DIARY: What a Run!!!

I've just returned from today's evening long run. I did almost 82 minutes of running, 17.35km, and what an amazing training run it turned out to be.

The Tallaght Runner
As usual I run out Rathgar Road southbound and as I hit Terenure Road I make my way down towards Orwell Park, turning West through the Park following the Dodder to Bushy Park.

Here I accidentally ran into a Tallaght runner named Calum (a well-known entity to the likes of Niall and Eugene Coppinger, Gary Moralee and many others apparently), seeing me coming up from behind he asked me what I was training for and off we ran, round and round in the park as it turned out we had mutual acquaintances.

Calum apparently is a sub-3 hour marathoner and as such had several useful tips as we flew round Bushy Parks numerous small hills and round the pond in the middle. Better yet, he was a fantastic pacer, and offered encouraging words, saying that my training pace would easily see me inside my 3:30 target.

The Route
We continued South out of Bushy Park making our way through Churchtown and then Goatstown before turning back up North just before the Dundrum Bridge making our way towards the Milltown LUAS stop.

As I turned towards Rathgar and Calum had to return out towards Rathfarnham, he had really taking me through the motions. I followed quite comfortably for most of the trip, but around the 14k, he upped the ante and I only narrowly hung on, but there I was, refusing to let go, and feeling positively buoyant.

"Some workout you've given me today," I said, "You're not to shabby yourself mate." He replied. Now there's the encouragement needed to push on through hard times, and they say running is a lonely sport. loony, definitely, but lonely, never...

The Hard Cold Facts
So was this a good training run? Statistically it was amazing, especially considering yesterday's race. I ran at an average heart rate of 156, the high end of my AT1 zone (the lowest zone), and produced an average speed of 12.8km per hour or 4:41 minutes per kilometre.

I have only bettered this speed in a few road races, as well as in very short or interval training sessions. It's safe to say, as long distance runs go, this is probably the best training run I've done, and I didn't feel that great going out.

Maybe it's really all just in one's head, or something is really changing now. To produce the speed of 12.8km/hour my average heart rate should normally be 168-174 (my AnT range), today I produced the speed with with a heart rate two zones lower. The scientific facts cannot be circumvented: My base speed has increased (put the champagne on ice!!!).

Only bad news of the night: My old man (that's you dad), has torn a muscle fibre and will be out of training for two weeks :(