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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs



  • Rebuild Block 2 of 10 - Easy 5 Miles

    Tonight's was an encouraging run. I noticed again the left leg laziness at the outset, not as strong as recently. Then I realised that if I leaned forward, just a fraction, and my footfall landed more to the middle and front of the foot, then my stride felt much more natural and the left leg laziness disappeared. I do wonder if the flatter Nimbus affected my stride negatively for the 8 weeks that I ran with them. My legs felt good and my stride felt normal this evening. I enjoyed it. I'm not going draw conclusions off one solitary run but I will lean that tiny tiny bit forward again tomorrow and note how it feels.

    I ran a Chapelizod loop this evening, hopefully the last of the season as the clocks move forward at the weekend and evening Park runs beckon. Waited until just before the heavy rain so I could get properly wet in the first mile.

    I've also started using the roller and doing S&C during late mornings ahead of lots of meetings at work. Maybe this helps the evening runs, it definitely makes it easier to do S&C because in the evenings I can find a million and one excuses to avoid the roller and its friends.

    Total 5.04M @ 8:11

  • Rebuild Block 2 of 10 - 5M with 1M at Sub3 MP

    That whole leaning forward a fraction thing, probably all in my head. Out Tuesday evening later than planned and so I had to cut this one short as I wanted to get home to see Kenny kick of his first campaign proper :(

    Leaning a little forward didn't make much of a difference. Leg less lazy but form is still not right. Ran two miles to Chapelizod and then ran the third mile along the Chapelizod Road to the rowing clubs at sub 3 pace. That mile was fine. Knees have been a bit cranky after the midweek runs of late, they weren't too bad after this one. Left hip is a bit sore instead. I might have been too aggressive when rolling it, targeting IT band.

    Rebuild Block 2 of 10 - Easy 7+ Miles

    An hour of urban running. Needed some stimulus to tackle a vanilla 7 so headed south for a change. Crumlin area. Legs were fairly heavy for the opening half of this one. I run past the PT's clinic. Battery low warnings start after 5K. Anxious to get home before it dies. On the more downhill return half the legs wake up a bit.

    Rebuild Block 2 of 10 - Easy 7+ Miles with 2M @Sub3 MP

    Nice morning in the Park. Hip has continued to moan over the last 24 hours. But when I run it feels fine. Usual Saturday routine: tip over the the Polo Ground Road Loop, via the zoo. Switch up a gear behind the pavillion. Run 2 miles at 6:41 pace. The legs behave well and I was never concerned about finishing this, but 6:41 pace does feel tougher than I would like. Chatted with scotindublin out on pacing duty. Feels like the winter is over. Tip back home afterwards without protest from either leg.

    Rebuild Block 2 of 10 - MLR 11 Miles

    Didn't fancy the Park this morning. Checked online and conveniently the East Link brige falls around 100m inside my 5K radius. I follow the Grand Canal from Kilmainham to the Grand Canal Dock. Legs feeling surprisingly good. The change of scenery is good. Route is mostly devoid of traffic. Over the East Link and turn into a stiff headwind for the trip back along the Liffey to Islandbridge.
    Stride feels comfortable for a change. Tag on a few bits and a trip through IMMA at the end to bring up 11 miles and pass 35 miles for the week.

    Scales show 72.2kilo. Start of Rebuild it was 76.1kilo, end of Block-1 73.7kilo, so positive trend continues.

    And that is that. Another block navigated successfully. One run with some left-knee twinges, and four weeks where the legs have never felt 100% for 48 hours straight. But pleased how it went and happy to step back now for another down-week before getting stuck into Block 3 where the plan includes a cautious reintroduction of tempo pace and a dusting down of the Asterias.

    Block 2 Objectives all completed:
    • longest run 12.01 Miles
    • average weekly mileage 36.01
    • 4M @ 3:05/3:10 Marathon Pace
    • 2M @ 2:55/2:59 Marathon Pace
    • Weight down another 1.5kilo since end of block 1

  • Down-Week Easy 5K

    Two days of rest then back on the road this evening for an easy 5K, just to keep the legs someway triggered. Stride felt ok. Left leg laziness not hugely evident. Happy to get some fresh spring evening air after another block of 4+ hours of meetings. I'm enjoying these down-weeks.

    Plans for Block 3

    I've mapped out a schedule for Block-3 of rebuild. I will have 4 weeks to hit the following objectives:
    • run 40 to 45 miles a week
    • increase longest run to 14 miles
    • run 6 miles @ MP
    • run 4 miles @ Sub3 MP
    • run 1 mile @ Tempo
    • drop weight into 71.XX kilos

    I will start working a bit in this block. The midweek runs will become a little more testing. The re-introduction of tempo pace [3:55 to 3:59 min/km] is very cautious, I have all year to increase the tempo distance.

    I will switch back into the Asterias for the tempo runs. First time lacing these up since an ill-fated Saturday morning run last July.

    I'm looking forward to it and hope that come the end of the block the left leg laziness will have improved some more.

  • The rest of last week's downweek

    It is good to have a week where you are under no pressure to hit certain paces or log xx miles. I'm really happy to be working to this 4-on-1-off cycle.

    I ran a repeat of Wednesday 5K on Thursday. Legs felt better second time out. Another rest day on Friday, then two gentle weekend runs. 4 miles on Saturday out to Inchicore, across to Rialto along the canal and home via South Circular Road with residential diversion along the way just to tick off another local road. Legs feeling ok. Some left leg laziness, but definitely less than a few weeks ago. Went for a cycle to Farmleigh in the afternoon and that provoked a little feedback from the left knee. I make a point of leading off with my right leg.

    Sunday morning Easter run under bright sunshine. Tip along the tow path to Chapelizod, into the Park via the village and an ascent up Acres. Down Chesterfield and home to cooking duty via Islandbridge Gate.

    Legs feeling pretty normal outside of running.

    Rebuild Block 3 Week 1

    Easy Hour 7.09M @ 8:29

    Block 3 begins and the effort levels will start to crank up a bit now. I want to try keep frequency at 5 days a week and not move up to 6 days until I shift up the mileage to 45 to 50 (which won't happen for a few blocks). I think the legs are happy with 2 rest days a week right now. I start block 3 with an easy hour. And my first evening run in the Park of the season. Fresh conditions. I enter at Islandbridge Gate turn left and follow the perimeter road to Chesterfield. Descend to Park Gate and arrive back where I started 59:XX after I started, a mini-out-and-back to bring up the hour. Good start to the week.

    7M with 5M at MP

    As always MP pace reflects the finishing time I would hope to finish in if I was targeting a marathon; somewhere between 3:05:00 and 3:09:59. It would be the pace I would run my MP training sessions at.

