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Ultra Discussion Thread

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  • Irish women's 24hr running is really competitive at the moment. Some top runners out there coming into form, exciting times ahead.




  • Shamelessly taken from her husband Póls FB post

    "In a field packed with some serious competition including previous world champions and European champions Aoife completed a total of 231.376km in the allowed 24 hours...this should be a new Irish 24 hour record previous record of 229.347 set back in 2012 by Ruthann Sheahan . ........Add to this that it appears in the same race she has broken the Irish 6 hour record, 12 hour record and 100 mile record! So so so incredibly proud!"

    And so he should be proud, what an incredible performance. Aoife did her first ultra in September 2018, the Kerry Way Ultra Lite. Last year she was first female in the Wicklow Way Ultra, the Kerry Way Ultra and the Connemara Way Ultra .... to name but a few and she smashed some womens records along the way.

    I crewed for her in Connemara and I don't think I've ever seen such determination in a person. She's a phenomenal athlete, a kind person and modest to boot. She has many great things ahead of her :)




  • https://results.chronolog.gr/row/81a2c3c2060f153556b1601138d80aee.html?fbclid=IwAR0kd3Pna58zypJJ4Vz-5YpLUYU5YoIegOtLBnClfN8vTycVlGyyAjGZguc

    Great performance by Aoife Munroe at the moment in Athens 24 hrs race...5hrs to go and at circa 200kms...ccud be a new Irish wimmins record(232) and win the full race, fair few experienced 24hr men in it aswell

    Aoife Mundow. Fantastic running.




  • Neady83 wrote: »
    Shamelessly taken from her husband Póls FB post

    "In a field packed with some serious competition including previous world champions and European champions Aoife completed a total of 231.376km in the allowed 24 hours...this should be a new Irish 24 hour record previous record of 229.347 set back in 2012 by Ruthann Sheahan . ........Add to this that it appears in the same race she has broken the Irish 6 hour record, 12 hour record and 100 mile record! So so so incredibly proud!"

    And so he should be proud, what an incredible performance. Aoife did her first ultra in September 2018, the Kerry Way Ultra Lite. Last year she was first female in the Wicklow Way Ultra, the Kerry Way Ultra and the Connemara Way Ultra .... to name but a few and she smashed some womens records along the way.

    I crewed for her in Connemara and I don't think I've ever seen such determination in a person. She's a phenomenal athlete, a kind person and modest to boot. She has many great things ahead of her :)

    Chuffed for her she is so nice and some athlete




  • Edit: Apols, was on mobile didn't see the dedicated thread!

    Early days yet on the Spine Race - John Kelly setting a fast pace up front, Enduro and 3 others about 1-2 hours behind. Currently leaving rest stop at Hawes, Enduro within minutes of the leader who went off course. A long grind ahead, with the remnants of storm Brendan closing in.

    https://live.thespinerace.com/


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  • Enduro is gone ahead. Always interesting to keep an eye on this race on the tracker.




  • Enduro is gone ahead. Always interesting to keep an eye on this race on the tracker.

    Eoin is phenomenal. I keep going back to the tracker. Would love to be there to cheer him on.




  • Mad Benny wrote: »
    Eoin is phenomenal. I keep going back to the tracker. Would love to be there to cheer him on.

    I much prefer supporting him from my warm arm chair with my two feet up on the radiator. :D




  • Ed McGroarty(of these parts) with 249.626km(official distance to be ratified) for a new Irish 24hr record in Espoo, Finland. Some achievement!!


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  • OOnegative wrote: »
    Ed McGroarty(of these parts) with 249.626km(official distance to be ratified) for a new Irish 24hr record in Espoo, Finland. Some achievement!!

    27km pb and 2nd overall




  • OOnegative wrote: »
    Ed McGroarty(of these parts) with 249.626km(official distance to be ratified) for a new Irish 24hr record in Espoo, Finland. Some achievement!!

    249.761km officially




  • OOnegative wrote: »
    Ed McGroarty(of these parts) with 249.626km(official distance to be ratified) for a new Irish 24hr record in Espoo, Finland. Some achievement!!

