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18-05-2020, 23:33   #3076
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Busy at work means another late night catch-up on here.

Last Friday - Easy 8 Miles
Another weekend starts with a leisurely run in the Park. Followed Chapelizod Road to Chapelizod Gate and entered there. Headed up to Furze for the first time in forever. Then cut straight across Chesterfield and followed a trail around the main gate of the visitor centre until I was back on North Road again. I think I'll continue that trail next time out as it circles further around the tourist centre and back toward Chesterfield. I head down North Road on the white line in the middle of the road before turning in for a quick diversion via the Polo Grounds. Then head for home out Islandbridge Gate.

Total 8.17M @ 8:21

Last Saturday - Easy 10K
Another easy run. Another sunny run. Continue to revisit old routes. This time I cut through the Memorial Gardens and follow the tow-path to Chapelizod. Enter the Park by the pedestrian Gate in the village and run up Acres. Perfect running conditions as the sun shines along Acres, I'm on the tarmac in the middle of the road with only birdsong keeping me company to my left and right. One of those snapshot running moments. I swing down the Khyber. One of the guys from Donore advises me to get a haircut! So good to see a familiar face stop to chat a while. Then continue home.

Some cycling in the afternoon and some windy badminton over the GAA crossbar by the Memorial Gardens. Next up, my sixth TT attempt on the Royal Oak Loop.

Total 6.24M @ 8:15
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19-05-2020, 00:33   #3077
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Royal Oak TT New PB 7:14

I wasn't hugely motivated ahead of this.

I said I'd run a TT this morning so I was going to stick to my word. But I wasn't chomping at the bit, I was feeling nonplussed about the task at hand. Completing my warm-up I was conscious that this wasn't the right frame of mind in which to be approaching a short, sharp, 2.04K hilly TT.

I noted that the wind was blowing down Kilmainham Lane. This I prefer, it means a tailwind on St Johns. A headwind on St Johns is a death knell for this TT. The headwind on the Lane instead is, I think, less influential. I think here the hill itself is the main factor determining how fast you travel.

I hit lap as I pass the last manhole before the Royal Oak and the anticipation is over, game is on.

Into the wind for the dash to the Patriot. Cut as tight as I can onto SCR to speed down the 100m to St Johns. I'm not checking the Garmin this morning. This morning I want to try push more and feel more discomfort, not completely reckless but I definitely didn't want to find myself traveling comfortably. Along St Johns is where I lost my lead last time out so today I focus on keeping a strong stride, no relenting, no ease-off-now-speed-up-later deals with myself.

I try the occasional surge, maybe just for 10m, it doesn't kill me. I think I'm moving faster than last time. I think I'm in contention for a PB.

Once you've commited to this TT the first real mental hurdle arrives when St Johns levels out. The legs miss the descent immediately, it's like someone has turned up the gravity dial by a notch or two. The temptation is to take a breather in anticipation of the hills ahead. This morning instead I inject a surge. I'm going to hurt on the hills anyway.

I turn wide onto Military Road and start the climb. There's a crosswind that must be hitting the far side of the road and turning down the hill as a headwind. This is tough. But I do a good job of telling myself not to wilt. Forget the hurt and concentrate on hitting the summit on the best possible racing line.

I crest the hill. There is the short sharp drop down Irwin Street. The switch from climb to sudden drop is jarring on the legs, they don't have time to start enjoying the descent, because in an instant I'm swinging right onto Kilmainham Lane for the final TT deciding climb.

I don't notice the headwind, all I notice is that my thighs are starting to burn at the base of the climb. Normally the burn kicks in near the top of this climb. This means that either I am pushing harder today than on previous attempts, or it means I've lost a lot of fitness since my last attempt. I'm quietly confident that it is the former.

I push up the hill. Tell myself not to relent, I'm nearly there. A growing optimism ensures that I keep pushing. I get to the top of the climb and the road gradually flattens. It's the last 150m or so. I don't look at the watch I just push and push. I pass the manhole, but I ensure I keep pushing until I pass the door of the Royal Oak, only then do I hit stop on the Garmin.