    And as always I start the MP section tonight a little too fast. I flirt with the 'too fast' alert on the Garmin over the opening miles. I'm running my Chapelizod loop with a bit tagged on at the end. The 5 mile MP section starts as I arrive at the Ballyfermot Road. Brings me down to Chapelizod over the bridge and then along the straight stretch to Heuston. All manageable. Then I could feel the speedy start in the legs as I tackle the climb up the Luas tracks after Heuston, and again on the short steep climb up Irwin Street and again along the long drag up St John's Road.

    The 5 miles were completed in 35:17, that pace would get me a 3:05 marathon. Felt a bit tougher than I would have liked, but then again i paced it poorly and I ran at the fast end of target range. It felt good to be working a bit, been a while.

    Going to schedule S&C for the mornings/lunchtimes this block.

  • Rebuild Block 3 Week 1

    Easy 6+ Miles

    Jaded after another series of long remote meetings. Was tempted to postpone for 24 hours but resisted. Into gear, 12mins of activations and out the door. Happy I did. The legs felt fairly fresh, left leg laziness was minimal. I headed out along Chapelizod Road and then turned into the Park at Chapelizod Gate, ascend up Acres to the Phoenix Roundabout and then continue to North Road. Descend down past the Zoo and Garda HQ, out at Park Gate and home.

    What I'm happy to note is that of late the legs have felt fine after runs. No protests on stairs, knees feeling ok. Hammers feeling ok.

    4x400m @ Tempo

    A cautious introduction of Tempo pace on Saturday morning. Took the Asterias down from where they were parked on the balcony since 4 July. Had to remove old webs and shake the shoes to ensure no visitors were inside. Same Saturday warm-up to the Polo Grounds Road Loop. The first lap is a continuation of warm-up and then I hit the lap button at the start of the second lap to kick-off the work-out.

    Been a long while since I targeted tempo pace, but it feels happily familiar. The legs respond well, better than the lungs. 4x400 is just a tester really, objective is to ensure that the legs don't protest in a dramatic fashion. They don't. The Asterias were fine, like the Glycerin's they feel better than the Nimbus. Looking forward to next Saturday already.

    (1:34, 1:35, 1:33, 1:34)

    MLR 12 Miles

    Bright sunny conditions. Wore gloves as it was chilly at the outset. Again the legs feel generally ok. The left leg laziness continues to become less and less noticeable. Legs were tired for the first 4 or 5 miles but then relaxed into the run. A lap of Farmleigh, including the market square there. A trip in and out of The Furry Glen, another Acres ascent. Home via Park Gate. Legs feeling good for the rest of the day, including 2 hours on my feet in the kitchen.

    My first 40 mile week since June 2020.

    Total 12.26M @ 8:23

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  • Rebuild Block 3 Week 2

    Falling behind on here again.

    Easy Hour 6.98M @ 8:36

    This is my current go-to opening run of the week. I'm keeping the loop the same week on week as 8:3X pace pretty much brings me back to within metres of where I started. To keep it interesting I don't look at the Garmin and try to pass the start/finish line as close to 01:00:00 as possible. This evening I log a very acceptable 1:00:04. I like the loop because all the real climbing is done early and then when I meet Chesterfield exiting OS Road I swing right and it's downhill and lots of trail pretty much all the way home. Legs a bit heavy tonight.

    6+ Miles with 3 Miles @ Sub3 MP

    I call it Sub3 MP but more specifically it's 2:55 to 2:59 Marathon Pace. It's a bit tricky to motivate myself to get out as soon as I log-off work. A return to running also brings with it a return to pre-run stalling. Decided on the Playing Fields for this one. A little shy of two laps required. I run clockwise. The run is very manageable but the effort definitely feels more like tempo effort than Sub3 effort. I've a lot of work to do to regain fitness, recognized by the fact that this is just block 3 of 10 planned rebuild blocks. Enjoy the process.

    The 3 miles are run at 6:44 pace, equivalent of a 2:56 marathon.

    Easy 6.36M @ 8:19

    Rounded off the midweek running with an easy 6 and a bit on Thursday evening. Headed from Chapelizod Gate right up to the North Road planning on turning right to head down behind the zoo. Needed to change plan though when I realise the road is blocked off. Tip down along the trail past Aras and onto the Polo Grounds. Legs feel ok after yesterday's efforts. Happy to rest up now ahead of the weekend.

    800+(2x400) @ Tempo

    Back in the Asterias again. They feel good. Tip across to the Polo Grounds. Tempo pace again. This time an 800 followed by 2x400. The pace is fine, feels nice to stretch the legs a little. I mostly have to make sure I don't run too fast.
    Tempo pace will become a key factor in this rebuild. I will have a Tempo objective in every block, I always feel it is one of the best indicators of where I stand fitness wise. Happy to tip back home after this. Smashing morning with the sun shining bright.

    Half Marathon @ 8:30

    This does feel like a milestone run. Getting through 13.1 miles without any negative feedback from the legs is encouraging. I'm also happy to report that I daydreamed for the bulk of this run, I wasn't actively worried about or conscious of my legs. I enjoyed revisiting this old route, leaving the 5K bubble, smelling seaweed along Sandymount. The left leg laziness that has been bothering me of late has nearly disappeared. It is far less evident when I start my run. I still notice the left foot scuffing the ground at times during the run but it's not terribly annoying. Hopefully this continues to improve.

    The distance is fine, doesn't feel tiring and the legs feel nicely exercised for the rest of the day.

    The scales show that I've dropped into the 71s. I weigh-in at 71.55. Nearly 5 kilo lighter than when I started Rebuild.

    The negatives? A slap on the wrist for neglecting S&C. I have been religiously doing pre-run activations before every run, but I have been slacking of on the S&C sessions. I need to incorporate these into a plan, at least three sessions a week. I think I should go back to logging my weekly running in a table and assign S&C to days in advance. If I publish the fact I am due to do do an S&C session on a particular evening then I'm more likely to do it.

  • outforarun wrote: »
    To keep it interesting I don't look at the Garmin and try to pass the start/finish line as close to 01:00:00 as possible. This evening I log a very acceptable 1:00:04.

    If only you had done that back for the January run challenge that was on :)

    What S&C exercises do you normally aim for, I'm looking for some ideas myself? Nice work on the weight loss trend too btw

  • Kander wrote: »
    What S&C exercises do you normally aim for, I'm looking for some ideas myself? Nice work on the weight loss trend too btw

    Thanks! S&C I'm a essentially a newbie and don't know the name for half of what I do. Every session I would spend time on the roller, usually setting a 3min timer per targeted area, calves, quads, hammers, left hip and glute, right hip and glute. Then I'd do some hammer bridges with a powerband across my thighs, this latter obliges the glutes to work a bit hard. Single leg quad lifts, and on my side, again with a powerband for added resistance, leg raises again targeting the glutes. Throw in some core (plank, pressups, chair lifts, and bicycle crunches). Session typically lasts 35 to 50 minutes and something half-interesting on tv is essential.

