ASICS FUJILITE 4 – time to hit the trails

FUJILITE 2 were my introduction to trail runners and they got a lot of mileage in over multiple terrains that including hiking, trail running and mountain running. Now its time to take the jump to the 4th edition.

First impressions

Right out of the box my eyes lit up. The striking colour of the bright orange and neon lime had me wanting to go straight for a run. Unfortunately I had to wait a couple of days but when I did they felt great on my feet. You can definitely feel the FF blast foam as you set off on your run. In one of my first runs the ground was hard, even with all the rain recently the ground didn’t seem to hold much water so the cushioning really saved the soles of my feet as I pounded the ground which had plenty of stone as well. The grip going up and downhill felt solid and I didn’t lose traction taking sharp turns at speed. The ASICSGrip outsole rubber grip looks to provide high grip and should help with durability.

I definitely can see these being used as a fast lighter shoe for the mountains and trails without compromising comfort. Next stop will be the mountains. These are a big jump from the 2nd edition to the 4th and I am confident they will do the job.

They were easy to put on and take off and the laces felt secure with the newly developed lace loop. .

What changes can you expect

If you were a fan of the FUJILITE 3 and thinking of upgrading to 4 then this is what you need to know

  • The 4 come in slightly heavier at M <270g / M <232g compared to M 257g / W <225g for version 3
  • The midsole height is now greater on the 4 M 24-19mm / W23-18mm this changed from M 18-24m / W 16-12m on the 3
  • The midsole material is now FF Blast rather than FF Nano
  • Increased sustainability, new lace holder, tongue wing and the modified outsole design for better traction are other areas where vast improvement has been made.


  • They were comfortable out of the box and was easily to get a run in without any discomfort.
  • Good grip as I took corners and went down and uphill on the trails
  • The recycled jacquard mesh provides excellent comfort and durability
  • Then felt light even though the weight went up
  • Cushioning really helped with any impact
  • Have to say I love the colour.


  • The grip could come in to question over very muddy terrain
  • Over longer distance a shoe with more cushioning maybe needed

Final thoughts

These will definitely be my go to trail shoe for the level of running I do. After such a good experience with the 2nd version over mountains in a 20 mile race as well as similar distance hikes I cannot wait to bring the 4th edition for longer runs and hikes. The cushioning will allow for comfortable day even when out there for long distance but also when you want to go fast.

3 things you need to know about the GEL-KAYANO 30 shoes

I love this time of year when a new ASICS GEL-KAYANO comes out. I have been wearing them since version 18 and now we hit number 30. There are some big changes but the shoe is better than ever. Here I go through 3 things you need to know about the GEL-KAYANO 30
  1. How does the GEL-KAYANO 30 differ to GEL-KAYANO 29
    So you loved your GEL-KAYANO 29 but its time to upgrade, so what are the changes. Well there are some big changes this time around.
    Weight wise the 30 is slightly heavier but it doesn’t feel that way when running with them, for me they feel lighter. There is an increased stack now going from 25-15mm for men to 30-22mm and for women it was 24-14mm now it is 29-21mm.
    The midsole material is now made up of FF Blast + ECO. Don’t be worried if you think there is no GEL in there anymore, the GEL is now PUREGEL but is hidden from view, previously you could always see the GEL so its still there and better than ever. One of the biggest enhancements is the 4D Guidance System which you can read about next.
  2. 4D Guidance System
    The new 4D guidance system guides the foot through every step and adapts as your running form changes over distance. This new innovative take on stabilizing the foot is based on biomechanical research. It focuses on adaptive, on-demand stability. The medial foam unit helps return the arch to the ideal position for the next foot strike. I have done a number of longer runs with these over the last couple of weeks and they definitely offer the support I need so there is no compromise from previous versions.
  3. A lighter footprint for a brighter tomorrow
    The new GEL-KAYANO 30 shoe’s carbon footprint is 14% lower than the industry average. ASICS measure the carbon emissions at each stage of a product life cycle. This includes the materials used, how they are manufactured and how they are transported. This is great to see a company put time and research into reducing the carbon footprint of their shoes. You will see the label inside the shoe.
    You can find out more details here

