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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Another catch up post. Week 2 of Raheny training continued with me nursing the tailend of a head cold that had moved to chest.

    MLR 12 Miles @ 8:08
    Mid morning, chilly, heavy sky run. Legs felt heavy and tired for most of this one. I ran my old 12 mile route taking Inchicore, Chapelizod, Tower Road, back into the Park, Acres, S-bends, out at Park Gate and home. Bit of a chore but as I aim to up my weekly mileage I'm to tick off another midweek MLR.

    Easy 7M with 5M Trail and Grass @ 9:10
    No session today, still don't feel well enough. I put on the Dynafits and head for the park. Its wet, muddy and chilly. Cut across Acres, turn through heavy mud as I head toward Furze. Back near the Khyber I cross paths with the Donore Saturday session. I'm told 'You should be here'. I will be soon aim to sign up latest in early January.

    Long Run 16 Miles @ 7:47
    Brought week 2 to a close by revisiting the middle section of DCM. I'll do this a bit more often simply to build up familiarity with the course profile. The Crumlin Road drag is uninviting at any sort of pace. On a whim I pop into Bushy Park just to explore a little. Nice spot, pity it's so far from home. Continue along route until Clonskeagh Road where I turn left for home. Decent 48+ miles logged for the week, will hopefully manage a proper session next week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    So last week I started a new job. Would turn out to be short-lived, more of that later.

    Easy 7.5M @ 8:19
    Finished work around 6, just a few hundred metres south of the runway at the airport. Into gear and bag on back. A little unsure how suitable the route would be, would there be footpath the whole way? Answer was yes and the route is fine. Straight run down Ballymun Road into Phibsboro and down to the quays. Turn right for Kilmainham. Run is mostly downhill. A bit busy with pedestrians around Phibsboro. Bar cycling, running would prove to easily be the quickest way home. I hadn't realised just how broken Dublin traffic is.

    MLR 13.45 Miles with 4M Tempo
    This was a testing midweek run. Ran my new commute home. Dropped my bag in the door and headed to Chapelizod Road. Found a new bounce in my step once I ditched the bag. Plan was to run 3M at tempo up and down the Chapelizod Road, at the last moment I decided I'd give 4M a go.

    Pretty much a mile neat from Islandbridge Gate to Chapelizod Gate. Twice out, twice back. The runs back toward town are for sure the easier. I don't enjoy the 180 turns at the end of each stretch, very disruptive to any rhythm I build up. Tempo pace (6:18 to 6:26) doesn't come easy tonight, started slow and gradually pick it up. Almost 8M running with a bag on my bag is probably not the best prelude to a tempo run. Not surprised to see average tempo pace on the slow side of target range, 6:25. Happy to finish and happy to have ticked two boxes with one run, session and midweek, MLR.

    Easy 7.5 Miles @ 8:59
    Another commute home last Friday. Don't enjoy the bag on my back. Remind myself this is better than being stuck in traffic. Legs without any great zip this evening.

    8x400s in 85s
    First proper fast session since my cold had passed. Headed over to the Park for this one. Didn't feel brave enough to try 10x400 so opted for 8x400 instead. I ran these anti-clockwise around the playing fields. One minute recovery between each 400. I didn't feel fast and so to avoid stressing over pace I didn't check the Garmin throughout, I just concentrated on keeping the effort honest.

    Splits leave a lot of room for improvement: 88, 84, 84, 87, 87, 86, 84, 81. That's an average pace of 3:32min/km or 5:42min/mile. One positive I take is that I know I could have run 10x400 if required. I'll repeat this session next Saturday and aim to average at least in the 84s instead of 85s. I want to get at least two more speed sessions completed on my own before I jump in on a Donore session.

    Long Run 16M @ 8:10
    Finished week 3 with a 16 miler last Sunday. I want to try establish 16 Miles as my shortest Sunday distance. I fancied some sea air so ran some beach sections along Sandymount. Looped back toward town at Booterstown. Near the Radisson I ran up Foster's Avenue. Followed the Dodder to Milltown. Checked out the fantasy properties along Orwell Park. Through Rathgar to the canal then through Rialto and home. From mile 11 I was getting low battery alerts from the Garmin so this encouraged me to up the pace for the last 6 miles. Increase in pace felt fine.

    A solid if unspectacular 50+ mile week with a tempo session and a set of 400s thrown in. Need to build on this and keep momentum and mileage going.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    So in terms of my work situation. Life lesson learned, if you are not unhappy at work, produce good work, your work is valued, you have strong nurtured working relations, a good weekly routine, have friends in the workplace and are not actively looking for change; then don't leave! I'll be happily dusting down my Athlone running routes.

    Easy 7.6M @ 8:41
    Run home from work on Tuesday evening. Legs felt heavy and bag felt heavy. Thoughts were largely dedicated to my work situation. Home around 45mins earlier than if I used public transport and I managed a trip to the supermarket.

    Tempo 4M
    Having successfully navigated some delicate calls to management and HR I get out yesterday for a tension releasing 4 mile tempo. I head to the park for this one and target the North Road - Chesterfield - Old Lamp Road loop. On my warm-up I grow increasingly concerned about the winds that are blowing. I start the tempo section at the bollards at the start of Old Lamp. Pace immediately feels easy. Only when I turn onto North Road do I realise I had a tail-wind helping me out. As I gradually follow the curve around North Road I turn more and more into a strong strong headwind. I'm leaning in and lungs are working at VO2Max intensity. Feel like I'm being forced down to walking pace. I anticipate not hitting target pace for the 4 Miles. Huge relief when I turn onto Chesterfield. Half way down I'm pleasantly surprised to see 3:58 [6:23] pace showing, felt I was moving much slower. By the time I turn left by the Phoenix I'm travelling at 3:56 [6:19] pace.

