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Steady As She Goes



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    17/03/2021 - 5K - 18:02 (3:36/km) - Streets of Portlaoise 5K (Chip Time)

    5K is a bit short to give be giving a detailed race report I think. I will just say that while this wasn't the time I wanted I gave this everything I had. There are no complaints, going faster just wasn't in the legs today. I feel I performed to my best on the day, my best just isn't quite where I had hoped it was. I will admit though it is painful being so close but not breaking the 18 again.

    It was a fair course and there was a bit of a wind around which unfortunately was against you when the drags/hill came into play. But we had it twice in our back, for the 1st and last km so again can't complain about this too much. The first two km all went close enough to plan for pace but once the wind hit the face I just couldn't keep the speed up to where it needed to be. I won a few little personal battle along the way which was nice and while the clubmates I wanted to beat still finished ahead of me this is the closest I've been to them so progress is being made.

    Overall the quality throughout the field was outstanding and a new course PB in for both male and female categories. 61 athletes in total under 17 mins which was fantastic to see. Some really impressive junior talent too not least one young kid, who was at the most 12 but I suspect younger, and was matching me stride for stride the majority of the way finishing just a couple of seconds behind in the end. Truly impressive stuff. I also had fantastic support throughout the course which really did help.

    The one downside is that I seem to have strained my ankle/foot slightly on the sprint finish. I think it is ok, just a bit sore when putting pressure through the foot in one particular direction. Hopefully nothing major and a quick bit of rest will sort it out. I had been planning to get out tomorrow for a short recovery but that might wait a day.

    In terms of what's next, I obviously have a couple or more races coming up but the main focus is to just increase the volume and quality of running. I want to try get up to 80K a week by the summer but I will continue to be cautious. I've also said this many times before but I really am going to make a proper effort to add in regular strength training. I know it looks like I'm not making that much progress but the last two and a bit months is just the start, I know I can get faster and start pushing these times down.

    To anyone who read this, Happy St Patrick's day and enjoy the festivities.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    19/03/2022 - 13K - 1:05:00 (5:00/km) - HR - 136

    I'm not quite sure what I did to my ankle/foot during the race but the days rest was definitely needed. It was still a bit tender heading out on this but managed to get around relatively pain free. A few other places on my right side are tightening up on some runs as of late, around my hip/hamstring. From an energy point of view though the legs and the body felt good.

    20/03/2022 - 16.37K - 1:09:05 (4:13/km) - HR - 150

    Not 100% but the foot was feeling a good bit better this morning thankfully. It has been a while since I did something that wasn't either a hard tempo/threshold effort or intervals or easy running so felt like changing it up a bit. I just set out at a steady pace and said I would see how the legs felt and then decide on distance as the run progressed. I was watching the watch a bit to check the pace and was very pleased with what I saw for the level of effort I felt I was putting in. Bar a few headwinds and some longer drags this felt very comfortable and I was very strongly considering pushing on to 21.1K for a HM effort which I'm sure I would have sustained but that tightening up of my right side was progressing as the run went on so I left it at a nice 10 miles. This does give me some confidence though that if I could manage to get the mileage up and keep injury free something like a sub 3hr marathon is within my grasps maybe next year or the following.

    The tightness in my right side is concerning me a bit especially since I am planning on increasing the mileage further over the next few weeks. I think maybe the pain I was having in my foot might be part of the cause as it has probably been throwing my stride off a bit. I will keep a very close eye on it though and if I need to, ease back before any serious injuries takes place. As I mentioned there will be a couple of races coming up but the next immediate goal I have in mind is to get up 70K/week by the end of April. I will also be adding in the strength/circuit training this week, ideally I would like to be doing this 3 days a week but I'm just not sure I will have the time but a minimum of 2 days for sure. I am planning for this to be mostly standard stuff like squats, lungs and all their variations and some plyometric type work too. I'm conscious that the first weeks of this might actually make the running a bit worse due to the added tiredness but hopefully it won't take long to adapt. It's all about playing the long game.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    21/03/2022 - 18.35K - 1:33:24 (5:05/km) HR - 129

    Getting back into the swing of things with an easy long run. This distance and pace is feeling more and more comfortable and honestly felt more like a really long recovery than anything else. The average heart rate is coming down on this type of run too, good signs the aerobic base is getting stronger.

    23/03/2022 - 11.4K - 49:50 (4:22/km) HR - 147

    This was 4 x 6 mins of threshold effort running with 2 mins jog recovery and warm up and cool down either side. I'm using the Tinman calculator for pacing and this has my threshold of approx 3:52 - 3:58 so this was the target.

    Interval 1 - 1.56K (3:51/km)

    Interval 2 - 1.57K (3:50/km)

    Interval 3 - 1.53K (3:55/km)

    Interval 4 - 1.53K (3:55/km)

    Both the 3rd and 4th interval started with a decent incline which slowed things down and I had to work a bit towards the end of them to get the average pace down but managed to do it.

    I'm not used to running these type of interval based on time but I can see that it will definitely be a nice way to build up the threshold efforts gradually. So the plan will be to progress to 4 x 7 min, 4 x 8 min etc, until I'm up to something like 5 x 8, maybe 5 x 9 min but that is a good bit away yet.

    Unfortunately I'm still having issues with my right ankle since the race and on both the above runs wasn't fully comfortable. The last time something like this happened I was able to keep running through it and it came right but I tried to get out for a run this morning and the discomfort is just not improving. It was going to be an easy run and probably would have got through it but pulled up after a few hundred meters because I know it is just not helping. So I'll take a small break with some RICE treatment until the weekend and hopefully that will improve things. If I need to take the weekend as a break too I will but I can get out for a cycle instead. Hopefully by next week at the latest I will be fully back into the swing of things.

    Post edited by token56 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    26/03/2022 - 13.06K - 1:03:45 (4:53/km) - HR - 138

    I gave the foot a rest for the 2 days and it was genuinely feeling a good bit better. Bouncing around relatively ok the foot so set off for a steady type of effort. The first few K was fine apart from the warmer than usual conditions which was just causing a bit more fatigue than I would expect. Unfortunately though I started to feel the foot again with a few sharp darts of pain. The pain would sort of come and go. I finished up feeling quite downbeat, it was just a bit of a rubbish run in general but the continued foot trouble was frustrating. More concerning was the pain increased for a while after the run before settling down again.

    27/03/2022 - Road Cycle - 42.75K - 1:38:42 - 26 km/h - HR - 124

    Having decided running is out of the question until further examination I broke out the bike to enjoy the stunning weather. Joined by a friend who has been doing a bit of cycling lately so a bit stronger than me for sure on this. A pleasant enough route, nothing too crazy in terms of elevation and a nice welcome back into the world of cycling.

    28/03/2022 - Road Cycle - 30.03K - 1:01:42 - 29.2km/h - HR - 142

    Again the weather was stunning and I had the opportunity in the evening to get out for a while on the bike. I had a nice 30K route mapped out and was expecting to feel pretty tired after yesterday but felt surprisingly strong. I kept the pace up to a decent level and managed to stay consistent throughout. There was little to no wind to speak of which also really helped. This was actually my fastest average speed over any distance I've done in the past so quite pleasing to be starting out like this.

    So based on the symptoms of the foot and after seeking a bit of advice I've a very strong suspicion that the issue in the foot might be a small stress fracture. Luckily with my health insurance I was able to get an appointment this evening for a visit to a doctor and an x-ray. The result doesn't show any obvious fracture but that isn't to say there is not one as x-rays are not always 100% with these things. Based on what I described to him he agrees it is a strong possibility. Regardless he has suggested 2 weeks no running to begin with and I will go back for a review after that to see how it is. But I'm fully prepared mentally for this to end up being longer.

    While this is far from ideal and I am essentially ruling out next month running wise I know from last year that through cycling I can keep up the fitness pretty well and hopefully won't loose much if any.

    The life of a runner is certainly never boring!

  • Registered Users Posts: 631 ✭✭✭Cleanman

    Enjoying your updates lately and sorry to hear about the foot. Sensible move to rest it for a couple weeks. Best case scenario is no fracture and the rest helps to clear up the issue. Fingers crossed.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    Thank you Cleanman I appreciate it.

    I just want to give a small bit of an update. As planned no running but a reasonable amount of cycling between the Turbo trainer and getting out on the road and performing stronger than I was expecting. Over 5 hours so far which is on par with the amount of time I had been spending running over the past few weeks. I am going to try to pick this up a bit though this week and finally get into the gym having joined it.

