Sunday, 31 January 2010

Firing on all cylinders

To be honest I though after 4 years on the road I was close to the limit of my genetic ability and that any improvements (in my running) from here on in will be both painful and minuscule. The days of the breakthrough race were well and truly gone. A good 4 mile race last Sunday yielded an 11 second PB and still not a best performance by McMillan standards (that still remains my HM PB set in September 2008 - Christ that's a long time ago!). My equivalent 4 mile best should be 23:55 and likewise if I was on best form I should be capable of a 63:38 10 miler. When I hit the 5 mile mark in 31:23 today I knew I was on better than best form. I had just hit my 5 mile PB set last August - although McMillan would have me running 30:18 (~u*k McMillan - a PB's a PB). The question was how would the 2nd 5 miles turn out - there's no point feeling on best form halfway through a race. It's always the second half where races are won or lost. Six of us (3 Pats, Kevin, John and myself) from Eagle AC started out on a beautiful cold sunny afternoon at the preplanned opening pace of 6:20 or thereabouts which meant, all things going well, we'd cross the finish line in 63:20. Unlike last week I shed the tights and long sleeves for a singlet and shorts and wore gloves - got it right this time as it wasn't too cold. When we passed the first mile marker we had been on 6:18 pace (Garmin) but the timekeeper called out 6:24 as we passed. "Looks like we'll have to run a Garmin pace of 6:15 if we want to hit 6:20's in the real world" - I thought. At this stage the 6 of us were within 10 yards of each other (I was somewhere towards the rear). We pushed on out the main Cork road to the 2 mile mark, where there was another timekeeper calling out 12:30 something. So we were just under 6:20 pace. Turns out there were timekeepers at all the mile markers (except 7 I think) I was feeling strong at this stage and kept pushing at the same pace going to the front of the eagle group as we turned right off the main road. I was surprised at how many I was passing right up to the 5 mile mark. Mile 3 in 18:50 - 10 seconds under 6:20 pace Mile 4 in 25:05 - 15 seconds under Mile 5 in 31:23 - 17 seconds under There was a nice drag up to mile 4 and 5 so I was happy to be keeping pace. I continued to pass a few runners through miles 6 and 7 both around 6:15 pace. I was passed by a West Waterford AC guy before the 6 mile mark. We exchanges a few words. He said he was trying to keep his brother behind him. "Nothing like a bit of competition to spur you on" I said as he moved ahead. I could feel the fatigue creeping up my legs at this stage so I took advantage of the hill down towards the 7 mile mark to pull the gel from the back of my shorts (nearly gave myself a wedgie in the process of trying to tug it out - apologies to those behind me) and swallow it before I hit the flat section along the side of the marsh leading to mile 8. I was still only 20 yards or so behind West Waterford "Michael" his supporters were calling him. I had changed the Garmin display at this stage to read total time only as I did not want to be distracted with lap pace/average pace/HR etc. I gained on Michael as we passed Mile 8 - 50:05 on the Garmin. I knew that I was well under the 50:40 that 6:20 pace would give me. "I have just under 13 minutes to get a sub 63" I thought and that was my target for the rest of the race. I wanted to give myself a 6:30 closing mile as a bit of insurance so I reckoned I needed to pass the 9 mile mark at 56:30 or less. I passed Michael on the short incline back on the the Cork Road as we turned left for the long straight to the finish. Michael came back on my shoulder and we ran together for about half a mile. I knew that the longer I kept with him we'd pull each other home. After a while I knew I couldn't keep pace with him and he pulled slowly ahead. the 9 mile marker was near - keep pushing at the same effort/pace - Mile 9 in 56:23 - "On target just need to keep it together for another 6.5 minutes. I followed in the wake of Michael as he gained and passed a woman in front. I was gaining for a while but never got near her. I did pass one guy on the roundabout about 400m from the finish and then got passed by a guy I had passed around mile 8. He was going very strong and I had nothing in the tank to give chase. All I could manage was to push at the effort I was running at - no kick - not even when I turned into the finishing straight when the mind took over and gave the body permission to go all out for the line - this time the body was unable to respond, which was probably a good thing in that I must have used up all my fuel - no point in having something in the tank after you cross the finish line. I crossed the line in 62:38 - 6:15 for the last mile, just shows the even paced nature of my race (6:16 average). 62:38 is a breakthrough race, no doubt about it - The31:15 for the last 5 miles is better than my 5 mile PB. My first sub-65 minute 10 miler. It'll be hard to top that. The rest of the Eagle group came in more or less on target @ 63:xx. Collect goodie bag, a quick warmdown over 1.5 miles, shower and a feed of tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes, biscuits laid on by West Waterford AC. I have to say a big thank you and well done to West Waterford AC for putting on a great race, very well organised given the 1,000 entrants - everything appeared perfect from where I was looking. It was nice to chat to a few budding runners over tea/coffee after the race as we exchange news/stories of our upcoming exploits. Hope to see Der and Martin on some of our weekend runs and all the best to Frank and the boys of East Cork AC (there seems to be something in the genes in east Cork that yields so many fast sub-60 minute 10 milers) Thanks to Denis Looney for giving Pat and myself a lift to Dungarvan and for providing some lively chat along with Kate and Marian. The results have me 85th out of 987 finishers which puts me within the top 10%. McMillan now gives me a 2:55:25 Marathon - don't you just love that guy. Thur 28th Jan 5.26 miles in 42:05 (8:00 pace @ 121 HR) Vibrams Fri 29th Jan 2.5 miles in 19:49 (7:56 pace - Treadmill) Sat 30th Jan 5 miles in 38:49 (7:46 pace @ 126 HR) Sun 31st Jan 13.64 miles in 1:34:46 (6:57 pace @ 147 HR) with 10 miles in 62:38 (6:16 pace @ 161 HR) Training Week # 10 - 67.1 miles January - (Run 296.9 miles, Bike 14.6 miles, Swim 5,750m)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Stress before rest

