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”

There used to be only one in every village, now look how many of them there are…..

I got to thinking last night about back when I was younger (25 odd years ago) interested in pints and hanging out with the lads; there was a fellow in our village who was always ridiculed when seen out in public.

Continue reading “There used to be only one in every village, now look how many of them there are…..”

An Epic #running Triumph!!

We had a great opportunity to try out some pairs of the new Saucony Triumph ISO and invited everyone to come along and join in the fun.

Continue reading “An Epic #running Triumph!!”

Are you #running around looking for a Dublin Marathon training plan? We can help…

DCM MedalNice isn’t it? 🙂

If you would like to get one of these draped around your neck on October 26th 2015 it is not the 26.2 miles of Dublin City Marathon you need to be thinking about, it is the next 20 or so weeks of training that you need to be thinking of!

Here in Oranmore both Edel and myself will be going after a pair of these medals so our training will be kicking off very soon. If you would like to be part of the program it is quite easy. Whether it is your first marathon or your last we will be sending out regular emails with a block of training for you to follow.

Now these programs are suited for Beginners or Improvers. We are also partnering up with a coach who can offer mentored tailored programs that are more suited to Experienced marathoners who might be looking for a specific goal like Boston or London Qualifier.

There is a charge for the tailored option but that is between you and the coach. There is a fair bit of time involved but you can sort that between yourselves!

What are we bringing to the party?

Well, regardless of your level you –

  • are welcome to join our FREE program and get what you can from it
  • will have access to our Training Group discussion platform on Social Media
  • are welcome to join our FREE weekly runs from the shop in Oranmore (distance as dictated by the scheduled run for that day)
  • are welcome to attend FREE seminars in-store from different brands as they teach us about shoe selection and gear
  • can avail of special Group Deals on footwear, apparel and nutrition
  • will get fitter and have fun training with a group of like-minded individuals
  • will get tips about form, conditioning and Strength Training
  • will get a regular email with your plan and access to a wide knowledge base

We will be starting the program in a couple of weeks and it is advisable that you are in from the start. Once we have registration closed and the list of participants sorted we can start to send out emails based on your selected Training Plan Level.

Ready to join our Training Group?

You can connect to our Group Sign Up here.

End of Season Clearout of PUMA #Running shoes


We are having a little clear out of some of our shoes. Available sizes are as listed below and once they are gone, they are gone.

Nothing wrong with these, just lonely left behinds that need to find a new home so we can dust down the shelves!

All are reduced to clear and while we do not offer any gait analysis or fitting service with clearance footwear you can rest assured that any of these will be perfect as a back up pair of shoes for workout classes as a minimum.

PUMA Faas 300*

Reduced from €85.00 to just €30.00 the women’s PUMA Faas 300 – Your heel-to-toe transition needs more. And by more, we mean less. The Puma Faas 300 trainer is a lightweight, fast pace companion, built for runners who defy convention and speed on a daily basis both on the tracks and the street. Designed by Puma with a less is more design philosophy in mind, the super lightweight Faas 300 have no extra materials, heel counter or fancy gadgets to weigh them down – it’s all about the competitiveness of running and the desire to be faster!

Available sizes:

x1 UK 4 GONE!

x1 UK 4.5

x1 UK 5  GONE!

x3 UK 6.5

x1 UK 7

x1 UK 8.5 GONE!!

x1 UK 9

PUMA Faas 600*

Reduced from €95.00 to just €40.00 the PUMA Faas 600 is  built for the everyday runner who is looking for a lightweight cushioning shoe. This women’s specific upper consists of a foam mesh pattern that allows for a wider forefoot fit and flexibility and includes a bunion zone; along with the extra memory foam in the heel, it’s built to form around a female foot.

Available Sizes:

x3  x2 UK 6.5 1 GONE!!

x1 UK 7

x1 UK 8

Also available in a 600S model with moderate stability we have available:

x1 UK5.5  GONE!

x2 UK 7

x1 UK 8

x1 UK 9

And let’s not forget the boys!!

