Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another Great Win

Not that it means anything to anyone outside Ireland, but Kerry have today won the All-Ireland Football Final, for the 34th time. The match itself was so one-sided it was embarrassing, and one couldn’t help but feel sorry for poor hapless Mayo (that’s what you get for playing with the Big Boys). From a sprting point of view, this was a good year. Munster won the Heineken Cup, Kerry won the All-Ireland, and if I manage a good time in the Dublin marathon, I won’t have any grounds for complaint.

I did my 17-mile marathon-pace run on Friday, as planned. I warmed up for the first 2 miles, and then pushed the effort into what felt like marathon pace. The moon was bright enough to make out the road, but not bright enough to read the numbers on my HRM/timer, so I had to rely on my own judgment. I got it spot on, when I got back home after 17 miles, 2:13 had passed, 7:49 average pace. Perfect. I felt really good at that point and could have gone on for much longer, I thought. It looks like I have already fully recovered from Sunday’s race, which amazed me.

Saturday was my usual rest day, and the miserable weather ensured that I didn’t exhaust myself by working in the garden. On the one hand I was glad to make sure that I would get some recovery, on the other hand I couldn’t help but think of all the things I still have to do in that garden. All that gorse won’t leave on its own accord, unfortunately.

Since I felt fully recovered, I went ahead with a speed session on Sunday. After warming up for the first 3 miles, I pushed the effort to what should be roughly my 5k race pace, and held it for 4:10 minutes. I don’t get feedback on my actual pace, but judging from the distance covered, I’m sure it was pretty close to the 1000 meters per interval, as intended. I did 5 of those repeats, and then I had enough. Afterwards I had a few doubts if I had run them fast enough, but comparing that effort with what I put into my 5k races, it’s probably ok. Then again, who knows. And then again, Arthur Lydiard didn’t think exact paces or distances were important. Run those efforts until you’ve had enough, he said. I guess that’s good enough for me, then.

One or two people have commented that I might be peaking. I don’t know about that. I always thought that peaking comes from a few weeks of anaerobic work, and since I’ve not done much of that, I don’t expect to “peak”. I’m certainly in better shape than ever before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve already reached a kind of high point. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. The marathon is still 6 weeks away; that means another 3 weeks of hard training and then the taper. I’m not looking forward to tapering, but I can hardly wait until I’m finally on that starting line in Dublin. I’m really looking forward to it.

Weekly mileage: 64 miles

15 Sep: 17 miles, 2:13, 7:49 pace
17 Sep: 10 miles, 1:17, 7:42 pace, including 5x1000 repeats


  1. One of the things I am trying to do differently with this marathon is to embrace the last few weeks and think of every action, including the taper, as essential to my success. Because I did not put in a solid lengthy training regimen I am relying on some of the little things to improve my performance.

    You have put in a solid training program and fine tuning during the taper can only lead to even greater success in the upcoming marathon. There is no reason that you will not continue to improve over the next few weeks and get to that starting line in as good or better shape than you are now.

  2. As Rob says, you've done the work and are just now beginning to reap the rewards. Man, your pace just keeps dropping! Keep up the great work!

  3. Well done on the MP run! To echo the others, the fruits of your labor are definitely ripening. Can't wait for the harvest in 6 weeks.

  4. I am excited for you, I can totally see a PR in your near future barring anything unforseen!

    You are inspiring me Thomas as I sort of walk in your shoes (Kids, training, most of your PRs are in my same time regimine (sort of))

    Keep it up!

  5. Your training is going really well, I think you are going to do really well in Dublin.