    Try to enjoy the tailwind while it lasts. This tempo feels more like an interval session where the intervals are into the North Road wind tunnel and the recoveries are tempo pace. Lungs working hard, form dreadful as I battle the winds. Grind my way to the top of North Road and then start a revovery back down Chesterfield.

    This felt tough but happily at 3:56 [6:20] average pace and despite the conditions, this was faster than last time out. Pleased with outcome.

    Easy 4 Miles @ 9:01
    So I'm unemployed until Monday week ��. Daytripped to Cork today. Out of the station I ran 4 miles to Glanmire. I really dislike running with bag on back. Legs not very lively today (was bouncing about quite a bit at a gig last night).
    Weather at least was nice. Hill at the end ensured the pace dropped back over 9:00 minute miles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    8x400m in 83s

    Headed over to the playing fields on a windy Saturday morning. Runners warming-up ahead of Jingle Bells. I opt to run these 400s back and forth along the southern path. The odd numbered intervals are tailwind assisted, while for the even numbered ones instead I need to lean-in.

    Like last time out I decide not to check splits until the end. Goal is to improve on last week's 85s. Having other runners to shoot past helps. The first 200ms of each interval are manageable, the next 100 I start to work a bit and the final 100 are hard work. The intervals into the wind I'm not enjoying. On the final 400 I am very thankful that I don't have a 5K to race in the next few minutes.

    I achieve my goal, splits were as follows: 82, 83, 83, 84, 83, 85, 82, 84. Averaging in the 83s. Next time out I'll try to improve on this. After that it'll be time to join Donore for a session.

    Watch at the JB finishing line to see the winners sprint through. Quite a few runners going 14:XX, impressive to see. Chat with OP, AmK, Ivory Tower and healy1835 afterwards. All logging good times despite tricky conditions. AmK was thrilled to have beaten me!

    Tip home afterwards along the tow-path. Resolving to run a Parkun over the coming weeks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Long Run 16 Miles

    Got out later than planned for this one and so only had 2hrs to play with. Wanted to hit 16 anyway so this one would be a bit faster than usual. I'd need to stay fast side of 7:30 pace. I decide again to follow the middle section of DCM. First mile felt faster than the 7:48 I posted. I always start slowly so nothing to worry about. Up the neverending Crumlin drag and despite the climb I log a 7:14. Ok try to ease up a tiny bit and settle in.

    I unintentionally deviate from the DCM route, the streets all look the same round here. I don't turn onto Cromwellsfort Street and then I turn onto Wainsfort Road. I'm lost but happy to enjoy some wind assisted downhill and curious to see where I come out. Get some feedback from right knee as I resume running after a traffic light stop. Takes half a mile to run it off. I arrive into Harolds Cross. Swing 180 and head for Rathgar, Orwell Park, Milltown, Donnybrook. Turn toward town and follow the SCR home. I've been noting splits as I go and know that I'm travelling a little faster than needed, close enough to marathon pace.

    I finish my run well inside 2 hours, logging over 16 miles. Travelled at 7:14 pace and logged two 6:5X miles. Felt fine, only felt I was working when it was uphill and/or into the wind.

    Total 16.19M @ 7:14


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Into my 5th week of Raheny training already and I don't feel I've really pushed myself yet. Toughest moments so far have been the Wind Tunnel sections of my 4M tempo around the North Road. I need to introduce some sharper speed sessions and suspect that this is where Donore will come in.

    Easy 5 Miles
    Tired legs Monday as I run an easy 5 miles through the park. Sun's out and it's not toooo windy. Full of the joys as a full week off work stretches out in front of me.

    Total 5.29M @ 8:35

    Easy 8 Miles
    At the time it seemed very comfortable but clearly Sunday's 16 miler took more out of the legs than I'd realised. Felt heavy for most of this one. The right knee protested again for a few hundred metres. Up Knockmaroon and into the Park at Whites Gate. Some very very strong winds about today. Got absolutely soaked in the last half mile. Rain was painful if you looked it face-on.

    Total 8.05M @ 8:17

    It's the season and I'm out Thursday and Saturday night this week. May need to run my long (longest) run on Friday instead of Sunday. Need to see how this would affect a Saturday speed session.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Tempo 3x2M

    Two Thursday's ago headed to the playing fields for another tempo run. I wanted to increase the overall tempo mileage so planned 6 miles in total split into 3 blocks of 2 miles with 2 minutes of active recovery between blocks.

    Overall this went better than expected. The first block was in a way the toughest as I adjusted to tempo pace. To run 2M around the playing fields you run a full lap plus around 600m. First block was net uphill as it ended with an additional ascent up Acres. Completed in 12:41 (6:20 min/mile). The second block was net downhill with two descents down toward the Fort but I kept the pace consistent and logged a second 12:41. The usual headwind is at play blowing from Acres towards the Fort. This is easily the hardest part of the lap and the final 2M block features nearly two full runs along here. All the same I log my fastest split with a 12:38 (6:18 min/mile).

    Pleased with this run and toying with the idea of running this again in January with 4x2M.

    Easy 8 Miles

    Back to the park after Friday morning school drop. Just an easy anticlockwise lap with a detour through the Furry Glen to avoid the works on the Upper Glen Road. Nice morning. Legs feeling a bit heavy though. Last Sunday's 16 miler, and every run since, there have been a few 100ms to run with a twinge in my right knee. I notice it usually occurs on downhill stretches and usually occurs after 3 or 4 miles of running. After a few 100ms it passes.