  • Rebuild Block 3 Week 3

    Still falling (further) behind on here.

    A summary of week 3 of block 3.

    Started the week in typical fashion with an easy hour loop. As per standard I don't look at the watch until seconds from completing the loop, today I hit 1:00:13. Very acceptable. Legs feeling a bit on the heavy side.

    Total 6.96M @ 8:38

    Wednesday evening I head over to the playing fields for 6 miles at marathon pace. I start this at the bottom of Military Hill before cutting up the small path to join the path around the fields. Marathon pace is manageable tonight but it's not a pace I can just dial in not concentrate on. It does take an element of effort. I complete the MP section with an average pace of 7:06min/mile. Hold this for 26.2 miles and I would come home with a 3:06 marathon. But right now I have a lot of work to do before this pace feels comfortable for 10 miles, let alone 26.2.

    Total with 8.13M @ 7:33 with 6.00M @ 7:06

    I had Friday off so skipped my Thursday night run in favour of a Friday morning run. Did the school drop in my running gear and then went for a short and easy 4 miler. James Hospital, Canal to Blackhorse, Inchicore, through IMMA and home. Legs heavy, but not sore.

    Total 4.03M @ 8:51

    Tip over to the Polo Grounds for Saturday morning tempo. Head up by Garda HQ and realise the road is properly blocked, not like last week when I could squeeze through the edge of the barrier. Takes a little longer to get to the Polo Road Loop. I bump into Craig, he's running 3x10mins off 2min recovery. His final 800ms of recovery coincide with my final 800m of warm-up. We catch up a little. Good to run and chat.

    First fast bit is 1200m and it goes fine. As per usual the greater risk is that I run too fast rather than too slow. Final 400m at tempo are also without incident. I look forward to piecing together a longer sustained tempo run in future blocks. The Asterias are so much more faster running friendly than the Glycerins, feel much lighter of foot in them.

    Total 6.77M @ 8:27 with 1200m @ 6:21 and 400m @ 6:22

    Sunday morning I increase my longest run since injury to 14 miles. I enjoyed this one. Turned left when I left the house and followed a bee-line into a deserted town centre. Past Christ Church and down to Trinity, down past Pearse Station and through Grand Canal Dock. Into Irishtown and reach the strand at Sandymount. I'm undecided, Poolbeg and back, or continue to Booterstown and loop home via Donnybrook. In the end I opt for the latter.

    At around 6.8 miles two things happen, firstly I realise I'm not going to make it all the way without stopping for a pee, and secondly the Garmin sounds a low battery alert. I'm anxious on two fronts now. The grounds of the Radisson resolve the first issue. I continue from Donnybrook to Clonskeagh, to Ranelagh and Rathmines, Garmin is still operating, could I make it home before it goes blank? Follow the Canal to Suir Road, turn for Kilmainham, still operating. And yeah, around an hour after the first alert sounded, the Garmin allows me complete my run.

    I've noticed that my Sunday runs are being completed slower than they used to be. I'm not going to try speed them up and will continue to run these at whatever pace the legs decide to dial in.

    Total 14.18M @ 8:27

  • Rebuild Block 3 Week 4

    Final week of the third rebuild block. I have a little apprehension ahead of my planned midweek 4M @ Sub 3 MP. No doubt that I'll complete it but some concern about the effort levels it will require.

    Start the week once again with my 'estimate-an-hour' loop. Legs feel heavy and unresponsive on this one. Mentally I break the run into 4 sections: home to park, Islandbridge Gate to Mountjoy Roundabout, the Chesterfield trail descent (my favourite section), and Wellington Roundabout to home. I check the Garmin as I approach the start/finish line. Didn't judge pace so well this evening. Ran faster than planned, watch shows 58:36. I continue up the road for a short out and back to bring up the hour.

    Total 7.11M @ 8:26

    I had planned on tackling the Sub3 run on Wednesday evening, however work dragged on and by the time I finished I felt it was too late to be trying anything requiring increased effort levels. I postponed until Thursday evening. Typically I again finish work later than expected. I no longer have the luxury of postponing so I lace up and get on with it. Decide on using Chapelizod Road for this one. Chapelizod Gate to Islandbridge Gate and back, twice.

    The first stretch feels ok and I'm mostly easing up. Turn at Islandbridge and tackle the trickier uphill stretch back to Chapelizod Gate. This sees effort levels rise. Average pace is settling around 4:11 (6:43). The second stretch back toward town offers time to recover a little and the pace jumps up more than I expected. Turn at Islandbridge for a final stretch back toward Chapelizod, knowing this is the final stretch makes it easier to run. Happy to hit 4 miles and for the Garmin to signal the start of cool-down.

    Sub 3 is the goal I want to hit sometime in the next few years, this 4 mile taster helped underline how much work I will need to do to get there. Admittedly 6:40 pace equates to a 2:54 marathon, so a little faster than required for sub 3.

    Total 8.16M @ 7:44 with 4M @ 6:40

    Friday evening I start the long weekend with an easy 5 miler. Back out along the Chapelizod Road then ascend from the Chapelizod Gate to Chesterfield. Another trail descent and turn for home via Heuston. Legs a bit heavy and I reckon there is some hangover from yesterday's run. A little bit of an ache from the right knee when not running. Very minor.

    Total 5.12M @ 8:37

    Gorgeous Saturday morning back at the Polo Grounds. Short sleeves. Simple task, 1 mile at tempo and it goes perfectly. It felt easier and fresher than Thursday evening, maybe I just feel fresher on a sunny Saturday morning than I do on a Thursday evening after a long days work. The first 400 feel easy, the second 400 are downhill and I need to be sure I don't run too fast, effort is fine. The third 400 turns onto Lords Walk and here I do feel the legs starting to work. The last 400 are controlled. The mile is completed at 6:19 pace.

    Total 6.64M @ 8:25

    Ran with a friend this morning, he was on his bike. It was good to chat on a Sunday run and made the miles pass quicker. Started by following my usual southside route but along the strand we turn out toward Poolbeg rather than turning in to Sandymount. Weather is fabulous. Get as far as the start of the pier before turning around and back the way we came. From Sandymount to Irishtown, to Trinity and back home.

    Ended up running a little more than planned due to the Poolbeg diversion. But the legs felt good. I was surprised (not concerned) to see how slow this run was. I think it was due to running slower than normal to accommodate chatting with someone cycling. Stop starting a bit as we got separated at traffic lights or at junctions etc.

