Friday, May 31, 2013


No chance for a run today - too busy with stuff at home. Probably not a bad thing and I might make this a regular rest day over the summer.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Out this morning with Fintan and Owen. What a glorious morning for running - it really makes you appreciate how lucky you are just to be out there. Pace today was a little quicker than normal - we covered 15.0kms in 1:04:24 (4:18's).

Took Dad to the airport in the afternoon. My darts will suffer as a result...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dad's last night

11.1kms in 47:41 (4:18's).

Dad leaves tomorrow so it was another pub/darts night. I won 15-11. Highest checkout of 130 and a total of 9 x 180's from myself in all our matches over the last fortnight.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3 x 1200 off 1600 float

Track session - the planned session was 3 x 1600 off 6 minutes and these were to be run pretty much flat out. I didn't fancy that after Sunday so decided on a bit of a hybrid session where I'd run 1200 quite hard, then my recovery was 1600m running at 90 seconds per lap.

After a warm-up of 5.8kms I went straight into it. Here are the times for the continuous effort:

3:48/5:56/3:45/5:58/3:41 (total 17 laps)

I felt great throughout which I was a little surprised at. Twas a lovely evening for running being warm and very little breeze.

All up 15.9kms with a 3.3km warm-down.

Spoke with Matt the coach as to the type of sessions I need to be doing in order to crack the 32 minute 10km barrier. The answer was lots of 5 to 6 minute efforts quicker than your target 10km pace e.g. 5 x 6 mins or 6 x 5 mins. Need to get my long run up to 2 hours as 90 minutes doesn't cut the mustard. Plus the usual track stuff on a Tuesday night which is geared more towards 5,000m over the summer. Sounds doable.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Legs okay

I was feeling great today - it was as if I hadn't raced yesterday. All up 11.1kms in 45:49 (4:08's). Perhaps I didn't push myself enough in the race (getting soft in my old age).

Here's a photo. Must have been early doors as I'm still in the group and the guy from DSD is out of shot up front:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

National League Round 1

It's about a 75 minute drive to Tullamore and I planned to arrive about an hour before the scheduled start of the race (4:15pm). I had my Dad and son for support and when we arrived at the venue the events were running ahead of time which only allowed for a short warm-up of around a mile which included a few strides.

Conditions were pretty good. The wind had settled down but it had been raining so the track was quite damp. The race started and I settled mid-pack. The first 200m was run way too quick but after that I got into a nice rhythm going through the first km in 3 minutes exactly.

One runner from DSD had gone about 20m in front with me and about 4 or 5 other runners in pursuit. I moved up a few places and still felt good as the laps started to click down. By 2km I was still feeling fine which I went through in 6:03 (3:03). Then in the blink of an eye I started to feel the pinch. I let the dreaded small gap develop and the group in front slowly started to work away from me.

Through 3km in 9:13 (3:10) and I was feeling heavy legged (Tuesday's session?) and didn't have any extra drive or zip. The focus was on maintaining my position and with nobody directly behind me it was a case of working each lap as best as possible. Through 4km in 12:26 (3:13) and I was still hoping to find something in the run home to get me under 15:30. But that wasn't to be and I finished in 15:34 with a 3:08 last km.

I'm not sure of my position as there was a mixture of Premier and Division 1 runners in the race (I was probably 4th or 5th). The winner from DSD ran 15:02, and there were 3 or 4 runners under 15:10 so the standard was good. I just wish I could have hung on to the lead group a bit longer as this was a really good opportunity for a fast time - but today the legs said no.

I thought I would run somewhere in the region of 15:20 to 15:50 so my time was in the middle of that. But having got off to a good start I really should have broken 15:30. The mistake was falling off the group then running in no mans land for 3km.

Overall I'm happy enough. A good marker and now gives me the belief that the sub 32 on the track is there or thereabouts. I plan to run a few more of these 5,000m races in the next month or so and this is certainly a good marker.

A quick warm-down with Kenny Rogers from Clare (a super PB of 15:09) and Michael from Limerick who I think ran around 15:05. All up 9.1kms for the day and 66.0kms for the week.

Darts and beer in the evening. I lost to my Dad 10-8. I should have put that in a really small sized font so you couldn't read it...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I like cakes

Today was a rest day (just had a look at my training and I've run 35 consecutive days so much needed). The usual feeling of being very tired when I take a rest day - perhaps that was more to do with yesterday's late night...