    Total 8.11M @ 8:33

    8x400m in 84s

    In the Park again last Saturday for a repeat of the previous Saturday's 8x400m session. Would run this back and forth along the Acres to Fort stretch, between the bottom of Acres and the first copse of trees. The strong headwind defined this run. The 400s with the tailwind were almost like extended recovery against the 400s into the headwind. The real work was done in the final 200ms of each headwind 400, lungs and legs working while I try to maintain some semblance of decent running form. Happy to complete this one. Hard to make comparisons with previous 8x400 sessions given the conditions. Splits were:

    1:21.54
    1:25.55
    1:22.88
    1:27.25
    1:22.15
    1:27.93
    1:22.75
    1:26.60

    Average with tailwind = 1:22.33 (3:26 min/km 5:31 min/mile)
    Average with headwind = 1:26.83 (3:37 min/km 5:49 min/mile)
    Average overall = 1:24.58 (3:31 min/km 5:40 min/mile)

    Easy 3+ Miles

    Late night at friend's for a Christmas Dinner. Home gone 2am. I knew it would be a late one and knew in advance that I wouldn't be running a long run on Sunday. Got out for a very short very easy fresh air run. Mostly just to ensure I logged over 40 miles for the week.

    Total 3.66M @ 8:49


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy 5 Miles (5.36M @ 9:02)

    Started the week with a chilly 5 miler two Tuesday nights ago. Legs were heavy and I felt sluggish. First mile at 9:43 was maybe the slowest of the year.

    Progression 12 Miles (12.43M @ 7:22)

    Back in Athlone, back on the old routes. Didn't fancy the track after work, but wanted to log some mileage and do some sort of work. I put together a progression run on the Garmin, decided on 12 miles divided into 4 blocks of 3 miles; targeting 3 miles at 3:29 marathon pace, 3 miles at 3:19, 3 miles at 3:09 and 3 miles at 2:59 pace.

    Each block follows a pattern where I start a little too slowly, need to work a little to find target pace and then spend the final half of the block trying to slow down. My loop brings me up past the AIT track past Ericcson, turn for town at Cornamaddy National School, climb up and then down the N55 and into town, past the Sheraton and then follow the Old Dublin Road back out to AIT. Least favourite part of this loop is the initial drag along the Old Dublin Road, favourite part is the drop down toward town on the N55. Complete 2 laps of this. And then while running the final block at sub 3:00 pace I run a smaller loop from AIT to Cartrontroy, down Killyon Hill and back onto the Dublin Road.

    The final 3 miles at sub 3:00 pace were very manageable. Pleased with this and happy to be back on Athlone roads.

    3.00M @ 7:45 (3:23 MP)
    3.00M @ 7:32 (3:17 MP)
    3.00M @ 7:13 (3:09 MP)
    3:00M @ 6:44 (2:56 MP)

    Easy 5 Miles (5.06M @ 8:42)

    Arrived back in Dublin from Athlone Friday night and threw on runners straight away, headed out for another 5 easy miles around my doorstep 5 mile loop. Good mood this evening knowing that I would be working only 1.5 of the next 10 days. Bounce in my step. Ran the loop anti-clockwise for a change, unintentionally ran each mile a little faster than the previous.

    8x400m in 82s

    Headed over to the Playing Fields on the shortest day of the year. If the wind isn't too strong I'm happy to stick to the southern path for these, the one from the Fort to Acres. Running 400s in alternating directions. I start closer to Acres, but move to the Fort end as deer start to encroach (people feeding them, despite the signs). These felt tough. I remember after intervals 3 and 4 thinking it's just one of those days, my splits will be poor and I had little appetite for 8 of these. I stick with it and try to stay honest, running to effort. I am convinced that I am running slower than recent attempts. So when I get home and check my splits I'm very happy to see that it's the fastest set of these that I've run since I started them a few weeks back.

    1:22.39
    1:22.92
    1:20.90
    1:22.68
    1:23.90
    1:21.69
    1:23.92
    1:22.45

    Average 400 in 1:22.61 (3:26 min/km, 5:32 min/mile)

    I think this compares favourably with my 10x400 sessions around a year ago on the track in AIT. I think the track is more forgiving than the Playing Fields, and I know that my 200m recovery on the track would drift some seconds over the strict 60 seconds I allow myself in the park.

    MLR 13+ Miles

    Beautiful morning last Sunday. I'd been out late on Saturday night, pool and beer, didn't get home until after 2:00am. Head wasn't too bad on Sunday morning, and after a few miles running in fresh air under blue skies I was feeling good, legs, head and spirits.

    Opted to follow the water on this one. Ran to Inchicore and joined the canal at Blackhorse. Followed it to town; Dolphins' Barn, Portobello, Baggot Street, to Grand Canal Dock. Head toward Irishtown before swinging left over the East Link and then heading back along the Liffey to town, out to Heuston and on to Chapelizod. Then follow the tow path back to Islandbridge and home. I like this route, a lot of variety along the way and on a sunny morning I feel a bit like a running tourist checking out the city and it looks well.

    Total 13.44 @ 8:04

    That was week 6. I still don't feel like I'm on a proper training block, I think this is mostly because week by week I'm making it up as I go. Hope to apply a bit more structure after Raheny and have a plan laid out in advance. Will need to see how to marry any plan with Donore sessions as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    This week is feeling a bit like a recovery week as training meets Christmas.