The first half of the week started with recovery followed by 2 relatively hard days.
A morning recovery run in the Vibrams @ 9 minute pace was called for on Monday and went off without a hitch. Effortless at that pace which was evident from the average HR of 111, lowest ever I think. A short run closer to 8 minute pace from Turners Cross to Glasheen and back in the evening as Safan was at guitar lesson finished off my recovery double.
Track on Tuesday evening saw me repeat last weeks 5 x 1 mile @ 6:20 pace although I had more company this week with a good group of 8 or 9. I was doubtful whether I should run at that pace so soon after the race on Sunday but the intervals went off without a hitch. They're were a few of us in the group signed up for the Dungarvan 10 miler next Sunday and the advice from the Coach was to join up with a few other runners from the club who were targeting 6:20 pace. While 6:20 miles with 2 minute recoveries felt fine stringing 10 of them together with no recoveries over undulating terrain is a different story. Then again nothing ventured nothing gained. If I did manage to pull off an average 6:20 pace the 63:20 result would be a massive PB and my first sub 65 minute 10 miler. To be quite honest another PB, even by a few seconds, would be more than enough for me.
Given that i'm training for a marathon in 5 weeks and an ultra 5 weeks later I was conscious of the fact that I need to get a long run in this week and to run well in Dungarvan a Saturday long run would not be the best preparation. With this in mind I set the alarm for 4:45 this morning with the aim of getting at least a 2 hour mid-week long run in.
Surprisingly I woke about 10 minutes before the alarm and after a quick cup of coffee was out the door a few minutes before 5 with 1 gel in my pocket for insurance.
Immediately I started thinking of how far I would get if I extended my run time to 2:20 or a little longer. While 18 miles would be good I subconsciously was thinking, all things being equal, I should be heading for 20 miles at this stage in my training. With a max of 2:30 I could just about squeeze the 20 miles in at 7:30 pace and should this be unachievable, 18 miles would do. With this plan squirrelled away in my subconscious my early pace in the 7:50's reduced through the 7:40's heading for 7:30. The first 5 miles averaged 7:37 pace. I more or less repeated the 16.5 mile route I did a few weeks ago heading into town along the Model Farm Road, College Road, South Quays, Horgans Quay, Train Station and back west through Sunday's Well and the Straight Road adding a 3 mile loop back the Model Farm Road to Inchagaggin Lane and eventually home.
The first 10 miles were in 1:14:16 (07:26 pace). I took the gel at 12.6 miles and continued on at a relatively even sub 7:20 pace to get the last 10 miles in 1:11:54 (07:11 pace) - in fact the last 15 miles averaged 7:12 pace with each 5 mile block marginally faster than the previous one (36:10, 36:00 & 35:54). The effort felt tough towards the end but the relative ease at which the pace came early on and maintained for most of the run was good.
That the last hard long run before Barcelona, i'll probably do one or two shorter runs with some marathon pace miles thrown in and one or two 20+ mile easy paced long runs before the taper.
My legs certainly felt tired throughout the day particularly during a lunchtime cycle with Connie, Pete and another fast guy less than half my age - over the hill to Crossbarry and back - I was dropped on both climbs, and they were taking it relatively easy. Then again I haven't been out on the bike for over a month and before that a month and a half. Time for some catchup. I'll probably spend more time on the bike between Barcelona and Connemara to give my running muscles a bit of a break which should limit loss of condition.
With 40 miles in the bag already this week the next few days will be relatively easy on the running front with at least one days rest. While my calendar weekly totals have been between 60 and 65 miles the last 5 days running have totalled almost 72 miles (79.5 for the last 7 days) which was enough to convince me to ease up.

