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Saturday @9:00 a.m 24 June 2017

WEEKSDAYSHRSMINSEC

Monday - No More Talking

Ah yes. The running blog…. I've done so much talking about this over Christmas it feels like I don't actually need to run at all. While chowing down on mince pies with gravy dripping down my chin I've been only too happy to TALK about my marathon plans. Anyone who would listen got the full whack of my running glory plans and how I'll feel great doing all that exercise and I'm going to join an athletics club and incorporate yoga and then take over the world.

But it's a New Year, and there are less than 24 weeks to go so it's time shut up and get moving. So, what have I done so far?

I've been 'tipping away' since I last blogged with handy little 2 and 3 mile runs every second or third day. I haven't charted them or timed them, they've just served as a warm up into the whole thing – forcing myself to get out in my skins in that cold crappy weather we had over Christmas. Well, I did it, and it felt great. I've even taken the clothes back off the clothes horse/ ab roller and started doing some crunches, squats and free-weights up in my bedroom. It was made easier by the fact that I had some time off over Christmas so my husband was home to take the kids whenever I felt like going for a trot. That won't be as easy now that Christmas is over, but I've made a few 'windows' and will have to stick to them rigidly.

You could say I'm at a decent enough level starting off a marathon plan, my longest run so far was 6 miles on New Years Day. It felt great to finally break the shorter run barrier and keep going. Now that that one is in the can, it feels like 'I'm back' and actually able to do this. I might add, I celebrated my 6 mile run with a big dirty kebab that night as I swilled down coke and felt like Waynetta Slob on the sofa. Oh well.

The Plan

It was with both excitement and a bit of trepidation that I met with Brian Swaby last Saturday (sorry Brian!) Brian is a Senior member of Waterford AC, a hugely established runner and while cross-country and 1500 metres are his forte, Brian is an experienced marathon runner and has served as a Pacer in the Waterford Viking Marathon previously – you know the guys with the big balloons attached to them that you follow depending on your time target!

My first marathon took me 4hrs 30 mins. I didn't incorporate any interval, speed or conditioning training into it – I just put on my runners and ran. I felt like I should have done it in a better time – but how?

Here is Brian's plan for me for the next two months. I'm going to focus more on time spent training rather than distance covered. So, instead of putting '3miles' on my wall chart, I'll simply make myself run for 30 mins, whatever the distance. The focus here is on the speed training sessions and the long run days. We had a good chat over dodgy tea in the WLRfm canteen for an hour and half, and here's a synopsis of the main points I took from a very helpful meeting.

The WVM is just under 24 weeks away. It's too much time to focus on just one event. Find other races in your area between now and then and sign up for them. Train for these along the way to break up the monotony of just one big race. I'll be running the Enniscorthy 10k on February 8th as it's the next run on the calendar that suits.

If you're just starting out on the road to training - get a medical. We generally only visit the doctor when we're ill, but there's no harm in asking for a general assessment of your wellbeing when you feel healthy. It was only recently that I was diagnosed with an Underactive Thyroid through blood tests, which thankfully is now almost under control.

Make a realistic training plan. There's no point in running five days a week for the next fortnight and then burning out. I've given 2 days a week to short runs and one at the weekend for the long run. All three of these runs will be very different, but very manageable to fit around work, the kids, my messy house etc.

Sign up for a circuit or conditioning class. Brian couldn't stress enough the importance of this, which makes sense really. I've heard so much about core strength and core training when it comes to running and while pounding the pavements or the track is where you need to be, muscle and body conditioning is another essential component of the whole thing. I'm going to sign up to Yoga classes in my area, great for increasing lung capacity and overall toning. The last time I did this was actually pregnancy-yoga eight years ago in Temple Bar. Oh it was so gentle and lovely and I just loved the part at the end where we curled up like babies and the instructor came around and wrapped us up in blankets while whale music billowed in the background. Ahhhh.

Speed training. Did you ever just run comfortably and have NO motivation to go faster even though you're not essentially out of breath and you know you should push yourself harder. Well that's me most of the time and I really need to break out of that. Now I do love a good sprint to finish a run with Europe's The Final Countdown blasting out as I belt it up the road into my housing estate. It is an embarrassing sight, better executed in the dark. Anyway, I'll be using one of my 30 minute weekly running sessions to build up speed. Its faster running but not sprinting which should feel demanding but when finished you should feel fairly tired but have one more rep in you. Aghh! So, it's breaking the session up every 2 minutes – 2 minute fast pace, 2 minutes of jogging with a warm up and warm down to top and tail. Hmm, this will be interesting.

New Runners - this amazed me. When I told Brian my runners were about 18 months old he nearly fell off his chair. I thought that was good but he reckons runners lose their 'running quality' every 450 miles and while you don't need to throw them out, they won't be of much running benefit after that. Next week I'll be talking about how to find the 'perfect' runner to suit your running style.

Joe Elliot Returns...

Buzzing with excitement, I headed off for another 6 mile run yesterday. My husband was looking after the roast pork (he will love me for saying that) so I left Jack & Harry go nuts on the Wii while I donned my running gear and headed off. A great run, my head was 'in a good place', my legs were working and apart from the inability to shift phlegm in the back of my throat for the last 2 months, my breathing was good. A nice hot shower afterwards and straight down to my dinner at which point my family are all giving me strange looks. Apparently, I resemble Joe Elliot when I fail to blow dry and straighten my hair. My brother popped in for a visit and was concerned that I was ill – no make up and no hairstyling! I will touch on the glamourous side of running soon but suffice to say, I was far from that yesterday.

So that's it for this week. Happy running if you're just starting out. Please feel free to follow the training plan and any queries/ tips to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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