ASICS FrontRunner: Running = Team Sport

When someone says team sport you think football, basketball or rugby, you would not think of running as a team sport. Its about going out on your own, running miles and chasing PBs by yourself. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many reasons why running is most definitely a team sport

  • Just because its an individual sport doesn’t mean its all on your own. Clubs are a great place to meet people, learn from others and help to make a trip to a race much more entertaining. I have had great support from the clubs I have been a member and on race day they help get the best out of you

Group Training

  • I do a lot of training on my own but having club training sessions, long runs with others and even recovery runs with friends helps pass away the miles

Race day

  • Many times I have set a goal for a race and a team mate has helped me reach that goal. Working as a team on the day will keep you focused and when things get hard there will be someone there to push you.

Team events

  • When it comes to local, regional and national championships there is always club prizes as well as individual. This means if you know you are not going to be in the running for individual medals there is always the team goal of medals.

Relay Events

  • A good was to turn an individual sport into a team sport is taking part in a relay. As a club St Catherines have performed extremely well in Cork City Marathon as a relay team. We all were working towards the same goal and didn’t want to leave anyone down

Supporting on race day

  • What better feeling than running through crowds getting cheered on to the finish line. Club support on race days drives you to the finish line


  • I am lucky to be part of many clubs and I have made great friends with similar interests. Its doesn’t have to be all about running but running has brought us together.

The ASICS FrontRunner team bring a diverse team together. It has helped me meet so many people I’d have never had a chance to meet. So next time you think running is an individual sport remember there are so many ways where teamwork in running is extremely important

2022 Year in Review

I look back at 2022 with both delight and disappointment. I’m strictly talking from a sports view, I have an extremly supportive family around me and 2022 would have been a lot rougher without them by my side.

I can split the year into four segments

  • January to May – The improvements
  • June to November – The injury
  • Late Nov / Early Dec – The return
  • December – The new injury

I will split this into those segments but also overall review of goals, mileage and what 2023 might bring.

January to May

I set myself a few running goals for this year as well as some tri related goals.

  • PBs at 5 km, 4 mile, 5 mile, 10 km, 10 mile, Half Marathon, Full Marathon
  • PB over Lost Sheep course and Sub 20 min 5km run in sprint tri.

Training started well in January and early target was Dungarvan 10 mile in Feb. On the day I wasn’t feeling it and almost decided not to do the race but Martha kicked me out the door. The goal was a PB and that was acheievd. It was a tough day out with the wind and found myself caught in a tough section on my own but struggled through when a group helped pull me along to finish in a time of 65:35. It was a huge improvement on my previous PB so delighted with that.

I found myself taking on more trail running and I feel this had helped my progress. I decided at start or March to take on the Knockmealdowns course of 24km/1100m elevation. It was an eye opener but great experience.

Next race was the Cork Road Championships over 4 mile. Race is usually hosted close to home which is good as its usually held around St Patricks Day so I don’t have to travel far. A time of 24:22 meant a 25 second PB.

Only a few weeks later it was Brighton 10km with the ASICS team and again goal was sub 39 mins. And a consistent run cheered on by the team meant it was a successful run and managed 38:29. The weekend with the team was time well spent and missed those oppurtunities with not being able to travel for 2 years.

2 weeks later it was on to the 5 mile East Cork Road Championships. A course that you definitely wouldn’t be looking for a PB on but I did do my fastest time on the course as our team secured bronze.

May came and another PB this time over 5km and I finally broke 18 mins. After orginally setting my PB at 18:20 I found it hard to break even 19 for some time but things clicked on the day and an offical time of 17:56 meant training was going well.

Just a few days later I took on my hardest challenge to date, The Galtee Challenge race — 32km with 1500m elevation. Now this was an experience like no other and with the help of Blackwater team mate Adrian I got it finished and was definitely proud to tick that off the list. But that is where things came to a halt. A fall during that race which only flared up about a week later after my body loosened out meant it was a rough few months to follow.

