Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Yearly Review

A gentle 4.4kms today in 20:08. Race 5km tomorrow.

This year I've ran 4,743.2kms. That's 13kms per day or 91kms per week! That's my biggest every yearly volume (previous best 4,649.1kms in 2012) and certainly my best year performance-wise.

A total of 5 PB's this year - improving my 5km time from 15:33 down to 15:23. Lowering my 10km time 3 times from 32:23 to 32:20, and then down to 31:59 and finally down to 31:42. Plus a new half marathon PB of 1:10:31 - a 45 second improvement on my old best from 2011. After 2 years of no PB's it all started happening April after I started the lactate training!

This year I've ran 21 road races. A total of 16 wins, one second, two thirds, a fifth and a sixth. A total race volume of 208.3kms at a average pace of 3:20/km. Not bad.

I'll pick my 5 favourite races of the year and do a quick write-up. Just need to have a bit of a think first....

Happy New Year to all and hope that 2015 is a cracker! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Beer/darts

Busy day of testing so only managed to squeeze in a short treadmill run - 8.1kms in 30:08 (3:43's).

Out in the evening for a few beers with Mike. Plus to watch the darts (brilliant BTW with 3 very close games). One of my tips Wade didn't show up the other day and is out. But Anderson looks very solid!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sub 37

Another treadmill 10km in 36:58 (3:42's).

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Long run with company

Out to Clarinbridge to run with Barry, Sean and Owen. Minus 3 degrees at the start and very slippery in patches but once we got going it wasn't too bad. All up 19.1kms in 1:16:17 (4:00/km).

Not in my recovery zone (strap wasn't working anyway) but nice to run and have a bit of a chat.

All up 76.9kms for the week.

Proper training to resume in the New Year.......

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Please let the party season be over soon...

Treadmill 10kms in 37:26 (3:45's). A recovery run  - not to recover from yesterday's race but to recover from the rake of beers I had afterwards....

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fields of Athenry 10km

A bit of a stinker of a day. Cold, wet and miserable. Arrived and did a few miles warm-up but was still very cold. Lined up at the start and soon we were underway...

The plan was to run the first half in under 16 minutes and then hang on. We certainly had the benefit of the wind the first half of the race and whilst the 2 leaders (Mick Clohissey and Sean Hehir) disappeared up the road, to my surprise I was left alone in 3rd place with no company...

The kms were ticking by but I was still very cold and couldn't feel my hands. The pace was okay but it wasn't really happening. A left hand turn around 4km and then the run up to the halfway point. I passed the clock in around 16 minutes but the marker was a bit further down the road and I think at this point I lost my focus. Just get to the finish and back in the dry!

The run home was certainly tougher. Into the wind and a few drags to contend with. Plus a few areas where you had to plough straight through some flooded sections of road. By the time I reached 9km I was done and I coasted home using the nice downhill trying to soak up the finish as much as possible.

I crossed the line in 32:46 for 3rd place with Mick taking the win and Sean in 2nd. My best finish in this race and my best time but in all honesty I had a poor run. I just didn't have the fight today. That said my preparation was far from perfect!

A few kms warm-down with Gerry to give me 17.2kms for the day. Back inside to change into warm clothes and for the presentation. I never seem to run well on this course but you can't help but really enjoy the event. Over 1,200 people turning out on a rough old day but that certainly didn't dampen the spirits. Well done to Athenry AC for hosting the most popular 10km in the West.

Here's me on the podium with 2 of the finest runners in Ireland - gotta be happy with that!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Christmas!

No running!

Family day playing Lego and Nintendo. Eating and drinking plenty. Stopped drinking the beers at 7pm as I have a race tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

More outside

35:54 for 9.5kms (3:47's). More recovery.

A few too many beers in the evening...................

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Outside

11.1kms in 40:18 (3;38's). Probably my best recovery run of the year. Felt great.

Monday, December 22, 2014

James or Gary

Ugly weather at the moment so more treadmill running. Time 37:16 for 10.0kms and having to get well under 3:40/km pace on 1% gradient just to get in my recovery zone.

Hopefully fitness can be maintained until the New Year when I'll have to pick a few more races to target. Top of the list will be another half marathon.

Loving the World Championship darts on the TV. I'm going for either James Wade or Gary Anderson.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekly catch-up

More recovery running this week. Just lost a bit of mojo and going through the motions. Difficult to keep it going this time of year - especially being party season.

Mon - 11.1kms in 42:29 (3:50's)
Tue - 10.0kms in 37:51 (3:47's) - treadmill
Wed - 14.8kms in 56:59 (3:51's) - with Fintan
Thu - 10.0kms in 37:27 (3:45's) - treadmill
Fri - 9.0kms in 33:38 (3:44's) - treadmill
Sat - 14.8kms in 58:41 (3:58's) - hungover
Sun - 10.7kms in 40:00 (3:44's) - hungover treadmill

Total 80.4kms

On the social front it was snooker Wednesday (highest break 39), Christmas Party Saturday and lads night out Sunday.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ballinderreen 10km

Woke up and could hear the wind and rain outside. Initial thought was that it wasn't going to be a good day for running. How wrong.

By lunchtime the weather had cleared. Still quite breezy but no rain. Arrived at registration and did a warm-up with Mike and was looking forward to having a good hit-out. The plan was to try and run sub 16 for the first 5km. If that happened I'd go for it; if not I'd pull back.

The race started and I took the lead. It's a quick first km and nobody went with me and I felt great following the lead cyclist. The first km arrived and I left the watch on auto-lap and I got the beep with my split just as I passed the first marker in 2:57, Game on.

I settled into my running and it was all about focus. The road narrowed and I was concentrating on keeping the legs ticking over. The cyclist was doing a great job and would signal all the turns coming up - all I had to do was keep running hard, Another good split at 2km (3:09) and I was well under 32 pace so good to get some time in the bank.

The next few kms didn't seem to pass that quickly and I don't have much recollection of any details of the course. I knew by my splits though that I was still going well and at 4km I was 12:30 so barring a disaster the sub 16 goal for halfway was definitely on. Soon onto the main road and then a lovely downhill section on the cycle path that flattened out but was still quick. Halfway came and went in 15:41 so it was time to get down to business...

A tough section after turning left - maybe a short drag and a section into the wind and the thought of the wheels coming off. But another turn and then back into it and although the 6th km was slow (3;16), I knew I still had time in the bank and a good section of course to come.

Back firing through the next 2kms - nice and flat and the wind wasn't a factor and with a 3:10 and then a 3:11 it was all about hanging on. The 9th km has a bit of a drag and perhaps I was saving myself a bit for the run home but the split was still okay (3:15) and it was time to lift the pace for the run home.

You always seem to find something at the end and despite feeling the pinch, I started to wind it up as I spotted the bollards near the finish. That finishing chute seemed to last forever but I eventually crossed the line in 31:42 for the win and a 17 second PB. Job done.

Very happy with that - and certainly not what I expected. A great course and I don't think you'll find a quicker one in County Galway. Conditions were good but perhaps not ideal so with the right day and some company I reckon I can improve on that!

A warm-down with the lads and then back to the hall for the presentation. Some great performances by other Harriers today with lots of PB's! The perfect day! And Spurs won! Now beers!

All up 16.0kms for the day and 75.6kms for the week, I may keep this recovery running going now until the Fields of Athenry on Dec 26th!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Testing

Busy day of lactate threshold testing with 4 appointments so no time to run. Great fun putting people through their paces and some good quality on show today!

4 beers and lots of crisps. Ballinderreen 10km tomorrow!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The wingman and I

Run with Fintan. Back outside and a bit of a cold one but it was dry albeit a little breezy.

Total of 14.8kms in 55:51 (3:46's). A bit slower than last week but conditions weren't as good. Still throwing in plenty of sub 3:40's at the end.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Treadmill #3

Not feeling great - bit of a cold and generally not quite firing.

Still got into my zone but didn't push it at all today - 10km in 38:13 (3:49's).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Treadmill #2

10km in 37:39 (3:46's). Plus 5 lots of strides at the end (20 seconds each time).

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Treadmill #1

The weather has turned so back on the treadmill. Gradually wound up the pace and into that recovery zone by around 4km. Total 10kms in 37:58 (3:48's).

Monday, December 08, 2014

Third week of RR

I think another week of recovery running is in order.....hopefully maintaining fitness without doing the killer threshold runs.

Legs felt good today. 14.8kms in 55:27 (3:45's).

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Turkey Trot 5km

Very cold today and a stiff breeze. I did a few kms warm-up and then lined up at the start. We were into the wind for the first half of the race, and then had the benefit coming back.

A tough start - I hit the lead and pushed on but was struggling a little. Through the first km and then mid-way through the second km we turned left onto the Lydican Road and that was also tough going. Just through the second km it was a right hand turn and then it was a long uphill drag. At the top it got a lot easier and it was nice to hammer the downhill section passing through the third km.

Splits to this point were slow so I knew I'd have to lift the pace for the run home if I was to break 16 minutes. Even though the wind was now helping there were some small drags and I was going through the motions a bit. I ran the last km hard and managed to cross the finish line in 15:52 for the win. My quickest time on this course and a new course record but I was hoping I'd run 20 seconds quicker. Next time.


A bit of a warm-down and then back to the clubhouse for the presentation and a welcome hot drink. I do like this race and I haven't missed it since its inception in 2010. With around 200 participants it is going from strength to strength.

A few more beers in the evening. I'm not sure what to read into that performance - I don't think I've lost any fitness but I did feel a little flat today. I'll have another hit-out next weekend in the 10km as I think that will suit me more.

That's 77.4kms for the week.......splits for the race were 3:11 / 3:13 / 3:17 / 3:10 / 3:01. Total 15:52.

