Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Back to my old routine of track on Tuesday with a session start time of 7:30pm on the button. That would make me a little late for darts but the running takes priority at the moment...

After a 4.5km warm-up it was long intervals for the marathon runners. The session was 4/8/8/4 lappers and I have to say the prospect of running 24 laps on the track wasn't filling me with glee. Very cold temperatures but dry with very little wind. The plan was to run them at 10km race pace...

On the first lap I noticed it was a bit slippery on the approach of the final bend. Then every lap thereafter it got worse as the temperatures continued to drop. Midway through the session it was very hard to run quick and I was having to take baby steps on the bends to avoid slipping over. I found a good line in lane 2 on the back straight but the remaining part of the lap was very slippery. I soldiered on but the sensible thing to do would have been to pull the pin. I was wearing my racing flats which can't have much grip but I have to say I've never had a problem with them in the past - even when the track has been wet.

Here are the times:

5:19,10:36,10:50,5:23 (recovery of 90/120/90 secs)

Yes I slowed as I went from runner to ice-skater. I finished the session barely out of breath. Oh well, we've been bloody lucky with the winter here so I can't really complain.

I finished up with a 3.9km warm-down. All up 18kms for the day.

Darts in the evening. No league match this week replaced with an internal singles competition to determine the top 4 players in the pub to go through to the league finals. The overall result was very tight with 4 of us tied in 2nd place on equal points. Basically another comp now required to decide the final 3 to get selected!

Monday, January 30, 2012


An easy run locally. Managed to squeeze it in during daylight hours as it's not getting dark until 5:30ish at the moment. Legs felt good and ran 45:23 for the 11.3km (4:01/km).

Valentina is the title of the new Wedding Present album that is due out in March. A couple of listens to a few preview tracks and it promises be a return to form for Gedge and the boys. Talking of which I'm looking forward to seeing them on the 21st anniversary world tour of the iconic album "Seamonsters" later this year. Would you believe they are playing in Oz for the first time ever? Catch them at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney on April 13th - you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting Longer

I met with Brian and Owen for the Sunday long run in damp but mild condtions. A similar route to last week doing some of the Dangan pitches before running the guts of the Cathedral Run. We then added a few extra bits on in the run back to Dangan to get the distance up. All up 29.3kms in 2:10:32 (4:27/km pace).

I felt a lot better than last week but still a long way to go. Happy enough with progress to date and I'm not feeling as tired as my body overcomes the shock of collecting some proper kms.

All up 113.5km for the week. Left hammy/buttock still sore and I will get on top of that this week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mud Run

A trip to Dangan for some intervals running around the training pitches. Lots of rain around and the paths were very muddy. It was going to be a tough day. I'd decided not to run them eyeballs out as I was feeling knackered, but looking back I couldn't have gone much quicker.

The session was 3 sets of 6 minutes, 3 minutes, 90 seconds (all up 31:30 of fast running). The active jog recovery was 3 minutes, 90 seconds and 45 seconds. The first set was relatively straight forward and the 3 minutes recovery felt way too long. But the session got interesting the start of the second set faced with a 6 minute effort after only 45 seconds recovery. Slipping and sliding around wasn't much fun and I kept telling myself that I was really enjoying myself...still a good group today at the front with various runners taking turns pushing the pace which helped to pass the time.

Felt good on the last 3 minute effort and carried that through to the last 90 seconds. Pace was difficult to gauge but I'd say it was in the 5:20 per mile region. Pretty good going given the slippery terrain. Not a session I would ever do by myself but a good one to add a bit of variety to the training.

All up 12 miles/19.2kms with warm-up and down.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Struggling On

I trotted out for an easy run and nearly had to pull up in the first few minutes as the back as the top of my left hamstring/buttock was very sore - it almost felt like a strain. After about 10 minutes I could start to run more freely but it still wasn't great. Anyway 11.4kms in 48:12 (4:14/km pace). A reminder that I still need to get a massage...

New runners were used today. I won a pair of Saucony runners for the Noriwch Half and I could choose anything in the Saucony range. I went for a pair that I was told would be similar to my normal Asics 2160's. I think they are called Progrid 5's and they seemed very comfortable to wear. I'll continue to use them for the next few weeks and see how I go.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

It'll be alright on the night

I wasn't looking forward to this session. The weather had deteriorated throughout the day and on the drive to Dangan it was windy, raining and was a cool 4 degrees. To make matters worse the session was 15 x 400 off a short 30 second recovery (blink and you'll miss it).

