Some days you’re the hammer. Some days you’re the nail.

Today I was the nail. And the hammer was not really a hammer, more like a 40 ton steam roller….


For the last number of weeks our Sunday run in the Phoenix park has been a gradually building sort of affair. It started off at two hours, all easy. Then we stretched it to three hours and as we became comfortable with the distance we started adding a little pace into the last hour.

The last two weeks saw us build the pace from the half way point and run a strong negative split for the second half.

This week Ais wanted me to run with a faster group from the start and see how I got on. A couple of the lads from that group said they had been averaging 5 minute k’s for their 20k run for the last few weeks.

Grand, I thought. That should be comfortable.

Famous last words.

The pace did start at 5 min/k’s but the speed gradually crept up until by about the 10k point we were running 4:15/k pace. I was working fairly hard but still confident that I could manage another 10k at that pace.

The problem was that while the group I was running with only had 10k left I had another 24k to go. I knew I wouldn’t last that long at this pace so three of us backed off a little.

In the end we finished out the first 20k lap in about 1h30 and after a quick pitstop at the car to grab a gel and some water I headed out for another 12-14k.

Four of the others were extending their run a little so started out with me but cut out after ten minutes.

All except Barry.

I was surprised to see him still running with me so asked him how long he was doing. We had met him near the end of our first lap and he had jumped in with us. He said he was happy to do as much as I was.

Without trying to sound like I was making excuses I told him I wouldn’t be going too quickly. I was already a little fried after the first lap and was just making up time on my feet.

Barry answered that he was happy to run at whatever pace I liked as he was only making a return to training. I was still very dubious that I wouldn’t be slowing him down too much. Barry Minnock is a sub 2:20 marathon runner. In fact I think he also has the Olympic “B” standard qualifying time for the marathon so chugging along with me at 4:40/k must have felt like being out for a brisk walk.

I’m surprised he wasn’t shivering. Anyway he dragged me through another 13k and I finished up doing 33k in just over 2 hours 35.

I’ve seen a couple of minutes improvement over the three hours most weeks since the beginning of the year without too much effort. If I’d started off today with the ambition of lopping off over 20 minutes in one fell swoop I would have told you that was probably a tad ambitious and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to try without firstly the push from Ais, then the group and lastly from Barry. Sometimes you can pleasantly surprise yourself.

Lets get on with the weeks training…


Monday 20 2:00 (1)

Bike 2:00 60k turbo

This was another one of those lactate threshold sets. Very unpleasant while doing it but savagely satisfying afterwards.


Tuesday 21 —

Off


Wednesday 22  2:25 (2)

AM: Run 1:40 16.5k hills.

PM: Run :45 10k


Thursday 23  1:50 (2)

Swim 1:05 2800 Paddles set

Run :45 8k easy run


Friday 24  1:10 (1)

Run 1:10 12k


Saturday 25  2:30 (1)

Bike 2:30 57k


Sunday 26  2:40 (1)

Run 2:40 33k

This is the run I talk about at the start of the post. Enough said.


Total 12:35 (9)

Swim 1:05 2800 (1)

Bike 4:30 117k (2)

Run 7:00 89.5k (6)

S&C —


Accumulated 

Total 46:15 (31)

Swim 3:55 10,300 (4)

Bike 18:30 447k (8)

Run 22:25 260.5k (17)

S&C 1:00 (2)