16 November 2010

Topsy turvy

It took me awhile to recover from my last race. I took a week off and started back into light training. Then last week I put in five sessions. (3 running, 1 cycle and 1 swim)

So i was looking forward to this week. I signed myself up for the The Fields of Athenry 10k which takes place on the 26th December. Basically I will take it easy on christmas day. Just have the big dinner and let it settle through to the next day.  This race brings over a thousand people out and everyone is so merry being it Christmas and all.  Last year they postponed it due to the ice on the route but all I can hope is that we will get lucky.  However current studies of the sun still see not much flare in the sun therefore not much heat being sent our way. But we live in hope.

One of the best things about having the race on the 26th is that its St. Stephens Day.  I would say this day is next biggest day to Paddy's Day. But not if Paddy's day is on a weekday. People don't go out for the night because they don't have the following day off.  St. Stephens day is the top drinking session of the year and i am going to run my heart out that morning and then run my mouth off that evening.

this week, got off to a terrible start, I was messing out the back and went to kick a ball but somehow there was this big stone covered in the high grass and I was not evening wearing shoes. I managed to give that stone a wallop and I came off the worst. I have a big enough gash on my foot and I'm currently resting it up.  I feel like an idiot, should have known to be more careful. maybe in the future.

Well hopefully the pain will subsude and I will get out. Its amazing when you cant get out, you really want to get out there but when your fit and all ready, you get that hump thats says don't go out. well I get that anyway.

Anyways i hope all of ye are staying injury free.. All the best <3
26 October 2010

Duathlon Race Report

I went down to Kerry on Friday night. Stayed in a Ashfield B&B in Kenmare where I got a good nights sleep.  the journey down was one of a kind with the road passing through Killarney national park.  I couldn't not take in the amazing views since it was so dark at that time. I had to come to abrupt stop in the car with sheep and fighting goats giving it hell for leather at each other. 

I knew 10k of the starting course was on my way into Kenmare. I drove that road and got an awful shock. It was 10k of straight uphill and i was wondering what did i get myself into. My first duathlon, i should have started on a smaller scale and not at the other end.  Well we enjoyed our hosts in the B&B and woke up on race morning and looked straight out the window.  The rain was still crashing off the ground. Out of no where came a blue sky but it didn't stay out for long.

We took to the road after a great breakfast and went to register. unfortunately there was no T-shirts to commemorate the day but it looks like the last duathlon of the year so I compromised.  I would rather have a t-shirt then to get food at the end.

Before the race was about to start, I just had a quick look at my front tyre and noticed there was alot of air had left the tube. I quickly went to pump it but seemed to loose the remainder of air left.  Panic stations went to high alert and the race is off.  My mate Paul said 'will I stay with you?' but last thing I wanted to do was ruin the race for both of us so I told him to get on your bike and head off.

I thought I had another 10mins before the off time so that kind of annoyed me as well. My clock must have being running slow or something.  I quickkly asked two stewards for help and they new the fellow who was over the race and to my appreciation we got a new tube in very fast. I would be still there another 10 minutes if not for them.

Off I went,  about 6 to 7 minutes behind and was dehydrated with stress but a few gulps of energy drink and I set my eyes on climbing that mountain. I am not used to cycling much never mind up a mountain so when it was 5k in, i could see my eyes rolling to heaven. I said three hail Marys and put my head down and dug deep.  I overtook my first cyclist and began to set my sights on each one after that. I knew i wasn't going to catch many but one more is one less from the bottom.

I seen Paul way up in the mountain. He had a distinctive blue t-shirt on and I realised i was closing in on him. When we finally got to the top at Molls Gap and Paul was about a minute ahead. We were now in top gear heading downwards and  I thought my bike would catch his hybrid but he was flying and took to the sky like a rocket. I had to look around and wonder did i take a wrong road as he was well gone.  By that point I knew i wasn't going to catch him on the bike .

It wasn't raining much but did have a few drops. I had only runners on and they kept slipping of the pedals. there were not so easy to slot back in and I had to do this about 20 times.  I will surely invest in cycling shoes and clip on pedals after that. I think i would have lost about 3-4minutes with all that carry on.

