Dublin Marathon 2016 Break 3 or Bust Blog

Cork Marathon 2016 – Here we go again:)

So I left running for a while there after the last marathon in Dublin 2013, the fun of running was gone and it had gotten too serious. So I took a break, started playing golf, changed jobs a number of times, got married and was lucky to see our little daughter arrive last year. I thought the last few miles of a marathon were tough but the change from just looking after yourself to looking after a family has made me think twice! In a selfish way I can’t help think that having a child has some how put running in it’s right place for me again, it’s an activity to be enjoyed first of all and a challenge second.

The motivation is back and training started last week, my buddy Niall is great for training nudges and we got 11 slow miles in last weekend, it’s a start. I was surprised how my lungs were aching, they haven’t puffed that long in years but the legs were good, I did need a nap after though!

I’ve signed up for Cork Marathon which is on June 6th, not sure what pace to do but 3.20/3.30 would be good and then see if I can use that as a springboard for Dublin. I’m going to aim for a 42 min 10k in mid February and not having to nap after long runs and that’s it for now, happy running 2016:)

Dublin Marathon 2013 – Busted!

Had a break in this blog due to not renewing the domain, finally got it back and I’m sitting here 3 weeks after the Dublin Marathon 2013. My goal was to beat 3 hours this year and in the end I ended up running 3.04.00. The wheels came off with 4 miles to go and to be honest I never felt really confident I was gonna do it. I’m quite happy with the result, a big step up from 3.15 last year and happy with the training.
Dublin 2013
Yes I could have been more disciplined and trained more, eaten better, cut out alcohol but I’m not in a place where I’m prepared to do that right now! The conditions itself were better than expected but was still tough, there was a good bit of wind and it was warm enough, nice bit of sun. I did miss a drink at half way and was pretty thirsty at mile 19, I’m sure that this was factor in my declining times near the end. From early on, I was constantly a few seconds behind my pace goals, for example at half way I was 20 seconds behind and always trailing the pacers. I was running with my trainer Kevin which was good, nice to have the company of an experienced runner.

My preparation was better this year bar the scurry to the start, I had a good sleep, for breakfast a small bit of porridge with water and half cup of coffee. There were no toilet breaks this year which was great and I had some great help from my sister Sinead and my fiance Eimear who had gels for me around the course. Eimear somehow manged to get to mile 10, 20 and then to the finish and it was great to share the experience.

At mile 22 I knew the tanks were emptying and I subtly starting slowing down. That was a tough part, watching the pacers move away but a strange relief as I knew the sub 3 was not on this year, that I wasn’t even close to feeling it was on today and to let it go.

So to sum up this year, I’m really happy with the improvement, how I enjoyed the running more and didn’t put too much pressure on myself as last year. It was different when coming around to the finish, my last mile was an 8 minute mile, I was really struggling and there wasn’t as much emotion as usual on Dame St, more a feeling of well that’s how I expected the race to go and it’s done now. I’m not sure if I’ll run it next year or attempt to beat  the 3 hour mark in the near future. Gonna take some time off serious training and get back to playing a bit more squash, soccer and a few runs here and there, see how that goes for a while:)

But if I were to attempt another sub 3 marathon!, I would repeat the light breakfast, make sure my half marathon is well in the 1.23s, do more long tempos, cut out the alcohol, do some upper body strength training and make sure I was hydrated better in the race. Also 6.50 pace is not fast enough to get around sub 3, in the end I ran 26.41 miles so a better pace would be 6.48. That’s all!


Crunch Training Time

A quick update, going well enough, missed a long run last week due to a wedding but my pace is good, clocked a 37.52 10K there at the weekend which suggests my speed work is going well. Did a 1.27 half marathon over 3 weeks ago so need to knock 2 minutes off that in the next half which is in 2 weeks time, a hell of ask but I feel doable. That 1.27 was on a tough course and I had been at another wedding the night before.

Plus I feel I’m getting stronger and more fluid. Have bought a new pair of Boston Adidas runners which have more cushion than my normal runners, breaking those in at the moment. My plan for next 2 weeks is below

boston trainers

Monday Sept 16 – 8 mile
Tuesday 17 – 2 mile warm up. 5 x 1 mile in 6.10 to 6.15 off 2 min recovery. 2 mile warm down
wed 18 – 6 mile
Thur 19 – REST
Fri 20 – 2 mile warm up. 5 mile threshold at 15 to 20 sec per mile slower than last weeks 10k time . 2 mile warm down
sat – 5 mile easy
sun 22 – 24 mile relaxed run with 8 x 100m strides at the end

mon 23 – 5 mile easy
tue 24 – 8 mile
wed 25 – rest
thur 26 – 2 mile warm up. 2 x ( 4 x 200 in 40 sec off 30 sec recovery, 4×800 in 2.55 to 3.05 )
Fri 27 – 5 mile
sat 28 – 6 mile
sun 29 – 20 mile with 2 x 2 mile at 6.55 to 7 min pace during the last 8 mile of the run

