Running – Older But Faster!

Running – Older But Faster!

 

Running began for me as a young child. I fell into it, I was a boxer first, but through my training I discovered that I was a fairly good runner too. I was one of those athletes of decent ability who fell through the cracks during college, which led to a long time out of the sport. Although I never lost my love of fitness and endurance sports. I tried my hand at triathlons for a few years, but the love of pure running never left me. I’m back running five years now, after a ten year sabbatical.

Some would consider this year a modest breakthrough year for me. I have put in some good performances across a range of distances and keep getting faster despite getting older. I have new personal bests in the 5k, 10k, 10 mile, half marathon and marathon this year. I’ve had great success in various cross country races also, with the latest in Abbotstown Dublin, where I placed just outside the top six in the O35’s which would have secured a selection to the national team.

I’m at a point in my running that my 39 year old self would show a “clean set of heels” to my 19 year old self. It’s very satisfying and not uncommon for older athletes to keep progressing. Only last year Gary O’Hanlon of Clonliffe Harriers set a marathon Pb of 2:18.53 at the age of 43. This is just one example, there are many more out there. It is great to know that a consistent approach to training, encompassing all its elements can lead to improvement.

As a self-coached athlete I have to be able to read myself and my body very well. The training methods I have put in place have worked perfectly for me, as they have for others that I have helped to reach their goals. In my eyes improvement is about continually adapting and changing things to get a better response.

When I took up running again 5 years ago, I was in no rush. Being a Physical Therapist I constantly looked at research papers related to my field to get the best evidenced approach to any condition. I took this approach to my running as well.

What I came to understand is that to see improvement you need to view running as a long term endeavour. Don’t be in a panic to see positive results too soon. Enjoy the journey and the experience of training your body and mind. Set yourself up for success by surrounding yourself with good training partners and a knowledgeable coach that takes the time to understand your individual goals.

Five years ago, I knew that I would be at this point in my running. And, I know where I will be in another five years. Continually adapting and layering different elements (strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, etc) efficiently has led to greater progress. Each year that has passed I have added in something different to my training. Elements that I have added into my routine and provide for others are, Strength/personal training, Massage, and individualised Training programmes. 

Understanding the event you are training for and what attributes you need to allow for improvement are key. I have a bunch of other ideas to put into my training over the next few years, so I will keep changing and adapting and see how far it will take me.

 

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Marathon Tips – Do’s & Don’ts

Marathon tips – Do’s & Don’ts

The Dublin City Marathon is happening this week. Thousands are expected to take the the streets of Dublin, some hoping to make a certain time, while others will just want to finish. No matter which camp you belong to these Marathon Top Tips will help you keep on track and make the most out of the big day.

Do:

  1. Keep running with a small amount of race pace work.
  2. Get plenty of sleep.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Eat normally.
  5. Stay relaxed and focused.
  6. Believe in yourself.
  7. Acknowledge all you have done to get to this point – go through your training diary.
  8. Plan your route to the marathon.
  9. Set out your gear the night before.
  10. Enjoy the experience!

 

Don’t:

  1. Stuff yourself with carbs for 3-4 days before the marathon.
  2. Do anything different from any other week.
  3. Try new runners/gear.
  4. Over think the marathon.
  5. Forget your nutrition plan.
  6. Deviate from your plan.
  7. Get carried away with the excitement of a quick start.

For those who not running this year, if you’d like to train for the marathon next year or even take on a 10k or 5k in the near future, check out my Marathon Training Plan service or Personal Training Service to support you to achieve your goals.

 

Good luck to everyone running the Dublin City Marathon this week!

Junk Miles – Running

There is no such thing as junk miles.

Junk miles have been talked about for years with various perspectives on them. Often junk miles are viewed as running for the sake of running, with no particular target or goal in mind for that run. They are the fillers around the speed sessions and long run. For me those fillers are not junk. They provide and important function by adding to your aerobic base, if carried out correctly. Continue reading “Junk Miles – Running”