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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs



  • Recovery 3.11 Miles

    Last Thursday's lunchtime amble with work colleagues was surprisingly enjoyable, very short and very slow. I took an opportunity last night to repeat the experience. I set a 'too fast' alert on the Garmin at 9:15 min/mile. Two and a bit laps around the block. Around the end of mile 2, start of mile 3 the alert sounded two or three times, I dropped pace accordingly. Just about broke a sweat on this one.

    M01 9:50
    M02 9:49
    M03 9:38

    Total 3.11M @ 9:47

  • A tough weekend's running.

    Fartlek 2x(1K with 900m rec, 750m with 530m rec, 1K with 530rec, 800m with 430m rec)

    The lap started at the stop sign inside the Chapelizod Gate. The instruction was to run tempo pace for the first K, this brings us nearly through the second S-bend, a 1K marker is drawn on the ground. Recover to the crossroads then another tempo section from the base of Wellington Road to the roundabout, this measures around 750m. Around 530m of recovery to Park Gate. Then at a little faster than tempo we run approximately 1K from Park Gate to Islandbridge Gate. We have another 530m of recovery along Chapelizod Road before running another 800m at a little faster than tempo. The lap ends with 430m of recovery. We are prescribed 2 laps.

    Lap 1

    Orange-A runs off quite fast and starts opening a gap right from the start. I'm initially on my own and so I use the Garmin to try establish tempo pace. My tempo pace has been 3:55 to 4:00 [6:18 to 6:26] for all of 2019, I'm not going to revisit this until at least after Dunboyne. With about 150m to go I have company as Black-A pulls level with me. The first K is run in 3:50 [6:08] pace. It felt ok, maybe because of a tailwind, but considering there is a net climb on this kilometre, that was too quick. To compound this Black-A and I run the recovery at 6:32 pace, it didn't feel particularly fast but we were setting ourselves up for a tricky second lap.

    We up the pace again for the second fast section. This 750m is also a net climb. The effort feels much higher than it should be to try keep the Garmin in tempo range. Only after the session was over did I realise my error, I was showing average pace not lap pace on the watch. So instead of tempo pace I'd actually run the 750m at what I guess is my 3K pace, 3:39 [5:53]! We recover down to Park Gate and then start the hard part of the lap, into the Chapelizod Road wind-tunnel. Black-A leads us to Islandbridge Gate. We run this kilometre at 3:44 [6:01] pace, but I'm convinced that I've just worked really hard to hold tempo pace.

    Recover for 530m to a flag set at the 1100m marker on the road. I lead this one, leaning into the wind. During this 800m we pull level with Orange-A and his companion Black-A2. I tuck in behind them and enjoy some shelter over the closing 200ms. This 800 was run at 3:51 [6:13] pace, while in my mind I had just held 3:59 [6:24] pace. I had already resolved not to check the watch anymore and just run on effort. Try make the most of the 430m recovery that ends the lap.

    Lap 2

    I set the pace up the hill for the next fast K. The others draw level with me on the approach to the S-Bends. This is another snappy kilometre run at 3:45 [6:02]. The recovery sections are getting slower. Not a lot of conversation. I lead the Wellington 750m climb, not looking at watch. Completed in 3K pace of 3:38 [5:52]. Why is tempo so hard today? :rolleyes:

    I also take the lead into the wind on the next section, but after 400m I'm happy for Black-A2 to ease past me. I focus on his feet and just grind out the kilometre (this stretch actually measures a little shorter than a 1K). Only one fast section to go. Brace myself over the 530m of recovery and then ..... shamelessly draft for 800m. I cannot believe how much of a difference it makes. I'm tucked in behind Orange-A and Black-A2 and I have the wall close to my right shoulder. It's cozy here. This section feels much easier relative to previous fast sections. This was run at real tempo pace of 3:57 [6:22].

    So happy to finish this one, disappointed that tempo pace felt so hard this morning! Told myself that 80% of the fast sections were either uphill or into a headwind. Only checking splits later on Strava did the penny drop.

    Overall average pace for the fast sections was actually 3:46 [6:04] pace. The fastest it should have been was probably 5:52 [6:13]. Absolutely ran this too fast. Part of me wants to repeat the session and run it as intended (3:55 to 4:00) for the park sections, (3:50 to 3:55) for the Park Gate to Chapelizod Gate sections.

    Lap 1 Fast Sections @ 6:08 / 5:53 / 6:01 / 6:13
    Lap 2 Fast Sections @ 5:52 / 5:52 / 6:07 / 6:22

    Long Run 17+ Miles

    I only needed 12 miles on Sunday to hit 50 for the week, but company was good and I stayed out a while longer. The legs were unsurprisingly tired from Saturday's mis-paced session. I was happy to hang at the back of the group this morning. Lots of interesting 800m talk. Gradually grew into this one and the legs started to feel better as the miles ticked off. Didn't stress myself too much on Knockmaroon, but felt strong as we continued up Tower Road and onto Whites Road. I didn't notice at the time but there was an increase in the group pace around here. The new pace continued into Farmleigh and I could feel the legs tiring again. Had to put in extra effort. I peeled away with overpronator (looking very comfortable) at the bottom of OS road and we continued on our own to Chapelizod. Around 17.5 miles for the morning.

    More miles than intended on Sunday.
    More miles than intended for the week (56)
    Faster than prescribed on Saturday.

    Need to ease up a little next week.

  • Recovery 4M

    I look forward to these newly introduced recovery paced runs. This one was even more relevant as I ran it on Monday morning after a testing weekend. Again I have a too-fast alert on the Garmin triggering when current pace exceeds 9:15min/mile. The alarm sounded when I was running wind assisted across the playing fields. Park was waterlogged in parts and I had no choice but to wade through deep muddy puddles.