Hammer time, training plan for next 3 weeks

A quick update, I’ve done a couple of 20 milers @ 7.45 pace and really stepped up the training as regards miles, now it’s time for some speed work and intervals:)


mon 19th aug —- rest
tue 20th aug —- 8 x 800 in 3min to 3.05 off 2 min recovery
wed 21st aug —- 6 mile very easy
thur 22nd aug —- rest
fri 23rd aug —– 4 miles
sat 24th aug —– rest
sun 25th aug —– race day half marathon with progression from 3 miles to holding 6.40 pace for 8 to 10 miles of the race

mon 26th aug —- 5 miles recovery at 8 min pace
tue 27th aug —- am 4 mile. pm 4 mile
wed 28th aug —- rest
thur 29th aug — 10 miles
fri 30th aug —- am 4 miles. pm 6 mile
sat 31st aug —- 6 mile easy
sun 01st sept — 18 mile relaxed run no faster than 7.30 pace

mon 02nd sept —- rest
tue 03rd sept —- 2 x 800, 1600, 2000, off 3 min recovery
wed 04th sept —- am 4 miles. pm 6 miles
thur 05th sept — 30 min at 6.55 to 7.05 pace
fri 06th sept —- rest
sun 07th sept —- 20 miles relaxed

Righto, Dublin Marathon 2013, 3 hours or bust.

Had a nice few weeks off there taking it easy as regards running and a weeks holiday there too, I’ve a couple of extra pounds and feel ready to start back. I’ve been tipping round this week, got in 22 miles nice and easy although it was tough going. All the bounce, rhythm and ease of movement that was present earlier in the year has been replaced with plodding, puffing and pain!

On holiers I read a great book called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, could not put it down and when I did, just wanted to go off running. It’s written by a journalist on his quest to discover a better way of running and in the end finds out a lot more. The part I really liked about the book is about getting back to that place of really enjoying running, I’ve lost that in the last couple of months chasing faster times.
born to run
That said I will aim to break 3 hours in Dublin this year, I feel it’s a very reachable goal and am going to really focus on enjoying the journey more so than the result. I’ve talked to Kevin Murphy, my trainer about it and he has a 12 week programme for the marathon, in the mean time he said to put in some easy miles. The idea behind a 12 week programme is that I’ve been running a lot all year and and then to focus on specifics for the race.  I’ll document the journey over the next couple of months, it will be interesting. I’ve changed a lot as regards my diet and attitude to running over the last year and will probably do so again:)

Will Smith – Running & Reading (The Key to Life)

May 2013 Update

Righto, been slack on updating this blog but I’m happy with the site, traffic is up a good bit so maybe it’s time to revamp the site a bit more and organise the training plans into excel sheets, watch this space. A quick summary of the races I’ve run in the past 6 weeks are

13th April County Senior 10k Time 37.02

28th April County Intermediate 8K Time 29.20

10th May Summer League Start 1 mile Time 5.10

And that’s it, been a busy few weeks moving house so I’ve not fully concentrated on the training as I did say in January, just didn’t have the focus or desire to train hard for some reason after the senior race. I was happy with the senior, really pushed hard and broke the sub 6 minute mile all the way round, knocked 40 seconds off the Mysport 10k which is great.

Used the intermediate as an experiment to see how long I could hold onto the front pack and also to see what it’s like up there, I lasted just under a mile and a half with the front runners before suffering all the way home, one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve been through running, particularly when the legs turned to jelly in the last 500m, the lactic acid taking it’s full revenge for the early spurt. But that race did return my first team gold medal, Farmer and Conall did fantastic finishing 1st and 4th respectively , me 9th and John Foley 10th which was great for the Slaney Olypmic team.

Finally I did a 1 mile race which I was a bit unhappy with, again ate too much and I’ve been adjusting my diet a lot over the last few weeks having found out I’m lactose intolerant. That means I cant have milk or butter or anything with those ingredients, my system cannot digest the lactose and so that explains why I felt so bloated in the Dublin marathon last year till mile 15th, I had porridge made with milk! Also reducing a lot of sugar from my diet which is tricky but I know worth it.

