The doorbell rang aloud twice before I managed to get to it. Upon opening the door, I met a delivery guy and we began chatting. Half way through our conversation, he casts a look over to the right hand side where the usual pile of mucky football boots reside outside my front door. In the mix there was a pair of my own mucky runners, fresh from the morning run through the woods.
Are you a runner? He asks in an enquiring tone. My answer surprised me.
Deciding to run 26.2 miles continuously is an act of sheer madness to most people. This year, a record 25,000 tickets have been sold for the 1st in person Dublin City Marathon since 2019, which makes this the biggest Dublin Marathon yet. I have completed this marathon on three different occasions, so here are my top tips for making it through what could be one of the best/worst days of your life.
I’m not sure what it really is but there is something about suffering through exercise, alone, in the wet, dark and cold weather that really resonates within me. It feels like a bigger accomplishment, to want to go out, alone, into horrible weather conditions to perform the solitary function of running. When I zoom out on my previous life and try to reconcile how I feel about exercise now compared to how dismissive I was of it in the past, I struggle to recognise that person.
When we exercise we utilise glucose as fuel to help us move and perform our workout. This glucose is often synthesised from glycogen stored in our muscle tissues and liver, in a process called glycogenolysis.
As part of working out, muscle proteins can also be broken down (6). Once you have finished exercising, the body will try and rebuild those muscle proteins and restore the glycogen reserves that were converted to glucose during the exercise.
Eating the right nutrients post work out can help your body achieve this faster. Let’s dive in.
As someone who was never that sporty as a kid and who never ever thought he could do even one of these, I’m super proud of these medals.
I decided to run a marathon in 2016 after getting a redundancy from a company and deciding that, for the first time in 17 years of working, I would take the opportunity afforded to me and take an extended break from the corporate world. I soon discovered that without some kind of structure to your day, life can become pretty unproductive very quickly. Running and training for a marathon gave me the structure that I needed. It gave me a personal purpose to get up in the morning which is vital to a fulfilled life.
It takes about 16 weeks of training and about 500 miles to train well for a marathon. Depending on your goals, this could be a lot more or slightly less but this is an average of what it takes to run a marathon and run it well and even, dare I say it, enjoy it.
This weekend I am tackling my third marathon in Dublin, Ireland. My training for this one has been less than perfect with lots of life getting in the way of the perfectly written training plan but it was a great reminder to me that the plan is just that – it’s a written down target of things that you want to make happen.
As most of you know, I am getting ready to take on the Dublin Marathon at the end of this month. This will be my 3rd marathon in 3 years. This will also be my last marathon for a while but I’ll leave that to another post. In terms of training, I am at the peak point in the running schedule now, and yesterday myself and my training partner completed the mighty 21-mile run. In terms of my training plan, this is the tip of how far I run in training. The morning yesterday was awful, hard rain from the very start at 9am and it never stopped. We trained in Kilbogget park if anyone knows it, in south Dublin. It is a luxury to have this park on my doorstep as it’s circumference is 3 miles long so yesterday, we lapped this park 7 times to give us the 21 miles.
6 weeks of training left to go until the Dublin Marathon in October 2018. This will be my 3rd year doing this marathon and it feels a little like albums. The 2nd and 3rd follow up albums are almost harder than the debut. Last year I completed it in 4hrs 2mins and it felt great.
A while back I joined up to a local CrossFit in Dubin, Ireland. On first impressions, I was fascinated by how different this felt vs a traditional gym. In fact, for a long time, I didn’t really consider it a gym at all. It was way more than that. A tribe, a box, a lifestyle.
A couple of stand out observations from my time in CrossFit…
Today was the first day in 3 years that I have run without a fitness tracker. It wasn’t intentional, I just forgot to charge it last night so it was dead when I picked it up for my run. So I paused for a minute at this realization that I wouldn’t have my watch with me on the run, then I smiled and left the house.
It felt kind of liberating and freeing to run without any technology in the equation whatsoever. Just me, runners, shorts and a trail. It was bliss.
If you are anything like me then the answer is or was a flat NO to this question. I used to laugh at the thought of running a 5k, never mind a 44k race. It was simply far too far outside of what I considered to be either interesting or achievable but part of me always knew that the reason I marked it as uninteresting was to allow myself avoid it when in reality I was just too scared to even contemplate trying to achieve it.
Everything feels impossible until you do it.
So on the eve of my 39th birthday, I made the most important decision.
I recently took part in an adventure race called Hell & Back in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. The course was 7km in distance (there is a 12km course too) and is filled with obstacles to overcome. We had ice baths, A-frames, 12 ft walls, swamps, sludge rivers, climbing walls, cage crawls, barb wire, sewage pipe crawls, cargo nets and river jumps.
Today I reached a personal best for both distance and time/pace in my preparation for the Dublin City marathon at the end of October 2018. When you put your body under that strain for that amount of time, knowing how to recover from that bodily stress will help you start walking properly again in no time!
Next month I am aiming to complete my 2nd marathon in 2 years and I am really looking forward to it. I only started running properly in mid-2016 when I was offered a redundancy package and took some time off to spend with my family. It was during this time that I decided to take on a challenge that seemed to me to be way outside my comfort zone at that time and the marathon ticked all those boxes. But once I made the decision to do it – this is the critical part – I made a commitment to myself to complete the training, to prioritize the activities and above all else, to enjoy the process and the journey. Going into that challenge with that mindset helped me enormously not only to complete the marathon last year but also to finish it strongly which left me with a taste for more running.