    Total 14.35M @ 9:04

    This brings block 3 to an end. All targets hit:
    • 6M @ MP
    • 4M @ Sub3 MP
    • 1M @ Tempo
    • longest run hits 14 Miles
    • average weekly mileage of 40 miles
    • weight down to 71.50 kilos

    Rest up now for a week before starting block 4. I know what the targets are likely to be and will spend the next week deciding how best to schedule them.

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  • March Review

    March was all about Rebuild-Block-2.

    I dialled up the mileage, averaging 36.01 miles a week. I pushed out to 4M @ MP and I reintroduced Sub3 MP. Longest run hit 12 miles and my weight loss trend continued positively (Pre-Rebuild 76.1, after Block 1 73.7, after Block 2 72.2).

    The left leg laziness continues to be my biggest annoyance. I contact PT but he doesn't get back. I push ahead hoping it will gradually fade away. I did get some left knee feedback in this block, some soft-tissue feedback from behind the knee on one Sunday morning run, couldn't relax for rest of run. Some IT feedback after a Saturday Sub3 run. I needed to stop and shake leg out before resuming. Luckily this feedback didn't return.

    I also needed to ice the right knee at times. All told I have enough indications to tell me that I am not out of the woods yet.

    The Nimbus have officially been abandoned and noted as a bad experiment.

    Good to feel some moments of work-effort in March, like pushing up the Luas tracks after Heuston at MP. Good to build to 12 miles and return to Farmleigh as well, been far too long.

    Another successful block where it does seem that I continue to keep the healing curve just ahead of the rebuilding curve.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 106.61| 3.44 | 24.07 | 3.44 | 24.07 | 1255
    February | 107.61 | 3.84 | 26.90 | 3.63 | 25.42 | 1325
    March | 147.13 | 4.75 | 33.22 | 4.02 | 28.11 | 1465
    April | | | | | |
    May | | | | | |
    June | | | | | |
    July | | | | | |
    August | | | | | |
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |

  • April Review

    An encouraging rebuild block. The left leg laziness that had bothered me for some time is starting to become less and less pronounced. It's still not completely gone and my left foot does still scuff the ground a bit over the opening mile or so of most runs, but it has improved significantly during this block. Fingers crossed it continues to do so.

    Also very encouraging is that for the entire month, 95% of the time when I'm not running both legs feel fine.

    April saw me lace up the Asterias for the first time since I got injured last July. They feel good. I returned, cautiously, to tempo pace. Short bursts just to check the legs, all very manageable.

    Midweek I needed to work a bit as I built my MP run up to 6 miles and built Sub-3 MP runs up to 4 miles. Right now, MP feels like sub3 and sub3 feels like tempo.

    I log my first 40 mile weeks in around 9 months. I want to stay on 5 days running so some of my midweek runs have grown a little. I now start the week with an easy-hour loop every Tuesday.

    I pass Half Marathon distance, and raise my longest run to 14 miles. And with the lifting of the 5K restriction I finally get to run on sand again. Great to smell and feel the sea-air.

    Weight drops down to 71.55 kilos in April so the controlled weight loss continues as planned. I want to reach and settle on 69.00 to 70.90 kilos.

    So April was a good month, the best in a long while.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 106.61| 3.44 | 24.07 | 3.44 | 24.07 | 1255
    February | 107.61 | 3.84 | 26.90 | 3.63 | 25.42 | 1325
    March | 147.13 | 4.75 | 33.22 | 4.02 | 28.11 | 1465
    April | 154.82 | 5.16 | 36.12 | 4.30 | 30.11 | 1570
    May | | | | | |
    June | | | | | |
    July | | | | | |
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    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |

  • Down-week

    Last week was a down-week between rebuild block 3 and rebuild block 4. All easy running. A wet windy and cold 5K on Wednesday. Summer is taking its time.
    An easy 5 miles on Thursday evening, with very heavy legs for the opening two.

    Two gentle runs at the weekend. Legs feeling more alert now. Saturday wore a running jacket as it was wet and cloudy when I stepped outside. 15 mins later I was baking as a hot sun broke through the clouds. A lap of the park (minus the closed off North Road) on Sunday morning to end the week. Legs feeling better.

    Ready now for block 4 of rebuild.

    The objectives for block 4 are:
    • maintain weekly mileage at 40-45 miles
    • increase longest run to 16 miles
    • run either 7M @ MP or 5M @ Sub3 MP
    • run 2 miles @ tempo
    • run 1600m @ 10K pace

  • Good stuff D - you'll be back to full steam very soon.

    On the weight - are you doing anything specific or is it just happening naturally? What was your weight while at peak fitness?

  • Good stuff D - you'll be back to full steam very soon.

    On the weight - are you doing anything specific or is it just happening naturally? What was your weight while at peak fitness?

    Thanks A, don't know about 'very soon' but I'm certainly heading in the right direction. Weight wise, I'm trying to cut down on bread, and cut down on snacks (other than fruit and nuts) between meals. Diet is generally pretty good. The gradual increase in weekly mileage is also helping. I have however developed a serious addiction to Keogh's Salt and Vinegar crisps. I was never a fan of S&V but for some reason over the last few weeks I cannot get enough of these (subconscious cramp prevention?)

  • Rebuild Block 4 Week 1

    Tuesday Easy Hour 7.15M @ 8:25

    Standard start to the week. Legs fairly heavy. Pace picks up a bit over the second half. The Chesterfield Descent comes in at sub 8:00 min miles. I need a haircut, in the latter part of runs sweat weighs down my hair and it starts to go into my eyes. Will need to get to barber soon, been 8 months or so without cutting. Will help with weight loss as well :)

    Wednesday 4x400 @ 10K Pace

    Time to see how the legs react to 10K pace for the first time since July last year. Like with tempo pace in block 3, the re-introduction is gentle and is designed to just check how the legs respond. No huge demand on the lungs for now. My 10K pace is set at 3:46 [6:04] to 3:50 [6:10]. This is what I would have targeted last summer, not a hope could I manage 10K at this pace now. I'll target the pace but I'll keep the distances short. Run these clockwise on the Playing Fields.

    4x400 to start with, 1:31, 1:32, 1:31, 1:29

    These felt ok. The last 100m of each were a little demanding, but I could have done more if needed. Patience.

    Thursday Easy 6.04M @ 8:46

    Nice evening. Headed out along Chapelizod Road and into the park at Chapelizod Gate. Great to see so many sports groups out training. I make the route up as I go along, opting for a Khyber descent to take me out at Park Gate and back home. Manage an S&C session tonight. Still need to refind discipline around these, I will average 3 sessions a week by the end of this block.

    Saturday 4x800 @ Tempo

    I was blessed with the weather, finding the one 90 minute window of mostly warm sunshine on Saturday, and avoiding the heavy rain either side of these 90. A tiny bit concerned ahead of this but it went fine. Pace becoming a little easier to dial in. The 800s were completed at tempo pace in 3:08, 3:08, 3:07, 3:08. Anticlockwise around the Polo Road Loop. Happy with the consistency. Happy that the legs didn't object.