    Total 4.15M @ 9:49

    16x400 @ 84s

    Donore have a 6 Mile XC Race next Saturday, which I plan on running probably as a tempo moreso than as a race. After the tough weekend I was hoping that the coach would provide an easier session for those that were planning on the XC race. No such luck, 400s were on the menu and the 8 to 10 intervals I was hoping for became 16.

    Mentally I wasn't ready for these and approached the session in a 'go through the motions' frame-of-mind. I made a deliberate decision to hang closer to the back of the pelaton than try to ride up front. Honestly even if I didn't make this decision I don't think the legs would have let me stay up front.

    These were run off 200m recovery and the recovery pace was becoming slower as the session progressed. Some were walking the first few metres of the 200s. I was already wondering how I'd last 16 after we'd just completed 4, but the group helped and the legs
    warmed to the task a little more than I'd expected.

    Arguably this was my third session in 4 days. I really need to tread carefully for a bit.

    Two observations from reviewing the splits afterwards:
    • each block of 4 was a little faster than the previous block of 4, an indicator of a well run session
    • my fastest lap was lap 10 when I lead out the group in 1:20.67. My slowest lap .... the 11th in 1:26.47 :rolleyes:
    Splits were: 85, 86, 85, 85, 85, 84, 83, 84, 85, 81, 86, 85, 84, 84, 83, 82

    Average 400 in 84.16

    Easy 8 Miles

    So happy to put on the runners and go for a run without looking at the watch or stressing the legs. A bonus was the absence of wind and rain, it wasn't even too cold. Ran this in Athlone after work. It's really good to do my midweek session on a Tuesday rather than on a Wednesday, removes the post office motivation struggle having been up since 6:10 in the morning. Tipped around Athlone. Ran down by the east bank of the Shannon. Very high but water not breaking the banks on this side.

    Total 8.29M @ 8:33

    PS - Strava's new cropping tool works very well, I trimmed the 'forgot-to-press-stop' bits off two recent runs.

  • Recovery 3 Miles

    I didn't want to come into Saturday's XC race off a rest day so opted to get out for a short and very slow three miles on Friday morning. Just starting to get bright as I set off. A lap of the block plus a lap of the block with a little diversion tagged on. Average pace of 10:00min/mile means mission accomplished.

    Faugh-a-Ballagh Challenge Cup

    This Donore club race has a bit of history, first run 113 years ago. My first XC race. Chat with some of the guys beforehand, key comments that I take on board - 'don't look at the watch', 'race the course and race for position' and 'XC utterly miserable'.

    A lap of the circuit is 2 miles, the race is three laps. Strong crosswinds but mercifully the sun is out.

    Lap 1

    A recce lap, discovering the dips and climbs and seeing what conditions are like underfoot. The opening section is through the trees that run along the left hand side heading down the Khyber. Total quagmire. Mud, mud and more mud. The Dynafits gave me confidence that I wouldn't slip but there were one or two moments when I thought a shoe was going to get sucked off. I started at the back of the small field. Move past a few runners through the quagmire. Overtake S shortly before we exit the trees and overtake Scotindublin shortly after this. I'm worried maybe that I shouldn't be overtaking these guys so soon, will I regret this, am I pacing this wrong?

    Black-A and Orange-A are at least 150ms ahead of me. The effort it would take to try catch them in a hurry would derail my race so I focus on holding my own pace and will see if I am make any inways towards them. We turn around the cricket grounds and follow the trail up alongside Chesterfield. I overtake another runner along here. And then I'm on my own. The drag up Chesterfield feels longer than usual. I think Black-A and Orange-A are moving further ahead. Turn left into a strong headwind by the cycle-path and down to the stone bridge to complete lap 1.

    Lap 2

    The quagmire provides a bit of a break, you cannot sprint through this without risking injury from fallen branches or dodgy roots. So the pace drops a bit as I navigate the path. Legs are caked in mud already, the Dynafits come in yellow for one shoe, black for the other, but right now they are both dark brown.

    I'm listening for footfall behind me. I think I hear someone coming through the puddle at the bottom of a gully about 10 seconds behind me. I don't look back but this does encourage me not to ease off. Out of the trees again onto the best piece of terrain by the cricket grounds. Black-A and Orange-A are out of reach, probably 400m ahead now. I turn back up Chesterfield. Need to stay focused here, it's a straight climb without too many landmarks and there is a risk of switching off. Once more into the headwind and I finish lap 2.

    Lap 3

    Am I racing? Yes, insofar as I don't want to lose my position. No, insofar as I'm not chasing splits. The effort feels like tempo, but there's a feeling that if I push harder I will go into the red much quicker than I would on the road. I worry that if I up the pace it could prove unsustainable. I've no one to chase and I don't hear anyone behind me. In some ways this is a bit of a comfort zone. I think if I had more bodies around me, to chase and to stay ahead of, then I would be travelling a bit faster. I pass one other runner (who started a lap late) by the cricket grounds and then turned up Chesterfield one last time, resisting the urge to glance behind me.

    Every 200m or so I might make a surge for 50m, just to ensure whoever is behind me stays out of earshot. I think I can see Orange-A way way up ahead. Stay honest. I turn into the headwind and leaning into the gusts I finish my third lap and my first XC race.

    I think I may have finished 8th, need to confirm later, but hopefully it's a top 10. Field was small, there may have been as few as 20 in the men's race.

