Thursday, October 31, 2013


Early morning run with Fintan and Owen. A bit lighter this week due to the change in the clocks but still quite dark to start with. A few showers to deal with in the first 10 minutes then it wasn't too bad. All up 15.0kms in 1:06:02 (4:24's). Pace is always a bit down on these early morning jaunts - must be the body in shock at being up at such an ungodly hour.

Thanks to Mizuno I took delivery of a new pair of Inspire running shoes today. I've never run in any Mizuno shoes before so will be interested to see how they go. They certainly have a completely different feel to them - very roomy with plenty of space around the toes and very light and flexible. Certainly comfy wearing them around today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blind snooker

A rest day from running. A game of snooker in the evening. I never really got going in the snooker - my contact lens in my left eye was playing up and I had drunken vision. Highest break 30. I got home and it took me 15 minutes of prodding at the eye to find and remove said lens. Not pleasant. Matt and his excuses strike again.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Glen Hansard

No track session tonight as I was at the Glen Hansard gig in the Town Hall. Instead I did my own thing in the afternoon doing my new bread and butter 6 x 5 mins tempo run off a minute. I'm beginning to like this session - it's not too bad as you feel fairly comfortable throughout. Paces today were again around the 3:23 to 3:25/km pace and you aren't having to go to the well. I may up the number of reps to 8 in the next few weeks to improve endurance. All up 15.1kms with warm-up and down.

Okay, back to the gig. It was a solo tour so no Frames as backing band. Glen started at 9:05pm and played until around 10:30 before returning to the stage for an encore. He ended up playing through until a few minutes before midnight. It was mesmerising stuff - I've said it before on the blog, I don't think there is a better singer-songwriter going around. If I could play guitar and sing like that I'd stay indoors...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sean Hehir 1st, Joe Sweeney 2nd, Sergiu Ciobanu 3rd

Long run with Fintan starting at 10am. Was travelling at a nice healthy clip all run and it felt very comfortable. Ended up with 21kms on the clock in 1:25:36 (4:04's). If only all runs felt that easy.

We were discussing the Dublin marathon during our run so I was delighted to check the results upon our return to find that Sean Hehir had won the race. Take a bow Sean - that's something to tell the grand-children about! Enjoy the celebrations!

Forgot to mention (perhaps deliberately) that the new darts season started last Friday. After going unbeaten all of last season in the singles I lost the first game of the new season 2-1. I have a list of excuses as long as your arm but that's not taking anything away from the guy who beat me who was a class thrower.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back to the gym

Very wet and windy outside so took the soft option and headed to the gym. I'd won a 6 month membership to the gym in Oranmore recently so I thought I'd give that a look. A speed session on the treadmill awaited and I settled on running 8 x 800m off a rolling 4 minutes (just to keep the timing simple).

After a 3.5km warm-up, I set the treadmill to 18.9km/hour (3:10/km) and off we went. The first couple of efforts felt really comfortable so I then set the incline to 0.5 for the next couple. Still not happy I then set it to 1.0 for the final 4 efforts. I was jumping off and on the belt whilst leaving it running which was easy enough. I was taking my heart rate at the end of each effort and it was in the range of 145 to 150 so a little on the low side. It would fall to between 65 and 70 before the start of the next effort. A decent enough session but not the same as running outside...

But on a positive note, the knee behaved nicely. Maybe the road isn't the best idea at the moment and I need to do a bit more on the treadmill or on the grass. Yuk.

All up 74.6kms for the week. Nothing special - just ticking over really.

Best of luck to all the Dublin marathoners tomorrow. The forecast looks pretty ordinary, but it should be a good race with a very strong Irish field. I'd like to see Sean Hehir win it - he is in cracking form and would certainly be targeting sub 2:15 if the conditions were good. He'll have good company with the likes of Sergiu Ciobanu and Joe Sweeney running. One thing's is for sure, with no international elites this year it's a very open race.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lab Results - interpretation and follow-up questions answered

No running today - another rest day!

