Friday, October 31, 2014


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


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


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 ( 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.



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).