    Great to see one of the nice guys do so well. Big congrats to Ed. Superb running.




  • KSU wrote: »
    249.761km officially

    Absolutely phenomenal performance! Congratulations, Ed!




  • Have a dose of something at the moment so was browsing youtube over the w/end, came across this video about the Barkley Marathons. The guy in came across very well, hardly even mentioned he picked up the FKT's for both the Pacific Crest Trail & the Appalachian Trail!
    He still didn't manage to finish the Barkley!





  • opus wrote: »
    Have a dose of something at the moment so was browsing youtube over the w/end, came across this video about the Barkley Marathons. The guy in came across very well, hardly even mentioned he picked up the FKT's for both the Pacific Crest Trail & the Appalachian Trail!
    He still didn't manage to finish the Barkley!


    Watched the Gary Robbins one the weekend...something else.




  • Watched the Gary Robbins one the weekend...something else.

    Looks like Robbins is back again this year to give it another go




  • Enduro wrote: »
    Great to see one of the nice guys do so well. Big congrats to Ed. Superb running.

    Thanks Eoin
    It's people like yourself that make the sport so enjoyable to be a part of. Your an absolute credit to Irish and International Ultra/adventures racing. Looking forward to running with you again.
    Cheers
    Ed




  • Probably late coming to this, but great to see Enduro on the cover of Irish Runner. Excellent article and good to see the focus on mountain and ultra running in this edition.




  • Race report Espoo Finland 24hr indoor event

    (excuse my spelling and grammar)

    The build up to this race was a long one. I had raced Belfast 24 in June 2019 falling short of a pb by a couple of kms. This was my first 24 race with my coach Luke Coleman but I think although we hadn’t pb’d, the endurance was there even though the approach was more quality over quantity. Something that was new to me having been self trained up til now.
    The next goal was to race the Dublin Marathon in October 19. Training was going really well for this and there was lots of speed in the legs. I generally bounce back very quickly from races and recover very well. About 2 weeks out from Dublin I was contacted by John O’Regan asking if I would be a guide runner for Sinead Kane. Sinead had qualified for the world championship 24hr but wasn’t been allowed to compete due to her visual disability. Things where very up in the air but John had asked myself and Gillian Connolly to be on stand by in the hopes Sinead would win her courtcase.

    So with my own race 2 weeks out I told luke(my coach) about the situation. I was very keen to help Sinead if I could even though I’d never met her and flattered John had asked me. Luke adjusted my training in a way that catered for both outcomes.
    Sinead won her case and we travelled to France where she did exceptionally well scoring for the Irish womens team securing them a top 10 result.

    So I now had a very good marathon training block in my legs and probably ran about 90km in total over the weekend (I didn’t wear a watch during the worlds).
    Since I hadn’t raced I could almost immediately start back into taining. Up to this point I had been running about 65 miles a week . oct’19

    The goal now was Finland feb’20. I’d raced there in 2017 but pulled out after 19.5 hours. My quads were screaming at me and I found even walking difficult. I put it down to the hard surface and lack of sufficient cushioning in my runners, asics nimbus. I was going well at the time running in 2nd place and on for a 240km finish although if I’d stayed in the race both of those would have slipped away anyway.

    I really enjoy training and don’t mind if I don’t race at the end of it so mentally it didn’t phase me starting another block. But this block was going to be different. I discussed with my wife that with her support I was planning on putting everything into my training this time. I’d decided that if I didn’t get the return I believed I could, a 240km international A standard and hopefully an Irish team selection then I’d take a step back from racing. Theres a big sacrifice involved in my training and I wanted something to show for it.

    The training ramped up to around 80-85 miles a week of solid consistent training. Week in and week out of 85 miles. One mid week session, some strides and a long run session. Lots of mixed paces. Long runs where between 18-22 miles but loads of quality. No back to backs and no long slow running.

    But what was different about this block?

    I had about 1 to 2 hours training a day and the rest of the day to mess it up. So I focused on training 24hrs a day instead. Almost all the food I was eating had a purpose beneficial to my training. I would get to bed early every night, a massive aid to recovery, and gave up alcohol almost entirely.