Snooker in the evening was great. Ronnie went 9-4 up only for Judd to peg it back to 9-9. Then in the deciding frame Ronnie lays a superb snooker and gets in to get the match winning break. A real nerve jangler but great viewing.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Gentle trot

Easy run on the treadmill just to turn the legs over - I'm going to race the Turkey Trot 5km tomorrow so nothing too taxing.

A few beers in the evening watching the snooker. A Ronnie v Judd final tomorrow.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Darts night

11.1kms in 40:57 (3:41's).

Darts in the evening. I won both my pairs and singles. I hit a 180 in the deciding leg of the singles to give me a bit of breathing space on the doubles. Overall we won 7-2. Just the 2am finish....

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Ronnie 147

A short 9.5kms in 36:23 (3:50's).

Watched the snooker in the evening with Ronnie beating Matthew Selt 6-0 in the UK Champs. And in the last frame he hit his 13th 147 of his career. What a break it was. Playing with a broken ankle and nobody can touch him....

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Wingman run

Another run with Fintan. Started slow but the pace soon picked up after the first 2km and we were ticking along very nicely at sub 3:40/km pace for the guts of the run.

All up 14.8kms in 55:24 (3:45's). Fintan sounded a lot healthier this week.

Snooker in the evening. Played well in patches - had lots of chances for a decent break but kept missing silly shots....

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Boring

Still no session. Might just keep this recovery running going for another week as I still don't feel quite right.

Today back outside - 11.1kms in 43:34 (3:55's). That was a real struggle...

Monday, December 01, 2014

Come on Matt get motivated

Well after a week of great running weather it was raining so decided to turn the legs over on the treadmill.

Started slow and gradually wound up the pace to get up into that recovery zone for the second half. A total of 10.0kms in around 38:20.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

RR#6

Much better today. Same route as yesterday but over 2 and a half minutes quicker.

14.8kms in 54:48 (3:42's). Zone-wise it was perfect.

End of the week. A total of 79.1kms. Must try a few sessions next week.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

RR#5

14.8kms in 57:21 (3:53's).......still struggling to hit zone.

Went to watch Ham Sandwich in the evening in the Roisin Dubh. Great venue and a great band. Really enjoyed it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

RR#4

12.5kms in 48:58 (3:55's). Still no good.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

RR#3

Another struggle today. 11.1kms in 42:58 (3:52's). One good run, one bad one. Could be a pattern emerging here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RR#2

14.8kms in 55:45 (3:46's). Much better today though lots of soreness still in the legs. Ran with Fintan and thought he was going to die. I've heard better sounding tractors....

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Recovery running

No sessions planned all week. Just recovery running until the legs feel right.

Well they didn't feel right today - an out of zone wobble. Total 11.1kms in 44:36 (4:01's).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nowt

Woke up feeling far removed from my athletic endeavours the day before (read big drink up yesterday). A bit of a look around the shops and then the long journey back to Galway.

No run - legs in bits as is other parts of my body.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Norwich Half Marathon 2014

Well it was very wet as expected. I delayed my warm-up for as long as possible and got out there about 25 minutes before the race was due to start. A 10 minute gentle run, and then a 3 minute hard effort to lift that heart rate into race mode. Then a quick change of shoes and lined up at the start. Hardly anyone warming up - that's how bad it was...

The race started and 2 sponsored athletes took it out, with 3 others chasing (that includes me), So a nice lead group of 5 as we made our way around the showground. A horrible muddy wet section with ankle deep water in the first mile where I lost about 5m, and then had to work to get back onto the group.

As we exited the showground we passed the first mile marker and the pace was on. I stuck at the back of the group getting some shelter from the wind and was running strongly. I knew the pace was quick but that was okay as long as the HR stayed in my threshold zone. Through the second mile and then a long uphill drag up to mile 3. As we passed a drinks station I checked the HR and it was too high so I had to pull back, If it was a 10km you'd just get on with it but I had to be sensible as there were still 10 miles to go. I watched as the other 4 slowly drift up the road. I had a decent gap on any chasers so it was time-trial mode for which I'm well used to.

Miles 4 and 5 were great. Some lovely long downhills and I was moving well. The course was slightly different this year - in previous years there was a long uphill drag back into the showground. This year it was still the same climb but a much shorter sharper hill - around 500m of lung-busting effort. That pegged me back but I got going again and as I ran into the showground again we had a new section to cover where you were running on long wet grass for what seemed like 400m. Back onto a path and good to get running again but miles 6 and 7 were slow and that wasn't due to lack of effort.

Exiting the showground again for the start of lap 2 and it was tougher now as I had no protection from the elements. I knew 8 and 9 would be tricky but there was the good section to look forward to for miles 10 and 11. I pushed on and felt strong but knew the pace wasn't as quick as the first lap. The splits for 8 and 9 were good and then I made a big effort on the quick part of the course. Through 10 miles in 53:11 (a new PB)  and managed to keep it going well until mile 11, Then it got a lot tougher. Lots of backmarkers to lap by this stage (I reckon I passed 200) and the lanes are quite narrow and with either side of the road flanked by water everyone was running in the middle of the road. When people run 2 a breast it blocks the dry line so you either shout to move people out of the way or run in the water. I tried to shout but not easy when you don't have much spare oxygen.

The sharp climb back into the showground and I was really feeling it. I was passing people but not going that much quicker than those 6 miles behind me. Still plenty of shouts of encouragement which was great. Into the showground at mile 12 and it was all about hanging on. Another section of water/mud with around 1km to go and this time I slipped and went down - I grabbed the fence which prevented a full face dunk but I lost a good bit of momentum and somehow managed to keep it going. The last stretch was tough - there was nobody on the course just one volunteer and I had to ask what the route was. Then just get on with it - a couple more turns and I could see the finish and just ran as hard as I could to cross the line in 1:10:31 for a new PB and 5th position overall.

Happy with the run in those conditions - but I know I can do better. Putting the weather aside it's still a tough enough course so I think I need to find something flatter and faster to have another dig on.

Here are the splits. You can see the tough miles 6, 7 and 12, 13 which cost me the sub 70.

Split       Time      Pace      Avg HR  Max HR
1              05:07.3  03:12     142         152
2              05:05.7  03:11     149         152
3              05:10.6  03:12     160         182
4              05:05.5  03:11     165         186
5              05:18.4  03:16     153         174
6              05:40.5  03:32     147         154
7              05:38.8  03:28     144         157
8              05:26.1  03:23     160         167
9              05:24.9  03:21     148         162
10            05:13.7  03:12     144         146
11            05:20.2  03:19     144         147
12            05:46.8  03:35     146         148
13.1         06:13.8  03:29     146         151
Sum        1:10:32   03:20     150         186

Here's some photos to give you an idea of what it was like:






Saturday, November 22, 2014

Travel and gentle 20 minutes

Long trip to Norwich, Then a gentle 20 minute run just to turn the legs over. Out in the pub with a few mates to watch the Arsenal v Man Utd game whilst drinking water. Than an early night. The forecast for tomorrow looks pretty bad - very wet and some wind...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rest day 2

Another rest day. A couple of lactate tests to do which kept me busy and were good fun. And one beer in the evening just before I went to bed. Up early tomorrow for the trip to Norwich.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mini session

Treadmill as weather not good. A 3km warm-up then 10 x 30 seconds off 30 seconds. Then a 3km warm-down to finish.

I was running the 30 second efforts at sub 3:10 pace and it felt very comfortable. The heart rate wasn't even getting into my recovery zone during the 30 second effort. Feeling good.

All up 7.6kms.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All good

Tentative start to the run. After 2km there was no reaction so wound up the pace to get into that recovery zone. All up 11.1kms in 40:55 (3:41's).

Can still feel it slightly but no problem me running - probably just a slight strain or nerves as the coach calls it. Bullet dodged.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rest day 1

No running. Just the drugs and some icing. Can feel it in the Achilles but it's not pulling so think I'll be fine. Will try a run tomorrow.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ouch

Recovery run. Felt a sharp pain in my lower calf/top of Achilles not long into the run. Pulled back the pace and jogged the rest of the lap as could feel something wasn't right.

All up 11.1kms in 43:29 (3:55's).

Luckily had a massage booked. Had a rub and some dry needling for the first time and don't think it's nothing serious. Just need to rest for a few days and ice and take the old anti-inflams. Frustrating but remain confident.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

That's me done

Outside recovery run for 11.1kms in 41:06 (3:42's) - a perfect day for running.

Felt mighty today. A slow first km (4:05) and then into the groove. Running sub 3:40 for a good while and a couple of 3:26's in there on the downhill sections. Feeling really strong and really looking forward to the race now.

That's 106.2kms for the week. Just looking at average pace for the week - and putting in 16kms of warm-up/warm-down running at 4:10/km pace (it's probably quicker) - it works out to 3:34/km for the week. That's pretty solid.

All set now for my nice easy taper week. Just hope the weather gods are kind next Sunday...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three down

Legs tired and with little mojo it was back on the treadmill to complete the third threshold run. Same drill that I do every time - 2 up, 45:16 zone 2 (13.6kms at 3:20 pace), 2 down. All up 17.6kms.

Didn't feel great throughout and looking at the clock every nano-second didn't help. Glad to see this one through and certainly another good sweat. Legs in bits after so hopefully a nice easy taper week next week to look forward to (hint, hint, coach!).

That's 150 minutes of threshold running in 3 days (45.3kms). No wonder my legs are gawne. I've never trained as hard for any race I've ever done and that includes numerous marathons.

Not much planned for the rest of the day. A homemade chicken vindaloo and maybe a couple of beers. A good recovery diet.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Watching the clock for 60 minutes

More of the same - this time a longer 60 minute threshold run....

