Saturday, 30 April 2011

Royal Berkshire Marathon

Congratulations to Ian Berry for organising such a great event in Berkshire (especially for someone like me who wanted to avoid the royal wedding like the plague!).

The event was based at Crookham Common Athletics Track with 105 laps of the newly built track. This was the first time I have been on a sports track since school - great experience and a great event.

The event was won by the American Michael Arnstein (2:32:49) and Natasha Doyle (3:28:19). Well done!

I incorporated this marathon as part of my training week so didn't push myself too hard, and rolled in at 3rd place with a time of 2.49. I felt fresh enough to carry on with my training for the rest of the weekend so it proved to be worth doing - adding to the weekly mileage and general experience.

And finally, thanks to my little boy Neel for supplying me with water and food and Anjali for being a great lap counter and added support xx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Royal Berkshire Marathon, Ian Berry

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Monday, 18 April 2011

London Marathon Race Report

I was in two minds about this race. Should I try and race it and go for a sub 2.30 or should I add it to my weekly training session? I avoided too much tapering during the race week as I wanted to maintain some decent mileage and I had a few issues with my calf muscle and right hamstring and wanted to know how they would react to decent mileage.

So, standing in the Championship Group of the London Marathon, 1 line behind the elites and waiting for RB to start the race I made the decision to race and see how my legs would hold up. It wasn't long before I was running across London at around 5.20 - 5.35 minute miles hitting 5k in 17 mins, 10k in 36 mins and 5 miles in under 28 mins. I was on par for a sub 2.30.

Unfortunately it was around 8+ miles that my calf and hamstring started to take notice of the pace and I hit a real bad patch finding it very difficult to run. 8 MILES IN!! Not good. It didn't take long for me to accept that this will need to be seen as a training run and I dropped down to 6.30 - 7.30m pace finding it very difficult watching people run past me (including superman!), I struggled past the 10m mark at around 58/59 mins.

11 miles in I hit another bad patch and stopped by the loos. Had a moment to compose myself, took in a decent amount of water, a couple of ibuprofen, a quick pee and I was off again.

It was a bit of a blur until about mile 24 when I saw the 6.17 pace maker slowly gaining on me so I 'dug in' for the last few miles, ran past Big Ben and into the finish at 2.45. Not a pleasant run but again another one for the experience.

The thing I am pleased about is that today marks the end of my road running training until I start training for the 100k World Champs and back to what I truly love doing trail running and ultra distances. Hoorah!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Moving Forward

I am sitting here not having been out for a run since the ACP last Sunday. I am suffering from a severe case of the DOMS and my left ankle has swollen up to the size of a tennis ball. It looks like it is getting better so I hope to be back running next week.

Thinking about my performance at the ACP, I have now had time to reflect on what I need to do to improve my performance in the 100k World Championships in September, namely:

Strength: I was seriously flagging at the 60k mark and went from 2nd to 6th place.I believe that some of this is due to lack of strength in my legs. I will therefore focus on longer runs at the weekend (around the 5 hr mark on average) as well as spending more time training in the gym with particular focus on calf and ankle strength.

Pace: You live and you learn and one thing that is telling with my running is my lack of control over pace. I usually get carried away and shoot off at the beginning usually paying for it later on in the race. Therefore pacing (with and without GPS) will be a key area I will be focusing on.

Listen to experience: The guys in the Irish team have warned me about trying to race the London Marathon. The LM is in 2 weeks and I have entered the Championship stage. I will use it as a training run rather than race to avoid any tendons going snap. This will be a good test to see if I can control myself and not get carried away with myself...

What Next? I am hoping I will be selected to represent Ireland in the World Trail Championships in July in Connemara, Ireland. Home advantage! I am looking forward to getting my Talons back on and hitting the trail as trail running is really my thing. The more technical the trail is, the better.

I have entered the Brecon Beacons Ultra in May which is a 40 miler around the Brecons which will prove to be a good practice race for the Worlds. In addition I will spending a lot of my time at the weekends around the South Downs focusing on hill training and technical running, perhaps throwing in a couple of trail marathon /ultras to provide a little variety in the training. If anyone knows of some good trail marathons / ultras in June please let me know.

In short, my training will essentially be trail up until July (should I be selected for the Worlds) and then I will hit the roads to prepare for the World 100k in September. After this, I hope to get back on the trail to prepare for the Nepal 100k.

Well that's my plan anyway!