    The condition of the foot is also slowly improving. Most of last week it was mostly the same, still pain when walking etc but thankfully that has mostly gone in since yesterday. I have the follow up appointment Tuesday week and hopefully by then it will be back to normal. I would really love if it turns out to be something less sinister and be back running next week but if not I am enjoying doing something different with the cycling and will push on hard with that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    Another small update after my follow up appointment with the musculoskeletal clinic yesterday. The good news is that the doctor I was dealing is quite confident it is not in fact a stress fracture, certainly not of any of the metatarsals. The pain is quite an odd one but I have figured out the origin is more around the ankle with pain radiating outwards along the top of the foot if it gets bad. The bad news is that there is still varying degrees of tenderness so it is still a mystery exactly what is happening. Next stop is an MRI so currently trying to get that sorted out. Unfortunately there looks to be a minimum 4 week waiting list anywhere I look. Hopefully I might get something sooner but this one is out of my control.

    In the meantime the doctor has said that I can try a tentative return to running however if there are any signs of pain or overall worsening, then stop. I've been continuing with the cycling but also in the gym a couple of times a week so tried 15 minutes on the treadmill yesterday evening. Thankfully no pain while running and it has behaved itself relatively well since. Even with this licence to run I am going to be extremely cautious. My main focus will continue to be cycling as often as I can to maintain the aerobic base, right now about 5/6 days a week. However for the rest of the week I will try a couple more runs on the treadmill increasing the time a bit. If this all goes ok I might start to venture back outside next week but flat surfaces. I'm not expecting to be back to 60K+ weeks until after getting a proper diagnosis but if I could even manage a handful of easy mid distance runs a week it would be fantastic in the meantime.

    It is frustrating that I have 2 races coming up in the next few weeks with one supposed to be this weekend but I will just have to put these to the back of my mind. Focus on everything I do have control over. I am continuing with the gym work also and I have been getting my diet back into better order the past two weeks. Whenever I do get back fully I am determined to be stronger, leaner and as best prepared as possible. This year still has a lot to offer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    It's certainly been a while but I think I'm finally back...

    To cut a long story short I have had the summer from hell with regards injury. The issue I was having back in March/April turned out to a case of Peroneal Tendonitis but unfortunately this what not the only issue I had. After the last update I managed two weeks of running with no issues. However during the warm down of a 5K threshold session I developed quite a bad pain on the outside of my left knee. I didn't think much of it and hoped a few days rest would have it sorted. Of course this wasn't the case and through a couple of miss diagnosis and unfortunate timings it took a long time to actually get to the source of the issue which was a severe case of ITB syndrome and then even more time to treat it.

    In total I was unable to do any running for 12 weeks, for a good weeks I was barely able to walk more than 1K. I was able to keep some level of fitness through cycling and gym work but I was still a bit constrained in terms of length and intensity of what I could do. Thankfully I'm now back into my 5th week of successful running since this 12 week layoff however I am still only on the road of recovery and the knee is not quite at 100%. But through weekly physio sessions and hard work in the gym I am getting there. At the moment I am limited in the distance I can do in a single run and 10K is about the max I am happy with. After this the form starts to go from tiredness and the knee feels less comfortable. Thankfully intensity isn't an issue and I can run hard enough over shorter distances. I've managed two parkruns, the last one in 19:41 which is not bad considering everything.

    In the short term I am planning to continue with what running I can do, at the moment 4 runs a week, hopefully 5 soon, of between 5 and 10K and continue with the rehab to get back to being able to do longer distances and I'll start to log these here again. Any goals I had for this year are out the window right now. I would like to do a 5K race before the end of the year if the recovery continues to go well, maybe the Jingle Bells 5K, but I just won't have the training done for cross country which was my hope.

    Anyway hopefully my next post here will involve actual running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    31/08/2022 - 10.2K - 1:09:15 (6:47/km) - HR - 118

    My partner is getting into running after giving up her other contact sports due to a broken ankle earlier in the year so I've been getting out on some runs with her. This was her first time getting up to the 10K distance so took it nice and slow.

    02/09/2022 - 8K - 39:25 (4:55/km) - HR - 137

    06/09/2022 - 11.1K - 54:06 (4:53/km) - HR - 144

    07/09/2022 - 6.8K - 41:45 (6:09/km) - HR - 124

    08/09/2022 - 8K - 33:18 (4:08/km) - HR - 158

    My first attempt at a bit of a longer tempo session. I was tipping along comfortably at 4:05 pace for the first 5K but then came to a hill and I just have no strength over them at the moment and no speed endurance so struggled the rest of the way home closer to 4:15 pace.

    11/09/2022 - 13K - 1:01:13 (4:42/km) - HR - 145

    This was sort of a progression run. In hindsight I shouldn't have done this after a tempo session.

    12/09/2022 - 8.4K - 42:32 (5:04/km) - HR - 135

    13/09/2022 - Turbo Trainer - 50 mins

    14/09/2022 - 11/4K - 53:33 (4:42/km) - HR - 143

    17/09/2022 - 6.2K - 31:24 (5:03/km) - HR - 142

    18/09/2022 - Cycle - 42.7K - 1:26:37 (29.6 kph)

    19/09/2022 - 8.4K - 47:30 (5:02/km) - HR - 135

    21/09/2022 - 11.4K - 52:09 (4:34/km) - HR - 149

    This was my first interval session of 4 x 6 mins at tempo pace with 90 secs jog recovery. I'm trying to avoid doing this on just a flat loop as I want to include the variation you get in races. The first 2 intervals I felt strong but a bit fast averaging 3:55 pace but they probably had a small bit of a slight decent on them. Just the way the loop worked out the next two had some big inclines in them and came in at 4:18 and 4:14 pace. I expected as much and it doesn't look great but with time the strength over the hills will come back.

    23/09/2022 - 15K - 1:14:04 (4:56/km) - HR - 142

    Longest run since getting back but pace was too quick

    24/09/2022 - 5K - 19:37 (3:54/km) - HR - 158

    To round off the week running wise I decided to give the local parkrun a go. I thought I might go a bit faster but the weeks running definitely had the legs a bit tired. Still not terrible.

    25/09/2022 - Cycle - 106K - 4:02:45 (26.2 kph)

    This was the Great Dublin Bike Ride, a friend had convinced me to do it over the summer when I was doing all my cycling. I was dreading it having not doing nearly as much cycling over the past while but I enjoyed it. Apart from a bit of a stiff back the body actually didn't feel too tired after it.

    27/09/2022 - 11.4K -1:01:45 (5:26/km) - HR - 131

    The body was in fact very tired after that cycle 😅. I just went out at any easy feeling pace not really paying attention to the watch. The first 3K of this was closer to 5:35 pace but I really thought I was going faster. Kept to the easy pace though and treated it as a nice recovery.

    28/09/2022 - 11.6K - 58:13 (5:04/km) - HR - 135

    29/09/2022 - 8K - 40:47 (5:05/km) - HR - 132

    A few good weeks of running with the knee holding up. In addition to all the above I am trying to get to the gym a minimum of twice a week, mostly 3 times for S&C work. There are still some types of movements that my knee is not fully comfortable with, mostly twisting but running in a straight line is ok.

    I'm happy enough to be where I am right now but would like to try push the mileage a bit. I've a trip to the physio next week and will get his opinion on it. In general I know my paces are not optimal, running my "slow" or aerobic stuff a bit too fast. I will sort this out. I'm also going to continue with the interval work I did two weeks ago and just slowly build up the overall time at tempo pace in this session, so next will be 5 x 5 mins, then 4 x 7 mins, etc. I'll also get back out onto the hills and build that strength back.

    In the very short term I'm actually going to do a race tomorrow, the Simon Home Run. I signed up for this when it was initially supposed to be on earlier in the year, March I think? But completely forgot about it until I got a package in the post with my number and t-shirt. I've no real expectations doing it and it really won't suit the fact I am lacking strength over hills right now with the finish up Kyber Road. But I'll give a good go, I'm going to be ambitious and try hold 4:00/km pace and will be very happy if I manage that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    01/10/2022 - Simon Home Run - 8.05K - 32:07 (3:59/km) - HR - 161

    This was a very satisfying run. A tough enough day for it with a nice wind swirling but I will always enjoy running in the Phoenix Park no matter the conditions.

    This was probably the best paced race I've ever had. I was right up at the front starting off. There didn't seem to be quite the same strength in depth as the last year I did this but still some fast looking guys and girls about. The gun went off without much warning so a couple of people burst ahead from behind and I had a small rush of blood too and raced off but settled then very quickly into my planned pace.