2km up, threshold 18.0kms in 60:06 (3:20/km pace), 2km down. Today I hit the bad patch just on 45 minutes so I had 15 minutes to battle through. I was being a bit of a cellar dweller zone-wise today (right at the bottom of the zone) so I took the easy option and lowered the incline to 0.5% for the last 15 minutes which made it a good bit easier.

Still through 10km in 32:59, and 10 miles in 53:40 so not a bad hit-out. Two down, one to go...

Darts in the evening. I won both my pairs and singles but playing pretty average. Just haven't put the practise in this year and it shows...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Run Hold Thresh

A hat-trick of threshold runs and then my training is just about done. Faced with the quandary of should I run outside and not fully hit my zone, or run on the treadmill and get in the zone but have to go through the mind-numbing experience of watching a clock for 45 minutes.....well the latter won.

Why do I find it easier to get in the zone on the treadmill? A few reasons I think - firstly you have to keep up with the belt if not I'd end up on the driveway. Secondly it's a lot warmer indoors and it has you working that bit harder. Plus I wear my normal runners so again I think that makes it a bit tougher. Or it could all be in my head....but boy do I find it hard to get into that threshold zone outside.

2km up, 45 minutes threshold, 2km down. I covered 13.7kms in 45:01 (3:17 pace). Again on 1% incline for the guts of the run. I've noticed that I hit a bad patch on these runs - anywhere between 35 and 45 minutes. It goes from feeling like you're ticking along nicely, then suddenly it feels like you're running really hard uphill (and the HR suddenly jumps so it's not in my head this time). Today it happened on 36 minutes and it was a really tough last 9 minutes.

One down, two to go...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's all about the knee

Outside for a recovery run. Felt good today and was in zone. Running sub 3:40's for the middle section and it felt like I was jogging. All up 14.8kms in 55:17 (3:44's).

You'll notice I haven't blogged about the knee lately. That's because I don't want to jinx it but it's a lot better. And I mean a big improvement. Still a little bit of pain when I run but almost to the point where you don't notice it. So what fixed it? After focusing all my attention initially on tight quads, then perhaps hip alignment, I've come to the conclusion that it may have been due to tight calves. I now stretch my calves after every run and it seems to have made a world of difference. After over a year of discomfort in the knee I have definitely turned the corner...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

4 x 5 mins tempo off 3 mins

A repeat of a session from a fortnight ago. This time a longer recovery but to make up for it I was going to run quicker and using a higher incline (yes I was on the treadmill again).

A 2km warm-up and then 5 lots of strides - quick paced efforts for around 25 seconds each time to get the ticker tocking.

I always tend to be a bit soft on the first rep to gauge how the heart rate will react. I settled for 3:00/km pace on 1.5% incline but going into the last minute I still felt okay so I notched the pace up to 2:58/km. Max HR 151 so a couple of beats down on target (153+).

Second one ran at 2:56/km pace and got the HR up to 154. Same again for reps 3 and 4 (I did add an extra 0.1km/hour to the speed but that still comes in at 2:56/km pace). HR 155 and 156 respectively.

I love doing these quicker sessions on the treadmill. Really focused on nice relaxed breathing and good form and although I was working hard, I was just about in control. I'd say I'd go well on the track at the moment (if the conditions allowed). It's just nice to do some different sessions to the threshold runs (talking of which I have 3 planned this week Thu/Fri/Sat...).

A 2km warm-down for 10.8km all up.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weather bad so....

Treadmill recovery run. Gradual increase of pace and incline to get into first gear (zone 1). It took me a good 15 minutes to get there but once in it was easy to hold. All up 12.2kms in 45:11 (3:42/km pace). Running at around 3:35 pace for the guts of the run and went through 10km in just over 37 minutes.

Forgot to mention the snooker yesterday. Nice to see Ronnie pick up another title in the Champion of Champions. Fantastic standard of snooker in the final. He's still the best in the business.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Not as good today

Another threshold run to finish the week off. Outside this time and it was wet and windy but I wanted to give it a good effort.

A 2km warm-up and then straight into threshold mode. The plan was to run 17kms hard and hopefully that would see me up in zone 2. After a quick start it gradually became apparent that there was no zip in the legs today - I struggled when I hit the wind and never made the time back in the second half of the run. I clocked 58:50 for the 17kms (3:28's) so still a decent effort but zone-wise the heart rate wasn't up high enough.

A bit disappointed with that - but it could be down to a number of factors - more likely the 3 tough runs in the previous 3 days, Plus I still feel a little under the weather.

All up 107.5kms for the week. I've averaged over 100kms the last 8 weeks and 98kms per week over the last 16 weeks so some decent mileage. One more decent week next week and then it's taper time.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

3 x 10 minutes threshold

My 3rd treadmill run on the spin. Usual 2km warm-up and then into 3 long 10 minute efforts with the aim to get up into that tempo zone (next zone up from threshold). My zone target was 153 to 162.

I used incline during the efforts - starting at 1.5% and then lowering to 1.0% when that felt tough. I perhaps didn't push the first one enough and I was only at HR 152 by the end of the first 10 minutes (covering 3.24kms or 3:05/km pace).

Second one was much better - started quicker and hot the zone no problem. Clocked up 3.3kms (3:02/km pace). Max HR 154.

Last one much the same as the previous one except the heat rate went a little higher. Again 3.3kms at 3:02/km pace. Max HR 156.

Total 9.84kms in the 30 minutes. 

I was getting a massive 5 minutes recovery between efforts which helps. Felt good today - could have pumped out another one I'd say.

A 1km warm-down and that gives me 12.8kms for the day. Really enjoyed that session.

Out in the evening to Dublin to watch The Wedding Present play. Brilliant. They never disappoint. I was front and centre and even did a bit of moshing. Just like the good old days:


Friday, November 07, 2014

Copy

Same run as yesterday. Covered an extra 100m in the 45 minute threshold and that's about the only difference. Total 17.7kms. Feeling marginally better.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

45 minute threshold

Awful weather so treadmill it was. 2km up, 45 mins threshold (13.6km), 2km down. All up 17.6kms.

Despite not feeling great the run went pretty well. The heart rate was slightly higher than normal, and the pace was marginally down. Job done. More of the same tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Final recovery then back into it

12.6kms in 47:59 (3:48's).

Definitely not feeling myself at the moment. Backed off a little today and it was a bit out of zone-ish. I'll see how I am tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Recovery run with Fintan

Distance 14.8kms in 58:10 (3:56's). A bit slower than normal but still in my zone. Not sure how that is - maybe I'm not feeling quite right? Or it could have been all the chatting I was doing? Good to run with some company for a change!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Splits

Legs were understandably a little tender today. Recovery running for a few days. Distance 11.1kms in 42:59 (3:52's).

Here are my 5km splits from yesterday:

5km 17:01
5km 16:50 (33:51)
5km 16:29
5km 16:43 (33:12)
1.1km 03:42

Total 1:10:45

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Half PB?

Another long threshold run today - basically a replica of the run I did 2 weeks back in just over 1hr 12 minutes.

Conditions were cold, a bit damp and quite windy. I did my 2km warm-up and then straight into it. The first 4km was straight into the wind and was tough going - then as I changed direction it got a lot easier. I was consistently running sub 3:30/kms for the first 5km but then for the middle 10kms I was running consistent 3:20's and it felt effortless. The last 6km it was a bit tougher as I was hitting the wind again but the pace didn't really drop much. I felt really strong until the last couple of kms but the wheels were still ok. All up 21.1kms in 1:10:45 (3:21's). A PB which I can't really claim.

Certainly a great confidence booster 3 weeks before my target half. I'd say there is more to come effort wise as it always felt like I had an extra gear today which is nice to have when racing so you can drop in the surges.

A slow 1.6km warm-down to give me 24.7kms for the day. The sub 70 half is firmly on the radar now.

Oh yeah - 89.6kms for the week,

Saturday, November 01, 2014

November

A recovery run today. My first outdoor run of the week and did the old Thursday route. Legs were a little dead but nice to be outside. All up 14.8kms in 55:26 (3:45's).

Cinema in the evening to watch '71. The year I was born.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Buckets

Basically a repeat of the session from yesterday - 2 up, 45 mins threshold, 2 down. I covered the same distance but around 10 seconds quicker today (3:17/km pace). Felt good for the first 10km and was then hanging on at the end. Another good sweat.

Another 17.7kms for the diary.

Darts in the evening. Away to the team that won the league last year (they beat us in the final). We had a good 6-3 win and I won both my pairs and singles. Still no confidence - just couldn't relax - but we got the job done and it was a good team performance.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Back into it

A visit to Ikea and then the drive back to Galway. Home around 5pm.

I decided it was time to get back into the training - outside was a no go as it was getting dark so it was on the treadmill. One of my bread and butter threshold sessions - 2km up, 45 minutes threshold (13.7kms), then 2km down. All up 17.7kms.

Pace was 3:18/km and the usual 1% gradient for the majority of the run (1.5% initially and then down to 1%). Sweated a good bit (read puddles on floor). Didn't feel great and the heart rate was a little higher than normal but good to get back into it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Similar

More kids stuff - swimming and then Imaginosity. Another short run on the treadmill (7.7kms in 30 minutes) and then more pizza. This time with a few beers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Struggling

A bit of a struggle today - it felt like I'd run a marathon...

A day with the wife and kids and then a short run on the treadmill at the hotel (7kms in 28 minutes). A pizza in the evening and no beers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dublin Marathon 2014

Up early for the drive to Dublin to watch the marathon. I got myself to the start to see each of the 3 waves as they went past, Conditions didn't look great - warm and windy - with temperatures around 18 degrees it was going to be tough going.

I managed to get to the 20km mark just as the leaders came through. Already the field was strung out with lots of people running in no mans land. You could already see people starting to struggle and with the windy section to follow it must have been a real energy sapper.