Out in the afternoon for a lovely gathering out at Salthill. I ate my own body weight in curry and cakes to give myself a nice weight handicap for tomorrow.

Stayed in tonight (gasp, shock, horror). Bring on the track.

Friday, May 24, 2013

You can't beat a bit of Bully

Easy run of 9.4kms in 42:10 (4:29's). Then 4 x 75m strides at the end to get the legs moving. All up 9.7kms.

More darts in the evening. I shellacked the old man 11-5 before we started playing pairs with guys from the darts team. In back-to-back legs I had finishes of 112 (5,57,50) and 95 (25,20,50). Gotta love the bull finishes!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another threesome

Myself, Fintan and Owen for the 7am Claregalway run. Same route with a few double-backs to cater for comfort breaks. All up 15.1kms in 1:08:25 (4:32's). Legs starting to feel better.

A few beers in the evening and a game of darts. I won 17-15 to keep my Dad in his box.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lead legs

Legs were in bits today (as I suspected). I ran a very slow 9.5kms in 43:49 (4:37's). I think I overdid it a bit yesterday - hopefully I recover in time for the track race on Sunday.

Well done to Owen who won last night's Galway series 5km in a new PB of 16:09. Fine running - I'm sure sub 16 is just around the corner!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

15 x 300's off increasing recovery

5.0kms warm-up.

The session tonight was something different. Sets of 300's as follows:

5 x 300's off 45 secs
4 x 300's off 60 secs
3 x 300's off 75 secs
2 x 300's off 90 secs
1 x 300

With a generous recovery of 2 and a half minutes between sets.

The aim was to start at around 5km pace, then increase the speed each set by around 3 seconds. My targets were 55's, 52's, 49's, 46's and sub 45 (red-line).

Here's how it panned out:


Started a bit too conservatively for the first 5, then really attacked the session thereafter. Was going great until the last 300 where a bit of traffic at the start of the lap cost me some time (maybe a second - would not have been sub 45). That said, very pleased with that. No doubt my hammies will be screaming tomorrow as the last 3 were pretty much flat-out. Thanks to John and Cormac for helping share the workload - a great session. I really enjoy these shorter reps.

I finished up with a slow 3.6km warm-down around the pitches. All up 13.1kms for the day. I picked up the old man on the way home who had been doing a pub crawl whilst I was at training...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Start of an easy week

9.5kms in 39:57 (4:12's).

I started building the Lego VW camper van yesterday. Will publish photos when I have it completed.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


A long solo run today. I went up to Carnmore then round by the back of the airport. Then along the coast road in Oranmore before coming up through Doughiska. Then along the Monivea Road before turning left for the final 4kms back to Claregalway.

The Garmin died at around 18kms but I was feeling pretty good and upped the pace for the run home. I'm estimating 22.3kms in 1hr 35 (4:16/km).

That's 108.9kms for the week. I've been averaging over 100kms for the last 5 weeks so happy with that.

Next week I'll peg it back a bit. I have a 5,000m pencilled in for next Sunday running in the National League for Galway City Harriers so looking forward to that. We're now in the Premier League so I'll hopefully be lining up against the best runners in the country. Time to run flat-out and see where I'm at.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Recovery run

Legs very tired after yesterday's long effort. I took it real easy knocking out 11.1kms in 48:10 (4:20's).

Out again in the evening for a meal with the family. Then back in the pub for more darts. I beat the old man again 17-15 hitting 3 x 180's. Forgot to mention my 156 checkout yesterday - magic darts!

A 12:30am finish. Getting sensible in my old age.

Friday, May 17, 2013

90 minutes hard

Summer is here. A gorgeous day - warm and hardly any breeze, perfect for the session we had planned.

A 2km warm-up and then straight into it. The plan was to run 90 minutes at 3:47/km pace or better. We took off and quickly settled into a nice rhythm. After a few kms we had locked into 3:42/km pace which felt pretty comfortable. At about halfway I ditched the top (!!!). At close to 20kms in the legs were starting to get tired and running in knackered racing flats meant I could feel every scar in the road (breathing was still fine). As the 90 minutes clocked by we stopped covering 24.37kms in the 90 minutes (ave 3:42/km). That's not bad going - through the half in 1:18 so a good healthy lick. Nice to have Fintan for company - it makes this type of session so much easier. We were stride for stride the whole way.