I came across another fellow who had his bike upside down. Another tube replacement was taking place. I shouted out to him  'I know the feeling'.  Sure anyone i was passing of even the people watching on. Id give them a comment or two.  Well into an hour of the cycle. My man hood fellows were getting sore.  Also need to invest into cycling shorts with good cushioning protection.   But I motored on, still had energy to give but was dying to get of the bike and start running. On entrance to Kenmare I drank the remaining energy drink and then the cycle was completed. As I was entering, Paul was just exiting. I think i was only about 25 seconds in the transition. I passed two girls in there who were just doing some stretches.  Paul also stopped in the transition area and had an energy gel. He said he couldn't take it out during the cycle with it being up his compression top and was also wearing gloves.  I would have loved a picture of him trying to get that

There was a smile on Paul's face seeing me coming since he knew about the trouble I had starting off with. I caught up to him on the run and was going to stay at his pace for awhile but he told me to continue on. I then looked at my jelly legs and told them to move. not much of a response but was still catching a few runners out there.   The two girls that i overtook in the transition came by and passed my.  At the 3k marker, I took a bottle from the drink station. I asked a girl whats the remainder of the course like.  She said its mostly downhill so with my legs recovered from the cycle, I was putting in some good strides and set my eyes catching up to them two girls again.  

I usually have a little bit of a sprint at the end but i couldn't see the finish line so I pushed hard in the final half of kilometer. I overtook the girls again and just kept running and running feeling the line was coming soon. The turn off was at the entrance to the school and i came across in a time of 2:16

The feeling of achievement was rolling all over my body. I couldn't remove this big grin over my face.  My target for the race was 2:20 and i bet it. Paul passed the line shortly afterwards with a time of 2:26. We went into the school canteen area where food was provided to replenish our system. We grabbed a meal and a cup of tea and talked about the race.  Basically reliving every moment again.  the winner was well gone by that stage but for our first race, our only objective was to complete it and we did that.

Celebration time,  well it was a Bank holiday weekend so we went on the strong stuff for two nights.  Plenty of beer was drink, plenty of stories told and lots of songs being sung.   We don't believe in rest and the day after the race,  a friend asked us to help him knock down a wall.  Well we didn't hit the wall in Kenmare, but we hit it Ballylongford. 

Brilliant race, brilliant weekend. now back in Galway thinking of whats next and need to get back into some form of rhythm's. I wish there was pictures but nothing has being uploaded to the site. Ah there will be plenty of more races with plenty of more pictures.
22 October 2010

Under 24 hours to go

i am just waiting on my friend to join me so we can begin our long journey down to Kerry. The weather was holding up but now the rain has come streaming down and its like theres no stopping to it.

I never repaired or replaced a tube on a bike so I decided to give it ago yesterday. It all sounds like common sense in taking off the tire and so on but I want to know how to do it quick and easy. I looked up a video on YouTube and i gave it ago. I was far beyond quick but i succeeded non the less. My back tire is bolted on and i don't have the tools to get it off so if a tire goes, let it be the front.

I am trying to figure out what i need to bring and just hoping I don't leave anything behind. Of course the right thing to do would be to write a checklist.. but that's not my style.  You never know what weather condition be throwing at me tomorrow so i will pack all sorts of stuff into the car.  It be really annoying if it is raining, poor guy lie me wearing glasses, so hard to see out of.

I purchased a bike helmet as well the last day. Got to look the part. Well its required that everyone wears one. I tested it out and its very comfortable and even has a sweat band to stop the sweat dripping into my eyes.

I know i am not ready for a duathlon like this but I'm a persistent man and my goal is to finish it tomorrow. It can take as long as it wants as long as i cross the line. I haven't completed a 40k cycle yet but did do a few 33km so I don't see it as a major problem. But if there is a strong wind against me with an uphill climb, now theres a problem. Ill keep fighting on I hope

Well i doubt i be writing about the event tomorrow, i should be exhausted. But will post up someday after the race.
15 October 2010

Get back on that beaten Track

Being a tough time the last week and a half. I fell of the wagon a bit. Didn't do any running for a week just some swimming. Anyways the main thing is that I'm back into the swing of things and in the last two days I got a 5k run, 21k cycle and one hour of swimming lessons in.

Another area I have to focus is my food, last night after swimming, I stopped off at the shop and picked up a pack of chocolate biscuits, chocolate bars and fizzy drink. They were all gone by the end of night. HELP..

I don't mind having a tasty calorie packed snack once in a while but last night really took the biscuit.