By some miracle by the time I arrived it had stopped raining. I did my normal 3.9km warm-up and followed that up with some strides and went straight into it. The goal was to run the laps at a few seconds quicker than current 5km pace. Here's how it went:


I wasn't running them flat out and perhaps started a little too cautiously. By the time I got to the 8th rep I was starting to fatigue a bit but I still managed to remain consistent through to the end. A good session and the 15 laps soon ticks off once you get into a rhythm.

The same warm-down and another 15kms for the training log.

Trying to be a bit healthier at the moment whilst I'm in marathon mode. Crisps and biscuits have gone, to be replaced with fruit and yoghurt. Semi-skimmed milk to replace full fat milk. Booze consumption remains constant...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More of the same

Same run as Monday. I felt like I was running a bit quicker but that wasn't the case when I checked the watch at the end. Time 52:50 for 12.4kms.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Almost Miles

Today was another repeat session from last week. A total of 6 x 5 minutes with a reduced recovery of 60 seconds. Using my short mile course I completed the session with the following times:


A very nasty wind to deal with on the even number reps. I was working harder than the outward sections but was running around 20 seconds slower. A good session nonetheless. I've almost come to the conclusion that you should ignore the watch when the wind is blowing as the slow times are depressing...

All up 15.0kms with warm-up/down.

League darts in the evening. I won both my pairs and singles and we somehow managed to scrape a 5-4 win. I was scoring very consistently and the recent time spent on the practice board seems to be paying off. Already 23 x 180s for the year...

Monday, January 23, 2012

T - 90 Days

Proper marathon training starts today. Only 90 days until showtime...

An easy rattle up and down the main road. Total 12.4kms in 52:25 (4:14's). That's one second quicker than last Monday's run. Progress right there.

I don't have a training plan for the marathon as of yet. It will be a case of following similar sessions to what I did in my build up to Dublin and failing that I'll make it up as I go along. On this subject this is a good read:

Twelve Things You Should Know About Marathon Training

Some good principles in there to follow.

Robertson won the snooker as I expected and Spurs were a little unlucky (read totally robbed) against Man City. At least Arsenal lost as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Masters

I decided to try and get a long run on the board. Up early after a late night in the pub so not ideal preparation. More focus required...

Met with Brian and Barry at Dangan. We started with some laps of the pitches then headed into town to do the Cathedral Run. The pace was gradually lifted but not too quick. At about 1hr 40 I was dead on my feet and about 5 minutes shy of 2 hours we were back at Dangan. Determined to get 2 hours up we added on an extra loop eventually covering 17 miles in 2:02:30. That's 27.4km in new money (4:30/km pace).

Certainly not a confidence booster as I felt tired throughout. But at least it's a start and a decent week of training in the bag. I must be training hard as I feel absolutely exhausted.

A total of 109.8km for the week. Three figure weeks need to become a habit. Plus 18 days of training on the bounce.

So with Judd out of the Masters it leaves Robertson Vs Murphy in the final. I'd like Murphy to win but I think Robertson will be too strong.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Not a run I do that often. It was either tempo or hills and I fancied running quickly so opted for the tempo.

After a 3km warm-up I did my local 11km loop (more like a rectangle). First 15 minutes was easy with the benefit of a strong wind, the next 15 minutes was bloody tough getting blown all over the place, finishing up with wind behind for the last section. I managed 39:44 for 11kms and that equates to 3:37/km pace. Happy with that given the conditions.

The same 3km warm-down and that makes it 17km for the day.

A few beers and some darts in the evening.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Big Break

Same run as last Friday. A total of 14.4kms in 1hr 2mins. Knackered.

I forgot to mention yesterday I had a big break against my son on the new 4ft snooker table. A clearance of 91 (maximum 107 as only 10 reds). Lets just say he wasn't happy! My Dad never used to let me win and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Something and nothing

I made the trip out to Dangan to be greeted by cold, damp and quite breezy conditions on the track. I joined in with the university training group and after 5 laps slow warm-up and a few token strides it was time for some 800's off 90 seconds recovery.

I was consistently running 75 seconds for the first lap but couldn't lift the pace beyond that (no speed). The times aren't great but it's a start:


Not easy running by yourself on the track as the main group were doing a different session to me. In some respects I think I was simply going through the motions...

These track sessions make a huge difference to your running - I've been slacking off the last couple of months and I've lost a few seconds each lap as a result. Moral of the story is that you have to hurt yourself in training if you want to run well...