    I checked my lap splits afterwards: 13:38, 13:57, 13:58. I like to think that the faster first lap was because of there being more people around me and that if traffic had remained the same I would have held this pace for laps 2 and 3. I wasn't as dead on my feet and hanging on as I have been in road races.

    I enjoyed that. Very different to what I'm used to. Medal presentation in the club-house afterwards. I should have brought a kit-bag and showered at the club, I was mud-caked and becoming smellier and smellier as the presentations were being made. Starting to appreciate some of the history and tradition behind Donore. Look forward to running more XC next season.

    (looking outside now, we were so lucky that this wasn't an afternoon race, Storm Jorge has arrived!)

  • MLR 12 Miles

    Promised myself to stick to the plan today, no more than 12 miles, no sub 7:00 pick-up miles. I think I was lucky to navigate the recent three sessions in 4 days without picking up any niggles or worse, so no undue stress today. I want to feel fresh for Tuesday's session, whatever it is.

    There was something wrong with the weather this morning. Sun was shining, no rain and the wind wasn't blowing too strong. I tip over to the clubhouse to jump on the 8:30 train. I'm happy to take the last carriage today. Chat at the back covers, 10K race strategies, Faugh-a-Ballagh review, why have our Sunday runs become so snappy, Cork running spots, spikes. Miles flew by. Legs felt ok. I was good to my word and peeled away from the group after around 11 miles. Home after 12 miles.

    Another 50 mile week. Mileage consistency has been good over the last while. 7 of the last 8 weeks have been 50 miles or more (exception was Raheny race week), and it's 16 weeks straight of 40+ miles.

    Total 12.05M @ 7:56

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  • What was the verdict on why the runs have become so snappy? We can't event blame the lad from Drogheda most weeks!

    Another solid weeks training.

  • What was the verdict on why the runs have become so snappy? We can't event blame the lad from Drogheda most weeks!

    Another solid weeks training.

    I knew I'd get some flak but will refuse the blame!!

    You lads have been training very consistently and on cross country ground for a long time. Think there is a progression there. Also Having a 2.28 marathoner et al around also contributes.

    They're great runs as they're always negative splits on a more challenging second half, that's absolutely the way to do it.

  • What was the verdict on why the runs have become so snappy?

    You'll need to run slower to find out :pac:

    The question was posed but no reasons were proposed. To be honest I don't think the Sunday runs have become snappier, I think they've always been snappy. And I've been happy to travel up front.

    Also the group has grown, on the last 3 Sundays I've run I've heard 3 different people comment on the pace, always along North Road.

    Different schools of thought re how best to run a long run. If you're looking for a long run that gradually builds up the pace and finishes strong then we're ticking that box. I find the group tends to split according to what paces / distances people fancy doing.

  • I am only mid pack as I am bottling out and doing 10 miles on Sundays; one of these weeks I will make it up Knockmaroon!

    I think you have both hit the nail on the head good to see the pace pick up on the second half without flogging ourselves. The big group seems to help with that and the pace seems to naturally pick up on the North Road.

    Has naturally morphed into a long steady run more than anything.
    outforarun wrote: »
    You'll need to run slower to find out :pac:

    The question was posed but no reasons were proposed. To be honest I don't think the Sunday runs have become snappier, I think they've always been snappy. And I've been happy to travel up front.

    Also the group has grown, on the last 3 Sundays I've run I've heard 3 different people comment on the pace, always along North Road.

    Different schools of thought re how best to run a long run. If you're looking for a long run that gradually builds up the pace and finishes strong then we're ticking that box. I find the group tends to split according to what paces / distances people fancy doing.

  • Recovery 3 Miles

    Started the week with another proper recovery pace run. Headed outside after work and opted to run this one in the Royal Hospital Grounds. Gentle gentle pace. Nice light as dusk darkened, air felt fresh as well, slight fleeting nostalgia for the winter months as I realise they are on their way out. Race a toddler on his scooter. So lucky to have this place on my doorstep.

    Total 3.01M @ 9:52

    8x800 off 400 recovery (average 2:55s)

    I wasn't in the mood for this. Ran over to Chapelizod just anxious to get this started and over with. Tonight the group is split in two, snappy 8x800s for anyone not racing at the weekend, tempo-ish 10x400s for the weekend racers.
    I'm in the first category and we take the parkside of Chapelizod Road, the 400s take the Liffey side.

    I've never done more than 5x800 before and then I'm usually fairly shattered by the end, so some level of trepidation ahead of this. We run from the 0m marker toward town to the 800m marker, jog to the 1K marker and back to the 800m before speeding back to 0m. Another 200m out at back recovery by the Chapelizod Gate.

    Most of my usual markers were running 400s. Accordingly I ended up running 7 and a half of these on my own. I was the third fastest on the night averaging 3:39 min/km pace, the guy ahead of me averaged 3:34 pace and definitely a lonely session for the fastest guy with 3:02 average pace.

    I measured progress by noting where I intersected with the two guys ahead of me as they ran back the way I was coming. The downstream 800s were easier aided by a slight tail-wind, footfall felt and sounded better on these. The upstream 800s were slower and produced poorer form. I checked the first 800 split, saw 2:48, decided that was a little too quick and eased off a fraction for the remaining 800s, didn't check splits until the end.

    I felt surprisingly ok after 5 repeats and hasn't concerned that I had another 3 to do. Before I knew it I was finished. Average split was 2:55, I'm happy with that considering I've never done 8x800s before. I'd aim to improve on this next time out. Total time for 9.2K [8x800 plus 7x400 recoveries] is 37:48, seeing this gives me confidence that 37:XX is a realistic goal in Dunboyne.


