Saturday, May 31, 2014

Curry #1

Recovery run today - I used the Thursday route and gradually cranked up the pace. A total of 14.8kms in 56:16 (3:48's). Average heart rate 131 so just in my recovery zone (131 to 142).

It wasn't so long ago I'd be happy doing that run in 65 minutes. It's incredible how much my cruising pace has improved the last couple of months.

A few beers in the evening and a home made curry.

Friday, May 30, 2014

3 x 1km

Early morning massage to free up the knee. A very painful 45 minutes that I won't get back. But in all fairness the leg felt great after.

A big afternoon session - 3 x 1km off 5 (five!) minutes! Again I couldn't make track so it was to be an all out affair on the treadmill. A did a dynamic warm-up which had me running the last 2kms of my 4km warm-up at well under 3:30/km pace. That's to get the heart rate primed and ready for action.

I set the treadmill to 20.0km/hr on a 2% incline and that's where the fun started. The first one was okay but after just one minute it was very hard going. The heart rate peaked at 156. The second one was very patchy - great one minute, awful the next, and the last minute seemed to last an eternity. Heavy breathing at the end and the legs were like jelly - max heart rate 158. The third one I was close to stopping - too many negative thoughts but somehow kept it going and I think I touched 160 on very drunk legs. So better than last week but still not into my interval zone of 162+. So another fail!

Spoke to the coach and I'm still not strong enough for this session. So I have to increase the length of my threshold runs by another 10 to 15 minutes. Insert lots of swear words!

All up 10.0kms for the day.

Out in the evening for a meal with the wife and kids. Fish and chips and a pint of Guinness. That was easily the best part of the day.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Record numbers

Five of us this morning for the 6:35am start. Myself, Fintan, Owen, Jason and Sean. Perfect conditions and a good clip - all up 14.9kms in 1:01:12 (4:06's). Job done.

More darts to watch in the evening - no Premier League, this time the Dubai Masters. James Wade played really well but lost 10-9 to MVG. Good to see Wadey back and in good form.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More struggling

Hot again, and perhaps tired. Through 10km in around 34 minutes and stopped at 12km in 41:15 (3:26's). Well over a minute slower than the same run last week. Umm.

Snooker in the evening. I played okay - a few breaks, and I was on a maximum for 10 balls (40 break) before running out of position. Next time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Struggle St

First threshold run of the week. I didn't feel great from the off - heart rate was running high - that could be due to tiredness, or the heat as it's suddenly cranked up a few degrees. Anyway, it was a struggle and I stopped at 10km in 33:43 (3:22's). All up 14.0kms with the warm-up/down.

Monday, May 26, 2014


I just managed to squeeze a quick run in - 9.5kms in 36:03 (3:48's). All well within my recovery zone.

The rest of the day was spent on a CPR course. A very useful experience and I recommend this course to anyone - the staff at Croi House were excellent.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


A recovery run - 11.1kms in 41:45 (3:46's). I was ticking over very nicely so it seems that 3 threshold runs and a speed session in 5 days hadn't taken too much out of me...

That's 95.9kms for the week. Really happy with how things are going at the moment. I'm definitely breaking new ground when it comes to my fitness, and I'm looking forward to testing myself in a race soon.

Nice also to get the new venture up and running!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mayfly 10km

I was eating breakfast and looking to see what time this race was on thinking it was tomorrow. Wrong - it was today! So a quick change of plan. Talk about poor planning - not a good idea to race the day after a speed session, and perhaps one too many beers last night...

A 45 minute drive to Oughterard for the race. A lovely town on the way out to Connemara. The usual registration and a couple of kms warm-up, and it was time to line up for the start. A nice cutting of a green ribbon just before we were underway to help raise awareness for suicide prevention, and then we were all off and racing.

The plan was to take it fairly handy and try and stay in my threshold zone. The first km was friendly enough, some ups and downs but nothing too taxing. The second km had a big climb, and then a nice downhill. Lots of climbing through kms 3 and 4 and by this time the course was very exposed to the wind. By 4km I had opened up a nice lead, and then the course became much more friendly with a long downhill section.

At 5km we switched direction and the wind was now on the back. The last 5kms were predominantly flat and I was feeling great. I was averaging well under 3:20/km sitting bang in the middle of my threshold zone. I picked up the pace a bit for the last couple of kms but the heart rate still didn't touch 150.

I crossed the line in 33:43 for the win and I couldn't believe my time for the second half of the race (16:20) - especially with the feeling that I had another couple of gears. Happy days.

