Thursday, 12 August 2010

Nailed it!

Image courtesy of

On occasion there is a run that goes entirely as planned and even better than you could have anticipated; these are often the runs you do not think too much about and just do. Last night I completed one of those. It might have been the novelty of doing an entirely new workout that motivated me. It was forty minutes at an easy recovery pace, forty minutes at marathon pace plus thirty seconds per mile and forty minutes at marathon pace. The first forty minutes passed uneventfully, the second forty minutes was where I began to really enjoy the session and was especially pleased by how easy it felt, which a low HR evidenced. By now the heavy showers of earlier had dispersed and it was a beautiful evening, which the surrounds of the Phoenix park will always enhance. The third forty minutes at marathon pace felt great and I struggled to hold myself from running it too fast and the pace during this final third was somewhere between marathon and half marathon pace.
The total run distance was 16.34 miles. If the training effect that some claim is a consequence of this workout has any veracity, and it remains as enjoyable but challenging an experience as last night's session, I shall make it a consistent part of future schedules.
The splits are as follows 07:55, 08:23, 8:24, 8:44, 8:21, 7:16, 7:15, 7:13, 7:18, 7:18, 6:49, 6:37, 6:38, 6:42, 6:36, 6:22, 2:20.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Dublin 10k

On 25 July I made my way out to Cherry Orchard for the Dublin 10k. Those who organised the recent Clontarf half marathon also organised this inaugural edition of this race. Consequently, I was had some reservations about this event but to be fair it was one of the best organised events I have ever participated in.
The race began at noon and began at exactly noon. Following a speedy initial quarter mile I settled nicely into race pace and the first mile elapsed in 06:05, so on target for a PB. Many of the hares that flew off at great speed were now dropping back and by the second mile I had settled into a group of three. At this point a guy in a blue singlet who I had momentarily passed drew level and suggested we work together. I am not sure what this intimates but assume it means taking turns pushing the pace and acting as a windbreaker. However, I was the one in poll position at all times and even when I slowed a little to let him take the front position he also slowed. Miles two and three passed in 06:07 and 06:15. At this point I was beginning to conclude that I was not hurting enough and pushed a little harder. By now the field had considerably thinned out and the other runner and I were completely on our own with only two runners visible about a third of a mile ahead.
I completed mile four in 06:16 and was increasingly concerned that I would miss out on a PB on a pretty flat course. Consequently as I passed the seven KM marker I noticeably increased my pace and left my companion behind. I had no idea of the etiquette when doing this but had concluded whatever working together meant I was not benefiting from it. This part of the race was along the recently paved section of the Royal Canal and the next couple of kilometres were quite lonely and no runners around me to provide a competitive edge I think undermined my pace a little. Mile five elapsed in 06:10. The last kilometre was against a stiff headwind and here I struggled to maintain pace but did mile six in 06:17. I passed the finish line on 38:42 giving me a new PB by ten seconds. Considering the stiff winds on parts of the course and running almost half the race on my own I was pretty happy.