Chasing hares at Mile 3.5 on Sunday - I certainly look a bit overdressed for the ocassion

Mon 25th Jan

a.m. 6.83 miles in 1:01:17 (8:58 pace @ 111 HR) recovery run in vibrams

p.m. 4.73 miles in 38:23 (8:07 pace @ 123 HR)

Tue 26th Jan

9.08 miles in 1:14:49 (8:14 @ 129 HR) with 5 x 1,600m in 6:17/22/20/20/14

Wed 27th Jan

20.04 miles in 2:26:10 (07:18 pace @ 143 HR) Long Run

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The man who can't be moved

I saw my neighbour Pat at least three times during today's FMC 4 mile road race as we exchanged places between miles 1 and 3. Only for him I would have had a less than impressive run. It's funny how a bit of competition can work wonders.
We travelled together to the race and warmed up over the middle 2.5 miles of the course - a few icy patches but nothing serious. I waited around the sports centre for as long as possible before the race start as my dodgy gut was still giving me a spot of bother. Finally I jogged the mile to the start line to join about 400 others, regretting the fact that I left my gloves at home.
I lined up pretty close to the front next to Denis Carroll. I know i'm doing well in a race if I can see Denis - he did a 24:11 to my 24:35 PB last year.
The gun finally went off and we took off down the road, Denis a few yards ahead of me. After a quarter of a mile the average mile pace on the garmin showed 6:00.
"Christ if I maintain this I could be close to 24 minutes - hold on don't be jumping the gun there's a long way to go yet."
Sure enough the next time I look at the garmin the pace has shifted to 6:09 as John Desmond and Derek O'Keeffe pass me before the 1 mile mark. The garmin gives me 6:12 for mile 1 althougt the mile marker is slightly ahead.
"Ok 6:15 miles or less will give me a sub-25 - that should be reasonably achieveable"
Then Pat surges across my path and wakes me from my trance. I maintain pace a few yards behind him and track him for a few 100 yards until the road rises and I move in front. We take a wide turn to the right for a loop through an industrial park and I maintain a steady pace which is still around 6:10 to 6:15, albeit with a bit more effort than mile 1, due to the incline. Garmin gives me Mile 2 in 6:14 as I up the pace on a slight downhill section catching 1 or 2 who had passed me during mile 1.
Just before the 2.5 mile mark Pat was back on my shoulder and moving ahead. I upped the pace to keep on his shoulder as we pass 1 or 2 others. Left out of the industrial park with a mile and a quarter to go. We're at about 6 minute pace at this stage. My breathing is still regular (2/2) and my legs and lungs are operating within capacity. Down the incline towards the 3 mile mark and I pull ahead - I didn't see the split on the garmin and just concentrated on form and maintained the pace I had set on the downhill, just a mile to go - 6 minutes left. Still the effort feels controlled as I pass 1 or 2 more - half a mile to go, Denis Carroll is in front of me, I'm doing pretty good and may even catch him.
I think I've put enough distance between myself and Pat but you never know so I don't relax. The gap to Denis stays the same as he passes a guy in front. I pass the same guy with about a quarter of a mile to go. Around the corner and I can see the finish up a shallow incline. Supporters of the guy I have just passed offer him encouragement saying "go on you can take him" probably not knowing that I had just passed him out. This is all the encouragement I need to kick a little more as I gain on Denis - but there not enough room left as the finishing clock comes into my myopic sight with 24:20 displayed and I push to cross under it at 24:24/5 (garmin says 24:24) for a 10/11 second PB. Pat comes in 2 places behind for an excellent PB of about 2 minutes.
My adjusted splits were 6:14, 6:17, 6:01 and 5:52 - I was fairly comfortable walking down the finishing chute which make me wonder did I leave a few seconds out on the course. All in all though I am very pleased with the result and a 1 out of 1 PB for 2010.
A few of us did a 6 mile warmdown after the race, during which I took a fall but did no lasting damage. This gave me a total of 13.7 miles for the day.
Next week is the Dungarvan 10 miler, which will be a better test of my speed/endurance. Will I dip under 65 minutes for the first time. Interestingly enough when I put todays time into McMillan's calculator it gives an equivalent 10 mile time of bang on 65 minutes. So I have a fairly good chance, particularly as Pat is coming too.
Sun 24th Jan
13.71 miles in 1:52:22 (08:12 pace @ 124 HR with 4 miles in 24:24 (6:04 pace @ 158 HR- PB)
Base/Training week #9 - 65.8 miles.
The man who can't be moved ( One of the best bands to come out of Dublin since U2 )

