Half Marathon Program – Week 4


How are you finding the heat this week? Continue reading “Half Marathon Program – Week 4”

Half Marathon Program – Week 3

Now to notch things up slightly.

People wonder about the intervals and tempo runs – what is the purpose?

Simply put if you get used to running at a faster pace & effort, then you can sustain an easier, aerobic pace for longer. Faster pace runs also help boost fitness.


Continue reading “Half Marathon Program – Week 3”

Recommended and Mandatory kit for #trailrunning? We got your gearbag covered…

Trail Running is a fantastic way to spend your time running. There is so much to discover and every step leads you to a different view of the world around you.

Continue reading “Recommended and Mandatory kit for #trailrunning? We got your gearbag covered…”

What does “Charity Partner” mean ??

It looks like the spectre of “Charity Events” is raising its head again with races being promoted as having ‘Charity Partners’.

As I said in this original post there is no issue with events being commercial and making money but when it is not explicitly stated that: “none of your entry fee goes to our charity partner” I wonder why events are allowed use the ‘Charity Partner’ angle.

What are your thoughts?


[IMPROVERS] #AKWest Dublin Marathon Program – Weeks 10-14

How are you all doing?

With the introduction of the speedwork you should be feeling a bit of change in your running (?)

FAST here is what you are thinking your Marathon Pace (MP) is likely to be. By running a few sessions at this stage you will quickly learn how realistic your anticipated goals are. Run the MP as a block so for example the first 8k on Wednesday should be warmup 2 k, next 1k at steady pace, 4k at MP, 1k cooldown.

Try and take a split or lap time for your MP sections so you can gauge the MP. It should feel like an effort but you should also bear in mind, this will be a pace you hope to hold in 13 weeks time for 42.2k 🙂

We really could do with your feedback on the forum on this so that you can adjust properly.

 Week 13 Rest 6  10 (5k at MP) 6 Rest  6 18 (5k at MP)
 Week 12 Rest 8 10 (Hilly) 8 Rest 8 18 (2 x 4k at MP)
 Week 11 Rest 5  10 (5k at MP) 8  Rest 8 20 (2 x 5k at MP)
 Week 10 Rest 8  10 8  Rest 16* 8
 Week 9 Rest 8 8 8  Rest 8 22 (2 x 5k at MP)


All distance are in kilometers (km / k) at no point do we use miles or mph to designate speed, distance or pace!

All runs must start with 10mins / 2k of easy running to warm up and loosen out. Think about your form, relaxing the shoulders etc before getting into the main body of the run.

In the long runs we are progressing. How to structure the progression runs? Eg. in the 20 (2 x 5k at MP) the way to do this is:

  • 5k warmup
  • 5k at MP
  • 2k easy
  • 5k at MP
  • 2k easy
  • 1k to finish

You will have an idea of your projected MP from your previous 10k races. If you have any doubts do check in with us on the forum

‘Rest’ is ‘rest from running’ NOT sit on the sofa and eat crisps and ice-cream. Go for a swim, a nice walk, easy cycle. You should also consider flexibility exercises like pilates or yoga on these ‘Rest’ days.

These are starting to introduce pace work. Also coming in is hilly work to build strength. Hills should be something you are being challenged on, but not having to climb! If you can find a hill or drag that takes a few minutes to run up like the hill at Renville Park make it a favourite and mark it for future reference.

Any questions please feel free to fire them at us.

Happy running!! 🙂

Edel & Sean

LAST CALL for Lough Cutra Triathlon Training Day!!!

The training/recce day for Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon is on tomorrow Saturday 9th May at the Castle in Gort, Co. Galway with GoTri, Amphibian King Oranmore and Burren Cycling Club.

Adult and children’s triathlon training covering all 3 disciplines and transitions. Suitable for beginners as well as more experienced triathletes.

There’s also a recce cycle and run for The Gauntlet (half iron).

There is no charge for this but you are required to book in advance.


Feed on the Street – How do you fuel your training & racing?

Quite a common topic for discussion is how and when to fuel when training. I regularly get asked for advice from runners especially on fuelling half marathon or marathon distance races and a the risk of being non-committal “it all depends on you, your training, your goals & your body” is the regular answer.

Look nutrition and metabolism, is a complex area and almost all of it depends on you and your training. In that I am not mistaken.

There is so much chatter (and I’m adding to it) about nutrition do’s and don’ts that it is ridiculously confusing.

It shouldn’t be and is quite simple really.

Without going into a whole complex area (and tripping myself up over technicalities!) about which many, many books have been written the best example is for me to impart the advice I have learned myself and from others experiences.

I hear gels make you sick / run through you…

This line is often coming from someone who is ‘ready’ to try their first gels but has received advice from someone who has had a bad experience with gels because of…well.. bad advice they in turn have been given.

If you leave it too late to take a gel the likelihood is you will throw it up. At high intensities blood is pushed or ‘shunted’ from non-essential body functions (like digestion) to the working muscles to maintain as much oxygenated blood flow as possible. Basically the digestive system goes into standby (why most people don’t feel like eating after a workout) and the gel sits in your tummy.

Ingest too many, as you feel your body running out of fuel you panic and throw more gels into yourself and you are going to be looking for a bush as the body voids itself.

Simple rule is timing – more shortly.

