If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Berlin Q or Bust: Road to sub 2:45



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    In other news I have entered a race 😮 Had a 10 Mile TT down for this Sunday but it was pushed back a week after last weeks bump in the road...which fits in nicely with the Kilbeggan 10 Mile race. No idea of field or course profile, but who cares! Better than churning out another soul destroying solo TT around the Curragh 😁 First time toeing a start line in 18 months...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,582 ✭✭✭djemba djemba

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Nice one! Very unsure of what type of 10 mile shape I'm in atm. Or what general shape I'm in to be honest. Definitely don't feel in race shape, but I'm sure that's down to not actually racing 😁 Hopefully won't be too far behind you 😉 (fixed it P!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Brilliant typo there J. 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,582 ✭✭✭djemba djemba

    Jack O'connor is rubbing off on you there. Yerra Yerra. I will be holding on to you. 😁

    Think we are all in the same boat regarding races. Don't feel in race shape either, it has been so long since a road race. Get a mark on the board next week and move on to bigger events in the autumn, that's my goal anyway.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 4

    Mon: 12k Recovery: 1:03:16 @5:16/km

    6am shuffle around the bog before heading out west on holidays.

    Tue: 13k Easy: 1:04:25 @4:56/km

    The Armada in Spanish Point was our HQ for the week. Holidaying with 3 young kids is, in my experience anyway, always a pretty intense experience 😁 The plan was there but I wasn't going to kill myself to fit stuff in. Plan was to get runs in very early each morning and be back showered and ready for breakfast roll call.

    This one took me along the coast, past Whitestrand and towards Lahinch before turning around about 4 miles in. Ropey-ish roads to run on at busier periods I'd imagine, but were deserted at that hour.

    Wed: 5 Miles Easy: 38:31 @4:47/km

    Had a session down on the plan, but slept it out and didn't get out the door until close to 7am. Pretty tired so just mooched around, managing to catch a pretty spectacular rainbow over the Atlantic before getting an equally spectacular drenching on the way back to the hotel.

    Thu: 12 Miles Relaxed: 1:23:50 @4:20/km

    Had about 90 mins window for this one and plotted out a route that would get me a 13mile loop or so. Into Milltown Malbay and by my reckoning I needed to take the 3rd right out the Flag road. This of course was fine in theory, but I started to think that the 2nd right I'd passed was in fact the 3rd right. The prospect of arriving back late for breakfast was not an enticing one, so I turned back and took said 2nd right. Met a nice lady a few km down that stretch and she gave me a bit of a steer as to how to extricate myself from my current predicament. With the time lost being lost and the route change, only managed the 12 miles in the end but was happy enough.

    Fri: 10 Miles Easy: 1:18:03 @4:59/km

    Last run around the banner. Great few days was had by all. I was pretty wrecked by the end of the week I have to say. Eating out everyday and packing in all the usual holiday activities wouldn't leave you feeling particularly sharp.

    Sat: Rest. Unplanned.

    We're getting our attic converted and the start date was brought forward by a week...which meant I'd a day of clearing out the attic. I often look at guys who I run with that have physically demanding jobs, and marvel at how they manage to train and race after a hard day's work. Anyway, I'm not one of those guys. Had LR planned, but by the time I'd finished in the afternoon, I pushed the LR to the Sunday and just took the day off.

    Sun: LR: 20 Miles inc 10 Miles @MP

    Wasn't sure how I was feeling for this one. Was a bit fuzzy after the week's indulgences and my stair repeats the previous day. Happily I felt pretty damn good on this one. Had a vague route in mind which would see do the last 6 miles of the MP section on the Lidl loop. Did 8 and and a bit miles to warm up, averaging about 6:50, but having to reign myself in after Mile 4 clocked in at 6:44. These miles felt pretty effortless and I sort of knew I was gonna have a good day from there. Took on some fluids and had a bit of a stretch before I started the MP section. First mile was fairly downhill (6:11) and then the was a tasty 400m hill at the start of the second mile which I often use for hill repeats. I attacked this section and after coming down the other side on a gradual decline, the second mile clocked in at 6:06. 'Steady here Johnny' I found myself repeating. During the next mile I felt a bit of a issue with the sole of my left shoe. Thought nothing of it, but it became pretty irritating so I pulled in and took off the shoe to find that the rear crash pad of the Next% was starting to come away. Tore off the bit in question and said I'd see how things developed. If I had to call back home for an 'AMK-mid-session-shoe change' then so be it. 6:14 and 6:10 miles got me down to the loop, where I'd some water waiting for me. The 2 loops saw me lock into a nice rhythm which was only interrupted by me having to tear off the rest of that crash pad on the shoe. Last 6 miles were 6:11,6:12,6:12, 6:09,6:12,6:13 giving me 61:50 for the 10 miles.