    Average 800 in 2:55.46
    Average 400 in 2:03.50
    Total 9.2K in 37:48.22

    Easy 8 Miles

    Felt very tired last night in Athlone. So glad I didn't have anything fast to do. Laced up and ran a rerun of last week's 8 miler. Not entirely dark when I started out, it'll be nice to run in the daylight again here. Happy to finish this one, legs never really warmed into this. Fell sound asleep in a hurry back in the hotel. I'm definitely conscious that training has stepped up since joining Donore. Two really solid sessions a week plus my own decision to target 50 miles a week.

    Total 8.32M @ 8:46

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  • February Review

    Covered 226 stormy miles in February.

    A busy month and I could feel it in the legs. Some solid Saturday sessions, including two XC fartlek sessions by the Munich Hills, strong crosswinds making them extra interesting. A long tempo on the road with 3 ascents of the Khyber and 3 Acres wind-tunnels. And a very tough 2 lap fartlek session on the road, 'The Big Willie', with 1800m faster than tempo effort per lap into a ridiculous headwind along the Chapelizod Road.

    Just in case that wasn't enough, I ran two 16x400 sessions (I'd never run more than 10x400 previously) and a 16x300 session. Enjoyed these, although my legs were wrecked for the second 16x400 session.

    On the long run front I logged two 17 milers and one 16 miler.

    I also introduced proper recovery paced short runs, which are a pleasure to run. The legs always feel better after these.

    Earlier in February I travelled to Milan. Fitted in three enjoyable runs, two with colleagues and one solo easy session in a lamp-lit park in the evening. Around 4 or 5 days after coming back Italy had it's first virus case. I didn't think much of it at the time. Fast forward another week or so and the situation had escalated. I did feel concerned but by now I had 14 days under my belt and the official line was if you didn't have any symptoms then continue as normal. It's 22 days now and I feel fine so hopefully I dodged that bullet, for now at any rate. Usual Easter trip to Milan will be knocked on the head.

    Ended the month with my first XC race. A Donore club race in the park. 15 runners contested the men's 6 mile competition. Mud and more mud and of course strong crosswinds to navigate. Dynafits got me round safely. So I'm right in the middle of the club's pecking order, finishing in 8th, 7 runners to chase down, 7 runners to stay ahead of. Enjoyed the race and will plan to get more XC miles under the legs next season.

    All in all, a very solid month's running.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | | | | | |
    April | | | | | |
    May | | | | | |
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    July | | | | | |
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  • A great 10 -week block you're doing.
    Keep it up and rest v well before race.

  • A great 10 -week block you're doing.
    Keep it up and rest v well before race.

    Thanks. My legs can feel the work that has been put in. I'm not planning on easing up now that Dunboyne is almost certainly going to be postponed/cancelled. Nothing official yet I don't think, but to be honest I don't think I'd run it even if it goes ahead. I'll put in another week of decent training, then take an easy week (which would have been a taper week), might do a solo 10K TT (that's a big might) and then a second easy week. Then focus on Cork HM which I'm trying to stay optimistic about and hope will go ahead as planned.

  • Easy 5 Miles

    Ran an easy five miles after work in Athlone last Friday. Legs felt ok and it was such a pleasure to run most of this in bright sunshine. Not long now and the clocks will move forward.

    Total 5.43M @ 8:39

    12x400 Khyber Hills

    Saturday's session was all about hill work. Ran over to the base of the Khyber, a quick confirmation from the coach of the session structure and I got stuck in. 12 ascents of the Khyber were on the menu, starting at the bollards and running up to the 400m marker. Jog recovery back down.

    A good turn out despite a lot of missing bodies ahead of Bohermeen. I had people to target on maybe every third ascent. The first two ascents felt 'ok' but then the effort levels started to creep up fairly quickly. I wasn't checking the splits. I focused on trying to keep the effort consistent. I'd get to 200m feeling mostly ok, I was then happy to see the 300 marker and tried to stay honest over the final 100. I took it very handy on the recoveries.

    Enjoyed the session and it's one I'm likely to repeat on my own over the coming weeks.


    Average 400 hill in 1:31.78
    Session Total time (12 hills + 11 recoveries) 42:57.18

    MLR 12 Miles

    Trying to avoid unnecessarily stressing the legs I ensure I do just enough to hit 50 miles for the week. Tip over to the club house in the morning. Bohermeen is on today so there are only 4 of us this morning, smallest Sunday group I ever remember. The pace is healthy enough. The conversation covers this cursed virus, yesterday's 400s, long run pacing, and lots of Ballycotton chat.

    Total 12.06M @ 7:55

  • Recovery 3 Miles

    This could become a Monday regular. Logged off work, laced up and headed out into a wet and darkening evening. Into the Royal Hospital grounds again. Some very gentle laps through the meadow and around the hospital. Head to Military Road exit only to discover I'm locked in, oops. Luckily someone with a fob is entering and I dash out. A quick lap around HSQ and home. This is a great effortless way of opening the account for the week.

    Total 3.01M @ 10.01

    10x600 off 300 recovery

    A total of 4 miles of warm-up before heading down to the track. The instruction is to run these at 5K pace. The coach calls out the target splits based on 5K finishing times. An 18:00 5K requires 600s in around 2:10, ok that's what I'll target. Like so many other sessions of late, this will have some uncharted territory for me, the most 600s I've ever run in a session is 6.

