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Berlin Q or Bust: Road to sub 2:45



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad

    Hi Johnny

    I think you're tempo was solid.

    As a light framed guy I hate the wind and have got blown around many times. The return leg of a long run out to Howth has had many nightmarish twists for me.

    Anyway, I solved my wind problems and may have a few suggestions (take or leave and you may may be doing some/most of this anyway).

    I never run against it on windy days!

    For a tempo I will absolutely maximize the amount with no wind or with a tailwind.

    In exposed areas, that might mean doing the entirety of an extended warmup into a wind and then running back into it for a 'warm down' be it.

    You run more relaxed and more efficiently with a tailwind and the effort is controlled and consistent which is what you want for a tempo especially relatively far away from a goal race.

    A lesser point but If also possible I would pick the easier flatter route earlier in the block (unless its more windy!). Reason again is getting the consistent effort, and getting the relaxation at pace. Sure, the times may show faster, but that's a theoretical issue: can be adjusted with maths if needed. it's not a fault with the training IMO.

    I do the same for easy runs, for example, with a prevailing wind I would take the coast road out towards Howth on a windy day and come back inland sheltered. Hillier, but hills are good on easy runs, wind is bad. IMO maybe tempo run terrain can become more difficult or more like the goal race when a few tempos are already bagged etc.

    The main reason for doing any of the above is that it's simply more enjoyable not running into wind (for me anyway). I gave up running for guts of 3 years, not enjoyable anymore. So for me enjoyment is now first and foremost. Enjoyment is a far bigger motivation for training and racing well if youre chasing times rather than right up at the pointy end. When I'm more motivated I train better, so enjoyment is now key for me.

    Anyway, my tuppence.. best of luck for Limerick. May be doing half myself, not sure.

    Post edited by demfad on

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

    @demfad Thanks for that Turlough. A few very interesting points in there. Your take on getting comfortable and consistent on effort and pace is something I've probably drifted from lately. I'd say it's partially down to the fact that I'm not at full tilt atm and probably am introducing harder routes and inclement weather conditions both to get more bang for buck in these efforts, but also a little because I can't just casually bang out sub 60 milers like I was a few months ago!

    Great to see you back logging again.

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    Limerick Week 3 of 13 (contd)

    Thu: MLR: 12 Miles: 1:23:33 @4:19/km

    Didn't get out until the evening for this one and wasn't quite sure what sort of form I was in. Run consisted of a bog loop & two Lidl loops and was just one of those runs where a mile in, you just know you're on form. First mile beeped at 7:05, 2nd at 6:58 and after that I just sort of decided to keep things under 7 mile pace for the rest of proceedings. I said on Strava that it was the best I've felt on a run since September and that was definitely the case. Previous day's 400's session hadn't knocked a jot out of me and the miles just flew by. Hopefully a sign that things are going in the right direction.

    Fri: 10k Easy: 52:31 @5:15/km

    Standard Friday fare.

    Sat: 7 Miles Easy: 56:18 @5:04/km

    Mooch around the town. Nothing to report.

    Sun: LR: 30k: 2:13:53 @4:27/km

    Plan for the run was 10k @4:45/km, 10k @4:30/km & 10k @4:15/km. Decided to reverse the route of a couple of weeks back for a bit of variety. I always find it interesting to alternate the direction you run a LR route. Most years in the build up to DCM I find myself pondering what the race would be like if the route was reversed. And most years I find myself feeling happy that it goes the direction that it does!

    Anyway, what I didn't really take into account this time was the fact that it was a progression run as opposed to last time out's 30k with 8 miles steady. This resulted in a filthy stretch from around 23-26k where I was running right into the teeth of the wind, on one of the most open roads in Ireland with a good amount of it uphill for good measure. More on this later.

    Started off fairly serenely but managed to lose concentration and clock a 4:26 km for the 3rd km. I proved pretty poor at judging the pace and just went more on effort. Had the watch set up to just show average pace for each 10k section and the first 10k clocked in at 46:03, a good minute and a half quicker than planned. The next 10k stretch would have a decent section of it with a tailwind and I found it tricky to up the effort without upping the pace too much. Funnily enough, about 10 miles in the legs started to feel tired. I dialled it back for a mile and all of a sudden the last 10k, with it's aforementioned challenges, now started to worry me. Chugged up through Kildare town and briefly stoppped to take on a drink and gel @20k and take a leak. 2nd 10k split was 43:57, once again more than a minute under schedule. That wasn't concerning me now though...