I check the split. A 7:20. A fist-pump. I know I have a PB. Barring any cruel Strava segment algorithms I should also have a sub 7:20. When I get home I manage a second fist-pump, I've dipped under 7:15. Brilliant. Like the first few attempts, by sprinting to the pub I can expect to drop 5 or 6 seconds off the Garmin lap time. (knowing the context is key in that last sentence )

So phase 1 of the lockdown is over and touchwood it won't come back. This simple segment has kept me focused, motivated and rewarded over the last few weeks. The fact that it is a a hilly loop makes it trickier but much more interesting than a flat TT. The Garmin lap was 1.28M @ 5:42, but with GAP adjustment this becomes 5:40 pace. So I'll need to pop back to the mile TT tread and remove a sandbag.

Can I go better than 7:14? Probably. If i can knock 9 seconds off a PB like I did yesterday then I probably am in contention to knock a few seconds more off. Sub 7:00? Would need dedicated speed training I think. Don't know if it's in me.

2.63M @ 9:13 [4.23K @ 5:44]
1.28M @ 5:42 [2.07K @ 3:32]
2.85M @ 8:30 [4.58K @ 5:15]

Total 6.76M @ 8:15 [10.88K @ 5:08]

Last edited by outforarun; 19-05-2020 at 00:46.
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21-05-2020, 00:47   #3078
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Week to date

Monday Easy 6+ Miles (mostly grass)

Another gorgeous evening. Headed out a little later than normal and tipped across to the Park in the Dynafits, first time wearing these since the Faugh-a-Ballagh Cup race. Expect I left a trail of dry caked mud behind me for the first 200m or so.

In at Islandbridge and straight up the grassy bank to the Fort. Head along the ridge past the Fort on the Khyber side. Turn by the sandy puddle and head down the length of one gully and back up the next gully to Acres before following the wide grassy verge back down to the Fort and around the south wall before starting into another lap. I run 5 laps in total and could happily have continued lapping for another hour. Quiet, no sound of footfall, legs feeling trim. Warm mild air and once again a constant soundtrack of birdsong.

Do eventually drag myself out of the Park and back home. Really enjoyed that one. Mustn't leave the Dynafits idle for so long.

Total 6.46M @ 8:26

Wednesday - Tempo 4.15M (plus a fast Polo lap)

Happily surprised to spot a pair of Asteria in my size online. Ordered them Monday evening. They arrived this morning. I was hoping they'd arrive before the TT, didn't expect them to arrive so soon. Bologna - Milan - Leipzig - East Midlands - Dublin - Kilmainham. Well done DHL!

Spent the day at work aware of the fabulous conditions outside. Decided I'd give the new runners a proper baptism and run a 4M Tempo. Out the door at an earlier than usual 18:30. I instantly notice a bounce that had long gone from the retiring pair. The latter had covered 520 miles and brought home a marathon PB.

In at Islandbridge and skirt pass the cricket grounds and along Lord's Walk to the Pavilion. Plan was for 4 laps of the mile TT loop, so I knew it would be a little over 4 miles in total. I have only lap pace showing on the Garmin and want to hold it between 3:55 [6:18] and 4:00 [6:24].

First lap and I travel a little faster than target, spend most of the lap trying to ease off a little. As I complete the first loop I see 3:54 [6:16] pace showing. I still need to ease off some more.

From the Pavilion to Chesterfield there is a slight headwind to manage. Then in an instant I'm descending Chesterfield and the pace starts to quicken again. I like the turn onto the Lords Walk. The further I advance along here the more I turn in toward the wind. After two, average pace is quickening, now 3:53 [6:14].

Lap 3. Even though Chesterfield is descending, it feels at the start of the descent that a subtle convex bump has first to be navigated before you can properly enjoy the downhill. Might just be my imagination. At the end of lap 3 average pace is still showing as 3:53 [6:14].

Final Lap - legs feeling the effort now but I'm at worst comfortably uncomfortable. I'm certain that if I had to I could have held this pace for 10K. I think a 10K Tempo is only a few weeks away. Average pace has increased to 3:52 [6:14] by the time I finish the 4th lap.

That was very encouraging. Much easier than two tempos ago on the Royal Oak Loop. I think I'm seeing some of the benefits of the recent hilly speedwork on that segment.

In total I covered 4.15M @ 6:14. Don't think 6:14 pace has ever felt so comfortable.