As promised, here are my notes that I took following my recent VO2 and lactate threshold testing. Many thanks to Paul McNamara for his time in conducting the tests, plus the follow-up interpretation of my results. I also asked a few questions to Paul and his answers are noted below.

Basic Results

There are two lactate threshold readings which are key in measuring running economy. These are LT1 and LT2:

LT1 – 15.2km/hr (3:57/km) @ HR of 140 - a lactate level just above baseline. In other words, to train above this intensity then lactic acid in the blood will start to rise. This results shows I have a high percentage of type 1 fibres (slow twitch). This is my easy run pace. A good idea to run an hour at this pace every few weeks as a session during training.

LT2 – 17.6km/hr (3:25/km) @ HR 161 – my tempo run pace. The pace I could maintain for 1 hour. Above this pace lactic acid is produced at a markedly quicker rate than the body can clear it.

VO2 max (ml/kg/min) – 64.4 (VO2 max pace of 3:06/km @ HR of 169) – this reading is more relative for comparison purposes as it factors in body weight.

VO2 max (L/min) – 5.043 – the maximum amount of oxygen my body can process per minute.


Basic training principle - to improve LT1 and LT2 (your running economy - to shift your lactate curve to the right) I need to focus on running at LT1 pace for my easy runs, and at or below LT2 pace for my tempo sessions. Typical tempo sessions would be:

- 20 minutes continuous effort at 3:25/km pace @ HR 161
- 6 to 8 x 5 minutes off 1 minute at 3:25/km pace @ HR 161
- 6 x mile off 60 seconds at 3:25/km pace @ HR 161 (equivalent to 5:29 per mile)

Over time you should be able to increase the pace of these runs but still be running at the same heart rate. So the objective for me would be to say improve my tempo run pace to 18km/hour or 3:20/km pace at the same heart rate of 161.

It's key to decide on an objective for each speed session. If it’s a threshold session, then maybe select one of the above. If it’s a VO2 type session (quicker running), then maybe cut down the duration of the efforts to say a maximum of 1km, but run them at a quicker pace. More on this in my questions below.


1) If you decided to run a longer continuous tempo effort, say 30 mins or 40 mins, what pace/HR should that session be at?

Good question – as a good rule of thumb, allow 2/3 secs per mile for every 5 min of running beyond 20 min. E.g. if you’re running 5:30 per mile (3:25/km) for 20 min of tempo, I would do a 40 min tempo at approx. 5:40 per mile (3:31/km). Even though the pace is reduced your HR and blood lactate will both slowly rise to that expected at LT. If you were to maintain 5:30 miles for the entire 40 min then HR and Blood lactate would likely climb well beyond true LT intensity, and the training load might be too great.

2) What pace should you run for shorter intervals – say 400/600/800 for both 5km and 10km training?

Again, this depends on the objective of the session. If the purpose of the session is to enhance VO2max, or to improve running velocity at VO2max (which is more beneficial) than any pace between 3k and 10k pace would suffice, but 5k pace is optimal. Along with pace you can manipulate the volume of the session and the duration of the recovery for the desired effect. E.g. a classic session might be 16x400 at 97% VO2max (approx. 5k pace) with 200m jog recovery in the same time. Many athletes do this session too fast, with too generous a recovery, which serves to emphasize anaerobic capacity and results in too high a training load. With classic interval training the objective is to improve the rate of recovery.

However if the objective of the session is to become accustomed to running at race pace, than a repetition session might be more appropriate, E.g. 6 x 1k at 5k pace with 3 min recovery, or 6 x 1 mile at 10k pace with 2 min recovery. The emphasis here is on the work-out, rather than on the speed of recovery, so more generous recovery periods are allowed.

On the other hand if you want to work on speed, you might do short repeats at 1500m pace or faster, but with generous recovery. In fact if the focus of the session is on running fast than you should probably allow full recovery. E.g. 10x300 in 45 sec with jog 300m recovery. HR is only relevant in this type of session to gauge how quickly you’re recovering.

