Thursday, May 30, 2013

Training Diary 20th - 26th May 2013.

Monday May 20th. HRV= 74 White.

20-26 May (7)A good start to the week and my new training cycle.  Easy lunchtime run of 30 minutes keeping my HR below 130bpm, legs feeling heavy since the session last night but apart from that I’m feeling good.  Met some club mates after work and did a repeat of yesterday’s session but ran for pace rather than heart rate as that’s the compromise when running with others.  Only 2 minutes slower than yesterday but average heart rate was 8 beats lower which has me thinking that the pace for this run might be more economical.
Plan for tomorrow is an early Gym session and a run of 10-20K.

Tuesday May 21st. HRV=62 White.

20-26 May (8)Change of plan as my Gym session is cancelled so I used the opportunity for a long recovery run to work keeping my HR below 130bpm.  Wasn’t really on form for this run and tried to convince myself to stay in bed but the guilt was keeping me awake.  Made a deal with myself as and if this morning’s reading was an Amber it was back to bed for a few more minutes.  Here’s a few tips from Men’s Running magazine about the running commute with a little contribution from myself:
Plan for tomorrow is a long easy run.

Wednesday May 22nd. HRV=62 White.

20-26 May (1)Lower than expected and HR higher than usual even though I think yesterday was a good recovery day.  Skipped the opportunity to run during lunch but instead ran home at an easy pace and went a little bit longer after meeting a club mate running towards my direction as planned.
Plan for tomorrow is an early gym session and a steady run after coaching.

Thursday May 23rd. HRV=55 Amber.

20-26 May (2)Before going to bed last night I wasn’t expecting this result but when waking I felt tired.  Easy Gym session of single leg squats and an abdominal routine.  Will decide this evening whether to run or not.  Normally I’d just skip the run but chances are my weekend could be a write off so I want to maximise my available time but will be cautious not to overdo it.  Didn’t run.
Tomorrow is still in the planning stages and includes a 4hr drive to Kerry for a wedding.

Friday May 24th. HRV= 70 Green.

20-26 May (3)A great result and I tried to make the most of it with a long Tempo run but the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) were starting to kick in and the effort felt a little bit too much.  Decided to do a longer warm up but in my mind I was torn between a hard session to make up for what I might miss over the weekend but also wanted to listen to my body and not negate the training effect from the strength session by working weak muscles that were trying to repair and adapt.  Finished meters short of 16K in 62 minutes after a long lazy warm up and walked to cool down.  The long drive didn’t do my legs any favours and the hours of inactivity meant serious cramping by the time I reached my destination.
Plan for tomorrow is an early run before the wedding but I might be pushing my luck.

Saturday May 25th. HRV= 69 White.

20-26 May (4)A good result after yesterday but my legs feel totally seized up.  Went for an early run of 10K and felt like I was running on the spot for the first half but managed to get going on the return and finished in 41 minutes.  Would have liked a longer session as my thinking is the extra miles will cancel out some of the damage I might do at the wedding.
Plan for tomorrow is undecided but I’d like to do a long run.

Sunday May 26th. HRV= 69 White.

20-26 May (5)Delighted with this result after a long day yesterday.  Only got to bed at 4:00am and was up again at 9:00am.  Dreading the drive home and in advance I pre planned to stop if suffering from cramps.  Journey went ok but felt tired when I got home, wanted to run but had all the reasons why I deserved the day off but also knew I needed to get out.  Weighed myself and the one day damage became visibly obvious and without any further thought I was out.  Took it easy and finished with 25K in just under 2hrs, better than nothing and during the run I thought about a few long sessions I might do over the coming days and weeks.
Plan for tomorrow is a lunchtime recovery run and either a steady hilly run or a longer trail run..

Weekly Summary

20-26 May (6)Could have been worse as the weekend was a possible write off but managed to salvage 45K.

Training Diary May 13th - 19th 2013.

Monday May 13th. HRV= 56 Amber.