    Sunday 13.1M with 5M @ MP

    I enjoyed this one.

    I'm happy for now to stay out of the Park for Sunday morning runs. Headed south through Rathgar and down to Windy Arbour. Weather is nice, no light jacket today. Wearing a football top for a change, gift from a Brazilian mate, 'AFE Ferroviaria'. Feels comfy on, will wear it on more runs. I plug in 5 miles at MP, and hope to plug in 7 miles next Sunday.

    I start the 5M section on a downhill toward the Viaduct in Milltown. Follow the Dodder path to Clonskeagh and head down Ailesbury to Merrion Road. Follow the DCM route to The Schoolhouse before turning left and following the canal to Portobello. That's 5M done. It generally felt ok. First 3 miles were fine, last 2 miles not as fresh and bouncy as i would like. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a slow and cautious rebuild. The return of fitness will come, but it won't be in a hurry.

    It felt good to log a half-marathon with faster-bits on a sunny Sunday morning.

  • Rebuild Block 4 Week 2

    Forever falling behind on here (due to falling behind on lots of other stuff not on here, I need a sabbatical)

    Tuesday Easy Hour 6.95M @ 8:48

    Not a very auspicious start to the week. Heavy heavy legs and a heavy joyless stride. No fear on this one that I would complete the loop inside the hour, I ran 01:09 over the hour. Still feels good to have kicked off the week.

    Wednesday 800+(2x400) @ 10K Pace

    Back to the Playing Fields via Chapelizod Road for this one. I take that pedestrian path from Chapelizod Gate up through the green to St Mary's, noting that the legs don't have a lot of zip. Start the fast bits. First 800 is more comfortable than I'd expected, I run it too fast with a 2:59 (been a while since I ran 2:XX for 800). The 400s are ok, first one is run on pace 1:31 and the last one comes in a little slow at 1:32.

    Legs behaved fine throughout.

    Friday Easy 5.03M @ 8:43

    Had my first vaccine on Thursday. Pfizer at the Pfizer plant. I felt mostly fine after it, but played it safe and postponed this easy one for 24 hours. Some pain at the injection site and some shoulder muscle stiffness, both of which were already disappearing inside 24 hours. Just ran my Chapelizod Loop after work. Legs a bit heavy, but no moreso than earlier in the week.

    Saturday 1600+(2x800) @ Tempo

    Best Saturday 'session' for a while. Tempo pace actually felt like tempo pace. Legs felt their most responsive all week. Had to concentrate on effort and concern was running too fast rather than running too slow. For the final 800 I could see a runner coming down Chesterfield and it looked like he was moving fast. I join Chesterfield around 50m behind him. He becomes a pacer for me and I gradually join level and overtake. Ended up running this 800 a little faster than tempo @ 6:10 pace.

    Sunday 15M with 7M @ MP

    Was a little concerned about this one. 5M at MP last week was a little tougher than I'd have liked, today I was going to tag on an additional 2M to the fast section. To have some reference points I opted for the same route as last Sunday. An easy opening 5 miles brings me from Kilmainham through Rathgar and onto Windy Arbour. Then the fun bit starts.

    The opening 2M at MP feel far more comfortable than last week. It's only when I turn onto the DCM route at Merrion Road do I feel I'm working. But it is all very manageable. All the time I'm thinking though how could I manage 26.2 at this pace. When I turn left onto the canal I'm into the wind and rain and on a slight drag and I do feel the effort levels rising along here. Once I leave the canal by Portobello the road profile is more forgiving and effort drops again. Pleased to finish the 7 mile section around Rialto. I need to tack on 3 miles now to bring up 15 for the morning. I actually start to feel the energy levels draining during these 3 miles. Pleased to finish.

    Legs were tired for the rest of the day but no funny twinges or aches or other complaints. Probably the toughest weekend of Rebuild so far. The next two Sundays will be vanilla runs with no fast sections.

    Overall there is a feeling that the injuries are nearly put to bed and I note that the focus is switching more towards getting fitness back. Left leg drag has still not completely gone, but is far far reduced. Left foot still scuffs on opening mile or two.

  • Rebuild Block 4 Week 3

    Two weeks to catch up on here. High level summary of Block 4 Week 3. Targets hit and never in doubt. Dropped to 70.55 kilo by the end of the week. Legs felt very fresh on Thursday but started to notice a very mild niggle on Friday when not running, something soft tissue behind left knee. Probably wouldn't give it a second thought if it wasn't for recent history. Still not finding discipline with S&C (I am however doing 15min activations before every run).

    Tuesday Easy Hour 6.93M @ 8:40

    Missed the perfect hour by just 6 seconds this evening. Legs never really woke up, not even on the Chesterfield trail descent. There is some training group that I overlap with here on Tuesdays. It's kind of nice to see them huffing and puffing their way up Chesterfield while I cruise along without effort. Short sessions will however return with Block 5. Enjoy this while it lasts.

    Wednesday 1200+400 @ 10K pace

    Two interruptions on the way to this one, one welcome, one not welcome. Had to hop off the road near the Royal Oak to make way for traffic. Took a tumble off a kerb-stone or manhole cover, I don't know for certain but I reckon it was from a left foot scuff. Pleased with my reflexes; in a millisecond I calculated that there was no point trying to prevent the fall and I instinctively dropped a shoulder and managed to turn it into a nifty roll. I'm certain the couple that asked was I alright were very impressed with my ninja like agilty ;)

    Second interruption was the welcome one, a chat and mini-catch-up with scotindublin by St Mary's. He's looking very trim and fit. Been ages since I ran other than on my lonesome, soon enough I might join the back of a DH run, but focus needs to remain on cautious rebuild.

    Into the 10K bits. The opening 1200 is surprisingly difficult to build into. Starts uphill and into a light headwind along Acres, but I need to push to hit 10K pace, feels like 5K pace. Once I do hit pace and turn off Acres it becomes easier to hold pace. Complete 1200 in 4:30. Then the 400 section in 1:29.

    Thursday Easy 5.20M @ 8:39

    Knowing I had a 16 miler planned for Sunday I ran a shorter than normal Thursday run. Up Infirmary Road and into the Park. Behind the Polo Pavilion and up to the Phoenix Roundabout. Back down by the playing fields, listening to the shouts in Irish at the GAA training. Legs feel surprisingly fresh and light tonight.

    Saturday 2400+800 @ Tempo

    Saturday is Tempo day. Saturday is also a fabulous summer day. T-shirt on without any thoughts of light jacket etc. A pleasure to step out the door without any need to brace against cold air or wet conditions. Tip across to the Polo Grounds, via North Road now that the barriers are gone. Straight into tempo section at my usual starting line.

