Thursday, December 31, 2009

World 24-Hour Team Announcement

Thomas Maguire and Eoin Keith, Ireland's top 24-Hour performers

Ireland will enter a men's team for the World 24-Hour Challenge & European Championships which will take place in Brive, France on 13-14 May 2010.
The team certainly has medal hopes in this competition: Eoin Keith finished 5th in the 2009 World Challenge and Thomas Maguire is ranked in the top six in the world for 2009.
On top of these performances, John O'Regan had an excellent debut at 24 hours in Londonin October, while Spanish-based Eddie Gallen continues to be Ireland's most dependable 24-hour runner, consistently chalking up 200km+ distances.
These four may be joined by Richard Donovan and Tony Mangan depending on their fitness and availability.
The top three finishers on each team decide team positions in the competition.
A full team of support personnel will also travel to Brive.
Performances of team members in past 12 months
Thomas Maguire 248.392km (Monaco, November 2009)
Eoin Keith 237.206km (Bergamo, May 2009)
John O'Regan 220.021km (London, October 2009)
Eddie Gallen 216.213km (Barcelona, December 2008)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farranfore to Firies Road Race

I waited all year for this race having heard about it too late last Christmas and when I arrived at the start line it had been called off. I wasn't too disappointed because for me it had served it's purpose in my schedule by giving me an excuse to run during the holidays and it made me take it easy on the food & drink on Christmas day.
Rather than write off the day I decided to run the route with a few others in the wind and rain checking it out for next year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Kepler Challenge.

Gretel Fortmann, Tony Golden, James Owens & Rob Costelloe after finishing the Kepler Challenge.

The Kepler Challenge is a 60K race over steep mountain inclines, alpine ridges and deep forest looping around the Jackson Peaks in Te Anau, South Island, New Zealand.  Total ascent / descent for the race is 1,350m which includes what's described as two steep ascents and one punishing descent.

I had planned on running this race in December 2008 as my last continent race but the entires fill up so quickly that I missed out.  Disappointed at the time but I then found the North Face 100K in Australia and became friends with all of the above and had an excuse to visit my running buddy Rob who also crewed for me during the race.
Congratulations to Gretel, Tony, James and Rob on their successful completion of this event.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Richard Donovan wins Antarctic 100km.

Photo copyright Antarctic Ice Marathon.

It was quite tempting to stay in bed this morning after looking out the window and seeing the roads and cars covered in a layer of frost and snow but I had arrangements made and people to meet.  Returning to my house 18 miles later my hands were frozen and I thought back to this time in 2005 when I was in training for the first Antarctic Ice Marathon.  Back then I was almost praying for a frosty morning and the colder the better to help prepare my body as best I could for the conditions in Antarctica.  

The attached news report is from Ultrarunning Ireland.

Richard Donovan won the IAU-labelled Antarctic 100k for the third time on December 14th.
The race, which is the world's southernmost ultramarathon, was held at 80 Degrees South in the interior of the Antarctic.
Conditions underfoot were extremely tough this year due to snowfall. Windchill temperature was -14C.
Richard also organised the event, which incorporates a marathon, and is called the Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Training by time.

We can't make time so we've got to make the best use of the available time we have.  If you have an hour set aside for a regular run and you run the same route continuously you may find that after a few weeks you start to cover the same route faster as you get fitter.  If you run for distance rather than time the session will end sooner and you won't gain the benefit of the minutes saved by covering the distance faster and the earned time is wasted.

My regular Saturday morning run is a hilly 60 minutes followed by a cool down walk to my house and as you'll see from the attached Garmin Connect links the distance I cover in the 60 minutes has started to increase as my fitness level has increased.  If I was running it as an 8 mile loop the run would be finishing sooner and like I've said, I wouldn't get the benefit of the extra training minutes I've made!

Run 1.
Run 2.

If you compare the Heart Rate average and max for both runs it's evident that run 2 shows an improvement in my fitness level as the effort is less with a faster pace over the same route.

An hour is an hour and a mile is a mile but as you get fitter you can cover a mile in less time and get more training for your hour.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Planning ahead.

There's not a lot to say at the moment as all I'm really doing is clocking up a few miles at more or less the same pace which is back to my default easy run pace of 7:30 min mile / 4:40 min Km.  Recovery runs are slower but again the pace is constant and my mileage is in the region of 50-60 miles per week.  As the end of the year approaches I'm now trying to decide which races to do and it's looking like a busy year so I need to make some compromising choices.

For starters I'm entered into the Connemara Ultra in April and I also have an entry in the Dingle Ultra Marathon in September through Ultra Running Ireland which will be run as the National 50 Mile Title but apart from that there's nothing definite.  Other planned races happen in May, August & September and i'll make my decisions on which races to do at the start of January.  I could try do them all and just get around and use the last race as an excuse for not doing well in the next but that's not how I operate.  I like to prepare well and give everything my best shot and I don't make excuses.