Thoughtful running..being present in your run.

I was out for my ‘easy’ run this morning.

Supposed to be 1 hour and easy Zone 1-2. At least that is what is on the plan that I am revisiting at the moment.

So when selecting a @wearenation podcast, looking for ~1 hour, my decision was made easy by the most recent one featuring Brian MacKenzie

Continue reading “Thoughtful running..being present in your run.”

[BEGINNERS] – Ready for the next #DublinMarathon block of training? Weeks 5-9


So how is everyone getting on?

Hopefully you are in a nice solid habit of regular running and the past few weeks have been fun, without putting you under too much pressure?

We are busy building some extras into the various plans. What we want to do is start you thinking about realistic and potential targets or more accurately figuring out what pace to run your first marathon at.

To do this we will need your feedback over the program. Ideally the forum is the best place for discussion and chat to take place and it is where we will compile a ‘race pace’ zone for you to go with.

How are we doing this?

Well there are plenty of races on most weekend and the best way to figure these things out is under race conditions. If you are disciplined enough you may get a reasonable estimation from a hard workout but racing is best. So target races and distances are going to be placed into the schedules, let us know (on the forum) where you are located and others can help you find events to partake in.

So onwards for the next block!

 BEGINNERS  M  T  W  Th  F  S  S
 Week 18 5 Rest  6 2 Rest 8k RACE Rest or 4*
 Week 17 Rest 5  8 5 Rest  5 8
 Week 16 Rest 5 8 8  Rest 8 8
 Week 15 Rest 8  8 Rest  5 Rest 10k RACE
 Week 14 Rest 8  8 8  Rest 8 14


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

‘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.

*Don’t be lazy!! 😉

These are all easy base runs for this block (apart from the races). Don’t worry about speed, breathing, pacing. They are steady runs to get the legs used to running. Speed work will be introduced later.

In the RACE you should be racing. Effort should be high and you are striving to get the best out out your running. It is not a run for the sake of a run, it should be tough. Warm up properly (happy to advise) and cool down properly. Remember your times from each race and we can use these to figure out where you are and what your potential may be in 18 weeks time!!! 🙂

Have a good weekend and a solid start into the next block on Monday.


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.


70.3 things on a checklist

Fail to prepare and what do you expect?


There’s no two ways about it, your middle distance (half Iron / 70.3) race day is 100% dependent on the amount of training you have put in over the past year AND the amount of organisation you put in your readiness in the days leading up to the event.

Taper week is all about checking things. Checking the legs, the body, the nutrition, the bike, the gear.

The obvious thing to say at this point is don’t change anything, do nothing new or unexpected in the week before a race and definitely don’t try anything new in the event itself!

So how do you organise yourself for race day?

You need a spare room or somewhere you can lay out all your gear in an orderly fashion so you can pack it in a logical manner and keep track of it all. you will also need a couple of transparent storage containers and a bag or box for your transition setup.

Amphibia X-Bag available from Amphibian King Galway

I’m going to break this into a couple of sub sections so we approach this planning properly. Ideally you are doing this a few days before hand, not the evening before when you should have your feet up.

  • General Preparation –
    • Assuming you are racing in a one or two piece tri-suit, bring that. If you are using sport specific clothing ensure you pack it ie. swimsuit, cycle shorts & jersey, run shorts & singlet.
    • Ladies – the only essential I can think of outside of this list is a bra, I’m happy to edit in whatever you think is necessary. Use whatever bra you have used in training knowing that it won’t cut, chaffe or fall off.
    • Bodyglide. Don’t ever forget the Bodyglide!!
    • Heart rate monitor, watch and accessories. Bring these IF and only if you have used them in training, know how to use them and are also confident racing in the event that they fail to work mid race. Do not be dependent on them. Ensure batteries are fresh and memory is empty.
    • Post race clothing – pack a tracksuit, hoody and rain cover in your transition bag / box. You may be hanging around waiting for transition to open after the race so warm clothes are needed until you get a chance to shower and change properly.
    • Compression wear – calf guards, quad guards, recovery leggings etc.
    • Racebelt
    • Safety pins
  • Swim –
    • Wetsuit – visual check for damage, nicks, cuts, nail marks and repair any with Black Witch or equivalent in
    • Neoprene swim hat
    • Silicon swim hat (spare)
    • Goggles
    • Goggles (spare) possibly clear lens / opposite tint to main pair, handy for changing conditions or parts if a strap breaks)
    • Suit juice
    • Towel(s)
    • Nose-clip
    • Ear-plugs
    • Anti-fog solution
    • Flip flops or sandals
  • Bike –
    • Clean and visually check the bike from top to bottom. Check tyres for wear and any embedded debris. Do not race on new tyres, ensure they have been run in a few times prior & make sure you are comfortable with the handling of the tyres at race speed in different weather conditions. Same applies to brake blocks and cables. Make sure if you have replaced any that they are working fine. Don’t leave it til race day to find out brakes levers are sticking!
    • Bike
    • Helmet
    • Cycle shoes
    • Elastic bands
    • Socks
    • Head unit / computer with battery and clear memory!
    • Calibrated power units.
    • Spare tubes / tubs (know how to change these!!)
    • Tyre levers
    • CO2 canisters / pump
    • Bad weather gear –
      • Overshoes / toe covers
      • Gilet
      • Rain jacket
      • Arm warmers
      • Leg warmers
      • Gloves
      • Clear lens glasses
    • Water bottles
    • Aero bottle, straw & sponge
    • Race wheels (hopefully you also have your normal wheels just in case of dangerous wind conditions)
    • In transition final checks
      • Track pump
      • Tool kit
      • Electrical tape
      • Valve stem extenders (you’ll know if you need these)
    • Other optional items (kitchen sink stuff)
      • Maintenance stand
      • Turbo trainer for in-van warmup
  • Run – this is the easiest section
    • Running shoes
    • Speed laces (Greeper are my favourite see my previous post on Race Laces)
    • Socks (might be the same ones as used on the bike, bring spare in case of weather)
    • Talcum powder
    • Fuel belt / pouch
    • Cap / headband etc.
    • Sunglasses
  • Nutrition – I’m being deliberately vague here as you should have this all sorted out to suit your individual nutritional needs. I don’t want to confuse people with my nutrition plans or to have others confusing mine!
    • Pre race snacks & drinks.
    • Pre swim gel
    • Bike – gels, bars, drinks (water, 4:1, sports drinks)
    • Run – gels or whatever you run with that is not provided at water stations.
    • Post race recovery drink & snacks, protein & carbohydrates.

