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Posts tagged ‘halfmarathon’

Coffee Morning for Reachout & Other Good News

The story so far is pretty positive; I’ve finished nine marathons so far with the tenth due on Saturday, with no injuries to report. But more importantly, €1,384 has been raised so far for Reach Out, which is slightly over 25% of our target. With that in mind, the third fundraising event of the year will be a coffee morning held at St Brigid’s Hall, Dunleer, Co. Louth at 10.30am next Friday.

Directions can be found here http://goo.gl/maps/49QR

Also if you’re on Facebook, I have it setup as a public event, please invite your friends, even if it’s just to make them aware of Reach Out. All support is very much appreciated. http://on.fb.me/NbobmL

By the way, the good news I mentioned in the title? Very soon, I’ll be contributing articles for runireland.com, which is Ireland’s biggest running website and attracts 400,000 unique visitors per year. Naturally, I’m very excited about this and hope that it will the campaign gain even more momentum. There’s a lot to be positive about today!

A 9-Week Marathon Training Program

I’ve been asked by a few people about my training for this challenge so I thought I’d throw together a quick post about it. First off, this is just what’s worked well for me in the past and there are plenty of pieces that could be worked into the program – for instance, I don’t do enough core exercises and I hardly ever have time to exercise with weights. For plans that are individually tailored to you, you should consult with your coach, a physio or other experienced members of your running club. (You should definitely be a member of a running club – and you should also do yoga with Emma Stafford for that matter!)

Week 1

Monday: rest or easy jog

Tuesday: rest of easy jog

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: 4 miles

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 12/14 miles

Week 2

Monday: rest or easy jog

Tuesday: rest of easy jog

Wednesday: 4 mile handicap time trial

Thursday: rest or easy jog

Friday: 4 miles

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 14 miles very slowly

Week 3

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 1 mile easy 1 mile steady 1 mile easy

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Half Marathon (13.1 miles)

Sunday: rest or easy jog recovery

Week 4

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 6 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 1 mile easy 2 mile steady 1 mile easy

Sunday: 14/16 miles easy

Week 5

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: rest or easy jog

Wednesday: 6/8 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 18 miles

Week 6

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest or easy jog

Wednesday: 6/8 miles

Thursday: 1 mile easy 2 mile steady 1 mile easy

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 18/20 miles

Sunday: Rest

Week 7

Monday: Rest or easy jog

Tuesday: 4 miles

Wednesday: 6/8 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 18/20 miles

Week 8

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 6 miles

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: 4 miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4 miles Time Trial

Sunday: 10/12 miles

Week 9

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 4 miles

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: 2 miles

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

If you decide that you want to run a marathon every couple of weeks (and why not?), a good idea would be to use the plan for the last two tapering weeks to fill the gaps in between. Also, this article by Hal Higdon, entitled ‘Running More Than One 26-Miler A Year‘ also has some useful tips. Now go do some running!

Finally Breaking the 4-Hour Barrier

On Sunday the 13th of May, I ran in the Kildare Marathon. It was only the third time this marathon, which starts from the world famous Curragh Racecourse, had taken place.

My preparation was to put it mildly, less than ideal. The previous weekend, I had run three marathons in as many days. On the second of these, in Limerick, I had come tantalisingly close to breaking four hours, missing out by just a few minutes. I managed to avoid getting injured, but my legs were completely swollen the whole way down and my feet wouldn’t fit into my shoes for two days afterwards; it took the whole week for them to return to their normal size. So naturally, training was pretty unpleasant that week!

Also, there is a rule of thumb when it comes to marathons. It’s usually left unwritten but most runners seem to agree with it, and that is that one should always try to get plenty of sleep  … and should definitely never EVER go out partying the night beforehand. So to cut a long story short, I went to my rather fantastic friend Meghan’s birthday party and ended up getting somewhere in the region of two to three hours sleep that night.

I regret nothing!!!

Also, I hadn’t really followed my diet plan at all that week. I had a forty minute drive the next morning to get to the Curragh Racecourse and got a sandwich with a gatorade from a petrol station on the way there. I hadn’t even thought to buy more gels, so I only had the three that were left over from the previous week. Finally, it was a swelteringly hot morning, and it would only get hotter as the day wore on. So to sum up, I was expecting nothing special.

