6 weeks to train for 26.2 miles

On September 17th while on on holidays in Lanzarote I got a call from Kevin to say we are in to the New York Marathon. A few things came into my head. Cost. Training. Time. Eventually after talking it through with Martha I decided I’d go for it. I’d have 44 days of training and the training wouldn’t really start until I get back from holidays.


Officially in


One 10 miler and 2 shorter runs is what I fitted in while in Lanzarote. Temperatures were high and the 10 miler almost broke me but I knew this would be the start of some heavy training to get myself ready.

Some facts before I began my training

1) Before Sept 17th I had only run over 10km 6 times in 2015
2) Since I started running in 2012 I had only run over 22km 3 times
3) Since January 2014 only 4 times have I done more than 100km in a month (105km, 105km, 105km & 102km)
4) My marathon PB is 4:45:45 in Rotterdam in April 2013
5) I was in NYC for the only one that was ever cancelled
6) My last long training run in March 2013 was 28km and took me 2hr 49mins 47s (average 6:04 min/km)

So those facts alone show I will be up against it but I hope my triathlon training will help me.

My 1st proper training run came on 24th of September. That is now 37 days to train. I got a good 17km in with Damian. A very consistent run and even though I was feeling tired hitting the 16km mark I felt ok. Unfortunately next day my hamstring was tight and I’d have to skip my last tri of the year. But a bit of rest and some physio on Monday 28th fixed me right up and I was out again on the 29th. This time it was a 15km with Damian and was a fraction slower than the previous 17km but it was about the distance rather than the speed. I followed that up with a 9km on Thursday the 1st. (NYC officially next month now) It was good to get the mileage in knowing I had BHAA Cork to Cobh 15 miler on Sunday the 4th. This would be the biggest test of my training and biggest mileage I’ll do before the big day.

BHAA Cork to Cobh Sunday 4th October
The plan for today is a 4 mile warm up followed by a 15 mile marathon pace run. The warm up was with Damian and Tim and the race would be done with Kevin. Main thing here is to manage pace. I had planned to go out at 5:30 min/km but it was closer to 5:25 you to the 18km mark. Felt good the whole way so decided to pick it up for roughly the last 6 and half km. I was well able to manage the pace. I crossed the line for the 24+ km in 2hrs 8mins 46s. Averaging 5:18 per km overall. A total of 19.5 miles today. That is huge for me. Biggest total mileage in one day except for the marathon I did. A couple of days off after this for sure.

Cork to Cobh

Cork to Cobh



My calf was a bit tight the days after the race but on the 7th I got out and did 9k. It was a slow, and I mean very slow 9km. Averaging 5:45 min/km. Good thing is that I got through it but it was the hardest session yet. A session on the turbo training on the Wednesday helped me stay focused.

Into the last 3 weeks of training and I had a good plan for the weekend. 10km on the Saturday and 12 miles on the Sunday with Damian. The 10km went great. Did the reverse loop of the Shannagarry 5 miler and some more. Pace was bang on what I wanted to do and straight in for a swim after was very enjoyable. I felt good after it so I knew I’d be ok for Sundays session. A late night text changed the plans a bit – now 15 miles with Damian and Tim but sure plenty of places to turn off if I wanted to cut mine short. We set off just before 7:30am on a route I never did before. Some big climbs and falls to begin with, a good test for NYC. A long the way I had chances to turn off but I stuck with it. Of course that is where Tim decided to let us know it was closer to 16 miles. For the last 3km or I got nice and quite and I just wanted to finish but I did it and got stronger as the run went on. That completed 22 miles for the weekend. Its all downhill from here.

26km Run

A nice hilly run



A session of physio to start the week. Calf was a bit tight from weekends run but the pain of physio will be worth it in the end. Back out on an early morning run on Tuesday 13th. Calf was a bit sore starting out but soon loosened. I had thought about cutting the run short if it was still sore but completed the 8km. Almost 93km done and only 13 days into the month. It could be a record breaking month. 1 more run until the half in Amsterdam.

Early 6km run on Thursday morning went well and felt good. Next up Amsterdam.

You can read about Amsterdam here

The days after Amsterdam I took some time off but only because I didn’t have much time to run. My body felt good, I was tired from the weekend in Amsterdam but if I wanted to I’d have got a run in. Last physio session before NYC came on Thursday 22nd. 1st time I felt I wasn’t tight during it. Of course the usual pains he found but overall we were both happy. Went back out on Friday morning. Damian and Tim were going for their last run before Dublin so I said I’d join them. A nice paced 5 miler in darkness. Nothing better than to set your day up with that.

2 more runs left to do. Since I decided to make a weekend out of it in Dublin I packed my running gear and made my way to Phoenix Park on the Sunday morning. It was a perfect morning for it and got in another 5 mile. That run made sure it was a record breaking month for mileage. Delighted to be in one piece after it.
Watching everyone complete the Dublin on the Monday made me nervous as well as excited. To see everyone run down towards the finish line made me want to be out there. Watching the broken bodies after made me realise I didn’t want to be out there. But my turn is next. Only 6 days.

So after 6 weeks I finished my last run on October 28th. It was a 5km in miserable conditions. I didn’t really enjoy it but that was it. I was now done and I did what I could. 142km in October meant I did more than I did before. I was injury free – for the 1st time in a long while. Not its all real. only a few days to go.

Posted in Sport.