    Similar to Wednesday I needed to push at the start to find pace. Once I found pace it was easy to hold it. It's nice to be travelling at a healthy clip. One of the end goals of this rebuild process, the main end-goal I think, is to be able to run 10K at tempo (39:59 will do fine). Right now 10K at tempo feels a long way away. I do remind myself though that if it's feeling a little tough now that that's good. Only by feeling a little tough now will it feel easier later. Proof I'm working.

    Had been a bit concerned ahead of this because Friday at the desk I could feel the odd complaint from behind the left knee. Soft tissue complaint, possibly the lower hammer? No complaints during the run.

    Sunday Long Run 16 Miles

    Ever since I started running I've classified a long run as any run of 16 or more miles. So it felt significant setting out Sunday morning on my first long run in nearly a year.

    Last August I think it was, we spent time on Dollymount with friends of junior outforarun. We'd cycled over, entering Bull Island via the midway road. I remember approaching the beach and wondering when it would be that I would be able to run to here again. Today was the day. A gorgeous day as well with hot bright sunshine the whole way.

    I ran from home along the Luas tracks to Connolly and then turned left for Fairview. I turned left onto the Howth Road and ascended to Raheny. Memories of Raheny 5 Mile back in 2020 (that 30:00 was unforgiveable, still irks me). I turn right down Watermill Road. Nice to run new roads, must plot out new routes. I cross onto Bull Island and it feels so good to arrive onto the sandy gully leading to the beach. Run to the water line and breathe in the moment.

    Resume running along the beach exiting by the Bull Wall and then following the seafront by Clontarf back to Fairview. The heat becomes a factor for the last 4 miles. I'm so not used to it. I do think to myself that this is precisely why I don't run the marathon in Cork anymore - months of cold and wet weather training ahead of a BBQ condition race day.

    I run through the city centre which doesn't help with the heat. Energy levels are dropping over the last 2 miles. Very happy to finish this one. Very satisfied to finish this one. Longest run and highest weekly mileage in close on a year.

    Legs are ok afterwards. Tired, but ok. The behind the knee niggle is not gone yet. Finger-crossed I can navigate Block 4 Week 4 and then rest up on a down week.

    Weigh in at 70.55 on Sunday.

  • Rebuild Block 4 Week 4

    Looking back on the final week of Rebuild Block 4. Two things I take from this block.

    Firstly, I need to make S&C a priority. It will be listed as the top objective for block 5. Some very minor noise starting to creep into the left knee. I need to avoid pretending that S&C will aggravate this noise and start believing that regular simple S&C will keep it at bay.

    Secondly, I need to keep the harder runs to just two a week. Sneaking in faster bits into my Sunday runs on top of tempo Saturday and 10k Tuesday was I think a little too much, even if the runs as standalone runs weren't hugely demanding.

    Monday - Easy Hour 7.01M @ 8:34
    Beautiful evening in the Park. Couldn't fully appreciate it as I was a little concerned about left leg, specifically some soft tissue noise coming from behind the left knee. Not painful but does demand my attention over the opening mile or so. Complete the lap 20 odd seconds before the hour mark. All in all I'm dialling in the pace pretty well on these Tuesday runs.

    Tuesday 1600m @ 10K pace
    Fairly humid outside for this one. Creature of habit (more than usual) these last few weeks, so I follow the same Chapelizod Road approach to the park, the same steep path up from the Gate to St Mary's then onto the Playing Fields for the 10K pace test. Unlike last week I hit pace from the start tonight. Ascent up Acres is a little demanding, settle into pace as I turn right and head down past the Munich Hills. Turn right again to descend toward the Fort and a final left for a few hundred more metres to bring up 1600. Pace was ok to hold, never doubted I wouldn't be able to (this is the 10K pace I would target if training for a 10K, so not the pace I could hold for 10K right now). Hard to imagine maintaining this for another 8400m. The 1600 is completed in 6:07mins @ 3:49 min/km.

    Wednesday Easy 6.22M @ 8:44
    Hard to get motivated for this one. Out after work for an easy 10K. All week the conditions have been warm. Tackle the Infirmary Road climb to enter the Park by Garda HQ. Skirt the Polo Grounds behind the pavilion and continue up to the roundabout. Breezy descent back down Acres and across to the Fort. Rear of left knee has been better since Monday.

    Saturday 2M @ Tempo
    Legs heavier than I'd have liked as I head over to the Polo Grounds. A little bit of trepidation ahead of this one, the warm conditions are also not ideal for tempo running. I arrive at my starting line behind the Pavilion and start my 2 mile stint. Start a little too fast and ease into pace on the first descent down Chesterfield. Feeling ok as I swing left and climb back around to the Pavilion. Half way there already. I'm working but I'm managing. The descent down Chesterfield brings some relief. Pace is holding fine. I swing onto Lords Walk for the second time. Tougher this time but still manageable. The two mile beeper sounds just before the Pavilion.

    Two miles in 12:37, that's 6:18min/mile. Happy enough with this. Effort levels were probably correct given the Rebuild context. In block 5 I'll be building to 5K at Tempo. Won't be easy, and block 5 will see the faster runs classed as workouts again on Strava.

    Sunday MLR 14M @ 8:06
    A bright sunny summer morning. Happy to be able to tip around without any speed targets. Just keep it comfortable and smooth. I run the the route I used earlier in this block and just enjoyed not having to shift up the gears by Windy Arbour. Around 12 miles in or so I do feel energy levels waning a bit. I'm still not used to longer runs, getting there though.

    Another block completed. Four blocks done and all running targets hit. As mentioned above, block 5 must see a focus on S&C. My end of block weigh-in is 71.30, continuing, only just, the positive weight loss trend:
    • Start of Rebuild - 76.1 kilo
    • End of Block 1 - 73.7 kilo
    • End of Block 2 - 72.2 kilo
    • End of Block 3 - 71.5 kilo
    • End of Block 4 - 71.3 kilo

  • Ok so what’s been happening over the last while.

    Down-Week June 07 to 13

    Nice to have a down-week coincide with the start of the Euros, no pressure to fit runs in around matches on the opening weekend.

    I only ran three times on this down-week. A warm sunny easy 5K on Wednesday evening. Had my second vaccination on the Thursday and waited until Saturday before getting out again. Ran anticlockwise outside the perimeter wall of the Park. Into the Park at Ashtown Gate and followed the main road back down as far as Islandbridge Gate before heading for home.

    Noticed some feedback from the left knee. Nothing I would normally worry about and hopefully just a one-off. Completed 8.16M at 8:26 pace. Felt comfortable and easy all the way round. The left leg drag sensation is more or less gone. The left foot does continue to scuff at the start of runs though.