    Easy 8 Miles (8.36M @ 8:38)

    Logged off after a half-day at work and shortly afterwards get into gear to head out on my first run of week 7 and first proper Christmas run. Start with a downhill to Heuston and then enter the Park at Park Gate and run a full ascent of Chesterfield. Legs feeling ok. Exit at Castleknock Gate and continue to Myo's. Turn left and enjoy the descent back down to Chapelizod. Continue along Chapelizod Road to Islandbridge and turn for home. Over the last two or three miles my right hip protests a bit, hope this passes. Follow this run with an evening of mulled wine at neighbours.

    Lap of Playing Fields at 5K Pace

    I'm on cooking duty today so don't wait too long before heading out on this Christmas day run. I've noticed that over the last few weeks my sessions, tempo and interval, have fallen on Thursdays and Saturdays. I want to change this so that they return to a more familiar Wednesday and Saturday pattern. I think my body is happier with two days between sessions than a solitary day. So I find myself on Christmas Day looking to run a session. I've run very little at Raheny race pace so opt for a simple race pace session, just to develop some familiarity with what I hope to sustain on race day.

    For Raheny I'm not expecting miracles, I'm not in the same form now as I was this time last year. If I can hold high 3:4X pace I will be happy. Holding 3:49 [6:08] pace equates to a 30:42 finishing time. I warm-up along the tow path to Chapelizod then head up to the Playing Fields. I was a little concerned about the underfoot conditions, but the path around the Playing Fields is far far less slippy than the tow path. I target one lap at 3:4X pace. I don't really care if it's 3:40 pace or 3:49 pace. Faster 3:4X paces will be a tester ahead of a Parkrun that I'm targeting next week, while a slower 3:4X pace will be an early taste of what lies ahead in Raheny.

    I complete the lap; legs tired but could have continued for a while longer if needed. Overall the lap is in the comfortably uncomfortable category. I log 1.59M [2.56K] at 5:59 [3:43] pace. Hold this pace for twice as long and I will have an 18:3X 5K or a 29:5X Raheny. Overall I'm happy enough with this, it's been a while since I last tried to maintain this pace for this long.

    Gentle jog home before settling into the kitchen for the rest of the morning.

    MLR 10.17M @ 8:12

    Out late morning on Stephen's Day for a 10 Miler. Legs are good and I don't feel any feedback from the right hip. Don't look at the Garmin throughout, I just hold easy pace for the full 10 miles. Run takes in an ascent of Knockmaroon and a descent down through the park where the deer are out in force along Chesterfield.

    Easy 6+ Miles (6.50M @ 8:01)

    Flew to Italy last night. Out early enough this morning for an easy run around Bergamo. Crisp dry weather, not too cold, a gorgeous pink glow on the high town as the sun rises. Quite a few runners out this morning. My run includes two laps of the walls of Bergamo Alto. I do feel the effort rise and the lungs working harder in the cold air as I navigate some ascents. Enjoy this one. Back to hotel in time for a buffet breakfast.

    (signed up for Raheny)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    2 x Short Hill Climb

    Wore three layers on top and two pairs of gloves (with a mitten pouch) for this morning's run. Up in Roncobello for a first ever winter run. Stepped outside and thought, it's not thaaat cold, I shouldn't have believed the hype.

    I warm-up with a run down to Baresi, then turn to start my first of two Baresi - Capovalle ascents. Suddenly it feels cold, there is a light but bitterly cold wind coming down the mountains. Legs feel good and unlike in the summer my lungs don't seem to be struggling to adjust to the altitude, but the cold instead is stinging. My ears start to burn. My right-hand has always been hyper sensitive to the cold and by the time I reach Capovalle it is hurting. The ascent time is better than I expected, I log a 21:10.

    I descend back down to Baresi and this gives my hand some respite. Turn at the church in Baresi and begin my second ascent of the morning. Within the first 200m the chill wind is cutting into my hand again. Legs continue to perform well, as do the lungs. Focus moves more and more to my right hand. I try clinching and unclinching fist to keep it moving, I try putting it behind my back. By the time I get to Capovalle again (logging a very acceptable 20:36, my third fastest ascent ever) I have lost nearly all sensation in it.

    When I head into shower afterwards it takes over 10 minutes before I can start to move it normally. without any stinging soreness. I suspect it is a circulation issue of some sort with the right hand, by left hand is chilled but not in any way uncomfortable. I need to try find a really good pair of gloves.

    Apart form the frozen hand I'm happy with the morning's run. Went for a hike up over the snowline in the late morning and afternoon so a good active day.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    June Review

    I blame the crazy work project I've worked on for the guts of the last 16 months for falling behind here on boards. June review in late December!

    My second consecutive DNS for the CCHM. June was all about continued patient hamstring recovery. The first half of the month I ran only uniform easy paced runs just building up mileage. Polo Grounds my go-to running location for these.

    The second half of June I started to introduce some slightly faster and some slightly longer runs. An encouraging 12 miler including a first run on Dollymount Strand gave me a lot of confidence. Ran some MP miles back in Athlone and it felt so good to be running something faster than easy pace. Retired a pair of shoes (Glycerine 15s) after 1245 miles! Some sub 3:00 MP miles. First proper session included some HM paced loops along the Mardyke in Cork, wasn't able to hold target pace near the end of this. Last run in June was my first run without any feedback from hammer since tearing it in March.