I enter the Polo Grounds proper and I stray off-script. Instead of heading straight for home I decide to run a fast lap. The sun is out, it's warm, I'm in new runners, I couldn't resist.

A good evening's work

1.89M @ 8:53 [3.05K @ 5:30]
4.15M @ 6:14 [6.69K @ 3:52]
0.39M @ 8:26 [0.64K @ 5:15]
0.60M @ 5:42 [0.97K @ 3:33]
1.75M @ 7:55 [2.82K @ 4:55]

Total 8.79M @ 7:12 [14.16K @ 4:29]
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21-05-2020, 12:05   #3079
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Must be almost time to update that table in the TT thread.
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23-05-2020, 17:40   #3080
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Originally Posted by scotindublin View Post
Must be almost time to update that table in the TT thread.
Any moment now ....
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23-05-2020, 18:16   #3081
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April Review

So April was a peculiar month of running.

Every single run was completed on the 1.26 mile loop of Kilmainham Lane, SCR, St Johns Road, Military Road and Irwin Street. It started to feel like my own outdoor treadmill after a while. I could have wandered further afield but I warmed to the challenge of running every run on the same short route.

I still ensured I injected a lot of variety into the runs, this included:
  • two tempo runs
  • three TTs
  • three Fartlek runs
  • two progression runs
  • a 2:54 marathon pace evening

Easy miles were run anti-clockwise, not as easy to hop on and off the footpath for social distancing in this direction.

Threw in a few laps on the bike as well.

The highlights were definitely the TT runs. I've said it before but it really is amazing how the anticipation of 7:XX minutes of hard running can dominate your thoughts during the week. Then the feeling of relief when it is over, irrespective of how the TT went. I set two consecutive PBs of 7:31 and then 7:23. Sub 7:20 would become a mini-obsession after I failed to PB and logged a 7:28 in the third and final TT of the month.

I love the quiet abandoned road on TT Sunday mornings.

The hills on the loop are building leg strength. The first 4 mile tempo (6:24 min/mile) at the start of the month felt far tougher than the second 4 mile tempo (6:19 min/mile) at the end of the month. Very pleased with this second tempo.

Kept every week to 40 miles, so April is my lowest mileage month of 2020 to date.

Month Monthly Miles Daily mileage for month Weekly Mileage for month Daily mileage for year Weekly mileage for year Predicted yearly mileage
January 203.31 6.56 45.91 6.56 45.91 2400
February 226.40 7.81 54.65 7.16 50.13 2621
March 222.74 7.19 50.30 7.17 50.19 2624
April 170.06 5.67 39.68 6.80 47.58 2488
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25-05-2020, 21:40   #3082
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Last Thursday

Wasn't properly in the mood Thursday evening. Made sure I got out all the same even if was just for a little over 4 miles in the end. Stuck to the Royal Oak loop, running it anticlockwise. Very muggy out, lending to a general feeling of heaviness. Probably some tiredness in the legs following Wednesday's tempo and fast polo lap.

Total 4.24M @ 8:35

Last Friday

I took two Mondays off at work, one either side of the bank holiday. So I'll be living the 4-day week dream for the next three weeks. In good spirits as I kick off the first of these long weekends. Fairly blustery outside, the weather on Strava says it's 26.2 miles an hour - marathon wind.

I enter the Park at Islandbridge Gate up the grassy gully and cut across the 15 Acres until I hit Furze Road. Onto Chesterfield and this evening I do the full perimeter loop of the visitor centre. A nice copse of trees to travel through on the north-western part of the loop. I need to explore some lesser travelled parts of the Park this summer.

I head down to the Polos skirting the edge of Aras. Warm sunshine on my skin and simultaneously cold rain hitting it. Turn right for the cricket grounds and head for home. A pleasant easy hour of running, legs feeling more lively than Thursday.

Total 7.38M @ 8:14

Last Saturday

I guess it's good that Saturday morning's very strong winds fell one week ahead of TT day, hopefully come next Saturday they will be long gone. Headed over to the Polo TT Mile for some more speed recce. Opted for a 12x400 session. This is the most 400s I've ever tried on my own, I had no appetite for a solo 16x400 session.