    First two km of the final stretch were okay, averaging about 4:10 through them. The I turned to face to music. Within 50m my pace had dropped to 4:50/km and my running hat had blown off which resulted in me scampering onto the plains to try and retrieve it in a pretty comical fashion. Once I'd regained said hat, I set about trying to limit as much damage as possible. I have to be honest, I struggled badly. Km's of 4:45, 4:33, 4:40 & 4:28 followed. How much of this slowing down could be attributed to the wind I don't know, but my own physical and mental fatigue were a factor too. I was never as happy to turn off for Newbridge after the racecourse roundabout in my life. 4k left now and with the watch showing an average pace of 4:29, my only goal now was to try and cover the final 10k quicker than the middle 10k. I managed to churn out 6:53 & 6:37 miles to achieve my new target by 17 secs and clock 43:40.

    I was pretty cream crackered by this point. I'd ended up with a pretty undisciplined run for the first 20k and then an all out gore-fest of a last 10k. Happy with the effort though. Paces felt easy for the first two 10k sections. Gel at 20k certainly perked me up a bit.

    Afternoon spent in Conleth's Park watching my beloved Lilywhites beat Dublin for the first time in 22 years. As a home and away Kildare supporter it was a great day. I know some might have a wry smile at the post match scenes, but you don't know about these things unless you know! It's been a long time coming. Up to Squinn country now in a couple of weeks 🙂

    109k for the week including a decent 400's session, a great MLR & a character building 30k.

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    That Sunday session sounds tough. Fair play for getting it done, regardless of the pace. Would you normally stop to take the gels? Strategizing my own plan for practicing in training.

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

    When I say stop, it's literally get the water and gel thats stashed in a hedge and then take them on the run...

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

    Ah ok I get you. I think its something i'll struggle with to be honest. Taking them at marathon pace seems like it'll be a challenge for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,678 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    I usually do loops from the car and try to time it that I’m not in the middle of fast stuff to get the gel and drinks in. Stop about half a minute.

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

    Well i have a flipbelt so accessing the gels isn't the issue. Ingesting them at pace replicating race day is something I'd worry about

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,678 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    Right, I never tried one of those I’d imagine it would annoy me while running. I get shorts with pockets and so two in each side and one in the back pocket. If they feel heavy then I run with 1 in each hand. Found it not too bad even if it is a bit simple.

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

    To be honest the flipbelt is a godsend. It's tight and you wouldn't really know its there. Nothing moves around much in it. I think gels moving around in pockets would wreck my head. I also have a pair of decathlon shorts with a zip pocket similar to the flipbelt.

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

    These really are the business, pricey now, but the business. Back zip pocket, mesh overlay around the waistband. You can run with 4/5 gels very comfortably. Best piece of kit I've bought in a long time. Very light material too.

    The first pair might be a little long for some tastes. They come in a split short version too 👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,982 ✭✭✭Duanington

    Might pick up those shorts, I've always tucked the gels in to wristbands for easy access but only started doing that because I could never find shorts that could hold a few

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,222 ✭✭✭Wottle

    I used this belt in Seville, the zipper fitted 7 gels and the back netting allowed me 2x250ml soft flasks. The belt is very light and snug.

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

    Limerick Marathon: Week 5 of 13

    Week 5 already. Not sure how to feel about that.

    Mon: 8.4k: 44:54 @5:20/km

    Shuffled around the town while eldest fella was at Sarsfields training.

    Tue: 12k: 58:21 @4:52/km

    Found myself in Portlaoise for a Prinicpal's gathering thing, so skipped the meet & greet and went on a run, making it back for the 10 am start 😁 got proper lost in some satellite housing estate/plantation. Lovely day though and enjoyed the run.

    Wed: 8 Miles Easy: 1:04:48 @5:02/km

    Testing day in the office saw me in two minds whether to do session or not. Whilst changing it became apparent I'd no watch with me so that made my mind up and I headed to the plains for an easy run.