I finished off with a 3.9km warm-down. All up 12.3km for the day.

Judd played brilliantly to beat the Rocket. He's still my tip for the tournament.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Double Shift

Same run as Monday. This time a bit quicker covering the 12.4km in 52:04 (4:12's). Track tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Training Shift

No track today - I've moved this to Thursday from now on. Instead I ran some 5 minute efforts locally (total 6) in fading light. Warm-up and down were 2.3km. All up 13.9km. I used my short mile course. Here are the times:


A stiff cross-wind to deal with which slowed the even number reps more than the odds. Legs constantly feel sore/heavy. Time for a massage.

Darts in the evening. Another 180 fest in practice but I wasn't getting too excited. It was a cup match and we were away. I played okay and won both my pairs and singles hitting a 118 check-out to wrap up my singles match. Overall we won 5-2 to progress to the next round. League resumes next week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Night Shift

An easy run to flush out the legs after yesterday's race. I ended up running up and down the N17 a few times. All up 12.4km in 52:26 (4:14's).

Snooker on TV. Judd all the way.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tuam 8km

On the drive to Tuam I was thinking that if I could run under 26:30 I'd be happy. A sub 26 would be exceptional. Conditions were cool (8 degrees) and there was a stiff breeze but compared to my previous 2 races you would take it. After a rushed registration I went out and ran about 3kms warm-up. Then lined up at the start.

Sean Hehir and a guy from the North (Paddy Hamilton) were the stand-outs in the field. So for me it looked to be a race for 3rd. My old sparring partner from the Mayo League Roger Barrett was also there. That would at least give me a good marker and someone to hang on to. The race was underway with very little warning and I couldn't believe the pace at the start. Everyone seemed to be running way too fast and I just tried to settle in and hope that some runners would soon come back to me. The course itself was sold as being very fast and flat and it didn't disappoint. I glanced at my watch at 1km and it showed 3:08 (see splits below) but that was the only time I checked the watch until the finish.

Through 2km and I was hanging on to Roger and sure enough most of the quick starters had been reeled in. As expected Sean and Paddy were eating up the road in front with me and Roger left battling for 3rd. The next couple of kilometres were really tough - we had the benefit of the wind at the start but after making a left turn it became more of a struggle and I started to lose touch with Roger. At the same time I was aware that another runner was very close behind so at least that kept me focused.

By 4km we took another left turn for some respite from the wind. This section of the course was great. Dead flat and very easy to lift the pace. I'd managed to catch a glance behind to find that it was Peter O'Sullivan from Craughwell AC who was matching me stride for stride. At this point I attempted a couple of surges but these were covered off by Peter. Despite this I still felt good and thought I still had a chance of catching Roger who looked to be about 50m further up the road.

This straight section continued for 3km. Just before the 6km marker I think I finally opened up a small gap on Peter. At 7km we were greeted by a small bridge which was the only noticeable climb on the course, then after that it was the last kilometer. I was confident I'd done enough for 4th place but with about 500m to go I was aware that Peter was closing back in. Sure enough at 200m I looked round to see that he was only a few meters behind and that was the trigger to put the foot down until I crossed the finish line. So 4th place in a time of 26:18. Happy days.

Some congratulations firstly. Roger ran a really strong race today finishing 3rd with a time of 25:51 - sorry I couldn't give you a better race today! Peter ran a big PB of 20 seconds and looks to be in great form. The first 2 guys were again in a different class with Sean running 24:10 and Paddy 24:14. A great day and well done to Tuam AC for putting on an enjoyable race which had 630 starters!

I finished up with an 8km warm-down (another lap of the course). I was knackered come the end of that and had to rejuvenate with coffee and biscuits back at the presentation.

A total of 19kms for the day and 93.4km for the week.

Here are the splits:

1km 3:01 (I mis-read the watch during the race - I thought it was quick!)
2km 3:09
3km 3:28
4km 3:32 (13:10)
5km 3:23
6km 3:15
7km 3:14
8km 3:16 (13:08)

Total 26:18

In summary a very quick first 2kms, then a slow 2kms into the wind. Finishing the race strongly the last 4kms. Great racing!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Turning the legs over

Another easy run. This time a very slow 9.9km in 44:54. The temperature had dropped a lot today and it felt much more like winter. Gloves and hat were utilised.

Curry and cinema in the evening (The Iron Lady). Good acting but the film was a bit slow for me. Not sure curry is a good idea on the eve of a race...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why not?