    Felt good afterwards and headed up to Croker tobsee the Lilywhites meekly accept their beating 😔

    Just over 100k for the week. I really just need a few quiet and consistent weeks now. I've had some decent runs but I don't feel like I'm sharp enough or fit enough for where I need to be right now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 5

    Mon: 14.1k Recovery: 1:12:18 @5:08/km

    Regular Monday shuffle around the bog.

    Tue: 14k Easy: 1:11:16 @5:03/km

    Debating all things Kildare GAA with a good mate made the run pass quickly enough. Debuted the Nike Invincibles for this one...very plush. Like almost too plush. Will keep them for recovery runs I think. Right glute was a little lippy towards the end.

    Wed: Session: 5x2k off 2 mins

    This was not a good day at the office. Plan was for 6x2k in the region of 7:05-10, in between 10k & 10 Mile pace. Went up to the loop in the Camp as I'd a few bits to take care of in the school and I also needed to be close to my phone as I'm having a few childcare issues with my little lady.

    Was tired starting out as said little lady isn't sleeping great and she's complimented nicely by my 13 year old dog who is up multiple times a night lately. This is just a round about way of saying my sleep pattern is still in tatters and I suppose on occasion its probably going to catch up with me.

    Tried the Saucony Endorphin Pro's that I picked up a little while back. Let's just say they made an inauspicious debut! They were actually fine to be fair, not too different the Speeds. Will give them a better outing another day and then decide their future.

    Splits were; 7:07, 7:11, 7:20, 7:24, 7:20

    Was gonna pack it in after 2, but grinded out 3 more repeats. Was checking phone during each of the 2 min rests, and after the 5th rep I had to make a phone call. After which I knocked the 6th on the head. Felt slow and heavy legged for the whole session. It was a warm afternoon, but that wasn't really an excuse. Will just draw a line in the sand and move on. It wouldn't instill confidence ahead of Sunday though.

    18.4k all in all.

    Thu: MLR: 20k Relaxed: 1:23:18 @4:10/km

    This on the other hand went great. Started out lovely, a couple of miles in and I met a mate who I'd helped pace to a 2:46 marathon back in May. He's doing Manchester as well so we had a good chat and I set off again with lot's of race variables floating around in the noggin. Heavens opened about 7 Miles in, but I didn't mind. Pace felt easy and legs didn't show any ill effects from the previous day's exploits.

    10 Mile race on Sunday. Won't be tapered for it, but I've no real time goals for this one. Just want a hard effort in the system. The Main Thing is still the Main Thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Fri: 10k Recovery: 55mins ish

    Without going into too much detail, a friend needed a 10k run that totalled around 68 mins. So took his watch and ambled around the Curragh plains for my own run, stopping a couple times to chat to people I'd met and sitting in car with watch still running at the end. I actually ran about 12k but forgot to start my own watch at a couple of junctures. Hadn't ran on the plains for a while and enjoyed the run.

    Sat: 5.8k w/strides: 26:57 @4:37/km

    Ran down to the Liffey Linear park to get a few strides in. Threw on the Hyperion Tempos for this one as they were looking a bit lonely on the shoe carousel 😁 I think I've found their niche; pre raceday shakeouts!

    Sun: Race: Kilbeggan 10 Mile: 59:35 @3:42/km

    My mate/athlete who I'm coaching :), drove for this one. Was a bit tired waking up as despite my poor week's sleep, I watched both the Olympic marathons and then got up to watch the boxing. 

    Got up to Kilbeggan about 10am and after taking care of the necessary went for a warm up out the opening stretch of the race. This was a long, straight drag into a stuff enough breeze and didn't exactly send the spirits soaring :) Felt pretty flat and tired during this but this feeling is never necessarily a portent of a poor day to follow. 

    Caught up with a couple of clubmates and also had a quick chat with Djemba Djemba from these parts and it was great to meet in person after a couple of years of chatting in these parts. 

    My mantra was simple; 'Race effort. Race effort.' I knew I wasn't fresh, and I knew a fast time was probably out of the question. This meant I had to check the ego and accept that guys who I'd like to be a lot closer to were going to be down the road. All that mattered was putting in a showing that would continue to build fitness towards Manchester. 

    At this juncture I have to say how great it was to be on a startline again after 18 months away. It was pretty much like the good old days and I did take a moment to appreciate this as we waited for the off. 

    As Mick Clohisey, John Travers, Conor Duffy and a few others rocked up to the start line it was pretty clear that although a relatively small field, it was high in quality. 3,2,1 and off we went... 

    First 6k or so was a long stretch on the main road out of Kilbeggan, and it was basically uphill until 4k. I was determined to work my way cautiously into proceedings so I found myself falling off a couple of groups that, on another day, might have went with. 5:56 and 6:01 clocked for the first couple of miles and I'm sort of in no mans land, but not too preturbed about that. Mile 3 clocks in at 5:57 before we turned off the main road to a fairly generous 4th mile which came in at 5:50.