    Thu: 12k inc 4x1600m off 2mins

    You've got to pay the piper though. Instructions for this one were 'whatever pace you think you can hold for 4 reps'.....uggghh. Once I got out and got in the warm up I was feeling decent. Decided to 1st up the top road in the camp, 2 on the loop and final one back down the top road. Forgot to programme in workout to watch so had to set it to 4x1600 but made sure I was starting each rep about 4/5 secs early. Not that it makes any difference I suppose.

    800m into first rep and I'm feeling the pace! Have only distance field showing on watch and no headphones in. Determined to do whole session without looking at paces and purely on feel.

    Worked out well and really gave things a good rattle. Splits were, 5:41, 5:40, 5:39 & 5:35. I may pick up a new pair of Speeds or Speed 2's. I'm fairly rocking up the miles on my two pairs. Still both in decent knick.

    Hard LR coming up at weekend will tell a story.

    Post edited by healy1835 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD

    Great session today!

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

    Have you ever actually went to one of those principles gatherings :)

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

    Inevitably with these occasions there's some parts of the day that are, how can I say it, actually worthwhile. There are other parts that are, ahem, not. On this occasion, I don't drink coffee and didn't need to meditate 😉 Roll on a 2 day conference in Citywest in May. You might be getting a text...

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

    Fri: 10k Easy: 49:50 @4:59/km

    Shuffle around the town for the usual easy Friday 10k. Mileage is down this week due to a couple of shorter than planned runs, but didn't feel the need to chase it.

    Sat: 7 Miles Easy: 55:39 @4:56/km

    Non descript afternoon shuffle.

    Sun: LR: 30k: 2:02:55 @4:06/km

    As constant readers of this log will have noticed, I'm not fully confident in where my fitness is right now, or where it can get to before the May Bank Holiday. Previous weeks' 10 Mile Tempo and 30k progression run were decent efforts but also two grim suffer fests.

    No doubt sensing this, I was assigned a '30k hard from the gun'. What constitutes hard I hear you ask? Well seeing as I averaged 4:22 in a 30k LR 3 weeks ago I could hardly target slower than that. I decided on 4:15/kms with the caveat that I'd hold them for as long as I could but if didn't have it, I'd still get 20k or so at that pace. This was genuinely the limit of my ambition for this run and I'd have been perfectly happy if I'd hit that pace.

    After not placing a super shoe on my feet since the Jingle Bells (no slight on the Endorphin Speed), I figured I'd give the AlphaFlys their debut and then decide if I'd plump for them over the Vaporfly for Limerick.

    2 bog loops and 3 Lidl loops were the order of the day. Demfad's advice was probably in the back of my mind here.

    A few strides up and down the road in front of the house to make sure I could stay upright in the new shoes! I was taken aback by just how narrow they felt in the midfoot when I put them on first, but once I was moving they were fine. I'll go on loop splits (thank you Strava) from here.

    Ran down to start of bog loop and then stashed drink and gel and also sorted laces. It was an absolutely stunning morning. The sun's rays cutting through the cold mist in the bog, I just love those conditions. First bog loop (5.26k) averages about 4:09/km and that was with me holding back a good bit after 3k. I knew I was on it, and just wanted to hold off pushing the pace. 2nd loop comes in bang on 4:09/km again and I'm cruising. Quickly take on a gel + water and stash the gloves I'd been wearing.

    7 miles down, and I'm feeling like I can push it a bit now. It's a couple of km up the Lidl loop and I maintain that 4:09 pace. Once there I set about upping the pace a bit. First loop (4.6k) averages 4:05/km and now I'm of a humour to see what's in the legs. I'm outperforming my expectations now so let's just see what's there.

    Pace ups naturally to around 4min kms and I'm still feeling really comfortable. Ditch the under armour and take on 2nd gel and water at end of this loop (4:00/km ave). Quickly back out and next loop comes in again at 4:00/km. I'm really enjoying running at this pace again so deep into a LR. Heading back for home, I realise I have to make up about a km in distance to get on 30k. Decide to go straight up the town and back down again. Get caught at a couple of traffic lights which is frustrating, but still maintain a decent clip.

    Finish the run with 4:06/km displaying in the average pace field and I'm pretty delighted with that.

    97k for the week. This show might be back on the road yet.