13 May HRVExpected after almost 20hrs of running, 37 waking hours and very little sleep.  Early start for the long journey home and I’m feeling fine but will only do what I need to do and try to rest as much as possible while travelling and that means sitting in coffee shops rather than walking around shops.  For the journey I’m wearing Under Armour Recharge recovery tights and on my feet I’m wearing Salomon RX Recovery Shoes.  The recovery tights minimise muscle vibration while walking and support fatigued muscles while moving and this in turn aids recovery.  The shoes are very light, cushioned and don’t restrict movement while allowing for any swelling.  Putting the effort into recovering can ensure you benefit from the Training Effect of the race by not needing so much time off that you begin to de-train.
Plan for tomorrow is an acceleration of my recovery plan.

Tuesday May 14th. HRV=69 Green.

14 May HRVToday I’m in Recovery mode and my way of switching off is to wear a normal watch rather than a sports one.  Good result and if I hadn’t planned a trip to a Contrast Therapy Pool there might be a temptation to run!  Spent close to 1hr alternating between a cold and hot bath which was only half enjoyable (the hot half) and felt great when it finished.
Plan for tomorrow is a test run with an escape route.

Wednesday May 15th. HRV=72 White.

15 May HRVRecovering well and met with some club mates for an easy run of just over 7K with two options to cut it short if required.  When making a comeback it’s advisable to ease back in and don’t test yourself to breaking point.  Set a maximum distance to run but not a minimum and this is when a treadmill run can be an advantage as you can always just step off without worrying about getting back to the start.
Tomorrow will be a repeat of today..

Thursday May 16th. HRV=79 Amber.

16 May HRVA sure sign that I’m recovering very quickly and I’m assuming the Amber reading is caused by the rapid rise in HRV.  I won’t get carried away as I’m sure my muscles are still in a state of repair.  Easy lunchtime run of 8K keeping my HR below 130bpm and paying attention to how I’m feeling
Tomorrow is undecided but I might rest.

Friday May 17th. HRV= 60 Amber.

17 May HRVMuch lower than expected and confirms my decision to rest today.
Plan for tomorrow is an early flat course run of up to 20K with escape routes.

Saturday May 18th. HRV= 64 White.

18 May HRVNot much of an improvement and with a busy day ahead I decide to rest again.
Plan for tomorrow is undecided but I’d like to do a long run.

Sunday May 19th. HRV= 60 White.

19 May HRVNot a good start to the day and doesn’t help with my motivation.  Found it hard getting my mind in gear and think I’m still suffering from mental fatigue.  Decided to feed the hunger by going to watch a local race and spectate rather than participate and before the race had even started I was wanting to run.  Got to witness some great performances from my club mates and although they might not know it their actions caused my reaction and I finished the day with a 16K run that started easy but finished a little bit faster.
Plan for tomorrow is something similar to today and I feel ready to resume training.

Weekly Summary

Recovery seems to be going ok and I feel ready to start again.
Here’s a piece I did for a Women’s Magazine recently:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Training Diary 6-12 May 2013

Irish Ultra Running Team

Monday May 06th. HRV= 59 Red.

Ultra running raceExpected after a good weekend.  Rested for most of today and then hit the Track for a short but intense Interval session of 3*1K off 5 min Recovery.  Splits were: 3:15, 3:13, 3:12 followed by a long cool down.
Plan for tomorrow is an early Gym session and an evening recovery run.

Tuesday May 07th. HRV=66 White.

Ultra running raceMoving in the right direction.  Early Gym session of mobility work & stretching followed by a very short recovery run after work.
Plan for tomorrow is a lunchtime rest day.

Wednesday May 08th. HRV=67 White.

Ultra running raceRest Day
Tomorrow will be spent travelling..

Thursday May 09th. HRV=67  White.

Ultra running raceEarly start for a long day travelling to The Netherlands.  No training and an early night
Tomorrow will be spent preparing for the race and trying to relax.

Friday May 10th. HRV= 72 White.