    The 1st and 2nd K ticked off in 4:00 and 3:59 and I was feeling comfortable. At this stage I had picked off anyone who had rushed off a bit too fast but there was a small group forming behind and another group about 10 meters ahead of me. I was a bit conscious that the group behind would use me as a target and was tempted to push up to the group in front but decided against it, just stick with the plan. Went through the 3rd K then in 3:58 and I knew the next 2K coming up had some nice down hills. At this stage the group behind me had dropped off slightly and I could see ahead 3 had dropped off the group in front with 1 of them suffering hard. I managed to get by him pretty quickly in the fourth K which went through in 3:51 and I was approaching the next two guys on the nice long downhill on the Upper Glen Rd. The 5th K went through in 3:50 and by this stage I was shoulder to shoulder with the 2 guys.

    But I knew this was where the hard work started coming into the S bends along Military road and then finally up Kyber Rd. I felt that the 2 with me would have been happy if we eased off the pace a bit and this would have been the comfortable thing to do but that wasn't happening so head down and work hard along the bends. They worked to stay with me but by the time we were out of the bends I had pulled away. Went through the 6th K in 4:00 which was very pleasing and then picked the pace up going down hill before Kyber Rd to make sure there was no attempt to try catch back up to me. 7th K in 3:50 and the finally slog started. I knew I was going to slow down here and as I turned up the Rd you could feel the wind head on. Didn't matter the guys behind were going to be feeling this just as much as me and my only goal was to make sure I stayed ahead of them. I kept the head down and pumped the lactate filled legs as much as possible. Passing by someone cheering me on I could hear them quickly enough cheer someone on behind me so knew I wasn't too far ahead of presumably one of the two guys. No looking behind just keep going and I managed as much of a sprint as I could for the last 100m to make sure I wasn't being caught. Crossed the line with that feeling of wanting to get sick that lets you know you've run hard. Last K came in at 4:19, much slower than the rest but this was to be expected. Finished 11th overall.

    I would liked to have broken the 32 mins but I paced that as well as I could and really couldn't have got any more out of it. Really pleasing overall and always nice to win the personal battles you have along the way.

    02/10/2022 - 8.4K - 41:48 (4:59/km) - HR - 136

    General aerobic run, the legs actually felt surprisingly fresh but still a bit too fast. A big positive though, this was my 5th run of the week, the first time getting back to 5 days of running in a week since March.

    The plan for the coming week is relatively simple, I'll get out for one session, 5 x 5 mins and some hills at the weekend, easy running apart from that. I'll also target 3 days in the gym and have the physio on Thursday.

    I'm now also getting to the stage where I want to set some targets again. Obviously I want to get back to the times I was running in March and then push on further but races help motivate so I've been looking at what I could do. The cross country season is obviously on but I just don't feel strong enough for that right now. If I'm needed for the senior team in December I'll go for numbers but that will be it. In the short term I've signed up for the Jingle Bells 5K. I did it last year and it is a very nice quick 5K. I'm not expecting to be where I was time wise compared to last year but with 2 months of training I think a target of sub 19 is realistic, time will tell!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    04/10/22 - 15.33K - 1:18:51 (5:09/km) - HR - 141

    I wasn't quite sure about which day I would do what run on but I woke up very early in the morning and headed to the gym deciding that I would go for run in the evening. I did a bit of leg work, nothing crazy but enough that I didn't want to do any quick running in the evening so decided on the long run. I tried out a new route which involved running some nice hills on grass. The conditions of the day and underfoot made this a bit tougher than I expected and it aggravated the knee a small bit. Got home from this a bit worried but just tightness and no pain thankfully. A bit of rolling and massaging had it feeling a bit better. I think this route would actually be great for building strength in general but I have to be cautious with my knee so will stay away from it for the time being.

    05/10/22 - 8.21K - 41:32 (5:05/km) - HR - 139

    A straightforward easy run. My only concern was how my knee would feel but thankfully it was ok. Again I did this in the evening and the body definitely feels a bit more tired, heart rate a bit higher etc. I think I'm just used to early morning running.

    06/10/22 - 11.1K - 49:59 (4:30/km) - HR - 149

    The 5 x 5 min session. I had physio in the afternoon and didn't want to go out after this as I knew my body and muscles would be pretty tired. This meant an early morning run after a run the evening before, not ideal but the lesser of two evils. Again I choose a loop that would have some undulations in it. The pace for the intervals were 3:57, 3:54, 4:01, 3:59, 4:05. A bit more consistent than last time and the last interval was into a nice little headwind. I found the pace tougher than I was expecting and my legs were definitely tired. Happy to get the session in tough, I just need to be confident the strength will return.

    08/10/22 - 7.82K - 34:19 (4:23/km) - HR - 155

    Back to my run in the hills which I really value, two hard laps in the woods. Based on how I have felt recently over hills I was expecting or should I say would have been happy with something under 36 mins for this so I was very pleased with the time I managed. It is still 2 minutes off where I was 6 months ago but a really good first outing back here. Even better my knee held up very well with the fast downhills which can really take a toll on that area.

    10/10/22 - Turbo Trainer - 28.3K - 1:00:00

    Unfortunately I didn't manage to get out on Sunday and would have liked to go out today to make up for it but want to keep to my schedule of the days that I run and didn't want 6 days of running this week. As an alternative I did a bit of a spin on the turbo trainer early in the morning. I think I might try get one of these in every week if I can going forward.

    The goal this week is to get the 5 days of running in with a 4 x 7 mins session and I've yet to decide between a parkrun at the weekend or the hills again. It will depend on whatever else I have going on.

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

    Nice run in the Simon race - fair play.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    Thanks AMK I appreciate it!!!

    11/10/22 - 15K - 1:15:37 (5:02/km) - HR - 134

    The longest run of the week. Nothing really much to comment on here other than I probably ran this a bit too fast. The heart is slowly coming down which is good though.

    12/10/22 - 8.26K - 44:42 (5:25/km) - HR - 129

    I set out to run this at a pace of around 5:05-5:10 but the legs felt tired so listened to the body and slowed it down further. During the run the heart rate was a bit elevated for the pace I was doing so it was definitely the right decision.

    13/10/22 - 11.7K - 51:39 (4:25/km) - HR - 147

    A solid session of 4 x 7 min off 90s jog. The main goal was to try keep the pace even and hopefully not let the hills impact me too much. The average pace for the 4 were 3:57, 3:59, 3:59, 3:56 with the last two containing the inclines. Thankfully I felt stronger than two weeks ago on the same route and could pick the pace up more on the downhill to counter the lost time going uphill. The easier pace the previous day definitely had the legs feeling fresher too.

    Still undecided what I will do at the weekend but more than likely some hills.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    15/10/22 - 7.87K - 34:12 (4:21/km) - HR - 152

    The tempo hill session again. Marginally quicker than last time but didn't feel as good so happy to have kept it consistent. The only downside is I'm starting to have issues again with my ankle, the issues I had back in March and this particular route with the downhills and uneven ground is probably the worst for it.

    16/10/22 - 10K - 49:31 (4:57/km) - HR - 130

    Treadmill run to protect the ankle a bit. A total of just over 53K for the week,

    17/10/22 - Turbo Trainer - 55 mins

    18/10/22 - 15K - 1:14:03 (4:56/km) - HR - 133

    19/10/22 - 8.3K - 43:42 (5:16/km) - HR - 131

    20/10/22 - 13.5K - 1:00:40 (4:29/km) - HR - 145

    Continue to build this session, this time 5 x 6 mins. The averages paces for each interval were 3:56, 3:56, 4:10, 4:04, 3:54 with the middle two again contain nice climbs. Found this pretty tough but happy enough with the end result. I know in the middle the paces drop but I am expecting this with the hills I have to get over during these. The last interval was mostly downhill and still had to work to keep the pace, definitely building strength though.

    23/10/22 - 12K - 51:32 (4:17/km) - HR - 152

    A few different things going on this week meant I just wouldn't be able to get out as much as I would have liked but had an opportunity for something this day. I was intending to go a bit longer in this session but I pushed the pace too much too earlier with the first 10K at 4:10 pace and feeling the ankle so slowed down for the final 2K home and called it a day.

    25/10/22 - 8.4K - 53:16 (6:20/km) - HR - 115

    Had the opportunity to get out for an easy run with my partner.

