lost around 10 seconds per mile compared to other times I have run this session pre marathon. Oh well, it's a start.

The group returned as I had finished the session and I decided to do one final 800m effort with them. After a slow first lap I managed to run a quickish second lap to finish with a 2:33. Again, nothing flash but it gives me hope. I finished up with a warm-down of 3 laps so a total of 15.3km for the session.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Start of 2 week training block

More of the same today. An easy 14.4km in 58:38 (4:04/km). Cold (estimate 6-7 degrees) but good for running.
I've edited a few of my PB's removing the Corporate Chase, and adding my 5km road and 8km road PB's. Eight kms seems to be a common race distance here in Ireland, not sure why?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Rest Day

No running today. The plan for this week is to do a track session on Wednesday, some threshold stuff on Friday, then race on Sunday (8km). Easy running either side of those sessions.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Stats round-up

I finished off the week with a slightly longer run of 14.4km. Time 59:45 so 4:09/km. That's 46.8km for the week and happy to be back running.

So I'm up to 3,413.4km for the year thus far. That's an average of 11.0km every day of the year or 76.8km per week. Consistency is king - that's my philosophy.

I've been running now since the year 2000 - but I've only been keeping my training diary since 2001. Here's a quick snapshot by year:

2001 1,193.3kms
2002 1,835.1kms
2003 2,428.4kms
2004 2,689.7kms
2005 2,631.5kms
2006 205.8kms (injured - tendinitis of the left knee)
2007 1,954.5kms
2008 3,268.8kms
2009 3,528.4kms

So it looks like I'll easily eclipse last year if I remain injury free for the remainder of 2010.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

More easy stuff

Same run again as yesterday. Today I was a bit quicker (39:12) so that's 4:10/km.
Legs feeling better still, I must be close to 90% recovered now. A great night for running - cold and damp - Ireland at its finest.
I'll aim for an easy hour tomorrow. Then into some proper stuff next week.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Getting Better

Same run as last Saturday, this time covering the 9.4km in 39:40 (4:13's). I felt a lot better today, the calves are still tight but I think I'm well on the mend.

It's Friday so a few Guinness tonight. After all, it's good for you...

More photos to follow each day:

Probably a good time to say a few thanks for the help in the lead up to the marathon:

- my wife for putting up with this running obsession
- the Galway Harriers who have made me very welcome the last few months
- Matt for the help with the training
- Conor for the massage
- Brian who was my wingman for the weekend
- Clare and Christy for the fun bit after the race
- Fred for the photos

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rest day

No running today, legs still buggered.
Here is a nice photo from the marathon:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Running ugly

The weather the last few days has been absolutely awful. Very wet and windy. But I had the opportunity to do a group session at the track so I wasn't going to let that up.

I did a 20 minute warm-up wearing many layers. It wasn't that cold but by the end of it I was pretty soaked. But the legs were feeling a lot better. On the track there was a solid turn-out of about 20 people - I wasn't expecting anyone to show...

The session was a pyramid. Starting with 1 minute, working up to 5 minutes in 1 minute increments. Then work back down to 1 minute with 60 seconds recovery between efforts. Sounds easy enough.

Straight away my calves felt sore (again). I just ignored it and ran at a hard pace, but not red lining as I wanted to ease back into things. My breathing felt good, but the legs were gone. I concentrated on running around 80 second laps throughout which was taking more effort than it should have. Umm, still not recovered by a long chalk.

I finished the session and then did a few more laps of the track as a warm-down. So all up it was about 25 minutes hard running and good to be back of sorts.

It was around 13.6kms all up. The half marathon is in 3 and a half weeks time so I'll do some easy running for the rest of the week. Then hopefully 2 solid weeks training after that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I've done one run since the marathon. On Saturday I ran a lap of the block and after a couple of kms my calves were very sore. By the end of the run it was like I was back in the closing stages of the marathon. Not good. I ran 9.4km in 41:52 so that's 4:27 per km. So it was time for more rest/recovery and I'll knuckle down with some proper training starting tomorrow at the track.