    When taper came around I was 100% physically trained and in the very best shape of my life. I decided that if my physical training was now decreasing during taper I could still train my mental side. I set about reading self help books , mindfullnes and practicing techniques to overcome the many barriers we come up against in 24hr running.
    I brought a crew with me to Finland consisting of my wife Louise and Angela McConnell. Both have been crewing me for a number of years and have become an excellent team and invaluable part of my races.

    The logistics where very handy as we’d been here before and knew our way around. The race is indoors on a 390metre track across 4 lanes. My goal was 240km which works out as a 2:20 min lap. But I was willing to run a faster lap if it meant finding a more comfortable stride and pace as to begin with this would be a 10min mile. A pace I hadn’t practised in training.
    The atmosphere was really friendly before hand and I got chatting to some of the other competitors, and we’re off.

    I was running along in a small group and the pace was about spot on so I shut off mentally and just rode the wave for about 4hrs I’d say. The others were chatting away but I limited my replys to one or two words having learned early in my 24hr experience that you’re only wasting energy by talking. The pace would slip a little now and again so I picked it up and the guys followed. Eventually as happens people stop for the toilet or change something or stop to get some nutrition etc.

    My plan was to only stop for the toilet and nothing else. So I found myself on my own and the pace picked up a little without any extra effort
    .
    After 4hrs running non stop I was in 19th position and 40.564km

    After about 6 hrs I remember feeling a little discomfort in my left quad. Luke was following through the online live stream and connected to my wife louise through whatsapp, part of the crew but from a distance. Patience and control where a big part of the strategy. I let louise know straight away and luke suggested a couple of strides to relieve the muscles and use a slightly different set for a while. Worked a treat and was back feeling 100%.

    Nutrition was going in well. We decided on about 30g of solid charbohydrate per hour along with around 300ml water. Mainly bars or some banana. I would say we got to about 6hrs in when I started to find it difficult to get the solid food in. I never take anything in during training and hadn’t practiced much for it so found it a little uncomfortable. I was suffering from a stich around 9hrs in and was using some breathing techniques and fist clenching to relieve the energy from that area. A technique relayed to me from Luke through whatsapp.
    Added a few more strides during the first half to alleviate some muscle tension. I think I took a toilet break in the first half consisting of 1 minute.

    After 12hrs and 1 minute off the track, the rest non stop running. 124.423km 4th place

    Im now well on track for my 240km finish running comfortably and banked 4km.
    The first half is all about the physical and to me the second half is all about the mental. The body was starting to feel a little fatigue so I had to focus on getting the nutrition in. As the solid food was now a bit of a problem I was mainly taking in gels, about 1 every hour and tailwind, about 250ml of around 25g carbohydrate. I was forgetting when Id taken them so had to rely on my crew to remind me to take them on.

    Id been off caffeine for around 10 days prior to the race and started using it around 18hrs in. Definitely got a major boost from it and continued using it throughout the rest of the race. Mainly in the form of gels and coke.

    After 18hrs 188.999km and 1st place.
    Id moved into 1st around 17.5 hrs in and held it until I was overtaken at 22.5 hrs. it was a finnish runner who went on to run 254km and a new finnish national record.

    At this stage id taken another 2 toilet breaks a further 2 minutes off the track.
    Now a total of 3 mins off track and the rest non stop running.
    At 21hrs 20 minutes I had beaten my old pb and we were now starting to aim for a list of goals I had written down for my crew along with all the corresponding splits id need to hit to achieve them.

    Next goal was the indoor irish record set by Tony Mangan in 2007 of 223.779km. Tony had set this record as a split time during a 48hr race so it was an achieavable target for a mortal like myself, if he’d been running a 24hr that day the record would have been much higher. Less than 10 mins later at 21hrs 29 mins we had broken the indoor record.

    Next stop was Eddie Gallens Donegal record of 230.136km. It wasn’t for the accolade I was aiming for these goals but a source of motivation and some mini type goals to aim for as the race progressed, looking at the next few km rather than the race as a whole. I went through Eddies record at 22hrs 10mins. Eddie is a friend of mine and guy I admire very much and it gave me no pleasure to break his record.