    28/10/22 - 16.45K -1:20:09 (4:52/km) - HR - 136

    Pushing the distance here a bit after not getting out for another couple of days. It ended up being a bit more of a progressive run with the pace increasing towards the end but felt comfortable the whole time.

    29/10/22 - 5K - 18:57 (3:47/km) - HR - 159

    I was intending to do the hills again but it was quite wet out and knew there would be quite a lot of leaves around making the ground quite slippy especially on some steep downhills so didn't want to risk any additional issues with an already dodgy ankle. I decided then to give the local parkrun a go and see what I could manage. I wasn't expecting much with 10 miles in the legs from the day before but I was hoping there wouldn't be anyone too fast turn up with the rain and I might have an easier day. Unfortunately not the case, one club mate who I knew was at a similar level to me, another guy who has been at the last two of these I did and been comfortably ahead of me both times and a lady who I knew from checking the last few results was down in the low 19's.

    I set out at a steady pace letting the two guys race off and just tracking the lady. I figured I would be happy to stay with her and if I'm lucky out kick her at the end and get a nice time. After 1K in my club mate had raced off at a much faster pace than I was expecting but thought fair enough, he must be in better shape than I realised. I was sticking with the lady and we were about 20 meters off the guy in second. About 2K in there is a small little bump for a bridge across the canal and I pulled a small bit ahead here before she worked to catch back up to get ahead of me before the half way point where the turn to go back is. At this stage my club mate had been passed out and looked to be suffering from his earlier quick start. Coming up to the bump the second time he was just ahead and I was just off the shoulder of the lady and gave a small little burst here to overtake both. After a few meters my club mate battled back to get ahead of me and we traded places here a few times for about 1K before he finally gave up. With 1K left I thought I was going to be home safe now in second but the lady had worked hard and got back up to just a meter or two behind me. Luckily I felt like I still had half an extra gear in the tank so upped the pace as much as I thought I could hold and fought until the line with her finishing just 2 seconds behind me. The was all I had in the tank and the heart rate confirmed it reaching the high 160s at the end which is about as high as I normally get.

    The splits ended up being 3:48, 3:50, 3:47, 3:47, 3:41 which is pretty dam good pacing. So an unexpected sub 19 which I'm obviously very please with. I think the midweek threshold sessions are having a very positive effect and building good strength.

    31/10/22 - 10.7K - 54:26 (5:04/km) - HR - 133

    01/10/22 - 15K - 1:14:12(4:56/km) - HR - 133

    So I'm a month ahead of target of the sub 19 5K. Time to reassess my goal for the Jingle Bells 5K. I think on a good day weather wise with the course that it is a sub 18:30 should be achievable. I think it will just be too soon for a sub 18 considering I only just achieved that last year when I feel like I was in much better shape.

    Unfortunately as I mentioned above I am experiencing issues again with my foot/ankle similar to those back in March. I've been to physio with it and confirmed again it is the peroneal tendon. He did some treatment on it which has helped and I have some strengthening work to do. I'm really hoping it is something I can manage without having to another prolonged break as that will just kill me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    03/11/22 - 15K - 1:06:46 (4:27/km) - HR - 150

    A session of 4 x 8 mins with 90 sec jog recovery and w/u, c/d either side. I really wasn't looking forward to this, it was going to hurt. I didn't feel fantastic on the 2K w/u and the HR was a bit high but this can often be the case. Kicked into gear on the first rep and felt really strong at the pace I was going, had to tell myself to pull back as I knew what was coming. The 2nd and 3rd reps had some inclines in them both overall not too bad, the 4th started with a nice incline but thankfully finished downhill. I find as the length of these sessions are going up the 90 sec recovery is getting tougher but that is to be expected I guess.

    The average paces for the 4 were 3:55, 3:59, 4:00, 3:59. This is right around where I would like to think my current 10K pace is. Starting the 3rd rep I really didn't think I was going to be able to keep the pace as well as I did is so very happy with this. The plan is to continue building this with 3 more sessions of 5 x 7, 4 x 9 and 5 x 8 and stay here at approx 40 mins total and then try to work on improving pace. In the future then I'll mix it up between 5 x 8, 4 x 10, 3 x 14, maybe even a 2 x 20.

    05/11/22 - 7.83K - 33:35 (4:17/km) - HR - 154

    Back to hills this weekend. It was a lovely morning so no rain but I was still anticipating lots of leaves on the ground which turned out to be case. This made it very soft and slippy underfoot so not expecting anything too quick. I was very pleasantly surprised then to take almost 40s off my last effort here and I felt like I probably had even a bit more left in the tank this time. The training is definitely moving in the right direction.

    06/11/22 - 8.4K - 42:17 (5:02/km) - HR - 136

    Rounding off the week with a shorter easy effort in my newly purchased Endorphin Speed 3's. I have been swapping between two pairs of Endorphin Speed 2's and a pair of Triumph's. Since the 3 month break though the two pair of speeds feel like they have lost stability and I'm collapsing in them a lot more than I ever noticed before. As good an excuse as ever for a new pair of runners. The Speed 3's definitely have a different feel just standing in them but just as comfortable to run in. I'm not sure they feel like they have as much pop as the Speed 2's but that is hard to say on an easy effort. I'm looking forward to using them in my next session!

    Unfortunately my next two weeks are going to involve a lot of travelling for work so I might not be able to get in everything I want to but I will do my best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    08/11/22 - 10.8K - 52:22 (4:51/km) - HR - 142

    In Portugal for a few days for work and a couple of guys had mentioned wanting to go out for a run together so I was more than pleased to go with them. It ended up only being two other guys, one who I knew was in decent shape and one unknown. I was expecting a nice easy pace, well above 5 min/k but they set off a bit more steady than I would have liked. The weather was great but it was so so humid and I was definitely struggling more than I expected to. It was also quite hilly and they decided to try race up a couple of hills at various points but I certainly wasn't going to shy away from a challenge. A nice entertaining run with some beautiful surroundings and nice to run with company.

    09/11/22 - 8K - 40:00 (5:00/km) - HR - 138

    Still in Portugal but couldn't get outside for this one. Luckily there was a gym in the hotel with a treadmill so popped on for 40 mins. It was still insanely hot and humid in the room. I don't think I've sweated as much on any run before.

    11/11/22 - 16.75K - 1:27:22 (5:13/km) - HR - 137

    Back in Ireland but tired from travel. I still wanted to get out for a long run so skipped Thursday and decided to do it on Friday instead. I kept the pace as slow as the body felt it needed. There was a very strong wind out, mostly helping on the way out but hurting coming home which is not what you want. This was definitely a bit of a slog but happy to get the miles in the legs.

    12/11/22 - 10.6K - 44:24 (4:11/km) - HR - 154

    I didn't really get any proper session in so far in the week and was toying with a couple of different ideas. I wasn't at home to get out to the woods for the usual hills and thought about maybe doing a parkrun somewhere but felt this was too easy an option and I wasn't really going to benefit from it. I decided instead to do a lap of the Howth peninsula to keep up the hill work. A bit different from the woods in that there is just the one long climb and downhill but still a very good workout.

    Another windy day and of course the wind was into me going up the hill so I knew it was going to be a slog. The first 1K is pretty flat and tipped along nicely. Coming to the start of the hill a cyclist came along side me but he was struggling and I seemed to be climbing quicker than he was. During the next 3K I managed to build a good gap from him while climbing until there was a bit of a dip before a final climb. He flew by me here and I was unable to catch him over the next 1K but I enjoyed our little battle. Downhill then for about 2K, this should be easy right... absolutely not. I didn't want to ease up so tried to keep pushing but running fast downhill is hard and my quads were really feeling it. The finally 3K was pretty flat and I just wanted to try to keep up a good pace which I managed to do. A tough run but I enjoyed it.

    13/11/22 - 11.1K - 57:03 (5:08/km) - HR - 129

    A easy run to finish off the week. Again I just wanted to run as easy as the legs felt they needed to. The pace was pretty perfect, I never felt like the legs were working hard and my breathing was very controlled. The HR was also as low as it has been at this type of pace, all good signs thankfully.

    A week disrupted by travel but I'm still very happy with the quality of runs I got in and overall volume. No threshold interval session but the hills at the weekend made up for this. I won't actually be travelling this week until the weekend so normal service for the next few days at least. This week will include the 5 x 7 mins session which is going to be tough work but I want to be sure to get it done. Only 3 more weeks until the Jingle Bells 5K so I will need to start thinking about planning the lead up to it as I would like to be fresh enough if I could.