A couple of kms warm-down, then a burger and a hot dog from the excellent post race BBQ. Then I had to dash to get back to the family! All up 14.0kms for the day.

Here are the splits:

3:15 / 3:28 / 3:41 / 3:42 / 3:17 (17:23) / 3:16 / 3:17 / 3:21 / 3:13 / 3:13 (16:20)

Total 33:43

The only downer is my dodgy left knee but I've learnt to put up with that the last year. Well done to the organisers - another great event on a challenging course! Everyone I spoke to seemed to have fun!

Friday, May 23, 2014

4 x 1km off 3 mins

Well it was time to try and get the heart rate to rocket with some quick km reps. After a 3.2km warm-up I set the treadmill to 2:55/km pace for the first effort. I felt pretty good for the first one, but the heart rate was nowhere near where it should have been (target 162+).

The recovery felt like forever and I cranked up the pace for the second one to 2:53/km pace. Still felt good, although the last 30 seconds was a little tougher - but still the peak HR was way short at around 155.

More of the same - pace now up to 2:51/km for the 3rd. I was definitely blowing a bit harder this time, and I think I got up to around 157/158 - but a fail as far as the session was concerned.

The last one I went up to 2:49/km pace. Again harder still and the HR this time went to 158/159. But still not pushing myself like it was intended.

Lesson learnt - this type of session needs to be done on the track. Or if you do stick to the treadmill then get the incline up. So a bit of a fizzer. I've got some speed though so need to get out there for a race. I may have a look on the calendar to see what's around on Sunday...

All up 11.0kms with the 3.8km warm-down. Then more warming down with a few beers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Today it was myself, Fintan, Owen and Sean for the early start. It was cold and damp and a few people - I won't mention any names - had double layered! All up 15.0kms in 1:02:06 (4:08's). Not quick enough to get into the recovery zone but it was nice to take it easy for a change.

A few beers in the evening watching the final of the Premier League darts. My tip Anderson lost 8-7 to Van Gerwen in the semis and was a little unlucky. Barney finally beat the Power to set up and all Dutch final. Thank god Barney went on to win - that MVG is getting on my chimes lately so nice to see him put back into his box.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


12km threshold today in 39:58 (3:20's). Much easier today an went through 10km in around 33:15 and I don't think the HR went above 150 all run. Still getting fitter!

Snooker in the evening and pretty ordinary. Getting worse!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10 then 5

10km threshold in 33:35. Wasn't feeling great today - hanging on at the end. More good runs than bad lately so I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth. All up 14kms with up/down.

I watched the 5km race in Claregalway. Good to see Owen take the win in 16:25 on a tough course. Conditions turned out perfect after lots of horrible weather. I'm looking to have a hit-out in Tuam in 2 weeks time so looking forward to that!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A week with a twist

A recovery run to start the week. Nice to have Fintan for company and we ran the Thursday route. A total of 14.8kms in 58:05 (3:55's). A little surprised it was that quick so a good sign.

The change to the Claregalway 5km course turned out to be a red herring. I still plan to go out and have a look as it's only a few hundred metres from my doorstep.

The twist is that I plan to do a speed session this week. And it will be at a killer intensity. The session is 4 x 1km off 3 minutes and I basically run them at my maximum pace which I'm guessing will be somewhere around 2:55 per km. Sounds like fun.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Another gallop

Another treadmill threshold run. A total of 12kms in 40:17 (3:21/km). Again I felt pretty good which was a bit worrying as I'd had one too many sherberts the night before. Through 5km in 16:29 and 10km in 33:26. All of these sessions in quite hot conditions and with my heavy clogs on...

All up 16.0kms with the other bits.

That's 100.7kms for the week. A decent weekly total and average pace around the 3:45/km mark. I feel I need to pick a target 10km race now and go all out for the sub 32. If anyone has any suggestions for a race that fits the bill then let me know - quick/flat/good field. And yes I'm prepared to travel!

The initial response to the new business has been very encouraging. So thanks to everyone who has supported me. Some appointments already in the calendar and looking forward to putting a few people through their paces!

Not sure what the plan is for next week. I've heard a rumour that the course for the Claregalway 5km on Tuesday has been changed to effectively remove the nasty hill at the start. Is that wishful thinking or has it been confirmed? I might be tempted to have a hit-out if that's the case!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Venture

A repeat of the Thursday run. Very windy out there and seemed to be copping it from all angles. Time 58:16 for the 14.8kms (3:56/km).

