Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Marathon pace run

The weekend schedule called for a sixteen mile run with ten miles at marathon pace. I faced this with a little trepidation; it would be the longest I would have run at that kind of pace since the DNF at Cork.
I set off towards the Phoenix park and up Chesterfield road. The first three miles felt good but my heart rate seemed rather high at over 150, while going at 08:30 pace! However, the first MP mile elapsed in 07:11 and felt relatively easy. The next few passed in a couple of seconds faster than target pace. Coming on to Chapelizod road meant that I now faced a stiff headwind but I felt strong and maintained my pace. The remaining few MP miles took me through the National War Memorial Gardens and it was quite pleasant along the Liffey.
During the last three miles, at recovery pace, I felt quite tired but felt I could have gone quicker during the MP miles. I was quite pleased with this workout and was a nice confidence booster. Upon review, I also found my heart rate remained in the low to mid 160s, which indicates I could certainly keep that pace for a marathon.

Heart rate

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


This was an inaugural event. It was a ride on the tram to Connolly and a short trip on the DART to Clontarf. I had run much of this route when I lived in Sandymount and much of it includes the beach on Bull island and is both picturesque and very flat.
Unfortunately, the previous week the race director elected to put the race back an hour and was scheduled to start at 11am rather than 10am. The increasing heat and humidity was an increasing cause for concern and I knew I would not be able to run to potential. By the third mile my spilt had dropped to 06:58 and the effort was too much. My heart rate for this split averaged 177! I consciously dropped the pace to get my heart rate down and the next few mile splits averaged about 07:20 with a heart rate still approaching 170.
The race consisted of two loops that incorporated much of Bull island and included the beach. This was surreal and an extremely heavy fog came down. Quite literally runners followed the runner in front of them to ensure they were heading n the correct direction. Visibility was probably less than twenty feet and seemed like one of those crazy adventure races in the desert.
As the last few miles approached I slowed further as there was no point killing myself. I decided to consider the race a good workout and consoles myself with the recogniton that it was a good hard session and the first time I had felt completely injury free since I completed the Connemarathon.
I came home in 01:38:17. This was by far my slowest half-marathon but was also the one with the highest average heart rate. The heat and injury induced sporadic training during the previous two months meant I was quite happy with my performance and look forward to getting into good race shape again.