Friday, 15 January 2010


I haven't posted in a long time (for me) - not for the want of something to say but more for the lack of time. It's easier to read other people's posts and leave a comment than to put fingers to keyboard and pen my own bit of drivel - so here goes a few unconnected thoughts..............
The Great Cushion Debate
When I started running just over 4 years ago I was clueless. The first month or two I ran with what I had - a pair of shorts last worn in the 1970's and trainers pulled from the back of my wardrobe. That was until my running buddy Adrian turned up one day with "real running shoes" that he had got in John Buckleys, the local running store. Suddenly I felt disadvantaged, I wasn't using the right gear, my feet, knees and hips were on the rocky road to destruction and so before long I was sporting a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus that John Buckley himself advised me were best for my high arches and neutral gait. I felt much better - at least now I looked like I knew what I was doing. The Gel Nimbus has been a staple of my wardrobe ever since - a necessity even if they did cost €120 (with the 10% discount). I changed to a pair of Saucony Triumph 5's once after a free gait analysis - still the same shoe though - "Neutral Cushioning" - my type, my passport to injury free running, no matter where I was in the world the "Neutral Cushioning" shoe was my shoe.
In the intervening years the rest of my running wardrobe changed as I became familiar with terms such as "moisture wicking", "anti-chafing", "compression", "breatheable" etc.etc. anything that I felt would give me an edge. But I digress........ Over the last 4 years Asics has served me well and caused no problems that I know of. Not that I didn't get injured - just that my injuries were primarily muscle tears/strains which I put down to overtraining - my joints were fine and I have no long term niggles. Nevertheless I experimented with a pair of minimalist shoes 2 years ago, because I had read about them in Matt Fitzgerald's "Brain Training for Runners" and he recommended them for those plagued with injury. While I didn't fit into that category I fitted into the other category of "I'll try anything once" and I must say they felt great and while they take time to get used to (about ten minutes;) the feeling of freedom is worth the struggle of getting the toes into their right home. Having said that I didn't cross the chasm and abandon cushioned running, in fact I stuck with the old familiar and only pulled out the "Vibrams" for short recovery "fun" runs which were few and far between. Over the last 3 months I have started another experiment of one by introducing a cheap pair of runners from Lidl (I think they cost €13) into my training runs. Over the months this pair of runners has slowly taken over from the Asics as the shoe of choice for all my runs. Initially my feet would have felt more uncomfortable in the Lidl shoes (weaning off the cushions perhaps) and I would have just used them for short outings, but gradually they began to feel more comfortable as they began to mould themselves around my feet, something that the more cushioned shoes take much longer to do - usually about the time you tend to throw them out (600+ miles). I used the Asics for the first time in a few weeks for a short recovery run on Monday and certainly noticed a very spongy feeling under feet (and my heels in particular). I'm less inclined to use them now but still feel apprehensive about what my next "new" pair of shoes should be - were the Lidi shoes a once off or should I try an equally "cheap" pair of shoes and see how it goes? I think I've proven that I don't need all that cushion under my feet as all my long runs of the