I started the 400s at my TT start line. Didn't check the watch at any point and just ran to effort. The wind was a big factor, down Chesterfield was made easier, but from the top half of Lords Walk behind the pavilion and back to Chesterfield was really hard work. Lean in straining, wind loud in my ears.
I wasn't hanging on at the end so I suspect I wasn't pushing like I would have been with the pack at the club. Bit disappointed to see 86 average at the end, but the wind shoved some of the 400s over the 90 second mark.

Still a solid morning's work. New Asterias are feeling good.

89, 85, 88, 85, 83, 88, 83, 85, 93, 83, 88, 91

Total 8.33M @ 7:31


I'm slowly building mileage back up to 50 a week. Last week's target was 46 miles, so I needed just 11 come Sunday. Weather was smashing again. I wore the Glycerins but maybe should have used the Dynafits again. I was sticking off-road and while the Glycerins offer a very smooth ride they don't offer that feel of the terrain that the Dynafits do. It's a mile from home to the carpark at the bottom of the Khyber. Task myself to find a non-repeating 9 mile trail to bring me back to the car-park at the end of mile 10.

Turn right and up the steep climb after the bridge. Trail along Wellington and then left for the zoo. Grassy verge to Polo Grounds, up the Aras trail and a near full clockwise lap of the tourist centre loop, onto North Road trail and follow it to Knockmaroon, into the Furry Glen along the lake and up onto the Acres, to Furze and back with a loop of Old Wood and then straight down through the Acres to the boundry wall of St Marys, turn left and follow the wall until start of Acres Road. Up the wide grass verge and after a small diversion I follow the Faugh-a-Ballagh route back down to the car park. A couple of short switchbacks and I arrive in the car park after 10 miles.

Enjoyed that. Need to finish differently, maybe incorporating the Fort somehow.
So 46 miles posted for the week. Job done.

Total 11.10M @ 8:18


Another stunning sunny morning. Great to have a day off today. I enjoyed last Monday's gentle laps around the Fort and up and down the gullies so decided it would be more of the same this morning. Wore the Dynafits even though there is no need for grip at the moment. I just want to keep them active. Today I run six laps of the Fort and gullies loop. It measures 0.88M. As I'm running I thinking about sessions on this. I like the idea of maybe 4x(1 lap off + 1 lap on), targeting tempo pace. Think I'll give it a try soon enough, I might prefer it in wet conditions.

I also think I need to order size UK10 in Dynafits next time. These are 9.5 and just a little too tight.

Total 7.68M @ 8:25

Last edited by outforarun; 25-05-2020 at 21:44.
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30-05-2020, 12:37   #3083
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Building up to the 1M TT

Tuesday - Moneghetti

Wanted something short and snappy to fire the legs but nothing that might induce any lingering fatigue ahead of Saturday's TT. Headed to the Polo Grounds after work on yet another beautiful evening. Plan is to run the Moneghetti Fartlek session, 2x90s + 4x60s + 4x30s + 4x15s, equal time recovery after each fast bit.

The fact that it is 2x90s and not 4x90s bugs me a little, next time out it'll be 4x90s. Idea is that average pace should increase as the intervals grow smaller, typically starting at 5K pace.

I meet scotindublin and a couple of others from Donore, they're running K repeats and suddenly my Moneghetti session feels a lot more inviting. I get started and set the bar high by averaging 3:31 pace [5:39] for the 2x90s.
So nice doing these on the Polo Grounds, even if the Asterias carry more zip on tarmac.

Into the 4x60s. I'm not looking at the watch at all during the session and I try to gauge the effort at just a little higher than the 90s. Tricky enough to do, I don't want to make the final sets unattainable. I hit 3:30 pace [5:37],success but a little too close, not enough of a gear shift.

For the 4x30s I start to focus on my stride, trying to lengthen it and keep it fluid. Feels good, at least for the first half of each interval. The shift in gear here is better and I average 3:22 [5:25] pace.

Not much time to think now as the recovery time shortens. Into the 4x15s and treat them as a set of strides, trying to accelerate and hold top speed (not all out sprint, I'm not on my toes). Average on the Garmin shows 3:17 pace [5:17].

And that's it. Done now until Saturday. Chat again with the guys for a while before heading for home. Run some of my cool-down with scotindublin, our chat focusing very much on the rapidly approaching TT.

Wednesday - The 1000th Mile

Hard to focus on work with a glorious summer backdrop outside your window. Logged off more or less on time and laced up. I knew I was on 991 miles for the year. The weather is smashing, it's time to hit that milestone.