    Next up the Irish international A standard of 240km. My goal in all of this and one I’d been aiming for for close to 3 years. I went through this goal at 23hrs and 8 mins. I can relax now goal achieved, just jog around, basking in my own glory, enjoy the moment, maybe walk a bit chat to the other runners check out the aid station take a long sit down toilet break without my crew waiting outside making sure I’m not messing around in there.

    But my crew had very different ideas!

    I had put one more goal on my list for the crew, almost as a joke really. I hadn’t worked out the splits for it or any timings just wrote it down as “furthest distance by an Irish runner 248.436 road.” I didn’t even write Eoins name next to it figuring it was untouchable. Well my crew had been working it out since around 20hrs into the race and they were already pushing me , telling me the splits I’d need to hit pumping in the nutrition. I thought to myself I wish I hadn’t written that down for them now, but luke would have been on the ball anyway seen as he had even a few more goals than I had written down(maybe next time).

    I went through Eoins record at 23hrs 53 mins. I wasn’t even claiming it really as I’d run indoors and Eoins record was on road. Then I saw some tweets about breaking Eoins record and wondered would it be official. None of it really mattered to me though unless Eoin said it. And then he messaged me and congratulated me on breaking his record and said some other nice things and that for me made it official. Another guy I really admire and one who makes the sport a great place to be involved in.

    I averaged 10.4km per hour for the race but ran about 11.4km average in the last 30mins. I ran a negative split of almost 1km finishing in 249.761km. I ran in Hoka Clifton 6. My average pace was 9:17 mile or 5:46km My crew were still pushing hard to get me to break the 250km barrier. But sure
    I need a goal for next time.


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  • Great read, mate. Congratulations on a fantastic achievement.




  • You make it sound easy - and I know only too well how bloody hard this is! An otherworldly performance, just awesome!




  • You make it sound easy - and I know only too well how bloody hard this is! An otherworldly performance, just awesome!

    It was very difficult. But I didn't allow myself to think it at the time. I believed I could run a non stop 24hr for a while now but hadn't figured out how.
    I decided before the race that the solution to any bad patches would always be something other than walk or stop. So these options never entered my mind during the race.
    Instead I used mental solutions like distraction or physical methods like strides to alleviate muscle soreness.
    I suffered a number of stitches during the race and have to say these where by far more painful to run through than anything else. But stopping never entered my mind.
    I discussed them with my crew (on the run of course) and found solutions through them and Luke. Nothing would be impossible to get through I just had to figure out how. And this in itself was a good distraction.
    Being patient, staying in control and remaining calm where paramount in my success. All backed up by a very specific training plan.Designed to prepare the body to overcome the physical stresses.




  • With Cabin fever on course to set in and the death of sport for the forseeable I thought now would be a perfect time for a bit more creative content and finally get around to a project I had been toying with for a while. Ed kindly agreed to the go ahead with this so I thought he would be the perfect case study.

    Basically The following will be a run down of his training from the coaching perspective. With all the "definitive" training information around I thought this would be a good way of showing the coaching process and the logic behind decision making for training the individual.

    This is not designed to be a how to for 24 hr racing but rather logic behind the decisions that were made throughout training in the build up to Ed's National Record.

    Background

    Ed approached me back in Oct 2018 with the aim of a fresh approach on 24 hr training so after a bit of back and forth we got a general sense of the background to start to make plans.

    Ed had been running distance events since 2014 and sported following PB's

    2016 5km 17.3x.
    2016 10km 36.3x.
    2014 1/2 mara. 1:32.
    2016 marathon 2:54.
    2016 39.3miles 5:10.
    2015 100km 9:26.
    2016 100mile 15:58.
    2017 105 mile 19:02.
    2018 24hr 222km.

    He also provided Lactate Testing reports which had indicated a great endurance capacity. This was to be expected given his training background however it suprised me how quick his 5k/10k times were and how comparably weak the HM/Marathon times were given his endurance. Immediately this stood out as area to improve upon and would be a key focus within the training.

    He had also provided me with his training history in terms of volume where 125 miles was a peak week but he was more comfortable in around 80 mpw.