    Finish the week with a very short Sunday run, 4 miles through Inchicore, along the Grand Canal and home via Rialto. Some stops along the way to chat with dog-walking friends.

    Rebuild Block 5 Week 1: June 14 to 20

    Excited to get this block under way. I’ll officially be logging the faster runs as workouts again on Strava. The goals from Block 5 are as follows:
    • 3 S&C sessions a week
    • Hold average an weekly mileage of 40-45
    • Repeat longest run of 16 Miles
    • Build to 5K @ tempo
    • Build to 2K @ 10k pace
    • Build to 5M @ Sub-3 MP
    • Move closer to running weight of <=70.9kg

    I have to shuffle runs a bit on the opening week as at the weekend I leave Dublin for the first time since August 2020. I open the week on Monday. Had the day off and did the school drop in my running gear. Another outside the Park ascent to Ashford Gate, then cut down by Acres, Playing Fields, Islandbridge and home. Quick shower and then cycled to Farmleigh just to lounge on the grass for a while. Legs felt good while running and while cycling.

    On Tuesday it’s back to the Playing Fields loop for some 10k work. A light session running 1600+400. The 1600 is run in 6:07, about right, while the 400 clocks at 1:27 a bit too snappy. Happy with the effort levels, never felt in doubt that I would hold 10K pace, but admittedly it still feels more like 5K pace. Happy to get friendly comment on my pace from two other runners that I overtake heading up Acres.

    Thursday evening is 5 miles in the Park on heavy legs. Then Friday evening I run my tempo session. I’m a little concerned about how the legs will feel running tempo on a Friday after work as opposed to the usual Saturday morning slot.

    On the menu 4x1200 off 600 all done anti-clockwise on the Polos Road Loop. The 1200s were completed in 4:44 (6:21 min/mile), 4:46 (6:24 min/mile), 4:43 (6:20 min/mile) and 4:42 (6:18 min/mile). I warmed into the session and the second two 1200s felt more comfortable and controlled than the first two. Enjoyed this session although it has created some concern about holding tempo for 5K. Looking forward to the tempo runs in this block.

    I finish the week with an early morning 14 miler in Cork on Sunday. On the road at 7:30ish and head for Blackrock Castle, then decide to run the greenway back to the Marina. It’s been just over 5 years since I last ran along here, on my way to 3:13 and heat-stroke in CCM16. Really enjoyed revisiting this old route and I’m wondering why I don’t run this more often when in Cork. Nice to breathe in the sea air blowing across the estuary. Muggy along the covered path heading toward the Marina. Then a bit disappointed I have to leave the path early as there are maintenance works up ahead.

    Run back the Blackrock Road and head for Pairc Ui Caoimh. More road works and I have to detour again. Finish along the Lee Walk, down the Mardyke and back to hotel. Great to have this done before breakfast. The Garmin also confirms that my easy pace is getting faster. I completed the 14 miles at 7:53 min/mile pace.

    Buy a pair of Glycerin 19s later in the day, so after approximately 900 miles this was the retirement run for the Glycerin 17s. A good start to Block 5.

    Rebuild Block 5 Week 2: June 21 to 27

    Debut run for the new Glycerins is a staple Tuesday evening easy hour around the park. They’re a comfy ride. The sole isn’t as rounded as the 17s but they’re not so flat that they slap on the ground. They feel soft. I like them. Further confirmation today that easy pace is creeping up. Complete 7.1 miles at 8:13 pace.

    The Asterias go on for Wednesday’s run. The plan is 4M @ Sub3 marathon pace, clockwise around the playing fields. It’s very muggy this evening and the legs were heavy on my warm-up so I was a little concerned ahead of this. Instead it goes fine, very manageable. I surprise myself running this at 6:39 pace which equates to a 2:54 marathon. Target is 2:55 to 2:59, so a little too fast. Happy all the same.

    On Friday I run 4 easy miles on a stomach that hadn’t properly digested a fish n’chip lunch earlier in the day with a colleague I hadn’t seen in ages. Some light stomach cramps and I was please to tick this one off.

    The weekend was busy, starting Saturday with more tempo running on the Polo Road Loop. This time it was 2400+(2x1200) off half distance recovery. The 2400 interval, which is a bit shy of a lap and a half of the loop was run comfortably at 6:21 pace. The two 1200s instead were identical, both completed in 4:41 (6:17 min/mile). All in all it felt controlled and pace was more palatable than last time out. Progress (still worried about the block goal of 5K @ tempo).

    Sunday is an enjoyable 15 miler. I run the down the south side of the docks. Group of navy recruitment personnel ask if I would be interested in a career change, I up the pace. Run along the sand by Sandymount. Then climb up from Booterstown to the Stillorgan Road before running some of DCM in reverse, Roebuck Road to Clonskeagh, then along the Dodder walkway to beyond the viaduct. Along Orwell Park for some lotto win day-dreaming. And home via Rathgar and Rialto. Felt a bit tired over the last 2 miles but very happy with a fairly solid week of running.

    Rebuild Block 5 Week 3: June 28 to 04 July

    Last week started ok with a standard Easy Hour on Tuesday. Maybe the nicest evening of the year to date. Lovely warm sunshine and not too humid. I abandoned the end of the England Germany game just so I could get out and enjoy it. I’m really liking the Glycerin19s. Pace was 8:14, faster than intended but felt easy all the way round.

    Then Wednesday saw the start of the first blip in this rebuild.

    The plan was 2K at 10K pace around the playing fields, I wasn’t too worried ahead of this. Ran my usual warm-up and started the 10K section at the usual spot. The 2K went ok. Comfortably uncomfortable at worse, and again feeling more like 5k pace than 10k pace. I complete the 2K in 7:34, that would be a 37:50 10K. This is what I would have targeted after my last two Raheny races. My long-standing 10K PB is 38:38. On the cool-down though I could feel a slight tension in the right hammer. Not painful, not very pronounced, not even uncomfortable, but it was persistent and didn’t fade over the rest of the run. Hopefully just one of those things that will have sorted itself out my the next run.

    The next run was Friday evening. A short and easy 5K around the neighbourhood. The first half of this is 100% ok, but then the second half I can feel that faint tension again. Do I listen to the body and ease off a little, or do I go ahead and try my scheduled 3600+1200 @ tempo in the morning?

    Come Saturday morning I err on the side of caution. Maybe the fact that the weekend was the anniversary of my injury-run last summer made me extra wary. I’ve decided to hit pause on week 3 of Block 5. I’ll hit play again next Saturday (after a 5k tester on Friday evening). This might be nothing and might just be an expected tension as the legs adapt to running 10K pace again. But I’m not in a hurry and a week’s precautionary pause won’t kill me.

