Christmas Running

Saturday, Christmas Eve: parkrun

Monday, St. Stephen’s Day: Fields of Athenry 10k Road Race

I wasn’t going to commit to any proper training sessions during Christmas, as I wanted to enjoy this precious family time. I did however want to do the usual parkrun on Saturday and I have signed up for my first and last race this year.

Parkrun was great, as it was Christmas Eve, there were a lot of people running in Santa hats and other Christmas themed clothing. In advance of the usual January increase of numbers at parkruns due to New Year’s Resolutions and such, the officials have changed the course. It wasn’t a dramatic change, it was just reversed and the finish line was now the start line, as the open space will accommodate larger numbers of runners.It was a bit cold and quite windy. Having the route reversed, meant that one of the downhills was now the biggest hill to tackle (twice). I took it relatively easy and finished with time of 25:06.

Once parkrun was done, the Christmas festivities could kick-in properly. On Christmas Day however, I had to slam on the breaks a bit to slow down the food, chocolate and beer intake. I was going to run a race the following morning. I even went to bed early to make sure I had enough sleep. I arrived in Athenry well in advance. Went to the registration point to pick up my race number, race programme and the traditional Athenry 10k hat (It’s a different colour/design each year).

Just over an hour to start. #Athenry10k #running

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This race is organized by the well known Athenry AC and is one of the most popular and prestigous 10k races in the country. A very well organized event, indeed.

Ahead of the race start I did a 2k warm up including some short sprint efforts and dynamic stretching. This has helped a lot and I was ready to go from the start line. The race route wasn’t too challenging, with a couple of small hills here and there, but mostly flat countryside roads. Every km was clearly marked. I had a goal of a time below 55minutes, so I did try to pace myself accordingly. I was however hoping to do it in at least 53minutes. There were two aid stations with water, but I only used it once at km 4 (I think).

The last 3k were rather tough and having two ladies running behind me casually talking about the pros and cons of online shopping and eventually passing me and disapearing in the distance ahead, was not very encouraging. With 1k to go and aproaching the town of Athenry, I decided to pick up the pace slightly in the last 500 meters and try to sprint the last 200 meters. This has worked to some extend and I managed to finish at 52:05. I am very happy with this result and I now have a time to improve upon. My best 10k time was back in 2014 with 49:35. I’d like to get back to that form in the near future.

The post race refreshments were really good. The usual bottle of water and a banana was handed straight after the finish line. Then back at the registration point, a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and multiple types of cakes, biscuits and chocolates.

Fantastic event! Highly recommended!

Here’s a short (quite shaky) video from Fields of Athenry 10k Road Race.

 

Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

Fields of Athenry 10k STRAVA Activity

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Christmas Running

Week 8 – Day 3

No warm up, 10k easy run, 5 min stretching.

Week 8 wrapped up with an easy 10k run. It was late afternoon by the time I was able to go out for a run. Running towards a sunset in Renville park was quite stunning.

I decided to take a leaf out of the Thursday session experience and try to keep the pace between 6:00 and 5:30. Very happy with myself being able not to get off the blocks to quickly and maintain fairly steady pace throughout the 10k. Average pace ended up being 5:44 per km.

It’s not a surprise that taking it easy on a long(er) run resulted in a very enjoyable 10k and even left some fuel in the tank to go a bit further if I needed/wanted to. This is very comforting giving the fact, that the weekend long run distance will start increasing. Next weekend’s long run is 12k.

This Thursday will be my first hill repeat session and I’m looking forward to seeing what does that feel like.

 Week 8 – Day 3 STRAVA Activity

Week 8 – Day 3

Parkrun & Week 6 – Day 3 

Saturday: Oranmore parkrun 5k.

Sunday: No warm up, 10k run, 5min stretching.

Due to Oskar being home with chest infection, Ruth decided to stay home on Saturday and I was able to do my local parkrun in the morning. Couple of sprints and stretches as a warm up and off we went. Just as I pressed start on my Garmin watch it decided to reboot and I ended up with an activity 200m short of 5k. I managed to get a PB for the course @  25:05. Legs hurt quite a bit on the uphill sections though.

On Sunday at 2:30 am after 4hrs sleep, I got into the car to drop off my mom at Dublin airport. I was back home at around  7:40 am and went to bed to get a couple of hours of zzzzz’s. Didn’t want to put off my training session for too long so decided to get it done mid-day. As usual I didnt warm up and I felt it this time. Left leg was rather tight and felt some pain on the outside of the right knee. There I was thinking: Not the IT Band issue again! Thankfully after 3k legs went back to normal and I could start enjoying my run. It’s been a very long time since I ran a 10k distance. It felt good but I was very tired. Quite happy with the time and average pace at 5:34.

Moral from that run is that I have to start warming up properly for every training session and a long run in particular.

Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

Week 6 – Day 3 STRAVA Activity

Parkrun & Week 6 – Day 3