Friday, November 27, 2009

Thomas Maguire wins Monaco 24

Ireland's Thomas Maguire set an incredible new Irish record of 248.392km (154.344 miles) to win the IAU-labelled Monaco 24-Hour race on 22nd November. Maguire's performance is an elite Grade A standard and propels him into the top 5 in the world rankings this year.
The distance, which is the equivalent of running almost six full marathons in a single day, was also a new event record for the Monaco race.
The 'No Finish Line 24-Hour Race', staged on a 1km circuit at Monaco's world famous port, proved to be a fascinating duel between Maguire, the Irish 100km record holder, and Emmanuel Fontaine (FRA).
The pair demonstrated fantastic mental and physical prowess as well as top class sportsmanship as they battled for dominance over the second half of the race. However, Maguire's pacing strategy ultimately proved successful and he gained control over the final few hours.
Maguire ran negative splits and his time for the final 100 miles (161km), yet to be confirmed precisely, is also set to be an Irish best at the distance.  
He was supported by former Irish Olympian Paul Donovan - and Fearghal Murphy. He was also accompanied in his efforts by Ireland's Richard Donovan over the initial third of the race.
The IAAF World Athletics Gala took place on the same day in Monte Carlo and HSH Prince Albert II was at hand to give Thomas his winning 'No Finish Line' trophy.
His amazing achievement further boosts Ireland's 24-Hour team for 2010, especially given Eoin Keith's 5th place finish at this year's World 24-Hour Championships. The next World 24-Hour Championships take place in Brive, France on 13th-14th May 2010.
Monaco Results
1. Thomas Maguire (IRL) 248.392km
2. Emmanuel Fontaine (FRA) 243.570km
3. Christian Leroux (FRA) 225.118km
4. Christophe Laborie (FRA) 213.850km
5. Robert Ludger Boewer (GER) 210.210km
Check out Thomas Maguire's profile on Ultrarunning Ireland.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More of the same

My training volume increased ever so slightly last week with my weekday runs going from a 6 mile to 8 mile average and my long run on Sunday was extended by 2.5 miles to 11 miles. At the moment I'm still planning next year and although I have a fair idea of what i'll be doing it's still too early to start putting my body under too much stress as I much prefer to use this time to build a good foundation on which to get event specific when the time comes.

I've also mapped out a local route that includes quite a few hills and is just over an 8 mile loop starting from my house, I'll run this route once a week with a gradualy increasing pace using the virtual partner on my Garmin.

Knowing how far and how fast to run during the Long Run is determined by how far you'll have to run during your planned event but there is a distance at which you can max out and it's probably not sensible to go beyond that. This distance and pace differs from person to person but I find that if I'm on the go for longer than 4.5 hours I take longer to recover and going for an extra half to 1 hour can cost me a training session or more in the following days. No big deal but if it's close to an important race it can make a big difference.

As a rule if I'm training for a Marathon I run my long run slower than my planned race pace and if I'm training for an Ultra my long run will be at race pace or faster depending on the race distance. If you can't hold a conversation during your long run then chances are it's too fast.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Starting all over again..

With just over a month left in this year I've started on the next stage of my training schedule.  For the last month most of my runs were within my easy heart rate zone and I've also spent some time working on my leg strength and core stability by doing exercises which included lunges & single leg squats for my legs and  chin ups for my upper body.  My heart rate based runs meant that when training with someone else they usually had to slow down at times to stay with my pace so as a compromise I'll run at a set pace when with someone or heart rate when I'm on my own.

Today I did my first run and just went for it running comfortably hard while ignoring my Garmin and heart rate and had a very enjoyable run in the wind and rain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Too much too soon.

Everest Marathon 2007 and the view from Kala Patar.

Last week I started to increase my mileage thinking that I'd recovered quicker than the time I knew it would take and have started to feel a few niggles.  I'm guessing that this was partly due the feeling of success I had after finishing the 24hr race and that feeling was masking the obvious damage that my body had suffered during the event.  It was my longest ever event and probably my shortest recovery period so it was probably obvious that my legs needed some more time off.

I have since put some effort into sorting the problem areas through self massage using my foam roller, icing the sore area and doing some extra stretching.  This seems to have helped but i'll be extra cautious until the end of this year and won't be doing my usual December races and might even forget about speed work until at least January.  On a positive note I went for an easy run today with Tony driving to his house to cut out some hills and we completed 8 miles at a fairly constant 7:30 min mile.  We agreed not to go faster than 7 min mile with no lower limit and had to hold ourselves back at times without ever having to speed up.  Tomorrow I start at the beginning all over again and prepare to prepare for 2010.

Everest Marathon Race Report.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taking it easy

I've started back running and have ran almost everyday since last Friday starting with two easy runs on the treadmill. I'm not a big fan of treadmill running but when starting back it's a good way of checking for wear and tear and if you discover a problem after a mile or two you can stop without the thought of having to walk home in the rain.
Finished off my week with a long run of just under 2 hrs with Tony and Anthony Lee and for the moment i'll run for time rather than distance and staying in my easy run heart rate zone. Finishing todays run I felt a niggle in my left knee and lower right shin so thats something i'll need to sort out before moving forward.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Starting Back

24hrs of Running.

Two months previous to the 24hr race I was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and was told to take a week off from training and during that week forget about the Athletic Diet and just eat what I want and rest. Well thats exactly what i've done over the last two weeks. My 'Athletic' diet has gone out the window and I've used the opportunity as I transition from one event to preparing for the next event to do the things I haven't done for a while. I ate lots of chocolate, had my chinese takeaway, had a few hangovers and now it's time to start training again. As mentioned previously the Dublin Marathon marks the end of my year so my 24hr race was timed perfectly as there was only a week between the two races.

One of my training principles is always take a step back before going forward and this simply means not continuing on from where you left off but starting back at the beginning. If you don't have a start and finish point there could be a tendency to just continue training and not allow your body to rest / recover and adapt to the recent stresses caused by training and racing.

The intensity will be reduced and i'll start off with a low volume of training (reduced mileage) which will gradually be increased over the coming weeks. Between now and Christmas i'll focus on maintaining a decent level of fitness and work on my leg strength with the objective being to get myself ready to do some serious training knowing that I can be race ready for any distance in as little as 4 weeks but preferrably a bit longer.