    Struggle to nail the pace at the outset, first one is too slow, second one is too fast. I stick however at the faster pace as I elect to hang off the back of the pelaton. By the end of each 600 I finish around 5m behind the group and rejoin them for the recovery 300. On lap 6 though I volunteer to lead one out. As always this is the fastest 600 I log for the evening, a 2:03.85. I really feel the effort on the next 3 but I still log ok times. However by the end of the second last 600 I'm maybe 20m off the back of the group. Generously the group slows up for the stragglers on the final recovery and we all start the final 600 together. Post my second fastest split of the evening on this last one, 2:06.71

    These were tough, 600m feels long when it's 2 laps of the track. Thankfully wind wasn't a factor tonight.

    My average 600 was 2:08.76 which would get me a 17:53 5K. Faster (not a lot) than my 18:06 PB, so I didn't stray too much from the target objective for the session.


    Average 2:08.76 average pace 3:35min/km, 5:45min/mile
    Total time for 10x600 + 9x300 recoveries = 36:42.57

    Easy 6 Miles

    Ran through some heavy showers to a mate's house in Athlone for dinner. He was playing 5 aside so I dropped by his car and dropped my rucksack onto the backseat. Running down a dark alley toward the astro-turf I hear a dog barking aggressively and heading rapidly toward me, it comes out of the dark, I cannot tell immediately if it's a dog I should be worried about. I stop then it stops about 3 metres in front of me, doesn't look too dangerous. I chat with him/her and after a few moments it grunts and pretends to be more interested in a patch of grass.

    Rest of the run is without further drama. Legs feeling good tonight. This could be my last run in Athlone for quite some time as from tomorrow I'll be working from home.

    Total 6.32M @ 8:55

  • Easy 8 Miles

    I'll be running solo for the immediate future. Left Athlone last night and might be a while before I see the inside of the office again. People were watering their desk cactus and wishing them luck.

    I worked upstairs, mrs outforarun worked downstairs, junior outforarun floated between us. I reckon as long as solo runs in the park are permitted and once the selfish irresponsible panic buyers are sated then I'll manage these next weeks (months?) without issue. Getting stuck into some tricky work issues is a great distraction.

    Headed out just after 18:00. Into the park at Islandbridge Gate. It's mostly bright when I enter. There are a few other solitary runners about. Run an anti-clockwise lap. Fairly nippy this evening so I'm well wrapped up. Already by the time I arrive at OS Road it's getting noticeably darker. Exit back at Islandbridge Gate and head for home. Dark now.

    Nearly 30 miles in the bag already this week. Passed 500 miles for the year on Tuesday. Legs feeling good.

    Total 8.08M @ 8:33

  • Solo Fartlek 'The Big Willie'

    Last Saturday morning I returned to the 'Big Willie' Fartlek. It had been bothering me that I hadn't run it properly the first time out, wanted to put that to rights.

    Warm-up over to Chapelizod Gate. Then get stuck in. Focus on the Garmin this morning. I want to ensure I run the Park sections at tempo pace 3:55 to 4:00 [6:18 to 6:26] and the Road sections at a little faster than tempo 3:50 to 3:55 [6:10 to 6:18]. I also learned not to rush the recovery sections.

    This is a tough session because the Park sections are uphill, and the Road sections are run faster than tempo. I think the last part of the Wellington Road section, and the middle section of the Conyngham piece are the toughest.

    Run some sections a fraction quicker than target, but nothing like the 10K pace that I held the last time out. Enjoyed this and plan on repeating this session again.

    Lap 1 in 26:00
    1.03K @ 3:52
    0.74K @ 3:56
    0.98K @ 3:49
    0.80K @ 3:49

    Lap 2 in 26:05
    1.02K @ 3:50
    0.75K @ 3:57
    0.97K @ 3:48
    0.79K @ 3:51

    MLR 12 Miles

    Return to my old 12 mile loop. The legs are heavy and tired for the first, mostly uphill half of the run. The second more downhill more warmed-up half sees the legs come alive a bit. I wasn't checking the Garmin and when I got home I guessed an overall average of 8:3X pace. Happy instead to see average was 8:08. I'm taking this as a sign of progress. I noticed that there were far more people in the Park today than normal.

    Total 12.14M @ 8:08

    Another week of 50 plus miles completed, solid consistency continues.

  • Recovery 3 Miles

    I look forward to this weekly run. Keep it local, keep it really easy. This evening if a traffic light was against me I just ran in a different direction. A wander through the Kennedy Wilson complex. Legs feeling good and relaxed. I don't think the too fast alert (<9:15 min/mile) sounded once, I'm getting good at this.

    Total 3.05M @ 9:58

    Easy 8+ Miles, Mostly Trails

    Went for a walk and a kick-about with junior and mrs ofar this morning. Had a substantial lunch so didn't get out until later in the day, when the sun had gone and the wind had picked up. With a full belly I opted to postpone this week's midweek session for 24 hours. Wore the Dynafits and stuck to grass and trail. Very very windy by the trough in the middle of the 15 Acres. Run behind the OS buildings and then follow the trails alongside the North Road. Cut down to the Phoenix and follow the trail past Aras and onto the Polo Grounds. Do a lap of the polos and then head for home.

    Total 8.51M @ 8:47

    8x800 (in 2:53s)

    Legs did not feel great during the warm-up and I was mentally preparing myself for a possible fail on this one. Instead once I got going it was fine.
    I checked the Garmin after the first two splits just to be sure I was in ballpark range and then I judged the remaining six 800s on effort. No significant breeze tonight so the delta between the upstream and downstream 800s wasn't as huge as normal. Overall I feel I managed these well, spread the effort fairly evenly. Recoveries were generous though. Passing the 400m marker in either direction always feels significant as you move into the business end of each interval.

    Felt good after this.