past month, even the 33 mile beast, have been in the Lidl shoes, which now have 440 miles up on them (compared to the 205 on the Asics - what a waste if I don't use up the remaining 400 odd miles - see I'm still in 600 mile expiry date mode). This thread is not going to draw any conclusions as the one thing I have learnt from running is not to draw conclusions and leave the mind open to all possibilities, which forms part of the joy of running for me. The whole minimalist running thing has been fueled by the book I am currently reading "Born to Run" - the story of the Tarahumara tribe from the copper canyons of Mexico who are natural barefoot runners who think nothing of running for days on end as they appear to love the act of running.
I read a post recently on "what you shouldn't buy at Lidl" and running shoes were second only to condoms - didn't know I was living that close to the edge. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What Have I Been Doing
The last two weeks have see me do more of the same - in and around 60 miles a week. Going Long - My long runs have been a bit all over the place with a 21 miler the week after my 33 miler and back to back 16 milers last weekend. Today I had planned on a 20 miler but a dodgy gut cut that back to 18. As I plan on running a 4 mile race tomorrow there'll be no back to back long runs this weekend. Going Fast - My mile sessions at the track never got back to the pre-christmas 6 minute pace. However the 6:20 miles were at reduced recoveries of 2 minutes with 4 last week and 5 in the pouring rain this week (the last 2 were on my own) - My endurance appears to be good as I did not struggle with the 5 reps and felt I could have went on. Therefore I need to increase the pace towards 6:00 miles to get the desired training benefit. I headed back to the track for a second time on Thursday to get in 4 tempo miles @ about 6:30 pace if I could manage it. I had initially planned on 2 x 2 as I had not done a tempo session for some time and was unsure of my speed/endurance ability. However I managed to sustain the effort over the full 4 miles, averaging 6:30 pace - each 1,600m was faster than the previous one and overall I was happy with the effort as at times I felt like quitting - 6:35/30/25/20 (25:50 for 3.98 miles). Hopefully I'll better that time tomorrow. Going Slow - I'm not very good at going slow although I did have a recovery run at 9:18 pace last Monday evening through the fog, rain and rush hour traffic of Douglas while waiting for Safan to finish her Guitar lesson. Miserable run when you have to compete with so many other road users. I think i'll have to don the Vibrams for some slow easy fun training runs.
No Going - I had one down day on Thursday last week as I was recovering from a head cold and as Friday is my day of rest the cold was well an truly gone for saturday's run.
Sun 10th Jan 21.13 miles @ 8:30 pace @ 128HR (Hilly long run) Base/Training Week #7 - 60.97 miles Mon 11th Jan - 5 miles @ 7:52 pace - Treadmill + 5.45 @ 7:21 pace @ 140HR Tue 12th Jan - 7.21 miles @ 8:02 pace & 134HR (with 4 x 6:20 miles & 2 min rec) Wed 13th Jan - 8.66 miles @ 8:06 pace & 125HR + 2.5 miles treadmill Sat 16th Jan - 16.2 miles @ 7:53 pace & 138HR - last 5 miles @ 7:02 pace avg Sun 17th Jan - 16.81 miles @ 7:19 pace @ 143HR Base/Training Week #8 - 61.83 miles Mon 18th Jan - 4;34 miles @9:18 pace & 113HR - Recovery Tue 19th Jan - 7.84 miles @ 8:19 pace & 146HR (Track with 5 x 6:20 miles & 2 min rec) Wed 20th Jan - 11;51 miles @7:55 pace & 126HR + 2.5 miles treadmill Thur 21st Jan - 7.69 miles @7:38 pace & 137HR (Track tempo run with 4 miles @ 6:30 pace) Sat 23rd Jan - 18.19 miles @ 8:09 pace & 130HR.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Beautiful Day