I was planning an easy 45 minutes but was enjoying the run so I did a bit extra to get me up over the hour. Total 14.4kms in 1:01:52 (4:18's).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Idi Im In

I received confirmation that I have my spot for London a day before the closing date. Cutting it a bit fine but all good to go now.

Today I did some quicker stuff. After a 3.5km warm-up I ran 2 x 10 minutes off a 150 second recovery. I was using my short mile route running out and back for the 10 minutes. My times were 10:22 and 10:08. I should mention that conditions were perfect today - no wind and bathed in winter sunshine. Happy with that and a good tune-up for the race on Sunday.

I finished off with a 3.5km warm-down. All up 13.0kms.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


The same night run as last Friday. 12kms easy in 51:58 (4:20/km).

A few photos from the recent Resolution Run (thanks to Edenhill).

This one is just after the start with me tucked in behind the leaders:

This one is mid-race during the uphill kilometre which was run into a gale. I like my race number (a la Chesney Hawkes):

Spurs on fire at the moment. I fear it will go horribly wrong but you can't deny they are playing some very good football.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Good fun

The long awaited return to the track for a proper session. The weather wasn't great but I was determined to have a hit-out. The Harriers session has now been put back to 7:30pm which wasn't going to work for me (clashes with darts), so instead I headed to the track for a 6:30pm start with my only concern being whether the floodlights would be on or not. Plus I'm used to training by myself so what could possibly go wrong?

I did my normal 3.9km warm-up then headed down to the track. The lights were on and I was greeted by about 50 other runners from the local tri club. I've never seen the track so busy. They were doing 400's so I asked if I could join in and do my own session and thankfully that was okay as long as I didn't get in their way...

It turned into a good session. I decided on 6 x 1km off 200m walk recovery (90 seconds). I was running wide on numerous occasions to keep out of the way made all the more interesting by dodging people at the start/finish line. I set a PB for the widest line on a lap edging out to lane 5 on a couple of occasions. It was raining quite hard every now and then but that added to the novelty. Plus the constant overtaking seemed to spur me on. By the end of the session I was soaked through but I was happy enough with the times given the conditions, plus the fact that I wasn't running them eyeballs out:


Thanks again to the group for letting me train. I'll have to plan a new day/time for my track sessions going forwards. Either that or become a triathlete.

A 3.9km warm-down so that's 13.8km for the day.

Then darts. I had half an hour practice in the afternoon and couldn't miss. I'd quickly notched up 4 x 180's and was feeling good. That form didn't transfer to the match board and I played poorly in both my pairs (which we somehow won) and singles (which I lost). Overall we lost 5-4 to the team who were second from bottom in the league. Our worst result thus far and strange as nobody in our team played well. Perhaps a Christmas hangover? Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week.

And finally some more stats from 2011. I exercised on 315 out of 365 days. I had 111 AFD's. I hit 72 x 180's. And my biggest year on the beer since 2005. Not proud of that last fact...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Low key

An easy loop of the same run from yesterday. Time 45:39 for 11.3km.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

A good nights sleep

Out the door for a longish run. I decided on a double loop of my normal easy run and today it felt really good. I was 45:30 at halfway (11.15km) and I ran slightly quicker the second lap despite not deliberately pushing the pace. Perhaps yesterday was just a bad day.

Total time of 1:30:32 for 22.3km (4:04/km).

That's 81.8km for the week.

I have 15 weeks until London. A couple more weeks similar to this week and then it will be time to start ramping things up.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

5km Time Trial

Back to the track for a 5km time trial with a few of the Galway Harriers. My first time on the track since November 22nd and it showed...

A nice easy 6 laps to warm-up. Then a dozen or so of us toed the line in a self-timed 12 and a half laps. Conditions were very good - nice and cool with only a bit of breeze around the final bend. I hit the lead and pushed on and was left thinking my watch had malfunctioned when I went through the first km in 3:14...

From there on it was a real struggle. I was slowing lap on lap and had nothing in the tank. Perhaps the hill session had taken it out of my legs as I was back peddling. Through the seconds km with a 3:17, followed up with a 3:21. It was then a slow death march whilst counting down the last 5 laps.

A penultimate km of 3:21 and I kicked for home blowing out none of the cobwebs with a 3:20 to finish up. Time 16:33 and I honestly thought I'd run close to 16 without going to the well. Oh well, perhaps the kick up the rear that I need. To think I ran 15:14 in my last track 5km. Today I still had a lap to go at that time...