June to November

I’m not going to go into every part of this injury but after I thought this could be a minor issue I was still doing a small bit but the discomfort became too much. My shoulder was in bits. It was months of rest, scans, and exercise. I still haven’t found a root cause for it and it still at me now but I can run a lot more comfortably. 

During this time I did a bit of hiking with family to keep active. 

Late Nov / Early Dec

With so many races I decided I’d take on the short Cloyne 4km race to ease my way back in late November. My plan was to run consistently which I managed to do, I felt great after and delighted to be out running a race again. I was getting the miles in and also putting a lot of work into our club hosting the National Novice Cross Country. The week before while we were all setting up the course I ran it to get a video and after doing this I got the mad idea to want to run it the following week. So I signed up and away we go. So my next race was a National XC, I’d never get a chance to really do one so I had to it when its so close to home. On our feet all day and with our race being the last it did mean we were on tired legs but damn I loved that race. It was a challenge, as tough of XC course that you are going to get but that is what is to love about it.

And mid December 

The simple things seem to cause the most pain. Getting out of the car and my back felt a twinge. Didn’t think too much of it until I went in shopping and within 10 mins I could barely walk. Was almost crawling back to the car. I went home and lay down and next thing I know its end of December and I’m still only a fraction better. Doing my best to try keep positivie but the truth be told its been a bad year for injuries. 6 months wiped out as I was starting to make real progress. As I start a new road to recovery the only goal I have for 2023 is to get through it in one piece.

So with no triathlons this year my PBs acheived were

  • 5 km, 4 mile, 10 km, 10 mile

Longer hikes and trail/mountain running were new things that were tried.

Below you can see how my stats looked for the year and the big drop off from May. It is really disappointing to see but hopefully with hard work things will go better in 2023. Happy New Year all. 

Some podcasts to listen with an Irish twist

It took me a long time to get me into podcasts. I don’t listen to music while running but I have turned to podcasts on the commute to and from work to help me to get through the journey. It gives me the chance to catch up on the weeks podcasts and news in the sporting world. There are so many out there and no doubt many lists but I have narrowed my list down to ones with an Irish and in some cases Cork connection.

The Runners Diary Cork

I’m starting this one with a disclaimer, my brother teamed up with the original founder of the original Runners Diary but that would be more of a reason for me not to listen in, I have listened to him long enough. But Brian and Damian found a gap in the Cork running scene  and filled it with a much needed reporting, a good bit of craic and some great interviews along the way. Weekly episodes review the results for the week, upcoming fixtures, the strava leaderboard (some day I will get on that) and interviews with all different people from Cork running scene. This is very much Cork based right now and follows Cork runners both at home and abroad. As they find their feet the quality continues to improve and looking forward to seeing what is to come. Even if you are not from Cork it is worth listening in to hear what is going on in the Real Capital 😉

Podcast link – here
Social Media – Website Instagram Facebook Twitter

Tri Talking Sport

Most in triathlon has come across Joanne Murphy at some point by now, she has annouced at Ironman UK, Ireland and was part of the annouceing team in Kona this year (WOW). I actually got to know Joanne during many battles on Zwift as virtual races became the thing to do in 2020. Triathlon Ireland set up a series of races and it really did keep people motivated. From interviewing some of the greats from the sports, from most recently Craig Alexander, the voice of Ironman the soon to be retired Mike Reilly to Age Groupers in Ireland and abroad. There are legends of the triathlon world scattered throughout her long list of podcasts. And its not all about triathletes either, there are runners, cyclists, Olympian and many more from other sports to listen in on. If you haven’t listened before its definitely worth taking time out or while on the turbo to catch up on close to 100 episodes now (that will be plenty of time of the turbo), even during their Monday Social sessions on Zwift.

