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


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


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


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


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.