Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thinking about next year.

Can it get any better? This time last year I was thinking to myself that it can't get much better than the year I'd just had and if 2011 wasn't better then it was a close second so maybe next year can be better and I'll do my best to make that happen.

I now have a list of possible races and one or other other projects that are yet to be confirmed and if they go ahead they may change some of my other plans.  At the moment I'm training for the Donadea 50K on Feb 18th and following on from that I was planning on racing the Kildare Marathon in May  but I've now ruled out Kildare as it's too close to the World Masters Athletics 100K Championships which I hope to run if fit enough and that's in Italy on April 22nd .  Unfortunately the WMA 100K is  also on the same weekend as the London Marathon so that rules out a weekend in London yet again.

The Energia Belfast 24-hr race will have a change of venue next year due to works at the Mary Peters Track and for 2012 will be held in Bangor on 6th/7th July.  I'm hoping to run this race yet again but it may conflict with something else so it's yet to be confirmed.

I also plan on running as many shorter races as I can fit in with my preference being 5K & 10K and for starters I'm thinking about the Ballybunion 10K on April 7th.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Staying in the Zone

 If you train at a relatively high volume on a weekly basis your diet will have evolved to meet your exercise requirements and if you take a few days off from training without making dietary adjustments your weight will start to increase.  This is no big deal if it's just a short break as 'water finds it's level' and when you get back into your usual routine it evens out again BUT at this time of year when it's acceptable to eat and drink to access you need to pay a bit more attention.  Taking a few days off is ok and will probably do your muscles more good than harm but if on those 'off' days you increase your calorific intake by 2 or 3 times your norm it can slow down your return to a regular routine and it will have an impact on your training.

Keep a check on your weight and if there's a significant increase you should take your time getting back on track and rather than trying to start back where you left on you should take a step back and ease back into it.  Train it off rather than starve it off and think of it as extra fuel for the long run :)

My plan for today was a 35K Long Run but I knew before starting that it wasn't going to happen!  My night time weight before bed last night was up by 2Kg and this morning I had lost less than 1Kg of that gain so it wasn't all alcohol.  I reduced todays run by 15K before starting out and that way I stayed in control of what I was doing rather than just suffering and finishing my return leg home with bad form.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Outsider People of the Year 2011

I'm happy to announce that for the second year in a row I've made the Outsider People of the Year List.  Totally unexpected but I'll take it and it's a great way to end a great year.

John O’Regan – Irish 24-hour track record holder

Many of you will be familiar with John O’Regan’s ultra-running feats and indeed he even features in last year’s list. But having set a new Irish 24-hour track record of 132 miles back in July, we just couldn’t leave him out.
John’s other achievements include completing the Spartathalon (246km), finishing an ultra-marathon or marathon on each of the seven continents and the North Pole, including the most northern (North Pole), most southern (Antarctica), highest (Everest) and lowest (Dead Sea) races in the world. He finished first in the 100 Mile Yukon Arctic Ultra, first in the Inca Trail Marathon and second in the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Not bad for someone who only started running in 2002.
John states, “I think my strength is mental. I’m able to switch off and stay in the moment. I don’t think of the finish line; I break it down into smaller manageable pieces.
“I try to fit the training into my life rather than my life into the training. I often commute from Leixlip by running. I run during lunch. At weekends, I go out early in the morning and when my training requires longer runs, I start earlier.
“I accidentally found what my game was. Maybe that’s because I was always looking; I was always trying different things. My watershed moment was when I read an article about the Marathons des Sables. I started running in April 2002, ran the Dublin Marathon just to see if I had it in me and then did the 150-mile Sahara Race in April 2003.”
John, who is sponsored by Great Outdoors, also competed at the 100km World Championships in September.
Note: The Track Record mentioned is for the Mary Peters Track and not the Official Irish Track Record which is held by Eoin Keith.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Here.

Since my last post I've been easing back into a regular routine and slowly increasing my training volume having got the good news that my iron levels have returned to normal and yesterday I took part in the National Novice Cross Country running on the Kildare Team which will probably be my last race of the year and the end of my recovery period.

Curragh Camp, Kildare.

There's nothing like a cross country race to get the legs moving and this race was the fastest cross country I've ever ran.  I knew I'd be out of my depth with this one but it's great to get the opportunity to compete at this level and sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone for a reality check.
The race course was a relatively flat 4* 1.5K lap with lots of twists and turns and apart from a few very muddy sections the underfoot conditions were quite good.  I finished towards the back end of the field which I kind of expected but I needed this race and for me it's a good end to the year.

My strength work has been neglected over the past few weeks due to cross country racing commitments for my club but I start back with that tomorrow as part of my preparation for next year.