Sunday, February 27, 2011

Donadea 50K and other stuff.

John O'Regan & Jim McCormick

Training has gone very well over the past few weeks and included one long training run of 55K which I used as race prep for the Anglo Celtic Plate and practiced my pacing and fueling while keeping a close eye on my Heart Rate.
 Had planned on peaking this week with a 60K run at same pace (4:37 per K) but instead I ran the Donadea 50K at a slightly faster pace to make up for the shorter distance.  Based on previous training runs my race plan was to finish the 50K in 3hrs40 mins (4:24 per K / 7:04 per mile) which was based on my Heart Rate and if it went to plan I should manage to keep it under 150 bpm.

This was the first running of the Donadea 50K and had a limited number of competitors all running on invite and among the entrants was my Team Mate for the Anglo Celtic Plate Keith Whyte and Jim McCormick a training partner from Belfast and close friend of Marty Rea.  Jim was also using this race as a long training run so we decided to run it together and use it as an opportunity to catch up on what we were both up to and swap war stories.
We started off at a decent pace to break away from the crowd which was decided on the walk to the start line as  we noticed the track was a bit too narrow for a group of 25 and would be a bit like a cross country race start.  We were cautious not to get outside our comfort zone although we soon realised that after 2K we were a bit too close to Keith Whyte and that meant our pace was a bit too fast.  We had a quick chat with Keith and politely told him we were dropping back.

Long story short,  Keith Whyte went on to finish in 1st place quite comfortably in 3hrs26:27 with Jim and I finishing 3rd in 3hr41:30 having ran an almost perfect race.  We went through the Marathon split in 3hrs04:30 as planned but then I made a toilet stop in the 2nd last lap and I reckon thats what cost us the additional few seconds.  We could have pushed a bit harder to make up the time but for what?  It was a training run and I know from experience that a sprint finish could have made all the difference to my recovery and it's a bit too close to my goal race to let my ego decide what I do.
Aisling, my daughter & support crew.
During the race I wore Skins A400 running tights and my Le Cheile running club singlet.  My daughter Aisling was there as support crew and kept us supplied with Powerbar Energize which was mixed and contained in 250ml bottles.
Crossing the Finish Line in 3rd place with Jim McCormick
With Keith Whyte at the finish.
In other news John Byrne finished 2nd in the Bramley 20 miler with a very impressive time of 1hr52:19 as part of his prep for the ACP and when you consider that along with Daniel Doherty's recent 50K result I think we have a strong team for this year's ACP.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Irish Team for Anglo Celtic Plate

Keith Whyte winning the 2010 Cliffs of Moher Half-Marathon
The Irish men's team for the Anglo Celtic Plate (Home Nations) 100km has been announced. The event will take place in Perth, Scotland on 27 March 2011.
Keith Whyte and Daniel Doherty will make their debut for Ireland in the competition.
Doherty took up running only two years ago and runs with Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC in the UK. His progress has been remarkable, most recently finishing second in the Gloucester 50km in 3:09:05 despite suffering a chest infection.
Whyte, who hails from Ennis, has been equally impressive. He took up running three years ago and set a marathon PB of 2:38 in October's Dublin City Marathon. However, his true talent may lie beyond the marathon distance where his 180km - 200km training weeks should also stand him in good stead. 
The team will be captained by Irish record holder Thomas Maguire whose PB of 7:05:06 earned him 12th place in the 2006 World 100km Championships. Maguire also holds the 24 Hour Irish Record, covering a distance of 248.392km to be ranked in the top six in the world in 2009.
John Byrne, a 2:32 marathoner, made his debut at the 100km distance in 2010 and there are high expectations of the Mayo AC athlete's 100km ultramarathon potential.
John O'Regan, primarily a 24-hour+ runner, will complete the team and is anticipated to put in a very strong performance over the shorter distance of 100km in Scotland.
John Byrne
Daniel Doherty
Thomas Maguire (captain)
John O'Regan
Keith Whyte
Date: Sunday 27 March 2011
Times: 7am - 100k & 10am - 50k
Venue: Bells Sports Centre, Perth
For event details click here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Training

Physio during the Spartathlon

Since the start of this year I've been working on my endurance and running an average weekly distance of 160K at an aerobic pace.  I run the short runs slightly faster at the upper end of my aerobic zone to make them more time efficient as they are usually during my lunch break and the longer runs are slower and at the lower end of the zone.
I'm now training for the Anglo Celtic Plate in Scotland at the end of March and from next week  my training will get a bit more focussed with the introduction of some speed work.  I'll keep my weekly training volume around the same and will probably peak with a 50K race to be held in Donadea Forest Park at the end of February.
I was thinking of going as long as 60K but think the 50K race run slightly faster might be more beneficial although I won't run it at a pace that will result in recovery days off and a possible loss of fitness.
I've also block booked a few lunchtime massage sessions to preempt any possible injuries that may happen between now and March.  Most of my problems usually happen when starting back at speed work and it's probably because I do too much too soon.

The year so far:
Distance: 782K / 486 Miles
avg Pace: 4:54 per K / 7:52 mile
Days off: 2 (both unplanned)
Longest Run: 45K.

A word of warning regarding training volume: It takes time to build up to running over 100K per week and if you don't take a rest day then one week continues into the next and a week becomes 14 days, 21 days and so on....  Time on your feet needs to be taken into consideration as the higher volume of training eats into recovery time and less recovery will increase your injury risk.  A 3hr Marathon runner might cover 100K as a weekly total in around 8hrs while running at an easy pace whereas a 4hr Marathon runner might take 11hrs for the same distance.
Listen to your body and at the first sign of a problem take a step back and reduce the training volume or cross train.  Cautious short term reductions in training volume will help keep you injury free.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

100 Days into Mangan's World Run

Odd one out? John Geesler is a good friend of UltraRunning Ireland.
48-Hour World Indoor record holder Tony Mangan is now 100 days into his 'World Jog' and recently met USA ultra legend John Geesler in New York.
Tony has run the equivalent of over 85 marathons in 82 road days or more than 3,600km (2,250 miles) since October's Dublin Marathon. Why? He is fulfilling a long time ambition to run around the world. His understated 'World Jog' has already seen him cross both Ireland and Newfoundland; Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada; and Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania in the USA.
Tony's official indoor world record for 48 hours stands at 426.178km and during his 48-hour running career he had several great duels with John Geesler, a multiple USA champion. John, pictured above, travelled with the Irish 24 Hour team from Paris to Brive to compete in the 2010 World 24 Hour Championships.
A song has now been penned in Tony's honour by John-Michael Field of Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Please click here to listen to The Irishman Upon Your Floor (The Ballad of Tony Mangan) .
See Tony's very entertaining blog at The World Jog.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Empire State Building Run Up

Want to step up to a challenge? Test yourself up 86 flights of stairs in the Empire State Building Run-Up. A quick 1,576 steps will get you from the ground floor to the Observation Deck that looms nearly a quarter- mile above Fifth Avenue.  Did this race back in 2009 and wouldn't mind a second shot or maybe try the Taipei 101 ?
More more info on similar events check out Tower Running.

Please note that this is an invitational race, with selections based on athletic ability and background.