PUMA Faas 300 for men. This is the rather cool funky colour of the pair!

Reduced from €85.00 to just €30.00 the Faas 300 for men makes for a striking contrast with the unique colouring you are sure to keep people on their toes!

x1 UK 8 GONE!!

x2 UK 9

x1 UK 9.5

x1 UK 10 GONE!!

x2 UK 11.5

Men’s PUMA Faas 600

Reduced from €95.00 to just €40.00 the PUMA Faas 600 is slightly more sedate in it’s colouring than its’ little brother the Faas 300

1 x UK 9.5

1x UK 10

1x UK 10.5 GONE!!

And just one supportive Faas 600S available in a UK 11 GONE!!

While you can collect in store, shipping is additional to the cost price. There is no return for exchange or refund on clearance items. Your rights in the instance of warranty are, of course, unaffected.

If you fancy a pair you will need to be quick as at these prices the shelves will be empty very quickly!!

Best way to see the live listing is here and you can Order & Ship or opt to Click & Collect in store.

*colours are indicative and available styles may vary.


Fancy some social #running in Oranmore?

We’ve had a very successful running group based in Oranmore for the past few years organising a #Zero25k group bringing people from complete beginnings to running 5k and beyond.

This group usually meets early in the year on Saturday mornings for a 1 hour session over 9 weeks and that is that.

However despite a plethora of running clubs surrounding us here in Oranmore there are still a lot of people commenting that there is a need for a social running group in Oranmore. I hasten to add that despite the fact that there are exceptional Fit4Life groups nearby in Athenry AC, Craughwell AC, Galway City Harriers and Maree AC people are looking for a group in Oranmore.

The general comment is that, similar to my post the other day on the rise of the Social Runner it is not a club people want but a casual group that meets once or twice per week and at the weekend for a longer run and one that would probably facilitate complete beginners on a #Zero25k type program.

Now I already do a #TrailTuesday run in the Autumn and winter and this will likely continue in some format over the Spring & Summer quite casually (refer you to http://www.chillr.org for details) but this SORE* opportunity is a different thing altogether.

To gauge the interest level I have a mini-poll, you might share this as wide as possible so as many friends of yours in the area get a chance to reply.

It is quite likely, IF this idea is a runner (sorry!) that there will be a call for a show of hands to help organise and lead out runs, so don’t be shy about volunteering someone. At the very least we will be able to set up a meeting point and drop spot at the shop for gear and a drinks station for afterwards.

Have your say, post a comment below. I would also appreciate comments from any of the club members as to what their thoughts are too.


*SORE = Social Oranmore Running Experiment 😀 😀

The rise of the Social Runner – The new faces of #running today as seen in a #selfie near you…

‘Following the posting today of an article by Sky News: “Running Races Ahead as Team Sports Lag Behind” it reminded me of my own piece written last year after the Irish Sports Council released their report on activity levels in Ireland.

I have followed up with some updated thoughts of my own at the bottom:

The Irish Sports Council have just published figures for activity in Ireland:

I have asked them if this is across all age groups or just a defined adult portion of the population.

Obviously working in a #running store like +Amphibian King West – Galway I’m delighted to see Swimming and especially running up top as they are, but these figures also represent a massive swing in the Irish population to looking after themselves.

There is a certain attraction to ‘solo’ sports such as swimming and running. Naturally there is a social aspect to all sporting activity, club events for sure, but there is also a huge beneift to the individual.

Have you ever felt the solitude and peace of tapping out lap after lap of a swimming pool? The rhythm allows you to go to auto-pilot and the submersion clears the head.

The feeling of you, just you and the road when running is fantastic. Watching a sunrise through a misty forest is a spectacular, life affirming event.

After so many years of depression, doom and gloom through the recession, I for one am delighted to see so many people taking care of themselves.


