Mixed Training

The last week I have tried to combine some hill work, with some strength work on the bike and fit in a little rest somewhere in the middle! The plan is to do the NUI Galway 8km run on Saturday to test myself at a different distance and work a bit on my speed on the road. My basic thinking at the moment is to mix up my training to keep things interesting for the winter. A combination of the gym, the road, the trails and the hills should work out nicely.  This combined with a few good hill sessions and a mountain or two thrown in and I should be able to bring my times down in Sea to Summit race.

What are peoples thoughts on these three books? Born to Run, Eat and Run, and Chi Running.

I really enjoyed Eat and Run and think I learnt alot from this book. The idea of diet being as important as Scott Jurek has made it is amazing. Born to Run is a great story but I haven’t managed to try bare foot running just yet. I plan on minimalist shoes soon and see how things go from there. I heard good things about Chi Running but have yet to read this one.

A few  sessions from the last week!


Battered and Bruised but worth it

RACE REPORT, Dingle Adventure Race 2014

I made my way to Dingle, Co. Kerry on Friday evening, registered for the race and got an early night. I had never taken part in this race before so I was looking forward to the test. At 8.20am I made my way to the start line. This race started on the bike for 25km, then a 10km hike/run of Mt Brandon, then a 10km road run, followed by a 2km Kayak and finally a 1km run to the line.

On arrival I noticed that the field was going to be incredibly strong with Adventure race winners on all sides of me at the starting line. A great atmosphere, yet I knew this was going to be one of my hardest races ever. Little did I know what lay ahead in the next 3 hours!

At 9am off we went, following the race car to the foot of the Connor Pass climb where the fog horn sounded and we were off. Withing minutes the race was split into a few groups. I stayed in the second group chasing the lead pack of 5 or 6 riders. The legs were feeling good all the way up the climb and I knew if I held this position I would be within touching distance of the lads ahead. The descent wasn’t quite as much fun! A very steep fast descent with slippy roads which I have to say I’m still not that good at and definately need practice. In saying that I managed to keep within the top 15 when we reached the first dib and bike drop off.

So now the fun began, Mount Brandon loomed in the distance and I could see the orange marker flags heading off in the distance as I made my way up the muddy tracks. I passed 5 guys in the first 2km and then 1 guy passed me so I knew I was doing ok and if I could hold my own I would be fast on the mountain descent.The views must of been spectacular but to be honest I only looked around for about 10 seconds as it was a very technical course with lots of trip hazards. At one stage 2 sheep bounded out right on top of me and tore off down the mountain. I just thought how I  wished I was going down just like them. In total it is a 950 metre ascent and towards the end there is a really steep stretch just to finish you off.

I completed the climb in around the hour and was ready for a long descent before the 10km road run ahead. Within 5 minutes of heading down my race changed dramatically. I tripped and landed front first on a pile of rocks. In saying it was a disaster would be a overstatement as I wasn’t badly injured. I was cut on my hands and face,  bruised on my left thigh and very sore on both knees. I remember thinking and saying outloud ” no way am I stopping now after travelling all the way to Kerry, I will finish in the top 10″. Of course I shouted this with quite a few explitives thrown in and some funny looks from a marshal just up the mountain!

I dusted myself down and began to descend once more. I hadn’t lost any race places but man was I sore. All I could think of was Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run” and how he had fought through the pain of torn ligaments to win an ultramarathon. All I had to do was run 15km more with a few bruises and scraps. My mountain descent turned out to be ok but my 10km road run was slow. Along with the pain I was beginning to burn as well. I kept going and until 8km was completely on my own. At this point 2 athletes past me. The bells rang out in my head that I was now in 9th place. At the foot of the mountain I had been informed I was in 7th. I arrived at the kayaks about a minute behind the 2 that had just passed me. I hopped on board, in pain, and really not expecting I would be able to get out of this boat ever again ! Within 5 minutes I had passed one of the two guys ahead of me and was up to 8th. I completed the 2km in under 10 minutes and finished the last 1km of race strongly enough to cross the line with 7th place in sight. A total of 3hours and 12 minutes.

All in all this race was more great experience for me. It also thought me that I have the will power to keep going when it gets really tough. In adventure racing your finishing place means very little if you haven’t beaten yourself. I certainly feel I bet myself in more ways than one yesterday. Some photos below and more to follow as well as race results. Well done to all involved and thanks to the organisers for a quality race.



Swollen Knees!



Article: 8 Ways to Extend Your Long Run

8 Ways to Extend Your Long Run


Glad to read this article. It backs up some of recent training techniques. I’ve only had time for one long run a week. It is actually the most relaxing session of the week with pace nicely scaled back. The quote at end of this article is excellent!
Today was a long one with early start so gym for intervals and trx this evening, followed by soccer training in a while. Hoping to hit a few hills tomorrow as I’m taking a day off work. 

Paddies Weekend !

I had an almost alcohol free Paddies weekend as the world around me seemed to go crazy. Two drinks with friends on saturday night was as mad as I went! I made the most of a free Sunday to get a good cycle and a hill run in. Details can be seen again on garmin links. All in all, 64k on bike with a 6.4k run at the half way mark. I haven’t been training at this distance on bike and I felt I clearly need to do more long spins in coming months. Paddies day was a rest day, although I was working and moving house! Into the gym today for some core, stretching, and a spinning session. I had soccer training straight after. I find this mix of training is working well for me at the moment.The plan for the rest of the week is to get an interval or two in running and another long spin on the bike towards the weekend. It’s great to see more light in the day and the prospect of some decent training weather.





Kinvara 10km Race Report

We had a great gang of 5 for the short spin to Kinvara on saturday. We arrived nice and early to soak up the atmosphere. There were all sorts chats as to finishing, just finishing, whether to use the bathroom or not, t ofuel up or go for a quick warm up run. All so different individually of course. A great comradary amoungst both beginners and more experienced runners all of whom looked forward to beating themselves out on the course.

I decided I would do a quick kilometre warm up, which I cut short as I bumped into a few old friends but I was on the start line just in time for the gun. I set off fast with the lead bunch. We tore down the main street and out towards the countryside and on 1km I checked my watch which was at 3.19. Yikes these dudes were fast. I knew the 2 guys in first and second would soon be distant figures but I was happy with how I was going and I would do my level best to stay under 3.45min/km for the duration.

After 2 km I was sitting in 4th position and feeling good, My breathing and heart rate were still on the up but all in all my legs were doing what they were meant to do and that kept me happy! We turned left onto a side road which for the next 5 km would take us up and down a few little hills and down some nice country roads before tipping over the last hill to run the final 3km. Amazingly I was still in fourth and I had beaten my 5km time already. This, however, didnt last long as within a minute 2 runners had passed me. This didnt mean anything as I was still clocking my 3.40s and would even finish on a 3.28 . The last kilometre was torture as I pushed to beat my Pb. I could see my 2 competitors all the way to the line and was greeted as I turned for home by my two nieces, my sister and my brother in law with a big high five. This drove me up the home straight and I crossed the line in 36.40. An identical time to Athenry race on Stephens day.

All in all I was very happy as the course is harder than Athenry. My feeling is even though I am not training for the 10km race in particular, my speed over longer distance is improving. Lots of bigger challenges lie ahead.

A huge congrats to my girlfriend and my other friends who all had pb’s in the race and have shown how hard work pays off every time!


The finish line!