Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ploddding Away...

 My wife hails from a village in County Louth called 'Stabannon'.  It's a phonetical translation of the Irish 'Teach Bannain', meaning 'Bannon's House'.  This Bannon fellow was most likely a big landowner (the land around these parts is exceptional).  On Friday, we traveled across the country from our Conamara home to Stabannon for a family wedding - giving me the opportunity to run those less familiar routes (although they are getting more familiar with every trip).
For the most part, last week was a poor training week for me.  I felt a bit of fluey (man flu), so I didn't run at all until the end of the week when I finally got out for a five miler in Stabannon, and another four miler in the same place on Sunday.  Friday's run brought me up past the old graveyard and onto the remnant's of a medieval castle which stands on the Old Ardee Road.  I ran this steadily - fastest pace would have been around the 8.20 mark.  
There was frost on the ground when Benny and I got out on Sunday morning, which gave the countryside a lovely wintery feel.  We were both a bit ropey after the wedding so we walked the first few minutes but once we got into our stride we felt good enough.  The frost had all but melted away by the time we arrived back home and some of the other adults in the house were beginning to wake up.
Yesterday, back in the comfort of my Conamara home, I got up on to the treadmill for a little more of the Coach Dion plan.  This time I just ran two sets of 8 minutes at 7.5 pace, with a one minute recovery in between.  It's only about three weeks now until 10k Chonamara, so I can't really say that I'm flying in training, but I'm hanging in there!  The target is 48 minutes... hmmm.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Coach Dion Plan!

Fair play to Coach Dion... in commenting on my 10k ambitions he has done two things:  1)  question whether it's really ambitious enough, and 2) given me a nice nudge to do some serious speedwork.  On the first point:  well, 48mins is not exactly Mo Farrah territory, but it would be a PB for me at this distance - if I can get to that for October 13th I might look at a year of reducing 10k PBs.  
On the second point:  the Coach has suggested that I run around 3 times a week and for one of these runs that I do the following:  10 repeats for 60secs at faster than race pace, with 60 second rest in between, or else to run 8mins twice, or three times, at faster than race pace, with 60secs in between.
Now, I have done repeats or intervals before, but the simplicity of the Coach's message has just given me that extra shot in the arm to get at them again.  On Thursday last I did my first set of the Coach's repeats on a treadmill at home - choosing to opt for the 8minute treatment.  I was a little over enthusiastic and set the pace a little too high (8.5) so I reduced it significantly for the second round (down as far as 7.5).  The rest in between runs was also way too long.  On Monday last, however, I got up on the threadmill again for another exciting edition of the Coach's repeat runs.  This time I set the speed at the right level and took just 60 sec breaks.  Three rounds of 8min runs were completed and I felt a fair degree of improvement.  Hopefully I can keep this going and will knock that PB down!  Only bad side of this last week's training was the fact that I didn't get out for a long run....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Time Target for October 10k: 48minutes

My sister got in contact today to inform me that she is entering the Conamara 10k, which takes place on October 13th.  It's a big deal for her, as she is not a runner and will really be starting from scratch, so her declaration has spurred me on to a target of my own:  to run that 10k in the 48 minute bracket (48.59mins will be acceptable!).  My 10k PB to date is 50.06mins (set earlier on this year), so I will need to get out and train, train, train... My wife is due around October 23rd, so this would be a good time to hit a PB like that.

Monday, September 3, 2012

5 yesterday, 4 today.

Back running, thank Jehovah.  
Yesterday, against my will at first, I donned the runners and running gear and shot out the road with the enthusiasm of a henpecked husband on a day-long trudge through the high streets of Dublin (please note:  my wife does not subject me to these kinds of days!).  I found the first mile a bit tough and the second a small bit uncomfortable, but by mile three I was flying it and the henpecked husband had magically turned into a smiley, happy fashionista (well, a happy runner anyway).   My route brought me up around the football pitch and back down through Demense, heading towards home.  A nice five miler on a lovely, fresh evening.  So enthused was I that I brought my shorts and runners to work for another run today.  This time I did my prom route afterwork, only four miles this time, but highly enjoyable despite a rough enough wind.  It's good to be back...