Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fergal - Week 1: Elite Participant


Just 6 weeks to go until the Beir Bua Waterford Adventure race. Looking forward to racing in the ‘’sunny south east’’ it’ll make a change from the usual locations for adventure race’s, i.e. the Wicklow mountains or out here in the Wild West. 

 At this stage it may be less about ‘’Beir Bua’’ for me and more about surviving the day. It certainly looks like a tough challenge; training will need to get intense for the next month if I’m to avoid crawling up the Sugarloaf. It’s not that I haven’t done this kind of race before, but it has been a while. 

I have started upping the distances in training over the last few weeks after a winter of run training focusing on the 10k distance. Completed quite a few 10k’s over the winter none of which went well. I couldn’t manage a sub 40 min finish in any of them. I have actually been enjoying the change in focus to longer distance training and spending more time on the bike. This weeks training has been a bit up & down. Started ok with a steady 21k road run Monday night, but Tuesday/Wednesday were a washout, picked up a bug and had to go straight to bed after work each night. 

Felt considerably better Thursday so did 5 x 1km run with 60 seconds rest interval between each. Friday was usual 8km tempo run, it’s a hilly route, not helped by a strong headwind for the 1st half today, so my time wasn’t great. Saturday was the real test of how far off race fitness I am. Basically a simulated race day (minus the Kayak, I haven’t convinced the wife just yet that a kayak is an essential piece of household kit). Started early 6.30 so I’d at least have a good portion of it done before the kids got up. 1st section was an undulating cycle with a couple of killer hills to Sliabh Ban Mountain in East Roscommon overlooking the Shannon, it’s no Sugarloaf but it’s certainly the highest ground in the area. Cycle length = (17km) 2nd section was a (9.5km) run around the mountain. 3rd section was a repeat of the 1st to get me home again. Finally the 4th section was my usually 8km run route at home. Total distance = 51.5km total time = 3hr 7min. 

Sunday was a rest day, not sure hauling around 20k plus stones whilst building a rockery in our front lawn counts as rest though. Monday I took advantage of the day off to get my long run out of the way early. Awful day though, incessant rain. Thought I’d try the racecourse in Roscommon for some gentle off road running, had intended doing about 20k but was just dead today, every lap was an effort so I called it off after 15k. Good spot for running though, there’s an inner track of sand which is good for some simulated beach running, as well as a small section of loose stone/gravel which was good for working on keeping your footing on a loose surface, and of course plenty of grass. After that it was time for more ‘’gardening rest’’.

Until next week - Fergal

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