Positive thing I can take from last week is my improvement in swimming, i managed to do a length of the pool (25meters). A goal of mine is to do 100m by Christmas.

Well I am going to get back on track. I really need to if i got a duathlon on in under 10days.. now that be fun. its ok to say I'm not fully prepared for it, I'm going doing it to get experience and its down the other end of the country so Road trip :). I need to get myself a bicycle rack for the car. Even need a helmet, that's how much unprepared I am. I will be more focused on duathlons next year.

My goals for the end of the year is to swim 100m and to complete a 10k in 52minutes. That's 5 minutes off my personal best so that be a tough task but with some more pounds lost and more time off out on the road and getting some intervals in, its possible.

Well i will keep on motoring, hope all ye are doing well in your own goals.
04 October 2010

Im lovin it

Since my race two weekends ago, i haven't being out doing any hard running. Had a few little pains in my legs and was just basically afraid of making it worse. I did do a 4k and an interval session.

My main focus is getting on the saddle and getting up my endurance for the upcoming 40K challenge.  Since it is a duathlon im going to do,  i just tested my legs once I got of the bike. I went on a short run straight after and my legs were like jelly. I was running like i had 10 pints inside me. My head was in a little spin and i was trying to get my focus. But after a few short strides, you can feel everything returning. I was going to do a 2k run. Once I was into the run and a few hundred yards down the line, my leg got really sore and i began to hop. That was Saturday and haven't done a run since. Bit of rest and I think im back to normal. Hopefully nothing serious.

Today, I went to leisure land swimming pool with a friend who also is looking to improve his swimming. It was nice and quiet in there and i could learn at my own pace. I took what my swimming instructor in clarinbridge as well as other advice from videos on youtube and attempted to incorporate there advice into this swim.  There was major improvement with my technique and im getting further and further every time in the pool. Im still a mile off from even completing 50meters but the signs are there telling me im on the right track.

Well this week has got off to a good start and hopefully it will stay like that. Looking forward to going back to the pool and doing another long cycle.
26 September 2010

My First Race: Loughrea 10k

Woke up this morning, first thing I checked was the weather.  It was clear outside, not even a drizzle. First good sign of the day.  I got myself prepared and drove to Loughrea to register for the race.  Got some music going to build to the adrenalin. Didn’t want to build it up to early so with a few hours to spare, I hit down to my friends who were also taking part in the race. Paul was not feeling to good, down with the flu but insisted on doing the 10k.

Paul, Brendan, Me

Half hour to the race and my last pit stop to the toilet.  The starting line had changed to further up the road due to the road being in a state.  You would think they would fix that by now, its being months but back to race. Did a short warm up and a few stretches and soon I heard the bang. Were off.  Forgot to start the stopwatch and didn’t notice till 30 to 40 seconds into the race.

Based on my training, I was expecting to come in around the hour to hour and five.  I started near the back. I was taking in all in the first kilometre, getting a feel for the race. The main thing I was watching was my pace, I didn’t want to get off the blocks to fast but didn’t want to be relaxed either. As from starting at the back, some people were in a slower pace and overtaking became hard as they were all in one line across the road.  Everything settled down after the first kilometre and I came to my first challenge, a tough hill but with fresh legs it was alright. I was in a group and going at a nice pace. A few more hills came but also came the descents.

Around the 4k, a stitch came on and I was like, it’s too early and the head began to drop.  A fellow called Philip Greally caught up along side me and even asked to tag along with me. So we were chatting along the way on random topics such as the hurling matches on that day.  He seems to be a popular man as nearly passing every spectator; they all seemed to know him. I was impressed with my time and had a habit of looking at my watch every few minutes. He told me not to focus on time and check the watch when you pass the long point (i.e. Loughrea lake entrance).

As we hit the 5k marker, water bottle station was on hand, I already had a stitch and a sup of water wasn’t going to make it worse. I threw some down the back of my neck and took the final sip 700meters down the road.

There was no serious hill left in the race and around the 8k, the stitch seemed to ease up. I was on the way to the finish, passed the long point and was delighted with my time.  I could hear people behind me but I never looked around, I always was focusing forward. I noticed a guy was slowing down in front of me and I set my eye on catching him. He was my first to overtake in nearly 6k. I had being overtaken so many times since then.

