Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fergal (Elite) - Training Hard

I kicked off training this week with a half marathon on the road on Monday. I pushed it on for the first half, running at 90min pace before having to ease up over the second half of the run to finish in 95mins. Not too bad but still need a little work as I’m planning on running a sub 90min half marathon later on in the year. 

Tuesday was 30mins of core/weight training, I had purchased a medicine ball at the weekend to try and target some more core work, but I think I’ll need some tips on some useful exercises to do with it from elder Bro. David, who has been doing regular circuit training incorporating medicine balls while out injured.

Wednesday & Thursday were both very long days in work so only managed a quick run interval session Thursday morning of 5x1km averaging 3.52 - disappointed with that. My run speed in this session seems to be static. 

Friday Was a 1500mt swim in 35.10 which I was surprised with as it was my only swim of the week I’d thought my times would suffer, but that was quicker than last weeks. Friday evening was a quick brick session starting with a 5km run in 19.40 followed by an 8km cycle at an easy pace in 17min and finished off with a 1.6km run in 6.15. 

Sunday was a race day - Boyle Charity Duathlon, in the fantastic location of Lough Key Forest Park. First 5km was completed in 19.37 followed by a 20k bike in 36.43 and finally a 2.5km run in 9.40. All times I’d be quite happy with and which would have been good enough for 13th place based on last years’ results, but it’s a sign of just how fast Multisport is growing and how competitive it is getting that my total time of 1.07.29 had me finishing a very ordinary 35th

I’m still happy enough with my performance though. This was, after all, a sprint Duathlon much shorter than the Beir Bua Waterford Adventure race, and I’d like to think I can do better over longer distances in tougher terrain.
Today, Bank Holiday Monday, I rather foolishly decided to race again, as a 10km was on my doorstep. The same route I raced a couple of weeks ago, nice course. I was running with the wise old owl of the family, eldest brother Kieran who’s usually good for a sub 40min 10k in his sleep, so was hoping he’d pace me around. Although a bout of food poisoning meant he shouldn’t have been lining up at all, but as usual come race day common sense was put aside and the runners were laced up. 

I do have a habit of going off too quick so even though the 1st kilometer felt slow it was judged just right coming in at 3.50, the second also felt slow but Kieran was reading the pace perfectly as the watch ticked over for a 3.54km. Then disaster, as Kieran had to drop back to be sick, the food poisoning eventually catching up with him. That was a definite blow to my confidence as I had much more faith in his ability to pace the race correctly than my own. Sure enough the next 2 km were my weakest dropping to 4.03 & then 4.08. Just after 4km though we turned, putting the breeze on our backs and I was joined by another runner who seemed to be holding a steady pace, I relaxed a bit into my stride then, just keeping time with him. 

We crossed 5km with 19.51 on the clock which was certainly slower than planned but I had increased the pace again to a steady 3.54. The next kilometer went by at exactly the same pace, and with 4 to go I started to allow myself to believe a sub 40 was on the cards. 7km was also completed in exactly 3.54. Losing Kieran had been a blow but I had lucked out by having another runner slot into his spot running a very consistent pace. 

The next km was a little slower at 4.03 but at this stage I wasn’t concerned I knew now bar a complete collapse I’d post a sub 40 time, and I think both my new companion and I were saving a bit for what we both knew was coming – the fight to the line. With 1500mt to go I made my move on a slight uphill, I figured if all this mountain running was worth anything it should give me an advantage on the gradients.

Sure enough I opened up a gap of 10-15mts, which I was sure would be more than enough. But my running mate had other ideas and as the road flattened out again, he fought back and had caught me by 9km, the racing had increased the pace of the penultimate km to 3.53. Now all thoughts of finishing times were gone it was perfect racing one on one. 

Fellow Blogger David had been following us around the course on my bike giving encouragement, and was urging for me to kick again, but I was happy enough to run shoulder to shoulder for another 600mts as I knew my 1st break hadn’t taken much out of me and I still felt strong. In saying that I know I’m no sprinter so I wasn’t going to wait for the last 100mts. So the next time David called for one last push with only 400mts to go, I put the foot down again, opening up a big gap within seconds and pushed hard all the way home to finally not only record only my 2nd ever sub 40min 10k but also a P.B. of 39.23, and 7th place overall. 

Not lightening quick by road running standards I know but it’s a goal I’ve had for a long time now and nothing beats setting yourself a goal, putting in the hard yards and finally achieving it. So If Beir Bua Waterford Adventure race is for you about winning it, finishing ahead of your mate/rival or just finishing it, put everything into it. The satisfaction of reaching your own personal goal makes up for all the hardships endured in training. 

I’m really looking forward to it now; this weekend was all about short sharp racing the perfect tune up to the bigger challenge coming next week. By the way, age certainly doesn’t bring sense as instead of walking back to race HQ after turning his guts inside out, Kieran proceeded to finish the race coming in just a couple of minutes behind me.

See ye all in Waterford next week!


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