Above all, don’t forget to pack your spirit of adventure, your enthusiasm for the competition (even if it is just with yourself) and your sense of fun.
It may all go pear-shaped on the day but as long as you enjoy yourself you will always pick it back up again for the next race.

I hope this is of some benefit to you.

See you out there 🙂


Friday evening EDIT: Two things I can’t believe I forgot to add:

  1. Your governing body (in my case Triahtlon Ireland) valid membership with photograph. No ID, no race!!
  2. Leave wedding bands, engagement rings, jewellery etc at home. Swimming in a cold lake this afternoon I spent the whole swim trying to keep my wedding band on my finger. Everything shrunk in the cold 😉

Are we supposed to barefoot run? (A tongue in cheek look at evolution)

This old chestnut keeps popping up, again and again and again. I’ve also written about minimalism and barefooting before.

English: barefoot running
English: barefoot running (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



It generally starts as a discussion about barefoot running, usually by a newly converted barefooter who reckons it’s the best thing since bread became sliced and very quickly degenerates into a willy measuring exercise between pedants who insist on discussing the relative density and hardness of concrete and dusty, pre-civilisation, pre-societal concrete.


Here’s a recent example: Your expensive running shoes could be destroying your knees, ankles and hips.


Now I don’t know about you but as far as I understand evolution and progress are usually determined by the axiom ‘survival of the fittest’.


So, based on current trends and my anthropological time machine I have a theory.


Way back when, if we are to believe what we are told, we were fruit and vegetable eaters, eating all round us and then moving on to new pastures in search of new food sources like  grazing animals. The current trend of Paleo diet would indicate that this how we developed as a species; eating fruit, nuts, vegetables and seeds in their raw state (in so far as possible).


Then, through a pioneering trendsetter someone picked up a wooden stick and developed a taste for animal protein. (Could you call it a ‘club sandwich’ ? )


This influx of animal protein led to development of better brain function as we evolved, leading to the development of tools for cooking , cleaning etc. Oh, and fire was created or at least the means to maintain it and the knowledge to transport fire from one location to another, allowing us to cook food.


Now as these early men (& women) clubbed and collected food all around them the faster animals and possibly tastier always eluded their reach. No matter how sneaky we were we couldn’t catch these sources of meat. They’d smell us or hear us in the woods and grass trying to creep up until they were in range. All to no avail.


What did we do next?


We started running.


(This has taken generations to get to this point in the story, time machine, remember?!)


We soon discovered that we could run. Now we couldn’t run as fast as the animal we wanted to eat and after a while we realised this. With our brain developing we started thinking and working together as a team with the result being that we got cute and realised we could run longer and further and steadier than the dinner. We didn’t know it at the time but our bodies liked this idea and started to develop mechanisms that encouraged us to run. We got taller, straighter and lighter; we became land running hunters.


All of the reading we do, all of the fora we engage in everything is geared to us understanding that this is the reason we are born to run. We evolved.


I don’t disagree.




I think the first hominoid man who fashioned a pair of foot covers from some animal hide to protect his feet from the dusty, gritty, thorny surface and that offered him some grip on the rocky terrain gained an evolutionary advantage over the barefoot guys.


Apart from the obvious fact that we still cover our feet, providing unassailable evidence of the historical benefit of footwear, that ‘barefooting’ died out and needed to be rediscovered comes down to the simple truth that the guy with the footwear had the competitive edge over the other guy in the chase to get the good looking girls.


Survival of the fittest! 😉