A 2km warm-down to register 28.4kms for the day.

Out in the evening for a game of darts with the old man. I won 12-10 before the rest of the darts team came in and we mixed it up after that. A late 2am finish....

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Me, Fintan and Owen for a 7am run. The wind had died down which made for a pleasant run.

All up 15.1kms in 1:05:54 (4:22's). One pitstop each for Fintan and Owen.

I've agreed to do a long 90 minute run at pace with Fintan tomorrow...

A few beers in the evening whilst watching the final of the darts. Wadey had his chances but doubles let him down. MvG a worthy winner and the 132 finish to seal the match against the Power was pure class.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Keep going

9.5kms in 39:28 (4:09's). Another windy day but felt good.

Out in the evening for a game of snooker (pairs). Time to call Specsavers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

8 x 1km

Short on time this evening so decided to do the session locally in the wind. Was always going to be tough and decided that if I could keep them under 3:20 I'd be doing well enough. I used my usual stretch of road for the reps running with a strong cross-wind. The official recovery was 2 mins but I decided to do them on a rolling 5 mins to make the time keeping a bit easier (the Garmin FR10 doesn't show elapsed lap time...).

Times were as follows:


A poor start and then I stuck to the task quite well. The odd reps were tougher as they were slightly uphill. My road reps will always be slower than the track - maybe around 5 secs for kms. Not sure why - that's just the way I roll.

All up 13.0kms with warm-up and down. Then straight to the airport to pick up the old man...

Monday, May 13, 2013


9.5kms in 40:30 (4:16's). Windy as per norm.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wet weekend

A long run this morning with Owen starting out at Roscam, running down to Renville, and then doubling back along the same route. Very wet and windy. All up 21.6kms in 1:41:40 (4:42's).

That's 94.5kms for the week.

I ended up having a game of snooker last night. I had my cue re-tipped for the first time in at least 14 years so was keen to try it out. Played the owner of the club (6 frames) and we ended up drawing 3-3. I was poor.

Tonight I was down the pub for a game of darts. Surprisingly I played really well. I played about 30 legs and only lost 3. No 180's to report but I was still scoring well. The highlight of the night was a 13 dart leg. Get in there.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

10km tempo

Another gust-fest. I considered driving to a location so I could run 10km with the wind on the back the whole way but the logistics proved too hard. Instead I used the same route as I did a few weeks back which with wind direction and profile maybe made the 10km route 60/40 in my favour in terms of difficulty.

A 2km warm-up and straight into it. The first 3km I was running well, the next 4km it felt like I was barely moving, then at 7km I glanced at the watch and the pace was 3:34/km. I managed to up the pace for the run home which was a mixture of cross-wind and then wind on the back to finish in 35:22 (3:32/km).

I've no idea what shape I'm in. Whenever I race or run a session recently it seems to be very tough conditions which I keep using as an excuse for the slow times. Perhaps it's just me.

All up 16.1kms with warm-down.

Just finished watching the FA Cup. Really enjoyed that and good to see the underdogs win. Well done Wigan.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nice if you own a wind farm

Another windy day. The first half of the run was into the wind but I seemed to be ticking over nicely today and with the benefit of the wind coming home I managed to clock a decent time of 46:02 for the 11.1kms (4:09's).

My right knee has been a bit sore since I started wearing the new Saucony runners. Not sure if that's just a coincidence. I may switch back to the Asics for a bit just to be on the safe side.

Tempo run planned for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


A bit of a longer run today - 13.0kms in 57:15 (4:24's). Strong gusts of wind (50+ks/hour) that one minute you can hardly move in, the next minute you're nearly flat on your face. At least it stayed dry.

Enjoyed watching Judgement night II at the Premier League darts. The top 4 who will contest the final are Van Gerwen, Barney, the Power and Wadey. I though Wade was brilliant in his draw with the Power - especially the 90 he took out to make it 5-5 with 2 darts. He's the 10-1 outsider to lift the trophy next week and I think that represents terrific value and I may have a small investment...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Awful conditions this evening - blowing a gale and lashing rain. Quite cold also. Very hard to run directly into the wind and ended up with a time of 40:40 (4:17's) for my bog standard 9.5km loop. Quite good considering.