    I'm catching and passing a good few runners here that had clearly gone out too quick and were now paying the price. This wasn't really providing me with a whole lot of energy though. Was feeling flat and tired and some doubts were starting to gnaw away. 5th mile clocks in at 5:57, giving me 29:41 for the first half. Not bad I thought, and whilst I wasn't fleecing myself, I wasn't sure what was in the legs as I moved towards the business end of the race. 

    Miles 6 & 7 were full of little pulls and drags and they really took their toll on my mojo out there today. Had fallen in with/tailgated a group of 3 Raheny runners, and after hanging off them for these two miles, 6:03 & 6:01, once we (finally) made the left turn for the downwind stretch for home I decided I may share a few turns at the front!

    Mile 8 was another generous one and, now that we were close to home, I mustered up a bit of a spurt. This beeps in at 5:53 and although the legs are leaden enough, I'm able to cajole myself into miantaining the effort. This 9th mile is grim enough, loads of drags and I'm clinging onto the Raheny lads for most of it. At this point a lad from Piranha Tri Club who I always seem to be around in races has passed us on the previous mile. I decide to try and go after him and one of the Raheny guys follows suit. The penultimate mile clocks in at 6:01.

    Start of the final 9 has a mountainous motorway bridge to traverse. I jest here, sort of. Anyway, c...r....a....w....l slowly up said bridge and try to empty whatever is in the tank. The 3rd female is up the road and I try use her as a target. Pass her and Piranha. I'm not looking at the watch now. 400m out now and the finish line is in sight. Last kick for home, Raheny kicks back and goes by, try to respond but I run out of road. 5:48 for the final mile and 59:35 for the chip time and 58th overall. 

    Chats with a couple of clubmates after. Met Djemba Djemba again and congratulated him on a brilliant run. My buddy ran in the low 63's for a big PB and is looking good for his sub 3 tilt in Manchester. 

    Takeaways from the race. 

    *I'm not sure where exactly I am. I'd like to be faster over these sort of distances but my training is geared exclusively towards Manchester. It's a choice I've made with my coach and whether or not it's the right one, will only be proven come October 10th in Manchester. 

    *I still can't shake the feeling that I should be running quicker. 

    *It was great to race. I really took them for granted when time's were normal.

    *That was a tricky enough route, not helped by the breeze.

    *I maybe need a 'good' day in a race before Manchester. Will chat to Seán and see what he thinks about a small taper for the HM in 3 weeks time. I can't help thinking that I need to put a score on the board in Antrim if I'm to have the confidence to go after 2:45 in October. It's all well and good running a decent time on tired legs, or 1:19:10 in a HM TT on a hot day when I struggled. I'd like a day where I just go out and perform.

    Around 110k for the week. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    I think you're being a bit hard on your expectations there.

    Marathon training, A midweek session, interrupted sleep, windy day, not the flattest route - and most importantly - 9 weeks left - why would you be going quicker right now?

    It'll click - it'll happen in Manchester for you - no doubt.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    'Race effort, race effort' - like that mantra. I was trying to channel something similar during my own far lonelier stint in the second half of wave 2 today, and it definitely helped.

    Good run, agree with you about the tricky course.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,397 ✭✭✭Dubh Geannain

    I can't share your outlook. I think that was a fantastic run. You're full tilt in the middle of a plan. "110 km for the week" (plus a session) and "I still can't shake the feeling I should be running quicker" are not mutually exclusive I would have thought.

  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭browne_rob5

    Great run Johnny!

    I would agree with the comments above. I think given your weekly mileage and where you are in the plan this run indicates you are well on course to run sub 2.45. There have been some very impressive sessions on Strava over the last few months which indicate it also. Keep faith in the plan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Still a bit of traffic here 😁 The above sentiments & speaking of truths are appreciated.

    I'm not panicking or anything, just a bit of self doubt creeping in I think. I've no doubts about the plan, just my own ability to execute it! The closer you get to raceday, the more doubts start rattling around. The fact that it's nearly 2 years since I ran a marathon is probably feeding into things too.

    Anyway, I know I'm in a good place. It's all there in my training. Good times in warm up races are bonuses but I can't let them distract from the main prize.

    Starting to feel like I'm really building up to a marathon now. Race looks (I'm aware of the jinxing effect that this comment might have) like it's happening and I love the anticipation that comes with the last few weeks of a block.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 6

    Mon: 10 Miles Recovery: 1:24:36 @5:15/km

    Shuffled around the estate for a few boring miles whilst making sure my two fellas weren't burning down the house.

    Headed to Naas in the afternoon for the first round of golf I've played in 2 and a half years. Enjoyed it and was actually hitting it half decent by the end.