A quick dash back to the finish to see the runners finish from around 2 hours 20 to 3 hours. By this stage the signs of a tough race were very visible. I counted about 5 people who had to be helped to the finish line and many others were zig-zagging up the road.

I then positioned myself a bit further back along the course at around the 41km mark. Lots of people struggling and hopefully all the support made that last stretch to the finish a bit easier. Congratulations to everyone who finished and if you got anywhere near your target time you would be amongst the minority!

Very inspiring watching this race and certainly gets the competitive juices flowing. Maybe I've got one more marathon in me!

No run for me today - instead it was a lot of drinking around Dublin.....home at 2am ish.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Another threshold

Wasn't looking forward to this. I planned to break it down into chunks but after getting going I felt okay so I kept telling myself I'd keep it going a bit longer. I ended up pulling the pin on 40 minutes covering 12.3kms (3:15.km pace). I thought the pace would be slower after the monster from yesterday but not the case.

All up 16.3kms with the 2 up 2 down.

That's a massive 113.8kms for the week. A good tempo run in there and 4 threshold runs to finish with. It doesn't get much better than that! Knackered now so will take it a bit easier at the start of next week as I'll be in Dublin to watch the marathon and then a few days with the family.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

3 x 30 mins threshold

Back to the treadmill. I was planning to do this on Sunday but decided to get it out of the way a day early. The plan was 3 x 30 mins threshold off 3 minutes recovery. A 2km warm-up and then into it.

Using gradient again to get the heart rate up. It took a while to get going and after the first 30 minutes I was thinking there was no way I could keep this going for another hour. Funnily though I felt better the second 30 minutes. Then the last 30 minutes I was good until 10 minutes in - and then it was struggle street. I resisted the temptation to slow-down and instead let the heart rate creep up north to the top of the zone.

Here were the splits:

30 mins - 9.21 kms
30 mins - 9.12 kms
30 mins - 9.12 kms

Average pace for the 90 minutes was 3:17/km pace on the 1% gradient so very happy with that. A short 1.0km to finish with and that gives me 30.4kms for the day.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Outside fast finish

Weather okay so outside for 8kms gradually winding up the pace (average 3:47/km). Then 6km of threshold running (average 3:23/km). Finishing up with 800m warm-down. All up 14.8kms.

New darts league started in the evening. Very rusty and won my pairs and lost my singles. Overall we won 7-2. It can only get better - that said the Guinness were hitting the spot nicely.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ted Rogers Pace

Threshold run on the treadmill. Started the threshold at 3:15/km pace on 1.5% gradient (after doing some fast paced 20 second efforts to spike the heart rate). Up into my threshold zone within a couple of minutes. Then after 7 or 8 minutes I lowered the gradient to 1% and every 5 minutes or so thereafter I'd lower the speed slightly whilst remaining nicely in the threshold zone.

After 45 minutes I had covered 13.5kms (3:21/km) and had lost half my body weight in sweat.

All up 17.5kms with warm-up and down. More threshold runs planned for the next 3 days with a monster one planned on Sunday. Some nice weather please as the treadmill is a mind-f***.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Treadmill junkie (weather poor)

Recovery run. Again using gradient so I don't have to turn the legs over quite as quickly. A total of 13.0kms in 47:36 (3:40's). It took me 4km to get into my recovery zone and then nicely in thereafter. Definitely a lot easier to hit the zones on the treadmill - when it starts to get tough you have to refuse to notch down the speed and just keep going. On the road you just slow down without thinking about it. Well I do - that's because I'm soft...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Track abort

The plan was to do a Harriers session but the weather looked very windy so I took the soft option and decided to give the treadmill a going over.

A 2km warm-up. Then 4 x 5 minutes off 90 seconds. Then 2km to warm-down.

I set the treadmill at 1% gradient to simulate normal outdoor running and set the treadmill at 3 mins/km pace for the efforts. That's a real lung-buster and the heart rate was getting nice and high for a change. The first couple of minutes felt okay, the middle minute it starts to get tough, the 4th minute you're blowing and the last minute is all about hanging on. Repeat another 3 times with a little bit of interest each effort.

Heart rate nicely up into the tempo zone for efforts 2, 3 and 4 so happy with that. All up 10.7kms and session done.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another struggle

Windy out there again. The weather has taken a real turn but you can't complain after having such a good year. Struggled from the off and couldn't get the legs moving - I ran 11.1kms in 42:59 (3:52's) and zone-wise it wasn't what it needed to be...

Spoke to my coach and he gave me some words of encouragement and I basically need to man-up a bit more and push myself that bit harder. Still loads of improvement to come if I can stick to the training!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Long Run

To say I wasn't looking forward to this was an understatement. Out into very windy conditions and the plan was to run a couple of kms warm-up, then a half marathon in my threshold zone, then a few more kms to cool down...

That's pretty much what happened - except I could never get up into that threshold zone during the half. I was running really strongly and felt great, but just couldn't get the bloody heart rate high enough. Through 10km in under 34 minutes, then slowed a bit the second half but that's because I hit the wind (but I still felt great). Eventually I ended up running the half in around 1:12:30 (3:27's) on a training run and in those conditions it was great going. Looking back at the data I was only in my threshold zone for 5 or 6 of the kms - the rest was in my recovery zone. I'd say there's loads more to come once I've freshened up.

All up 24.7kms. Tired at the end. That's 111.3kms for the week and my biggest weekly volume this year. It's like I'm back marathon training!

If I wasn't zone training then I'd have to say that was a great week. But when you're struggling to hit your zones then it's a little disappointing as I know I'm not getting the full training benefit. Chin up and move on to next week. Another month of this and I'll be ready for the half marathon...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Blustery recovery run

Legs marginally better. Outside in the wind. Gradually wound up the pace and it took me around 25 minutes to get into my recovery zone. But once there I managed to hold it - note I'm running sub 3:40/km pace to hold it...

All up 14.8kms today in 55:43 (3:46's).

Long threshold run planned tomorrow. I'll aim for 75 minutes so that's going to be at least a half marathon. This training is killing me!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Track session

Wasn't sure whether to even bother. After the second threshold run yesterday my legs got worse and I was struggling on the stairs. Pathetic really - it was like I'd ran a marathon.

A 3.5km warm-up and then onto the track for some strides. I then ran my 4 lapper and that was slow and I just couldn't get the legs moving - completed in 5:10 all in my recovery zone.

I thought I'd try a few 400's to see how they went. Not good - all around 71/72 seconds and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get out of my recovery zone. I completed the set of 12 (stubbornness) - to think just over a week ago I was running them in 66's...

A 3.5km warm-down. Strangely enough the legs felt a bit better after. I guess that's because I was in my recovery zone!

All up 13.4kms.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Legs in bits

Well the legs weren't good after getting carried away yesterday. The quads were so sore it felt like they were injured. Anyway, another threshold run was on the cards - so I decided to get outside and break it up into 4 x 3km efforts.

2.2km warm-up and then started. First effort I ran really hard but the heart rate just wouldn't lift. I just about got into the correct zone at the end of the 10 minutes. The second one was a bit better but it still took me a kay to get up there. Then doubled back for the 3rd and 4th effort coming back. Similar pattern to the second effort.

I suppose it wasn't a bad effort given that my legs were so tired. But kicking myself for being so stupid yesterday. A 2.2km warm-down to give me 16.4kms for the day.

Here's my write-up in the Mayo Advertiser. I feel like my life is complete!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to the treadmill

My last treadmill run was August 21st. The coach had told me to get outside and toughen up a bit which the road running will do. It's been easy to be honest with the weather we've been having - no excuse not to get out there. But today it was hammering down rain and the wind was back. So I took the easy option...

A 10 minute warm-up (2.5kms) and then I ramped the speed up to 18.5kms/hour (3:15/km pace) for a threshold run. The heart rate slowly crept up so I kept nudging the speed up until I hit 3:10/km pace. At about 10 minutes I was in zone and I kept the speed the same. Through 5km in 16:07 and then thought I'd try and hold the pace until 10km. That was fine but the heart rate was soon creeping up to the top of the zone. Between 8 and 10 I was basically on the limit at HR 152 but I managed to hold it clocking 15:53 for the second 5km to give me a 10 km time of 32 minutes flat. I then lowered the speed and ran a further 8 minutes in the threshold zone to give me 40 minutes in total (12.3kms).

A 2.0km warm-down and I was done. All up 16.8kms. I was pretty done for at the end and the sweat was something else.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Better recovery

One more recovery run. Same route as yesterday and this time a little quicker and more in zone, Time 47:22 for 12.6kms (3:46's).

I must say that the running weather the last few months has been absolutely glorious. People training for Dublin have been blessed. I say that as the weather is predicted to turn tomorrow.....wet and windy...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sort of recovery

I thought it would be a bit easier to get into the recovery zone today after the race and beers. No, it still required around 3:40/km pace. I tried pushing the pace in a few sections but the legs weren't really willing so I was always a couple of beats down on where I wanted to be.

All up 12.6kms in 48:07 (3:49's). Still not a bad effort.

Here's a photo from yesterday taken just after the start:


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Breaffy 10km

About an hour to get to Breaffy. Conditions were superb - nice and sunny and very little wind - as good as you could hope for.

Arrived and did all the normal stuff. Then a couple of slow kms warm-up. Then changed into the racing flats and vest and ran a hard 3 minute effort just before the start to get the blood flowing.

A few good guys in the race so was hoping for some company. The race started and Michael Canty took the lead and I was running quick to keep up. A nice downhill section and then a twisty climb around the church. Then a bit of confusion as we hit the main road with me going left and Michael going right. I took the lead and with a quick first km it was time to push on.

