Half Marathon program Week 1

So you’ve been running away, no real structure, just getting out and running. Doing the odd 5k and venturing to 10km when the mood takes you, but in general you enjoy running and are out and about a few days per week (weather dependent) for 40 mins to an hour.

Well that’s all about to change!! Starting now…

Continue reading “Half Marathon program Week 1”

[IMPROVERS] #AskAKW Marathon Plan – The Final Countdown

Edit: Sorry had drafted this and hit the ‘Save’ rather than ‘Publish’ button.

“You are almost there!”

“”Just around the corner”

Phrases you gotta get used to hearing! 🙂 In 4 weeks it is all you will be hearing as you float around the 26.2 miles of Dublin Marathon.

For now we want to get you through the next 2 weeks before settling in with some tapering workouts and advice. The next few sessions are all about honing and focussing on your marathon pace (Mpace) so your body knows just what to do on the day.

Here we go:

This week 28th September-

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 10k steady

Wednesday – 16k with 5k at Mpace

Thursday – 10mins easy, 20mins @10k pace, 10 mins easy (8k)

Friday & Saturday – REST or easy, easy 5k / 30mins trot to loosen legs

Sunday – 34k with km 20-32 at Mpace

Sunday is particularly tough but you will finish this feeling good. Trust me.

Next week 5th October

Monday – 5k / 30mins easy loosener

Tuesday – 10k steady

Wednesday – 14k with 5k at Mpace

Thursday – 10mins easy, 30mins @10k pace, 10 mins easy (10k)

Friday – REST

Saturday – easy, easy 8k / 40mins trot to loosen legs

Sunday – 32k with km 20-30 at Mpace

These two Sunday runs are very important!

Time these as if they were race day. If you are travelling to the race start on 28th October, treat these Sunday’s as your dry runs. If you need to get up for breakfast on 28th at 6am, do it on these Sunday’s too. Figure out how much breakfast you can handle, do you need more gels to allow for ‘waiting around’ time? Start your run at the same time as your wave start for Dublin Marathon.

Any questions, pop them into the comments or #AskAKW on Twitter 🙂

Good luck!

Exercise or Training ??

The first third of 2013 is over and I’m looking back at my training diary since the start of the year. Training Diary

While I haven’t been blogging about it I have been logging the sessions. The stand out question that I now have to ask myself is, have I been training? or just exercising?

The distinction has got to be made between exercising with a specific purpose in mind, ie. target races and a planned structured approach to getting fitter, faster and leaner and just exercising to get fitter and diet to get leaner.

I’ve been fairly consistent in knuckling down to doing sessions but with no big balance in the week or any structure.

I set out my stall in January with some Goals rather than Resolutions for 2013. Technically while I have entered x2 of the three middle distance races I targeted (Tri an Mhi and the Humbert Challenge) and plans are afoot for Amsterdam Marathon in October, I have missed my first stated goal of weight loss.

I’m not too upset by this, I’m still 5kg off the mark. I can become ultra serious about this and lose the weight or I can enjoy the odd beer and slice of cake.

Mrs AKW's chocolate biscuit cake

I like cake! 🙂


If you look at the calendar to date you can see the rather sporadic nature of the sessions. SOme weeks really good and others with nothing. Now, swim sessions are not included in this calendar as I use a Garmin Swim for recording those, however, swim sessions have been thin on the ground as I decided not to rejoin my gym. I was solidly doing Monday / Wednesday and Friday sessions just before I would go to work, right up until the pool was closed to members on account of a schools session. (It’s a membership gym which has hired out the pool, due to child protection they close the pool. Fair enough, but excuse enough for me to stop swimming!)


Good solid month to start the year, like most people, motivation is high and the promises to self are still clear.

  • 138k running (treadmill, trail & road)
  • 8k swimming
  • 301k bike (indoors & out). January was also the scene of the crime for my first foray into bike FTP testing.

Jan 2013


Again not too bad, no major rhyme or reason. Mostly trying to tick off the Polar endurance training sessions for the run. Supposed to be working towards the Rock and Road Kinvara Half Marathon in March but if I’m completely honest I was struggling with tiredness, uncertain of my running on account of the injury last autumn and really busy with work so there was no real focus.

Still tried to tick off  a tempo run and several steady runs through the week. Also long runs on Saturday as I ran in & out to meet our #Zero25k group session.

  • 140k running
  • 4k swimming
  • 204k bike

Feb 2013


Brilliant start as I ran a super PB in the Kinvara Half Marathon of 01:39:51!

I’ve no idea where this result came from and looking at the data it was perfectly paced and comfortable for me. Maybe all the marathon training last autumn is still standing for something!?

I did sit back a bit in the week month or so after the half (recovery!) but managed another bike FTP which had a small increase.

  • 104k run
  • 0k swim
  • 179k bike

March 2013


With race season imminent I finally gave myself a shake and started out the month the right way.

A week’s holiday in Lanzarote with the family. Lovely place to do some running, a bit of swimming and just to relax in a bit of sunshine and warmth.

I returned with a bit of vigour (blog post on my ‘Volcano Run’ to foll0w) and started hitting training targets properly. It helps that a pal and myself keep up the regular longer run on Saturday mornings too.

  • 158k run
  • 3k swim (Open water)
  • 284k bike

April 2013

First race coming up on 18th May, the goal is to keep ticking off the running sessions, continue with 2 turbo sessions per week (focusing on strength / power) x1 steady outdoor session on the bike and get into the sea for some open water swims. Brick sessions with decent effort on the bike followed by progression runs will also feature weekly.

So to answer my openign question, I think I’ve mostly been exercising this year, time to get training!

Roll on the second third of the year!

Out with the Resolutions in with the Goals

I recently posted on our Facebook page asking people with: Just 2 days to the New Year. What are your resolutions for 2013?”

The mistake I made, of course, is calling them resolutions. To most, resolutions are fine, easy to make but not so easy to keep. A common belief is that most resolutions don’t make it as far as St. Valentine’s Day.
As one of the commenters Irish Runner pointed out – “I don’t make resolutions, only goals with dates to be competed by. More likely to get things done that way”. That really is the crux of the matter. 

So this year rather than listing a load of resolutions such as I want to lose weight; I want to run sub 40minutes for a 10k; I want to do a 3:30 marathon; I want to stop eating junk & sweet stuff etc. I’m setting goals, with dates.

  1. By 1st April I want to get weight down to 79kg and body fat to 15%.
  2. I’m going to run my first 50k Marathon. Portumna on 15th June. 
  3. I’m going to run 3:30 in a big city marathon. Not likely to be Dublin due to work commitments but it will be Autumn.
  4. I’m going to run sub 40 minutes for Fields of Athenry on 26th December 2013. 

 To achieve this I will need to make some changes: 

  • Cut out sugary stuff from my diet.
  • No drink on a school night, ever.
  • Adjust my whole diet back to higher fats & protein, low carbs.
  • Habitual training across the board. Just because my goals are run orientated does not mean that my swim or bike will be neglected. A training calendar is in negotiation with my wife who is also training with specific goals in mind.

Through the year I will do a lot of races, inline with training where possible. I was to race Cong triathlon, Rosses Point triathlon, I also hope to do x3 70.3 distance races this year, possibly Tri an Mhi or The Shadowman followed by Humbert Challenge  and The Lost Sheep in Kenmare.

Disappointly Galway 70.3 doesn’t look like its going ahead either as a Ironman branded event or as an independent event. I had hoped that the guys would take the bull by the horns and run with a local event on the same route as last year. But the silence speaks a thousand words.

Roll on 2013 and a Happy & Healthy New Year to you all!!