    Tue: 9 Miles Easy: 1:13:18 @5:08/km

    More estate laps. The Nike Invincibles are without an equal for these shuffles. Pillows.

    Wed: 19.6k in 6x1 mile off 2 mins.

    Plan was to not go too crazy at this and see how the body was feeling after Sunday. Headed down to the track, whose gravel had gotten a bit of a resurface which was badly needed.

    Had 5:35-5:40 as a ballpark target, and was feeling decent enough as I was warming up. Felt pretty good during the reps and the pace felt pretty manageable. The 2 mins recovery felt generous too tbh. All in all, a good day.

    Splits: 5:35, 5:34, 5:32, 5:36, 5:34, 5:32

    Thu: 14.2k: 1:09:53 @4:56/km

    Caught up with an old pal during this and the run flew by.

    Fri: 11.5k: 58:06 @5:05/km

    Fri evening shuffle before the return of the football. Arsenal gonna Arsenal I suppose...😋

    Sat: 7 Miles Easy: 57:49 @5.08/km

    Morning trip out and back on the Naas dual carraigeway.

    Sun: LR 20 Miles: 2:10:43 @4:03/km

    Didn't get out until half eleven for this one and had seen a few people bang out great runs all weekend so was buzzing and rearing to go for this one.

    Plan was 5 miles off/on by two, with the 'on' at MP. Figured out a route where I'd run up to the Camp and do the first 5 miles 'on' on the loop, then run back down to the Lidl loop and do the second 5 miles 'on' there.

    Set off in drizzly conditions, but with little breeze it was actually quite nice to run in. Had no specific target for the 'off' miles, but I wanted to run them at a decent clip. To be honest I was having to reign myself in for these miles, trying to keep as much as possible in reserve for the MP sections. Feeling great and these miles clocked in at 33:40 (6:48,6:46,6:45,6:51,6:40). 

    Had a little drink stashed on the loop, so took that and popped a gel quickly before I started the first 5 miles MP. These miles went like clockwork on the loop. Whilst I've considerably cut down on how much I use the loop, it does come in handy for stuff like this. Anyway, was bopping along nicely and after finishing up the 5 miles I was away back towards the town. 31:02 (6:10,6:13,6:14,6:11,6:14) for this section.

    A couple of down hills and a couple of decent drags and I'm crossing the Liffey ready for the last 5 miles. The 5 miles off came in at 33:52 (6:43,6:44,6:47,6:51,6:47).

    Had more water and a gel left at the Pfizer loop. Tiring a little now but feeling pumped and eager to finish strong. Found it a little harder to jump back to MP, as the first mile was into whatever breeze there was, and the Lidl loop always accentuates any wind there might be. 6:25 beeps on the watch, didn't feel that slow I think, but not to worry. Try to get back on pace and follow it up with a 6:16. Definitely feeling tired now, get caught up a little bit with some traffic and mile 18 beeps at 6:20. I've 2 miles to go now and I'm 2k away from home. Decide to make up the deficet at the end of the run and head for home. I've picked up the pace now and hoping to finish strong. Glance at current lap pace, '4:00/km' 😯 What's going on here me thinks. Up it a little more, glance down again...4:15/km' 😡 oh FFS! I don't need this at this stage of the run! GPS comes around eventually and mile 19 clocks in at 6:20, in reality was closer to 6:10 I reckon. Final mile included a couple of about turns and estate cul de sacs and comes in at 6:25. 31:41 for the final MP section. A bit slower than planned, but first mile aside, this was down to the GPS.

    Really happy with that one.

    121k for the week. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    My 2 main take aways from this update;

    (1) Arsenal gonna Arsenal.

    (2) Invincibles without Equal.

    There was a time those 2 points would be put together. A long way off that now :)

    Great sessions there - the 6x1m is fantastic - I do wonder what you'd run a 10k in.

    The weekend session is just savage altogether.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 7

    Mon: 11.4k Recovery: 59:22 @5:13/km

    Bog shuffle. Body in decent enough fettle.

    Tue: 14.8k Easy: 1:11:55 @4:51/km

    Estate laps. Again, legs felt fresh.

    Wed: 16k Easy: 1:17:52 @4:52/km

    Meant to do a session, but various happenings meant that didn't materialise. Got in some estate laps on auto pilot. Head a bit melted. 

    Thu: Session: 2 x 2 Mile: 11:02 & 11:11

    Previous day's hectic happenings were repeated. Ended up with a pretty short window to get something in. Plan was for 3x2 mile with 5k w/u & c/d but that just wasn't a runner. Got out the door at 7, but had to be back for 8:15 as Mrs Healy 1835 was heading out for dinner. So, tired and underfuelled, I took myself up to the Lidl loop to get in 2 x 2 mile with considerably shorter w/u and c/d.