I’m taking a few weeks off now to rest and rejuvenate. My running has been sluggish lately and that was coming off the peak of the training so a break will be nice, off to Italy for a week which will be great and then back to look at getting ready for Dublin 2013, breaking 3 or bust.


March Update

To summarize the last 6 weeks, some good constant race performances but ought to be doing a bit more speed training. Below are the races run recently


  • 7th Feb My Sport 10 Km – Time 37.40
  • 14th Feb County Novice 6 Km – Time 21.47
  • 3rd Mar Ballycotton 10 miles- Time 63.28
  • 17th Mar Davy Fortune 5km – Time 17.52
  • 24th Mar Hope&Dream 10 mile – Time 63.52


I learned something in each of these races, the most important was the MySport 10K where Kevin helped me push past mental barriers and push harder than I knew or wanted to know is possible.

The plan was to run hard ALL the way round and then he cycled alongside for the most of the last 1km and asked me to push harder at certain points. Although very uncomfortable, it was possible and I was delighted with that result and more importantly the ability to push like that and not collapse.

Then in the County Novice, my preparation was lax and also my attitude. Racing is very different from chasing a time and I made the mistake of not staying close enough to the leaders on the 2nd lap. I didn’t push as much as I ought to on that lap and this was evident in my ability to burst at the end, I’d saved too much for the sake of being comfortable.

Ballycotton was an experience, the build up and atmosphere is electric, again the plan was to run hard all the way round. I ate too much for breakfast and am starting to think I can do without loading up with food before a race. Happy with that pb there.

The Davy Fortune 5k was a nice quick race, not entirely sure on the time as my chip time didn’t register nor did I stop my watch, I was happy with the performance, I did push hard and ate very little that morning.

Finally, the Hope&Dream race is a tough examination of where you are fitness wise. It was bitterly cold, about 4 degrees but an amazing turnout and feel to this race which in itself warming. There’s a lot of hills on this course, I just haven’t put in the speed work or miles over the last 2 weeks and had to dig deep. I really struggled with a stitch around mile 7. Got home a few seconds slower than Ballycotton and so will focus now over the next 2 weeks in working hard to get ready for the Senior 10K, head down.

Week 6 Training plan for next few weeks

February 2013 Week 1
Mon  4th – rest
Tue 5th – 10 min warm up/down. 30 min tempo
Wed 6th – 40 min easy
Thu 7th – 10-15 min warm up/down 8 x 2 min hills off jog back recovery
Fri 8th – 30 min easy
Sat 9th  – rest
Sun 10th – Enniscorthy 10k

Week 2
Mon 11 – 30 min easy recovery
Tue 12 – rest
Wed 13 – 10 min warm up/down  30 min tempo
Thu 14 – 40 min
Fri 15 – rest
Sat 16 – 10-15 min warm up. 8 x 2 min hill repeats
Sun 17 – 80 min

Week 3
Mon 18 – rest
Tue 19 – 10 min warm up. 30 min tempo. 10 min warm down
Wed 20 – 40 min
Thur 21 – 10-15 min warm up. 8 x 2 min hill repeats. 10 min warm down
Fri 22 – rest or 30 min easy
Sat 23 – 15 min warm up/down . 4 x 5 min threshold off 2 min recovery
Sun 24 – 80 min

Week 4
Mon 25 – rest
Tue 26 – 10 min warm up/down. 35 min tempo.
Wed 27 – 40 min
Thu 28 – 10-15 min warm up/down 10 x 90 sec hills.
Fri 01 – rest
Sat 02 – 15 min warm up/down 5 x 5min threshold
Sun 03 – 60 min

Week 5
Mon 04 – rest
Tue 05 – 10 min warm up/down. 20 min tempo
Wed 06 – 25 min easy
Thu 07 – rest
Fri 08 – 20 min with 6 x 30 sec pick ups to 80%
Sat 09 – rest
Sun 10 – county nov ice road

Week 5 Update

Did the Dungaravan 10 miler on Sunday and happy out with that race, got home in 64.15. The weather was bright and breezy and we were very lucky that it stayed dry course was flooded the day before. Again the plan was to start off at a fixed pace and finished progressively stronger.

I started at a pace of 6.40 mile pace and upped that bit by bit to doing a 6.25 at mile 7. I’d a bit of stitch which all of a sudden went at mile 8 and I felt great. I pushed well and finished with a 5.40 mile at the end which gives me great confidence that this training is working well.

I was very very tired after the race, I did do a recovery run on Tuesday and then did a really silly thing, I played astro football on Thursday and have not run since with a groin strain. What’s done is done and so I’m concentrating on healing properly now with plenty of rest and massage and hopefully be ok for the Enniscorthy 10Km next week, one step forward, one back!







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