If you want to develop anaerobic capacity, or lactate tolerance, than fast efforts with much reduced recovery would be appropriate. You could do this in sets in order to manage the training load, and to accomplish greater volume at this higher intensity. E.g. - 4/5 x (600m @ 1500m pace, 30 sec recovery, 200m fast), 3 min between sets.

3) What are the benefits for me training at a pace above my VO2 max pace of 19.4km/hour (3:06/km)?

Again – we have to ask what the purpose of the session. Both speed and lactate tolerance are relevant for all endurance events and have a place in the training programme - but they become less of a priority as race distance increases. These are critical for 800/1500 athletes, but priority for 10km to Marathon should be a high lactate threshold. For 3k/5k a high running velocity at VO2max is critical. All of these sessions are relevant for all distances, but each will receive a different priority weighting based on the athletes target distance. For you, I would include this type of work – but I would be cautious with it. If doing interval work to boost aerobic capacity than I would avoid exceeding the intensities associated with VO2max.

4) Over what time period can you improve your lactate threshold?

Surprisingly quickly. Although the best progress is slow progress, you could see a marked improvement within 6 weeks off just one LT session per week

5) My current LT2 is at 88% of my VO2 max. What can I realistically improve this too? Is there a rule of thumb?

Efficient athletes can bring this up beyond 92%. I was once measured as having an LT 95% of my VO2max

6) What pace should long runs be at?

LT1 (HR or velocity) is a useful ceiling for long runs. However, as with above, long runs can serve many different purposes, particularly if training for a marathon. For your classic long, slow distance, than any pace at or below LT1 will serve to recruit exclusively type I muscle fibres and enhance their efficiency.

7) Would you incorporate one LT session and one VO2 session into weekly training?

Depends to a large degree on the training phase, target race, etc. But for the most part these 2 sessions are the bread and butter of most long distance runners training week. I would generally do a VO2 session on a Mon, LT session on a Thurs, and a long run on Saturday.

So there you have it. Time for me to buy myself a heart rate monitor - though I might wait until the new Garmins are released in the next few weeks! If anybody has any questions or feedback then I'd be very happy to follow-up on any points raised.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Up and down

Squeezed in a run after work in the fading light. Clocks change on the weekend so it's going to be night runs on the N17 for the foreseeable future. All up 9.2kms in 39:55 (4:20's).

The knee had been really good since Thursday's run and I thought I'd turned the corner. But not so good after this run. Very frustrating.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wet and dark

Myself, Fintan and Owen for the 6:35am start. Very dark at that time of day and some horrible wet weather to contend with also. Still nice to get it out of the way early doors and ended up with 15.0kms in 1:04:00 (4:16's).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The 50 break that wasn't

Rest today from the running.

I played snooker in the evening. The first frame was dreadful and I ended up losing on the final black. Then I started to play some decent stuff and I hit a break of high 20s, low 30s in each of the next 3 frames (missing some good chances for more). Then in the last frame I got to 39 before running out of position. I doubled a red for 40, the potted a good pink for 46 leaving myself a tricky red along the cushion which I rolled in for 47. I had a cut back black off the spot for the 50 and I decided to play it with pace and go round the table to try and get on one of the remaining 2 reds. I potted the black cleanly, and the white went in and out of baulk missing all the colours before dropping in the middle pocket to go in-off. So my 54 break was short lived....still nice to hit a bit of form for a change.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Didn't make track

I jumped into the car for the drive to track but hit a traffic jam - it was going to take me at least an hour to get across town so I turned round and decided on doing my own thing in Claregalway.

I settled upon 6 x 5 minutes at my tempo run pace of 3:25/km off a minute. After a 2km warm-up I went straight into it. As it was getting dark it was quite awkward to keep an eye on the watch to see my pace, so I was running more on feel and looking at my results I was a little bit off target. My actual paces for the 5 minutes were:

3:24 / 3:22 / 3:23 / 3:26 / 3:28 / 3:21

Happy enough with that. I got completely soaked for the second time running, but there was again very little wind which is unusual for Galway. I finished up with a 4.4km warm-down to give me 15.8kms for the day.

