Thursday, May 08, 2014


Km 22. Photo by Sean Murphy.
Note the tailback, and the road is clearly not closed
Recovery from Sunday's race is going okay. It's a bit slower that I would have hoped, but I DID run over 28 miles at almost 7-minute pace, so a bit of relative downtime was always on the cards, I suppose. My legs never felt sore; walking down the staircase in the office building is always the acid test and I managed that without any pain. I was feeling quite stiff, however. I followed my usual recovery procedure of doing very easy 5 mile runs, though with the one twist that I ran twice a day. On Tuesday and Wednesday I noticed a huge difference between the morning and evening runs. I felt as stiff as a plank in the mornings but a day of loosening up the muscles made for a very different evening run; I ran close to a minute per mile faster, with the same RPE.

Of course I keep thinking back to Sunday's race. I am very pleased with how it went. I came 4th out of 367 in Ireland, but the global results sounds even better, coming 140th out of almost 37000 runners. Obviously it wasn't the most competitive event ever, but still. Even my kids almost admitted to being impressed.

The race was very well organised. You could tell that sponsor Red Bull had put plenty of thought and resources into the entire package, even if I'm not entirely convinced that them putting their own spin on something as simple as a running race was strictly necessary. But then again, it was exactly that spin that made it such a unique event. The local organisers did a very good job as well, which can't have been easy.

Admittedly, there were a few things that could be looked at for next year:
  • The tracking website looked very impressive but did not work, at least not for Ireland
  • The road was not closed after Killorglin, despite the road signs saying differently
  • In contrast, I don't think the runners made themselves too popular with the closure of the road between Killorglin and Killarney, as well as the resulting long tailback through Killorglin (yes I know, can't have it both ways!)
  • One runner took a wrong turn in Killorglin. I'm not sure how he managed that as the road markings should have been obvious, but in retrospective they probably should have put a marshall on that junction.
  • The course we ran was different from the map; the change must have been done late as I could see the km markings from the original course as well as the real ones. Mind, the course we ended up running made much more sense, following the N70 rather than taking a few diversions along some tiny roads.
  • The helpers at all the aid stations after km 20 did not hand out the drinks, we had to pick them off the table ourselves. It's a minor thing, but it did cost time and was a distraction. At one station I promptly knocked over a cup, which was probably inevitable.

All of which won't distract from the success of the race. Will I do it again next year? Maybe. It depends on my other plans for 2015.

After 3 days of nothing but short recovery runs, I ventured up into the mountains again this morning. I ran the entire run on autopilot. I reckon I must be in good shape if I can run up a mountain in auto mode. I didn't run in the evening as I was on parenting duty, but after the mountain run that was probably a good thing anyway.

5 May
am: 5 miles, 42:49, 8:34 pace, HR 132
pm: 5+ miles, 39:44, 7:52 pace, HR 142
6 May
am: 5+ miles, 42:42, 8:27 pace, HR 129
pm: 5 miles, 38:48, 7:46 pace, HR 135
7 May
am: 5 miles, 42:03, 8:25 pace, HR 130
pm: 5+ miles, 38:28, 7:37 pace, HR 139
8 May
am: 10+ miles, 1:34:52, 8:49 pace, HR 139, Windy Gap


  1. That 5 mile recovery plan has served you well after the last few ultras. It's great that you know what works well for you & what gets you back to full training quickly & with minimum risk. I may try to adapt it into my training after the next race as I have a few races following shortly after. I take your point about the improvements you noticed during the race. People tend to remember the little things even if the race was otherwise well run. They need to be highlighted in order to improve the event for the following year.

  2. That was a strange format for a race. Being slow, I would have been caught very early indeed. No event in Canberra, even though it's the capital of Australia! Perhaps next year.