Running down the hard shoulder for the next couple of kms and I was ticking along nicely but at the same time I was right on the limit. Just before 3km we took a left turn and I'd opened up a handy lead. 

The next section of the course was predominantly flat but there were a few lumps and bumps to keep you honest. Very difficult to get into a rhythm and after going through 5km I'd just about run my race and was hanging on. Just before 6km we took a sharp left hand turn and then the fun and games really started. A series of nasty drags that kept repeating. I was really struggling but kept pushing on using the same old mind games that we use in races.

Between 7 and 8km was a very long uphill section. I looked up the road and for as far as I could see the road just kept going - all up, up, up. It had to get easier after 8km and even though I'd slowed a good bit, I was waiting for some nice downhill to help me home. Well that wasn't to happen - after 8km the course certainly flattened out but the long downhill stretch never came. Through 9km and I knew I'd have to dig in hard the last km to get the PB.

Past the start line and then a nice short downhill. Then the slow grind up round the school to see the finish line only a few short metres ahead. As I approached it was showing 31:57, 31:58, 31:59 and I threw myself at the line just before it ticked over to 32. Thankfully the official result came in at 31:59!

Left nothing out there today. A good course but not super quick by any means. Still a good solo run and at the same time I know I can do better on a quicker course with some people to run with.

A warm-down with John Byrne. All up 16.4kms for the day.

A few beers in the evening whilst watching the darts, Wadey should have won but missed some vital doubles in the 7th set letting MVG in for the title.

84.2kms for the week. A few recovery days and then back into it next week.

Splits:

Km / AVG HR

1 2:59 144
2 3:07 153
3 3:13 154
4 3:07 154
5 3:08 155 (15:34)
6 3:18 156
7 3:14 156
8 3:21 157
9 3:19 156
10 3:13 157 (16:25)

Total 31:59

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gentle 7.1km

Out of zone run just to turn the legs over. Felt really strange running slow - almost more effort then when you're ticking over at recovery speed.

Time 31:15 for 7.1kms (4:24's). Average heart rate 114 and my recovery zone HR starts at 131,,,

Beautiful conditions for running. Very cool and still - perfect if it's like this tomorrow...

Wadey into the final of the darts to play MVG,

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sub 3:40's for recovery...

Another recovery run. Time 39;18 for 10.7kms (3:40/km).

Incredible really how much my 'recovery' pace has improved this year. Here are the splits for today's run:

3:48 / 3:45 / 3:34 / 3:37 / 3:37 / 3:39 / 3:39 / 3:42 / 3:38 / 3:47 then 2:33 for the last 700m.

The first 2 were 'warm-up' so easily sub 3:40 pace looking at the next 7km. To think I used to be around 4:15/km pace for recovery runs - I'm now at least 30 to 35 seconds per km quicker.

That's it now before the race on Sunday...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

4 x 11 mins threshold

A 2.2km warm-up, then 4 x 11 mins threshold off a minute, then a 2.0km warm-down.

Ran hard at the start of the first 11 minutes and it took an eternity for the HR to climb into my threshold zone (at least 5 minutes). Then each rep thereafter I was getting nicely into the zone.

Paces were okay each segment:

3:21 / 3:20 / 3:22 / 3:25

That's 17.6kms for the day.

Great darts to watch in the evening with James Wade and Robert Thornton both hitting 9 darters in their match against each other. This is a double-in double-out format and it's only been done on TV once before then twice in the same match! Wadey going on to win the match in the deciding set.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Wednesday run

Same run as Monday - a bit slower covering the 11.1kms in 42:03 (3:47's). All in zone except for the warm-uppy but at the start.

A few strides at the end and job done.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

8 x 400

Back to the track. A Bruton lap as warm-up, then some strides and no 1600 this week to kick things off...

I basically ran them all hard. Conditions were good and only a bit of a breeze on the home straight. Each one I managed to get a bit quicker. I started with a 66.9 and finished with a 64.3 and the average was 65.8. Pretty good and I was toast after really pushing the last one.

Another Bruton lap to warm-down. Only 10.2kms today....

Monday, October 06, 2014

Cold but still

Travelled back from London and ran when I got back to Galway. The temperatures had dropped 10 degrees and it was bloody cold. Good for running though and I covered my 11.1kms in 41:17 (3:43's). A few strides at the end.

The plan is to race on Sunday so I'll pull it back a bit this week. There are a few 10km options and I'll basically go with the course that looks the quickest!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Birthday Celebrations

A recovery run, A total of 13.3kms in 53:11 around the Royal Parks. And I didn't get lost once. That's just under 4 minute clicks but zone-wise I was well short of my recovery zone.

Out in the evening with the wife for a nice meal and a few drinks. London is great though I fear I may have to extend the limit on my credit card...

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Another London threshold

Similar to yesterday but this time I was going to do 10 minute efforts (x 4).

A 1.8km warm-up, then the 4 x 10 minutes off a minute, finishing with a 1.3km warm-down. Didn't feel great and the left knee was sore and it was generally a bit of a struggle. Paces were:

3:24 / 3:31 / 3:32 / 3:31

Zone-wise I was a beat or 2 beats off where I should have been. Frustrating.

14.5kms for the day.

Friday, October 03, 2014

London threshold

A weekend in London with the other half. Training was going to be interesting staying in the city centre and today's plan was to run down to Hyde Park and then chase the bikes around.

A 1.5km warm-up, then 6 x 5 minutes threshold off 1 minute, finishing up with a 1.0km warm-down.

I was well into my threshold zone today as I was still knackered from yesterday. Paces were okay each 5 minute effort:

3:25 / 3:24 / 3:25 / 3:25 / 3:30 / 3:29

11.3kms for the session.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

3 x 7km Threshold

Another long threshold run - broken up into 3 segments to make a bit more manageable.

A 1.9km warm-up then into it. I ran the first 7km hard and couldn't get into my threshold zone. After a minute recovery I was determined to do better. But I was borderline recovery until the second half of the 7km. Then another minute and managed to run really strongly the last 7km well into the zone.

Paces for each 7km were:

3:30 / 3:27 / 3:24

I actually ran 7.1km in the last segment so that I got up to half marathon distance. The total time for the half was 1:14:49 and that includes 2 minutes recovery!

All up 24.4kms after a short warm-down.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Same as Monday

A repeat of the run from Monday. All up 12.6kms in 48:33 (3:51's).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aqua Track

A repeat of the session of late - 1 x 1600 followed up with 12 x 400.

I was dreading it - conditions were pretty bad. Very wet and track covered in puddles. Plus a nice breeze to deal with.

After all the usual stuff I ran a decent 4 lapper in 4:53. Then I just couldn't get going on the 400's and no matter how hard I tried, I failed to break 67 (except the last one). Finished up averaging 67.3 which in those conditions wasn't half bad...

All up 13.0kms for the day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

One more decent week required

12.6kms in 48:45 (3:52's). Plus a few strides at the end.

The plan is to have a big week this week and then race the following week..

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Long Threshold 3 x 6km

A 2.2km warm-up. Then 3 x 6km threshold off 2 minutes. Finishing up with a 1.1km warm-down.

Paces for the 6km efforts were:

3:25 / 3:27 / 3:32

Knackered at the end and struggled the last few clicks.

All up 92.9kms for the week.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A run

Recovery run 14.8kms in 55:54 (3;47's).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Recovery run and massage

11.1kms in 41:49 (3:46's). Heart rate a little on the low side and need to be nearer 3:40/km to get a few beats into the recovery zone.

Massage after. Bloody agony. I've no pain threshold and was crying like a baby.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another track session

A repeat session of the last couple of weeks. Warm-up (pitches), then some strides on the track, then the mile primer which I ran quite hard (4:52). Then a 3 minute break before the 12 x 400's.

I do dread this session. The track was damp and greasy and there was a bit of breeze to contend with on the top bend. Just get it over with...

Times were fairly consistent and I was getting the heart rate much higher today and at the same time I felt a little more in control. Average time was 66.2 and I'll take that given it was a little slippery.

Warm-down around the pitches and job done. I think pushing the initial mile helps spike the HR higher during the 400's. I'll use that strategy again. All up 13.4kms for the day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

45 mins in zone 2

Warm-up of 2.3kms, then started my threshold run. A 6.5km outward section, then turned at the castle, running back another 6.5kms. I finished the 13.0kms in 44:44 (3:26's). Felt slower than that so a little surprised by the pace. An improvement of around 45 seconds when I last did this session 2 weeks ago. They may be due to fresher legs though I didn't feel that fresh today.

Finished up with a 2.2km warm-down to give me 17.5kms for the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back training proper like

A 14.8km recovery run in 55:45 (3:46/km). Finished up with a few strides. I'd been a bit lazy on the knee rehab exercises in the last few days and I was getting a few reminders today...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy birthday to me

Woke up with another hangover....43 years young...

No run today. My first complete rest day in over 8 weeks. Instead it was the long trip back to Galway.

Takeaway curry and a couple of beers in the evening. Back into it tomorrow!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

More pubs

Another run just to turn over the legs and sweat out some of the night before. A total of 11.3kms in 52:37 (4:39's). It certainly didn't feel any easier running slowly today...

Out again in the evening to celebrate by impending birthday. In the pub by 4pm and home just after midnight. Nice.

That's 91.kms for the week. A good start to the week but just going through the motions over the weekend. Nice to have a bit of a 'rest' though.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Round Norfolk Relay

I didn't do much during the day. I had a quick look around the city in the afternoon and I was just making my way home from town to prepare for my relay run when I got a call from our team manager to inform me of some tragic news. One of the City of Norwich runners had collapsed towards the end of an 11 mile stage and despite the best efforts of the medical staff he could not be revived.