    The reps were to be run at 'a good hard belt'. No paces accompanied this advice, so I just went hard and tried to hang on basically. First 2 miles were on an 800m-ish flat section of the loop from one roundabout to another. There was a decent breeze and I wanted to keep the reps fairly consistent so this seemed like a good idea. 400m into the first rep I'm already questioning the loop, the pace, the bloody benefit of what I'm doing. I've already decided to try something else for the second rep as mile 1 beeps at 5:32. This pace is not at all welcome tonight. I dig in and somehow manage to turn around a 5:30 mile for an 11:02 split. Jesus, there's no way I could crack out another of those I muse out loud. Certainly not 3 as originally planned anyway.

    However, 5 mins is a long recovery time, and the fact I'd only 1 more to go, made me a little more positive. Decided I'd just go a mile out and back for the second rep. It would involve the first mile into the breeze and a little drag, but the second mile should help me home. First mile beeps at 5:42 but I'd rescued it a little as I was on 5:50 pace for the first 600m or so. Turned on the mile beep and rinsed myself for the final mile, coming in at 5:29.

    Cool down back to the house for 9 miles on the button. AMK might be wondering what I'd run a 10k in. I'd like to say sub 35, but after how those paces felt, I wouldn't be too sure.

    Still though, got in something and as the night wore on, I was increasingly happier with my effort.

    Friday: 13.6k Easy: 1:08:25 @5:02/km

    Early evening mooch around the town.

    Sat: 14 Miles Relaxed: 1:35:16 @4:14/km

    Cut back distance and intensity of LR this week and also put it on the Saturday, 8 days out from Larne. Run itself was fairly straightforward, with only an early return to the homestead to go to the toilet getting in the way. Pace felt very comfortable on a very damp morning.

    Sun: 12.6k Easy: 1:02:54 @4:59/km

    Recovery around the bog.

    106km for the week. Down on what I'd planned, but each kilometer seemed to be hard earned this week 😁

    Race week beckons. I feel that as this HM is 6 weeks out and the fact I've a few decent LR's under the belt, that I can ease up a little this week and give the Half a good rattle. As opposed to Trim and Carlingford last year and Kilbeggan a couple of weeks ago. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Sub 35 would be easy if tapered!

    Training is immense as always - mileage may be down this week for you, but thats not a bad thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 9

    Mon: 7 Miles Easy: 55:29 @4:55/km

    Non descript trot around the town.

    Tue: 13.7k inc 5x1 mile off 3 min light jog.

    Had a small window to get this one in, so again I had to compromise on warm up and cool down. Plan was for 5:40's, just focusing on turnover and rythym. Was pleasantly surprised by how decent I felt on these. Paces came in a little quicker than prescripted, but effort levels were on point.

    (5:31, 5:28, 5:30, 5:29, 5:36)

    Wed: Rest

    Had decided to take a rest day at some point this week, and Wednesday just ended up being a busy day so it seemed as good a time as any to take it.

    Thu: 8.4k Easy: 40:40 @4:50/km

    Trot after school.

    Fri: 8.1k Easy: 42:54 @5:18/km

    Out before 6 am for this one. Just tipping easily into the HM.

    Sat: 5.3k Easy inc 5x20 sec strides: 26:13 @ 4:58/km

    Squeezed in a shakeout before heading up North.

    Sun: Race: Antrim Coast Half Marathon


    Decided late enough in the day to stay up the night before, so by the time we looked for accomodation there was nothing available anywhere near Larne. Ended up in the Maldron out by the International Airport, maybe the most soulless spot I've ever stayed in. Left Newbridge at lunchtime, and got up to the hotel in time to watch the Kerry-Tyrone game in the room. News came through that AMK sadly had to pull out due to a stout related ankle injury ☹️

    Nipped down for a decent enough pizza for dinner and then back up the room where I was out for the count by 9:30. Restless night's sleep followed by a 6am alarm. 2 bowls of Crunchie Nut Cornflakes (other brands are available) and 2 slices of toast down the hatch, and off we set. 

    Parked up in a shopping centre cark park, managed to convince a sports shop owner to let me use his toilet😜, then moseyed down to watch the elite race come by and went back to the car to get changed. Walked up the park area where runners were asked to warm up. 

    Park was pretty jammers and the portaloo situation was pretty grim by the looks of things. Let's just say that the warm up was punctuated by runners of all profiles going in and out of the bushes. 

    DJ was playing some tunes and also announcing the various waves time to head to the start area. No signage of any kind as to actually where this start line was, but after watching the various waves leave the park we were a little wiser.

    'Yellow (Sub 80mins) Wave to the start line'. Was with a couple of clubmates at this point, so we tipped down towards the road. Once we got there it was just total confusion. No signage, most people unsure of which direction to go. Walked towards what we presumed was the start line but we quickly came to a bottleneck. What ensued was about 15 mins of extremely slow progress as the marshals and other runners tried to get the crowds to move backwards so that the front of the field could get back behind the start line. The first couple of hundred runners were like sardines in a can. No craic at all, but I was surprisingly calm, which in hindsight, boded well...