The knee was okay. I'll rest tomorrow and have a game of snooker instead. Time to start hitting some 50 breaks...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Puddle jumping

After prodding the sore spots on the inside of my left quad close to the knee, I managed to get myself out the door for another long run. My massage technique wouldn't be in any textbook, just find a sore spot and then press it as hard as I can with my thumb, or preferably my elbow, for say 30 seconds. Then repeat in other places...

Met with Fintan and it was lashing down. We were planing on 21kms and after 5 minutes we were both soaked through. It wasn't cold though, and you soon got used to it. The rain did ease off in places, but never quite stopped. I suppose we've been very lucky with the weather from the summer onwards so I have no reason to complain.

Enjoyed the run and finished up with the planned distance in a time of 1:28:35 (4:13's). About a minute slower than last week but it was really wet and we spent most of the run trying to avoid the puddles.

Later that day I went through my VO2 results in details. Very interesting stuff. A full write-up to follow by the end of the week. Gasp, shock, horror - finally some useful material on Matt's blog...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday tempo run

I woke up feeling pretty ordinary. But the knee seemed good - I just don't understand this, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how it reacts each day. So I was going to go out and try a session of the non-drinking variety.

Wasn't sure what to do as I headed out the door. It was a lovely day with a light breeze, and after a couple of kms warm-up, I decided on running the Claregalway 10km course as a tempo run. Despite the good conditions I wasn't running well - the legs felt very heavy and after going through 5km in 17:59 I wanted to stop. Being a stubborn so-and-so I soldiered on, and as I ran back into the village along the N17, I had the fright of my life as 2 cyclists shouted my name as they rode past me and I nearly jumped up into the ditch! Thank you Jane and Barbara! Running on I was very glad to see the finish running the second 5km in 18:13 for a 10km total of 36:12. Pathetic with another word before that springs to mind.

All up 13.8kms with warm-down. That's 83.0kms for the week. Going nowhere at the moment.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Numbing the pain

A run home from work. Only 8.4kms and nearly pulled the pin after 5 minutes as I was in a fair bit of pain. Soldiered on, got home, shower, tea, down the pub, lots of beer, home after 1am.

The 8.4kms took me 35:58 (4:17's). A lovely evening for running but didn't enjoy it one bit. I did enjoy the pub mind...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Late 10

A late run after work. Stayed local and ran up and down the N17 to give me 10.1kms in 44:48 (4:27's). Some bad news on the thing I'm not allowed to mention - not good. A few beers in the evening whilst sitting in front of the fire watching the tele.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mostly dark

Just myself and Fintan today for the 6:35am start. Very dark at that time of day and started off very tentatively running up towards Carnmore. Lots of chat and the knee seemed okay and after about 45 minutes the sun started to rise so we could at least see where we were running. All up 14.8kms in 1:05:04 (4:24's).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


No running today. Instead a massage with Brodders. Bloody hell, quads were tight, calves were tight, basically everything was tight. Some really painful spots and spent a few times up on the ceiling. It certainly freed things up and we'll see how the knee is when I run again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6 x 800 off 75 second/200m jog recovery

First track session in an age. Again perfect conditions, and after a 5.4km warm-up it was time to split into groups and line up at the start. I was running with Cian and I lead out all the laps. The first one was a really poor effort, then after that I tried to keep them around the 2:30 mark. It's fair to say I was having to work hard enough to get them around that time - clearly I've lost a bit of speed over the last couple of months which I need to work on.

The times were:

2:33 / 2:31 / 2:29 / 2:30 / 2:29 / 2:29

Lots of running wide which I love! The 200m recovery was a very slow jog in 75 seconds.

A warm-down around the roads (3.7km) to give me 14.9kms for the day. Good to be back on the track but clearly work is needed. Rest day tomorrow and a massage.

Monday, October 14, 2013

21 of the best

Long run this morning with Fintan. Another corking day and off we trotted on my local half marathon route. The pace was good from the off - around 4:10's and that's how it stayed for the entire run. All up 21.0kms in 1:27:32.