That completely knocked me for six. All 3 City of Norwich teams were withdrawn from the race so there was no 18 mile relay leg to run. I got home and decided to go out for a run to clear the head. I didn't know the guy personally but it was very upsetting news. I ran for just under an hour and then met up with some mates for a few beers. RIP Darryl Davis. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Travel and easy 30 mins

The long journey to Norwich today. Finally got there about 6pm and decided to do an easy 30 minutes just to turn the legs over. Not in the zone - just really easy.

All up 7.4kms in 32:05 (4;20's).

Then out in the evening for a few beers. I have to say I love the real ale scene in Norwich. It's absolutely brilliant and you're simply spoilt for choice.

18 mile relay leg tomorrow...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Recovery run

I really struggled to get going today. The first half of the run I was struggling to get into my recovery zone and that's hard to swallow when you're running well under 4 minute clicks. At halfway I made the decision to push it for 5km to see what it takes to get into the zone. Well the answer was sub 3:40 kms. Clucking bell. That's a tough pace to keep up on a recovery run.

All up 14.8kms in 55:46 (3;46's). My recovery pace has dropped a lot in the last few weeks and is starting to work down towards my threshold pace. A sign I'm finally getting fit...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

40 minute threshold

Today was a test to see if it was easier to run a threshold run on tired legs. I should clarify, being tired it should be a little easier to get into the threshold zone...

A 2.2km warm-up, then a few strides and straight into it. I had the benefit of the wind for the outward section and was running sub 3:20/km pace. Then turned and it was a lot tougher. Overall I managed 12km in 40:48 (average 3:24/km).

A 2.2kms warm-down to give me 16.4kms for the day. Was it easier to get into the zone? Maybe a little. Good running that on tired legs.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1 x 1600, 12 x 400 take 2

The same session as last Tuesday. Dreading it I was.

Perfect conditions. Track to myself.  Warm-up of 3.5km on the pitches, then strides, and straight into it. The legs didn't feel as good as last week and I was a little disappointed with the mile primer in 5:00.

The fist couple of 400's were also not great. But then I got going and was running each lap basically as hard as I could. I'd like to have gone quicker but I'm not sure my body has much more to give. Times were as follows:

68.7, 67.1, 65.4, 66.2, 65.2, 66.1, 65.8, 65.6, 65.2, 65.4, 65.5, 64.7 (average 65.9)

That's 0.3 seconds per lap quicker than last week - progress! But I wasn't elevating the heart rate as much as last week which is a little disappointing as it felt like I was on the red line.

A 3.5km warm-down and 13.4kms for the day.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Recovery struggle

A total of 14.8kms today. Legs felt very heavy and just couldn't get going. At one point I dropped in a 3:30 km but just couldn't settle into my zone. By 10km I'd had enough and backed off a little.

Not a great start to the week. Time 57:06 which equates to 3:51 per km. So not sluggish by any stretch of the imagination.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Long run mixed zones

I started off with a long loop in my recovery zone of 11.1kms in 41:06 (3:42's). Then a quick change of shoes into the flats and out for 9kms at threshold pace. I felt pretty good and it was easy to lift the pace (time 30:56 @ 3:26's). Then a slow romp home to give me 22kms on the knocker.

That's 108.7kms for the week and another good week in the bag. Things going nicely but just knackered all the time.

A similar week again next week with a slight difference being that I'm back to Norwich to run a leg of the Round Norfolk Relay. Great fun and this year I have an earlier, shorter stage of 18 miles starting at around 8pm on the Saturday. The plan is to run this all in my recovery zone and the way I'm going at the moment that should be sub 6 minute miles...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

4 x 10 minutes threshold

I was determined to put in a good session after yesterday. Perfect conditions for running and did my 2.2km warm-up, and then 4 x 15 second quick strides and it was time for the off. I ditched the top and took off as if I was starting a race.

I felt good straight away and was cruising today. Easily into my threshold zone and was running at a good clip. I did 2 outwards 10 minute segments, then turned at the castle for 2 x 10 minutes coming back the other way. The recovery was a huge 3 minutes which was used for a nice little walk.

Paces per km were: 3:15 / 3:13 / 3:21 / 3:19 (average 3:17/km).

A 2.2km jog home and that's 16.6kms running for the day (ignoring the walking segments).

Friday, September 12, 2014

Failed threshold segment

The plan today was 30 minutes recovery and then 15 minutes threshold to finish with....

I did 8.5kms recovery to start with averaging around 3:50/km pace, then lifted the pace for the threshold segment. I ran hard for the next 15 minutes and was running 3:31/km pace but couldn't get into my threshold zone....

Feeling a bit dejected I walked/jogged home to give me 13.8km for the day. Those 400's on Tuesday seem to really knock me and had nothing in the tank today...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

45 minutes borderline threshold

A repeat of the session from last Thursday. A 2km warm-up, then 45 minutes threshold, then 1.9km to finish with. Struggled to get into my threshold zone and I was borderline for the first half of the run. Very frustrating as every time I looked at the watch the heart rate was always a beat or two lower than where it needed to be. I finished up running 13kms in 45:30 which was exactly the same time as last week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recovery run and strides

A recovery run. Legs a bit heavy but nothing compared to this time last week. All up 14.8kms in 57:35 (3:53's). A few strides at the end - not sure why but did them without thinking.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

1 x 1600 then 12 x 400 off 60 secs

Out to Dangan on a glorious sunny morning. I ran a lap of the pitches to warm-up (3.6km) and then down to the track. A quick change into the flats and a few strides and it was time to get started.

First up was a 4 lapper just to get some lactate in the system. I ran fairly hard and clocked 4:54.6 and didn't even get out of my threshold zone....then 3 minutes recovery and then into the 400's (after first removing the top).

I wanted to keep the effort level constant and was hoping for similar lap times. After around 5 I was feeling the pinch and 12 seemed a long way off. But I kept battling on with each one getting slightly tougher then the previous one. Here are the times:

67.7, 66.2, 66.1, 66.1, 65.8, 66.3, 66.8, 66.4, 65.6, 66.1, 66.0, 65.2 (ave 66.2)

Looking back through the records that looks to be my best ever set of 400's - so happy with that. Heart rate-wise it would have been nice to push it a bit higher but I couldn't have done much more today. I was staggering around like an old soak at the end of the set...

A further 3.5km warm-down for 13.5kms for the day. I expect the legs will be destroyed now for a few days...

Monday, September 08, 2014

345

Another recovery run. A similar effort level to yesterday but much easier to get into the recovery zone today. All up 11.1kms in 41:39 (3:45's). A nice slow trot...

A few strides at the end (4 x 15 seconds).

Back to the track tomorrow for some more 400's.....

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Long recovery run

A long run from Claregalway to Oranmore via the city to pick up my car which I'd ditched the night before. I was pushing hard but was always struggling to get the heart rate up into my recovery zone for most of the first half of the run.

Very happy to have this one over with. A total of 22.3kms in 1:24:19 (3:47/km). When I look at the splits I only managed to get into the recovery zone for 12 of the 22 kms so in that respect it was a bit of a fail. Certainly not a slow run for recovery....

That's 109.1kms for the week. A good week but stuffed up my 400's but apart from that not too bad. I find it much easier when the threshold running is broken up into segments so more of that please.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

8 x 5 mins threshold

More of the T word stuff today. This time broken down into 8 x 5 minutes off 60 seconds. Usual 2km warm-up and then ran out-and-back along the Claregalway 10km course turning after the 4th rep (close to the castle).

All went well. Run hard the first minute each time and then settle into the rep for the remaining 4 minutes. Looking at my splits I was very consistent distance-wise covering just over 1.5km each time. Average pace was around 3:18/km so happy with that.

A 2.3km warm-down to give me 16.6kms for the day.

Out in the evening for a few beers and a curry.

Friday, September 05, 2014

8km Recovery / 6km Threshold / 2km recovery

An hour recovery run today with a 20 minute threshold segment. Legs felt a bit better but still not right. I was having to run the first 8km quite hard to get into my recovery zone which had me worried (I was averaging 3:49/km). Then into the threshold segment - I managed to lift the heart rate okay and knocked off the 6kms feeling pretty good at 3:30/km pace. Then another 2.1km in my recovery zone to finish with.

All up 16.1kms (10 miles) in just under an hour. Not bad running that!

Out in the evening for a table quiz. My general knowledge is fairly shocking but there was decent Guinness so all was good.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

John Wayne Threshold Run

Legs not happy today (still). After a 2km warm-up, it was straight into it. Took a few kms of hard running to get the heart rate there or thereabouts - and I didn't really settle into the run until about 7km. I was running an out and back course and after turning I felt a bit better but that was short-lived and I struggled the last 3-4km into a stiff wind. All up 13kms in 45:30 (3:30's).

A 2km warm-down to give me 17.0kms for the day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

In bits

Recovery run with Fintan. Lots of chat so the pace suffered a little and I was borderline shopping zone/recovery zone for most of it. All up 14.9kms in 58:47 (3:57's).

Legs got gradually worse as the day went on. Those 400's have destroyed my calves...

A photo of the recent Claregalway podium courtesy of 77edenhill:


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

12 x 400's plus bonus 2

I had planned to make the track for this session but time was against me. So instead I used the treadmill like I did last time I did this session 2 weeks ago.

Same routine, a 2km warm-up, then some very quick strides to spike the heart rate and then into it. Recovery was only 45 seconds compared to 60 seconds previous so I thought 21.8kms/hour (66 seconds per lap) would get that heart rate up for each 400m. After the first 3 I was only in my threshold zone and from there on in I was playing catch-up. I kept upping the treadmill by 0.1kms/hour each rep and by the time I reached no 10 I still wasn't in my tempo zone...

