Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Marathon Training

The weather forecast had been pretty gruesome for the last couple of days, with wind and rain, and storm warnings for tomorrow. So far that hasn’t quite happened; while it was raining heavily each night, by the time of my runs it had calmed down to a mere drizzle on both occasions. Let’s hope tomorrow’s forecast will be equally exaggerated, because as much as I want to go running every day, running in a storm is too dangerous. I can’t run in the wood because there are heavy branches falling off trees each time there is a storm, and I can’t run along Caragh Lake because I would not feel safe from the cars on the road.

Monday was the beginning of my marathon training program, not that the runs have been markedly different. Sunday’s 8 miles were not part of the training, but Monday’s 10 miles were, but to be honest, they felt pretty much the same. My legs felt quite heavy on both runs, but manageable on each account. And on today’s recovery run, I had the lowest heart rate during a run I can remember. All of last year I ran with a pace that felt ok, but according to most of the training books around, my heart rate was consistently too high. Now, all of a sudden, I am still running at roughly the same pace, but the heart rate is in the correct zone. I certainly won’t attempt to speed up again, not with me cranking up the mileage to new levels.

For all (ok, both) of you enquiring about the pronunciation of Celtic names, Cian is pronounced “Key-ann”, Niamh is pronounced a bit like “Nee-uhv”, and (before you ask) Shea is pronounced “Shay”. I’ve heard some mispronunciations, especially from Americans (sorry, no offence), that made my ears hurt.

15 May: 10 miles, 1:24, 8:24 pace
16 May: 5 miles, 46:18, 9:15 pace


  1. You don't want to hear my pronunciation!! :)

    Great to see those improvements in the HR zone. Instead of going negative with age, you are stopping the clock and going against it!

  2. You have no idea how they butchered my last name! Even the first name sounds pretty bad in English:) Nice runs!

  3. running in a storm sounds scary!

    yay for the HR going down :)

  4. That's why we American's prefer names like Bob, and Ken, and Pat.

    Very simple.

    My wife's family is 3rd generation Irish (Gildea's and McCarthy's) and she (Michaela) and her family have had to endure years of mispronunciation, especially her niece Siobhan.

    I am looking forward to following your training as we seem to be shooting for marathons around the same time.

  5. Thomas - now there's a name I can pronounce correctly. The HR thing sounds great to me - I think it takes a long time to get it to the right zone. It means you are one fit athlete!

  6. I think we Americans are notorious for butchering the pronunciation of foreign words. My coworkers here in Germany are forever rolling their eyes or laughing at some of the German words that comes out of my mouth.

  7. People always mispronounce my real name. I just roll it with it now, though it used to really bother me. Hey, great start on your marathon training! That's a zippy 10-mile training pace.

  8. Way to go Thomas - I'll be starting my programme in 12 days when I get back from a restful week in Spain. Same marathon, maybe different goals - We'll see :)

    Liam (pronounced Lee-Am)- Now that should be an easy one, but you should have heard how it was butchered in England when I moved there as a 4 year old!

  9. Yeah, I'll admit I was pronouncing the names wrong too, but beautiful names.

    I feel the same way about my routes too, avoid the wooded area during storm

  10. Shea...is Shay..i thought it is She-I.. :)...

    Tonight i am shipping those shoes.. :0..

  11. Shea is a great name (& easy to pronounce) because it's the home of my local, and ever dissapointing Metropolitan baseball team (Mets) here in Queens.

    We're still debating the merits of calling our child to be 'Niamh' - I love it, but worry it will cause a lifetime of trouble for the kiddy living in america or scotland.

    my absolute favourite butchering-of-a-foreign-name that Americans do, is 'Notre Dame'- which goes something like "No - Ter - Dame". Cracks me up every time :)

  12. The lower heart rate hopefully means that your fitness has improved and not that your heart rate monitor is malfunctioning.

  13. Oh, I was off on the names, too. Thanks! Good running, Thomas. Happy training....but watch the storms.

  14. I'm 5th generation Canadian of Irish descent. There's a huge celtic influence here in Nova Scotia - especially in Cape Breton.

    I like the sound of your lower heart rate...I can just barely hear it from here...but there's a pulse!