Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post Portumna

I had a closer look at my 5k splits from Portumna:

00 -  25k: 25:13 25:09 25:12 25:04 25:00
25 -  50k: 24:23 24:23 24:38 25:12 25:22
50 -  75k: 25:34 25:37 25:21 25:07 25:55
75 - 100k: 26:53 26:53 27:19 27:41 28:06

The first 70k are pretty impressive, if you don't mind me saying so. The pace did slow down after that but never in a disastrous fashion. The last two laps were slower but more because I conciously decided not to push as hard and risk a cramp; had I been in a close fight for a place I'd have taken that risk, obviously with uncertain outcome.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this. In Doneadea, back in February, I started strugging after the marathon mark. In Staplestown I got to 50k before seriously feeling the effort, and in Portumna I got to 70k, which is very nice progress. I'm far better conditioned for a long ultra race than I've ever been.

That's another point that I still have to get my head round properly: training is more or less done. Belfast is only 4 weeks away. Yikes! This week is an exceptionally easy recovery week, next week will see some higher mileage, though I don't know how high yet. I'll play it by ear. It will also see the Waterford marathon, and again I don't know what I'll do there and will play it by ear (I won't be setting any records, that much is certain).

I am still undecided on what shoes I will wear in Belfast; I recently started breaking in my final (sniff!) pair of Brooks Green Silence; my pair of Saucony Kinvara, which I used in Portumna, has now over 700 miles on them, which should make the decision to opt for the Brooks a no-brainer, except that I find the Kinvaras wonderfully comfortable at the moment. The temptation is definitely there to use them in Belfast, but it seems rather unwise to use such an old pair for a 24 hours race. I'll definitely bring 2 pairs, but I have never switched shoes in a race before and don't really plan on doing so in Belfast either, so in all likelihood whatever pair I am wearing at the start will still be on my feet 24 hours later.

This week has been exceptionally easy, and will remain so for a bit longer. My tried and tested recovery strategy is to run 5 miles each day, which leads to faster recovery than full rest. Sunday's run started with a truly pathetic hobble at 14-minute mile pace but thankfully got better soon. I have been getting a little bit quicker every day, but I'm only running once a day - I think doing 2 runs a day prolonged my recovery after Staplestown. I'll see and compare next week to find out which works better.

17 Jun
5 miles, 43:48, 8:46 pace, HR 123
18 Jun
5 miles, 42:13, 8:27 pace, HR 127
19 Jun
5 miles, 41:48, 8:22 pace, HR 126


  1. Hi Thomas, great run in Portumna! My buddy Billy Holden is making great strides in the ultra world. Like the pic of the two of you after the race. He's like yourself, driven! Delighted to see you're down for Waterford. My target race for the year so far. Going to try and get as close to the 3 hr mark as possible. Never know might be pacing off yourself!!

  2. Yes, nice splits Thomas. I was busting a gut to run 24:XXs in the Parkrun not that long ago. Presume Belfast is a lap course (track?) so why not take a variety of shoes? A shoe change won't take long.

  3. I'm on a similar recovery plan Thomas, this mornings run saw my pace improving a lot. pretty much back to 6.5 pace. I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing. I'll play it by ear next week as well. Enjoy Waterford, I find the Saucony cortana 3's very comfortable....but like yours they have seen better days now. Impressive splits. Mine are attroucious.