Sunday, June 14, 2009


Training has been a bit hot/cold the last few weeks, and I’m not talking about the outside temperatures for a change. I tend to have a very good workout every now and then and invariably end up paying for it over the following few days, resulting in a few disappointing training runs. However, I can definitely feel progress being made. On average I’m getting faster while my heart rate keeps dropping, and with three months to go before the Dingle marathon there is still plenty of scope for further improvements.

Friday is the day of my second long run and I did close to 17 miles. For a change I ran the Caragh Lake loop counter-clockwise rather that my customary clockwise direction, but it mostly served a reminder why I prefer it the other way. Some of the downhill stretches were so steep that I could not run them properly, and I definitely prefer to come the other way on those. Running a clockwise loop ensures I can always stride out on the downhills, which is much preferable. That’s not to say I had a bad run, not the least. I felt very good all the way, and put the hammer down over the last few miles because I still had plenty of fuel left in the tank.

The weather can’t make up its mind at the moment. If you don’t like it just wait 5 minutes and it will all have changed, but it works the other way as well. It’s nigh on impossible to find a sunny period long enough to ensure that you don’t end up running in the rain. Sure enough, I got wet on both days of the weekend.

It didn’t distract me from my run yesterday, though. I’m presently reading the Jack Daniels book and he recommends marathon pace runs of up to 15 miles. Because of that I increased the length of the Cromane loop back to 11+ miles again. Two weeks ago I had felt this was over-ambitious and scaled back, but apparently my fitness has increased since then, because I had absolutely no trouble finishing at a good pace yesterday. I could have gone on further – in fact, I felt like I could have gone on much further, which is always a great sign. I was really pleased with that effort. Running regularly at that effort level might have been a missing piece in my training jigsaw up to now; if that’s the case then I should be able to feel the difference in Dingle. To be able to run like that towards the end of a 95+ mile week is pretty good, though of course there’s always someone else who’s doing better.

Sunday is basically my easy day, and I ended up doing a 13.5 mile recovery run with a few strides thrown in there. As I said, the weather could have been better. The first few miles I enjoyed the blue skies above me, then I got drenched for an hour wondering where the sun had gone, and for the last 4 miles it was a beautiful sunny day again, with not a cloud to be seen. Weird. The run itself wasn’t particularly remarkable, I spooled down the miles until I was back home again, not forgetting about the strides.

Next week I’d like to reach 100 miles, but since we’re flying to London on Saturday I’m not sure how many miles I’ll be able to actually do. There’s no excuse until Friday, and from then on I’ll just have to see. To spice up the holidays I’ve signed up for a 5k in London, but since we have a busy schedule for most of that week I may end up feeling rather tired anyway. I won’t commit to anything apart from enjoying the time off work.

My mom has gone back home, the kids have prevented us from sleeping much all weekend, and things are basically back to what passes as normal in our slightly manic household.
12 Jun
16.8 miles, 2:12:01, 7:50 pace, HR 147
13 Jun
11.25 miles, 1:17:39, 6:54 pace, HR 161
14 Jun
13.5 miles, 1:45:51, 7:50 pace, HR 145
incl. 13x100 strides

Weekly Mileage: 95 ¼


  1. You show great consistency Thomas which is something I've always struggled with. The three months of training to go will certainly produce the looked-for improvements. You run in much harsher weather than I! Also, my course for my harder runs is much, much flatter. I'm at sea level with just two inclines that you wouldn't even notice (but I do).

    Keep that mileage up but don't press it. One way I've cured the mileage issue is by tracking the 7 day moving average. I find I hit 100 mid-week but drop back down into the 90's by Sunday. Plus I'm running by time this cycle and that has made a difference in my expectations. You're doing great!

  2. I'm sure that 0.25miles is very important... it'll be the difference between gaining a sub-3 time and not!! :)

  3. Good luck in the 5k if you end up racing. I've always thought that time for a 5k race is a good indicator of what you might run for a marathon, if you're in marathon shape, and you certainly appear to be close to that.