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Robs Blog: Training Hours: Week Starting 22nd October

I come out of the pool after a hard 3500m swim. A large portion of it with paddles, pull buoy and band. My shoulders, lats and arms are heavy and tired. And all pumped up like I’ve done a big gym session.

The muscles feel swollen and huge. I’m enjoying the feeling of “bigness”. Flexing the muscles as I walk (strut) off the pool deck.

I get into the changing room and glance at the mirror as I walk past to check out my newly built musculature only to discover that despite feeling like a mini Schwarzenegger I still look like exactly the same skinny little shit I was an hour ago when I went into the pool.

Somewhat deflated I shower, dress and go for a coffee.

And a protein shake…yes a protein shake will sort out the lack of muscle… Read More

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Robs Blog: Training Hours Week Starting 15th October 2018

I hit snooze on the alarm and I’m asleep before I’d put the phone back on the nightstand.

Nine minutes later the alarm drags me back out of what felt like a drugged slumber. I reach across and grope around the bedside locker but can’t find the phone.

The insistently annoying alarm keeps on going but it’s muffled. I realise I‘m lying on it. I manage to tie myself up in knots with the charging cable. What the fuck is going on?

I finally pull it free and escape the cord, hit snooze again and lie back down thinking that I‘m awake properly now, what with all of that messing with the phone cable.


Then the alarm is going again. Christ I’m tired. I look at the time and try to calculate what is the least amount of time that I need to dress, make coffee and drive into the park to meet the lads for the run.

My brain is still asleep but I think I can probably hit snooze once more. Or maybe not. I‘m asleep again before the thought is fully formed.

Then Ais is up and making the bed with me still in it. I take the hint and drag my arse up and out. I guess my alarm has woken one of us.

The coffee brought me to life a little but on the drive into the park I feel like I’ve been driven over by a bus.

Ais says she mightn’t run with the group as her legs are sore, she’s just going to do an easy run on her own instead.

I think that’s a great opportunity for being a lazy shit and immediately suggest that I’ll run easy with her.

I’m relieved at having the option of not having the gang kick the shit out of me for 20k.

There’s still a part of me thinking that maybe I’ll wake up and feel good once we start running but doesn’t happen either.

From the start I’m counting the minutes until we finish and when Ais says that her hip is sore I generously offer to shorten the run, just so she’s not suffering, mind. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that I’m fucked.

Ais answers that it’s not really worth getting up early for an hours run. At least ninety minutes feels like it’s half way decent.

I’m so happy that she wants to keep on going that I can hardly contain my excitement.

I somehow manage to make it through the rest of the run without giving in to the urge to walk, lie down or take a short cut back to the car or just wander into the coffee shop and wait for Ais to finish and come collect me.

Somedays you just do not want to do the work. Thankfully Ais is here to kick my arse when I’m being a lazy shit. We finished with 1 hour 29 minutes. I was tempted to run up and down the car park for the extra minute but thought better of it. I do not need to look like a mental person any more than I already do.

Anyway on to the numbers… Read More

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Robs Blog: Easy like Sunday morning

I’m six feet off the front of the group and I’ve got the most overwhelming itch to stretch my legs. At the same time I’m conscious that I don’t want to annoy the others by constantly dragging the pace up.

We’re twenty five minutes into a ninety minute run and I’ve felt great right from the start. It’s one of those days when you just can’t feel your legs and running is effortless.

“Fuck it” I can’t help myself. I don’t think I even consciously decide. It just happens. I accelerate and it feels really good. The conversation drifts away behind me and I’m enveloped in autumnal sunshine and the silence of the park.

I’m careful to not do anything stupid like drop the pace to sub four minute k’s and blow up in ten minutes later. I’d then have Ais and John cruise back up to me still chatting and I’d look like an over exuberant tool who doesn’t have any self control or pacing awareness.

So I settle into what feels like a fast cruise. A pace I think I can hold onto for probably a couple of hours. Marathon pace or maybe slightly quicker.

My breathing picks up and I use it as a measure of my effort. I want to be working but not fry myself. I’ve got to train again tomorrow (not to mention I’ve got to work this afternoon and falling asleep under a pile of bike boxes in the warehouse won’t go down well with Orla…)

The trails loop through small stands of trees them back out onto open parkland. It’s quiet and all I’m thinking about is the run, my effort, my breathing, not tripping over the branches littering the ground after last weeks storm and how beautiful the Phoenix Park is in the autumn.

I’m sweating now and my breathing has settled into a faster rhythm. My legs are buzzing with the effort. The kilometres tick off quickly. The Garmin beeping again surprises me with another K done.

I cruise through the next forty minutes using runners on the loop as targets to chase. Trying to catch them before they turn off in another direction but without going nuts.

With twenty minutes to go I pick up the pace again. I’m working hard now and the legs are starting to feel sore.

Maybe thinking I’d last a couple hours of hours at this pace was a little ambitious considering I’m only back running three weeks.

I hang on to the pace to the end of the loop and then jog a fifteen minute cool down that bizarrely feels harder than the run itself.

Then there’s the endorphin buzz that comes after a hard or long run. And of course there’s the cooked breakfast in the visitor centre. And the coffees. And the trophy soreness in the legs.

It’s hard to think of a better way to start a Sunday.

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Robs Blog: The Conflict Of Shortcuts

I came across an article recently proclaiming that a new study had found a way of getting the same gains from less training. I normally flick on past these articles because they’re usually a load of boll%x rubbish but this one had been tweeted by former pro Ironman athlete and top ten Kona finisher Paul Huddle.

I’ve worked with Paul at Ironman 70.3 Dublin for a couple of years and I’d heard him being interviewed before on the Legends of Triathlon Podcast. He was quite entertaining and also not someone who struck me as being the type who looked for shortcuts or was afraid of hard work so I clicked in to check it out.

Sure enough the study found that you could get the same gains in strength with less training, it wasn’t just click bait. Still, I found myself mentally arguing against it. Why would I want to train less? I do Ironman in large part because I love the training. Lots of training. All the time. Just ask Asho… Read More

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Robs Blog: Training Hours: Week Starting 8th October 2018

For the second week in a row we went out to do a twenty mile race on Sunday and for the second time in a week I was surprised with the result.

The swim and bike training seems to be having a very positive effect on my running. The fitness is transferring and I guess the legs aren’t getting too beaten up because I’m not actually doing that much running.

There was also a trail marathon being run at the same time as the twenty miler we had entered. I was really itching to run it instead although I was careful not to suggest this to Ais.

I knew it was a bad idea… I’m not completely stupid… Read More

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Robs Blog: You’re not made of sugar Cummins

It’s raining outside. It’s two degrees with a real feel of minus three. It’s dark and miserable out. I think of all the reasons why I shouldn’t get on the bike.

Ironman Lanzarote is, like, eight months away, missing one ride probably won’t hurt.

I have work to do that somehow seems much more pressing than when the sun is shining.

Checking emails, checking orders, checking sales numbers checking the weather app.

Checking anything that means I’m not planting my arse on the saddle and going out into the cold.

Read More

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Irish Kona Slots and Podiums at Ironman Barcelona 2018

Ironman Barcelona has been one of the most popular races for Irish triathletes for the last few seasons. A combination of a late date allowing for Summer training, a flat easy course appeals to beginners and fast times making it a target for those chasing PB’s.

The huge numbers of Irish athletes also tends to result in a number of both Kona slots and podiums. The most notable being the women’s 60-64 age group where all three podium places were taken by Irish athletes.

Click on through for the list of Irish Kona qualifiers and podium finishers at the 2018 Ironman Barcelona.

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