Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Start Again

I played around with the Excel file from Saturday’s triathlon. I already knew that I was 71st overall, but a more detailed list of the splits is as follows:

swim 18:28 (194th)
T1 1:41 (131st)
bike 40:47 (68th)
T2 00:44 (104th)
run 21:03 (32nd)

The report on the race website mentions 400 competitors while the results list exactly 300 with the relay option accounting for the difference. In light of that my 32nd best time in the run is much better than that bare, unimpressive figure of 21:03. And that includes the relay runners, amongst the pure triathletes I had come 22nd! Immediately after the race I had been absolutely disgusted with myself after seeing a time of over 21 minutes on my watch, but I guess I have to retract that. Most importantly, my run time was 11 seconds faster than Grellan’s which is obviously the only thing that counts (because who could possibly care about those silly swim and bike sections). Oh, and the 44 seconds T2 time was a major improvement on the 64 seconds from Valentia. At least that one worked out. Using different shoes might cut a few more seconds off that, should there ever be a next time (and by the way, Ewen, yes, I do have elastic laces. The problem with the Lunaracers is that the upper material is so thin that it basically collapses when you try to slide your foot in. You have to hold the heel part with one hand and the tongue with the other, which is fine for running but not for a triathlon where the clock is ticking as you do so).

Anyway, the realisation that it is less than 10 weeks to Dingle hit me hard and the Ultra training has to start here and now. Obviously I’m not starting from scratch and my base should be rather high after Connemara and Cork, but I have to re-build my training mileage. The first run was 8 miles on Sunday, Father’s Day. Incidentally, on Saturday evening Niamh had said that she would let me have a lie-in, but it is totally pointless for me as I never sleep in the morning. For once she was wrong, the combination of a sleepless night the night before and an exhausting triathlon made me sleep for almost 10 hours until 8:30 (yes, that counts as late), and by some miracle the kids slept in as well. After that and breakfast in bed I went for my 8-mile run. I expected to be sore from the triathlon but somehow the legs took off and I ran much faster than anticipated. I guess 5K had not been enough to destroy the legs and the long sleep had gotten rid of the general exhaustion. What surprised me even more was finding Niamh asleep in bed when I came back home. Someone else had gotten an unexpected bonus as well by the looks of it.

Originally I intended to take it easy on Monday and run longer on Tuesday, but reality prevented that and I had to up my Monday mileage. A 12 mile loop in Cromane followed. That’s not exactly a long run by any stretch of the imagination, but more will follow during the week. Again I felt ok; maybe the sunny weather helps. This must be the longest stretch of sunshine in Kerry in recorded history, and training is pure pleasure.

As mentioned, things got a bit more complicated this morning because Shea had to be at his school at 7:30 to get on the coach for his end-of-year school trip. For some reason they are going all the way to Limerick, which baffles me but has him very excited. A long run was out of the question but I snuck in 4 miles. I thought about not running at all, but I don’t want to start the ultra training by taking days off needlessly. It really is time to get serious.

Originally I planned to do another sprint triathlon in August, but might not do it. I really hated the swim portion in Caherciveen and as long as I’m such a poor swimmer, that won’t change. I won’t have time or opportunity to do any real swim training between now and then as I must concentrate on running, and I hesitate doing another triathlon as long as I can’t do it justice. Anyway, I don’t have to decide now.

Oh, and the cheating French are out of the World Cup. Not that we’re bitter or anything.
20 Jun
8 miles, 58:33, 7:19 pace, HR 159
21 Jun
12 miles, 1:33:52, 7:49 pace, HR 147
22 Jun
4 miles, 32:35, 8:09 pace, HR 138


  1. Well done on Saturday Thomas. For someone who didn't swim a few months ago your doing fantastically well. You'd want to delete the relay teams before doiing any analysis.

    I found the sprint a bit short for my endurance base but was happy that my run time was not too far behind yours given that you had the home advantage.

    I was nearly tempted to go the Dingle route after Connemara but have decided against it. John D tells me they are looking for pacers (for the marathon!). Best of luck with the training - looking forward to seeing your strategy unfold.

  2. The way the French got in would of had to of played on their subconcience and may well of sabotaged their world cup campaign!

  3. Hi Thomas

    I follow your blog with great interest. I know your ultimate running goal is to run a sub 3 marathon. While running ultra marathons and doing triathlons might provide welcome respite from the monotony of marathon training, I am of the belief that in order to maximise your potential at any discipline (be that a 5km or a marathon), ones training has to be focused (race distance specific)and it has to be consistent (over a period of time).

    High mileage and key marathon specific workouts will help you achieve your goal; a goal I am firmly of the belief that you can achieve Thomas if you focus on that goal alone. I am of this belief due to the dedication you have shown to your running during my time reading this blog.

    Dublin in October should be the main focus. Triathlons and Ultras are unnessary distractions. Don't take this post as criticism but rather as a "helping hand" in your quest to achieve your ultimate running ambition.

  4. That proves you're a runner ;) Still, dogged determination is all you need to finish an Ironman.

    Solid run split... and you also thrashed Grellan in the second transition.