Speed was very quick by this stage and managed to get into the zone on reps 11 and 12. Feeling guilty I decided to do a couple more (still increasing the speed each time) and again I was up into my tempo zone. I should add that I was still running 66 seconds each time even though I was down to 63 seconds for the 400m by the end of the session.

So a big improvement on 2 weeks ago but I wasn't putting the heart rate where it needs to be so a fail as far as the session goes. A 2km warm-down and that's 9.6kms for the day.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Start of another week

Recovery run 12.6kms in 49:26 (3:55's).

Plenty of lactate threshold test appointments so that's good to see. A really nice feeling to help people with their running and I'm getting some great results with people who were in a few months back.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

14km Threshold

A longer run today with a 45 minute threshold segment. Again outdoors in the wet and wind. I'd picked up a new Garmin 220 and was looking forward to giving it a try.

A 4km warm-up in my recovery zone and then lifted the pace. The HR took an eternity to lift but I was moving well. Just kept it ticking over and was feeling great for the next 12km but the next couple of kms I was starting to tire. After 14kms of threshold running I stopped and ran the final 3.1km home in my recovery zone. All up 21.1kms.

The threshold segment took me 48 minutes (14kms at 3:25/km). Very happy with that and as good as I've ran on the road. And most of that was at the bottom of my threshold zone.

That's 105.8kms for the week. Very happy with how things are going. The knee is good, the training is going well, the weight is down, and I still like a few beers just to help balance the ledger. Plus I'm very happy with the new watch.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

13km Threshold

Threshold running today. Outside. To make it easier I slipped into the racing flats. I was running short of time so it was a 2km warm-up, then 6km out on the Claregalway 10km course, then turn and run another 7km at threshold pace. Finishing with a 1km warm-down. All up 16kms.

Felt great and ran the 13km in 46 minutes. Not a great pace (3:32's) but after yesterday it was brilliant. The best news being the knee was giving me very little in the way of gyp. The worm has finally turned.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Shocker

Another recovery run. Felt very sore and tired right from the off and just couldn't get into my recovery zone. After about 20 minutes I'd had enough and I jogged/walked home. Very low energy. I did some token strides when I got back (not sure why). All up 9.1kms in 38 minutes. When in doubt reach for the fridge and have a few beers.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Progress

A massage in the morning with Peter Forde who had sponsored the Claregalway 10km. A great session and just reiterated how low a pain threshold I have. Lots of sore spots and lots going on in the back/glutes/piriformis. Plus an almighty knot on the outside of my left quad. Felt much better after but still had an hour recovery run to do...

Struggled to get going in the run. Was always just below where I wanted to be HR wise. I ran the Thursday route solo in a time of 59:49 for the 14.8kms (4:03's). Rare these days to creep up above 4 minute clicks. I'll put that down to the massage.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oranmore 5km

A warm-up with Greg and Justin for a couple of kms. Then a bit more by myself. Conditions were very blustery and rain threatened so wasn't sure what to expect.

Lined up at the start and lots of chat. Then a countdown from 10 and we were off. I hit the lead and opened up a gap straight away. The plan was to run at the bottom of the tempo zone and as I reached the first km I was still in my threshold zone. An undulating route and by the time I reached the second km I was feeling good having just lifted the heart rate a little. Another 500m then the hairpin turn for the run back to the start.

I could see that I had a decent lead and oddly enough it seemed easier after turning as I was expecting a headwind. I pushed on and started to feel really relaxed despite lifting the pace a little. Through kms 3 and 4 and my only drama was the heart rate strap that kept slipping down. I kept the pace the same during the last km and enjoyed the last 100m to cross the line in 16:09 for a comfortable victory.

A very relaxed run but after a quick drink I was back on the course for a further 3 x 5 minute efforts again in my tempo zone (similar pace to what I'd just ran). By this time it had started raining and I was getting lots of strange looks as I ran hard back down the road with people streaming up to the finish running the other way. I didn't feel too bad and I did 2 x 5 minutes running towards Galway, then stopped and ran the final 5 minute effort coming back. Then the reaming run home at recovery pace.

All up 14.8kms for the night with around 30 minutes of tempo running. All going well and a very enjoyable run. Great to see a big turn-out for this race with all the proceeds going to charity.

Here's me at the finish courtesy of Maree AC:


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Threshold then physio

My only option was the treadmill and with a 45 minute threshold run on the cards it was going to be a good sweat. Usual 2km warm-up, the 13.4kms in 44:57 (3:21's), then 2kms to finish with. All up 17.4kms.

Not too bad and kept to the bottom of the zone as much as possible.

Then on to the physio with nicely primed sore knee. Some work on the hips and lots of stretches and exercises to work on. I'll stick to the plan and see how I get on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Second recovery day

Another recovery run. A total of 12.8kms in 49:23 (3:51's). Knee still sore and I have a physio appointment booked for tomorrow.

Back into some quicker stuff tomorrow also.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Action

Recovery run. Felt okay though the knee a little sore. Total 14.8kms in 58:41 (3:58's).

I've decided I'm going to take some action to get this knee fixed once and for all. I suspect it stems from the hips which are tight/weak/misaligned. Physio appointment calling.

A total of 80.4kms for the week. Not great volume but I feel like I'm back in form and ready to knuckle down into another block of training.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Claregalway 10km

Perfect conditions. Well rested. No stomach bug. Quick course. What could possibly go wrong? Your coach telling you to take the first 5km handy and then pull the trigger...that plan was great if nobody was taking up the running...

Well after my warm-up which included some quick strides and a 2 minute blast (to lift my HR above 153), I was lining up at the start. So the first 5km in my threshold zone (ideally at the bottom), then run hard for the second 5km. The race started and I hit the lead but another guy went with me so at least that kept the pace honest.

By 1km I was in my threshold zone but mid-zone rather than at the bottom with the guy tucked in behind me. That's pretty much the pattern of the first 5km. I wasn't recording splits, I was just checking my HR as I passed each km marker. Very sad.

Somewhere before 2km I swallowed the biggest flying insect you could imagine. That wasn't pleasant but despite my best effort I couldn't manage to regurgitate crazy legs crane. On with the race and although my HR was a little higher than planned, it felt like I was jogging as we went through kms 2, 3 and 4.

Still the guy behind and as we hit the 5th km (time 17:05). Then on one of the drags of the course and I took off. I felt pretty good and straight away I had opened up a decent gap. It was then all about keeping up the effort level for the run home.

Not much detail here - again I was looking at my HR splits each km (I really need to invest in a good watch). I know the course like the back of my hand so was on auto-pilot. By the time I reached the N17 I ran in the bus lane and started to push a little harder. Through 8km, then past the castle, and then it was nice to run back through the village with plenty of support from onlookers over the last mile.

Running hard but still not flat out I crossed the line for the win in 32:57 (second half 15:52). Happy with that and a good confidence booster. Clearly I wasn't right for the Streets and I felt very comfortable tonight at my target 10km pace of around 3:10's. A quicker time than last year where I was on the red-line for most of the race...

Hopefully back on track now for some quick races in the coming months. I think the sub 32 is there for the taking now so that will be my aim before an attempt on the half in November.

All up around 14.0kms. A few beers and then nighty night.

Thanks to Ian for this photo:



T minus 1

Another recovery run. This time outside. Felt okay but the legs haven't been quite right since those 400's on Monday. Time 43:24 for 11.1kms (3:55's). I finished up with a few strides. Race tomorrow at 6pm with a twist.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Runaround

Treadmill recovery run of 8.0kms in exactly 30 minutes. I'm going to have a dig at the Claregalway 10km on Saturday so a couple of recovery days before then.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More threshold stuff

I was down for a 30 minute threshold run with a good warm-up and down. I took the eldest to hurling and took the opportunity to run from there. I ran down to the turkey trot 5km course in Carnmore and after about 12 minutes I lifted into threshold mode. I couldn't remember the turn after about 7-8 minutes of running and I went wrong but I then discovered I'd ran onto one of my bog standard Claregalway training loops without knowing they were inter-linked (from a road I'd never ventured down). That was odd but I soldiered on running for a total of 15 minutes before doubling back to give me the 30 minutes at threshold. Then another 12 minutes to finish with.

All up 14.2kms and I covered about 8.6kms during the 30 minutes (3:29/km pace). Tough going with a hangover but what doesn't kill you and all that....

More beer and a curry in the evening.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Guvnor

Recovery run. Short loop of 9.5kms due to lack of time with a 10 minute threshold segment thrown in. I felt mighty tonight despite the hammies being a little sore after those quick 400's yesterday. All up 34:36 for 9.5kms (3:39/km pace).

And a mate in town who was over from Oz. Out in Galway on a pub crawl and had a few too many but great fun:


Monday, August 18, 2014

New focus

Had a good talk to the coach (he who must be obeyed) and there is to be more of a focus on speedwork for the next 4 weeks. And it was to be a bread and butter session of 12 x 400's off a minute which I really enjoy. Ideally on the track but with kids at home my only option was the treadmill....

So after my 2km warm-up, I did some very quick strides to get the HR up. I'm talking well under 3 minute per km pace - 15 seconds on, 30 seconds recovery - times 5.

Then I set the treadmill to 66 second per 400m pace (2:45/km). The aim was to get the HR up above 153 each 400m. Failed in the first 2 but from there on I was getting into the zone nicely. Each one was getting progressively harder and by 10 I'd had enough. But managed to finish the session with the HR peaking at around 157 at the end.

Usual warm-down of 2km to give me 8.8kms for the day. Happy with that as was the coach.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lactate testing day 2

Another 4 people in today for tests. Great to see.

Then we had a little window and before I knew it I was up on the treadmill myself for a test. All went well and the results showed a good improvement in my threshold speed of 20 seconds per mile.