Knee pulled up a little sore. I think the quad has tightened up again - hopefully a longer run on all the muscle groups will help fix things up and get the knee tracking again nicely.

Track tomorrow. 800's I think...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Magic Run

The plan was to turn the legs over after yesterday's race. Twas planning on an hour - being another glorious day for running. I felt great from the get-go, and the left knee felt as good as it has for several weeks - in fact I could feel the quad more than the knee after yesterday's rub. That has to be a good sign.

I set off running what felt like 4:30/km pace. After about 20 minutes I checked my watch and I was running at 4:08/km pace. Well that sort of pace mis-calculation doesn't happen too often, and if it does, it's normally the other way round. Anyway, I trotted on eventually covering 13.8kms in 56:50 (4:07's). Job done.

That's 82.5kms for the week. Not too bad considering I had a couple of rest days.

I watched the final of the darts in the evening. The Power destroyed Chizzie 6-0 in one of the most one-sided games I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NUIG 8km

Another perfect day for running. Registration was busy and after collecting my number I bumped into the Galway XC champion who coincidentally was attending a massage course at the gym. Well that was my perfect opportunity to get the big man to have a look at my dodgy knee and he spent 10 minutes working on my left quad which was as tight as a nuns nasty. Thank you Jason.

A quick 3km warm-up and then on to the start. I had a bit of a panic as I thought I'd left my timing chip in the car but then realised it was part of the race number. What a muppet. The course looked to be a flattish one, though it was a very twisty affair, with a mixture of terrain that included road, gravel paths and grass. The race started and I took the lead as we started a mini-lap around the university car-park whilst following the lead cyclist.

After completing the lap we were already running into the back-markers but the cyclist had done a good job moving everyone over to let us pass. It was then onto clean road and the lead group included myself, Andrew Annett and John Greaney, We proceeded to run through the Corrib village and then onto Dangan. I was still leading but as soon as we hit the paths around Dangan Andrew took the lead leaving me chasing. I wasn't feeling great and struggled a bit around this section and sure enough Andrew started to pull away.

At around the 4km mark I was still in second place, with John a bit further back. I'd say Andrew had about 10 seconds on me so I thought the race had gone. Some great support running around Dangan with the likes of Gary Thornton and the 2 Brian's cheering me on. The river path on the run back to the Corrib village has been improved and by the time we reached the boat shed at 6km I got the feeling that Andrew was starting to slow. Sure enough I started to reduce the gap and by the time we stepped off the gravel with about 1200m to go I hit the lead.

With tarmac underfoot I immediately felt a lot stronger. I felt in control and knew I could run a decent last km to hopefully close out the race. The last km was full of twists and turns and I was of the mindset that it was 3 minutes of hurt and then it will all be over. With about 600m to go we could see the finish line to the left but there was another loop to run around the quad before crossing the finish line for the win in a time of 26:30. Andrew was a few seconds back in second with a hungover John finishing in third in a shade over 28 minutes.

Happy with that. It's a nice feeling winning a race by catching someone at the death but to be fair to Andrew he is in a different class to me and will only improve from here on in if he can remain injury free. The presentation followed the finish and then a quick 3km warm-down before heading to the gym for a quick shower then off to work. All up 14.0kms for the day.

A huge well done to the organisers and volunteers of the race. With over 400 in the race a huge amount of money will be raised for Jigsaw. Here's a photo of the start:

Here are my splits:

1km 3:17
2km 3:19
3km 3:21
4km 3:22 (13:19)
5km 3:22
6km 3:17
7km 3:19
8km 3:13 (13:11)

Total 26:30

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another rest

I've decided to give the new 8km race out at the NUIG a lash tomorrow morning so with that in mind I decided to rest up today. A couple of beers in the evening and some darts watching. I haven't played darts now in an age...I need to get back on the board to see if I've still got it.

