I went on my long-planned excursion from Glenmalure to the West Wicklow hills in the Glen of Imaal with Sean Harte and Aoife today. I had planned it as the beginning of my new 29-week build-up to a December marathon target.
My goal is to do things a bit differently this year putting the bulk of my training in the summer, peaking in December, enjoying Christmas and then building on that training for new objectives in April/May of the coming year.
When I began my training for Copenhagen, two months after beginning to implement Tony Riddle’s methods in 2011, I did a similar run with Aoife – the Trooperstown/Paddock Hill circuit (a half-marathon distance event with good ups and downs). It’s normally easy enough but on that day, having come back from very little metabolic training, I bonked completely, walking the last two hills in a haze.
Fatigue in the hills
Unsurprisingly, it kick-started a great spell of training for me (my body kicks back strongly from extreme fatigue when not done too regularly), so when I was hit by a similar incident in the late stages of today’s even longer and rougher run, I looked on it as a good omen! Coming up the final climbs just before we hit the 2 hour mark of our run, I felt like I had been hit by a bit of overheating (too many layers) and probably also a reminder that while my muscular and technical fitness is likely at an all-time high, my metabolic fitness (meaning my body’s ability to supply energy for my activities) needs more work.
West Wicklow exploration
Today’s run was intended not just to be a long adventure but to visit several hills I have never seen. There are 4 significant peaks directly West of Table Mountain (Lobawn, Corriebrack, Sugarloaf and Church Mountain) and two minor (Logar and Pinnacle hill). Our 26.2km loop took in Lobawn, Sugarloaf and Logar. I can definitely recommend the hills, apart from a rough and mucky going just off Table, there’s a lot of varied terrain to enjoy. The super-steep descent of Church Mountain is a proper roller-coaster and so is the whole route.
I’m looking forward to coming back over the table track to explore Slievemaan, Ballineddan and Lybagh, the three peaks south of Lugnacoille (Leinster’s highest peak around which all else revolves) and the outliers of Keadeen and Carrigbrack. I’ve summited most of the peaks in Wicklow and Dublin, so it has stood out like a sore thumb to me for a while to leave all these Western peaks unattended!
We finished standing in the cool river back in Glenmalure before braving the mass of cars that had made their way from the capital as the sun came out. Body and mind tired now, but looking forward to bouncing back and enjoying what i hope will be the best and most focused 29 weeks of training I have done.