    Also it looks like at the moment that our county senior cross country is planned for the 17th of December and I will likely be needed for a team. Although I still don't think a venue has been found. I think it is a terrible time for it being the week before Christmas and peoples likely availability but I would be able to manage it if necessary. I won't be looking forward to this one!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    15/11/22 - 18.2K - 1:36:12 (5:18/km) - HR - 128

    Back to a Tuesday long run. I really wanted to keep this at an easy pace so was very conscious to not push at all, slowing down on inclines and keeping it easy on downhills. It definitely felt slow, my breathing was very controlled and the legs felt pretty good. An average HR below 130 and no HR creep towards the end which are all good signs.

    16/11/22 - 10K - 49:35 (4:57/km) - HR - 132

    The distance on this is a bit questionable as the GPS seems to have went a bit crazy in the middle. It has happened before in the exact same location which is very odd. The average pace for the first 8.5K or so was closer to 5:10 and I threw in 4 strides at the end of somewhere between 30 to 40 secs. I'm finding my legs feeling very sluggish with the easy efforts and I think the body sometimes needs a reminder of what running with a higher cadence is like. I think I need to throw these in at least once if not twice a week going forward.

    17/11/22 - 15K - 1:07:30 (4:30/km) - HR - 145

    The big session of the week, 5 x 7 mins with 90 sec recovery. The previous two days I was still suffering a bit of DOMS from some gym work at the weekend but that had mostly gone away thankfully. My groin was also feeling a bit tight on the previous easy run too so was a bit wary of that but it held up well enough. I found this really tough going to be honest and struggled to hit my goal pace of 4:00/km. The legs were just tired and didn't have the stamina needed. The average paces for each interval ended up being 3:58, 4:01, 4:08, 4:09, 4:01.

    Looking back to understand why I was feeling like this I realised that including this run over the past 7 days I had actually clocked over 80K. This was just due to trying to catch up on mileage last week after travelling. But this was a big increase in mileage for a 7 day block so the fatigue does make sense in this context.

    Unfortunately travelling from tomorrow until Thursday so I'm not sure exactly how much running I will be able to get in but a lower mileage week might not be a bad thing. It also coincidentally might work quite well with the timing of our Masters cross country race (my first year to be eligible) which I've just learned turns out to be on the 27th of this month. I wasn't anticipating doing this but since the timing might work out well in terms of being fresh and it is only 6K I think it will be good to get a bit of practice in before the Senior. This category is stacked in our county though so I certainly won't be expecting anything, hopefully just make our team.

    A busy period of races coming up soon so, I didn't think I'd be saying that a few months ago.

    Post edited by token56 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    20/11/22 - 9.3K - 1:02:40 (6:44/km) - HR - 113

    Visiting my partner so got out for a nice easy Sunday run with her. This would have been her longest for a while so taking it quite slow. I really used to struggle to run at a pace this much slower than my normal but quite enjoy it now, maybe it's the older legs.

    21/11/22 - 15.85K - 1:21:24 (5:08/km) - HR - 132

    The first 5K of this was with my partner again averaging somewhere around 6:05/km and then I gradually picked it up over the next 10K to stress the legs a small bit. It took a few K to get comfortable after the slower 5K but was moving nicely towards the end.

    25/11/22 - 11.1K - 50:10 (4:32/km) - HR - 145

    Back home and I had not run for a few days so was keen to get out to do something. Over the past few weeks I had been feeling like my legs were moving quite slow so I wanted to do something a bit different and focus on running at a higher cadence with not necessarily a really high effort. It took the first 2K to warm the legs up a bit but then picked it up a bit and was consistently averaging around 177/178 for the cadence which is my usual 5K type of cadence. Without having very short strides the pace just naturally picked up but I tried to keep it up under control and was averaging around 4:25/km at this stage. It didn't feel particularly taxing but the last 1 or 2K the hips were getting a bit tired so I had to push a bit more to keep the cadence up.

    I do think this is a useful run as usually the first thing to happen to me when I fatigue during say a 5K is that my cadence drops and I have to increase the stride length to make up for it. I will be tempted to throw something like this in every so often going forward.

    26/11/22 - 6K - 30:05 (5:01/km) - HR - 139

    A short easy run before racing the next day. It didn't look easy with the HR but it felt very relaxed the whole way and the breathing was always in control.

    27/11/22 - 5.63K - 25:00 (4:26/km) - HR - 158

    Our county Masters Cross Country race. Some immediate disappointment when I turned up to learn we didn't have a club team, only 2 of us turned up. This was really one of the main reasons I put myself down for this. Some guys that were expected to enter just didn't but it turns out we weren't the only one. Out of 5 clubs in the race only 1 had a team. I really don't know what is going in our county at the moment but turn out for these type of events seems to be on a big decline, maybe a hangover from Covid, I just don't know. Very disappointing to see and I wonder is it the same in other counties?

    The race itself was absolute torture and very slow as you can see by the time. We were running in some farmers field with long grass, very uneven ground and with the amount of rain that has fallen, plenty of muck. True cross country conditions. There were no racing lines on the course initially, after a couple of the juvenile races some started to appear but they were just extra mucky so needed to avoid those meaning running a bit wider too. The layout of the course itself was quite tricky. It was a small enough field we had access to so to make the loop long we ran the edge of the field and then two different times in and back out of the centre which meant sharp hairpin turns, 4 laps in total.

    At the start of the race I was hoping to try to stick with my club mate, he is the one I had actual beat in the parkrun a few weeks back, but as the gun went he found a gap in people and burst through while I got stuck a small bit further back. As things settled down during the first few hundred meters I was bit further back than I would have liked but just thought to myself settle in and try to pick a few off as the race goes on. There were 4 in front of me that I thought I had a chance at overtaking but as the first 1K went I just found it so difficult to get any type of speed up. On every step you took the ground was giving way underneath and you were slipping regardless of spikes. But it was the same for everyone, pace was irrelevant, this was a war of attrition and the only option was to battle it out.

    On the first lap I managed to overtake one of the 4 I had eyed up. He was an older guy who I actually knew from my younger days running and was chatting to at the most recent parkrun I was at. I was ahead of him by a nice margin in that so was concerned to see him, either he was having a great day or I was having a bad one, maybe a little bit of both. He was keeping a steady distance behind me but one more of the group in front was starting to slow and I picked him off on the next lap. At the start of the third lap I was closing in on the 3rd of the 4 guys, the 4th had managed to push on ahead so catching him was very unlikely but 3 out of 4 would be good. There was one sharp little incline on the lap and I used this chance to attack and managed to make the overtake. For the next few hundred meters he tried to get back on my shoulder but I tried to keep enough of a distance that this wouldn't happen. Eventually he dropped off but the first guy I passed had started to work his back up. At the start of the last lap I could see the first guy was now behind me again and slowly closing. I just dug in and tried to keep the pace as best I could and thankfully managed to finish a few seconds ahead of him. Almost caught up to a slowing junior who was running in the same race as us.

    I finished well into the bottom half of the field but I was expecting that anyway regardless of conditions. I don't think I performed to my best but all my stats showed I giving it my all, from the first 1K onwards my heart rate was steadily in the high 160's and cadence around 177 all what I would normally see in a max 5K effort for me. I'm still quite happy on a number of fronts though, I was mentally strong and battled through to the end when it would have been easy to slow down and just see it through, I was strong on the sharp hill compared to those around me which gives me confidence the training is helping on this and my knee and ankle held up surprisingly well which was fantastic.

    This week is the Jingle Bells 5K on Saturday so no big session before then. I'll get out for a long run tomorrow and then two more easy shorter runs between 8 and 12K with some strides thrown in. I'm not sure how realistic it is but I'll still try to attempt a sub 18:30 at the weekend. Hopefully a Christmas miracle!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    29/11/22 - 19K - 1:35:33 (5:01/km) - HR 135

    I wasn't sure about doing a long run the week of a race but I figured the previous week had been low enough mileage and there was still plenty of time for the legs to recover before Saturday. The first 14K of this was closer to 5:10 pace but the last few the pace picked up between some downhills and then trying to get past school traffic on the paths/roads. A nice run overall.

    30/11/22 - 8K - 41:00 (5:07/km) - HR 137

    The plan was for an easier shorter run with some strides to feel a bit of speed in the legs. I did 6 strides and taking those out the average pace was closer to 5:20/km but the legs felt so flat, absolutely no pop, and the HR was high too for the pace I was going. The strides were a struggle and not particularly fast. I was dreading the thought of racing at the weekend with the legs feeling as they were. Hopefully just tiredness from the long run the day before.

