Week 8: Best week so far

After many missed or short session over the last few weeks it was time to put the head down and make a go of it this week. With Surf City Half getting close I wanted to make sure I got in some good runs to prepare myself for that race but also to make sure that doesn’t affect my Galway training. The week started with a run before work. Joe was there to join me and we took it easy as we fitted in just over 10km. It was a really nice morning for it and pace was steady. A good thing for me was getting out 2 days after a 10 miler and feeling fresh to get in 10km. That evening I fitted in a 2.5km swim. A good mix of a session tested me and it was nice to get back in the pool


The next 2 days were 2 bike sessions, 1 on the turbo and 1 on  the gym bike totaling 38km. One you start getting out on the bike the indoor sessions get that little bit harder to do. It takes a lot of concentration and effort to keep going. I was supposed to have one brick session but decided earlier in the week to give it a skip and continue my progress to full fitness. On Wednesday evening I went to Eagle AC AGM and awards night. It was great to see Damian pick up most improved athlete which was well deserved. His times have really come down and it is scary to think where he can bring the short distance times if he concentrates  on them, I’m sure that will happen after Barcelona.

Next up was an hour run on Friday before work. I spent the 1st half trying to decide what route I’d go before deciding I’d turn back and make it easier. I can felt good during and after the run. That night I got in my 2nd swim session of the week. What felt like too much time in the pool where I really thought I wasn’t going well but after I added up my session and hit 3k rather than 2.5km. The great thing about it is I was able to do it without any trouble. That will give me great confidence going forward.

Now to a great weekend of training. It started with a 75km cycle in very tough conditions. It was wet and windy and at times I struggled but with some hills put in I felt stronger for it. At times it felt whatever way I went the wind was in my face. I averaged just over 26kph. I do need to improve on this yet but as I increase the distance I will try at the very least to keep the average speed steady.


A well deserved Hot Chocolate

I decided to go out with a few members of Eagle on Sunday. I was aiming to do about 20km. We started in town early and headed towards Glanmire. The fun part came when we had to “climb” up church hill. It is about 400m of a climb and it definitely gets the heart racing. Towards the end of it I started to struggle but made it up. We took a short break to get everyone back together before moving on toward Ballyvolane and back towards town. At about the 12km mark Damian took a turn so it turned into a bit of a duathlon for me as I went back to the car to drive back to pick up Damian. My 1st run was 14km and after I dropped Damian to his car I continued on to do an extra 6km. Got to where I needed. I rewarded myself with a nice hot chocolate after. Isn’t that what training is all about.

Mon – Off
Tues – 1 hour run, 2.5km swim
Wednesday – 40mins cycle (indoor)
Thursday – 45mins cycle(indoor)
Friday – 1 hour run, 3km swim
Saturday – 2 hour 52 min cycle (road)
Sunday – 2 hour run

Swim session 1

Warm Up
300m FS

Drills (8 x 50m total)
4 x 25m BS; 4 x 25m L,R,F,B with fins; 4 x 25m with PB; 4 x 25m with fists

Main Set
1 x 300m with 40 sec break between each
3 x 200m with 30 sec break between each
1 x 300m with 30sec break between each

Drills (8 x 50m total)
4 x 25m BS; 4 x 25m L,R,F,B with fins; 4 x 25m with PB; 4 x 25m with fists
1 x 25m for BR every 4, BL every 4, both sides every 3, both sides every 5
2 x 25m with legs tied, legs tied with PB

Cool Down
200m FS

Swim session 2

Warm Up
300m FS
Drills (8 x 50m total)4 x 25m BS; 4 x 25m L,R,F,B; 4 x 25m with PB; 4 x 25m with fists
Main Set
4 x 125m with 20 sec break between each
4 x 175m with 30 sec break between each
4 x 125m with 20 sec break between each
Cool Down
200m FS

Week Nine looks like this

Mon – Off
Tuesday – 1 hour run
Wednesday – 45 min cycle (Indoor), 30 min run
Thursday – 1 hour cycle (turbo)
Friday – 1 hour  run
Saturday – 2 hour 45 min cycle (road)
Sunday – 1 hour 30 min run