View through the Shop Window  Swimming   Running   most popular sports in Ireland

The stats may not show clearly in the image copied from the Irish Sports Monitor 2103 Annual Report but Running has grown rapidly as the most popular individual activity with the growth in female participation outstripping that of male participants.

Interesting to see at the start of the recession in 2008 & 2009 the number of participants remained static at 2.8% and experienced rapid growth in 2011 and 2013:

The increase in running is particularly interesting. It was the fifth most popular form of sporting activity in 2009 when its participation levels were half those for swimming or soccer and significantly behind those for golf. Since then it has become the third most popular form of activity, ahead of soccer and golf and with a much narrower gap to the most popular activities of personal exercise and swimming.

Another stand out stat from the #ISM2013 report is the level of participation in sport in Connaught. Nationally ‘Running’ represents 8.5% of overall activity, in Connaught it is 10.2%. The highest percentage of the population that is running lives in the West.

In addition to having higher levels of sporting participation at overall and individual sport levels, those living in Connacht are also more active across multiple sports. Figure 4.7 below indicates the proportion playing in more than one type of sport, with 21.3% of those living in Connacht indicating that they were involved in two or more sports within the past week. This compares to 18.6% of the population at a national level.

Sure no wonder they say “West is Best!!” 🙂

Personally, am I disappointed to see the low figures in GAA? 

Not really. It’s a choice of team sports that I played as a youth and young man but never excelled at. There was rarely thinking time, we went through training like machines played for each other in matches. In one way it is very selfless (you play for your team-mates) and of course team building, working with others etc in a life-resource kind of way.

I think it is an indicator of the times we live in where the idea of just popping on a pair of runners and heading out for an hour is so convenient and such an easy way to ‘clear your head’ after a stressful day at work, minding kids, college, stuck in the house etc. 

Whatever your situation, your outlook can always be improved by a run!

For me exercise in general is about health, about your health and the only way to look after yourself is to look after number 1.

Take care of yourself & go for a run!! 

Reading the Sky News article one of the bits that really stands out is a throw away comment almost written as an afterthought at the end, where in I believe the crux of the growth is happening.

“The rise of social media has helped… Now, you still do the runs on your own, but you can share them online and tell people about your latest run and events you’re training for.”

You only have to take a look across any section of the Social Media platforms to get an idea of this. Everybody is running! Everybody is posting pictures of their runs, selfies of themselves in action (me too, just not in races – game face 😉 ) photos of their watches, times for distances and so on.

To old school runners this modern system of ‘bragging’ is just not… er… running. Instead it seems like this new generation of runner is not serious about what they are doing, they are only running for the social verification. They run only as a means to be validated by others.

But, do you know what? This is perfectly fine.

There is plenty of room for all.

If you are a competitive runner who has worked hard to achieve your goals, who has trained endless hours, who diligently follows a plan and refers to a coach (or is self coached) why do you care what anyone else does?

Whether people like it or not this massive growth in the ‘social’ runner, the runner who runs for pleasure, who runs to complete, who uses a selfie stick and posts pictures of their Garmin (they’re almost all Garmin wearers 😉 ) who is motivated by sharing with others is sticking.

These are the runners of today and tomorrow and the next day. The old school runners will remain, the growth is in a different area. And surprisingly enough in a few years I would expect to see that this new generation of runner will lead to social demand for local facilities, you only have to look at the explosion of Parkruns to see the demand in the locality. Changing rooms, marked trails, running tracks all of these things will follow thanks to the growth in social runners.

Oh and just to wrap up here’s a selfie from today 😉


Adrenaline Junkie!!

It never usually happens but once in a while I get offered a limited range of shoes at special rates.

With the release of the new season GTS15 I have just been offered a delivery of Brooks Adrenaline GTS14 at 25% off. Naturally I want to reward all you loyal Brooks Adrenaline fans and pass this discount on to you.

So, for a very limited time and limited sizes I have Adrenaline GTS14 available at the special price of €99.00 down from RRP €135.00.