Here's a quick graph to demonstrate:


Note those speeds are treadmill speeds and not what you'd run on the road.

About 7kms all up to give me 76.2kms for the week. I think I'm over my stomach problem now so time to get back into it next week.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lactate testing day 1

A busy weekend with 10 people booked in for lactate threshold tests. Up early for a run with my coach who was over from the UK. A nice spin around Claregalway mainly in my shopping zone but nice to take it easy. All up 12.2kms in 50:32 (4:09's).

Then on to the tests which went well. Didn't finish up until late but just enough time to nip down to the local restaurant for some grub and a few pints of Guinness.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wind up

Treadmill recovery run. Gradually wound up the pace finishing up with 10km in 38:08. Decided on indoors in case of another toilet emergency...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Double Paula

An evening recovery run with Fintan. All was going well until about hallfway where my stomach was in knots. Had to stop and find a clearing. Then off again feeling a lot better. Then the same thing happened about 5 minutes from home. Not good is an understatement. So after all the slagging I have given Fintan and Owen over the years, I have finally received my comeuppance. That will teach me.

All up 14.8kms in 57:59 (3:55's). A good average pace after a slow start. I think we dropped in a few 3:45's in the recovery zone so that's good to see.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aborted threshold

I decided to try a treadmill threshold run. Usual routine of 2km warm-up, then whack the treadmill up to 18.5km/hour to lift into the threshold zone. Normally it takes me at least 10 minutes to get into this zone but today it took less than 3 minutes - and the HR kept rising. Sweating buckets, feeling a bit dizzy I pulled back the speed but the HR was still high so after 5kms I pulled the pin (16:37). Feeling pretty awful I took a break and then ran 3 slow kms to finish with to give me 10kms for the day.

So clearly I'm still not right so I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the week. The stomach is still a bit off and the throat feeling a little lively so the signs are there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bad good bad good

Today's run felt a lot bettter. Same run as yesterday - 11.1kms in 42:35 (3:50's) - that's almost 2 minutes quicker with a lot less effort. Hopefully on the mend.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Struggling

Recovery running for a few days. Today was a real struggle. I felt awful - legs heavy. Still got the stomach cramps and I shan't going into any details but it's not good.

Total 44:28 for 11.1kms (4:00/km).

No quick running into I feel back to normal.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Long run

Headed out with Fintan at lunchtime not feeling the Mae West. Funnily enough the running felt okay. We were ticking along nicely with the HR in the recovery zone and all was well. After 20km in 80 minutes we slowed and finished up with 21km in 85 minutes. Got to love those 5 minute kms to finish with!

Weird that I felt good today. Still perhaps it was a little too easy to get into the recovery zone so a sign the body isn't quite right (despite feeling ok).

That's 83.2kms for the week.

Here's me crossing the line yesterday:


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Streets of Galway 2014

My favourite race of the year, definitely in great shape, but on the day the body said no...

Arrived in good time and did a good warm-up incorporating a 3 minute race-paced effort to prime the system ready for the off. It was a dry breezy day but I was hoping from shelter from the wind as we ran through town, then it should be easy going once hitting the prom around 6km for the run home.

Lined up behind Martin Fagan and soon we were off and running. A very slow start - none of the top guys were pushing it at all and I almost ran into the guy in front. After a couple of hundred meters Martin took up the running and Sean Hehir went off in pursuit. I was left chasing and it was nice to get some clear road to stretch out the legs.

Still a quick first km (3:01) and up around Eyre Square I had closed in on Rob Cross. We got caught in traffic as we crossed the bridge running towards the Cathedral and had to switch to the pavement to avoid a bus and cars. Then went into auto-pilot and started heading right (old course) only to be called back to go the opposite direction. That was frustrating but acted to get me fired up and to continue running hard.

Around the car park and through 2km with a disappointing split of 3:18. Then turned left for the run up to the hospital. Was feeling okay and had passed Rob and with the leaders way up the road I was almost in time trial mode. A left turn at the hospital and then pushed on heading towards Salthill.

Another crap split through 3km (3:19) and something wasn't right. The legs were a little heavy and it seemed tough going. Between 3 and 4 there is a nice downhill which at least helped me get the legs moving again and I passed halfway with a split of 3:15 which was okay but way down on target pace of around 3:10.

Then it was a right hand turn and I really started to struggle. There was a long drag and I was hardly moving and I expected people to come flying past me any moment. At the top of the climb it flattened out a bit and I had nothing left to lift the pace. A few more turns and through 5km with a shocking split of 3:24 to give me 16:17 at 5km (I was targeting around 15:50).

I knew it should get easier from here on in and with the help of some downhill sections and the wind on the back I managed to get going again as I ran down onto the prom. Through 6km with a 3:15 and then it felt a lot easier. Nobody around me and ran the last section as best I could with a 3:09 and then a 3:03 to finish with (time 25:44). So 6th place, first Galway based runner and first vet (but over a minute behind the top 5!).

Really disappointed with that. Thinking about it now it was clear that something wasn't right. My heart rate had been running high towards the end of the week and I had stomach cramps on the day. Just one of those things so at least it's explainable.

A short 1km warm-down and then straight home for a dinner party. I must have been bad as I struggled to have a beer but I kept persevering and eventually pulled up stumps at 3:30 in the morning Ouch.

Well done to all who took part in the race. Superb organisation as always and great to see Galway at its best tonight. I can honestly say I've never had so much support out on the course tonight and for that I'm very grateful. Pity I couldn't have put on more of a show as I thought I was on the brink of something special. Next time!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Gentle

30 minutes gentle today (in the shopping zone). Finished up with a few strides. All set now for tomorrow.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

30 minute recovery

Similar to yesterday the heart rate was much easier to get up into the recovery zone. A nice relaxed 30 minutes covering 7.8kms in 30:11 (3:52's). Finished up with some strides (as I did yesterday but forgot to mention).

Thoughts now turning to the race. I haven't raced in a while so I don't have race feedback to gauge where I'm at but what I would say is that I've done a very decent block of training the last 4 weeks (averaging around 100km per week including 14 threshold runs and 3 speed sessions). Hopefully that equates to PB form and I'll certainly be targeting sub 25:30 come Saturday evening. It's a stacked field this year with half a dozen guys capable of breaking 24 so a little too warm for me. That said I'm hoping there will be a few guys I can work with which always make life easier.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Scores for show

Another recovery run. Time 42:59 for 11.1kms (3:52's).

Interesting that my HR moved up into my recovery zone a lot easier today. I was around 135/136 most of the run and it would normally be 3 or 4 beats lower for the same effort. Maybe a sign that I've been tired the last month or so and I'm starting to freshen up.

More darts in the evening. I won 15-14. We both had darts to win the decider and I eventually hit double 10. A good last leg - I hit a 140, my dad came back with a 180 but bottled the finishing!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

5 x 2 mins off 120 secs

A final sharpener of a session. I ran out to the same stretch of road where I did my 3 minute efforts last week (2.8km warm-up). The target heart rate to try and get to was 153+. Knew that would be tough with the shorter time period.

The approach was to run as hard as I could for each 2 minutes. That worked fine but the first rep was nothing more than a warm-up with me hitting a mac HR of 143. The second one was a bit better (149) and then the 3rd, 4th and 5th I just about crept up to 153 by the end of the rep. Feeling guilty I decided to run a bonus 2 minutes and managed to get up to 155. I was covering an average of 675m each 2 minute effort so that's around 2:58/km pace on average. Not too bad.

Warm-down of 2.8kms back home. All up 9.7kms for the day.

Out in the evening for darts. I beat the old man 15-9 and played well. Checkouts of 128, 117, 107 and 100 and the scoring wasn't too shabby either.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Winding it back

Few too many falling down waters last night so definitely not at my best today...

The start of an easier week. Recovery run 14.8kms in 57:57 (3:55's). Only one quick session planned this week (tomorrow) and no threshold running. Race on Saturday.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Hour of power

Bottled the outside run and went on the treadmill. Usual 2 up then the hour of threshold running. Was dreading it but once I got going the 5 minute segments (my way of breaking it down) seemed to tick by nicely. The heart rate took an age to rise (despite a quick start) but after about 10 minutes I was bottom of zone. I pulled the pace back a little and found that my heart rate stayed very stable for the next 40 minutes or so (143 to 145). I went through 5km in 16:23, 10km in 32:59, 15km in 49:59, 10 miles in 53:40, and ended up with 17.9kms in 59:55. Okay treadmill running flatters your pace/distance but still a very decent hit-out at the bottom of my threshold zone.

2km to finish with for 21.9kms for the day.

That's 104.0kms for the week. Lots of quality in there so hopefully I'm in good nick now for the Streets. I forgot to mention I did some strides on Tuesday and Thursday at the end of my recovery runs just to get the legs ticking over at 5km pace.

Then more fun with numerous beers and some food in town. Galway is a great place to be during race week.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Run to the car

Today was a sketchy run back to the Galway racecourse to collect my car....pushed the pace to get the HR up into the recovery zone and didn't feel too bad which was a minor miracle, Sweating buckets and by the time I got to the car I'd clocked up 10.9kms in 42:13 (3:52's). Then made my getaway as people started pouring into the racecourse for the next instalment of fun.

A few normalisers at home in the evening.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Winner winner chicken dinner

Decided to give the treadmill a bash today for my threshold run. I was targeting the bottom of my zone which was going to make the run a little easier. A 2.0km warm-up, then 45 minutes threshold, finishing with a 2.0km warm-down. It went well - a great sweat and ended up clocking 13.1kms in 45:03 (3:26/km pace).

All up 17.0kms for the day.

Galway races in the evening - I got 2 winners (both short-priced). Nice to get the winner in the last which got me out of trouble. A number of beers were consumed along the way....ended up in the Abbey for a chicken curry.