Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Running With The Legend

I have been following Tony Mangan's blog pretty much from the start of his run 4 years ago. Since then he has almost covered 50000 km on foot, which adds up to a pretty impressive daily mileage. Because one loop around the world is not enough he is now adding a victory lap around Ireland, which is why I got the opportunity to run from Tralee to Killarney with him and Fozzy Forristal yesterday (Tuesday).

I joined them a few miles outside Tralee because I still had to drop off the kids to school, real life doesn't just go way of course. It was a beautiful day, Kerry showed itself from its best side. The pace was slow enough not to have to worry about my hamstring; in fact I think this may have been excellent therapy, getting the blood flowing through the muscle without it being strained. Tony has a lot of stories to tell from his travels, as I'm sure you can imagine.

The pace was slow, maybe about 14 minute miles. In fact, it was so slow that I tended to drift ahead of the guys again and again without noticing; I eventually tried to remedy this by running behind them instead.

With a few breaks along the way it took us about 4 hours to reach Killarney. Tony's crew wanted him to continue onwards because it was a rather easy day but Tony was delighted to have a shorter day for a change and was having none of it.

It was the longest run on my dodgy hamstring, but due to the slow pace it was not unduly taxed. Slightly emboldened by the recovery processes I ventured out for a bit longer on Wednesday morning, doing 8 miles. My calves were surprisingly sore, much more so than after a marathon. I guess I'm not used to Tony's pace. The rest felt fine though, including the hamstring, which was still a bit tight but not painful. It was a cold day and I wore tights in an attempt to keep the muscles warm. I don't know if it does make a difference, but apart from spoiling my good looks it doesn't do any harm.

I was just thinking that every time I head into a pacing gig in Dublin I always seem to have some body part to worry about, be it the Achilles, the hip or, this time, the hamstring. And yet I never had to pull out completely or even just drop down to a slower pace slot. Obviously I'm hoping history will repeat itself. I really should get some marathon pace miles under my belt before the big day but right now that would be too risky. Ah well. I still have 19 days.

6 Oct
5 miles, 41:01, 8:12 pace, HR 134
7 Oct
14.6 miles with Tony
8 Oct
8 miles, 1:04:44, 8:05 pace, HR 141


  1. Wow, 50000 km around the World, truly amazing! I'm sure you'll be fine in Dublin if you could run for 4 hours with Tony's crew, what a great experience it must have been! And a lot can happen in 19 days too, best of luck!

  2. Tony has achieve many amazing things, one of them being able to run at 14min/mile pace! When I walk fast I can manage 14min/mile pace. I really struggle to run anything slower than 11 min/mile pace without tripping over myself so am impressed that you were able to manage running that slow.

    Have to say I'm a bit surprised at just how slow the pace was on your run with Tony. Does he use this pace on all his daily runs?

    Does use run/walk or it simply a very slow run all the time?

  3. Spoiling your good looks? From the bloke who races in long white socks!

    Gee, 14-minute miles would have been tough going, but fantastic to run with a legend such as Tony. Sounds like the gentle jog did the hammy some good - it'll probably benefit from further easy running. I think that's how my hammys have come good - as well as slight form changes, mainly keeping the hips forward.

  4. Really amazing! Running with a legend like that is awesome. I've had a few nice runs like that myself and enjoy the wisdom they share.

  5. Been following Tony's travels myself too for the past 4 years. It's a great lap of honour he's doing.