The final six hundred meters, a girl sprinted by me and she began to ease off 400meters from the finish. As we took the final corner, we noticed the finish line was pushed a hundred meters further since the start line was changed. I told Philip who was beside me for the last 6k that I was going to see if there was anything in the tank. I was only expecting a small increase but when I picked up and began to sprint to the line, I felt like a 200meter sprinter overtaking 3 before hitting the line.   I got my official time of . I was so delighted with that result.  My first race and I managed under the hour. I won’t set any targets just yet but will look to knock a few minutes off it in the next one.
Paul speeding to the finish

Brendan had already finished well ahead of me and came in on a personal best of 42mins. We were waiting for his brother Paul to come to the line.   He came around the corner side by side with another runner.  We began to cheer and the other and the other runner began to pull away but Paul dug deep and came across the line just ahead in a time of 1h8m.  
Race to the line

Well done to the lads and I would like to say thanks to the organisers for a brilliant race. I hope other races will live up to this standard and atmosphere.  If everything goes to plan, hopefully I will be back next year.

Also big thanks to Helen and Stephen who took photos for me on the day. Click here for more

Sprint to the line
22 September 2010

Full pedal Ahead

I took out my bike out yesterday to see how it handle. I brought it onto a new stretch of road where its nice and smooth and has a good lane by.  I put up 16km on it and was flying it for the first 8k but the final 8k was a nightmare and a half.  The trees were not blowing but some how there was open Gael force hitting right into me on the way back.  As i expected some muscles were going to be sore but the worst pain came from my man parts. will have to toughen up down there.
Cycling is another aerobic exercise, it gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a workout, thereby reducing the risk of heart problems. Being on the bike will help me tone up my upper thigh muscles.  I really could feel the workout on them the last day.

I was only going to plan and cycle as part of a cross training exercise but now as usual I'm up for a challenge and plan to do a 40k cycle race + 6k run in a duathlon.  I suppose the more of a challenge you got, the harder you work. Unlike the Commonwealth games going to be held in India. They are so not prepared in anyway to hold the games and many athletes pulling out in relation to safety issues.

I will keep peddling and running while also tyring to learn to swim.  It is a full load but i wouldn't put it down if they weren't realistic goals. So my first 10k is coming up this Sunday. In good form for it at the moment. Still taking it easy enough this week. Will do an interval session today and  a small run tomorrow and that will be that for Sunday.  Total relaxation Friday and Saturday.

Well that's it for now, hope ye are all doing well in your own goals.
19 September 2010

I bought a road bike

Great news, I managed to find a racing bike online. It was at a good price so I couldn't leave it there. I was expecting it to be needing some TLC but everything was in good shape. Going to do some duathlons now when i manage to build up some speed and strength on the bike. There is a 40k cycle with a 6k running Humpty Dumpty event on in the 23rd October. Its a fair distance to do in a short period of training time and the cycling starts first which is unusual for a duathlon. However time will tell when i take the bike out for a few runs after the Loughrea 10k run next week.

Looking forward to the Loughrea 10k, I will taper off this week. Maybe two runs, 2 attempts at swimming and one cycle of my new bike for an hour. Must look up what to eat before a run and how to prepare on race day. I will go out and do my best. Hopefully it will be good.

Speaking of races. I was at a Triathlon up in Blacksod, Mayo. Went to watch a few friends take part in a team relay. Up on Friday night to Belmullet. Got up at 6.45am and went to Blacksod. Really was a tough to get up but i did and ended up down in Blacksod where the rain was coming down hard and a breeze that would cut you in two. Neil, Stephen and Paul had a great race especially for two of them being newcomers to this type of event. They finished 176 out of 222.

16 September 2010

Swimming 101

I decided to give swimming a go. I was reading the newspaper last week and I said if there is swimming lessons on it then I'm taking it. It was there twice so that was definitely a sign.

It was for total beginner lessons with Anne. She is an ex-international swimmer instructor in Clarinbridge. Don't think it could get any better. I was nervous entering the building. Just different surrounding and the new challenge I had to face but I managed to relax myself. I got talking to Anne and just by talking my nerves went away and my game face was on for my first swimming lesson.

The class of around twenty was split into two groups. One for the complete non movers and one one for people that could travel a few feet. I managed to make my few feet in my splisshy splasshy ways. Seven of us altogether made it.

