Callaghan getting ready for the big dance

This time next week it’ll all be over – the build up to a marathon is worse than the lead up to Christmas. You start off thinking, ‘ah sure it’s grand, I’ve loads of time’ before blind panic sets in and you start to worry that you’ve nothing done! In fairness, I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work but at the same time, I still find myself thinking it’d be nice to have another week or two to get a few more big sessions in.

Last week was the first week of my proper taper. The topic of the taper certainly generates a lot of debate and I’m still trying to learn what works best for me. I ran 87 miles last week, a little more than planned and possibly a lot more than some people would recommend. I’ve found in the past that I generally run well off relatively high mileage so hopefully this approach will work well this time around.

After the Dunboyne 4 Mile, I ran 9 miles easy on Monday, before my last long run on Tuesday. I ran 18 miles easy (6:37 pace) with my brother, Neil. This was just about getting time on our feet and it felt relaxed and comfortable. Wednesday was another easy run – 8 miles before a session on Thursday. The plan was to run 3 by 3 miles at marathon pace with a half mile float recovery. I covered the 10 miles in 55:32 and felt strong and controlled. The legs are starting to feel good but I’ve developed a slight niggle in my left knee which I will have to keep an eye on over the next few days.

Friday was another easy 8 miles and I found myself thinking I could really get used to this taper training – it’s certainly a lot easier than slogging over 100 miles a week and being constantly tired! The improved weather has also made running a lot more enjoyable this past week and I am really starting to look forward to Sunday week now. I ran two easy runs on Saturday- 7 miles in the morning and 5 miles in the evening.

I was back in the Phoenix Park on Sunday morning and there was a great buzz around the place with the Great Ireland Run taking place that afternoon. Myself and Neil ran 15 miles, the first 7 easy before dropping down to marathon pace for the next 5 and then a 3 mile cool-down. We caught the end of Men’s Mile, where Paul Robinson looked in very impressive form before retreating to the comfort of the couch for the main event, the 10k. I was happy to be finished another week’s training and to be one step closer to the start line in Rotterdam.

As I said at the start I ran 87 miles this week. The body is starting to feel good and this week will see a serious reduction in mileage- I will still run between 60 and 70 miles for the week but this will include the race on Sunday, which will account for almost 30 miles. I’ll make a big effort to get plenty of sleep, eat well and keep well hydrated. I also plan on getting a massage from David (Campbell) at some stage during the week before the flight on Saturday morning and then the big dance on Sunday. I haven’t decided fully on what my race plan will be yet.

The original plan was to run even splits and hit halfway in around 73 minutes. Having watched the Paris marathon this weekend, however it got me thinking that if there was a pack of elite ladies, with pacemakers, that it might be worth trying to run with these, even if the pace is slightly quicker than planned. If they are aiming to run sub 2.20 pace, this plan will obviously go out the window but if they plan on running 2.24/2.25 pace then it’s a definite possibility.

As my Grandad used to say, ‘this time next week it’ll be all over, bar the shouting!”


Training Monday March 31st to April 6th

Monday- 9 miles easy (7.00 pace)

Tuesday- 18 miles easy (6.37 pace)

Wednesday- 8 miles easy (6.46 pace)

Thursday- Session- 3 by 3 miles with half mile float recovery (Set 1- 5.31 average, Set 2- 5.28 pace, Set 3- 5.26 pace)

Friday- 8 miles (7.02 pace)

Saturday- AM- 7 miles (6.58 pace) PM- 5 miles (6.59 pace)

Sunday- 15 miles- 6.29 pace overall (7 easy, 5 @ 5.33 pace, 3 easy)

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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.


  1. Peter Kingston
    April 9, 2014 at 10:28 am — Reply

    Good luck to the Callaghans. They’ve put in serious miles and hope they meet their goals. The stamina test has really brought out the best in them. Best of luck, just worried about the marathon session they’ll put in that night in Amsterdam. Enjoyed the blog, good insight

  2. Teresa
    April 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm — Reply

    Good luck to the Boys from the Mammy

  3. Robert Denmead
    April 13, 2014 at 10:12 pm — Reply

    Well done to Eoin and Neil. Great going from both of you.

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