Stick mostly to the Park Roads this evening, aiming to finish mile 9 near the Fort. An ascent of the Khyber, North Road and head down to Knockmaroon Gate, down and up through the Furry Glen, up Acres, and a lap of the Playing Fields, the S-Bends and then swing left off road by the Fort.

I hit the 1000 mile mark on the crest of the Fort overlooking the Khyber carpark. Stop for a few minutes. Take a photo to mark the occasion. Touch wood, I am well on track to shattering my calendar year mileage record. I've never hit 1000 miles this early in the year. After soaking in the moment I restart the Garmin and head for home.

I was bitten by something earlier this week, and on this 1000 mile evening I ran with a very hot swollen and slightly sore left knee, lower inner thigh also sore to touch. I'm hoping this dies down soon, it won't stop me for the TT but it would add an additional discomfort to the task.

Total 10.08M @ 8:09

Easy 5+ Miles

Knee much better. Friday evening I start the long weekend with a final recce of the TT loop. Another warm evening. Park is busy. I have the watch set to beep at 400m intervals from when I hit start at my TT starting line. However because it's busy I cannot run on the roadside (which has officially become a bicycle lane since I started running this loop) and need to stick to the grassy verge. This definitely affects the end point of the loop, forcing me to navigate the narrow bollards at the end. Means the 400m markers I take become very approximate.

The first one is a little before the the first milestone on the right hand side of Chesterfield. The second one is, unsurprisingly, a little before the second milestone marker on the right hand side. The milestones are set every quarter of a mile. The 1K mark is by the first tree on the right hand side of Lords Walk. The 1200 marker is by the speed bump immediately before the vehicle entrance to the zoo car park. Then it's 409 metres back to the rear of the Pavilion. Tomorrow I'll run on the road so all these markers will fall earlier.

Tip back home. Getting anxious now.

Total 5.50M @ 8:33
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30-05-2020, 13:10   #3084
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Boards 1 Mile TT

1 Mile TT in 5:24.08

Dread in my footfall as I head back to the Polo Grounds this morning. It's only around 9:00 in the morning but it's warm. Thankfully there is only a light breeze blowing, which might help with keeping cool.

I know it's not good when I'm not looking forward to the fast bits of warm-up.

Run a warm-up lap of the loop and include 200m and 3x100m dashes. Arrive back behind the pavilion. There follows around 5 minutes of nervous pacing. I get a text from scotindublin wishing me good luck. Helps me focus, also I'm really jealous that he's done and dusted.

Ok the coast is clear lets get it over with. Shuffle to my starting line and hit start.

Uhhh. Do I really want to be doing this? The opening 400 should feel 'ok' on the legs and I guess it does, but the muscles feel a bit jelly like (some residual nerves?) and I'm not calm thinking of what lies ahead. Checking for bikes as I approach Chesterfield, all good none arriving and the road is empty of traffic. I swing right and start the descent. Note the first mile marker on the right hand side. The wind is technically against me but its effect is negligible.

Legs are behaving ok the jelliness is starting to disappear. But I don't feel fast. I don't feel like I'm on pace and I convince myself that this is going to be a bit of a fail. Too many thoughts, but I'm past the 800m point now and quickly approaching the turn onto Lord's Walk.

Swing off Chesterfield. I remind myself that this is shorter than The Royal Oak loop. Try stay strong. I grow a little more positive because I'm already approaching the 1200m mark. The jelliness is gone and now I feel some burn, which I interpret as a good sign, mean the effort is more honest than I thought. This drag is not as energy sapping as the climbs at the end of the Royal Oak Loop.

I move wide to overtake a family of cyclists, this provides some welcome distraction. Keep strong, every second counts. This will be over soon, it's flying in! I turn off Lords Walk for the final push back to the Pavilion. Every second counts. C'mon Garmin start beeping, I don't want to have to navigate the bollards. The beeps arrive, a last lean and it's over.

Look at the watch, 5:24 pace, wow. Doesn't immediately register that this means a 5:24 mile. When it does I'm really surprised. Over the closing 400 I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to get a 5:3X. Buzzed already. And the relief is overwhelming.