I expected since it was Day 1, that it be a holding rail all the time and maybe venture out a bit with some floats. Ya it was holding the rail. getting the leg technique right. 5 mins that took. Then having ago going across in the float. 10 mins. Float with arms moving. 10mins. Then the no floats came, it was to see how far I could get across with hands out in front and just move the legs. breathing technique wasn't involved at this stage. But not to go on stage by stage. Yes I had a great time in the pool. Yes it was a superb swimming lesson. It was going at the right pace for me.

I am still along way of swimming but at least I'm off the starting line. Anne said to try and head to the pool one time before the next lesson. I really want to do this and hopefully I will find time to get in a session. Really looking forward till next Thursday. Bring it on.
15 September 2010

Inspiring Movies

I always look for inspiration to add to my motivation to my own goals. The movies industry plays host to many inspiring true stories in the sports industry. Here is a look at some of the movies that inspire me.

Cinderalla Man A boxing story, it tells of the man you had the opportunity to hit the big stage but to no success. He returns to the working industry along with his fellow Irish countrymen and begins to work at the docks just to try and scrape by. The work was very tough in those rock bottom days. he gets one opportunity to do a warm up match with the heavy weight champion of the world. James J Braddock takes the world by storm as he defeats the world number one to become Heavy weight Champion of the world.

Cool Runnings It is only loosely based on a true story. Like the fact that the sprinters did not fall in an Olympic sprint race but they were recruited through the military. Don't take anything away from this film though. They still had to face them obstacles in order to give one hell of a show in the 1988 winter Olympics. Also there are memorable quotes from this film.

The Flying Scotsman This is one of my favourites as the challenges are very deep. Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree suffers from a form of depression and from an early age he was being bullied. He felt free on his bike and so fast he could get away from anything. This lead to his passion of cycling and he took to breaking the one hour record in cycling by his own design made up of parts of a washing machine. However the record was broken one week later, the authorities in cycling just like the bullies in his childhood clamped down on the rules which made it impossible for Obree to win using experimental methods. A gripping story and a fight to the bitter end.

We are Marshall This one is not an individual challenge, nor a team challenge but a community challenge to come to terms will the loss of the Marshall university football team and staff who died in a plane crash in 1970. After the tragedy, the president was going to suspend the football program but many people stepped forward and showed the importance of having football. A new coach took the job and fought hard to bring the community back together as one. there first home game had players from different background of sports line up. They achieved victory in a remarkable game. The community were reunited and they remained on the pitch into the early hours of the morning. they only would go on to win one more game that season but the football remained and so did the community spirit.

Throw down a comment below and let me know what movies inspire you.
12 September 2010

Two Weeks

Great news on two fronts, Steve is back to full health so my first race will be in my home town this day two weeks.

I wanted to see all the commotion involved in race day and I am extremely interested in triathlons. Our home town hosted one today so I went along and watched Steve in the race. it was a sprint type triathlon and it catered for all kinds. There was bikes valued between 100euros to thousands of euros. I thought it would be all these serious competitors but each person was out to reach there own goals.

Steve finished strong and hard. Hard ripples in the water was causing a few tri athletes off course. One guy that came out of the water, he stopped up by me. His legs was suffering from severe muscle pains. I asked should I get him a medic. He replied.. "no, all I need is my bike, if only I can get to my bike". Then he walked off slowly towards the bike rack 100meters away.

So two weeks is when I will hit my first race. Still looking forward to it. Will go up to Mayo next week and watch my friends take part in the relay tri. This will probably involve a few drinks afterwards so I will put in a hard effort of training this week.

Well that's the news anyway. Let the new week begin.

09 September 2010

Now im motoring

Well if you read my last post, you would have seen how I didn't do quiet well from my last run at 8k.

I didn't know what type of run i was going to do today but knew I had to do something. As I said I started a new weight program this week and really feeling the DOMS from it. Really tough new program and it is a real challenge. There was no running outside completed this week. Last Monday i completed my first session of interval training on the treadmill.

Back to today though, so i said id go for a run, if the DOMS gets worse ill finish at 4k. I was talking to my friend who is taking part on a team triathlon on Saturday week. He informed me that our other friend (Super Steve) had just came down with an injury and will be unlikely to do the 10km run for the team. He has asked me to be a back up. To tell ya the truth, he didn't really ask, he just said be ready. I will be on back up duty as i know he has worked hard and shed sweat to manage the 43km bike ride. I wont let a mate down.