The first song on the shuffle this morning was Beautiful Day - yeah I know seems like it's all U2 lately. The title certainly summed up the feeling I got from running in the clear crisp air on a sunny morning. I headed west up Curraghbeg for a hilly fartlek session. The photo is from the top of the hill looking west over Inniscarra Lake.
I had no issues following last weeks looong run. I took an extra unintentional days rest on Monday despite taking the afternoon off to see Avatar with Abina - the movie went on longer than anticipated but was well worth it. The best movie I've seen in years. Then again most of the movies i've gone to since becoming a dad involved a cast that ended up in McDonalds "happy meals".
A double run on Tuesday ensured that I got a recovery run in before a scaled back interval session at the track. Mile repeats were on the cards again but this time we were back to 3 repeats with the recoveries reduced from 3 to 2 minutes. However I ran them slower @ 6:40 pace, which was no harm given the icy conditions.
Despite the continuing cold spell (hasn't been this bad since 1963 apparently) and warnings from Abina (who has seen a tenfold increase in the number of orthopaedic injuries at the hospital where she works) I managed to get my remaining scheduled runs in on Wednesday and Thursday as road conditions were not too bad - cold but mainly dry.
The scheduled rest day on Friday saw me back in the pool looking for my sea legs with one eye on Tri season - my biggest problem is that I haven't seen the bike in weeks let alone sat on it - hopefully i'll address that when the thaw comes (or when Connie returns my turbo trainer, whichever comes sooner) There may also be a new bike on the horizon, which I hope will be the biggest contribution to my reduced bike times in 2010.
. The "big snow" is due late tomorrow morning, hopefully late enough to allow the Eagles complete their hilly long run. TueAdd Video 5th Jan 6.05 miles in 51:59 (08:35 pace @120 HR) Recovery run. About 6.7 miles with 3 x 1600m @ 6:40 - Interval session without the Garmin. Wed 6th Jan 9.09 miles in 1:09:43 (7:40 pace @ 132HR) General Aerobic run Thur 7th Jan 6 miles in 43:29 (7:14 @ 149 HR) Steady Run 2.5 mils in 19:50 (07:56 pace - treadmill) Sat 9th Jan 9.49 miles in 1:13:15 (7:43 pace @ 144HR) - Hilly Fartlek run.


