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To do kilometres or miles? That is the question

Eoin Callaghan is back and here is latest instalment of his training blog for the Rotterdam marathon where there will be a strong Irish contingent. Enjoy. 

Logging the miles

Another 100 miles and another week closer – one more week of hard training to go and then the taper can begin. This week didn’t get off to the best possible start. I ran the Balbriggan Half Marathon on Monday morning and to be honest it didn’t go exactly to plan. I ran 73:30 and it didn’t feel all that easy. On the plus side it was quite windy and the course was hilly so hopefully I can go through half way in Rotterdam a little faster and feeling a lot better!

My back was very sore on the warm-up and the first 7 or 8 miles were torture. My brother Neil caught me around this point of the race (after a brief de-tour for me) and we ran together for a couple of miles. I got a bit of a second wind and was happy to be able to finish the race strong running under 5:30 pace for the last four miles, to finish in second place. I’ll have to wait until after Rotterdam to cash in my prize – a €30 voucher for the local pub!

I woke up on Tuesday and was in agony. My back was in spasm and even walking was a serious struggle. I met my friend Paul for a run after school and I knew things were bad when he said “Jeez Eoin, I’ve never seen you in such a mess!” Although I felt a bit better on Wednesday I mustn’t have looked it. My girlfriend came out with me on the bike for the run and she also commented on my ‘funny’ running style. I managed to clock two ten mile runs but as you can imagine they weren’t pretty. 

I was down for a tough session on Thursday.  Four by 6 kilometres with a 1 kilometre float recovery – why do I do these things to myself? I was still in a lot of pain on the warm-up but again, once I got going at a decent clip, the pain subsided somewhat. The session went really well. I averaged 3:35 per k for the first set, then 3:30s, 3:28s and 3:23s for the last rep. The float recovery was run at four minute per kilometre pace. It was a long hard session, but it felt controlled and I was delighted with myself.

That is until I got back to the tree where I’d left my gear. If anyone spots some scumbag in an Arkansas track top please let me know. I couldn’t believe the gear had been robbed – what is anyone going to do with some dirty, smelly running gear and a pair of Nike Pegasus with over 700 miles on them!? Thank God the session went well! 

The session has left me with a bit of a dilemma though. Should I set my Garmin to kilometres (what Rotterdam will be marked in) or miles (what Dublin is marked in) for the race? I really enjoyed how quickly the kilometres clicked off during the session but the thoughts of getting to 30km and still knowing I have 12km to go doesn’t really appeal to me. Obviously I have to run the same distance either way but I’m not sure which will feel easier mentally – decisions, decisions!

Friday was an easy 10 mile run. David Campbell had very kindly given me a quick 15 minute massage after school that evening and again it worked a treat. I felt really good on my medium long run on Saturday- 15 miles at 6.30 pace. It was a beautiful day and one of my most enjoyable runs in a long time.

Sunday wasn’t quite as nice. After being out until after 3am the night before I spent most of the day putting off the run. What was originally supposed to be a midday run eventually began after 5pm. I ran four miles easy before getting into a 5 mile tempo. This was completed in 26:50- 5:22 pace. I was hoping to go a bit faster but all things considered (the previous night’s over-indulgence, the weather- I’m running out of excuses now!) it wasn’t too bad. I ran a four mile cool-down to round out another 100 mile week.

So 21 days and one more week of hard training to go- roll on the 13th of April!

Training Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd March

Monday- Balbriggan Half Marathon- 2nd place, 73.30

Tuesday- 10 miles easy

Wednesday- 9 miles easy

Thursday- Session- 4 by 6k with 1k float recovery (Set 1-3.34s, Set 2-3.28s, Set 3-3.27s, Set 4- 3.23s)

Friday- 10 miles easy

Saturday- 15 miles- 6.33 pace- picked it up at the end

Sunday- 5 mile tempo- 26.50 (5.22 pace)

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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.

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