hi thomas. looking for a training plan specifically designed to cover the connemara ultra. doing dublin in 2 weeks (my 3rd) and hope to commence training within a week of it for connemara. any ideas?
Quick answer, there is no training plan specifically designed for the Connemara Ultra, at least none that I am aware of. Slow answer, and I know this sounds weird, but look at Connemara as a long marathon. There have been countless discussions about this on boards.ie and some people disagree, but basically if you can run a marathon, then you can run Connemara as well as long as you run slower from the very start of the race (that second part of the advice is where a lot of people, especially men, get it wrong). My own experience is that you can take a bog standard marathon run and replace some of the long runs by back-to-back long runs, i.e. instead of running 20 miles on Sunday, run 20 miles on Saturday and again on Sunday. Do this 3 or 4 times, and you will be in great shape. Good Luck in Dublin, btw.
Then again, I know that Mick Rice does not do back-to-back long runs, and since he has been in the top 3 more often than anyone else he must be doing something right. My own plan this time round is to run high mileage (ok, nothing new here) and do a long race (marathon to 50k) on a few occasions at training effort, not race pace. The Dublin marathon will be the first of these, there is a 30 miler in Sixmilebridge in November, I may do the Clonakilty marathon in December if recovery from the first 2 long runs goes well (I will make a late decision) and I have signed up for a 50k in February already. To build up my aerobic conditioning, I will not do any races between now and New Year at least (which sadly means skipping the 5k series in Killarney this year [I actually feel guilty about that]), but might do some actual races in 2012 (Mallow or Ballycotton spring to mind, but I haven't decided anything yet). If this works better than the plan I followed 2 years ago will become apparent on 1 April 2012.
Having finally overcome my particularly nasty shin problem, I immediately had to deal with yet another issue. On Monday and Tuesday I had an awful metallic taste in my mouth. Niamh dryly remarked that this used to be one of her early signs of pregnancy, but I think we can rule that out in my case. I was not surprised to have a sore throat on Wednesday, but that's as far as it went. I still have a sore throat today, but my running is not affected and I sure don't feel ill. I guess my immune system is fighting off whatever is trying to invade my body and since my immune system has an excellent track record of getting on top of these things without confining me to rest, I am not worried.
October is the time of the year when I become interested in the Moon phases again, That's not because of a keen interest in astronomy (though there is that as well), but because the Moon is a very handy light source early in the morning. I got a nice surprise on Thursday when a bright Moon provided a huge contrast to the pitch dark, rainy morning of the previous days. No wind, no rain, just a stunning star-lit sky and then an explosion of pink and orange as the sun rose. Unfortunately, the rain had returned by Friday.
Saturday was the one day of the week when I allowed myself to run faster, though still very much in control. This used to be Fast Friday under the coach's guidance and it still works the same way, with the heart rate no higher than 155. I enjoyed the faster pace so much that I did not even notice the driving rain, except when I stepped into a 2-inch deep puddle a mile away from home.
Sunday morning was beautiful again; I regretted not bringing my sun glasses early on as the sun shone right into my face, but it stopped me from looking like a right tool when running in the rain an hour later. It was bright and sunny again by the time I got home - this is Kerry, after all. I spent much of the first half slowing myself down, but let the autopilot take over during the second half and cruised home in a meditative trance. One thing I noticed was that I automatically ran on my toes on the long, fairly steep climbs around Caragh Lake. If that was due to the slightly faster pace or if I'm adapting to the hill runs, I'm not sure.
I almost averaged 7:30 pace on a very hilly run and would easily have run faster had I not reigned myself in so much. The last time I was in similar shape I ran 2:59 in Vienna, and the 1:23 I ran on the brutally hilly Valentia course 2 weeks ago points the same way, though I am not entirely convinced that I would have the stamina to hold the effort for 26 miles right now. My real hope is to be able to build on that over the winter. Connemara is still over 5 months away.
- 13 Oct
- 12 miles, 1:34:55, 7:55 pace, HR 138
- 14 Oct
- 10 miles, 1:17:27, 7:45 pace, HR 146
- 15 Oct
- 8 miles, 55:55, 6:59 pace, HR 154
- 16 Oct
- 16.6 miles, 2:05:50, 7:35 pace, HR 146
Weekly Mileage: 75+