    01/12/22 - 10.15K - 50:42 (5:00/km) - HR 136

    Another easy effort on a flatter route with a short effort (600m) close to race pace towards the end. I put in the short race pace effort just again to remind the legs of what some speed felt like and to see how they were feeling. Better than the day before but still not fantastic. Thankfully a full days rest to come.

    03/12/22 - 5K - 17:57 (3:35/km) - HR 155 (Jingle Bells 5K)

    I was feeling very apprehensive about this because I really didn't know what sort of shape I was in and the week of running leading up to this wasn't giving me confidence. Woke up an hour before the alarm was set for but couldn't get back to sleep thinking about the race.

    This did give me the chance to get there nice and early and not have to worry about parking etc. After the usual warm up I was feeling pretty good, the legs felt like they had recovered well, the weather was also pretty good, no major wind, no rain and not too chilly. My plan was to try to hold 3:40 pace as best I could and that would bring me in under 18:30 and maybe a big last 1K would get me closer to 18 flat. There was the usual bit of standing around which I really don't like but always get at this size of a race, thankfully soon enough we were all starting to get in position. I wasn't sure exactly where to start but didn't want to be too far back, a couple of rows deep I figured would be ok. I was prepared for a sudden start after the Simon Home run a few weeks ago so I was on the look out for a sudden bang.

    The first kilometer was just about dodging in and out of any slower runners and getting into a decent flow. I stuck to the outside of the road to make this a bit easier, not the most efficient racing line but probably the most efficient overall. Had a look down at the watch and the pace was going between 3:40 and 3:45, a bit slower than I had wanted but still roughly in line with the plan. There was also a small bit of a drag turning onto Chesterfield Ave so to be expected. The 1st K went through in 3:43 not ideal but I was feeling strong and my HR wasn't quite as high as I thought it should be so I decided to try to keep working my way up the field going along Chesterfield Ave. This was a bit of a mixed bag as some people passed me and I passed a few others. I felt like I was working much harder than those around me so thought maybe I'm pushing a bit too hard. Looked down at the watch and the pace was going between 3:40 and 3:35, yep probably a bit too hard but to hell with it, lets keep it going.

    The 2nd K ticked off in 3:36, the pace had definitely picked up and I knew from my breathing I was working hard. We were getting close to the turn for the Ordinance Survey Rd and I was trying to track a runner in a red shirt who seemed to have had a similar journey to me so far. There was a group of maybe 10 in front and we were closing on them so I fought the urge to ease off and just thought to myself, get up to them and stick in. As we caught them the 3rd K flashed up as a 3:35 and the average pace was starting to get lower. I was really struggling but it was probably at this point that I thought I might actually be in with a chance of something really unexpected here.

    On the 4th K I was determined to stick with red shirt guy but he had no interested in hanging onto the group we just caught and flew by so I did the same. There was another group a few meters in front and we caught up to them quite quickly. I knew the downhill was coming soon so I was really just trying to hang on with everything I had. The 4th K went through in 3:32 and the average pace had come down to 3:36, I knew an average of 3:35 meant I would be a second or two either side of 18 flat and the downhill was starting. I tried my best to pick up the pace and really push but my legs were spent. At this stage people I had passed previously were overtaking me and red shirt guy moved on too, but I didn't care, just focus on not slowing down. The last 150 to 200m or so flattens out, maybe a small incline even. I saw an average pace of 3:35 on the watch and gave it everything I could and I stopped the watch at 17:57, a final K of 3:30. I was going to need to wait for the official results to see if I had actually broken the 18 mins.

    Official chip time 17:57 and a 2 second PB. I am simply thrilled with the result, I never thought this was on the cards at all. The nature of the course obviously helped but I'm not going to let that diminish how I feel about it. Also for the first time ever negative splits on each K, 3:42, 3:36, 3:35, 3:32, 3:30.

    04/12/22 - 11.1K - 56:08 (5:04/km) - HR 127

    From the highs of the race to the lows of reality. I had planned to get out for a nice easy run to round off a great week and all was going well until about 8K when the pain in my left knee returned. Since getting back I've had a few little niggles in it while running but not quite the same as the one back in April however this was very similar. It wasn't as severe and I was getting a small bit of relief actually picking up the pace and running on the balls of my feet rather than midsole landing when going easy. I struggled home and hoped it was something simple that caused it and I actually believe it was. Namely the runners I used. I decided to use a pair of old Speeds 2, to give the legs an easier time, but there is something not quite right with them and my knee seems to roll inwards in these particular. They won't be seeing daylight again I think.

    Thankfully the pain from my last run stopped immediately after the run, a good sign compared to April. It's been ok also walking so I'm really hoping it was a freak reoccurrence due to bad choice of footwear. I'm quite nervous to go out tomorrow for my long run but I will start off easy and any hint of the same pain stop and reassess. I've was due to have a physio appointment next week anyway so won't have to wait too long until that.

    This has sort of taking the shine off the race for me but forgetting about injuries for the moment I am so pleased with how it went. I'm definitely getting stronger mentally during a race like this, the bigger tempo/threshold session I've been doing has really helped here. It's also shown me that I don't necessarily need to be doing the quicker interval/critical velocity type of work to be able to run these paces. Although I wouldn't mind throwing one of those sessions in every so often, they are just harder on the body.

    In even bigger news I made quite an impulsive decision and signed up for a marathon next year. I really want to do one before it's too late so why not just go for it now. It is going to be Amsterdam next October, no particular reason for that one other than the reviews say it's fast course and I've never raced abroad before. If I'm going to do something like this I might as well go all out. It is also not a lottery. I'm reluctant to set any targets right now given my inexperience at this type of distance and my injury profile but my ego automatically says target a sub 3. I do think I have the ability for something like that but for your first marathon it's very unlikely.

    Anyway I'm not going to think about it too seriously until next year other than knowing I'm committing to doing it and fully commit to the training. In the short term, I am due to run our senior cross country in two weeks time but depending on my knee this may or may not happen. Looking a bit further ahead my next target is the Streets of Portlaoise 5K in March and to build the mileage a bit more. I want to try to take a big chunk off this PB and get well down in the 17 mins if possible. That will leave me with 5 months to get into marathon shape. I'm sure anyone reading this will think I'm being a bit naive aiming for a marathon with my history of injuries, I know I would, but I'm determined to get this right too. I'll be consulting and seeing my physio regularly throughout this and I will absolutely commit to the badly needed strength training to try and remedy these issues.

    Exciting times ahead!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 940 ✭✭✭Unknownability

    Congratulations on getting under the target time.

    I've just signed up for Amsterdam as well.

    Similar to you I'm having knee issues and have been off the road for nearly 6 weeks now!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    Thanks Unknownability I appreciate it. From everything I've read it sounds like a great marathon. Do you have a target time in mind?

    06/12/22 - 13.26K - 1:07:04 (5:04/km) - HR - 137

    I was quite nervous with how my knee had been feeling so I did a route that gave me a few different exit points at various distances in case I felt like I needed to stop. I was initially planning something between 17K to 19K but decided to finish up a bit earlier as I could start to feel it a bit particularly on a long downhill. Not ideal but still decent enough. HR was a bit high throughout for the pace I was going.

    07/12/22 - 9.5K - 48:12 (5:04/km) - HR - 138

    Had to take an early morning trip to Naas to do some dog sitting for the day so went extra early to get this in. Just an out and back route keeping to pace even and minding the knee. It felt ok on this no pain thankfully, HR quite high again though, maybe the colder weather?

    08/12/22 - 13.6K - 59:23 (4:22/km) - HR - 151

    A session of 4 x 8 min - avg paces of 3:55, 3:51, 3:52, 3:49

    I was quite nervous about doing this with both my knee and the weather so I decided to not increase the length of the intervals to 9 mins which would have the plan and I also decided against the usual loop and went to the park close by doing laps of that. There was less chance of slippy paths there and it also kept me max 2.5K away from home if my knee did act up. It did mean significantly less elevation changes so I could increase the pace a small bit. I was happy to be able to keep it up for the 3rd and 4th intervals and no issues with the knee. A nice mornings work.

    10/12/22 - 11.3K - 51:36 (4:35/km) - HR - 148

    The plan for today was supposed to be a Parkrun with my partner and to pace her for a PB attempt (sub 28 min) but her flight the night before got cancelled and nearby Parkruns were cancelled so not to be. I wasn't quite sure where would be best to attempt to run with the freezing conditions but for some reason thought the Phoenix Park would be a good spot. I wanted to try a bit a longer marathon pace effort and take an extra day off Sunday. The park however was not a good spot for this 😅, paths and roads untreated and the trails a mixture of frozen solid and muck. I did my best anyway alternating between path, road and trail depending on the conditions. From an effort point of view this felt much tougher than the pace suggests.