    Exit June feeling far more optimistic than when I started the month. June was my highest mileage month of the year so far.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 155.81 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 1835
    February | 151.36 | 5.41 | 37.84 | 5.21 | 36.44 | 1900
    March | 136.86 | 4.41 | 30.90 | 4.93 | 34.54 | 1801
    April | 83.09 | 2.77 | 19.39 | 4.39 | 30.75 | 1603
    May | 23.78 | 0.77 | 5.37 | 3.65 | 25.54 | 1332
    June | 162.82 | 5.43 | 37.99 | 3.94 | 27.60 | 1439
    July | | | | | |
    August | | | | | |
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    July Review

    My first proper training month since tearing my hamstring. DCM19 training started on 1 July on the Polo Grounds. The month saw a re-introduction of intervals (600s and 800s) on and off the track, of tempo runs, of long runs. The tempo runs start as 4×1M, and had built up to 3M + 1M by the end of the month. The long runs reach 18M. The long runs are easy to return to, the tempos are tough and the intervals are very tough. Definitely my fastest paces are the paces that have suffered the most following April and May.

    I also post 191 miles for the month, highest month of the year so far.

    Memorable runs? Probably my two runs along the Waterford Greenway and also my sunburn run from Howth home to Kilmainham.

    Pleased with this month and so happy to be back.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 155.81 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 1835
    February | 151.36 | 5.41 | 37.84 | 5.21 | 36.44 | 1900
    March | 136.86 | 4.41 | 30.90 | 4.93 | 34.54 | 1801
    April | 83.09 | 2.77 | 19.39 | 4.39 | 30.75 | 1603
    May | 23.78 | 0.77 | 5.37 | 3.65 | 25.54 | 1332
    June | 162.82 | 5.43 | 37.99 | 3.94 | 27.60 | 1439
    July | 191.91 | 6.19 | 43.33 | 4.27 | 29.90 | 1559
    August | | | | | |
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy 5+ Miles

    Back in Milan yesterday for first run of week 8. The focus of this week is firmly on a Saturday Parkrun here in Milan. I do not have high hopes. I haven't run enough speed sessions and I feel heavy after the holiday diet. I would take an 18:59 if offered it now. At worst Saturday will offer a sobering marker of where I am at. If I'm serious about going sub 3:10 (which could mean sub 3:05 or faster) in October I need to introduce some serious discipline in the New Year.

    Yesterday was a go through the motions run. Legs feeling sluggish. Glad to finish. Sunset on second of two laps of Parco di Trenno. This would be my final run of the year. Managed to break 1800 miles, which considering I lost a month and a half due to injury is not too terrible.

    Total 5.54M @ 8:02


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    6x400 in 81s

    Sunny crisp start to the New Year. Headed across to Parco di Trenno and ran one warm-up lap. Then on my second lap I run 6x400s. With Saturday's Parkrun approaching I opted for 6x400 rather than 8x400. Again I run these on effort without checking my splits as I run. They feel tougher than I'd have liked. Checking afterwards I see I ran the first two 400s faster than usual so I think that influenced how the remainder felt.

    The final 400 brings me close to the end of a second lap of the Park. I run an extended cool-down and pass by San Siro on the way home. It would be a real pity if they do decide to knock-it.

    Happy enough after run to see average 400 in 81s.

    1:18.00
    1:20.09
    1:23.39
    1:22.75
    1:24.97
    1:21.81

    Average 400 in 1:21.81 (3:25 min/km 5:29 min/mile)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    August Review

    It's August so that means it's altitude training in Roncobello.

    Set two new PBs while there, a 19:44 for the Baresi - Capovalle climb, and a 1:16:32 for the long Ponte Valsecca - Mezzeno climb. Really pleased with the latter run, my favourite of the month. It revealed I was fitter than I thought I was. Some trail running around Roncobello as well, including a new forest stretch with the steepest 20m I've ever 'run'. Hammer held up well during this mountain break.

    Returned to 4M tempos, completing 2 this month. Also run my first 20 miler of this DCM cycle. I decide to run my 20 milers as progression runs, blocks of 4 miles targeting progressively faster marathon paces. First 20 miler starts at sub 3:50 pace and closes at sub 3:10 pace. Felt ok.

    Missed two more races by going to register too late (Buckley 10M and Dublin HM).

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 155.81 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 1835
    February | 151.36 | 5.41 | 37.84 | 5.21 | 36.44 | 1900
    March | 136.86 | 4.41 | 30.90 | 4.93 | 34.54 | 1801
    April | 83.09 | 2.77 | 19.39 | 4.39 | 30.75 | 1603
    May | 23.78 | 0.77 | 5.37 | 3.65 | 25.54 | 1332
    June | 162.82 | 5.43 | 37.99 | 3.94 | 27.60 | 1439
    July | 191.91 | 6.19 | 43.33 | 4.27 | 29.90 | 1559
    August | 186.60 | 6.02 | 42.14 | 4.49 | 31.46 | 1641
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    MLR 12 Miles

    Another bright and chilly morning in Milan. Warm in the sun cold in the shade. Didn't check pace during this one just tipped around enjoying not targeting anything.

    Ran three of the local parks. First up Monte Stella the only hill in the area. Run to the summit. Pause for 2 or 3 minutes to take in the 360 views. Some right knee feedback on descent. Run next to Parco delle Cave. Run a single lap in here. The morning is warming up. Good number of runners out. I finally head back to Parco di Trenno. Bring up 11 miles and start to head for home. Pace has increased more than I thought, with miles 11 and 12 logging as 7:24 and 7:20. Felt slower.

