Monday, February 18, 2013

Race Weekend

When Niamh first informed me that we were going up to Dublin for that weekend, my first thought was "what about my training!", especially as I knew it would already have been disrupted by our trip to Disneyland, and with Tralee only 4 weeks away it really did not seem like the ideal time to go travelling yet again. As it happened, my previous coach has already told me to take it easy (in fact he did so twice. I more or less ignored him the first time round) and training lost from now on can be seen as recovery gained.

There was also the small matter of another race in the Gneeveguilla race series, though that one really was a small matter. My main problem was that Niamh had already left for Dublin on Thursday, leaving me without a car, but thankfully Michael gave me a lift to the race. The 5k itself ... well, I wasn't too happy. It started differently to all the other races in that George took off ahead of me instead of catching me after 1 km, but I was pretty sure that was because he started faster rather than me running slower. He told me afterwards that he did that deliberately after reading my previous race reports on the blog. After that I just kept going at the effort level that seemed appropriate, very similar to all the other races in the series. I slipped at the turnaround point, but that was a minor incident. It wasn't until right at the end when I saw the timer already in the 18s that I realised that I had run slower than at all the other races so far this year. The picture from the finish confirms this; the contrast to a fortnight ago when I laid everything out on the line for a new PB compared to this time round when I look like I just finish a nice relaxing jog and you know I could and definitely should have run faster. I could beat myself over the head about it, but instead I'll take next week's final race as an opportunity to put things right again.

After the race it was time to hop on a train and go to Dublin. I only did 2 easy runs while in the smoke, though I was quite pleased to see that the HR reading has returned to better levels. The main challenge was to resist temptation at Grandad's 80 birthday party, but I managed to say no to trifle, cake, jelly and biscuits, which was no mean feat, believe you me. Definitely a better performance than at Saturday's race.
16 Feb
~6 miles, including:
   Killarney 5k, 18:10, 5:50 pace, HR 180
17 Feb
6+ miles, 45:23, 7:22 pace, HR 140
18 Feb
6 miles, 43:13, 7:12 pace, HR 142


  1. What a difference 30 or so seconds makes in our mind. But it's really nothing to worry about. Been reading a lot about how even the great runners times' vary greatly from race to race and it doesn't worry them unduly.

    Just have to get it right when it matters but that's the hard part. Keep on with it Thomas, and watch out not to over do it or you'll end up a pathetic creature like me with nothing of note to blog about except of course their injuries.

  2. You've got more willpower than me - trifle's my favourite - and Mum makes the best one in NSW!

    18:10 is still a solid time. I reckon your only problem come the marathon will be controlling your new higher speed in the early stages.

  3. I'm curious how your type of training in the week before each race compares and whether there is any correlation. Other factors like in one has a little bit of a virus or poor night sleep previously, temperature during the race, actual motivation on the day etc all play a part of how close to how well we perform so seeing a small variation is unavoidable.

    If you can see patterns emerge then you have chance of working out how best to prepare for the next race, and in particular work how best to prepare for the marathon.

  4. I ran in the race with my daughter and saw you when you were heading back in. You looked pretty good: in control and relaxed and better than the previous week when you ran faster. Don't forget you're in the middle of marathon training and you don't want to be 5k fit; you want and need to be marathon fit. I suspect, if you manage the hills in the middle of the course, you'll run well in Tralee.

    I enjoy reading your blog and I'm looking forward to seeing how you go in Tralee - if you need anything on the day let me know - I'll be out and about.


  5. You really went all out for that 17:53! Looks to me like you're in good shape for a 2:54 marathon. For 2:50, you'd need to be doing 10k in low 36's, you could surprise us yet!

  6. Re Anonymous Feb 21 2.30pm... knew a bloke who had a 10k PB of 38-low and he ran 2:48 for the marathon. 10k speed isn't everything.