I have all my data back from my VO2 tests that I took recently. I'll be going through the results with the coach next week and once I have that interpretation, I'll post everything up on the blog.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


6:45am start in the dark. Myself, Fintan, Gearoid and Owen. A lovely morning for a run and the usual double backs to accommodate the weaker bladder runners. All up 15.0kms in 1:06:32 (4:26's).

Out in the morning to Kinvara to pick up some bits for the stove - yes the weather has turned a lot colder and I'd say we'll be firing up the stove on the weekend. It's still great running weather - nice and cool, plus dry and hardly any wind.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Darts Grand Prix

With 40kms in the legs over the last couple of days I decided to take a rest day.

Been watching the darts this week - the Grand Prix at Dublin. Love the double in double out format. It wouldn't suit my game though as I struggle to hit one double. Taylor is still the man to beat.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

39 minutes

Another beaut of an evening out at Dangan. Due to fading light this was to be the last of the sessions around the pitches - back to the track next week - hurrah!

After a 4.8km warm-up, we were ready to start. The session was 3 x 13 minutes and each 13 minute block was split into 3 zones: 5 minutes at MP (threshold), 5 minutes at quicker than MP (say 15 seconds per km), then 3 minutes easy running (say 4:15/km). I went in with the attitude that I was going to take it fairly handy, so that's what I did.

A long session being 39 minutes in total. I used the first lap of the 2 Gaelic pitches to plot a line that avoided slippery patches, and then tried to keep the run nice and steady without going to the well. By the third set we were running in the dark and I nearly went A over T at one point. At the end of the session the Garmin reported 11.1kms for the 39 minutes and to my amazement it recorded that within that run I had set a new watch 10km PB of 34:53. That must have included 6 minutes of easy paced running which I'm still a little perplexed at - perhaps the data is not to be trusted on the Garmin when running multiple laps (it was close to a 1km loop that we were running). Here is the breakdown:

5:00 - 1.43km - 3:30/km pace
5:00 - 1.53km - 3:17/km
3:00 - 0.70km - 4:18/km

5:03 - 1.45km - 3:29/km
4:57 - 1.54km - 3:13/km
3:00 - 0.67km - 4:27/km

5:01 - 1.45km - 3:27/km
5:00 - 1.57km - 3:12/km
3:01 - 0.71km - 4:15/km

All up 18.5kms with warm-up and down. A pleasing session though I don't trust the data!

Monday, October 07, 2013


I decided to do my long run today. The route was using the various local loops around Claregalway. The left knee felt very good after the XC yesterday but I knew that a long run on the roads would be a much tougher test. I started off running at 4:20/km pace but gradually picked up the pace throughout the run eventually clocking 21.1kms in 1:29:48 (4:15's). That's Arthur marathon...

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Galway XC Championships

A day best suited for ark building and was dreading the run on the drive out to Loughrea. By some miracle as I arrived the rain stopped and to be fair it was quite a pleasant afternoon. We were told that all the races were running early so after changing and having a quick warm-up on the course, it soon became apparent that the races were actually running late so some hanging around watching some of the junior races, followed by the women's race, before being called to that start line.

The siren sounded and we were off. As I suspected loads of the juniors started quickly and I deliberately sat back using the first lap as a recce. The course itself was superb - despite all the rain the ground was very firm underfoot and the 1 mile loop had it's fair share of twists, turns, ups and downs. By the end of the first lap I was probably in 7th or 8th position and I took the opportunity to start working my way through the field. All was going well and upon completing the second lap I found myself in 3rd position.

The 2 leaders were a good way up the course and as I started the 3rd lap I knew that 3rd would be as good as it gets. But I was definitely making inroads on 2nd place and as we got about halfway round the lap, the 2nd placed guy stepped off the course promoting me up one position. That gave me a bit of a lift but there was nothing I could do to close down the leader who was flying. As we started the last lap I started to flag. My team-mate Keith went straight past me and I shouted at him to try and close down the leader. From then on I was hanging out for the finish. I almost took a wrong turn as we approached the finish area and after realising I had a decent gap on the runner behind me, I took the opportunity to coast over the line for 3rd position.