Podcast link – here
Social Media – Website Instagram Facebook Twitter

Trail Running Podcast

2022 is when I got introduced to trail and mountain running. Mountain running didn’t end well for me but I will be back. With so many trails close to home I have found myself with a lot more interest in all things trail running and IMRA organise some superb races and for great value.  Eoin Flynn presents this show and if you want to find out what is happening and what has happened in all things mountain and trail this it the place to go. With some great interviews, news, fixtures and results it is perfect to listen to keep up to date.

Podcast link – here
Social Media – Website Instagram Facebook

An Irishman Abroad

My search for more podcasts brought me to An Irishman Abroad. Jarlath has had great Interviews with some of Irelands best runners, and the best thing about it is that he speaks to them about all aspects of their lives and as he doesn’t know much about running he asks the simple but relatable questions that way it makes it easier for the listener to relate. Sonia O’Sullivan is a regular contributer on the show as well.

Podcast link – here
Social Media – Website Instagram

Big Red Bench

This is keeping it local to Cork but has a huge following.  Big Red Bench can be found on Cork’s RedFM every Saturday and Sunday from 6pm presented by Ruairi O’Hagan. It is an extremly popular podcast with wide range of sport covered. It is a great resource to get the latest news from all things local. If you don’t catch it on the radio its easy to catch up via podcasts. With interviews, reviews of local events, results and fixtures it has a mix of everything. If you are not local to Cork we can always help you with translating.

Podcast link – here
Social Media – Website Instagram Facebook Twitter

ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29 are finally here here

Its one of my favourite times of the year, the day a new version of GEL-KAYANO get released. It is now on to version 29 and I have been wearing them since 18. So how does these ones compare.
With injury impacting my running I haven’t been able to do as much as I have wanted to recently but I have managed to get some miles into these GEL-KAYANO 29 to see how they feel

First Impressions

As always I look forward to seeing what the colourway is and I definitely wasn’t disappointed

Next I took them for a ride to see how they compared to previous versions and even though there have been some changes (find out more below) it hasn’t affected the support and infact feels better. It actually felt like there was more of a bounce with them. It definitely made my run easier and smoother which is what you want in a new show. Losing the few grams of weight is noticable but having moved to light shoes (Metaspeed) for racing the wieght is noticable at first but soon once you are into your run you forget about that and the support and comfort make for a great run. I have done all my marathons in Kayanos and they offered the support I needed and I’d have no problem with doing a marthong in these.

Specifications (Male shoe)

  • Weight – 299grms
  • Midsole heigh – 25-15MM
  • Drop – 10mm
  • Midesole Material – FF Blast Plus / Flytefoam
  • GEL – Rearfoot Visible
  • Ground Contact – Full Ground Contact
  • Upper – Engineered Knit


The 29 are lighter and have new Litetruss construction which helps deliver a smooth, stable ride. There is new FF BLAST PLUS foam with adds positive energy with every step. There is new soft, recycled, engineered stretch-knit upper which provides breathability and comfort. It is also great to see 75% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled content and more than 50% of all polyester materials are recycled.


  • The use of recycled material
  • The stability
  • Comfortable ride especially on long runs
  • Lighter than previous versions
  • Long lasting


  • They are premium shoe so are at high end price wise
  • Even with reduced weight they are still heavier than other options


Final Thoughts

When needing support there always feels like there is that compromise where there is going to be that extra weight. ASICS are reducing the weight in the 29s compared to other versions so the compromise doesn’t seem as much now. I’m really happy with how the 29s have so far felt and they will be the shoe of choice for my long runs and slow shorter training runs going forward. I just can’t wait to get back to full training to bring them further. If you are looking for a shoe with top class support and comfort then there is no better shoe (in my opinion) out there.

Something new in 2022

In 2021 my goal was to take on open water swimming for the full year, from the cold months at the start of the year to the cold months at the end I managed to get into open water pretty much every week once, twice or three times a week. Now I had to think what challenge would I set in 2022.
Following on from a recent blog by Chris Campion on Could 2022 be the year you hit the trails I can safely say I was one of the people who had doubts about hitting the trails up to late last year.

