Sunday, February 2, 2014

January Review and the first run of February

The first month of the year is over and I set a new record for myself.  This is the first time that I've managed to run 13 times in the one month, my previous best was 12.  Since my last post on the 17th of January I've manged to get in another 5 runs in January and 1 so far in February sticking with the training plan laid out for me by

The last 5 runs in January comprised of four 8km runs and one 5km run.  When I saw the 5km on the schedule I decided to see what pace I could keep for the 5km just to see where I am in terms of fitness compared to a few years ago when I managed to run 5km in under 22 minutes.  The result wasn't bad a nice 23 minutes and 39 seconds, my 3rd fastest 5km according to Strava.  The training for the Paris marathon is going well so far and the Achilles injury is being managed as best I can.  The niggles are still there and some days it is tough to run and I'm a bit weary of what I can do but so far so good.

The last run of January was supposed to be a 16km run, which would have been my longest for two years but with stormy weather battering Ireland I decided to postpone the run until this morning when the weather was much better with a touch of blue sky.  It also gave my Achilles a bit of a break, which was needed.  This mornings run we went out of town and across back roads and it was a lovely run.  It is great to get off the main roads and out of the town some times and see the countryside.  I ran with my Nathan endurance vest again today and have to say that I'm loving it so far.  It is great not having to carry your water with you and now I'm bringing my phone with me on long runs.  This was handy today because when I turned on my Garmin Forerunner 305 the battery was dead, I must have forgotten to turn it off after Wednesday's run.  Out came the phone and I used the Strava app for the first time to record the run, no HRM though.

Here's to February, 12 runs and a possible 132km

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So week three of my training is over and during the week I managed 31.5km over three runs. The first run was an 8.5km run on a lovely cool evening. The second run was yet another 8km but on this one I got to try something new, I got to tryout my Christmas present... A Nathan Endurance Race Vest.

Nathan Endurance Race Vest

I have run with bottles and waist packs before but never with a race vest so I didn't know what it would be like. The vest was great to run with and, at times, I forgot it was there. The vest fit perfectly and there was no movement as I ran. It was great having somewhere to put my phone for the extra security when I run. Even though the pack is great there are a few things that I'm going to have to get used to. One is the bite valve. In order to get water out of the bladder you need to bite on the valve and suck the water out. I've been so used to just opening my mouth and squeezing water out of a bottle into it that sucking feels like a bit of work and I feel I'm getting in less water so I'm drinking more often. Maybe this is a good thing as I think that you are supposed to drink less and often. Time will tell.

The other issue I've found with the pack is that the clip holding the bladder to a loop in the pack, to prevent it from bouncing around, comes loose. In photos online the clip looks different the one I got with my pack. The one I got slides onto the loop, but it easily comes off. The one in pictures online looks like a proper clip and would not come loose unless you removed it yourself. I'm not sure why mine looks different but I'm going to see if I can get a proper clip to secure the bladder in future.

The third run was my longest run for over two years. The run was supposed to be a 16km run but I only managed 15km as my Achilles was acting up and I felt if I pushed any further I might have done damage. All in all I feel I am progressing nicely. Hope the New Year is treating you well and you are getting in a lot of runs.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Second Week of Marathon Training Schedule

The second week of training for the Paris Marathon in April is over with another three runs this week. I was hoping to be at half marathon distance by the turn of the new year so I would have a good three months to build up to the distance but an injury put paid to the plans for December. After losing a month's training I began to think a marathon in April would be a tall order but after logging into and creating a marathon training plan I'm feeling a bit better about the prospects.  I still feel it will be tough and I probably won't break my marathon PR but the aim now is to get to the finish line. I can always try to break my PR at Dublin in October.

The three runs this week consisted of two 8km runs and finished with a 12km run today. Today's run was the toughest run I've had in a long time. My Achilles are a bit sore after the run and I'm looking after them. They haven't been great of late but I feel I'm getting better at looking after them and they are on the mend. I tired early in the run but knew I needed to finish as the plan for next week is a 16km long run and without today's run that would be even tougher. After running every second day for the last two weeks I now have a break until Monday night,  almost three days. This should aid recovery and I'll be running 3 days a week from now on.

The holidays end tomorrow and we will be flying home to Ireland. It has been a great break, as always, but it is time to go home to run in the cold.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The First Week of a New Year

A new year has arrived bringing with it a chance to start over again. That is just what I intend to do. 2013 didn't start great for me in terms of running but I managed to get into a bit of a groove from July onwards. November was a particularly good month where I managed to rack up 94km for the month but with only 18km ran in December, due to a recurring achilles which has dogged me over the past year or two, 2014 offers a new start. 2013 was none existent in terms of blogging and reading blogs also and I aim to rectify that in 2014.

I'm going to wait a bit before I divulge my goals for the year, as I have quite a few to list and I intend to accomplish them all.

The first week of the new year began with the last run of the old year, a nice 6km run on the 31st of December. It was raining as I began my run and the weather only worsened. We are staying with my wife's family for the new year and I usually run on a 1km dirt track when I'm here but with the torrential rain lakes began appearing on the track forcing me to run the hills to stay clear of the gathering water. It was a great run although my legs felt it the next day. At one point I ran passed an elderly woman with a large umbrella and said Olá to be followed by her just laughing at the sight of me totally saturated. On the way back to the house a neighbour pointed out to me that it was raining, just in case I didn't already know. I smiled big and broad when I finished the run. It was a nice way to sign off the year. While 2013 was not a great running or blogging year for me I did get something back and that was the joy of running that had been missing for almost two years.

The weather was better for the first run of the year where I managed to get in a nice 8km. It was an uneventful run.

Finishing up the week was another 8km run with some hills to test the achilles. The last hill was tough as the legs were already tired but it was great to be able to do it. Here's hoping for an injury free year, as much as possible anyway.