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    Never in doubt....Good man.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,495 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Great run, you should feel confident after that.

    So what's the verdict on the Alphaflys? I have a brand new pair sitting in a box waiting to be used...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    Very nicely done man definitely compliments your previous big sessions. In terms of confidence I think you are in a perfect spot. Training at this stage should be hard and raise doubts, that's what the next 8 weeks is about, building that fitness. If you were confident now its either a soft goal or you have already hit purple patch either way training should be a slog now that needs to be gritted through to build that fitness.

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

    Limerick Marathon Week 6 of 13


    You never quite know what life has in store do you. Unfortunately my beloved dog Bella, who has been my dog for 14 years and a great friend and companion to all the Healy family, had to be put down. I won't go into the ins and outs but we got to spend a last couple of days with her before she had to move on. I know there's many bigger concerns in the world right now, but in our little world this was very tough to deal with. Anyway, she left us with nothing but good memories and an awful lot of love. She will be missed greatly.

    Mon: 10k Recovery: 53:51 @5:22/km

    Shuffle around the town whilst the eldest fella was at Sarsfields training. Legs in decent knick after the previous day's exploits.

    Tue: 8 Miles Easy: 1:03:43 @4:57/km

    Birthday run on a freezing cold and desolate plains. Grim was not the word! I'd thrown the Terra Kigers in the boot that morning so there was no real backing out...

    Wed: Nowt. Tough day all around.

    Thu: 7 Miles Easy: 54:47 @4:52/km

    Took the day off work to bring Bella to the vets for her last visit that morning. Managed to rouse myself to head out on a run that afternoon. The week's planned km repeats were never happening but I was just glad that my head cleared enough to get out.

    Fri: 10 Miles Easy: 1:18:51 @4:54/km

    Like Tuesday. But longer. So grim.

    Sat: 12.3k Easy: 57:32 @4:40/km

    Random enough pep in the step for this one. Maybe I was just full of optimism for my impending trip up to Armagh for the Kildare game. I should really know better. Another frustrating away defeat up North in horrendous conditions. Long day.

    Sun: LR: 31k (inc 8 Miles up Tempo): 2:13:43 @4:18/km

    I should add in that my diet, sleeping routine and general well being were all over the place this week. At various points I was eating little or nothing at all and then at other points I was making very poor dietary decisions! This dawned on me as I woke up Sunday and realised that I had really not fueled or hydrated well at all the previous couple of days. It was what it was though and I entered into the run with a certain amount of trepidation. Figured out a route which was lumpy enough, but that wouldn't have me struggling against the wind for the 8 Mile effort.

    Started in the Camp and headed out for around 11k easy to start with. Picked up a water I'd dropped and took on a gel and then started into the effort. I hadn't a pace prescribed, but since I did 30k @4:06/km the previous Sunday, there wasn't a whole lot of room for sandbagging even if I wasn't sure how I'd handle the LR after the week that I had. Turns out I didn't really need to worry. Aimed for 4 min/km's and was able to kick on a bit. It was a stretch that was tough to get a rhythm going on, but included a couple of nice downwind miles that took a bit of the pressure off. 6:22,6:19,6:21,6:17 & 6:31's took me to the edge of the town. There's always a fear that you might get caught at traffic lights etc, but with one brief exception I got through the town unscathed and closed out with 6:20,6:12 & 6:13 miles, giving me 50:35 & a 3:55 ave/km. I was working hard by the end, but considering where I was pre run, i was only too happy with how things worked out. Stopped at the end of the 8 Mile effort to tend to some pretty gnarly blisters I have going on in both feet at the moment. They're not quite worrying me, but they wouldn't want to get much worse if you know what I mean. Once I got going again the last 7.5k back up to the Curragh were a bit of a struggle, I was tired and definitely very low on energy. Zoned out and got them in, finishing up with a little over 31k for my troubles.

    94k for the week which was a bit of a bonus all things considered. Will try and eke out whatever fitness I can from the next few weeks.

    Post edited by healy1835 on

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

    That Sunday run was all the more impressive considering the week you had. Sorry again to hear about Bella.

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

    its a horrible feeling to lose a dog, even calling her 'dog' doesn't do justice to what they bring to the family - total unconditional love.