And the exciting news is my new venture. I am now offering VO2 testing in Galway at my home studio. Here's a link to my Facebook page so please like and share and help spread the word:

Initially I will be able to provide a treadmill based VO2 test. I will be adding a lactate threshold test at a later date. I'm not sure where this will take me but down the line I would also like to offer the same sports tests on a cycle. As you can see from my blog I have taken to the sports testing and the data it provides in a big way. My revised training and recent race performances have been encouraging and this resulted in a new 10km PB of 32:20 just last month. It works and I'm living proof!

Please direct any enquiries through my FB page or alternatively you can email at:

So that's why I've been doing lots of treadmill running lately as Santa brought me a new treadmill for Christmas!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Repeat of Tuesday

A bit short on time so just the 10km threshold on the treadmill. It was a hot day and I was dreading it a bit but once I got going I felt great. I went through 5km in 16:36 and only slowed a little the second half to reach 10km in 33:27. All well within the correct HR zone. A total of 14kms with the up/down. That's 3 thresholds done this week and I dare say I'll squeeze another one in over the weekend (no plans to race).

A few beers will be had now and then some exciting news for the weekend. Watch this space...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Flying Scotsman

Early morning run with Fintan and Owen. The pace gradually cranked up and we were running sub 4's by the end. All up 14.8kms in 59:04 (3:59's).

Good to see Fintan back after struggling with injury the past couple of months. He'll soon be cranking out the sessions and maybe a return to racing for the Streets?

A couple of beers in the evening watching the darts. The semi-final line-ups have now been decided for next week. I still fancy Anderson to win it...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Threshold Snooker

14km threshold run on the treadmill in 40:40 (3:23/km). I felt really good today - helped by taking the top off and having the windows open to let some air in. Air conditioning would be nice...

Snooker in the evening. I played okay - highest break 42.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Here we go again

I eased back into the threshold runs today - 10km on the treadmill in 33:57 and 14kms all up.

Several people have been commenting that I look lean at the moment. The scales don't really confirm that - I've certainly lost a bit since Christmas. It must be the old muscle weighs more than fat thing.

Out in the evening to watch the 5km in Maree. Great to see one of these races from the spectators perspective. With over 600 people competing, and the same faces around you each week, everyone is pushing themselves hard to try and earn bragging rights and new PB's. It's amazing how much you can lower your time over the course of the 6 weeks and the whole of this series is to be commended. I'm tempted to pop up for one of these races soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014


Outside loop of 11.1kms in the recovery HR zone. Time 44:20 (4:00/km). The legs felt okay but I knew I'd ran a race yesterday.

Here's a funny video that was shot on the weekend in Highgate at the 10,000m night of PB's. Dave Bedford was pretty handy in his day - an ex 10,000m world record holder!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tuam Community Games 8km

A windy one. A couple of kms warm-up on arrival and then lined up for the one lap loop of left turns. I had Gary Higgins for company and was looking forward to pushing myself to see if there were any further improvements in my running.

We took off and the start was into the wind. The pace was good and I  reached the first km marker in 3:09. Then the first of the left hand turns and with each turn, the wind became less of a hindrance. By 2km I was starting to pull away from Gary and I was feeling pretty good. The course was nice and flat, and I had the lead car to follow. I was maintaining the pace through to 4km, but I was starting to lose a bit of focus in the run up to the 5th km marker. My split seemed very slow and I used that as an excuse to slow down and then backed off for the run home.

We had a brief half mile stretch along the main N17 road through Tuam where we were on the path and I took that really easy. Then another left turn for the last straight-ish mile to the finish. The last km was nice and friendly, albeit into the wind, and I picked it up a little crossing the line in 26:11 for the win.

Here are the splits:

3:09 / 3:13 / 3:12 / 3:10 / 3:25 (16:09) / 3:04 / 3:39 / 3:19

Total 26:11

 In speaking to a few guys after the race it seemed apparent that the 5th km marker was probably around 15 seconds long (look at the splits for kms 5 and 6 and I backed off after 5!). So I was probably nearer 15:54 at 5km but even so I wasn't quite feeling right today to really nail it.

A 3km warm-down with Gary where we both get soaking wet due to heavy rain, Then inside for hot drinks and the presentation. All in all I enjoyed the event, but I feel disappointed for the organisers who put on such a good race for it to be so poorly attended. I guess there is always the risk of that happening these days with all the new races that keep popping up and so many alternatives to pick from. Anyway, credit where it's due - they did a great job.

That's 13.0kms for the day and a measly 69.1kms for the week. Back into the old threshold runs next week.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Walk to the shops

Another run that served little or no training benefit. Half an hour and 7kms later I had gotten a good sampling of the conditions we will probably encounter tomorrow. Yes it was very windy and a touch on the damp side.