A 3.2km warm-down and all up 10.6km for the day. Track sessions to resume next week me thinks.

Friday, January 06, 2012

No daylight

The evenings are really starting to draw out now - dark by 5pm! I managed to get out just at the time it would be too dangerous to run on the back roads so instead I did 3 different out and back sections along the main roads near to where I live. A nice easy run of 12.0kms in 51:42 (4:19's).

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Hill Session

My new years resolution is to try and do a few more hill sessions. Today I made a start with a repeat of the session I've been doing recently. A 3.4km warm-up, then 30 minutes continuos hills (1 minute up, jog back down), followed by a 2.3km warm-down.

I managed 13 up and downs by which time I'd gone over the 30 minutes. A good session as it is short and sharp and is quickly over. A total of 12.6kms for the day.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

London 2012

No run today. Busy doing other stuff so it never happened.

Well the big news is that I've decided to come out of marathon retirement. It looks like I have a Championship entry for the London marathon in April. That means I'm going to have to get a dozen weeks of decent mileage (100km weeks) under the belt starting very soon. Could the impossible be repeated with another sub 2:30? At this stage I very much doubt it...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Last treadmill session

The plan was to make my track comeback today but with both kids sick that never happened. Instead it was another session on the treadmill. I reverted back to 2km efforts (times 3). Trying to make this a bit harder than 2 weeks previous I decided to up the pace slightly and reduce the recovery.

Overall it was 3km warm-up, 3 x 2km off 400m float, 3.2km warm-down. All up 13kms in 50:29. The speeds for the efforts were 18.2, 18.4 and 18.6kms/hour respectively. Another good sweat.

No darts league match tonight but we still met down the pub for some practice. Just when you wanted to take it easy on the beer front the landlord decides to give us all free beer. Nice.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Wadey bottled it

I squeezed out the last daylight of the day for my 11.3km recovery run. Another big night on the drink the night before. Home at 3:30am. Not good. As for the run it wasn't too bad - 47:48 and that works out to 4:15/km pace.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

5km Resolution Run

Happy New Year to one and all!

I managed to keep a lid on the drinking the previous night and felt much better than this time last year on the drive out to Renmore. Similar to Athenry from last week conditions weren't good - very blustery and wintery showers to deal with.

I registered and ran a lap of the course to warm-up. Then a few strides down by the finishing line and it was time to race. Soon we were underway and I settled into the back of the lead group as we ran the first couple of hundred metres directly into the wind. A small gap then opened in front and I took this opportunity to put in a surge and hit the front. After rounding the first corner there was some shelter from the wind but it was still tough going. I was in front and by the time I reached 1km I was joined by 2 other runners. In keeping with recent races I decided to ignore the watch and focus on the race.

Just before 1km we had taken another left turn and it suddenly became a lot easier. I was doing the majority of the running with the other 2 runners sitting in behind me. There was a nice long downhill/short uphill roller coaster like section, then it flattened out through a few more turns before hitting the 2km marker with another left turn. It was now gradual uphill for a few hundred metres before the final turn of the lap and the long climb back to the start line.

This section was extremely tough. I just couldn't get the legs moving in any sort of rhythm as the wind was gusting knocking me in all directions. I deliberately eased off a little and all 3 of us struggled on past the start line for the start of the second lap. By the time we had reached the top of the course the wind had picked up further coupled with an icy rain shower. The left turn (3km) made things a little easier but it was still tough on the run back down to the army barracks.

Another turn and again it was a lot easier being swept along by the wind. On the downhill section of the roller coaster I opened up a tiny gap and that was the opportunity to push on up the hill and race for home. At 4km I had opened up a gap of a few seconds and it was a case of holding my nerve for the last click. The final part of the course had the repeat long uphill drag back up to the start line and then another left turn before the final 100m to the finish line. Thankfully I managed to hold on for the win clocking 16:34.

A good start to the year but over 40 seconds slower than last year! Old age? Not enough drink? Tough conditions? I'll let you decide.

A further 2.5km warm-down with the lads. I didn't hear of any PB's today and I think that most people were around 30 seconds down on their expectation. Those Galway winds are a cruel mistress!

World darts semi-finals tonight coupled with a night in town. Gotta love this time of year! Serious training to resume soon...

A total of 87.1km for the week. Here are the splits:

1km 3:13
2km 3:02
3km 3:43 (all into the wind)
4km 3:17
5km 3:19

Total 16:34