    Average 800 in 2:53.54
    Average 400 recovery in 2:18.32
    Total session (8x800 + 7x400rec) in 39:16.58

  • Easy Hour

    Logged off from work and headed out after 18:00. Had in mind a simple up and down Chesterfield. Legs feeling good. Ran mostly on the trail on the ascent. Run to Castleknock Gate. Cursing that I didn't bring my phone, there is a beautiful red pink sunset this evening. Run in warm pink light back down the zoo side of Chesterfield. Lots of people out, well spaced apart, lots of photos being taken of the sky. A spectacular sunset is a very welcome gift in these days.

    The legs feel good.

    Total 7.36M @ 8:41

    12x233m Hills

    This morning's plan had been 12x400 Khyber Hills, a repeat of two weeks ago. When I enter Islandbridge Gate I can see quite a few cars parked at the base of the Khyber. I get closer and realise that the Khyber is really busy, with runners (doing repeats), cyclists, dog walkers and walkers. I veer left and up onto the Acres, looking for a less busy hill. I had in mind the climb from Chapelizod Gate to the start of the playing fields perimeter path, but this area was also quite busy. I continue to my next option, St Laurence Road. Much better, barely a soul about. I find my ascent, starting at the first lamp post on the left-hand-side after the flyover, up to the fourth lamp-post. At 233m it's shorter than the Khyber 400, but it's also steeper, so I stick with 12 repeats.

    Run the first ascent and see a 56 on the Garmin. Ok, as a minimum I need to keep these under 60. Full recovery back down to the lamp-post and a few metres beyond before turning and starting next ascent.

    The first 6 go fine then I can feel some tiredness creeping in and effort levels rising. The stretch from the third pole to the fourth is probably the hardest even though the hill starts to level out along here. Up and down I go. I see maybe 4 people during the session. I'm checking each split and the majority are logging in the 55s or 56s.

    Happy to get this done, happy with the effort expended. Thank you St.Laurence's Road. I cool-down back home, bypassing Inchicore.


    Earlier this week I saw that the Cork Marathon weekend had been shifted out to 6 September, I registered. I need a date to aim toward. If the the date slips, so be it, I'll find another date.

  • Another 2 good hills around that should also be quiet are the the hill from the West County to the N4 and also the hill from Chapelizod to Ballyfermot College. The latter would be the toughest of the 3.

    Kyber was like a normal Saturday yesterday I think I was lucky I was down early.

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  • Another 2 good hills around that should also be quiet are the the hill from the West County to the N4 and also the hill from Chapelizod to Ballyfermot College. The latter would be the toughest of the 3.

    Kyber was like a normal Saturday yesterday I think I was lucky I was down early.

    Thanks. That one from Chapelizod to Ballyfermot puts manners on you.

  • MLR Half Marathon (with gentle progression)

    Headed out at 8:30 hoping the Park wouldn't be too busy. I needed 13 miles to hit 50 for the week so I decided on half marathon distance. Rather than going vanilla I opted to test my pacing, I'd start out at 8:5X min/mile pace for the first mile, then 8:4X for the next and so on. The thirteenth mile would be 6:5X pace, so nothing too strenuous but the approach would keep the run interesting.

    Into the park at Islandbridge Gate and I run an anticlockwise lap. The first few miles involve some dramatic slow down over the closing 400m to ensure I stay on track. As the miles pass it becomes easier to manage the pace.

    I start out on a second lap. The Park is getting busier now. See a group of 5 out running. Five's a crowd. It'll give us runners a bad name. I exit at Chapelizod Gate on my second lap and follow the road at 7:0X then 6:5X pace back to Islandbridge and Kilmainham. It is so much quieter outside the park than inside the park. I suspect it will be shut soon.

    Enjoyed the run. Hit all my targets.

    Total 13:30M @ 7:51

  • Going to take the foot off the pedal a little this week, it is the raceweek of this training block after all. I have some ideas for something for the weekend, haven't decided yet what I'll go with. Might depend on how busy the roads are. Selfishly I'd be happy if it rained this weekend.

    Recovery 3 Miles

    Wandered over to the scene of my first hamstring rehab runs, the football pitches by the Memorial Gardens. A couple of laps there before wandering back home via HSQ. Legs not so happy today.

    Total 3.04M @ 9:59

    Light Session 8x400 (in 84s)

    A few months ago this would not have been a light session. But now that 16x400 is the new norm, 8 seems soft. I warm-up from home to the Chapelizod Gate. Then turn back toward town and start the session. Run from to 0m marker to the 400m marker, take 200m recovery after each 400. I check splits for the first two and then run the remainder on effort. Wasn't really feeling very spritely tonight, felt flat footed and can't say I enjoyed these. Got the job done though, averaging 84s. Recoveries were generous, averaging 71 seconds.

    Decide on a long cool-down to keep the miles ticking over for the week. Into the park and head up the Glen Road. At first I think the park is more or less empty but as I get closer to Furze Road and OS Road there are more and more cars parked everywhere. There's very little daylight left at this point, have this many people come to the park for an evening stroll?

    I follow the central trail all the way down Chesterfield, squinting for tree-roots for most of this. Out at Islandbridge and home. Another 10 miles in the bank.


    Average 400 in 1:24.22 (3:31 min/km 5:39 min/mile)
    Average 200 in 1:11.04
    Total Session Time (8x400 + 7x200) in 19:31

    Easy 8 Miles

    Very quiet out this evening. I opt for one doorstep 5 mile loop plus one doorstep 3 mile route. Tip over to Chapelizod via Ballyfermot Road, back to Heuston via Chapelizod Road and Conyngham Road. Up the Luas track and turn back toward home. Start my 3 mile loop. I lose concentration and end up running my slightly longer 3.4 mile loop. Inchicore is very quiet. I can easily avoid anyone on the footpaths by simply running on the road, virtually in the middle of the road. Very very little traffic on Emmet Road. I turn onto SCR and again here the road is virtually empty, last time I ran down here with so few cars was during DCM.

