Thursday, September 17, 2009


I think I should at least mention the video Niamh took of the start of the Dingle marathon on Saturday. The quality is poor, I’m afraid, which I of course blame entirely on the crapness of our cheap camera rather than on Niamh's awesome recording talents.

With this out of the way, I can put the Dingle marathon behind me, I think. In retrospect I’m very happy with that race. I ran well within myself during the first half and pushed harder during the second one. If you take the elevation profile and the unseasonably high temperatures into account I rate it at least as highly as last year’s 3:05 in Dublin.

Ok, I know you are going to hold me to my promise about a glimpse into my plans for the near future, but I’m pretty sure that anyone called Mike won’t approve.

As you might be aware, there’s a marathon in Dublin at the end of October. That’s six weeks after Dingle. Ok, six weeks and two days. And I’m going to be there, and that’s what I’m training for right now.

This isn’t a spur of the moment decision. I signed up for Dublin all the way back in July. I just didn’t tell anyone about it. I’m perfectly aware that this might be a very dumb idea, but the way I see it, you never really know for sure until you actually try it. I took a good look at Pfitzinger’s “6 weeks between 2 marathons” program, and it basically consists of 2 weeks recovery, 2 weeks training and 2 weeks taper, and that’s exactly what I have in mind.

So far, recovery is going very well. I have been doing a few short runs, and the soreness is already gone from my legs, just 5 days after the marathon. I don’t quite know why I’m feeling so good, but I’m sure the high training mileage has a lot to do with it, and I sure am not complaining. But don’t worry, I’m not about to get carried away. This week and next week are definitely still under the banner of recovery.

The one thing I am undecided about is if I should race between now and Dublin. The only suitable race I’m aware of is the Cork-to-Cobh 15 mile race in 2 weeks’ time. I did that last year and had a great race, but I also think it may have hurt my Dublin performance. Of course there is the option of doing it at marathon effort, but I don’t know if I have the discipline to run with the breaks engaged (read: I seriously doubt it). Plus, I don’t really fancy driving 2 hours each way to run at an effort level that I could have done during a normal training run at home. Though it would be nice to meet a few of the Cork runners again, if they happen to take part themselves. For various reasons I haven’t done a race in Cork since Ballycotton, and that was all the way back in March! Considering that I used to run almost all my races in that county, that’s quite remarkable. Anyway, I still have not signed up for it, and I still have not made my up mind.
16 Sep
4 miles, 31:44, 7:56 pace, HR 141
17 Sep
4 miles, 31:55, 7:59 pace, HR 139


  1. Good luck with Dublim, sounds like a crazy, cool sort of idea, but it might work!

  2. I knew it, good for you. After a poor showing in London ’07, I decided to race Ottawa… I think they were four weeks apart. My advice, if you’re gong to run back to back marathons, more than ever does the quote “less is more” need to be heeded.

    You’ve just had a great race in Dingle (apart from some cramping and a hill). You’re fit, be comforted with that knowledge.

    Oh yeah, one last thing, do NOT race Cork-to-Cobh.

  3. Great idea Thomas, especially seeing as you're feeling quite fresh already. Have to agree with Michael though in not doing Cork to Cobh, especially seeing as it comes in the middle of your training segment.

  4. I was talking to Barry that I found running 2 marathons close together last year took to much out of me, his reply; running 2 marathons is not the problem, its what you did between them that was the problem!
    Yeah, think hard about that 15 mile race, is it worth making yourself tired for Dublin, you've got a great base of fitness and when your body rebuilds its self from the marathon it will be stronger than ever!
    After your two weeks of recover all you really need is some sharpening up work to bring you to the boil for Dublin!
    Think carefully and your have a 'good en' come Dublin.

  5. I think running Dublin is a great idea! This year I've done more ultra's than in previous years and it really feel it has benefitted.

    I think 6 weeks will be fine as long as you keep to your 2 weeks recovery, 2 weeks hard and 2 weeks taper.

    I would NOT do the 15mile race. If your priority is Dublin then don't do anything that would undermine that and a hard race (and I agree you will not be able to run at marathon pace!) would not help.

    But at the end of the day you know what is best for you so do what feels right.


    PS are you happy with Man City these days???

  6. I've never been called 'Mike', so I reckon it's a great idea.

    And I concur with Rick's advice. Don't do the 2 training weeks at 100 miles each! And don't race Cork. All you need to do is train enough to retain the fitness you have, then you've got a Dublin PB - something close to 3 hours.

  7. Well you never listen to me anyway but DON'T RACE CORK! Dublin sounds like a good idea considering all the factors and how well you seem to have recovered. My back to back thons a few years ago went OK but the times were mediocre since they were only 3 weeks apart.

  8. Thomas, there is nothing like a fairly tough race to bring you to peak fitness – provided you let your body recover properly. Despite the cramp on the final hill you did not drive your body to total exhaustion at Dingle, so once your recovery from the transient aches and pains is complete, you will almost certainly be fitter that you have ever been before. Two weeks of recovery, a couple of weeks of sharpening up and another taper should put you in great shape for Dublin.

  9. If it's the Mike i'm thinking of hecannot but approve - I recall back to back marathons 3 weeks apart this time 2 years ago.

    It's all said above, responsible training between now and Dublin and the least you'll get is a PB and you'd never know which side of the 3 hour mark it will fall. Look forward to seeing you in Dublin.