So in the run today, pain was setting in at 3k and knowing the possibility of having to race next week gave me the motivation and kick to push on. soon that pain disappeared around the 4k and i was in good time so I planned to do another one or two kilometers. Small cramp did set in but i told myself you ain't stopping me today. As I was meeting people again for the second time on the block, they look of amazement they gave me. This all added to my inspiration. Even if they were not looking with amazement, I told myself they were.

I got under the 50minutes (49: 32) as I planned. Gave a good 300 meter fast sprint to the line. Really proud of this result and hopefully more proud results to come.

I wish Steven all the best in his recovery. He would have finished the 10k in that time with some spare. someday hopefully I be there too. More sweat needed first.

Hope your back to full fitness soon Steve.
06 September 2010

Keep moving

Last Saturday, I was looking forward to a good run, planned on running my block twice (8km). I took off in a steady pace but 3.5km in, a lorry passed and I was holding my breath as I knew a bad smell and horrible air was going to rush down my mouth. By holding my breath had caused big cramp to come on. What was i thinking, I found out the lack of oxygen will cause this to happen and silly me for holding my breath. Next time I will just put up with it and keep breathing.

I wanted that run to be a good run, I lowered the pace in order for the cramp to go away but it didn't. I had to walk a good bit of the way. maybe 1.5km. Heart ache was setting in. i was thinking about the Loughrea 10k. The week before i said I am going to do it good, Last Saturday, I was wondering in taking part at all. I finished the 8k in 54mins. I ran hard in the last kilometer since i had plenty of energy left. I wanted to finish in 50mins.

Well my first race is just under three weeks away. I'm going to look at last Saturday as a minor set back. I did a fitness test today. Massive improvements in all areas. Lost another few pounds. I'm going doing a more running program now. Did my first interval session today, will be pushing it to the max over the next few weeks. You can check out my program on the tab ahead.

I think i will attempt that 8k again next Sunday. Hopefully the outcome be much happier.
03 September 2010

Rest Day

Today is a rest day. No exercise to be done whatsoever.

To people who don't know the importance of rest, They come up and say things like " I know a guy who goes to the gym 7 days a week" or "Most runners run 6 days a week" well first of all I'm not them guys and second, most runners are over trained and chronically injured.

When you work out, you muscles get sore because of the build up of lactic acid. Resting is so important when your muscles are still sore 24 to 48 hours late. This is called Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is caused by rupturing the muscle when exercising and time is the best healing method. A runner using the same muscle from one day to the next is not giving the muscle time to heal and thus leading to an injury.

Sometimes, I do get the feeling of going out for a run on my day off. Perfect weather and location are just inviting me out there. But no, I ain't pushing that hard just to fall over.

I'm not a total religious type of guy for a saying that fits to this article. "Remember the lord made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he rested" So enjoy your rest.. put your feet up.
01 September 2010

Catch 22

I never wanted to look like a body builder nor do I intend in trying to finish in the top 20 in marathons so I always was quiet content in doing both weights and running.

However running and taking part in events and getting some personal bests has taken over so I have decided I want to do a program of just running in order to increase my speed. Yes this does mean that the poor muscles I have gained in the last few weeks will wither away.

I do want to run this 10k around the hour mark and will not be able to do that if focus on both running and weights.

My gym trainer will outline a new program for me Tuesday. I suspect there be interval training involved. I was going to outline some factors on interval training but this article says it all. My best read of the day. CLICK HERE Really has got me looking forward to this challenge.

I will be still doing weights. Lower weights with higher number of reps. This be build up for resistance training. Wont be muscle building but keeping my muscles in shape.

Also looking to pick up a racing bike, really cheep racing bike. around the hundred euro mark. Just to do a bit of cross training. If anyone sees one, give me a shout.
29 August 2010

Continuous running

There is always someday you just don't want to do anything but you know you got to. I was having one of those days today. My new plan was to sit in and watch sport on the box. I came up with excuses like the rally cars and boy races are all over the road and its too dangerous and it was going to pour down from the heavens.

I got my mojo back thought and took to the roads. It was only one 1k of road which rally cars drove. They were not speeding due to it being a public road so everything was cool.

I knew it was going for a long run but didn't know how far. I was thinking of beating my time of 30 minutes of non stop running.