Ultra running raceHigher than expected after a long day of travelling and today will be yet another busy day.  While queuing for breakfast I was approached by an IAAF official and then taken away for interview and drug testing.  Not a pleasant experience but good to see it being carried out.  Busy day with meetings to attend and the Athlete parade with a bit more walking than I’d have preferred.  Finished the day preparing race day food & clothing and had our pre race Team meeting.
Plan for tomorrow is a very long run.

Saturday May 11th. HRV= 62 White.

Ultra running raceDidn’t sleep to well but woke without an alarm clock which is always a bonus.  After a rushed breakfast because of the long queues we made our way to downtown Steenbergen arriving close to 2hrs before the start.  The weather seems very unsettled with some light rain to start and I decide to wear a rain jacket to start.
As the race started I settled into an easy pace with my team mates which was slightly faster than planned but in the early stages it can be more comfortable than slowing down and within an hour we had split up and settled into our own zones.  The race started cold and wet and soon became very warm and sunny meaning the loss of a few layers to prevent overheating.  The change was done quite quickly and for the next 8 or more hours I ran in just my shorts and singlet while occasionally putting on my hat and / or gloves but then it all changed and shortly after starting one of the laps it started to pour rain without warning and I got drenched and very cold.  The wind was also starting to pick up and by the time I got back to the support crew I’d taken a weather beating.  I quickly changed into some warmer clothes and got going again but could feel the energy draining from my body and my pace began to drop.  I kept going but ended up making more stops than planned to try heat up with some shelter and each time it got harder to get going again.
It eventually got to the point where I had to leave the course and go indoors and use a sleeping bag to get warm again but by this time my game plan was gone as too much time had been lost.  I returned to the track and got going as best I could but was still shivering with the cold and after checking the Team Rankings and working out my possible quota based on lap times it was obvious that I wasn’t going to help the Team move up the score board.  I think at this point I had covered approx 140K but decided to keep going until at least 150K and then when I hit that target I thought that 100Miles would be a semi respectable finishing distance and I told myself that I’d keep going until that distance was covered and that’s when it ended.
Tomorrow is still Today.

Sunday May 12th. HRV= No Reading.

Still running and the race finally finished at midday.
Tomorrow will be spent travelling.

Weekly Summary

Not a great end to my week but I’ll get over it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Irish Ultra Running Team Return from World & European 24H Championships 2013

Left to Right: Dan Doherty, Eddie Gallen, Eoin Keith, John O’Regan
The Irish Team competing at the World & European Championships in Steenbergen, Netherlands over the weekend experienced some very difficult conditions with low temperatures and rain adding to their task.
Eoin Keith covered 234km to be first finisher on the team in 25th place (15th European Champs) with Eddie Gallen covering 212km to achieve 81st (59th European Champs) place. John O’Regan suffered from hypothermia which curtailed his efforts and he covered 162km to finish in 176th place (132nd European Champs). Dan Doherty unfortunately had to withdraw at 78km with injury. Dan has been in very good form recently and was going well when the injury arose.
The team finished in 17th place in the World Championships and 13th in the European Championships.
The team had travelled in the hope of a strong showing after some recent good results and notable performances in this event last year. However luck was against them on this occasion. The team will now focus on recovering before preparing for the upcoming events.
Special mention must go to the support crew of John Collins, Kevin Belton & Gary McConville who did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Training Diary 29th April-5 May 2013

Monday Apr 29th. HRV= 66 White.

John O'ReganSame as last Monday but after a tougher day.  Skipped the lunchtime run as I’m running to a meeting with the Athletics Association of Ireland after work.  Ran at an easy pace with a slight detour via a running track and did a set of 6*400 at close to my 3K race pace off 60 second recovery.  Felt fatigued after each rep but recovered quickly and finished the session with a distance of 12K.  Delayed after the meeting and missed my train home which meant a later than planned night.  Resisted the temptation to run home by going for a 1hr walk rather than hanging around the train station.
Plan for tomorrow is an early Gym session and an evening race pace run.

Tuesday Apr 30th. HRV=73 White.

