Winter Trails

After spending some time running on the road I have  realised that trail and mountain running is what really draws me to running. I grew up in the wilds, hunting and fishing, and I’m sure this is where my love for the outdoors grew. Now that I am living in a city, even though a small one, the days when I get out running in the wilds I enjoy it even more. It was  mentioned in the post below that I’m not alone in this thinking.

“400,000 people participated in 2,702 trail races worldwide in 2012, the most recent statistics available. That’s a big jump from 2000, when 90,000 runners took part in 450 races” I wonder what 2016 figures will be?

This article  is well worth a read for those of you ready to stick on the trail runners and leave the pavements behind. I am not knocking road running as it is an amazing sport in itself but I think those of you who haven’t tried the trails should give it a lash.
I spent the last week mostly in the gym and on watt bike. I also knocked out a good running session on the hills in Castlehackett and played a soccer match on Tuesday night at some crazy late hour. A mixed week but during the winter more than ever I feel mixing it up is more fun.
Knocknagoneen Hill with the tide rushing into Rusheen Bay.
A few quick snaps from our walk in Galway, Silver Strand this evening. Oh and I found a hill for hill speed repeats! A new training ground awaits. With this in mind I signed up for the Gaelforce Mountain Run in March. A 26km run in the Maam Turks awaits to kick off a season which will most likely involve more racing than ever.

 

NUI Galway 8km

I’m there in one of yellow t-shirts, around the second row, but most importantly I have to mention the two guys to right of the photo in yellow t-shirts. These two lads decided to sprint off the start line at full pelt. One of them was onfront of me and was roaring laughing at his mate! By the time the first bend arrived they were swallowed up by the pack but it was funny to see  and also great to see people having so much fun .
It was a  stunning sunny morning with 650 or so people taking part. My plan was to try and beat my previous pb of 30 minutes. I rarely race in 8km races and due to all endurance training of late this fast pace race was going to be a real test.  It turned out to be 8km run at real high pace, including a first kilometer in 3.15 min. I realised I was going out too fast but to be honest I just wanted a hard training session and the hope of a PB at the same time. I held a good pace throughout, averaging 3.40 min km and finishing in 12th place in 29.12. It was great to see my girlfriend and one of my best friends both getting pb’s too. All in all a very successful morning and off to bubble football for my sisters 30th soon after. Happy birthday Linsey !!

Bubble football group!

Results list and some stats below..

http://www.redtagtiming.com/results/NUIG8km_2014.pdf

http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/610794196

Mountains, Bike and Heat

A real West of Ireland training session today, apart from the weather. 25 degrees and sunshine! I decided to make the most of my day off and get a good bit of training in. I set off for the Twelve Ben mountains, 40 miles from Galway and threw the bike on the car to make sure I managed a bit on the bike today too. I arrived around 1pm, in some crazy heat but hit off with a plan to do 3 peaks and then a 30km  spin on bike from car to Clifden and back. I took a few videos as I went along and the session can be seen on Garmin link once more. The total for the hike, run and bog run finish was 9km, but man did it feel like alot more!

An evening of football is planned now, with Brazil v Mexico awaiting. First of all a dip in Galway Bay to cool down the muscles.

Enjoy the weather !!

http://youtu.be/mkwCR_Wcf04

http://youtu.be/0sm0BRjQGms

http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard

 

 

New course

image

image

I finished work a little early today and decided to use my time to try a course I had in mind for some time. A 20k spin out on bike and then a hill, bog, trail run in some really remote countryside North West of Galway city. The area is called Cloosh and it is an area I had always wished to run. On my journey I encountered soft boggy ground, hard trails, hills, and a occasional sheep along with a rare pair of grouse! A perfect training area with mixed ground.
Unfortunately my garmin wasn’t charged but all in I covered about 8km of this terrain. On reaching my bike I was starving. I had no gels either today. Definitely not one of better preparations, but I had a protein bar and a banana along with some fluids and flew back home on bike. A nice fast paced 48km bike/run. It is good to finally get some combined sessions in after a long winter.

image

image

Time for a snack once home!

Mountain Training on Twelve Bens Connemara

Mountain Training on Twelve Bens Connemara

A 3hr 30min session peaking 8 of the 12 mountains in the Bens horseshoe.

Last saturday was my second time up the 12 pins or bens in conemara and I have to say its some place. spectacular scenery and the ultimate training ground for a mountain runner or adventure racer not to mention a keen hiker. I set off with my girlfriend and 2 other friends at 1pm. As they were out for a more leisurely climb i took off to test myself and try push over a few peaks. Recovering from an ankle injury some weeks ago I found the downhill harder than usual but my general fitness seemed ok.

Explaining the 12 bens a little bit 8 of the peaks form a horseshoe around a big valley and this is where I base myself. In order to do the other 4 peaks you would need more time as they jut out in different directions. I hope to post a map shortly! My route took me from right to left around 8 peaks and back across the bog to where I started.

The first climb was steep and tough with a few less steep peaks to follow although the terrain fiffers from loose rock to solid boulders to bog, grass and the odd sheep jumping out from under the heather!

After descending the last peak there is a long or what seems long at thsi stage bog run back to the car. My favourite type of running but after energy zapping climbs it seemed longer than usual.

So straight home and out for my sisters birthday in Galway. Who says us adventure racers cant have a bit of craic! I did however rehydrate as much as possible before hand and plenty sugars and fluids were taken on throughout the day !