I ended up surprising myself. The full route results are uploaded here; I started off with the 3hr45min pacers and kept them in sight for as long as possible, although I eventually fell slightly further back. At time of writing, the main details that stick out for me occurred during the last four miles as we were coming into Kildare town. Hills were run that normally would have been walked, all the gels and water had long since been used up, and to put it delicately, there was some stomach unpleasantness towards the end.

The first four miles were fun, the last four – not so much…

When it comes down to it, finishing under four hours is simple – you just can’t stop running. You can briefly stop for water but that’s about it. This is obviously easier said than done but I think the fact that I have a worthy cause to run for does help. Also I have wonderful friends that love and support me, and think that what I’m doing is good. You wouldn’t believe how many tough spots that dug me out of, it makes all the difference in the world.

Next marathon is in Portumna on June 16th.

Final time: 3:56:53

The Wake Up Call (Part 1)

The exact moment I knew this challenge was going to be ‘a bit tricky’ was when I got home on the 16th of December and my heels stopped working. You can imagine my surprise when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to walk up (or down) the stairs for the next three days. I won’t  bore you with the details just yet; suffice to say that in a grand show of foolhardiness, I decided to prove to the folks that called me crazy a few weeks earlier  that they were right! But more on that later. Since setting up the MyCharity.ie page, €85 has been raised over the last few weeks for ReachOut.com which is an encouraging start. Also, since my last post, I have registered for a number of these marathons – some of them are pretty normal, run-of-the-mill events. Some of them, on the other hand, are slightly different.

The Mooathon. Only in Donegal.

Just on the off chance that the ‘milking stations’ alone might not be enough to power me over the finish line, I decided it might be a good idea to do some training. Not that I was completely out of shape mind you, obviously on the outside I still looked fantastic – however, after my  final year at  DCU, my innards had steadily recomposed themselves into something mostly made up of pizza, chocolate and Folgers premium blend. Shockingly, therefore, it turned out that some people thought that I might not have been entire serious about this whole running business. So, as part of an effort to prove that this whole thing is neither a fantasy, a misunderstanding or some form  of elaborate practical joke, (or precursor to being elected in a Boris-esque manner), I thought I should write about some of the preparations that I have been doing over the last few months.

I’ve been training with the Drogheda and District Athletic Club since the 22nd of October. For the first couple of days, stretching into the first couple of weeks, I was sweating my ass off finishing the most basic sessions. Even on days where I was only doing ‘slow training’, (where basically you run continuous laps at a steady pace for as long as possible), I was being overtaken by kids half my age.

Some manner of cheating may have been taking place…

Part of the reason for this is, of course, that I am still awful at pacing myself. Whether running one mile or twenty, I always start out trying to keep up with the guy who can do a 3 hour marathon and then practically collapse by the end of the run. Thankfully, like most teething problems , this is starting to pass. After a while, we moved onto doing ‘miles’, in which you run a mile at a moderate pace, stop for a quick breather, and repeat the process for about 40 minutes. More recently, as the weather started turning nasty (rendering the grass-track temporarily unusable) we started doing hill training.

Hill training, for those of you who have not  tried it, is truly evil. For us, it consists of a 2km run from the Meadow View pitches at Hazel Lane to the bottom of Mary Street across the way from Drogheda’s Scotch Hall shopping centre.  Having made it that far, you are then expected to  do a 350 metre dash up Mary Street, which is on a sharp hill, and then a slow jog/walk back down to the bottom. This is repeated 12 times, a total of 8400 metres. At that point, the return  2km run back to Meadow View pitches and the safety of our cars begins.  A grand  total distance  of 12.4 km or 7.71 miles, come rain or shine. The entire route looks like this:

So far so reasonable. Two nights a week formal training and short sessions around the roads at home to fill in the gaps. By the middle of December, I was running about 30 to 40 miles a week which according to various reputable sources (including that classic tome “Marathon Training for Dummies”) is the minimum distance you need to cover in order to eventually finish a marathon without walking … or dying. Then December 16th came along, and I decided to do something very stupid indeed.

To be continued next week – same Battimesame Batchannel….

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