Monday, March 28, 2011

Anglo Celtic Plate 2011.

Record Run at Anglo Celtic Plate

  • Ireland's Keith Whyte, John Byrne, John O'Regan, Thomas Maguire and Daniel Doherty
John Byrne led home a record breaking run by the Irish men's 100km team at the Anglo Celtic Plate (Home Nations) in Perth, Scotland on 27 March 2011.
A relative newcomer to ultrarunning, Byrne ran an incredible time of 7:09:33 to finish third in the individual competition behind Craig Stewart of Scotland (7:01:36) and Alan Smalls of England (7:04:54). It was the second fastest time in history by an Irishman.
Ireland's Daniel Doherty (7:19:29) and Keith Whyte (7:28:59) finished 6th and 7th, respectively, also posting qualifying times for the World 100km Championships in September. The trio ensured a new Irish 100km team record time of 21:58:01, eclipsing the record set by the Irish team that finished 5th at the European 100km Championships in 2007.
Team captain and Irish record holder Thomas Maguire was fourth Irish finisher on this occasion and fifth finisher John O'Regan set a PB over the 100km distance.
The performance also ensured second place behind Scotland (21:43:36) in a highly competiive team competition which saw Commonwealth Champions England finish 3rd.
John Byrne crosses finish line in 7:09:33
Daniel Doherty in action at Anglo Celtic Plate
Keith Whyte qualifying for World 100km

Further information available from Ultra Running Ireland.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Everything packed except the excuse

It's been 5 months, 2000K, 2 broken ribs, 1 broken toe and a few short races since my last 100K race in Gibraltar and now race day is almost here again.
I remember finishing that race knowing I could do a lot better with the right preparation and with that in mind I began to prepare for this race almost straight away even though there was no guarantee of a place on the team.  The plan started at race day and I worked it back to the date my training began to allow for the best possible use of available time.  I've done everything I could do and think I'm as best prepared as I can be.
The bag is packed and all I don't have is an excuse :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Almost there, Anglo Celtic Plate 2011.

Le Cheile Men's Team, Kildare Senior Road Race Championships 2011
With less than a week to go until the ACP I've more or less finished my training with a 20K easy run this morning at my planned race pace.  I wore my Garmin and had it set at the loop length for the course in Perth which is 2.381K (42 laps) and based on this morning's run I now have a good idea of how often I'll be passing the support crew.

Training has gone as well as can be expected and I'm going into race week injury free and in good shape so I've no excuses and expect to run a good race!  Over the past few weeks I've had many quality sessions including a few disciplined races that I ran as planned hard training sessions rather than getting caught up in a race even though it can be tough mentally when you know it's possible to do that bit better.

David McCarthy in full flight & Larry Kelly.
Last weekend I took part in the Kildare Senior Road Race Championships which was 10K and hosted by my local club Le Cheile A.C.  I knew going into this race that I was in good shape as my shorter runs had got progressively faster having started my taper but I was conscious of the fact that going all out in a short race just for the result could cost me in the long term and this wasn't my distance or my race.  I declared my expected finish time of 36 mins to 36:30 in advance of the race starting and made the effort not to get caught up in a race even though I found myself running comfortably with the lead group from the start.
Running in the group meant I didn't have to think about what I was doing and it seemed easy to just run along with the pack but on checking my watch I noticed we went through the first K mark in 3:22 (5:26 mile) and I thought this a bit too fast so I dropped back.  Between 2k and 7K I ran on my own but always had the lead group in sight and they never seemed to gain any more of a lead and I began wondering would it have been easier to stay with them and get the benefit of running in a pack which also includes shelter from the breeze.

Got back into my own zone and held it steady up to 8K and knew there was a hill ahead and decided to wait until I'd cleared that before pushing the pace.  As I reached the 9K mark beyond the hill I could see the lead pack making their way along the home stretch as the course turned back on itself at 9.5K and I then knew I made the right decision to fall back as the pace had increased in the last 1K to one I know I couldn't hold but might have tried and that's when the damage would have been done.

I crossed the finish line in 5th place with a new less than full effort PB of 36:17 and more importantly I knew I could have kept going at the same pace.

I think my preparation for the 100K World Championships went quite well considering how soon after the Spartathlon it was so next week I'll almost mirror how I approached that race and that starts with a sports massage with Peter Matthews tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tapering and a few short races

Le Cheile Ladies & Gents Senior Teams

The weekend of the Donadea 50K marked the start of my Taper and to finish of that weekend I took part in the Kildare Road Race Championships Intermediate & Masters which was a short but fast 6K.  I was conscious of the previous days race being still in my legs and was prepared to drop out if needs be and planned on running easy to start rather than going all out and deciding on my pace based on how I felt after the first kilometer.  Didn't feel too good running to the start line during my warm up but felt good once the race started and pushed on to finish in 6th place and 1st over 40 in 21:53 and to make things even better our team finished 3rd with the ladies team also finishing 3rd.  Only seconds slower than last year and much better than I expected.
Le Cheile Ladies Team

Training volume has since reduced with lots of shorter but slightly faster runs of around 10K with the occasional longer run which I'm scaling down from 30K as the ACP gets closer.

Today I ran in the Kildare Senior Road Race Championships, a 10K which was hosted by my own club Le Cheile.  With the recent reduced volume I'm feeling better than usual as the legs get a chance to rest and recover so I knew there was a chance of doing well in this race but I also needed to keep my eye on the bigger picture and think about the race I'm training for in 2 weeks time.  I declared my time of 36mins to 36:30 before the race thinking that this was realistic and wouldn't be causing any unnecessary  stress or post race recovery.

I was hoping that a definite lead group would break away from the start and the temptation to race just wouldn't be there but my conservative fast pace still had me with the lead pack so with less than 1K covered I made the decision to drop back and run as planned.

It became obvious after the first half that I could have stayed with the lead pack as they never got further than 30M away and I even made up a few places as 2 guys fell back.  I was now in fifth place and contemplating making a push within the last 2K but decided against it and in the approach to the last 1K as the race doubled back towards the finish I could see that the lead pack had split and all were running at a faster pace and it was faster than I could have managed and I was glad that I held back as it would have been for nothing and would have cost me.
Finished in fifth place with 36min17sec and the team finished in 2nd place.  My time was 22 seconds faster than my win in Ballybunion last year so all in all it was a good day.
Garmin Connect for 10K Race.

Doherty wins Ultra Race Grantham

In his final preparatory race for the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km, Daniel Doherty won the 9bar Ultra Race Grantham on the weeked of 5th-6th March.
The 9bar event involved a 29.1 mile trail run on consecutive days and Doherty won convincingly, also setting a course record on the first leg.
You can see Danel's race report on his blog: