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Berlin Q or Bust: Road to sub 2:45



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Eh, on my phone, I just clicked quote on each of the three posts and they were automatically added to the draft message.

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

    Might join the Limerick bus J, while ye guys are traveling on elite coaches I’m on the clapped out minibus 🤣

    Best of luck with it and like the lads have said Manchester will stand to you 👍


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Thu: 7 Miles Easy: 58:51 @5:13/km

    Shuffle around the town. Feeling fresh enough after previous evening's effort. Listened to a cracking episode of the Song Exploder podcast on Franz Ferdinand's Take me Out. Brought back some great memories of the days when I was a much more prolific gig-goer.

    Fri: 10k Easy: 50:30 @5:03/km

    Friday has become an unofficial rest/easy day. Shuffled around the plains for the usual 10k.

    Sat: LR: 29k: 2:13:03 @4:35/km inc 5/4/3/2/1 km steady off 5/4/3/2 mins recovery.

    Saturday suited me again this weekend for the LR. Had a lumpy route planned in my head, which was going to make the steady efforts interesting as I wasn't entirely sure where they were going to kick in. Thought I had a water out on the route from last week that I didn't use, but this turned out not to be the case so the run was on empty.

    Plan called for 28k with another up-tempo effort a-la last week's LR. I fancied pushing it on a bit though, so the 5/4/3/2/1 would give me 15km of decent work and keep me alert too.

    Conditions were pretty grim for the most part. Rain and a very strong breeze. What direction you ask? Against. That was the direction of this morning's wind! The Curragh can be it's own little eco system at times, and today's wind direction was just confounding 🥴 settled on something in the region of 6:50 pace for the efforts, knowing that average pace was the name of the game due to the route and wind.

    5 mile warm up saw me starting the 5k steady just after a steep drag. Chugged into action with a 6:53 mile into the breeze, and really had to work during the predominantly uphill and into the breeze 5k. Split came in bang on target at 21:15 and now I just had to navigate a crosswind instead of a headwind.

    The next 4k were a lot more straight forward route-wise and came in on target at 16:57.

    Thought I'd a bottle of water stashed in a bush around this point, but to no avail. Moved quickly on and started making my way back towards the Camp. A couple of sneaky drags didn't put the pace off the rails and the 3k came in like clockwork at 12:45 😁

    These sessions are great when you get to the last couple of efforts as you've really broken the back of it (particularly the mile & MP version of this session and not the lite version that this was). The 2k effort had a steep decline and nasty hill in the first 1.2k so I just let gravity take it's course and came out of it with an 8:23 split.

    The last km took care if itself at 4:08 and a tired shuffle home brought up 29k on the button. Happy with that effort. 94k for the week to date, recovery amble tomorrow will bring up my first 100+k week in a little while.

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

    Would you normally have water stashed on the route for your long runs?Trying to prep myself for the coming weeks. I'm so used to running with zero water or gels I don't want to end up bonked on the side of the road..

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    @Swashbuckler In short, yes. I've gone through phases of doing long runs on empty etc. but the main man would a big advocate of fuelling during LR's and after listening to a couple of interviews with the nutritionist Evan Lynch, I'm very much of the volition that it's just too risky not to fuel during LR sessions.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Sun: 10.1k Recovery: 54:49 @5:25/km

    Shuffled out at half time in the Kildare game and listened to the rest of the game during the run. Passed the time, if a little on the frustrating side.

    Some cracking 10 milers being ran in Trim and Dungarvan this morning (hat tip to Jebuz, Treviso, Lambay Island & Dubh Geannain). Don't feel like I'm missing out on anything though which is a sure sign that fitness, whilst returning slowly, is not there yet.

    104k for the week with the 3x2 mile and LR sessions going fairly well. Will up mileage again this week to maybe 115k. Just keeping chipping away at this thing and hopefully making progress.

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

    Was interested to see that run today. Probably the slowest easy run ive seen you do in a long long time. Was that a conscious choice?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    I don't have paces for easy runs, I run them purely on feel. After a bigger LR they're usually pretty sedate. Today's was spent listening to the game and was probably too close to my dinner...but I was tired. Felt a lot better by the end though 👍

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

    Ah yeah I know you're not one to watch the watch but most of your easy runs in your last block were sub 5min/km. Was just wondering if there had been advice from the advisor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Nope none at all. I must check back now that you point that out. I really don't remember any post LR runs that were quicker than 5 min kms....

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

    Ah yeah. Wouldn't be unlike me to get it completely wrong 😄

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Limerick Marathon Week 2 of 13

    Mon: 12.4k Easy: 1:05:44 @5:18/km

    Shuffled around the town listening to Shane Bracken on the Runners Beans pod. Good listen.

    Tue: 10.3k Easy: 53:09 @5:10/km

    A truly miserable evening out. Had a small enough window and trudged out the door. Just ran around local housing estates to try and hide from the rain. Back home to watch a truly miserable United game.

    Wed: Session: 6x1 Mile off 2 mins

    Tipped out onto the camp loop after a long day in work. Had decided to target somewhere in the region of 6 min mile pace for these ones. Things are coming along and it seemed a sensible enough target. Was hopeful rather than expectant and was just focused on getting in a hard effort. Session ended up being fairly straightforward. Felt strong throughout and the efforts were pretty controlled. Last rep pinched a little but nothing too crazy.

    Splits: 6:00, 5:55, 5:56, 5:55, 5:55, 5:58

    Just over 10 miles for the evening

    Thu: MLR: 22k: 1:40:12 @4:34/km

    Work thing had me in the city, so took advantage of this to get a decent run in the PP in. Parked on the Furze road, and since I had 22k to do, I decided I'd just follow the race series HM route. I love that race. I've ran PB's there in '15, 16, 18 & 19, including, in 2018, arguably my best performance in any race to date; my 1:19:59 when my laces opened not once, not twice but thrice. Tipped around at a decent clip and enjoyed the morning. Hopefully I'll be back there in September in good shape 👍

    Fitness feels like it's moving in the right direction.

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

    Very solid. Great to see.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,964 ✭✭✭Duanington

    The consistency from the last few years has paid dividends, fair play, J - steady as she goes now

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Friday: 10k Easy: 52:00 @5:12/km

    Regular Friday 10k on the plains. Considered a rest day but was feeling good after work so tipped away.

    Saturday: 10.3k Easy: 52:41 @5:07/km

    Mooched around the town from Sarsfields whilst the eldest fella was at football training.

    Sunday: 30k: 2:11:16 @4:22/km inc 8 Miles Steady

    Changed plan of action to a route that would bring me across to Kildare Town and back in towards the Curragh, rather than the usual route, as I was feeling a bit guilty for not running the county Novice road race for the club, and my usual route would of had me stumbling bang into said race.

    As things unfolded I would have added to the team but they won the gold without me so no harm done. Looking at the times, if I was in sharper knick I would have been challenging for medals but as the great Liam Brady once said after almost getting knocked out of the FA Cup by non league opposition Canvey Island whilst managing Brighton, 'If me Granny had balls she'd my Grandad!' (If you haven't seen it before it's well worth a look. A 40 second snapshot of a manager at his breaking point)

    Anyway, onto my run. Tentative plan was for somewhere in the region of 7:30/20 pace for the easier miles and 6:50/45 pace for the 8 Miles Steady. Conditions were a little breezy and very humid, but not as bad as I thought they were going to be. Route was lumpy and pretty exposed in places but an honest one. As I've said previously, I'm seeking out testing LR routes. Flat loops are not happening this block.

    Decided to start the effort just outside the Curragh Racecourse about 5k in. First 3 miles averaged around 7:15 and was looking forward to getting going. A couple of tricky roundabouts and junctions had to be navigated but I got to the grandstand and I was ready to roll. First two miles were smack bang into the breeze and whilst the pace was fine, this stretch of road was wide open in the middle of the plains, and I was thankful to turn off after two miles (6:37, 6:46) and only have a cross wind to deal with 😁 Next two miles took me into Kildare town and it was at the end of the 3rd mile (6:43) that I took on a gel and a little bottle of water that I'd left on the route. Had picked up some Powerbar Powergels and I'd forgotten that there really is a kick off the caffeine ones 😳

    Motored through Kildare Town (6:37) and once through, I'd a bit of a tailwind for much of the next 4 undulating miles. They took care of themselves (6:34, 6:37, 6:36, 6:37) and I debated doing a couple more to bring up 10 but common sense quickly prevailed. 53:07 for the 8 Miles

    Still had 7+ miles to do and these were probably the trickiest to manoeuvre as my work was done but I still had to maintain a bit of an effort which was mentally difficult. Managed to get through them unscathed, averaging 7:20 on the button. With a couple of miles to go I did meet and have a chat for few minutes with a clubmate who had ran Donadea the previous day, and I really chugged back into action for the last couple of miles.

    Happy to get that under the belt and keep building.

    111k for the week

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    Has a dip in form. "Loses" fitness. Comes back and runs better than us "fit" folks.....I hate you....

    The flat vs undulating loops - you reckon running too many long runs (including sessions) on flat was a mistake in previous blocks?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    If it's any consolation I still don't feel anywhere close to being fit 😕

    As regards the loop question, in a word, yes. Now I'm talking more big LR sessions. It's just not the same. Having the variety that you'd find on a 20 mile lumpy route is much better than 20 x 1 mile flat loops. You're not training the body or the mind to run a marathon. That's my take away anyway from previous experience. Sacrifice 5 secs per mile if neccessary, but get off the loop would be my advice.

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

    Good tip. I spent the first few weeks of the plan on mostly flat loops for sessions. I've been getting a little more adventurous with the sessions but was in two minds whether it was the right thing to do. I think for my Q1 sessions at least I need to venture out and about. A nice 12 mile at marathon pace coming up in a few weeks to test that theory.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    During my (mini)Block for Galway, I found myself doing something interesting just before I went out on the long runs. I was figuring out where the fast miles on the flattest route were and worked the whole run around that, if you get me. I was basically just cheating myself out of building endurance and it showed in the race. My previous successful efforts, I never once thought about the route and just ran faster on whatever elevation was required.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    @Lambay island yeah it's interesting isn't it. I've just dispensed with that sort of planning. Now I just plan the route for distance and have at it. I became wedded to paces and planned my runs around them, rather than letting the pace oscillate along with the route.

    @Swashbuckler the fact that you can train on the marathon route must be something you're planning on taking advantage of?

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

    Initially with the struggles I was having I found it hard to comprehend heading out beyond my loop. Similar to yourself maybe a bit fixated on paces. But I've adjusted now so I'll certainly head around sections of the route yeah. So just take the hit on paces then? What about the faster stuff like threshold and the speedy sessions? Same mentality? Feels like the 5k pace stuff belongs on the flat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    @Swashbuckler Ah no, there's still a place for loops for that sort of stuff. Particularly at this time of year when sessions are done in the dark, loops make life a lot easier. When things brighten up though, I'm heading off loop for those sessions as well.

    Loops for TT's or longer tempos are great, as it takes any traffic issues out of the equation, but outside of those runs I'm gonna try and avoid them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Limerick Marathon Week 3 of 13

    Mon: 10.2k Easy: 53:53 @5:18/km

    Cannot recall anything about this run other than listening to Runner Beans pod. 

    Tue: 8 Miles Easy: 1:05:01 @5:03/km


    Wed: Zip. Nada. Null. 

    Had a 400m session planned but work and family dovetailed beautifully to ensure that running of any sort could not take place. A little frustrated but it is what it is. 

    Thu: MLR: 20k: 1:27:21 @4:22/km

    Plan was for 22k. If the day went smoothly and I got out the gate very sharply after work I could maybe eke out 15 miles I thought. Of course the opposite happened and 22k became 20k! Layered up, watch under the jacket and just went at an honest effort. Headed out towards Kildare town and then back into the Curragh via Cutbush. Was surprised to see average pace after 10 miles when I stopped to relieve myself. Felt good on this one.

    Fri: 10.1k: 54:55 @5:25/km

    As I often do when stormy conditions are afoot, I hit the plains. It's been a wee while since I've seen them as muddy and windswept as they were Friday. My highlight was a 9:16 mile, during which I was literally blown off my feet. Stuck the landing though 👍

    Sat: 10k Easy: 49:22 @4:56/km

    Afternoon shuffle which included a chat with AMK on the eve of his marathon. He's my running hero, and is only getting better too. A constant source of inspiration for me. 

    Sun: 10 Mile Tempo: 64:50 @4:02/km

    I can't say I was bouncing off the walls for this one! The howling wind and incessant rain pounding off the windows all night and morning was partly to blame. My Sunday plans also included heading up to Omagh to see the Lilywhites. Talks of the game being switched to Dungannon and brought forward a couple of hours meant I had to be out and on the road for this effort earlier than I'd usually prefer, in case the throw in time changed. 

    I'd pencilled in the bog loop for this one. It's as honest a 5k-ish loop as one could want and a more testing venue than the Lidl or Camp loops. As with every part of the country yesterday, the run was impacted by the conditions. I'd decided during the week to aim for around 4 min kms, maybe a little quicker if I was feeling good. The bog loop was particularly affected by the weather on this particular morning as the more open side and the main drag were directly into the breeze, and of course this meant that the section with a bit of a tailwind was nice and sheltered 😁

    Up early and threw an eye on start of proceedings in Seville. Spotted Djemba Djemba going over the start line and whilst I was hoping that AMK, DD and some clubmates would run well, I wasn't envious on this occasion as I'm a long long way off anything close to marathon shape.