    Total 12.33M @ 7:56


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,934 ✭✭✭ AuldManKing


    I reckon you'll have your december review done in time for the Olympics :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    I reckon you'll have your december review done in time for the Olympics :)

    :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy 5+ Miles

    Mostly overcast Friday morning, first non sunny morning since arriving. Easy miles on the menu today ahead of Saturday's Parkrun. I run 2 gentle laps of Parco di Trenno. Don't look at the Garmin at all and just leave the legs dictate the pace. It's warmer today than previous mornings. Without aiming to do so I run each mile a little faster than the previous.

    M01 8:57
    M02 8:31
    M03 8:13
    M04 8:03
    M05 8:00

    Total 5.50M @ 8:19


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Parkrun Milano Nord

    I wasn't looking forward to this. It had been so long since I last ran anything short and snappy. I didn't feel prepared for this, and I felt heavy after days of Christmas and New Year's food and drinks. I was braced for discomfort, pain and disappointment. I dragged myself out of a warm bed at 6:40 in the morning. A cup of tea and a couple of biscuits provide some small comfort. Into tracksuit bottoms and pack small rucksack then head out into a dark and cold Milan morning.

    Bus and Metro to cross the city. I get good connections and arrive at Parco Nord in just 45mins. Feeling a bit more awake now but still not relishing the task ahead. I have around 40mins to kill. It is bitterly cold. I feel the chill in my feet and hands. Realise that the usual warm and cosy running shop that we use to change in is not open this morning. I get changed on a cold parkbench near the start line. Early morning sunshine is hitting the top of a nearby grassy knoll so I head up there for my warm-up. Traditional pose for a group photo. I spot two or three lean and serious looking runners and feel I may have to battle for a podium this morning. I line up near the front of the field (104 strong). And without any countdown we're off.

    Lap 1 of 2

    A bit of jostling over the opening 400m. I can see up ahead that one of the guys I suspected would be competitive has already gone 20ms clear in front. I'm in 6th position at this point. I up the pace a fraction and ease into 3rd. The lungs are a bit shocked as they struggle initially with the cold air (do lungs need to warm-up?) and I worry that it is going to be a long 5K. Legs feel ok, not great just ok.

    Most of the course is run on a gritted dirt track. I really like this surface as it allows you focus on your footfall and on the footfall of others. I hear footsteps approaching from behind and I'm overtaken by two runners. I don't try fend them off and opt to stick with my own plan, holding 3:45 pace targeting an 18:XX finish. My first K logged at 3:42 and I feel happy enough to tuck in behind these two guys and let them set the pace for a while.

    K2 is a 3:43. The three of us reel-in and overtake the second place runner shortly before we complete lap 1 of the two lap course. At the same time I move ahead of the other two and back into 2nd place.

    Lap 2 of 2

    First place looks very smooth and relaxed but it also looks like the gap between us is lessening. He's maybe 20ms ahead.

    A few 100 metres later I hear more footsteps approaching from behind. I assume it's one of the earlier couple but instead it's another runner. Lots of activity in this race. Almost immediately after I'm overtaken we pass over the only hill on the course, a short rise up and down over a bridge. Here I easily retake second place and the footsteps of third place quickly grow distant. K3 was 3:45. I'm only checking the Garmin as each split sounds. We're cheered on from the sidelines during K4. The gap has widened again to around 30ms. Mentally I convince myself that 1st place is running within himself and will switch up a gear if I should catch him. I concern myself more with securing silver than going for gold. I definitely need to address this attitude. K4 is another 3:43.

    As long as I hold strong I reckon I'm good for an 18:XX. We dash past a series of back markers. I think I hear footsteps behind, they might be backmarkers but I don't glance back to check. It must be 40m to first place now and he is absolutely going to win. I'm hurting a fair bit and anxious for this to be over. Into the last 400ms. I hold steady and start to look forward to the finishing line.

    I come home in 2nd place in 18:41. First place logged an 18:29 and third place was only 6 seconds behind me with an 18:47. Chatted with the winner afterwards. English guy, he said he could hear me and feared I was catching. Turns out we both have the same 5K PB of 18:06.

    Overall I'm happy with the morning's work, because:
    • I went a good chunk into the 18:XXs.
    • I worked for and secured a podium spot.
    • It wasn't as hard as I feared which means I'm fitter than I thought and know I can definitely go faster.
    • This was my first 5K in over a year and was run off no specific 5K training.
    • I've removed a lot of the 5K fear that had built up over the last months, I'm looking forward to having another run here at Easter and already feel confident of improvement (injury, illness permitting).

    Enjoyed this. Run a short cool-down in Parco Nord and then a second cool-down once I exit the metro.

    K1 3:42.11
    K2 3:43.52
    K3 3:45.03
    K4 3:43.23
    K5 3:43.09

    Total 18:40.6
    P2 of 104 finishers.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    September Review

    Big mileage month with some heavy-weight runs.

    I run two further 20 mile progression runs. The first one was completed before 9am. The second one was a key marathon training session; five 4 mile blocks completed at progressively tougher marathon paces: 3:36MP, 3:27MP, 3:16MP, 3:07MP, 2:57MP. Really pleased with this latter run, I attempted the same run in summer 2018 and failed to hold sub 3:00MP over the final 4 miles.

    A stand out run was a 22.65 miler in Athlone. Could feel muscle fatigue growing over the last 3 miles of this one. The notable detail of this one is that it was started at 8:40pm after an 11 hour working day, really happy with the mental discipline and will-power it took to get this one done.

    Increased the distance of my tempos as well, reaching 5 miles on the playing fields and running a 10000m tempo (in 39:15) on the track in AIT.

