All Alone

There are times when we all like to be alone, however, this tends to happen quite alot when putting the hours in for adventure racing. With an unusual work schedule and everyone working and living busy lives we have to make the most of our free time. In saying this I spent six hours in the wilderness yesterday, not a very long time, but long enough to think alot. These sessions can be great for focusing the mind on both training, goals and everything in life really. It is not for everyone but for those of you out there who like to rough it, you have to give this a go.  One thing is for sure, there is an adventure playground only an hour from everyone living in Galway and it is going almost unnoticed. There are a few people out there, but apart from my mountain bike section yesterday, I never saw a soul.

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I set off by water from the Gleann shore just North West of Oughterard. A steady 6km paddle brought me to the Boardwalk at the Failmore River on the Western Way. The lake was calm and the cloud was low over the hills, making it almost eery. I decided this session would be more about putting the time in than speed, as most sessions will be this year, but in saying that I need to strenghthen in certain areas so will push harder at some points. Yesterday I decided to give the kayaking a good bash and enjoy the trek and the biking sections a little more.

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The end of the hiking section. I hiked at a good pace from my kayak to Corkog Mountain.A round trip of 14km. If you look closely at the left hand side of the photograph you will see a track in the forest where the Western Way boradwalk and my route back to kayak can be found. The majority of the hike was on boardwalk, with a very tricky and slippy ascent and descent of Corkog. I decided not to summit as the cloud was extremely low and being alone it would be a bad move to start exploring up there.

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No I didn’t kayak this piece, but it was one of the nice sights along the trekking stage. Real wilderness.

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This is an unusual sight in Connemara. Yes it is dry, but also having the support of a boardwalk while trekking over the bogs of Connemara is a strange but nice change to my usual routes. This was just before I hopped back into kayak to head back to the bike. I didn’t take any pictures of the biking stage but my mind was too concentrated on not crashing and taking on the hills to take out my phone.

My base for the day was right beside a back entrance to a great mountain biking trail called Derroura Woods. http://www.derrouramountainbikehire.com/trail.htm

This trail was a fitting end to the session, with some technical biking and some good hill climbs mixed in. There is no doubt this course is going to be a regular training ground this summer so anyone in the area feel free to get in touch and Il lead the way into this great wilderness. Camping trips are definately an option up here too, both on the islands and up the mountains.

For the real AR enthusiasts out there I presume ye are following Godzone at the moment. If so keep a keen eye on Team Sneaky Weasel Gang. Our Teammate for ITERA, Byron Munro, is on the team and they are going well. Good luck Byron and your team.

http://godzoneadventure.com/

 

Cold week off

As is often the case at the end of February in Ireland, cold weather dominates. This week, however, was alot sunnier than the last few months and with having some time off work I decided to get outside and cover some ground. I started the week with some mountain biking and finshed it today with a good spin on the kayak. It has been nice to train differently with the tendon issue hampering my running. I did a total of 5 hours kayaking over two outings on Lough Corrib. Today was a tougher session as I only covered 13km in two and a half hours. I managaed to cover 16km in the same time on Tuesday. This is an interesting observation of how both condiditons and current really slow you down on the water. It is the most peaceful type of training compared with the road biking where you are always so alert with traffic. I even managed to fish a little as I went along, although I think the fish were looking at me a little funny, wondering why I would venture out in such cold. The air and water temperatures are still around 5 degrees and with the wind it can be chilly out there

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My paddle today on the vast open Lower lake of Lough Corrib

Most of my mountain biking session was on the road on Monday with little time to make it out to the hills or offroad. I hope to do this a bit more over the next few weekends and even get a night session or two in soon. I am slowly building up my distance on the bike and kayak, with the hope I will be back running next week. This has been my longest period out of running in years, but I am sure I will have built up a new hunger when I return.

Mountain biking on Monday evening. The first sign of sunshine in months!

Check out info on our  team IKAT and upcoming events here.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011329301734

And to follow the race events more closely check out this page,

https://www.facebook.com/groups/iterarace/

I will post in some detail as to our training ideas and my own thoughts on this new adventure really soon. For now I am still trying to get my head around the madness that is to come.

 

 

Last week BC        

  

  Kayaking Saltspring Island 

  Views Saltspring Island of Vancouver Island .

  North shore mountains , Vancouver 

  North shore , top of Goat Mountain.

 A plug for Salomon on top of mount Maxwell.  
Here are a few shots from the last week in British Columbia. I beat my time on the Grouse Grind to bring my Pb to 34.02. I climbed Goat mountain and ran trails all around the Grouse mountain area. This left me a little beaten the day after especially as my ankle was acting up. Holidays being holidays I didn’t feel there was time to waste and the rest of the week was very active. We hiked and ran trails on Saltspring Island, kayaked off the Island and fitted in some early morning runs just in case things weren’t active enough. Yes, most of you will say it is relaxing I should try and accomplish while on holidays but for me this is relaxation and it clears the mind in a better way. There was of course some really good food and beers thrown in the mix. After all I am on holidays ! A massive thanks to my friends here for making the trip an amazing one. 

Oh and I threw in a bit of fishing too! 

  

Sickness and Health

Last week was a busy one. I am not complaining at all, as busy is good, but by Saturday evening training and everything caught up a bit and I finally got hit by a cold. I must admit it was a little more than the usual man flu that goes around! It has taken a few days to get through but I hope to be fit for the IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) race next Saturday. A 25km run in the Wicklow mountains.

Before I got ill I had a nice training session on the hills near home with Emma.

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Check out the great weather, as spring finally arrives in Galway!

Last weeks training went well, with some physio and yoga thrown in. This week will be more a battle to get fit for Saturday, but I intend on getting there.

I am lucky enough to get advanced kayak training at work and hope to share some exciting white water videos with you later in week. Maybe a little more adventure to my recently quiet blog.  For now it is time for more lemon and ginger tea and another early night to help the body heal.

Check out this short core session I tried recently. Ali Kamenova has some really tough short yoga/core workouts that can be perfect for before or after a run.

Back to Business

Sorry for the lack of posts since Thursday but I twisted ankle on my last run before Achill race and was a little annoyed for a day or two not to mention needing a bit of time to decide where to go from here. Luckily it was only a small twist and I am recovering well. Unfortunately though I feel it is linked to my return to football and I have made the decision to quit playing the sport I love so much, for a while at least. A recurring injury can be incerdibly frustrating and I feel it is time to focus on my racing a little more. I will manage some coaching to keep in touch with football.

As of yesterday I started a new training plan focusing on cycling, running and hopefully fitting some kayaking in somewhere. I intend to increase my endurance while still working on power and speed. This will take discipline, alot of training and hopefully enjoyment too. A fun road ahead.

I started slowly yesterday with a gym session and hit the road today for a reasonably long low intensity cycle . 54km of coastal cycling. I have a link below to the stats. A basic plan is to get some low intensity training in with a long run and a long cycle during week, combining this with strength work in gym. Then a hard session on bike and hill running at the weekends. I will post a more detailed training plan soon. This may help those of you out there interested in new personal records in adventure races and similar events.

I recently started listening to a podcast, which alot of you may of heard of, called running academy. I have a link below but there are some good casts, including one by Matt Fitzgerald on 80/20 training. This is training at low intensity 80 percent of the time and high intensity for 20. I intend on giving this a shot to see how it works. My training to date has not included enough low intensity distance work. If you train at low intensity more of the time it means you can then put everything into those short hard and fast sessions. A theory at least, but I reckon it could be a good one!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/586846262

http://runneracademy.com/running-podcast/