    The Race:

    Decided to head out tentatively as the chances for carnage in the first few hundred meters were high. Thankfully nothing too crazy went down and apart from the GPS on my watch kicking in a little late, we were off and running. 5:51 beeps for the 1st mile and while it's a little quick, it's also downhill and I've probably ran a little quicker than planned due to the GPS being out for a while. Heading out towards the ferry terminal, pace is quick and I'm just trying to ease into things, sticking with a little group for a while. 5:50 beeps for mile 2, but i think there was a little GPS assist of a couple if seconds there. Anyway, clipping nicely but I know there's a little drag coming back into the town in the 4th mile so I figure I might give a couple of seconds back there. Mile 3 comes in at 5:53 and as I suspected, the 4th mile comes in at 6 mins. 

    Heading down out of the town towards the coast road and it's quick. I'm holding back on this mile and the group I was in has gone up the road a little. Despite this, the mile comes in at 5:50. Course markings had me about 10 secs slower than my watch, so I was around 29:34 through 5 miles.

    So now we're out on the coast road, running into a bit of a breeze with the field spread out in front of me. Systems check. Where am I? How am I feeling? What's the plan from here? It became apparent pretty quickly that the little group I was attached to were pulling clear and I had a decision to make. A Sligo AC runner comes alongside me and suggests we both make up the 15m or so and get back onto the group. I'm feeling okay at this point but I make the decision to back off slightly, take my chances solo and hopefully kick on and finish strong when we turn at Ballygally around 8 Miles. 

    The scenery is pretty spectacular here, and whilst I'm digging in, i know im having a decent day. No demons or doubts in my head like Kilbeggan a couple of weeks back. Miles 6 and 7 come in at 6:00 & 6:03 respectively. There's the first water station at around 7 Miles which, in my opinion anyway, isn't really sufficient. If the day was warmer then this may have been a bigger issue, but I was parched at that point, so I can only imagine how some of the runners who had been out for 90 mins plus felt by that stage. 

    Through Ballygally and turning back around. Mile 8 comes in at 6:01, but there's an immediate boost in pace once downwind and a little downhill resulting in mile 9 of 5:55. Group from earlier on has splintered considerably and a couple of runners have already come back to me. Go through 10 Miles at 59:17 on the watch and under 59:30 on the course which is faster than Kilbeggan. I know I'm dicing with sub 78, but I'm not doing any mental maths. I'm racing now and trying to pick off as many people as possible, distracting myself from focusing on my own effort levels. 

    Mile 11, 5:54......Mile 12. 5:53......I know now that I've a decent PB in the bag barring a disaster. That being said, 2 runners in front of me pull up as enter the final mile. My shouts of encouragement falling on tired ears. I'd noted a little drag back into the town on the way out and now I had to negotiate it. Probably worth giving my km 20 individual split here, 3:44, as it was a bit of a momentum killer. 

    Right Johnny, do you want to get under 78 mins or not? An extremely sharp downhill onto the promenade finishing straight was excruciating, but now it's time to empty the tank. I look to the legs for a response and they give me one. Strava tells me that Km 21 was a 3:32 and the last 180m were at 3:27 pace which contributed to a 5:50 last mile. I can see the finish and i know I've still a bit of work to do. Bite down and get in under the 78 mins for a 1:17:55 chip time 😁

    Chats with some clubmates afterwards, collected t shirt and medal, and enjoyed that nice warm fuzzy pb feeling 😄

    Had most of this written earlier but my dog has woken me up so I decided I'd finish this report off. 41 days to Manchester and this the confidence booster I needed. I ran a sensible race backed off when I needed to, dug in when I had to, and finished strong when things were in the melting pot. On we go. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

     A Sligo AC runner comes alongside me and suggests we both make up the 15m or so and get back onto the group. I'm feeling okay at this point but I make the decision to back off slightly, take my chances solo and hopefully kick on and finish strong when we turn at Ballygally around 8 Miles. 

    Thats a class move - ego could've kicked in and derailed you later on.

    Superb splits and very well raced.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,771 ✭✭✭jebuz

    Great stuff, a very smart race and well earned PB. You're well on track for a big marathon and hitting that 2:43-45 mark. Take this week to recovery well from that, it was a huge stress on the body and in a way, a monster workout. You're almost there now so just preserve and protect what you have. The shape you're in now is not going to improve dramatically between now and Manchester so use it to prepare the body for the distance and then freshening up in the final 2 weeks or so.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 10

    Not much going on this week running wise as the plan matched up with the great and powerful Jebuz's advice above 😁 Work wise things were/are pretty mental, so just keeping the show on the road as best I can. Heavy couple of weeks training wise lined up, so one last push needed.