Delighted with the run and I certainly performed better than I expected. Very difficult to get into any sort of rhythm and even though the ground was good, you are still being thrown off at different angles each time you land so there is lots of lateral movement. My Garmin measured the run at 6.37kms at an average pace of 3:27/km pace. Not super-quick by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly didn't leave much out there.

Congratulations to Jason who won the race easily. Really pleased to see the big man running well after a long spell of injuries and illness. Certainly nobody could begrudge him that win today. GCH won the team gold in a very tight contest - despite finishing on equal points with Craughwell we won by virtue of our 4th scorer finishing one place ahead of their 4th scorer. So a bronze senior individual medal and a team gold medal - not a bad days work.

All up 12.4kms for the day. And that's 75.0kms for the week.

Got home to watch the end of the football. Tottenham conceded 3 goals in 15 minutes and being somewhat upset by that I had consumed 3 beers in the same time period. Oh well, you can't have it all...

Saturday, October 05, 2013


Work, no run, then out in town for the wife's birthday. A lovely meal, then a few beers which ended up with us catching a short-set by Paddy Casey in Monroe's Live. Not ideal preparation for the XC but I'm only using it as a blow-out and hopefully it will give me the kick up the arse to knuckle down and put in some proper training.

The format of the XC is an interesting one (it's the Galway County Championships). The masters, seniors, intermediates, novices and juniors all start together. Some of the young guns will take it out at a suicidal pace so for me it will be all about timing - start steady and try and peg a few people back at the business end. I've entered as a senior as I can't risk upsetting Gerry and potentially robbing him of a masters county title. The chances of me winning a medal in the seniors - zero - and I'm taking this positive attitude into the race!

Friday, October 04, 2013


Another late one - using the footpaths on the N17. All up 9.2kms in 39:45 (4:19's). A few beers after that.

Forgot to mention that I watched the last episode of Breaking Bad this week. A very satisfactory ending to a brilliant show. Well worth a watch if you haven't been following it. I've never watched any of the Sopranos and I have the entire box-set here which I got for my birthday. I guess I'll work my way through that over the next year (all 86 episodes on 28 discs)!

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Myself, Fintan, Owen and Gearoid for the 6:45am run starting and finishing in Claregalway. I didn't have much energy today, but still it's my favourite run of the week. It rained a bit at the start as we were running in the dark but that soon cleared. All up 15.0kms in 1:06:36 (4:26's).

Good to have Owen back amongst the ranks. He has been struggling with injury and illness, and a tendency to eat and drink too much (as we all do). I'm sure he'll be back in flying form soon. Gearoid looks to be in good nick as he starts to wind it back for the Dublin Marathon on October 28th. I'm expecting big things from the slipper wearer.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


A late-ish run after work. It was dark so I was using the footpaths mainly - a lap of the industrial estate, a lap of the housing estate opposite, then an out-and-back along the N17. All up 8.1kms in 34:06 (4:13's).

Please do not adjust your screens - I'm running Cross Country on Sunday. It's only 6km and I'm promised it's not going to be ankle deep mud, but a nice grassy surface. Hopefully I can get the old levers fired up and put in a decent performance... 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

5 x 1 min, 1 x 12 min, 5 x 1 min

Dangan time. The session was again on the pitches whilst the light remains good and then it will revert back to the track. Roll on that time!

The session was as per the title. We were to get 60 seconds recovery each time, with 90 seconds either side of the longer 12 minute effort. The 60 second efforts were around a single pitch and whilst I felt great running in a straight line, each corner was painfully slow as I'd virtually come to a standstill to turn direction!

I felt a lot more comfortable during the 12 minutes running at my tempo pace. Then straight back into the minutes to finish with.

Looking at the stats, I was averaging around 3:05/km pace for the 1 minute efforts. For the longer 12 minute effort I was running at 3:24/km pace. Happy enough with that as I'm never going to break any records on the grass and paths. A good workout and the shirt completely drenched with sweat at the end - showing that it is still very warm for this time of year.

All up 15.5kms with warm-up and down.