Into the run, i could hear and see some of the rally cars speeding down the country lanes. i was taken in by it. The start of the run had a big dull cloud hanging over me but the sunny blue sky broke through and this added to my confidence of breaking the 30 minute mark.

After the 3k mark, i then exit my usually 4k block and entered the mountain. Time was around 17 minutes and kept running up that mountain till 31minutes.. I broke my continuation running time and realised if i turn back, its all down hill. So no stopping and away i went. I said i deserved it after climbing a 2k hill. Then overpowered with excitement of running over 40minutes, i decided i will get home without stopping so in total i ran for 52minutes straight. :)

Now I believe i can run the Loughrea 10k straight. i don't know the correct amount of distance I completed today but i say it was around the 8k. Major factors that didn't affect me today was the breathing and no cramps or stitches. I really took it handy

In one way i wish a brought a camera to show the great trail i have for running, but on the other hand, i ain't carrying a camera.

Great end to the week, Got myself back on track. Will look to do something similar next week. Maybe break the one hour mark
26 August 2010

Gym Sessions

Today i finished another grueling session in the gym.

We all know the situation, Too much muscle will slow down runners and not enough will likely lead to a runner having an injury due to muscle imbalance.

I'm not looking to be a professional athlete nor am I looking to give myself a serious injury so I look for a balance.

Here are my workout sessions my trainer gets me to do. Most of them involve 3 sets with 8 reps per set. The first set should be in your comfortable zone, second set should be in your hard zone while the final, you should be fatigued a.k.a Failure.

You can click on the a particular workout below. This will open a new tab that will show the correct way to perform the workout. Videos located on YouTube.

Lower Body

Cardio machines 10min to warm up leg muscles
Leg Press Machine 3 sets by 8 reps
Leg Extension Machine 3 sets by 8 reps
Leg Curl Machine 3 sets by 8 reps
Barbell Squats 3 sets by 8 reps
Cable Crossover I only use one section, similar workout only longer
One legged Dumbbell Calf Raises 3 sets by 8 reps
Medicine Ball Oblique Twists 2 sets by 30 reps


Rower machine 10 minute warm up
Bench Press 3 sets by 8 reps
T-Bar Row 3 sets by 8 reps
Incline Dumbbell Fly 3 sets by 8 reps
Reverse Lat Pulldown 3 sets by 8 reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 sets by 8 reps
Tricep Curls 3 sets by 8 reps
Tricep Dips 3 sets by 15 reps

I always do my stretches just after a warm up and after my workout. I'll post some of my stretches on later date with an issue of how stretching is important.
23 August 2010

Unusual Week

Last week didn't get of with a good start since the finger was still swelled from the dislocation the previous Thursday.

I wanted to get back into the routine but hospital appointments and other appointments got in the way. Managed to go to the gym three times last week and also fitted in three runs.

My training partner also had an accident by hurting his neck messing around. So we didn't train together. It was going to be our last training week together as he is moving to the end of the earth.. Mayo.

Having a training partner pushed me to get the best out of myself. We are two very competitive guys who hate to lose and especially hate to lose to each other. I knew he had me in the upper weights but I could hold my own in the lower body and rower.

So since he was hitting off and the the bad luck of a week we were having, we decided to hit the town. Went out 3 nights last week. Good night Saturday. We said we finish in style. There is now no more drinking until the Loughrea race. I think that will be tougher then the race itself.

Also in one of the nights out, i think i bet with a guy in the upcomming race. Money is behind the bar. Who did i bet with? only God can tell ya. I think he is on the same level as myself. Even though i made this bet, the real race is against myself and push for a time around the hour.

Went for a beautiful run yesterday to ease myself back into the new week. Ran the country block and did a mile up the mountain. There was stop and starting a few times but it was a relaxing run. I liked running up the mountain, beautiful scenery and no cars or houses. Listening to the running water stream splashing along side. Nice way to ease back in.
Hopefully I will have better luck this week and not deviate to the pub.
20 August 2010

Compression Shorts

I decided to invest in wearing compression shorts in order to keep the muscles warm in order to prevent muscle strain and fatigue, and wick sweat away from the body to prevent chafing and rashes.

Price wise for these shorts is set a bit high for my standards. Ireland sport shops, you are looking in the region of paying 25 to 30 euro. I decided I was in no rush for them and purchased one on ebay for 15euro including P&P.