    Mon: 12k: 1:03:56 @5:19/km

    Legs were in surprisingly decent shape after the previous day's exploits. These post-pb-shuffles are the runs you really have to savour.

    Tue: 9k: 48:28 @5:23/km

    Dragged myself out of the office about 9pm for this which was an achievement in itself.

    Wed: 8 Miles: 1:05:15 @5:04/km

    Plains shuffle.

    Thu: 20.1k: 1:30:26/km

    Watch died, but had the phone in the backpack so had an enjoyable ramble listening to Second Captains pod on the Portugal game. Route I'd mapped put was closer to 21k, but whatever, enjoyed the longer, slightly sprightlier effort.

    Fri: 11.7k: 59:49 @5:06/km

    Sat: 10k: 49:30 @4:57/km

    Sandwiched between a couple of outings with the family. Was gonna go a bit further but decided 10k was enough for the day.

    Sun: LR 20 Miles: 2:12:50 @4:08/km

    Was under the strictest of instructions to not go quicker than 6:40's for this one. Dropped some water beforehand on a fairly testing 20 mile route as the day was shaping up to be warm and humid.

    Managed to stick fairly well to the plan, coming in with a 6:38 average. Pace felt fairly comfortable and had to rein myself in once or twice. Was feeling tired by the last couple of miles so will have a soak tonight and maybe get the legs a rub.

    108k for the week

    At this stage it's probably worth pointing out that I'm avearging in or around 110k which wasn't really the plan (I'd hoped to be higher). However whilst life has been hectic and a few days have been missed here and there, I've more or less gotten in all the quality sessions and LR's so I'm not too concerned. T-5 weeks 😮

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 11

    Been a while since I've done a post-midweek session update to the log...

    Mon: 14k Recovery: 1:15:41 @5:24/km

    Was after 9pm by the time I got out for this one 😮 But eyes are firmly on the prize and I shuffled out the door into the night to get this one in. Brilliant Second Captains pod on the soccer helped tremendously and the whilst the legs were quite tired, they were feeling better by the end.

    Tue: 9 Miles Easy: 1:13:04 @5:03/km

    Baking hot for this one, but once again I could feel things coming around as the run went on.

    Wed: Session 3x3 Miles off 5 mins jog

    Straight out the door of the school onto the loop in the Camp for this one. I knew I'd be tight enough on time so I decided to not impinge on the reps but rather cut down the wu and cd.

    Plan was for 18:15-18:05 pace. Managed to make a hames of programming in workout on the watch, so had to split workout into 2 activities (which I hate 🙄). Also meant it was actually 3 x 4.8k rather than 3 miles. But I knew the paces I was aiming for.

    This was maybe the strongest I've felt during the block. Averaged under 6min mile pace on all 3 reps and was just cruising really. Would have liked to get a little more distance in, but had to settle for around 19k for the day.

    A confidence boosting session 👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 10 contd

    Thu: Rest

    Hadn't planned this but got caught in work and as it was Mrs Healy 1835's birthday, I didn't suggest that I go for a run later that evening 😉

    Fri: 10 Miles Easy: 1:18:33 @4:53/km

    Feeling fresh enough after the day off so my shuffle was a little less shuffley. Out for an amazing Indian meal for said birthday that night, complete with 4 delicious pints of Cobra 😁

    Sat: 10k Easy: 49:45 @4:58/km

    Shuffle around the camp before a Confirmation ceremony. No ill effects from the curry or the beer 😉

    Sun: LR: 20 Miles: 2:06:48 @3:56/km 😮

    Well. This run was jumping off the screen from when it was sent on. '20 Miles, last 10 in 61-60:30'

    Jaysus, that's a bit of clip was the main gist of my thoughts.

    Finished Saturday with a toothache and a headache. I need some dental work done. However I've developed what can only be described as a fear of the dentist in recent years. I know, I's stupid, but it's real. I'd a really bad experience in the dentist a few years back and just walked out of the place and never went back. Anyway, rough night was had but was feeling ok by the morning.

    Parked up in the Camp and headed out around the surrounding areas for first 10 miles before returning to the loop for the business end of things.

    The last 10 miles @faster than MP were the priority of the workout, so I just wanted to get to 10 miles in decent shape and not too fatigued. With this in mind I hadn't really a pre planned pace, I just said I'd let it come naturally.

    First mile included the steep downhill out of the camp which I never really enjoy. Anyway, this clicks in at 6:25. Steady on here Johnny and just relax into the run. It became apparent pretty quickly that I was feeling really good. I've read somewhere, or been told it, that it takes a couple of weeks for the physiological benefits of a race to kick in, so maybe this was Antrim just showing it's face, but I was tipping along at 6:45's and below, eating up road and absolutely cruising. I wasn't worried that this pace was going to affect me negatively when it came to the 2nd 10 miles. Got to the loop with 10 miles in 66:59 and feeling ready to rumble.

