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/

 

Sunday Session

The weather has really changed over the last week and we are finally hitting some winter conditions. It is that time of year when I have no idea what to wear, especially when going on a brick session like I was today. In the end I settled for a tri suit, under armour on top and a cycling jersey. Perfect for the bike, although a bit on the warm side while running.

I trained on my usual course, with a 19km cycle from Galway , a 10km run through bog, hills and forest trails and decided to extend the cycle home to 38km. All in a ll a good session, although the wind was really tough in sections. As always the wind helped in other sections as well. This 10km bog run always varies in time from my best of 49 minutes to about 53 minutes. Today was just over the 50 mark so I was happy enough, having saved myself a little for the final bike leg. I fueled throughout on some high five gels and a Clif bar after the run.

This training took me around 3 hours in total, which I need to do at least once a week with Sea to Summit only 3 weeks away. The intensity is just below race pace, leaving a little in the tank if possible. In saying that the rest of my Sunday was very slow!

The three legs of this brick session can be seen in the stats below.

http://connect.garmin.com/modern/calendar

Cloosh cycle/run/cycle

I enjoyed this tough session today.  With a brick session in mind this morning I decided on a course I have only tried once before. It invovles a cycle from Galway out to Roscahill on the Clifden road, the a very hilly and soft bog run and summit run to the mast in Cloosh. Then a  descent on forest tracks back to the bike for the relatively fast spin home. All in about 2 hours 15 mins of training and I felt mostly good. My knee is still not 100% after the fall last weekend and my hip has been tight all week but we will battle on. A little rest now and lots of food before work again tonight. These late shifts take some getting used to but are fun.

I have posted the link once more below to the sessions today. Nice to actually remember my watch for once. Heart rate is still high but I am trying to train to the max at the moment so this is probably a good thing. Now for some food, or should I say lots !

http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard

New course

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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.

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Time for a snack once home!

Knockma/Castlehackett hill training

Today was my first hill training session since November and it seems my winter in the gym and running on the road has paid off. At least today i felt good and the hills were fun. My GPS unfortunately didn’t work so i don’t have my splits, hill climbs and distance for this one but i did a good 55 minute session with 6 long hill climbs mixed in. Great to get back training in some wilderness, mud and slippery terrain. Lets hope there are plenty more good sessions like this one in 2014.