A few too many beers in the evening but it's a late start tomorrow (2:30pm) so all should be fine. Sat through some of the Eurovision finals tonight and that's enough to drive anyone to drink. Utter garbage.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Mini Threshold

A 20 minute threshold run today (20:15 to be exact - covering 6kms @ 3:23/km pace). That's it now until the race on Sunday. Looking forward to racing in Tuam and here's hoping we get a break in these wet and windy conditions.

All up 10.0kms with the 2 up and 2 down.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

No darts

Treadmill recovery run. A total of 10.0kms in 38 minutes (3:48's). Legs feel great and I'm putting a lot of that down to the protein drinks. I should have been on these years ago...

I keep missing the Premier League darts. I've recorded it this week so will have to revisit it over the weekend.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

8 x 800's

Weather still ordinary so ran some quicker reps on the treadmill. I settled on some 800's in 2:24 (3:00/km pace) off a rolling 3.5 minutes (66 seconds recovery). Felt pretty good throughout and nice to get the legs moving with some proper speedwork. Each rep the heart rate was climbing and I think I was up to 157 by the end of the last rep - so well above my normal threshold zone. All up 10.4kms with the 2km warm-up and down.

Snooker in the evening. A good standard it wasn't so the least said about it the better.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Easy week continues

I was planning to go to track but the weather was a tad windy so I took the easy option and ran a repeat of the loop from yesterday. All up 9.5kms in 37:16 (3:55's).

Monday, May 05, 2014

The Jester from Leicester

Start of an easier week. A recovery run to get the ball rolling. A total of 9.5kms in 35:34 (3:45's). That's very quick for one of these runs - it didn't feel that quick so I'm guessing that's a good sign.

Well fair play to Selby. I didn't think he could do it but he somehow found a way to get the Rocket misfiring. Every time he came to the table he was underneath the bottom cushion. Great to see a new name on the trophy and I certainly don't begrudge him the win. World champion, the new world number one and also a new triple crown winner. Well done the Jester!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

4 of 4

Final threshold run for the week. Didn't feel as good as Friday but not too bad. All up 12.0kms in 41:00 (3:25's). A total of 16.0kms with the other bits.

Time for some stats. A total of 105.4kms for the week at an average pace of 3:46/km - that's not too shabby. Of that, 50.6kms ran at threshold pace (sub 3:30/km). And that's my 100th running day on the trot. That's probably a record for me!

In summary I'm very happy with how things are progressing. I'm hoping I've gone up a level since my 10km PB so will be looking for a race next weekend to put that to the test.

In the snooker Ronnie is 10-7 up against Selby. I've a feeling this could go all the way. Ronnie is getting a bit bogged down in tactical exchanges and needs to go on the attack tomorrow. That's how I see it anyhow!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Too slow

A recovery run. Pushed the pace from the off but could never get the heart rate up to where it should have been. I was moving nicely and the legs felt great, but unfortunately not in the right zone. All up 12.6kms in 47:35 (3:47's). Average heart rate 131. That's a sign I'm starting to get fit. Yes, up until now I've been unfit! Certainly in the last couple of days there are some signs that I'm progressing nicely. Here's hoping anyway...

I watched the conclusion of the Selby / Robertson semi. A match of very high quality and Selby ran out winning 17-15. The standard in the last session was superb. Brilliant safety play, incredible long potting, and when either player got in, they were scoring heavily. I can't remember any easy balls being missed. So a Selby / O'Sullivan final. I'd love a close match but it could be one way traffic...

Friday, May 02, 2014

3 of 4

Threshold run. A total of 13.1kms in 45:05 (3:26's). For the first time I actually felt okay today - a lot, lot, easier than Wednesday. Still a tough run but I didn't have that "I need to lie down" feeling at the end. The coach said it would take a few weeks before things start to feel a little easier so I'm hoping that today is a turning point.

I watched the snooker whilst on the treadmill. I say watched it - with no glasses it's very blurry but I could still make out that Ronnie was at the table. A lot.

A few beers to be consumed this evening. It is a long weekend after all. No racing planned - more training and then maybe have a look at the race calendar the following weekend.

Thursday, May 01, 2014


Early morning run with Owen. Another cracking morning and perfect conditions for running. All up 15.0kms for me in the hour so that's 4 minute clicks on the knocker.

Knee behaving nicely at the moment. I can still feel it every time I run but the pain isn't too bad and is certainly not getting any worse.

O'Sullivan firmly in command of his match leading 6-2 after the first session. Selby 5-3 up against Robertson.