    I'd a window from 3:44's to 3:47 km pace in my head, also figuring that if things went south, I still had MP 3:53-55 to fall back on. Took on some electrolytes and a gel and went about my business. 

    Upped the pace and came in with a 6min mile to start with. The bit of speed felt good and it was followed with a 6:02 and then a 5:57. This is when I thought that wouldn't it be great to break 60 mins here. I know it was deviating from the plan, but Jesus I was ploughing through the miles here. Damn it, let's get after it and see what's in the legs. Next 6 Miles all came under 6 mins, and whilst things did bite a little during the last 600m, I finished with a 59:49 for the last 10 miles.

    A massive confidence booster I have to say. Not sure what the feedback will be on it, but hopefully I won't get too much of a telling off 😁 Afternoon in the cinema with the 2 lads watching Shang Chi (brilliant stuff). Great day. 4 weeks to go... 

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,621 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon

    Great session. Get the tooth sorted last thing you need is a bad infection


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Was this the last big run or is that next week? You are in savage shape - nothing silly in the coming month - and get that tooth seen to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Last 20 miler next Sunday, but just a steady effort. Nothing else too crazy in there; couple of MLR's, 10 Mile Tempo, couple of smaller sessions. Might make it up to the PP for a run at some point 🙂

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    I agree with what's already been said, you are in great shape. Your dedication to your training shows throughout this block. Your training has been admirable & consistent, you deserve to have a great Marathon😊

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon: Week 11 of 14 😮

    Mon: 8 Miles Recovery: 1:05:43@5:06/km

    Up at 5:30 am for this one as my eldest fella who is in 4th class now, finally made his communion Monday evening. Run was non-descript, Communion was grand. He's fairly easy going and doesn't get too overwhelmed by things. Domino's Pizza afterwards with extended family was as raucous as things got on a Monday evening 🙂

    Tue: 16.5k Easy: 1:20:46@4:53/km

    Decent afternoon's work around the Curragh and surrounding areas.

    Wed: 13.5k Easy: 1:09:08@5:07/km

    Had one of 'those' days where life happened and was left lacing up shoes at 8:30 in the evening facing into a 6x1 mile session that I was completely under-prepared for. The gist of advice from people whom I trust as of late has basically been 'DFIU in the last couple of weeks by doing something stupid'. So I took off the Saucony's, threw on the Pegasus 35's, and plodded around for 70 mins.

    Thu: MLR 14 Miles Relaxed: 1:34:33 @4:12/km

    Aside from doing this during the commuting rush hour of 5-6pm and getting held up at every conceivable junction and traffic light on the route, this run was great. I am getting a real feel that fitness is approaching a peak. Will try and ride this out for the next 3 weeks. It's exciting, but also it's almost 'that' time. Jebuz summed it up fairly well on his log post regarding the mental vagaries of the last couple of weeks before a marathon 🤯 I've always found it difficult not to over analyse things in the lead up, and I'm sure sitting down and watching/tracking Berlin and London marathons over the next couple of weeks will have me bouncing off the walls! Hopefully I'll have some fresh inspiration from other peoples' races. AMK mentioning training on the DCM route did make me really miss the whole build up to DCM. Maybe in an ideal world, I'll get my Berlin 2022 Q in Manchester, and pace DCM or something next year. You see this is what happens, I'm waffling now...........

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Pace me to a 2.52 😎

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon Week 11 cont'd

    Fri: 10k Easy: 53:04 @5:18/km

    Shuffled around at the ungodly hour of 8:30 pm on a Friday evening 😴 In autopilot getting out for these runs atm. A good sign for me anyway. 

    Sat: 7 Miles Easy: 54:17 @4:49/km

    Late afternoon around the bog after a busy day ferrying kids to matches, training etc. 

    Sun: 20 Miles Relaxed: 2:14:36 @4:11/km

    Last 20 miler of the block. My buddy who's going having a rattle at sub 3 in Manchester was having his last big MP run so I said I'd meet him in the camp and fall in with for a few of them. Was a bit off with the timing so had to wait a few minutes for him to arrive which wasn't ideal to be fair as I had cooled down quite significantly and really shouldn't have let that happen. Anyway, no damage done and the run was as straightforward as you could ask for really. 

    Looking back over my LR's, and have managed to fit 8x20 miles in with today's effort being the slowest average pace of them all 😮 not that this stat actually tells you anything about the LR's themselves, but I got a bit of a kick out of it all the same. 

    Not easing off massively just yet. Have a juicy enough effort on Wednesday to take care of, but that's the last of the 20 milers anyway. Really looking forward to tracking Djemba Djemba & Jebuz next Sunday morning, it's been too long since I spent a morning staring at a tracker...😁

    120k for the week.