    12/12/22 - 8.05K - 40:07 (4:59/km) - HR - 132 (Treadmill)

    I just can't trust the conditions around at the moment especially in the early morning but luckily I can get to the gym to use the treadmill. Nothing really noteworthy on this.

    13/12/22 - 17K - 1:22:32 (4:52/km) - HR - 132 (Treadmill)

    God the treadmill is boring! I don't normally listen to anything when I run but I think I'm going to have to start for the next few days. The first 12K of this at 5:00/km pace and then a progressive 5K finishing at 4:00/km to get a bit of pace into the legs and to keep things somewhat entertaining.

    The knee is feeling a small bit better thankfully but starting to get a bit of pain in my hip on the opposite side. The body just seems to be struggling a bit at the moment, thankfully I've a session with the physio tomorrow. It is looking likely that I will be running our senior cross country at the weekend, 10K of torture, especially if the weather is as forecast. We still need one more for a team and I'm hoping we can get someone. If we don't have a team I'll consider not running at all, just to minimize risk. Either way after this weekend I am going to pull back the mileage a bit for the rest of the month, maybe just do 3 runs a week, and focus a bit more on strength work. I've had some nice consistency for the last 3 months but the body is obviously sending me a few signals so I need to listen and give it a bit of a break. Hopefully then I can kick on in January, get another solid block in and try to smash my 5K PB in March.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    14/12/22 -10K - 50:00 (5:00/km) - HR - 128

    Sticking to the treadmill for an easy run followed by a bit of strength work afterwards.

    17/12/22 - 5K - 27:47 (5:33/km) - HR - 130

    I had been suffering with a bit of a head cold the past few days so took an extra days rest but had promised my partner we would get out for a parkrun PB effort while she was back. This would act as a nice little shake out before the cross country tomorrow too. A very nervous journey on the roads over to Vicarstown which always goes ahead thankfully. We arrived a bit early and were the only runners there but hoped someone else was going to show up. Jogged up around the corner for a bit of a warm up and arriving back a nice crowd had finally gathered. Over 50 runners braving the cold.

    My partner hadn't been able to do much running in the past week so we changed the goal to a sub 30 rather than a PB (28:55). Took it out nice and steady but she was feeling strong and through the first K in 5:45, PB is on so. We gradually got faster as it went on coming home with a nice PB of over 1 min and she definitely has more in her. I think she might be sandbagging me a bit to be honest as there was talks of a handicap race over 5K for a bit of fun with me giving her a 10 min headstart. I'm not feeling as confident about that any more.

    18/12/22 - 9.5K - 42:08 (4:26/km) - HR - 158 (Senior Cross Country)

    We had the 6 runners for a team so there was no backing out of this now. Any hopes of a team medal however were very unrealistic unfortunately. We were probably battling with one other team for 3rd spot but when I arrived I learned they have apparently found a fresh crop of young talented runners this year from somewhere. Good to see for the sport and the county but bad news for my club.

    And what a difference a day can make in the weather. From freezing conditions to the glorious wet and windy we are more used to. Driving over I could see the standing water in some fields and just knew what awaited me. Got to the course good and early to make sure I got to see the women's race too. We had one from the women's european cross country team from last weekend coming home to race and didn't want to miss that. The course was a simple 5 laps of a few different fields, and jogging around on the warm up and it was a real mixed bag. A pretty even mix of very soft ground on some straights and firm enough on others and two sharp corners which were pure muck, the other turns were soft but not so bad.

    The race itself was just pure torture. In the same race last year I started too quick and suffered for the rest of the race as a result so today wanted to hold back a bit at the start and then try to work my way up throughout the field. The first K was the quickest going through in 3:59 which for a normal 10K I would be thinking is perfect if not a bit slow. This still had me towards the back of the field just off the middle group. I tried my best to stick with them but on the second lap as the condition of the ground worsened I just couldn't. I was very quickly in no mans land and seeing two of my club mates who I had hoped to stick in with pull off ahead. I was really slowing down at this stage and struggling, still a long way to go.

    Towards the end of the second lap I was still on my own but could hear two runners slowly closing and on the 3rd lap after drafting in behind me on the difficult straight into the wind they pulled past. With gritted teeth and I did my best to stick with them and not let them blow by. I managed to overtake one of them but the other kept that bit ahead of me. A 65 year vet, albeit an international runner at the age category but still so demoralising. The other guy was dropping right back again. Halfway around the lap there is a bit of a hill and I tried to find a firm line and push hard back up to the one in front. I managed to get side to side again but then an almighty stitch at exactly the wrong time had me slowed down and he pulled away. For the rest of this lap and the 4th I was just trying to hold the gap between us hoping I might be able to make an effort to catch him on the 5th. Where the ground was that bit firmer on the last lap I did manage to close it a small bit but as soon as we hit the soft muck, which was unfortunately all the back half of the course, any momentum I had stopped. I really tried hard to close him down but I just wasn't strong enough. I don't know my final position but well into the second half of the field anyway.


    I've got to be honest yesterday was a tough experience to take and not the race itself but to be humbled and shown what level I'm really at. I am a very competitive person at heart but I'm just so far off being even an average club runner in my county. Sure the conditions yesterday absolutely don't suit me but even if that was 10K on a nice flat road I don't think my position would have been that different. But running and especially cross country is a brutally honest sport, sometimes a reality check is good and you have to accept where are you.

    But I'm going to stay positive, I know I am capable of more. I'm going to relax a bit over the next two weeks, still get out obviously and get into the gym but not put myself under any pressure. Serious training starts again in January. A new year and a chance to refocus and double down!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭Wottle

    Congratulations on Jingle bells, thoroughly deserved.

    Looking forward to following your Amsterdam journey. It's a great one to do, scenic, amazing support, fast course and very well organised with an amazing start/finish in the Olympic stadium.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    Thanks Wottle, I appreciate it.

    I'm looking forward to it myself. Christmas will be spent looking at all the different plans out there trying to decide how to approach it. Any advice is more than welcome.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    19/12/22 - 8K - 50:24 (6:18/km) - HR - 126

    The gf is back and wanted to get out for a run so obliged but the legs were definitely feeling rough after the cross country.

    21/12/22 - 11.43K - 55:56 (4:54/km) - HR - 141

    22/12/22 - 8.41K - 40:58 (4:52/km) - HR - 137

    23/12/22 - 16.26K - 1:15:23 (4:38/km) - HR - 147

    24/12/22 - 11.1K - 54:50 (4:56/km) - HR - 135

    25/12/22 - 6.25K - 30:40 (4:55/km) - HR - 139

    26/12/22 - 7.65K - 42:52 (5:36/km) - HR - 115

    An annual Stephens Day charity run organized by our club. It is always good to catch up with a few people and nice easy post Christmas day jog.

    28/12/22 - 22.32K - 1:45:12 (4:46/km) - HR - 141

    I wanted to do something to round the year off but wasn't quite sure what. There was the 10K on New Years Eve in Fermoy I did last year but my legs were still feeling like rubbish after the cross country so I scratched that idea. A 5K time trial was my other idea but again similarly that wasn't happening so I decided on a longer slower effort. This started off slower, approx 5 min pace, and the pace progressed as I went on but I'll be honest I struggled a bit towards the end of it.

    30/12/22 - 10.27K - 51:47 (5:03/km) - HR - 131

    31/12/22 - 3.92K - 25:20 (6:28/km) - HR - 121

    - 3.92K - 16:35 (4:13/km) - HR - 156

    I had challenged the gf to do a lap of the woods I like to run but she had picked up Covid during Christmas so unfortunately was out of action for a few days. Fair play to her though she decided to do it as her first run back, a tough ask. She toughed it out well and no stopping. I did another lap on my own afterwards. Felt like I was going faster than the time suggested but it is probably the first run in two weeks since the cross country where I felt like my legs had any pop in them so very happy with that.

    01/01/23 - 14.51K - 1:10:33 (4:52/km) - HR - 137

    02/01/23 - 8.5K - 51:03 (6:01/km) - HR - 114

    This obviously hasn't been the year I was hoping for, especially after like last year ended so well but I still managed just over 1000 miles of running for the year with 1640km according to Strava and about the same in cycling. Despite the 5K time a few weeks ago I still don't think I'm quite back to where I was 12 months ago in overall aerobic fitness but I'm not far off. With everything that has happened though I have continued to learn about what does and doesn't work for body. Even just the past few weeks I've been back in the gym again much more regularly and the difference it has made to my knee is huge. Going forward strength and conditioning is no longer something that is nice to do but a must do.