Plus 2 x 2.5km swim session

Week 7: Ice always makes things interesting

With man flu kicking in at the start of the week I wasn’t sure how this week would go. With Monday of course being my rest day it was safe to say I would have being doing nothing even if I was scheduled to do something. I was glad of that extra day. With the weather getting that bit colder it meant morning sessions could be tough to come across. That worked out well since my buddy Liam was home from NYC with his girlfriend we planned on hitting the track on Tuesday night. So in the morning I decided it would be good to get in a swim instead. That swim wasn’t very beneficial as man flu struck me down and I had to put a stop to it after 500m. I just couldn’t get my breath so instead of fighting through it I took the sensible option and called a halt. I still planned to hit the track that night After a 2 mile warm up we headed to the track and it became clear we wouldn’t be training there. Even though it didn’t feel that cold the track was starting to freeze over. And with a planned speed session in place we decided to head to the straight road instead. Runners from many clubs had the same idea so it was crowded to begin with. The breakdown was 1.5miles at 10 mile pace plus 400m recovery x 3 with a warm down to finish. I was bang on for the 1st one and got small bit slower but not something to worry about. The fresh air really helped and any major breathing issues cleared up. It was a good session and started me off nicely for the week.


Wednesday was bike day and with Liverpool playing Arsenal I felt it was a good opportunity to do the longer session tonight. I did 1 hour on the turbo and the match helped distract from the boredom of it. It was a good session and I was hoping to follow up with a run but the footpaths were covered in ice so no short run. But still in recovery mode it was probably for the best.

Got my new Garmin 920xt today as well. Delighted I have it. Wanted it since it came out, so finally spent the money. I think it will be on my hand for a long while to come. Also yesterday Liam brought me back the RedShift Dual-Position Seatpost. Looking forward to installing that and giving it a go.


Thursday I went to the gym in work and fitted in 40 mins. I was hoping for 45 but just wasn’t feeling it and sometimes it is hard to keep going on the bike in the gym. If only I could transport my turbo around, it seems a lot easier on that. Again ice ruled out a short run after the bike but I wasn’t feeling it so the ice was a great excuse. I had physio afterwards and that was a good session to loosen out the legs. No doubt the pain is worth it. I got to test out the new watch in the pool tonight. A 2.5km straight swim and it was very similar to my previous time. Once I’m not getting too slow I’ll be happy.

Friday was a frustrating and best forgotten. All ready for my afternoon run because ice ruled out the morning, just about to put on my runners and realised I forgot my insoles. That ended that session before it started.

That missed session had me more motivated for the weekend. Woke up Saturday and saw the roads were good so I didn’t waste much time, I got my bike gear together and off I went. As I was leaving my house I was still deciding which way I’d go but I eventually decided to go to Youghal and back via Garyvoe. It was a really nice day for it. Not much wind and no rain. From the rain recently some of the roads were a bit sore to cycling on and avoiding potholes became a game but I managed to fit in 70km. That makes it my 7th longest cycle ever and only the 4th time I’ve reached that distance since 2012. And since Endomondo says I has done 256 cycles I am very happy with that. I averaged 26.6 with approx 440 elevation gain. After the cycle I got changed in my running gear and went for 5km job to make sure I got in one break session this week.


Sunday was long run day and I parked the car in Garyvoe and headed towards Ballycotton. It was windy which made it feel a lot colder than I thought it would be. It was a steady run with some short climbs to keep the legs going. I finished with just over 16km. It was good to get in some of the roads around Ballycotton to remind of that challenge in March.


So overall I was happy with the weeks work. A missed swim and run session was the negative point but a good long Bike and Run session over the weekend helped me finish on a high note. Now with 3 weeks to Surf City Half Marathon I have to make sure I’m training right for that but also not sacrificing training for Galway.

