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.”

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”

Half Marathon Program – Week 2


Week 1 over and done with? Hope that everything went well for everyone. I didn’t hear too many complaints so either you are more able that you think you are or the sessions aren’t tough enough?

If you are only catching up Week 1 sessions are here, but please don’t try to catch up, just work away at the week behind for now.

Continue reading “Half Marathon Program – Week 2”

Week 5 #Zero25k – its getting gusty out there!!

I was running a wee bit late due to my son looking for cuddles. As it turns out he had a tummy bug coming on and was very sick on Sunday night. It seems to have passed though thankfully.

So under a bit of pressure as I know everyone has things to do. I made some changes on the fly.

We are getting to the meaty bit of the program and time to switch things around a bit. What we are doing now is reducing the recovery time between longer periods of running. We are controlling pacing so that you are able to sustain a higher level of effort for longer, finishing each section strong with a higher Perceived Rate of Exertion.
Garmin Connect file
On Saturday we did:

  1. Warmup – 03:00
  2. Run – 05:00
  3. Recover – 02:30
  4. Run – 05:00
  5. Recover – 02:30
  6. Run 05:00
  7. Recover – 02:30
  8. Run Fartlek – 02:30
  9. Cool down & Stretch 05:00

Now for anyone who is using an app you should be noticing by now that we are not following an app. I am adjusting a general blueprint to suit what I am observing in the group.

So on Tuesday you need to do the following:

  1. Warmup – 05:00
  2. Run – 08:00
  3. Recover 02:30
  4. Run 08:00
  5. Recover 02:30
  6. Run Fartlek 02:30
  7. Cool down & Stretch 05:00

Likewise on Thursday it changes again:

  1. Warmup – 05:00
  2. Run – 10:00
  3. Recover 03:00
  4. Run 10:00
  5. Recover 02:30
  6. Run Fartlek 02:30
  7. Cool down & Stretch 05:00

Please remember that Fartlek is mixed speeds;  from jog to 75% back to jog, up to 50%, up to 75% maybe all out sprint for 10 secs. Mix is up and the 02:30 will fly by. Don’t cheat on it, the speedwork on tired legs will do you the power of good both physically and mentally!!

Be very aware of the winds and weather warnings!!

How do I know how hard I should be working out?

For a lot of people knowing how hard a workout should be conducted is that “how long is the piece of string” question.

If is was left to ourselves we could convince ourselves that it is hard enough but in reality most people train either way too hard for their level of fitness or way too low to actually gain any fitness benefits.

So how do you know which is right?

If you are not training via Heart Rate we use a relative scale called Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) or the breath scale:


You can see by the shading that it roughly coincides with the 1-5 scale used for Heart Rate Training (as per featured image) and shown below with the relevant Training Effect:


Would you like to know a neat trick?

If you take the scale used in the first image (1-10) and multiply it by 20, it will roughly coincide with your Heart Rate at that level of effort. You can check by counting your pulse for 10 seconds and x6 it.

Were you inspired on Monday to run a marathon?

How about joining our 2016 Dublin Marathon team?

Sometimes you see someone or something and a switch in your brain just clicks over and you think “Can I do that?”

Light bulb

The answer inevitably is always a resounding “YES!!” but most of us doubt our ability to achieve the Yes. So we need a little push, a little helping hand and guidance along the way until our self confidence kicks in and takes over – this belief is what allows us to achieve that YES!

Continue reading “Were you inspired on Monday to run a marathon?”

Week 2 #Zero2k5 – see how easy that was?!

Now that you are started and have 1 week or 3 sessions or 1:30 of running under your belt, no matter how you look at it you are now a runner! 🙂

Continue reading “Week 2 #Zero2k5 – see how easy that was?!”

Don’t let the Madness in, it’s Taper Time!

Well done to you all!!!

I’m giving you, both Beginners and Improvers, the entire fortnight of taper sessions here so you can plan ahead for the next two weeks. I don’t want you stressing about what you should or should not be doing, so here it is, mapped out for you and yes it is the same for both groups! 🙂

Continue reading “Don’t let the Madness in, it’s Taper Time!”

Coaches Corner – How do you use #TrainingPeaks to determine Run Training Zones?

In running the way to efficient training is through knowing what our heart rate training zones are.

There are a number of ways to do this. One of which is through proper Lactate Threshold testing in a lab setting. If you are serious about making good progress this is the way I would do it. Then relatively regular field tests to monitor progress.

To make this as easy as possible, we will use a standard 30 minute TT. From this TT we will be able to determine the correct training zones. This is best if done on a flat uninterrupted path or trail. If you have access to a running track this will be ideal as it is a repeatable environment for testing.

Run test protocol:

After a 15 minute warm-up of easy running, finish with a few quick 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off bursts (or strides) to get your heart rate in the correct training zone.

  • The 30 minute TT begins.
  • At 10 minutes into the test, hit the ‘Lap’ button on your heart rate monitor, to get the average heart rate over the final 20 minutes of the test.
  • The average for the final 20 minutes is your Lactate Threshold or LT.
  • You should finish knowing you gave it everything you had.

15 minutes easy cool down.

Once you have the “Threshold Value” you plug in the run LT # from the above test into a calculator like the one available on Training Peaks to get your training zones.

TrainingPeaks   Plan your training  track your workouts and measure your progress

These are a little bit different to the default 1-5 on most HRM watches and apps but you simply use those and adjust as per the chart above.

Now you are training properly and #resultsstarthere