    Moving forward I couldn't be more motivated for the year to come now that I have finally committed to a marathon. Before that and along the way I will be hoping for a few other PB's but the main goal this year will be crossing that finish line in October. I obviously have big hopes for what I would like to do timewise but I'm under no illusions about the work and training needed and I can't wait.

    Best of luck to all those with their running goals for the new year!!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭Wottle

    Love it, mojo sounds in a really good place, all the best for 2023.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    03/01/23 - 11.41K - 58:07 (5:06/km) - HR - 133

    04/01/23 - 9.16K - 57:40 (6:18/km) - HR - 123

    05/01/23 - 13.03K - 1:06:01 (5:04/km) - HR - 132

    07/01/23 - 5K - 18:51 (3:45/km) - HR - 159

    The gf was heading back to the UK after the weekend but wanted to get in one more parkrun before going back but she wanted to run at her own pace and let me go off on my own. Over the past few months another guy and myself have coincidentally turned up at the same parkrun's and he has always beaten me between 10 and 30 seconds and of course he was there again. Neither of us are regulars so I was laughing about it with him beforehand. It was a very blustery day with the wind head on for the first half of this out and back loop. He took out the pace as expected and had the usual 20 sec gap but slowed down less than 1K in. I thought to myself maybe he's struggling so got up onto his shoulder and tried to push past. Rookie mistake, he latched in and used me to break the wind. I could hear from his breathing he was relatively comfortable compared to myself so was just waiting for what was to come. He picked his mark perfectly, just after a little climb at 3.5K he blew by and I couldn't do anything.

    I wasn't quite all out on this but still wouldn't have got the better of him, his time will come though. I was happy enough with the pacing of the run 3:45, 3:48, 3:48, 3:43, 3:45.

    10/01/23 - 13.04K - 59:24 (4:33/km) - HR - 150

    Took a few days off before the gf headed back so a lighter week with only 48K but into serious training mode again. Today was a return to threshold sessions. I attempted a 4 x 8 min off 90 sec recovery with the usual warm up/cool down either side and targeting 4:00/km pace.

    The actual paces were: 4:00, 4:00, 4:04, 4:10 so unfortunately slowed down considerably on the last one. To be fair a large amount of this was into a strong headwind but the legs were also pretty dead at this stage. I was probably being a bit optimistic going straight back into 32 mins of hard running.

    11/01/23 - 11.08K - 56:30 (5:06/km) - HR - 138

    I should also have mentioned that I did a fairly heavy gym session on the Monday (the 9th) working the hamstring and glutes hard and the DOMS really kicked in on this day. I felt like I was waddling for the first 2K but eventually loosened up. The pace was ok but heart rate a bite higher than I would like.

    I had a massage from the physio later this evening which nearly killed me with the combined pain from his normal massaging and the DOMS on top of it. Felt much better afterwards though.

    12/01/23 - 16.51K - 1:21:35 (4:56/km) - HR - 141

    I was hoping for a run closer to 19K for my long run but left it a bit later than I should have getting out in the morning so had to make do with what I could. The pace was probably a bit quicker than I would have liked too for the same reason.

    13/01/23 - 6.75K - 38:33 (5:42/km) - HR - 132

    A proper recovery run, I made sure to keep the pace in check. Again the heart rate was a bit high but the effort was low and legs felt good afterwards.

    14/01/23 - 12K - 53:03 (4:25/km) - HR - 151

    I had wanted to get out for my hill session in the woods but could only get my run in before daylight so that was unfortunately not an option. Ended up then with a 2K w/u, 8K tempo, 2K c/d. The average pace for the 8K was about 4:08/km but started slower at 4:15 and picked up to 3:55 for the last 1K. This is probably the best I've felt on a run for a few weeks now. I was really feeling comfortable picking the pace up towards the end.

    15/01/23 - 10.28K - 50:45 (4:56/km) - HR - 137

    A steady 10K to round the week off bringing the total for the week to just shy of 70K.

    Last week was my highest mileage week in about 2.5 years which is really saying something as it isn't that much at all. Back then during lockdown I had ramped up quite quickly and threw in a few 80K weeks and broke down quite quickly. Ever since any attempts to increase the mileage has resulted in injuries again. Thankfully my body is feeling as good as it has since March injury wise. The S&C work over the past few weeks is really paying off. I have a good structure at the moment which is working so will try to keep it up. My week at the moment looks roughly like this.

    Monday - Rest

    Tuesday - Threshold

    Wednesday - Easy

    Thursday - Long run

    Friday - Recovery

    Saturday - Hills/Tempo

    Sunday - Easy

    I am also getting in one weighted S&C session a week and a couple of other body weight sessions. In saying all this the next week or two might look a bit different as I'm considering a local 10 mile race this weekend. It's a tough one with a lot of undulation but I've wanted to race this distance for a while. I know I'm not in peak condition for it but it is still tempting me. It's 2 months out to my next race target so I guess I need to think about what benefit I will actually get from doing it vs disrupting one or two weeks of routine. It is probably not worth it and I'll hopefully get the chance to race this distance during my marathon training block. However if due to the cold conditions I'm not able to get out on the roads in the mornings that might make it a bit more appealing. I'll continue as planned for the moment and see how the week goes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,616 ✭✭✭token56

    10/01/23 - 13.77K - 1:01:09 (4:27/km) - HR - 147

    I am usual an early morning runner but with the cold spell I didn't want to chance having to run on slippy paths so switched up to evening runs when things had thawed out. It worked pretty well all week thankfully.

    This was a similar threshold session to my usual but slightly different intervals compared to what I am used to, a 3 x 10 mins off 90 secs. I was running a flatter loop today so wanted to be a bit more aggressive with my target pace and aimed for 3:55/km. Actual paces were 3:55, 3:57, 3:56. Not bad on a blustery day and I felt reasonably strong on it.

    11/01/23 - 13.31K - 1:05:10 (4:54/km) - HR - 140

    A steady run just increasing the distance a small bit over last week.

    12/01/23 - 19.4K - 1:34:07 (4:51/km) - HR - 140

    A nice steady long run again increasing the distance slightly again. My legs felt very good on this but this was definitely a bit too last. I had just settled into a nice rhythm early on while not looking at my watch and kept it going. Very little variation between the km's for the majority of it so good consistent running.

    13/01/23 - 6K - 34:07 (5:40/km) - HR - 132

    A well needed recovery run.

    14/01/23 - 12K - 53:26 (4:27/km) - HR - 147

    Again unfortunately I couldn't get to hills so a repeat of last week, 2K w/u, 8K tempo, 2K c/d. I had a feeling from the warm up this was going to be a struggle and it was definitely harder work than I would have liked. The pace was much more even this week, fastest 4:01 and slowest 4:09, average about 4:05 which was my target going into it. The legs were tired but I suppose I should expect that.

    15/01/23 - 10.34K - 53:16 (5:09/km) - HR - 132

    My legs felt surprisingly good on this. I just ran it by feel and kept to a pace that was comfortable. The heart rate behaved itself a bit better too.

    Another solid week of training and just shy of 75K for the week. If I can manage two more weeks at this sort of mileage I will pull back then for a week for a bit of a recovery. This would then give me another 4 weeks to build before tapering into the race on the 17th of March.

    Something I have noticed over the past few weeks is that my heart rate shoots up the first 2K or so of any run no matter the pace. Even today or my recovery early in the week it will sit between 150 and 160 for 12 mins or so, which is tempo/threshold type heart rate, and then climb down to a more appropriate level. Reading online it seems like this is caused by an inadequate warm up which makes sense when the majority of my running is done about 15 to 30 mins after I've just woke up. It is obviously not ideal because the heart is having to work much harder than it should. I'm just a bit confused about warming up then. How do you get your body warmed up and blood flowing through the muscle without running to begin with. Maybe someone can give a bit of advice if they have any experience with this?

    Post edited by token56 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46

    How do you measure HR. If it's watch based it's crap anyway. If it's a chest strap make sure the contacts are wet. They're very good when you're sweating but if not they can lock on to cadence. Good old fashioned spit does the job.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 753 ✭✭✭marathon2022

    Might be technical issue as opposed to your heart, you should try a different watch to see if the same pattern occurs.