    I lost mine 4 years ago, we still talk about her every day, despite having a new dog (.......after saying never again).

    No doubt you'll get the phone memories and FB memories pop up every now and then - you'll smile and will always remember Bella fondly.

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

    Limerick Marathon Week 7 of 13

    Week 7, Jesus......

    Mon: AM: 7k Recovery: 37:28 @5:21/km

    PM: 6 Miles Recovery: 49:56 @5:10/km

    Opportunity arose for a rare double so eked out runs before and after work. Legs quite tired.

    Tue: 8 Miles Easy: 63:52 @4:58/km

    Mooch around the plains and Camp. Probably quicker as watch died early doors, but just took average from first part of run. Legs a little better.

    Wed: Session: 10x1k off 90 secs

    Meaty enough session that I had missed last week, so the plan was changed up to make sure I got it in. Headed up to the top road of the Camp do this. No specific paces in mind, just wanted to zero in on an effort that I could maintain for ten reps without blowing the doors off. Lovely afternoon made for perfect conditions. As the reps were out and back along the road, there's a bit of a slope so odd and even reps should be looked at in isolation. Session went well, ran myself into it and felt alot better after 8 reps than I did after 2! Working hard by the end but was always in control. Good day.

    Splits: 3:38, 3:31, 3:35, 3:29, 3:37, 3:27, 3:33, 3:29, 3:35, 3:31

    9 Miles for the day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,678 ✭✭✭squinn2912

    That;s a very nice session. I take it odd is the upward slope? Out of curiosity did you begin on the harder one for any reason other than coming to it first? Just interested

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

    Yep, the odd is upward alright. There was no real thought behind it this time. More to do with the window that I had for the session, didn't realise the actual time of day until about a mile into the warm up so I started a bit earlier than planned to make sure I wasn't late collecting little people! I'd often maybe change session to something like 8x1k instead and get in a decent warm up and cool down, but I really wanted to get the ten reps in here.

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

    Just when things were starting to look up....Followed up the 10x1k session with a 20k MLR on St Patrick's Day. No LR that weekend, 3x2 mile session at HM pace went fine on the Sunday and then went to watch Kildare hammer Monaghan and enjoyed a few pints of Guinness afterwards. During a small session the following Wednesday in advance of a HM TT that weekend, I pulled up after 4k. Wasn't feeling great, nose streaming gunk, breathing short, you can probably fill in the rest of the blanks yourselves. I ,of course, was in complete denial. Dosed myself up that evening, still intent on getting the HM effort that Saturday. To make matters worse I also had the Saturday night away in Carrick-on-Shannon planned for after the HM, taking in the Kildare game with a few mates, so as you can imagine I was quite eager to navigate my way through the dose. Into work on Thursday, secretary takes one look at me & sends me home about 10am. Positive antigen Friday morning, and things went steadily downhill from there. No HM, no night away, no Kildare match. No tough-couple-of-days-and-then-you're-okay type of covid. Woe.Was.Me.

    So the long and short of it was 10 days of no running. I got a few easy miles in Sunday & yesterday. Felt okay-ish, but Limerick won't be happening now. When I signed up the plan was simple; train hard and get Manchester out of the system. However, two illnesses in November and December left me starting more or less from scratch in the new year. Things were beginning to come around a bit; a couple of slightly promising LR's and sessions had been posted and I was hopeful that I'd rock up to Limerick in decent shape, but that's just not feasible now. It's all very frustrating. It's hard not to think about how just little I have to show for so much training since DCM '19. Oddly enough, I feel more motivated now than ever. Something clicked in my mindset the last few days, and I'm looking forward to this summer and getting into shape for DCM. But yeah, hard enough pill to swallow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Sorry to see this J. Especially so close to Limerick. Looking forward to following the DCM training - there's a serious time in there, if and when everything clicks into place. Hard to resist the temptation to rush back into it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 466 ✭✭browne_rob5

    Ah that's very disappointing to read Johnny. Was looking forward to seeing you down in Limerick.

    I figured it was the dreaded Covid when I hadn't seen any activity from you. Glad to hear you are back running at least and hope you recover fully soon.

    So much Covid and other stuff going around at the moment. I have a head cold myself for the last week that I cant shake but have been able to run easy and managed to get a session in yesterday.