The joy of moving to the front of the Pavilion and just collapsing flat on my back on the grass to bask in the sun, in the relief and the glow of a job well done.

Watch some more cracking times coming in from the morning before running a very relaxed cool-down back home.

At 5 seconds a sandbag that's two sandbags (but everyone is allowed one sandbag right?). Could I go faster? I think so. Probably shouldn't dread the Lord's Walk as much as I did.

Thanks Guys for arranging this on here. Really generated a race day feeling.
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02-06-2020, 13:37   #3085
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Super run.

I'd say that route cost you a few seconds? tough little incline (at that pace) to the carpark.
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04-06-2020, 20:10   #3086
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Originally Posted by AuldManKing View Post
Super run.

I'd say that route cost you a few seconds? tough little incline (at that pace) to the carpark.
Thanks. I guess the Chesterfield descent allows you to brace yourself for it. Then mentally you know you are nearly on the home straight so it is easier to stay strong. Will have another crack a it in a few weeks. Might sign-up for the 10K TT.
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04-06-2020, 21:00   #3087
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Some Post TT Catch-up

Sunday MLR 11.22M @ 8:02

Another scorcher to bring May to a close. Headed for the trails again, running a repeat of last Sunday's 9 mile trail/grass loop but with a variation near the end to try to finish exactly on 9 miles back at the base of the Khyber. Still don't quite have it.

The legs felt fine after Saturday's TT. As I'm running I'm thinking I might have dodged a bullet by not having to race a Half Marathon down in Cork in this weather. I don't see how it could have played out well. Still strange to not be in Cork on marathon weekend, first time not being there in 10 years. My registration rolls into 2021 so hopefully for the half it'll be fourth time lucky (2018 - tooth, 2019 - hammer, 2020 - pandemic)

Meet one of the DH guys near the end of this run, good to catch up.

Monday Fort Laps 7.68M @ 7:58

June takes up where May left off. A scorchingly hot blue sky Monday. Dynafits go on, I'm trying to keep them alive. Over to the Fort for 6 laps of my 0.88M up and down loop. I detect the pace increasing as I progress so I go with it and try run each lap just a little faster than the previous. Final lap is run at 6:4X pace and this dips under 6:00 mins. A good steady session here would be to string 10 sub 6:00 loops together, one to put in the calendar.

Wednesday 5.15M Tempo @ 6:15 min/mile

A very satisfying tempo run. Wasn't hugely in the mood for this after work on Wednesday (had originally planned it for Tuesday but I hate running sessions in heavy muggy weather). The Polo Road Loop is my go-to spot for faster stuff at the moment. I set up an open-ended tempo on the Garmin, with a pace range of 3:55 [6:18] to 4:00 [6:26], and planned on running 5 anticlockwise loops.

Started at my official starting line. Instantly felt fluid, pace felt slow but Garmin was telling me I was moving too fast. Hard to ease up going down Chesterfield, but Lords Walk takes care of the pace and on each lap it shaves off a few seconds average pace off the same effort. The laps fly by. I hear a few 'too fast' alerts and everytime I glance at the Garmin (which isn't often) I see 3:54 or 3:55 showing. All the time I feel very comfortable, legs are good lungs are good, footfall feels good and sounds light. I'm enjoying this.

I have to work a bit on the Lords Walk drag but otherwise I'm happy to daydream my way around. When I complete the final lap I see I have 5.15 miles done, another lap and a bit would bring up 10K and at this pace I'd log a 38:5X. I need to actively decide not to continue. I'll save it for next time out.

Very happy that 6:15 pace felt so comfortable this evening. I'm thinking that maybe 3:50 to 3:55 might be a truer tempo pace than 3:55 to 4:00 right now. But I'm not going to force it, I'll let the legs decide, like they did tonight.

A diversion of a cool-down to go double figures for the day.

Easy 6 Miles

Just had total distance showing earlier this evening as I headed out for a sunny and easy 6 miler. Took it easy through the Memorial Gardens and along the towpath to Chapelizod. Into the Park via the village pedestrian entrance and then work my way up Acres and onto Chesterfield. Down the old cycle path and out at Islandbridge before heading for home. Legs felt heavy tonight so clearly yesterday's tempo took something out of me.

6.20M @ 8:10

Last edited by outforarun; 04-06-2020 at 21:04.
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