I didn’t go in today but Aldi have compression tops and shorts, tracksuits and ruining t-shirts on sale today. Always watch the specials listed on http://www.aldi.ie/ and http://www.lidl.ie/ . Very cheap and good quality items at low cost. Shop around is the key

This is the part I want to see if there is anything negative to be said about them. I searched through sites likes boards.ie and runnersworld.com to see what other people were saying about them. The main downfall is the price. Defiantly majority of comments were positive. Other notes I picked up on them sites was once you put them on, you feel more athletic and ready. I feel that way. Another key point is that even compression shorts are meant to be tight, never get a pair that are very tight.

Well after I try them out for awhile and pick up more knowledge on this running apparel I will review them.
15 August 2010

30 minute mark

The sun is screaming down the heavens on this beautiful Sunday evening. I went for a run around the block and decided to run for my first time without stopping for 30 minutes.

I previous ran the 4km block in 22.35 and was out of breath. I also stopped up once on that 22.35 timeline to recover from a stitch. This time I was running at a slower pace and passed the 4km marker at a time of 24.04 and felt I had no problems in reaching the 30 minute target then suddenly the stitch from hell appeared. I fought through it and made it to the 30minute mark. I can’t wait till I start running for 40-50 minutes straight and then hopefully the hour where the 10km should be in reach but for now I’ll just take it one small foot in front of the other
14 August 2010

Breathing issues

Well as a beginner runner I am finding it very difficult to control my breathing and also suffer from cramps and stitches.

The information I came across on other websites have noted that the more running you do the more easier you breathing will become. One site noted the talk-run rule in saying you know you are running out of your dept if you cannot finish a small sentence without the need of a big inhale.

Here are the few breathing techniques I came across that I plan to adapt to.
  • Always run with your head help up to allow more oxygen to flow in.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
  • Breathe from your belly and not from your chest

The key point is if you find yourself getting out of breath then slow down to a comfortable rhythm.

Stitch and Cramps

These pains really hit the inexperience runner and I get one every time I run. I even eat 2 hours pre-run. Some sites note the more runs and experience you get the more your body adapts to eliminating these aches.

The first time I got a stitch I was told by a runner to slow down the pace and take deep breaths. I always get the pain on my right side and this is because the liver is on that side so more stuff to rub against. To let the stitch pass I should always exhale on the other leg. So if I have the pain on my right side then I should exhale on the left leg and vice versa.

Well I plan to put these techniques into practice when needed.
Keep on running
13 August 2010

First Running Blog

I decided my first bloging experience should be in the interest of my new hobby of running.

What I aim to bring to this blog is information I gather on my journey to becoming a strong runner. Many running sites says having a reasonable goal is critical as it also spurs on the motivation and when reached gives you the satisfaction of success. Hopefully I will be hearing the word success.

So first of all, I don’t think I am going to break the reasonable goal as I set myself a target of 10km. I decided to skip the 5km challenge as my homes town annual 10km race is coming up and what a way to start my racing. 26th Sept 2010

Loughrea Athletics Club

To give an update of my physical fitness so far. I joined the gym near the start of the summer where I began a six week program of cardio and machine weights. Cardio workouts were bike to warm up followed by the cross trainer and treadmill. Total time of cardio was around 45minutes and 20 to 30 minutes of weights.

I recently changed my gym program to doing 2 upper body exercises and 2 lower body exercises in the gym. Then for the cardio I exit the gym and hit the fresh air 3 times a week for running and use the bike for a bit of cross training.

My first road running experience was difficult to the lovely gym, I thought being on the treadmill running solid at a high tempo 5km in thirty minutes that a 4km road be no bother. Big mistake, breathing was all over the place, I had to stop after 10 minutes and again 15 and again 20 minutes. I finished the 4km in 26minutes. No shame in stopping though as I researched online and my breathing is adapting and one week later, 3 runs on and I posted a time of 22.35 on my 4km. I did also have to stop on that sue to cramp, researched it and said I should exhale while coming down on my left foot as the right side is rubbing off the liver which is causing the pain

Well that’s it now for my first post of my first blog. I hope to bring lots of great information about running and running apparel.

Oh yes, I already have one setback. I dislocated my finger playing hurling, got it popped back in but can’t bend it. If it doesn’t heal fast I will have to talk to my fitness instructor at the gym where I will probably change my program again.