How it all started

Watching some of the ASICS Frontrunners taking on the trails got me thinking and after a chat with Alan I decided I’d buy a pair of trail runners and went with a pair of ASICS Fuji Lite 2. Now I knew I’d have to use them.

Let the adventure begin

Luckily there are some nice trails around me. Some I got to know while walking with George and I knew I’d have to try them out at some time myself. Corrin Woods which overlooks Fermoy in Cork, Knockakeo Woods and many other smaller challenging routes was where I started to spend more time. I had targeted a race in Corrin but missed it due to a niggling injury but I ran the course a number times. In my head I was no thinking should I try something even more so I looked up some races close by. I saw Knockmealdowns half marathon and it peaked my interest. I felt I wasn’t fully ready for it as a race so I decided I’d give it a go the next time I got a chance

Corrin Hill


The Knockmealdown mountain range is not too far from my, I can see them from my kitchen window. I was thinking of doing it one Saturday morning but after looking out I saw the cloud cover so I left it all. 2 weeks later I decided I’d try again and this time there were clear skies. Luckily I had all my kit ready. When I started the car it was -3 degrees on the dash. I’m glad I packed some warm kit. I was ready to go at 7am, I had the course loaded on to my watch and off I went. 24km and 1100m of elevation. The first 10km would be seen as relatively fast with some fast downhills, flat running through woods and good fire roads to run on. The ground was frozen in parts and slippy in parts. It was after what is know as the Liam Lynch Monument things got really tough and the climbing began. Hitting several peaks (Crohan West 521m, Knocknagnauv 655m) before going back down the other side only to see I had to go back up again made me think in my head what I was up to but the views all around made it worth it. Hitting the last peak was a slog and at times I wondered if I could do it but I pushed through and when I got up to the top of Knockmealdown (792m) it was the 1st time the clouds came in and the snow could be seen at the top. After a bit of a rest at the top it was time to head back down. One thing I learned is that tired legs can leave to some falls. A couple of falls in the last 2km downhill shows that you always need to be careful and pay attention

Top of Knockmealdown

What is next?

I plan to continue to aim to hit the trails at least once a week but also I have some interesting challenges ahead that I’m excited about. When I settle on those I will share more.

My thoughts on trail and mountain running

  • Be prepared and have the right kit for the challenge you are taking on
  • Its great to be off the road and feel safe with no traffic around
  • It has help my overall running. I feel stronger when I do road races
  • Its so peaceful and you can leave you worries once you put on your trail runners
  • The scenery distracts you from the hill
  • There is no shame in walking up those hills
  • Go out and enjoy
Almost to the top

It’s not all about mileage, goals and PBs

If 2021 has taught me anything it is that sometimes you can’t do it all. A growing family, a son wanting to try more activities and a new role in work has meant most of what I set out to achieve in 2021 didn’t happen
So how was your 2021? Mine was busy and meant everything I decided at the start of the year didn’t go according to plan. Do I mind? Not one bit. It certainly has been a balancing act but you do what you can. I’m writing this from my perspective and what has helped me with an extra busy year outside of sports. It may not work for all and some work better with set goals and targets but what i want to share is things change and don’t feel bad if you have to shift goalposts.

Goals can be changed

I started the year with clear goals

  • 120km of swimming
  • 4000km of cycling
  • 1000 miles of running
  • 5km open water swim
  • PB at 10km, half and full marathon

The year started off strong and I was well on my way to my goals. In April I managed a virtual half marathon PB and distance goals were all on track. But soon a foot injury meant I had limited cycling and running for almost 4 months. And the excitement of the birth of our 2nd baby in June meant I had to change goals to be more realistic. With limited running and cycling I increased my swimming and soon found myself doing 5km open water training sessions. This led me to complete a 10km open water swim, something I never thought I’d do. With help from training partners I smashed that goal. I scratched my mileage targets, marathon goal went out the window but I did manage a 10km PB. It is important to know that you should change your goals if needed, you can’t predict what is to come.