John O'ReganMoving in the right direction.  Early Gym session of 4* Walking Lunges with 10Kg Dumbells, Hanging knee raises and a short Interval session on the Airdyne.  The Airdyne session was 5 minutes of mostly low intensity with the last 15 seconds of each minute being an all out effort.  Evening recovery run of 10.5K working on my race pace and avoiding hills.  Early night.
Plan for tomorrow is a lunchtime run of 40 mins and an evening run of 60+ mins.

Wednesday May 01st. HRV=81 White.

John O'ReganSigns of recovery and a big improvement on last week which was partly caused by a night out.  Will try keep my score high while making allowances for some short fast sessions and a 5K race on Saturday.  Most sessions from now will be just enough to keep what I’ve got while still allowing recovery from what I’ve done.  Decided to skip the lunchtime opportunity to run and did some pre race shopping.  Easy 7K after work with 6* 1 min @ 5K race pace to finish and then an even easier 5K at Recovery pace with the club’s Couch to 5K crew.  A long day and although the training was easy I’m feeling tired.  Finished the night with a decent serving of Cherry Active.
Plan for tomorrow is an early Gym session and maybe 2 laps of Saturday’s 5k race route.

Thursday May 02nd. HRV=71 White.

John O'ReganLower than expected but still ok and an improvement on last week plus my base line is climbing.  Feeling a slight niggle in my lower left leg and that changes my day that was being decided as I was going to bed.  Took it easy in the gym and did mostly stretching and foam rolling with some light upper body work.  Booked a massage for lunchtime and it was torture.  Didn’t think I was as bad but luckily I went and got it sorted before I got the final warning.  Repeated last night’s session of 6*1 minutes after a long warm up and all seems to be ok.
Plan for tomorrow is medium effort 30 minutes or rest.

Friday May 03rd. HRV= 66 White.

John O'ReganLower than expected and left leg feeling tender since massage.  Will rest today and don’t mind as I’ve a race tomorrow.  Took delivery of the Team Kit(see it here!) for next weekend and looking forward to trying it out.  Found it hard not to run but managed to resist the temptation and had an early night in the hope of waking before the alarm.
Plan for tomorrow is a 5K and maybe a little bit extra.

Saturday May 04th. HRV= 75 White.

John O'Regan8706836321_49c77aa569_oExpected and would have liked a higher score but it’s a slight improvement on yesterday and a big improvement on last week.  Woke well before the alarm and took my time getting up.  Had a quick cup of coffee and went out for a short easy run before breakfast.  Home for breakfast and then took my time getting ready for the race as hosted by my club.  Arrived an hour before the start and relaxed into my usual pre race warm up before lining up just behind the start line.  My goal time was 17:30 with a worst case finish of sub 19 minutes.  Started of at a relaxed pace and this suited as the first Km included the toughest hill on the course and it would be very easy to do too much too soon and pay the price towards the end.  On the descent of the hill I got caught amongst the pack and found it hard to make a break and by the time i did it was straight into a headwind and I’d lost contact with the group up ahead.  I tried to make up some ground and slowly pulled away from my pack but failed to make up the lost ground.  Hitting the last Km I felt very comfortable and tried to get uncomfortable but the extra gear wasn’t there.  Crossed the finish line way off a Personal Best but it’s my fastest 5K this year and I’m not a 5K runner.  Having said that I won my age group category which was a nice surprise and a confidence boost for next week.
Plan for tomorrow is unplanned.

Sunday May 05th. HRV= 67 Amber.

John O'ReganAn excuse to take it easy but it’s a beautiful day outside and a shame to waste it.  Used the opportunity to practice my pacing for next weekend and had a great run.  Took about 10 minutes to get into a rhythm and then I was locked on.  Ran for 1.5hrs and confidence has increased that little bit more.
Plan for tomorrow is a lie in and maybe a pre breakfast easy run followed by an evening interval session of 3-5 *1K.  This is similar to a session I did this far out from the 24-hr race in Poland.

Weekly HRV Summary

John O'ReganNot sure how the Taper is going as there’s always self doubt at this time but on the plus side my base line is creeping upwards.  Felt a slight niggle in my lower left leg towards the middle of the week and a massage to loosen out my legs was a lot more painful than I’d expected.