9270 & 92719270 & 9271

If you want them you need to be very quick. They will be here for this weekend 7th November and likely gone soon thereafter. If you are unable to get into me I can take reservations over the phone at 091-483238

What does all this ‘gait analysis’ mean to you?


For a number of years now, we have been building a reputation as THE place to go to buy your running shoes. All of the staff in our affiliated stores (Bray, Ballymount & Galway) are very keen runners or triathletes of some distance or another.

We all share the same desire as you to train and race injury free. All year round. So allow me to tell you how we do it….

Continue reading “What does all this ‘gait analysis’ mean to you?”

When is Minimalism too much?

Lower and lower, sleeker and faster, lighter shoes is what we all want.

In my opinion, transitioning to a minimalist shoe for many may be a step too far.

When transitioning to a minimalist shoe ‘form’ should be the first consideration. Do you naturally run as a forefoot striker or a heel striker?

If you are a forefoot striker naturally, ie. without forcing it or thinking about it when you slip off your shoes and run, do you land on the front, outside of your foot as per the diagram below?

Barefoot Forefoot Strike

If this is you, then it should be no bother to you to effect a transition process to a minimal shoe. Depending on where you are starting from we would expect to see this transition period having different durations for each individual.

If, on the other hand, you are more of a midfoot striker or heel striker you have a lot more work to do to achieve a smooth, injury free transition to minimalist shoes.

Barefoot Heel Strike

Transitioning from this position is a much more gradual change as you are having to work on changing your natural form, re-mapping neuromuscular pathways and developing core strength to help stabilise the pelvic area which will become more active during the transitional phases.

Speak to us about this as invariably you will be best advised to rotate between your traditional shoe and minimal shoes more frequently to prevent tweaking connective tissues or causing injury.

The series of images below graphically represent and explain the differences in the loading of the feet during the landing phase and the effect on capturing and releasing kinetic energy on the propulsive phase.

Running Kinematics

Heel Striking

Forefoot Striking




Hip and knee are flexed.
Ankle is dorsiflexed (toes point up). Ankle is plantarflexed (toes point slightly down). Foot is usually slightly inverted (the sole is angled inwards).
Land on the middle to outside of the heel just below the ankle joint. Land on outside of the forefoot (the ball of the foot, just below the 4th and 5th metatarsal heads).
As you land, the ankle begins to plantarflex (toes move towards the ground). As you land, the ankle begins to dorsiflex (heel moves towards the groud).
Arch of the foot is not loaded. Arch of the foot is loaded and begins to stretch/flatten.
Impact  Foot Flat Barefoot Heel Strike

Barefoot Foot Flat
Barefoot Forefoot Strike

Barefoot Foot Flat
Knee and hip flex.
As the ankle plantarflexes, the forefoot comes down. As the ankle dorsiflexes, the heel comes down under the control of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which are stretching.
Foot Flat Midstance Barefoot Foot Flat

Barefoot Midstance
Barefoot Foot Flat

Barefoot Midstance
Knee and hip continue to flex.
The ankle dorsiflexes as the lower leg moves forward relative to the foot and the foot everts (rolls inward).
Now that the whole foot is on the ground, the arch begins to stretch/flatten. The arch continues to stretch/flatten.
This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation. This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation, but occurs in the reverse direction compared to heel striking (from the forefoot to the rearfoot not heel to toe).

Toe Off

Barefoot Midstance

Barefoot Toe Off
Barefoot Midstance

Barefoot Toe Off
Ankle plantarflexes bringing the heel off the ground (calf muscles and Achilles tendon now shorten).
Foot’s arch recoils, and the toes flex.
These actions push the body upwards and forwards for the next stride.

Images and table layout from http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

In transitioning, a natural heel lander has to overcome the tendency to load the arch in a forward motion. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles the best way to naturally change your landing pattern is through a mixture of your ‘normal’ running and some focused efforts at re-teaching your body what natural (forefoot) running form is all about.

Any questions please fire them at me!

Happy running 🙂