10km open water swim

Be flexible

I was always a morning person for runs, did the majority of my swimming in the pool and bike work was mixed. But over the last 2 years we have all had to be flexible. This included limits on traveling, closures of pools and change in work schedule. I now do the majority of my swimming in open water with roughly only 10 sessions this year happening in the pool. With change in personal circumstances I need to be flexible when I do train, a baby could be up all night, a project in work could be due or house work may need to be done

  • Be open to changing the time/day of a session to better fit your schedule
  • Fit in your session when possible, maybe a meeting finished early or kids are napping
  • Have the kit ready so when time allows you are ready to go

Don’t be afraid to take a break

There are days I wake up and I’m extra tired. In the past I’d push through and do a session but soon I’d find myself picking up injuries. Maybe a break would have helped

  • There are days when a rest is better don’t feel bad if you need that break
  • Don’t try to make up the missed session, just continue with your plan when ready
  • After a tough run of training / racing some time off is always welcomed

Try something new

In 2021 to help motivate me when times were tough I decided to try something new. A great way to spend more time with family but stay active was to hit the trails and mountains. My son loved being out in the open air and taking on new challenges. He is getting to an age where he wants to try new things and it has led me to also now running trails, something I had never done.

  • Cross training is extremely helpful, why not have a look at what other activities are out there, it could be swimming, cycling, chess or anything that helps

Enjoy yourself

Key thing is you need to enjoy what you are doing. If it feels like torture everyday then maybe its time to change it up so you are doing it with a smile. Of course it may not be fun when you are chasing down a target race but the build up and after crossing the line should put a smile on your face. I will sit down and write up my goals for 2022 but now I will be more conscious that personal life will dictate some of those goals.


Time to test out Gel-Kayano 28

I have been wearing Gel-Kayano for 10 versions now. They have been my go to shoe since I started running and after I got my 1st pair of Gel-Kayano 18 I’m always looking forward to see what the next version will be like.
First impression
With this being my go to shoe for stability I couldn’t wait to try these out. The day they arrived I went for an extra run just to check them out. It was only a short run to begin with but I felt comfortable in them from the start. There was a nice bounce to them when I set off and as always I felt the support under my feet from the go. With the Gel-Kayano being such a high quality shoe you know you are always going to get a good ride. The small changes (talked about below) make the ride even more comfortable without sacrificing the quality. I will be doing plenty of long runs in these in the coming months.

Gel-Kayano 26, 27 & 28

Weight – 310gr
Midsole Height – 23-13MM
Drop – 10MM
Midsole Material – FF Blast top / FF bottom
Support – Trusstic / Dynamic Duomax
Surface – Road
Pronation Type – Overpronator

Gel-Kayano 28 vs Gel-Kayano 27
The 28 has a new external heel cradle that reduces stiffness and heel irritation while mainting its full adpative stability. There is now full contact outsole with Dynamic Duomax for a more seamless and stable transition. The midsole material is now Flytefoam Blast changing from the Flytefoam Propel. The Flytefoam Blast is springy and lightweight cushioning material that generates a soft landin thats followed by a energetic rebound. in the 28s the Trusstic is covered and perfectly blends in with the Dynamic Duomax. The Plus 3 midsole design is specifically integrated into the women’s model, which features 3mm of additional height in the heel to improve support.

Sole of 27 and 28 shows the difference in design


  • You can get into a brand new pair and they always feel the same
  • New tech makes them even more comfortable to run in
  • Supportive on long runs
  • Pefect for people who over pronate
  • Long lasting (In my experience)


  • I will put cost here but you do get what you pay for. They are a high end shoe but for people who may not want to spend this then you can always look at the GT-2000
  • Heavy for speed sessions / fast runs

Final Thoughts

If you need a shoe that offers support then this is the shoe for you. When you are getting out for those long runs and you want that reassurance that you have a shoe that is going to last the distance then again this is a shoe for you. These will be used for my training runs as I build back up my distance. I will use different shoes depending on the session as these can be a bit heavy if you are doing a speed session. But I won’t be turning my back on them and Gel-Kayano continues to be my shoe of choice