    I turn left at the hospital site and down to Old Kilmainham Road. Back on the footpath here as the road is a bit busier. I see two people up ahead and I move right to give them a wide berth. Turns out they are 2 teenage girls, when they see me moving aside they think it is very funny to run directly toward me. They stop short of physical contact and thankfully they don't cough or spit. I don't feel threatened by them but I tell them to [email protected]#k off, and I opt to keep running. I know I would have stopped if they had coughed or spat.

    Annoying thing is that I moved aside as a courtesy to them and theirs. They instead assume I'm afraid I'll catch it from them and make jokes accordingly. I don't think it crosses their mind that they could catch the virus off a stranger and spread it. These are what we have to deal with.

    Total 8.43M @ 8:42

  • Easy 10K - 1000K in 2020

    Set the Garmin to metric for this one, knowing that with 6K I'd have passed the 1000K mark for the year. Headed to Islandbridge Gate and into the Park, up the hill to the Fort and then into the heart of the Acres for easy social distancing. Bit of a meander while waiting to hit the 1000 marker. Photo to mark the occasion then a straight line for home as the battery was dying on the Garmin. That photo now has more significance marking the last time I'll be up on the Acres for a while.

    Total 6.22M @ 8:47

    And Now ..... ?

    I had planned a 'Segment Saturday' (crowd dependent) attacking three local segments: the 'St.Mary's Hospital Triangle', the marathon ascent from 'Chapelizod Bridge to top of St.Laurence', and the 'Memorial Gardens Triangle', I'd run recovery jogs between each segment. Hoping to break into at least the top 10 for each. I'll still do this but it'll have to wait.

    Using '' I see that overall I'm lucky. The Polo Grounds are still in range (as are the hills by the Fort), but I think I'll avoid the Park unless it's really early or raining, otherwise it will be crowded and we run the risk (puns always intended) of the Park closing down.

    Memorial Gardens are also in range and I know that usually the football pitches ahead of the entrance are quiet.

    It'll be mostly doorstep loops. My 3 miler is all inside range, as is my 3.4 miler. I've seen my two closest loops are not on Strava as segments, so I'll but that to rights shortly.

    I don't know what 'brief' means but I reckon it would be hard to argue for anything over 60mins, so I'll keep my runs to 60mins or less. I'll need to run 7 days a week to keep hitting 50 miles (this week excepted, but that's ok because in a parallel world this was raceweek and i only need to hit 40).

    I had contemplated a run every street in a 2K radius challenge - but on reflection that's not really in the spirit of the lockdown.

    I should probably take a photo of my 2K radius with me, and a utility bill.

    Also if I don't start core sessions and yoga in the next two weeks then I'll never start them.

    Onwards towards an Easter Rising.

  • Segment Mapping

    Stuck to my doorstep loop. Ran some casual laps letting the legs set the pace. I could run pretty much 90% of the time on the deserted road, perfect to keep more than 2m away from the few people I met. Avoided the footpath completely on Military Road.

    So in a casual hour I can complete 6 laps. I edit the segment so that it starts and finishes by the Royal Oak pub. Royal Oak - Patriot - 100m of SCR - St.John's Road - Military Road - Kilmainham Lane - Royal Oak. Strava measures it at 1.26 miles or 2.03K.

    Tri-Colour flying from Kilmainham as the country ups its game against this virus.

    7.65M @ 7:39

  • Segment TT

    So this 8 week training block comes to an end, not on the streets of Dunboyne but on my doorstep. At least I had some sort of goal to target as I try to set a fast time on the around-the-block segment I created yesterday.

    The streets are even more deserted today than yesterday. It's nice to be able to run in the middle of the road and like yesterday it makes it simple to keep my distance from anyone out for a stroll or doing the shop-run. I was very happy to pass cops out spot checking people by Military Road.

    I run two laps of warm-up, noting a stiff headwind blowing along St.Johns Road. I start my fast lap around 10m before the Royal Oak. Hit lap on the Garmin but I don't look at it once during the TT, didn't consciously decide not to look at it, it just never occured to me to do so. Ran on effort.

    Royal Oak to the Patriot is a slight incline. Legs don't feel super zippy and footfall is a little flatter than I'd have liked. Turn onto SCR and speed downhill for 100m or so before swinging right onto St.John's Road and into the headwind. Have I gone out too fast, am I going to slow? Really not sure. The wind is testing my motivation though, do I really want to be doing this? Try to stretch the legs as I run along the tarmac of the bus lane. No traffic the whole way down this stretch. I swing wide onto Military Road, happy to be out of the wind even if now I'm climbing. Get to the summit by the IMMA Gates and then enjoy a 30m descent before swinging right again to start the final climb up Kilmainham Lane. Again I run in the middle of the road. Legs are tired and still feel heavy. Happy to crest the hill. The last stretch sees the road level out and I push over the final 100m or so, running beyond the starting point to ensure I cover the full distance. Done.

    I run two further laps as cool down. So I log a 7:37. Conflicting pace feedback, on the Garmin I covered 1.31M @ 5:54 pace. But the segment says 6:00 pace. I'll just focus on the 7:37. Definite room for improvement here. I'll try repeat this TT again next Sunday and Easter Sunday, if we can still run outside and if I'm still healthy (touchwood). Today was at best slow end of 3K pace, fast end of 5K pace, I should be doing better over 2K. Admittedly the headwind didn't help, and the hills arrive near the end. Also I've taken my eye off my diet since I knew Dunboyne wouldn't be happening. Trying again next Sunday gives me good reason to be more disciplined during the week. Having a target to chase next week should help as well.