Saturday, 2 January 2010

10 Minutes of Walking........

............ helped me sustain a relatively even pace today on my longest run ever which lasted just over 4 and a half hours. Most of the run/walk was on roads with just under 5 miles in the park across frozen grass and gravel paths - so not much benefit.
My strategy was simple - run 3 miles and walk for a minute, during which I would take a drink/gel. The run was split in 2 phases with phase 1 fuel consisting of gels (6 in all) and water and phase 2 a " High-5" 4:1 (Carbs:Protein) Endurance drink. I also took 2 cereal bars along but did not eat them until I had finished. It was cold at 7 in the morning and I dressed appropriately - compression top and tights, a fleece cycling jersey (handy back pocket), gloves & hat and shorts over the tights (with the gels in the pockets) I set off shortly after 7 with a loooong playlist on the iPOD (another record). Despite the cold the roads were mainly dry, with just a few shaded icy spots to negotiate. With 6 gels in the larder I was planning on returning home after 18 to 21 miles to pick up my carb/protein drink before heading out for the phase 2 leg. The phase 1 route took me from Ballincollig into town via the Model Farm Road, the South Quays, Horgans Quays, Sundays Well (first real hill) and out the Lee Road for about 5 miles back to Ballincollig Regional Park where I did a 2.35 mile loop before returning home to collect my drink and down a half can of coke. I had no problem resuming running after the short walking breaks, although I looked forward to them more and more as the miles went by. 21.5 miles in the bag - now for the challenging bit. My average pace for phase 1 was 8:11 miles. As the Connemara Ultra i'm training for has a two mile hill close to the end I head west to Curraghbeg for the climb up onto the ridge overlooking the Inniscarra Reservoir. I reach the base of the hill at mile 23.3 and plough away up the hill at 9 minute pace and feel quite good. I crest the hill and descend for over half a mile before doubling back. I pass the imaginary 26.22 miles in 3:36 (8:14 pace). I figure I lost 75 seconds on the climb and try to make it back up on the final descent clocking a 7:15 mile to mile 27.7. As it's too early to head for home I run along the Wood Road to the Park covering the 2.35 mile frozen circuit one more time. I stop for my last walking break at mile 30.8 and find it relatively easy to resume running although fatigue is creeping in. There are less than 18 minutes on the clock, however I chose a route home that will get me over the 33 mile mark. During the last mile I spot Pete running against me (did a few Triathlons with him during the summer) - we stop for a quick chat and he said that he had been meaning to call me to organise a run today - I show him the 32.5 miles on the clock - "maybe not today". I finally stop the clock at 4:31:50 with 33.22 miles covered (8:11 pace) - just 10k short of race distance. Conscious of the fact that my legs could cease up I take the dogs for a mile walk after downing the remainder of the can of coke (certainly a must have for Connemara) and eat the 2 cereal bars I had carried for 33 miles. The chart below shows the fairly even pacing with a few deviations for the climbs/descents and for the obvious walking breaks. All I have to do now is watch my recovery and avoid doing too much over the coming days as the inevitable DOMs sets in. Surprisingly I had no blisters, chafing (no vaseline) , nipple issues (no plasters). My heart rate was well under control with a high of 152. The average pace of the combined running section was 8:02, although something tells me that that pace would not have been possible over the last 10+ miles had I not included walking breaks from the start. Time to read up some more on Jeff Galloway's ideas. Sat 2nd Jan 33.23 miles in 4:31:54 (08:11 pace @ 134HR) Base Week #6 - 63.92 miles (Don't think i'll run tomorrow) .

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Years Day

A beautiful sunny day as I headed out for a hilly fartlek run and this came on the iPOD. I never quite made my long endurance run yesterday as I had spent the previous day in Waterford at a family get together, which involved an entirely different pacing strategy with pints of Guinness. However I did go on a "recovery" run of just under 12 miles at a respectable pace, which brought me to the end of 2009 with 2,370 miles under my belt. That's marginally down on the 2,440 miles in 2008 and 2,467 in 2007 (pretty consistent really). Goes to show that I don't need high mileage (yet) to improve my marathon time, which for me was the best result of the year. I also had PB's at 4 miles (by 44 seconds), 5 miles (by 40 seconds) and 10 miles (5 seconds) but the great 2008 performances at 10K and HM remain unbeaten. That's enough of the stats. Hopefully tomorrow morning (weather permitting) i'll do that long run that I've been all talk about. Mon 28th Dec 5.9 miles in 44:03 (07:28 pace @ 135HR) - Steady run Tue 29th Dec 5 miles in 38:38 (07:44 pace - Treadmill) Wed 30th Dec No miles - The garmin was no good at keeping track of the Guinness Thur 31st Dec 11.78 miles in 1:29:10 (07:34 pace @ 136HR) December (Run 238.9 miles, Bike 33 miles, Swim 2,000m) 2009 (Run 2,370 miles, Bike 1,361 miles, Swim 44.5 miles) Fri 1st Jan 8.01 miles in 1:03:40 (7:57 pace @ 142HR) Hilly Fartlek. .