    In the early weeks got a sense for Ed's mentality and traits around training. Paces generally were on the steady side of things (low 7 min pace for many runs) initially we tried to dial these back somewhat but this was a natural tendency. Usually this would ring alarm bells however given Ed's years of training under the belt and his general robustness (very few injuries) rather than try to dial back pace and increase volume we would maintain a level he was comfortable with and rely on cumulative fatigue so long as he was recovering from the sessions. As a result early sessions were relatively modest and more power based (hill reps and light progressions)




  • The early training, dialed the mileage back somewhat and we were down to circa 60 miles, This looked alot like a marathon training block to be honest but mielage was low as introducing more power based sessions (hill's and 10k reps) I was conscious that this was a new stimulus to Ed and a change in approach and that coupled with the aggressive nature on easy runs I didn't want to break an unbreakable athlete so figured the steadier effort off lower volume would be sustainable.

    Come Donadea Ed was in reasonable shape and I reckoned in around 3.25 was a doable target which would put him in the mix. This was not to be however with stitch issues from the beginning of the race curtailing things with Ed coming home in 3.47 well off where the fitness indicated. As a coach this was a bit of a nightmare. Half the battle is instilling confidence in the approach so I tend to like a big result first race off the bat to ensure athlete has faith in the process. We had looked at another race to help bounce back from it but nothing suited.
    Thankfully Ed had a holistic outlook of things and trusted the process based on fitness in training and discounted it as a blip. I think it helped in the fact Camille Herron articles seemed to be telling Ed that her training structure had similarities to our own so from an Ultra running perspective helped show that there was precedence for type of training we were doing specific to the target.

    There were dips in motivation but proceeded to put a solid block into training albeit at low volume. Between the motivation and the low volume the confidence took a bit of a hit and something which probably carried over inthe Belfast. None the less Ed finished 4th just shy of the PB in 219km enough for a National Age Group Gold.

    Despite it not being a PB I think it helped confirmed the ability to run a 24hr race for him without mega mileage long runs as primarily the training had been set up working from a marathon base that we could build on going forward.




  • Attached is the original draft of training,

    The approach was similar to the previous marathon training approach but was more an endurance based marathon approach than a 10k based one. I felt the last block had provided the foundation to build upon as I believed it had polarized efforts from what Ed was used to (a lot of in between training rather than faster/slower)

    There was a few aspects which I chose to emphasize

    - Long Runs

    While it might seem a bit counter to the general advice of race specific paces etc to get prepared the simple fact is there is a trade off between physical fitness improvement and race conditioning. Ed had years of moderate mileage so at this stage I didn't feel easy runs were much of a stimulus and in order to get any sort of race conditioning benefit would have had to go very long (given tendency for faster paces I didn't feel this was a good open) With that in mind I wanted to focus on building fitness and leave a few key longer ones for race conditioning (Pacing duties at World 24h Champ's though not planned tied in very well for this as well as a planned 50 mile race)

    - Tempo's

    Pace variation Tempo's. I am a big fan of these for people trying to develop aerobically. I find they help control tempo efforts and stop people working too hard so generally use these for people who are not quite as aerobically fit for sustained tempo's. In this case however I wanted to use these as a way of getting some race prep. 24 hour racing is something that no matter how fit you are you will be lacking at some stage. With that in mind I felt the need to train for the inevitable dips. It's one thing to be able to sustain a pace but something entirely different to bounce back for them so as such I thought this is something that would stand to Ed along with the physical benefits of the sessions.

    Week 11 Had a special block session for the weekend (3 sessions over the course of 24 hours) however this did not materialize for a number of reasons.




  • It looks like the ghosts of Barkley are out running this weekend... A ceremonial running of the race is taking place.




  • mloc123 wrote: »
    It looks like the ghosts of Barkley are out running this weekend... A ceremonial running of the race is taking place.

    https://twitter.com/gary_robbins/status/1243665104274518017


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  • Not sure if this was posted already or not but really enjoyed this short film on Paddy O'Leary taking on the Wicklow Round last year.

    Ag Teacht Abhaile


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