I played 4 frames of snooker in the evening (not well) and watched a bit of the Spurs game. Still a chance of making the top 4 but now having to rely on other results going our way. Same old, same old.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

3 x (400/500/600) then 2 x 400

A run round the pitches and 4 laps of the track as warm-up (5.0km).

The session was above with recoveries of 60, 75 and 90 seconds. I decided I was going to take it really easy and for once I actually did - well at least until the last couple of 400's...

Numbers were way down tonight as the Galway 5km series is on - conditions were just about dry and a bit blustery but not too bad. Times were as follows:



A nice group of 4 of us taking turns leading out the reps. At the end of the 3 sets we had a massive 4 minutes recovery before the final set of 2 x 400's (off 60 secs). The coach mentioned 64 seconds as a target so went for that - on the first one I went through 100 in 15, 200 in 31 and then faded in the wind on the home straight for a 64 (may have been 63 as I stuffed up my watch). The second one was an action replay with a bit of traffic to dodge (definitely 64). Nice to run quick and not sure how I ever broke 60 for the 400...

A warm-down of 3.4kms. All up 13.7kms for the day. Proper training resumes next week.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Back to reality

Up at 2:45am for the trip back to Galway...

Easy run of 9.5kms in 40:00 (4:13's) when I arrived. The rest of the day was spent watching the conclusion of the snooker final between the Rocket and Barry Hawkins. A great win from Ronnie and still by far the best player going around. I bit bored of the tripe he comes out with in the interviews though...

A few beers in the evening - nice to be back on the Guinness.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

More doubles

A lunchtime run on the gym treadmill. I gradually upped the pace starting at 4:30's and working down to 4:00's. All up 12.0kms in 49:58 (4:10's).

Then later in the afternoon I hit the roads for my second run of the day. Again very hot and I crawled around the marina clocking up another 11.6kms in 55:08 (4:45's). That's 23.6kms for the day.

So I just managed to clock up my 5 day target (actual 100.7kms). And for the week that's 121.3kms. Bloody good going for me.

Back to the burger bar again this evening. Stomach expanding by the day...

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Double pattie

More of the same. Another run around the marina and the beaches. All up 17.6kms in 1:21:01 (4:36's). I'd say the warmer temps have cost me 15 to 20 secs per km on my cruising pace - I'm not sure if you ever get used to the heat???

Out to a great burger joint in the evening (the Nah Nah Bah). I had the best burger I've ever had in my life (titled the Rude Boy). Here's a picture:

Not sure about the lager in plastic pint pots though...

Friday, May 03, 2013

Hot laps

I ran later today. I cruised up to the local track (around 4kms) and was told I'd have to wait 30 mins. So I extended my warm-up and by the time they let me on the track I had already ran 10 kms (and with no water I was spitting ostrich feathers). I decided on a very easy set of 400's off a minute just to turn the legs over. I had the track to myself and with the Portuguese radio coming over the loudspeakers it was quite a surreal experience.

Times were:


Had to work a bit to get those times - again it was a struggle as it was bloody hot.

A slow jog back to the hotel to give me 18.0kms all up. Lots of drink followed.

Thursday, May 02, 2013


Very relaxing here - the weather is really heating up now (lovely). I ran at lunchtime this time clocking up 19.3kms in 1:30:00 (4:40's). Slow pace but the midday sun sapped the pace. Explored a few beaches and that was that. There is a great gym which is part of the hotel so a slow 250m in the pool after the run and a jacuzzi and sauna.

Local beers are Super Bock and Sagris (both okay). Or you can splash out on the Heineken.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Arrived safely. I've set myself a target of running 100kms whilst I'm here (in 5 days). Just easy running to try and balance out the additional intake of food and beer.

Today was an a long-ish run of 22.2kms in 1:38:20 (4:26's). Always a good way to see a new town is to have a run. I covered the marina and the longest local beach which was exactly 5kms long. Quite warm for running - I'm not going to complain though. Oh yeah, I'm also kitted out in some new Saucony runners that I won - I think they're called Progrids. A nice ride and a bit lighter than the Asics 21x0's that I normally wear.