Mon – Off
Tues – 2m WU. 3 x 1.5m  10 mile pace. Jog the 400m recovery lap between each session. 1m WD
Wednesday – 60mins cycle (turbo)
Thursday – 40mins cycle(indoor), 2.5km swim
Friday – Off
Saturday – 2 hour 38 min cycle (road), 5km run
Sunday – 1 hour 24 min run

Week Eight looks like this

Mon – Off
Tuesday – 1 hour run
Wednesday – 45 min cycle (Indoor), 15 min run
Thursday – 1 hour cycle(turbo)
Friday – 1 hour  run
Saturday – 2 hour cycle (road)
Sunday – 1 hour run

Plus 2 x 2.5km swim session


Week 6: First Full week of 2016

After getting back into the swing of things by the end of last week it was time to keep it going. As usual I took Monday off, much needed and my brick session on Sunday. It was good to recharge. The week would start with a 1 hour run before work on Tuesday. It was my 1st early session since before Christmas so it was tough when the alarm went off. There is no use lying, it was very hard to drag myself out of bed but eventually I rolled out and got ready. It was a flat but steady run and it felt great to get a good session in. It was only the 3rd time since New York that I broke the hour mark for running and there will be plenty more to come in the next few weeks. Its great to start thinking about Galway but I can’t forget either that I have a big race in LA and Ballycotton to come in the next 2 months.


Over the next 2 days I had 2 indoor bike sessions. One in work on Wednesday which was a 45 minute session followed by a 1 hour turbo session the following day. I much prefer the turbo session because when you are on your own bike it feels like you are doing more and also you can throw on a movie which distracts from the pain. Between the 2 I completed 45km. I didn’t get in a short run session that was planned but in the back of my head I felt it might have been a bit of a risk to put it in.



Friday was supposed to be an hour session but I had to shorten it due to work commitments but managed 42 min session.  It was the 1st truly cold run I did so I was well wrapped up for it. Some areas still had a bit of spot flooded but luckily I sprinted past a car fast enough not to feel the affects of wave of water hitting the path. Friday evening saw me get back to the pool. It ended up being my only swim session for the week but I gave it my all and got the 2.5km in. I need to get in a swim session earlier in the week from now on. Leaving it to the end of the week means there is a risk I would miss it.


And finally a Saturday where I could get out on the bike. After I eventually dragged myself out of bed I said I’d leave from my house which means putting in a couple drags which will lead to bigger hills in the coming weeks. The 1st climb took it out of me and that was only 3km in but the downhill after that helped me out and I was on my way. It was a cool morning but dry. Well until I had about 2km to go and the heavens opened and I got caught in an almighty hail shower. It meant peeling off my clothes when I got back. But success longest cycle since Challenge Wanaka last February. Just under 52km keeping to an average of just over 27km per hour. To get to my target of 7 hours I’d have to keep up that average the best I can so it means a lot of work ahead in the coming months. For shorter cycles like that I should be looking at 30km per hour average but I have time on my side to continue to build up.


And my last session of the week was to be a 1 hour session but instead I said I’d add 15 mins to that to make up for Friday. And its fair to say it was my most enjoyable run yet. A challenging route I took with plenty of rolling hills but quite country roads and the ocean in the background. I didn’t quite make it to the ocean but when I hit my 1 and half hour session I think I’ll make it there. It will be a real Forrest Gump moment then when I have to turn back. Slowly but surely I am planning out my running routes for my longer runs and I have found some really good areas to go. Don’t want to always do the same route so change is good. In total I managed to fit in just over 14km. The last 3km I pushed it and even though I felt it in the legs it was good to get some speed work in.

I had to skip my swim session because I felt a cold coming on and by Sunday evening it was getting close to man flu. Lets hope I can fight it off and have another good week next week.

