Friday, 20 July 2007

Here I go

I started running for the first time on 8th Januray 2006 to train (with a friend Adrian - who had just quit smoking) for the once in a lifetime Marathon (been there done that sort of thing ) and haven't stopped since. We started running 2 mile circuits for a month or two and then moved up to 5 milers before starting a 16 week marathon programme in July in preparation for the 2006 Dublin City Marathon at the end of October. While the marathon was the worst run I ever experienced (hit the wall(s) big time) I wasn't quitting. While I finished in a respectable 3:47 I knew I could do better and so targeted the March 2007 Barcelona Marathon as my next challenge. Training through the winter, although cold, wet and dark did not deter me (In some ways it's easier to run in the rain - less people in the way and cools you down) I also increased my weekly mileage and in particular my long runs (completing 3 no. 24 milers to ensure no wall loomed at the 20 mile mark) In Barcelona I took 13 minutes off my time and finished just under 3:34 in what is one of the most enjoyable runs ever (beautiful city, sun & no pain at all - some fatigue during the last mile or two). While my target had been 3:30 I was not disappointed and knew I didn't push myself too hard. Following Barcelona I trained for my local marathon here in Cork on 4th June 2007 (resurrected after an absence of 21 years) I followed a similar programme to that for Barcelona with a target of 3:20 (Boston qualification for me) However the day was hotter than expected and while not reaching my target I shaved another 8 minutes off my PB finishing under 3:26. I am now targeting Dublin City Marathon 2007 as my Boston qualifier and also to conquer the deamons experienced in 2006. (Whether I'll ever go to Boston is another story) As my friend Adrian was a dad for the second time recently most of my training since Cork has been on my own and so I decided to start this blog as no one else will listen to me rant on about pace, splits, fartleks, gels, carb loading etc. etc. My wife, Abina, thought and hoped I would give up running after my first Marathon in Dublin stating that it is bad for my health (my joints will be shot by the time i'm sixty and all that) - probably some truth there - I would have said the same two years ago when my only form of exercise was swimming. However onwards and upwards hopefully. I am currently following the advice in this article in my training for Dublin and getting up towards the 70 miles per week I did for Cork. Most of my runs are early in the morning so as not to interfere too much with the domestic balance. I am currently doing only aerobic training at two effort levels: 150 bpm for two runs a week with the remaining runs at 135 bpm. I have been using a polar running watch & heart rate monitor since October 2006 to record and log all my runs to the polar website. Mileage for this week so far total 39 miles. With a 15 miler tomorrow and perhaps 10 on Sunday I sould get up towards 65 miles this week.

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