How many do I need to take?

Whether it is 1 or 20 depends on you.

Here’s my thoughts….

Generally the average person of average training is reckoned to be capable of storing enough easily accessible fuel for roughly 2-2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise. After that your blood sugar and intramuscular glycogen are depleted and you start to ‘bonk’. It is now likely too late to take gels and you end up in ‘limp home’ mode.

If this is you, you need to be taking extra fuel on board earlier rather than later.

Think of it as setting out on a car journey of 500miles with a fuel tank range of 100miles. You can drive 400miles and take a chance that there is a garage but possibly end up having to walk for 100miles as you have drained the fuel tank and the lines need bleeding; or, you can top up your tank at 50miles, 100miles and 200miles ensuring you have enough fuel for the journey with reserve.

There are people like Barry Murray who writes extensively about sports nutrition and to be honest his self experimentation is well worth reading. It is anedotal but based in reality and I would personally follow as many of his concepts as possible while also tailoring to suit my own needs. As he says himself (re)-adapting the body to being an efficient fat burning machine can take years of adjustment and tinkering with diet to find what works for each individual.

1kg of body fat contains approx 7,500-7,700 kcal of (clean) usable energy which is roughly twice as much energy pound for pound with carbohydrate. So if you adapted to fat burning (or sourcing energy from body fat) you could technically fuel a double marathon with 1kg of body fat!!

However it is tricky dialling back training to build ’empty’ miles and tinker with diet to find what suits you best so most people stick with their normal (slightly healthier than norm) diet and depend on ‘artificial’ fuel in the form of bars, gels and jellies to get them through their training.

What I tend to do is a balance. I do plenty of long easy distance running and biking with little or no fuelling or with fluids. (I started this process a while back) A recent 8.5 hour bike spin saw me consume less than 1100kcal and 1.5 ltr of fluid at low intensity over 185km. I find the best for me is low GI gels (Agave #9) and protein based solids where possible so blood sugars are not spikes leading to a crash.

When racing I might use a light sports drink like Tailwind beforehand and fuel with Agave #9. I used x3 gels in the half at Connemarathon.


Key is, in my opinion, to get that extra fuel in earlier that you think you need it in order to have it when you require it. You also need to experiment to find out which works best for you and do plenty of reading about the techniques that Barry advocates.

A simple way to think of it is that you are not fuelling for the workout or race that you are doing per se but more to consider that you are fuelling now for how you want to workout tomorrow.

If you have any stories or experiences you can share please do and also let me know how you get on with any diet changes.


Q&A with #RSP – What is in your go to running bag?

Turning up to an event and discovering that you have forgotten something small but important (like toilet paper) or your favourite pair of socks can ruin your day.

A good way to avoid any last minute surprises is to be a little organised and lay out your gear at least 2 days in advance of a big event, you know, the one you trained for all year. Don’t leave it til the night before to run around grabbing gear. You will fill a bag with stuff you don’t need and likely forget the stuff you do!!


So to the question…

Question – What basics should be in all our running bags as standard.

My thoughts on this are fail to prepare, prepare to fail:

Another good question that makes me think!

Assuming that this is in preparation for an event this is the stuff I would be recommending otherwise the drawer under the bed should be exclusively for all your running gear!!

For everyone: Toilet paper(!!), Bodyglide / Skin Balm / Run Guard, good shorts with flat seams, tried and tested running socks, your #RSP top/ singlet 😉 , safety pins; hat, hoody, tracksuit (for before & afterwards), babywipes, shades (weather dependent but have them in the bag) black bin bag (great temp rain jacket, shelter and portaloo 😉 )

For girls: Decent bra, hair bands / scrunchie

For guys: Nipguards!! #RSP#AskAKW

Now we got a few extra suggestions in the comments which was great. Things like nutrition, recovery wear etc. I would expect to see in your bag as normal. It is the everyday stuff like the pins or glide or bin bag that are so easily overlooked and forgotten.

Stuff like fake tan and makeup…….well, I’ll leave that up to you!! 😀

Fake tan & Makeup!! Running essentials??
Fake tan & Makeup!! Running essentials??


If you have any more suggestions or would like to find about my recommendations for running bags please use the form or comments section to get in touch.

Thanks for reading! 🙂


Being charitable about controversy.

Continue reading “Being charitable about controversy.”

Lough Cutra Castle triathlon

400LoughCutra -By Tarquin Blake

Lough Cutra Castle – Sunday 25th May 2014

We’re delighted to announce that we are going to Lough Cutra triathlon in May.

With a swim around an island on the largest privately owned lake in Europe, a stunning 90k single cycle lap through the outstanding area of natural beauty that is the Burren National Park (taking in the infamous corkscrew hill) and a 3 lap run around a 7K course entirely on the beautifully manicured Lough Cutra estate and surrounding forest trails, what’s more to want?

Amphibian King are the run partners for The Gauntlet course and we will be hosting a series of recce runs on the run course through April and May. Keep an eye on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Amphkingwest for more updates and watch our Events Calendar for dates, times & details.

Stick around for the after party for some renowned West Coast hospitality in the castle grounds.

The Gauntlet cycle route
Lough Cutra Castle – run routes

Check out the Lough Cutra Triathlon page for more information and entry details.