Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Army all terrain 6k race.

It's the start of week 2 in my Marathon plan and rather than run my scheduled 8 miler this evening I took part in the BHAA Army all terrain 6K race in the Phoenix Park.  What a race! The start was quite fast over a flat well groomed field and then the fun began.  The main section of the race started with a steep descent which ended with the start of a very steep climb and the start of the first of three loops.  

Each loop brought us along an undulating forest trail with man made and natural obstacles ranging from jump and fallen trees to scrim netting which we crawled under and river crossings.  Some of the climbs were so steep that ropes were needed.  During the first loop I was wishing it to end and towards the middle of the second lap when I'd got into a rhythm I wanted it to continue.  All in all a great race and I look forward to it again next year.  
Plan for tomorrow is a run home from work and then I'm back on track.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 1

Week 1 went to plan finishing with a 15 mile run with my Heart Rate between 80 -85% of my predicted max.  It was quite a warm day and I noticed my pace gradually slowing from a 7:10 min mile to an overall average of 7:45 min mile.  Whenever my out of zone alarm went off I changed my pace which meant slowing on an incline and speeding up on a decline.  Using HR to determine effort has the added advantage of allowing the change of pace which makes the run a bit more interesting.
My last long run before I went to Australia was as the 8 min mile pacer for the London Marathon and towards the end of the race I could feel my IT band tighten up but because I was running at a set pace I couldn't slow down or increase my stride length to loosen it out.

The attached graph is from the 1st Long run of my Marathon programme using Polar Protainer software, the lower red line shows the course profile and the red line towards the top shows my Heart Rate profile.  I use the Polar RS800SD and for anyone interested the Great Outdoors are selling a similar model, the RS400SD at the moment for €299.  

Monday, June 22, 2009

100 Hr Challenge

This day back in 2006 I was halfway through a challenge with a team from Ulster Bank which involved climbing the highest peak in every county in Ireland in less than 100hrs and in doing so set a new Irish record for this challenge.  The original record had been set by two Australians back in 1999 and stood at168hrs.  Our attempt started on the morning of mid summer’s day June 21st2006 in the Hag’s Glen below Carrantuohill in Co. Kerry and finished after the descent of Mount Errigal in Co. Donegal 96hrs 55mins later. 

The Hag's Glen

Summit of Carrantouhill, Co.Kerry.  Ireland's Highest Mountain.
Summit of Lugnacoille

Car Park below Mt Errigal Co Donegal.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Break is over.

This week was a bit hit and miss with very little running although I did manage 3 days of cycling to and from work.  Didn't mind too much as it was my last week of rest before focussing on my training for this year's Dublin Marathon.  I was a bit dissapointed with my cycling because for some reason the journey time was getting longer even though the effort was feeling the same but no big deal as I'm not a cyclist.  My week went a bit like this:


6.4K very easy miles with my son cycling alongside


38K Cycle to and from work.


Cycle to and from work.


Cycle to and from work.


19.2K easy run from work to home


12.8K Short track session and easy miles to cool down.


11.2K run in the Wicklow mountains + 11.2K easy run along the Royal Canal towpath.

Tomorrow starts my 18 week schedule leading up to the Dublin Marathon starting with an easy run.

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the road again

As planned, last week was an easy week with a slight increase in duration from the week before to ease myself back into a regular routine without over doing it.  I included a few cycling days using my commuting time to cross train and make the most of my free time or maybe it was creating training time?  My week went a little bit like this:

Easy Run over Hilly Course: 6K
Cycle to/from work: 38K
Easy Run: 10K
Cycle to/from work: 38K
Steady Run: 12.8K
Cycle to/from work: 38K
Steady Run work/home 17.6K
Running Drills 2K
5K Race in Lucan 5K  (18min45sec)

Total for Week: 58K Running & 114K Cycling

The best training plan is one that fits around your life rather than trying to fit your life around the training plan! During last week all my cross training was done during my commuting time and my run home on Friday which took 1hr 22min was also a commute which got me home 30mins later than usual but for that extra 30 mins I managed an 11 mile run.  My steady pace 8 miler on Wednesday was done while my kids were at Kick boxing, the easy run on Tuesday was my way of getting to an athletics competition the kids were competing in and the running drills on Saturday were done with my daughter .  How do I find the time to train?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dublin Marathon 09

I'm still taking it kind of easy and gradually easing myself back into a training routine with my next definite plan for this year being a sub 3hr Marathon in the Dublin City Marathon this coming October.  Training should be a bit easier this year now that I have some company for the bulk of my training runs as there's a few lads from the club (Le Cheile A.C) training for the same goal.

Training proper will start on Monday 22nd June which will leave 18 weeks to prepare for race day and between now and then I'm training on average every second day.  I've prepared a blank template which includes a list of races and goal finishing times which we will use to measure our progress and between the group we will work out a plan that will suit us all as much as possible.

The best training plan is one that fits around your life rather than trying to fit your life around the training and listing key races in advance can help avoid possible conflicts of interest.

My finishing time for Dublin last year was 3hr 00min 30sec and because I've kept a detailed diary i'll be able to compare my progress this year with my training results from last year.

So far this week I've ran 3 times which included a 13 mile run with Tony today at 7:30 min mile pace.  When training alone I use my Heart Rate to determine effort but the compromise when training as a group is to use a pace thats comfortable for all involved.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's hot outside.

A question I'm asked quite often is which do you prefer, the heat or the cold? It's a hard one to answer because when you're competing in extremes of temperature you will always have times when you wish you were in the opposite.  Here's another of my many running related coincidences which had me thinking that way.  On April 10th 2004 I was running the North Pole Marathon with Mark Pollock and on that same date the previous year I was running the 80K stage of the Marathon des Sables.  I had never felt the cold like I did at the North Pole and I was almost envious of the runners in the MdS but I also remembered baking in the heat of the Sahara Desert and wishing the day to end.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Starting Back

Started back running last week with a short easy run every second day of less than 6 miles keeping my Heart rate below 150 bpm and finished off the week with a short track session of 4*800 Metres.  As expected I found it hard getting back into a routine so I got my son to cycle with me which helped keep the pace easy and it also gave me a reason to get out. 
This week i plan on increasing the distance and including one faster paced run.  My long term goal for the moment is the Dublin Marathon at the end of October and short term goals are a series of races planned for the Phoenix Park starting with a 5 mile race in July.