Mon – Off
Tues – 1 hour run
Wednesday – 45min cycle (indoor)
Thursday – 1 hour cycle(turbo)
Friday – 42 min run, 2.5km swim
Saturday – 1 hour 53 min cycle (road)
Sunday – 1 hour 15 min run

2.5km Swim session
Warm Up
300m FS

(8 x 50m total)4 x 25m BS; 4 x 25m L,R,F,B with fins; 4 x 25m with PB; 4 x 25m with fists

Main Set
3 x (2 x 100, 1 x2 00 20 second break in between)

(8 x 50m total) 4 x 25m BS; 4 x 25m L,R,F,B with fins; 1 x 25m for BR every 4, BL every 4, both sides every 3,  both sides every 52 x 25m with legs tied, legs tied, 2 x 25m with legs tied, legs tied with PB

Cool Down
200m FS

Week Seven looks like this

Mon – Off
Tuesday – 1 hour run (track)
Wednesday – 45 min cycle (Indoor), 15 min run
Thursday – 1 hour cycle(turbo)
Friday – 1 hour 15 mins run
Saturday – 2 hour 30 mins cycle (road)
Sunday – 1 hour 15 mins run

Plus 2 x 2.5km swim session

Week 5: 2015 rolls into 2016

It is great to look back at the year and see how it played out. Going into 2015 I had an early target of a half ironman in February and Ballycotton 10 mile in March. I also wanted to improve on my Ballycotton Summer series position from 2014. Everything else would be a bonus.




With so many highlights from the year it is hard to narrow it down. It was amazing to complete my 1st half distance triathlon in Wanaka and an experience I will never forget. You can read more about that here. To then go out and break my 10 mile PB in Ballycotton set me up nicely for the year. I broke my 5km PB on 3 occasions and currently stands at 19:10 which I got in Cloyne 5k. My 10km PB was broken on 2 occasions, the 41:41 in Courtmacsherry 10km is something I’ll aim to beat in 2016. A new 5 mile PB in Shannagarry, a new 4 mile PB which I managed to get in 2 Bhaa races and lastly a new marathon PB in New York (write up here). Breaking into the top 50 in the Ballycotton Summer Series was the highlight of the summer. You can see the ups and downs of that here. It was also good to get my 2nd Olympic Distance Tri done. That was in a rain soaked Dublin and managed a PB in very tough conditions. Check that out here. Doing another destination race in Amsterdam was great prep for New York. I took it easy in that half and still managed to put in a good time. How the training run went can be seen here. 2015 was also the 1st time I competed in the Lee Swim. I always wanted to attempt it and this year was the 1st time I felt I was able for it and delighted I tried it. I’ll be back in 2016 for sure.

My overall mileage for the year was:

Swimming: 110km
Cycling: 1825km
Running: 1064km

Goals for 2016

My goals for 2016 are simple

Complete Full Distance Tri
A new Half Marathon PB
Target a Marathon and break 4 hours.
PB in Ballycotton
PB in Lee Swim (with currents in 2015 that may be hard)

Swimming: 150km
Cycling: 3000km
Running: 1100km

Back to training

All those goals are great but they are all dependant on staying injury free. After the last couple of weeks I really wanted to get going again. Physio on Tuesday gave me confidence to get back out there again. It may not have been as active as I wanted it to be but it was a hell of an improvement and I didn’t want to go out too fast again. I did a slow 46 min turbo session on Wednesday just to ease my way back into it. It was slow but with Liverpool match on it was good to get through it.

Week 5 Turbo

I took Thursday off before a good one hour turbo session on Friday. I felt good after it which meant I’d give a run a go on Saturday. I followed up a wet 5km run with a 2.1 km swim. No soreness after it so the confidence is back. Sunday was the biggest session in a while. A good brick session of 32km cycle and 8km run.

Week 5 Cycle

Huge improvement on the last couple of weeks. Rest day on Monday and increase the distance again.


Mon – 1.75km swim – stopped due to back stiffness
Tues – Physio – a good rub down and stretches will help out
Wednesday – 46 mins turbo (18km)
Thursday – none
Friday – 60 mins turbo (27km)
Saturday – 5.5km run, 2.1km swim
Sunday – 32km cycle, 8km run

Week 6 plan looks like this:

Mon – Swim
Tues – 1 hour run
Wednesday – 45 min cycle (Indoor), 15 min run
Thursday – 1 hour cycle(Turbo)
Friday – 1 hour run
Saturday –  2 hour cycle
Sunday –  1 hour run

That may be too much of a jump for now but I’ll try get as close as I can to those distances.