    Total 6.38M @ 7:57

  • Easy 6 Miles

    A little bit of me is considering just running this loop for the rest of the lockdown. I'm kind of curious to see how may different ways I can carve it up. I won't run it anticlockwise though, the advantage of clockwise running is that I can see all approaching traffic (on road and on pavement) along St.John's Road, this helps me take evasive action where needed and makes running in the middle of the road safe.

    I start the week with a vanilla 5 laps. Everything felt grey this evening, grey skies, no traffic so the grey of the road was never hidden, even the light felt grey. I could easily get used to these empty roads. Legs feel good. On laps 3, 4 and 5 a Garda checkpoint has been set up on St.John's. I'm never addressed by the cops but all the same I'm happy I have my utility bill with me.

    Total 6.41M @ 8:28

    Steady 8 Miles

    As I'm currently keeping my runs to 60mins or less, if I want to run 8 miles I need to travel at at least 7:30 pace. Set out on this one aiming for 7:20 pace for a solid run. The first couple of miles are run too fast, closer to 7:00 than to 7:20. I'm enjoying the run though and I just go with it and ignore the watch. I can tell the pace is increasing as the run progresses. The legs feel stronger the further I go. I complete 6 laps and add on a little out and back to bring up the 8 miles. All done in 55:26 and at a healthy 6:53 pace.

    It's been a while since I ran a steady run like this and I've missed them. Need to do more of these.

    Total 8.05M @ 6:53

    I'm thinking of doing a short tempo and two more easy runs before Sunday's second segment TT.

    Also I've decided that while the current lockdown is in progress I'm going to drop my weekly target to 40 miles. Otherwise I'll be running 7 days a week or reducing the amount of easy miles I run. Dropping to 40 takes some pressure off for this period. Hopefully come May I'll crank it back up to 50, and try rise it to 55 from June.

  • Tempo 4 Miles

    Very busy at work these days. Medical Instruments in high demand. I find myself sitting at the desk more than I would if I was at the office, and so come evening time I notice that the legs aren't as happy to get out for a run as the mind is.

    The plan for Thursday night was a 4M tempo. Over the first 200m or so I thought about changing it to something more palatable, but I resisted the temptation to do this. Quick return home to pick up my forgotten utility bill then back on the road (having also switched from the Glycerines into the Asterias). I run 2 miles of warm-up and then start the tempo section at a road-sign close to the start of St Johns Road.

    I check pace on this first descent and see I'm travelling at 3:57 [6:21] so smack bang in the middle of tempo range. Then the next time I check as I ascend Military Road I see 4:03 [6:31] showing. Didn't spot that drop in speed and I reluctantly push up the hill. Resolve not to check again until I've completed the first tempo lap. When I check it shows 4:00 [6:26] but it's moving in the right direction and I'm starting my second descent down St Johns, soon it's back in range.

    This is feeling tougher than it should. I have a funny feeling that this is one of those loops like the IDA park in Athlone, and the business park in Little Island, on which GPS underestimates your effort. Maybe the 8 miles run at exactly 3:00 marathon pace 2 days earlier are still in the legs. Have I put on that many lockdown kilos? The battery is dead on the scales and for some reason I haven't carried a replacement battery upstairs yet.

    Navigate a second ascent of Military Road and Kilmainham Lane. These feel like intervals within the tempo. As I finish the second tempo lap I glance at the watch, 3:59 [6:24]. Recover down St Johns and then onto the ascents for the third and final time. I don't look at the watch as I climb, I try keep the pace honest when the road levels out a bit after the Royal Oak. Finish lap three and now I have a few hundreds yards of downhill before I hit the 4 mile mark. Done. Garmin says 4.01M @ 6:24. That was tough, not any easy tempo loop as there is very little flat road. Good work-out though.

    A little part of me thinks I may have dodged a bullet by missing Dunboyne, 37:XX seems a lofty goal again. Another more logical part of me thinks that's a bit unfair given the context of this tempo and the days leading up to it.

    Total 8.02 @ 7:25

  • Easy 6+ Miles

    Stick with a work issue Friday evening and make progress with it before I log off, happy that I'm not carrying it forward to Monday morning. Into the runners and out of the house. Another 5 laps of the block. I'm not bored of it yet, the most tedious runs are the slower ones. The faster runs I don't care where I'm running, focus is all on managing the discomfort. Haven't seen the police since Monday evening. But once again 99% of people are respecting the 2m rule. I run 90% on the road, enjoying the tarmac on St Johns.

    Finish 5 laps. Shower, and then put Milan scarf on before heading to SuperValu.

    Total 6.41M @ 8:13

    Easy 6+ Miles

    A repeat of yesterday's run. Five laps. Take splits of each lap, purely out of curiosity. Happy that each one is marginally faster than the previous one.

    1.27M in 11:25
    1.27M in 10:44
    1.28M in 10:37
    1.28M in 10:23
    1.28M in 10:16

    Cops were back today. Two mounted police on a beat.

    Thinking about tomorrow's second Segment TT. Happy to feel a bit anxious ahead of it. I promised myself I'd eat healthier etc this week, but I didn't follow through with that promise. At least I've a target to chase tomorrow that should keep me honest.

    Total 6.41M @ 8:20 (felt slower)

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  • Pace is a pointless metric on any tempo route that takes in a few climbs up Kilmanham lane! Great session.