Sunday, 28 August 2011
Saturday, 20 August 2011
So that is why I was toeing the line last night with about 60 other hopefuls at the start of the Shannonvale 10k, a low key race just outside Clonakilty in West Cork. I met up with Diarmaid at the start line, both of us aiming for somewhere around the 40 minute mark. Based on recent training I would expect to break 40 minutes for 10k - on a flat course, no problem - but there was a hill thrown into the mix on this course shortly after the 2k mark to make it more interesting and the 40 minute target that bit more elusive.
Ready, steady go! and we were off down the hill through the village and up the incline at the far side. 1 minute in and the Garmin showed an average pace of 5:37 per mile. I counted 14 in front of me but passed a few going up the incline, turn left and I'm somewhere in the top 10 with Diarmaid at my side. A guy in blue I had passed on the hill passed me out going down a slight incline as the field settles into their respective race paces. 1k in 3:55 - on target, but early days yet. 2k in 7:58 with Diarmaid at my side, steady pace all the way.
As we crested the hill I caught up with Diarmaid and we coasted down the other side passing the 4k mark in 16:34 - back on target pace but unable to claw back the deficit left by the hill. We could only see 2 runners in front, the guy in blue and a guy in black compression socks he had passed going up the hill. We didn't look behind. We picked up the pace slightly to the 5k mark over a very gradual downhill passing it in 20:26 - halfway with a 26 second deficit on our target - it was going to be a tough ask to claw that back over the last 5k.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
At last I have decided to focus on another race as the 100k fades into the memory banks and some speed reluctantly returns to my legs. The 15 mile Maxi marathon in Killarney a few weeks back showed me that I still had some way to go to get back on form. Over the last few weeks I have jumped into the twice weekly speedwork sessions of a club group training for the upcoming national half marathon championships in Waterford on 3rd September. As I will be pacing the Dingle marathon on 3rd September I have signed up for the inaugural Charleville HM two weeks later on 18th September - hopefully the hills of Dingle will be out of my legs by then.
I had the opportunity to cycle the route of the Dingle marathon on Saturday evening as I dropped Ani and Saran to visit their cousin Robert who is on holiday there for a few weeks. An undulating course but more than made up for by the spectacular scenery - leaving the Killarney Maxi marathon (promoted as the worlds most beautiful road race) well in the shade. Similar perhaps to California's Big Sur Marathon, except the road is about 10 foot wide. On the Sunday morning I ran an 18 mile out and back run taking in the last 7 miles of the marathon course and the 1.2 mile brute of a hill at the 21 mile mark - it certainly will be a challenging pacing job, where pace will be based on effort and not speed - banking time on the downhills for the slower uphill sections - looking forward to the challenge. And there's always Thomas to fall back on.
I spent the rest of the day on the beach with the kids getting in my first swim of the summer - the water was surprisingly warm (relatively speaking) and the 15' waves great fun.
As I haven't raced a short distance in a year (my 5 mile PB at Churchtown South 2010) and my training for the ultra wasn't exactly peppered with fast runs I don't know what my training paces should be . Based on peak form in the past these would normally be:-
Repeats @ 5:00/20 (38 second half laps, 80 second laps) - 200s/400 - mile pace
Intervals @ 6:00 (90 second laps) - 400s to 1600s - 5k pace.
Tempo @ 6:20/30 (20 minutes and up) - 10k/HM pace up towards 6:50 MP for 60 minutes.
Steady @ 6:50 to 7:20 pace
Easy @ 7:20 to 8:00 pace
Recovery @ 8:00 to 8:40 pace