    And squeezed in some intervals as well, including a set of 600s in AIT where I discovered first hand the benefits of running with others breathing on your shoulder.

    A good month's running, foundations laid for DCM.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 155.81 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 5.02 | 35.18 | 1835
    February | 151.36 | 5.41 | 37.84 | 5.21 | 36.44 | 1900
    March | 136.86 | 4.41 | 30.90 | 4.93 | 34.54 | 1801
    April | 83.09 | 2.77 | 19.39 | 4.39 | 30.75 | 1603
    May | 23.78 | 0.77 | 5.37 | 3.65 | 25.54 | 1332
    June | 162.82 | 5.43 | 37.99 | 3.94 | 27.60 | 1439
    July | 191.91 | 6.19 | 43.33 | 4.27 | 29.90 | 1559
    August | 186.60 | 6.02 | 42.14 | 4.49 | 31.46 | 1641
    September | 220.66 | 7.36 | 51.49 | 4.81 | 33.66 | 1755
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭ scotindublin


    Just an observation on September and also a quick question on the breakdown of your sessions.

    You mention that you ran tempos and intervals during the month;what did these consist of and which days did you run these; thinking in relation to your long runs.

    For your long runs; you have 2 x 20 mile progression runs working down to 2.57mp for the last 4 miles of these and also a tough looking almost 23 miler after an 11 hr working day (plus travelling time no doubt); what pace was this run at? I am just wondering if you are hammering the body too much on your long runs? Those sound like really tough runs to me.

    You already know that I think you have a sub 3 marathon in you; I am just thinking would structuring your long runs at a more appropriate pace in relation to your goal marathon time help; and maybe a bump up in mileage in marathon training be a factor; working up the mileage on a mid week MLR to 12 miles or so would help.

    I realise that everyone is different in their approach to marathon training but just maybe time to reflect on what you have done in the last couple of marathon cycles and what you think you can tweak to get to where you want (and have the ability) to be in terms of marathon time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Ok lets tuck into this.
    You mention that you ran tempos and intervals during the month;what did these consist of and which days did you run these; thinking in relation to your long runs.

    I ran a 20M progression on Sunday the 7th and ran another 20M progression run on Sunday 21st, in between the tempos and intervals looked like this:
    • Weds 11th: 5x600 (as part of a 10 miler)
    • Sat 13th: 5 mile tempo
    • Weds 19th: 5x600 (as part of a 10 miler)

    I don't think that looks too demanding, though I did run a vanilla 18 miler on the Sunday between the two 20 milers.

    Between the second progression 20 miler on Sunday the 21st and the long long run on Sunday the 28th I ran a 10000m tempo on the track on the Friday night.

    Too much? Hard to say. It didn't feel like it at the time. The long long run I felt fatigue but that may have been due to the late hour. Most (if not all) of my marathon training blocks have built towards the second last month being my hardest and longest month.
    For your long runs; you have 2 x 20 mile progression runs working down to 2.57mp for the last 4 miles of these and also a tough looking almost 23 miler after an 11 hr working day (plus travelling time no doubt); what pace was this run at? I am just wondering if you are hammering the body too much on your long runs? Those sound like really tough runs to me.

    The progression runs were testing. This last marathon training block was one I put together myself. In P&D, the off-the-shelf plan I've followed most often, they include long runs that have an increasingly large number of miles run at MP, culminating in a long run with 14 miles at MP. I decided to replace these runs with 20M progression runs, each run was a little harder than the previous, I'd run five 4M blocks targeting marathon finishing times as follows:
    • Run 1: 3:49, 3:39, 3:29, 3:19, 3:09
    • Run 2: 3:44, 3:34, 3:24, 3:14, 3:04
    • Run 3: 3:39, 3:29, 3:19, 3:09, 2:59

    So in total across the 60 miles, only 16 miles were run at target MP or higher. Again it's hard to say for sure if these were too tough. I think there were other factors that were more likely to have contributed to not hitting my goal on raceday.

    I was not concerned about pace on the long long run, it was purely about time-on-feet. I wanted to get a 3 hour run under the belt. It was run at 8:07 pace, which on reflection was probably too fast. I should have applied the brakes a bit more on this one. I felt fatigue in my legs over the closing miles, but I was happy about this, I wanted that fatigue.

    The body was hammered by design in September for sure, hammered too much? I genuinely don't know.
    You already know that I think you have a sub 3 marathon in you

    I do too. I just think it's going to take a little longer to tease out.
    I am just thinking would structuring your long runs at a more appropriate pace in relation to your goal marathon time help; and maybe a bump up in mileage in marathon training be a factor; working up the mileage on a mid week MLR to 12 miles or so would help.

    When I see above that only 16 miles of 60 miles from my hard long runs were run at MP pace, I do feel these were ok and suitably challenging. Maybe on other long runs I should consider easing back on the pace. Whereas I agree completely on the midweek MLR bit, my weeks were weekend-heavy. This year I want to focus more on midweek MLRs.
    maybe time to reflect on what you have done in the last couple of marathon cycles and what you think you can tweak to get to where you want (and have the ability) to be in terms of marathon time.

    My takeaway from DCM19? Three changes required:
    • run more miles, I was averaging only 42 ahead of DCM
    • run more 22+ mile runs. I want to become more familiar with that late in the run leg fatigue, and hopefully train the body so that when it arrives it arrives later, say round mile 24 rather than mile 21 on race-day
    • join a club and run sessions in groups (will send you a PM)

    Thanks for your post, food for thought.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Very Easy 4 Miles

    Promised at home that I'd run short last Sunday, so just did 4 miles, enough to break 40 for the week. First run back in Dublin after the festive break in Italy. First run in the wind for a while, first run with a hint of rain for a while, first run without cold hands for a while. Mile one is an early contender for slowest mile of 2020, logging at 10:05.