    Bit the bullet and headed out the door. Threw on a long sleeved compression top under a t shirt and and after a short warm up, was already regretting it as it wasn't that cold out. Had set the watch up so I would manual lap each loop and just have pace for the current loop showing. First 600m down wind and then turn off to the bog where an absolutely filthy headwind awaited me. Was surprised to average 4:00/km bang on with 6:21, 6:27 & 6:26 miles in there. There was a couple of massive puddles taking up the whole road at a couple of junctures and I gave some thought to heading off loop to the lidl loop or reversing the loop so as I would make better use of the breeze. Scolded myself and gritted the teeth a little harder. 

    This effort felt fairly sustainable I thought to myself as I rounded the corner to start the 2nd loop. Once I found myself back against the wind I was struggling mentally. Thoughts of some of the lads pounding around the cobbles of Seville in peak shape, moving much faster than I currently was, were infesting themselves in my mind. Turned off the harder part of the loop and had a bit of time to recover. The miles this time out came in at 6:18, 6:33 & 6:27. I managed to drop my house key turning for the final lap (my shorts were chafing horrendously and in scooching them around the key dropped out) which resulted in me losing about 15 seconds as I doubled back and got it. 

    A 6:23 favourable first mile started the final loop. However by the time I got to the tougher sections I was tiring, both mentally and physically. The wind and rain were incessant, the chafing was pretty gnarly at this point. Thought about downing tools but calculated that if I did that, on my first longer effort since MCR, I might as well pack this whole shebang in. 6:39 & 6:37 miles followed and a bit of a spurt for the last 600m gave me a 64:50 for my mornings work.

    I don't know, any prospect of a decent run in Limerick seems way off right now.

    Shuffled back to the house to follow exploits on Seville. A tasty round trip to Omagh followed to see the Kildare footballers play well but not get a result their performance deserved. My running career reminds me of my beloved Lilywhites sometimes; promises a lot, some great performances on the smaller day, great training, accomplished management, generally liked by others.....but ultimately, disappointment on the big days! 

    Apologies for the length of that report for a crap tempo 😁 (Duanington is correct, it wasn't a crap tempo)

    82k for the week. I don't know...

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    Stick with it man. All the best do...the tide will always does...Limerick is a fine near term goal but the main goal is to get back in peak shape.. stay patient. You'll get there.

    By the way that 10 mile tempo is not to be scoffed at

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,964 ✭✭✭Duanington

    A crap Tempo? I don’t get that at all

    Maybe a crap 10 mile TT by your standards but for where you are in your training, in those conditions, that’s a fine run

    less of the focus on singular sessions anyway, just keep ticking those weeks off and watch it all come back to you

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,605 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    Phew!! I’m finally up to speed. I’ve taken a month to get this log caught up on and the best tribute I can pay is to say that I put the Jack Daniels down to read it!!! A super runner, an entertaining storyteller and a fine fella!! Some of those training sessions are breathtaking and there’s a huge marathon performance on the way - likely in Limerick!

    Looking forward to keeping an eye on your future exploits Johnny.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,235 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Ah man...................

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Limerick Marathon Week 4 of 13

    I need to get out if my own way. Just get 2 months of decent running in, lock down diet etc and see where I land. Thanks for the above observations. All on the money. And I'm glad that you've enjoyed the journey so far Squinn 😁 it's all there for posterity, for better or for worse! Hopefully there's a lot more good days to come...

    Mon: 14.8k Easy: 1:14:55 @5:03/km

    Legs showed no after effects from Sunday's Tempo and long car journeys. Mooched around the estate as my two lads had to be minded. Headed off to see Unchartered in the cinema afterwards. A lot better than some of the reviews I've seen for it anyway.

    Tue: 11.8k Easy: 57:36 @4:53/km

    More estate laps after a morning trying to sort an 8 and 10 year olds lego collection. I love lego, and especially love building it with the two boys. However as the hours went by I realised I've spent a lot more on lego than running shoes over the last few years, and that's saying something!

    Wed: Session: 16x400m off 75 secs.

    I'd never done a session around my particular road in the estate until today. I've now ticked that particular box 😁 Had no real target in mind, especially now that I was navigating over paths and grassy mounds etc and not on the track or a loop where it was easier to guage effort.

    Session ended up pretty decent. The 75 secs rest was generous, but I reckon I could have replicated the times quite comfortably off 60 secs.

    First effort came in at 81 secs so I just tried to aim for that same effort for the rest. Had a jacket on and never once looked at the watch during the reps. Enjoyed the change of emphasis for this one and whilst the times weren't earth shattering, they were solid enough for having no speed work done for over 10 weeks.

    Heaven knows what the neighbours thought...🤣

    Full splits:



    7 Miles for the day.