Friday, November 19, 2010


The good news is that the coach thinks the latest numbers from the evaluation were very good (“Your conditioning is improving at a steady rate at this level of effort”). The bad news is that as a result I'm confined to keep running slowly (“add more but not faster”). I exaggerate, of course. Running is always fun and I'm not exactly crawling along; all runs are under 8:00 pace. But the instructions are clear enough.

Actually, there is still my one opportunity for cheating on the slow running, namely the 5k race series in Killarney, the third race being tomorrow. Just as with the previous two races I have to run with the handbrake engaged, no faster than 6:10-6:15 pace. I'll try and NOT start out at 5:30 pace this time, which probably means I should start from further back and try not to get sucked into other people's suicidal starting pace.

I'm feeling very good at the moment, running always feels easy, which is at least partly related to the fact that under MC's tutelage so far I'm running easier than I would have done otherwise. The time for workouts will come (and I may well wish myself back to the easy phase when that happens). The one thing I need to change is the amount of sleep. I get up around 6 o'clock every morning and I rarely get 7 hours of sleep. That's unlikely to be sufficient in the long term and needs to change. The waking hours are fixed and I need to go to bed earlier.

Cycling to work has been well and truly challenging this week, and not just because it has been raining every day bar today. On Tuesday the wind was almost as strong as last Thursday, but the real problem was that it came from the side and each gust of wind literally blew me into the middle of the road. This was highly dangerous and I had to stop each time a car approached in order to ensure my safe arrival home. Luckily I am cycling on very quiet roads. The wind had died down by Wednesday morning but my good mood was shattered when I punctured a tire, still 1.5 miles away from the office. I dragged the bike to work and got a lift home from Niamh. That tube had only been there for a week, and when I tried to patch it in the evening I found a big hole, probably a nail. I put in a brand new tube, my last one. Imagine my surprise when that lasted not even 3 miles on Thursday morning. I was completely stunned, standing there by the road side, staring at my fourth flat tire in one week! As a result I have now switched back to my old bike, a cheap, crappy city bike with much wider rims, which should hopefully be more puncture resistant to all the grit that's over the road at this time of year. It's much less fun to cycle, takes longer and causes my back to hurt from the different, upright posture, but at least it got me in and out of work today without problems, which is more than can be said of the other bike.

I'm glad I'm a runner, not as cyclist. Seriously!
17 Nov
10 miles, 1:18:09, 7:48 pace, HR 144
18 Nov
12+ miles, 1:35:23, 7:55 pace, HR 143
19 Nov
10 miles, 1:18:49, 7:53 pace, HR 141


  1. Have you tried using Kevlar belted tyres, they do help in stopping most punctures?

  2. Same here. My mountain bike still has a flat tyre from last summer.

    Interesting that you're just doing steady-paced running at the moment. How long does that phase last for? Does it change when there's some measurable sign of improvement flattening out?

    Have fun in the 5k. I'll regard it as a failure if you break 19 ;)