    M01 10:05
    M02 09:32
    M03 08:23
    M04 08:34

    Total 4.04M @ 9:07

    Sea air at the Killiney Obelisk later in the day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy Hour

    So this week on Strava I went to my weekly mileage goal and turned the dial up to 50 miles. Lets see how I get on. I've averaged 45 miles over the last 8 weeks, and broke 40 in each week.

    Tuesday I logged off and headed out for an hour of easy running. No gloves, it is very mild with what might even be called a tepid wind blowing. For the novelty I decided to run short laps around the block. Each lap is around 1.2 miles. Settle into a nice groove and tip around ticking off the miles and the laps. Take a detour near the end to pick up some tomatoes. Easy start to the week.

    Progression 12 Miles

    Stepped up the effort last night in Athlone. Temperature has dropped again. Bit chilly setting off on this but warmed up pretty quickly. A progression run like the one I did in mid December, 4 blocks of 3M targeting different marathon paces: 3:29MP, 3:19MP, 3:09MP and 2:59MP. Felt strong and didn't reel in the paces. Dipped under each target: 3:21MP, 3:15MP, 3:08MP, 2:57MP. The last three miles were a lesson in consistency, logging at 6:44, 6:44 and 6:44.

    Solid 90mins of running. Slept well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭ scotindublin


    Very thorough response D; my main aim was to prompt the thought process on what you think you can tweak for the next marathon cycle which you have certainly considered and identified a couple of keys points for the next cycle.

    I know we did have a chat one Sunday morning about your low mileage coming up to the marathon last year but to be fair the hammer issue earlier in the summer wouldn't have helped with that.

    Is there a golden nugget? Maybe not; but little tweaks can make a big difference. Attack there next cycle with confidence and the rewards are there for you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy 5 Miles

    Low grey sky, fading light, bare black-limbed trees, some wind blowing, some crows cawing, and the smell of coal-fire smoke in the air. There is something very nostalgic about these wintry conditions. I get out after work in Athlone to tick off 5 miles this side of the commute back to Dublin. Press pause early in the run and forget to hit restart, so I lose 5 mins of run, if it's not logged etc etc. Not what I need now that I'm targeting 50 miles a week.

    Legs feel ok, though they felt a bit stiff later in the evening after journey home.
    Got a missed call while running, Sky engineer changing a visit time to 11:00 to 13:00 for tomorrow. I had planned on joining Donore on a fartlek session tomorrow morning but that nails that on the head, will need to get out earlier.

    Total 5.05M @ 8:42


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    10 Miles with interrupted Tempo

    Headed out before before 09:00 this morning planning on being home 45mins before the Sky Engineer window opened. Brought the phone anyway because I suspected they might call.

    I suspected correctly, unfortunately they phoned while I was battling with a head wind down Furze Road on the 3rd mile of a planned 4 mile tempo. By the time I got the phone out of my arm strap they had hung up. Rhythm upset I resumed at tempo pace. Call two came during mile 4. Stop again, too late to respond again (dial-back was disabled), this time I mess up the buttons on the Garmin. I resume at tempo pace but I see I'm into the cool-down lap now. I guess I ran about another 600ms or so at tempo, but then called it a day probably shy of 4 miles, with the Garmin scrambled my heart wasn't in it anymore.

    At least I managed over 5K straight of tempo pace before the interruptions. Tempo pace wasn't easy because of the conditions. Battered by a headwind going down Furze, blown up OS Road, then pushed off a straight line going down Chesterfield.

    Bring up 10 miles for the morning.

    2.33M @ 8:45
    3.26M @ 6:20
    4.42M @ 7:58 (with a little bit of tempo buried inside)

    Total 10.01M @ 7:37

    (engineer called again during cool-down, nice guy, arrived early, another visit required though).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Long Run 16 Miles

    Last Sunday I ran my first long run in a long while. It was an enjoyable one as well. Ran with the Donore group which at times I reckon was up to 12 strong. Chilly to start with but the morning warmed up nicely. Lots of running and non-running chat as the miles flew by. It's a good bunch.

    For the first time on one of these runs I tackled Knockmaroon. I reckon there were around 7 or 8 of us and at the base of Knockmaroon we merged with a group of 7 or 8 cyclists. There ensued some fun banter as we engaged in runner versus cyclist on the ascent. Runners won this battle. At Knockmaroon Gate two of us peeled off from the group as they continued up Tower. I was tempted to stay with the main group but doing that would have seen me bring up nearly 20 for the morning and that wasn't on the plan. Felt strong over the final closing miles.

    A solid week's running where I hit my new default weekly target of 50 miles. That's 9 consecutive weeks averaging 45+ miles.

    Total 16.45M @ 7:44


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭ outforarun


    Easy Hour

    Started the week's running on Tuesday evening with an easy hour of neighbourhood running. Damp and chilly conditions. Wear my hood up, something I very rarely do, to make the transition from warm indoors to bracing outdoors, that bit easier. Anytime I wear a hood while running I cannot help thinking I'm in a boxing film, the urban dark evening training scene.

    Two laps of Kilmainham-Inchicore-SCR-James-Heuston. Second lap is run a little faster than the first. Effort levels are low and I sneak in just over 7 miles in the hour.

    Total 7.01M @ 8:34


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