    The tension has been mostly gone over the last days. On Sunday morning I cycled 15 miles following last week’s route in reverse and the legs were fine. The left leg instead I can feel that behind leg ‘muscle’ feedback that I feel every so often, but which doesn’t appear at all when running. Part of me wonders if it is a nerve issue more than a muscle issue. Eitherway I’ll be booking in with the physical therapist once Block 5 is completed, or sooner if I don’t feel suitably confident running next weekend.

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  • You're due a bit of a break Donal. Hope you get a clear run at it 🤞

  • Thanks J. I'm hoping that starting back cautiously (again) will allow me that clear run 🤞

  • Block 1 Week 1 Easy 4 Miles

    Beautiful September evening to kick off this latest rebuild. The heel had felt a bit stiff this morning while I was doing the school drop but it was generally fine during the run. If I concentrated I could tell that there was some faint stiffness there, but mostly I ran without noticing it.

    The other half-niggle that demands my attention at the moment is an occasional twinge behind the left knee, been like that on and off for some time now. I mentioned it to the PT and he reckons it is the lower part of the hamstring that needs some attention. I don't notice it at all while running.

    On a positive note: that left leg drag that accompanied me during my first attempt at rebuild has 99.99% disappeared. I'm really happy about this. It had been very annoying, forcing me to consciously add extra lift to the left leg to avoid my foot scuffing on the ground. Now thankfully running feels natural again from the first strides.

    Tonight's run was a relaxed easy 4 miles in Phoenix, up around the Playing Fields and back down the Khyber. Almost zero breeze along Acres.

    It's good to tick off the first run and get this plan underway.

    Total 4.08M @ 8:47

  • Block 1 Week 1 4x400 @ MP

    First test for the achilles at a pace other than easy pace. Overall, fingers-crossed, I think it passed.

    I headed out after work and after my standard pre-run activations (single leg calf drops, some hip flexor lunges, some balance work for the heel and some glute work with a powerband, 12 minutes in total.

    Like on rebuild-1 I opt for the Chapelizod Road for this tester. It's another warm evening, this time without the sunshine though. I'm already sweating after the two mile warm-up to the Chapelizod Gate. I feel heavy this evening, not just the legs, all of me. I run the 400s up and down the Parkside of the road. I start the first 400 too fast and have to dial back the pace, the next three 400s I struggle to find the pace and run a little slower than planned. Over-all average pace for the 400s is on target though, equivalent of a 3:09 marathon.

    The achilles pinged a bit on the first 400, but was relatively quiet on the next three 400s. It pinged again over the final mile home. Not painful though. Met a friend later in the evening and while walking the achilles was 100% quiet. Hope it is the same tomorrow.

    Early days and a long long way to go yet, but at least the heel didn't scream during or after tonight's tester.

    Total 5.39M @ 8:38

  • Best of luck with this.

    Curious - where are you getting this rebuild routine from, and is there anything you will be doing differently this time after a couple of false starts?

  • Thanks, I've planned the rebuild for the next months, but now I'm trying to focus on each run and not think too far ahead, need to remain patient.

    I'm not entirely sure the rebuild has produced a false start. Yes I had a couple of false starts last year in the 2 or 3 months following the set of injuries I picked up. However since switching to the new Physical Therapist I think things have moved slowly but positively. Both knees survived and improved during the first Rebuild attempt this year. The focus of the rebuild involved trying to keep the healing curve of the knees ahead of the training curve. The rebuild has halted because of a new injury to the achilles, where the likely culprit was a change of shoes. With this latter in mind I will be changing how I retire shoes. I will no longer completely stop using the old shoes overnight, instead I will gradually phase in the new shoe over a period of several weeks.

    The rebuild plan is my own, but I did run it past the PT. I want to err on the side of caution, so faster paces are gradually introduced, initially for short spells, weekly mileage and longest runs are gradually increased. Regular downweeks to absorb the efforts of the previous block before moving to the next block. My goal is to PB at marathon and then attempt a sub 3, so for this rebuild I won't be introducing any pace faster than target 10K pace, I want to focus more on endurance, and I fear that the sustained focus on 3K pace and faster last year led to my injuries. I don't need 3K pace for a marathon PB attempt.

    Let's see how it goes 🤞

  • Block 1 Week 1 Easy 10K

    Well past my bed-time so I'll make this quick. Finished work on time this afternoon and complete my second S&C session of the week. Not sure if it wise or not but straight after the session I went out for an easy run, maybe it was better to have swapped them around?

    Route took me from home to Infirmary Road, into the Park an up to Ratra House, across to the Phoenix, down behind the Polo Grounds, out Islandbridge Gate and back home. Another warm close evening. Legs felt mostly ok for the run, maybe a little heavier at points than I'd have liked. The heel mostly behaved but it did ping a little passing the Garda HQ in the park and again over the last half mile. I wouldn't classify it as painful at all, just a reminder than it hasn't healed up fully yet, so I need to stay cautious. I'm happy though that I have opted to start this rebuild from Block-1 and that I didn't try restart from later in the schedule.

    Hair in the eyes is the biggest irritant at the moment - need to shortly choose between a hairband or a haircut (it's been just over a year since my last buzz-cut). Haircut would help with weight loss 😊

    Total 6.22M @ 8:54

  • Block 1 Week 1 4x800m @ MP

    Spent Saturday morning, digging and weeding in allotment. Legs not protesting. Headed out in the early afternoon for this second MP pace run of the week. Another warm afternoon. Today I'm clockwise on the perimeter path around the Playing Fields in the Park. Park is fairly deserted. I start the first 800 at the start of Acres. Not difficult today to dial in MP. The 800s are run at 7:13 pace, 7:13 pace, 7:06 pace and 7:06 pace. No issues with holding pace but more importantly no protests from the heel. It's quiet throughout. A few light pings as I back my way back home. Average pace for the 800s was the equivalent of a 3:07 marathon finish.

    Easy running now until next Wednesday.

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  • Block 1 Week 1 Easy 8 Miles

    Legs feeling a little heavy for the opening mostly uphill miles on Sunday morning. Just an anti-clockwise lap of the Park, in and out by Islandbridge Gate. Three runners overtake me by the Garda HQ, the temptation to catch them up or stay within 60m of them is strong but I resist. As always the pace creeps up once I have North Road behind me. Bring up 8 miles for the morning and complete target weekly mileage with a 30.8 mile week.

    Then some surprise and a little disappointment to weigh in at 75.0 kilo. I've put on weight this week. I'm blaming the extra helpings of Mexican Saturday evening. In a way I'm pleased because it probably helps explain why I felt heavy today. I'm carrying 5 kilos too many, important I start shedding this and relieving pressure on the legs.

    Checked-in with my PT as well, to keep him up to date with progress and give him a heads-up that I'll look to book a session in a few weeks time.

    Ok, one week down. So far so good.