Cork City Marathon 3/6/2018

Hey guys, how are we all keeping? Good I hope. Hope all your training is all going well and that you are all making the most of this amazing weather.

I am looking forward to taking part in Cork City Marathon next Sunday the 3rd of June 2018. This marathon is always a great one to take part in as there is always fantastic support along the course from people spraying you with cold water if the weather is hot to kids handing out orange wedges and drinks. It is my local marathon so obviously I am a bit bias.

I am aiming to finish in under 3 hours 30 mins all going well, alot of factors to take into account like the weather, humidity, the amount of people taking part, how my legs/body hold out after 26.2 miles of constant running, but most importantly and what alot of athletes neglect is the mental challenge of it all. I am mentally focussed and I am rearing to go, I am carrying a slight twinge in my leg so I am hoping that it holds out and does not cause me any problems even if it does I will crawl to the finish line if needs be .biggrin

Best of luck to all taking part and remember lots of drinks constantly throughout the race and remember pain is temporary glory of your medal is forever!!!! 

See ya at the finish line.

 

G.

 

 

Quest Adventure Race Series, Kenmare, Co.Kerry 10/3/2018

Hi all I hope I find you all in good form and I would like to wish you all a Happy St.Patricks day for yesterday.

Last week I competed in the inaugural Quest event held for the first time in Kenmare. This was a new addition to the Quest Series. I entered myself into the longest route available which was the 67km expert route. The race consisted of the breakdown below.

20km - Cycle through the ring of Beara and transition at Gleninchaquin Park.

6km - Trail/mountain run over 300ft in elevations and over waterfalls along with beautiful valleys.

36km - Cycle through Dromoghty and onto Caha pass.

1km - Trail run to kayak stage

1km - Kayak on Kenmare Bay

3.1km - Trail run to finish line

I arrived down on the Friday night and got up nice and early on the Saturday morning to eat a big breakfast and hydrate. I open the curtains and of course in true Kerry fashion it was lashing rain and very windy, perfect racing conditions, NOT! I made my way to the start line and dibbed in. Race started at 8.30am sharp. We had a rolling start of around 150-200 athletes, it was a bit of a struggle as it was very crowded and I was so happy I opted to wear normal trail shoes instead of clip in pedals as lots of people came off the bikes at start line as it was overcrowded and they could not clip out in time before the took a bit of a fall, remember the weather was awful.

I have taken part in so many of these races I gain a little more experience with every one I enter. I battled through the rain and wind along with all the other athletes. It was a stunning cycle along the coast of Ring of Beara. I always tend to keep my legs for the later stages of race as I know thats when you need them most. The terrain was undulating with a few climbs and windy roads. I arrived at transition in just under 41 minutes to cycle 20km.

I dismounted and took a quick drink and headed off to take on the mountains and valleys of Gleninchaquin National Park. What a spot, a unique gem in the hidden kingdom of Kerry. It was very tough as the terrain was very muddy and wet. I wanted to try and gain some time ahead of other athletes as it was still abit crowded. I upped my running pace and put abit of distance between myself and the people behind me. This would be to my advantage when I got bike to my bike after the trail run. I reached the top where there is a huge waterfall and I was in awe at its sheer power, it was AWESOME! I quickly tackled the downhill section of the moutain and now I had lots of distance between me and the next person. I completed the run in 1 hour 20.

Onto my bike and away I went for the next 36km. I took on the dreaded Caha pass and not a man alive would be able to cycle up the whole of it without getting off the bike, I have to be honest I cycled as far as I could before I had to dismount and walk with bike up a very very steep road. The scenery was unreal. I reached the top after what felt like an eternity and then my fav part, downhill. I hit speeds of in around 44mph. You have to be fully focussed or you may take a nasty fall. I tipped away at a nice pace passing out many people who joined up on our route as part of their race. I reached transition in 42 mins and racked my bike and onto the kayak section.

With the kayak section of the race you can end up with anyone, its luck of the draw. I unfortunately ended up with a lad who never kayaked before. The weather was so bad that I thought the kayak part would be cancelled as there were huge waves and winds, very dangerous. I tried my hardest to encourage the guy with me, I stayed in the back of kayak to try steer us the best I could. I could see we were struggling and that the guy from Mallow was panicking due to the waves, he toppled us into the freezing water and all Ill say is thankfully we were wearing life jackets as it was so cold I could not breathe or swim as my body shutdown, I gathered myself  after a few seconds and turned the kayak over and tried with all my mite to pull myself back in , my body was numb with cold. I got back into kayak and pulled the other guy back on. He was so apologetic but to be honest it was more the swells fault than his. To clarify there were ribs/boats going around helping people in difficulty. The martials eventually called the kayak section off as it was to dangerous, its a pity it didnt happen before I took a dip in salty freezing water. An experience never to be forgotten.

I parted ways with my kayak nightmare and ran a further 3.1km through forests and along the shore of the rivers. I just wanted the race over as I was so cold. I ran through the town of Kenmare where at the finish line there was immense support from the public,families and friends. 

I finished the 67km in a time of 3 hours and 27 minutes and came a respectable 80th out of in around 1600 various athletes so I was well happy with that.

It was a fantastic race and as always very well organised by Ollie and the Quest crew, they should be so proud as should the volunteers, garda and everyone else involved. 

It was very tough but very enjoyable, Kenamre I will see you again next year but hopefully I will have a better kayak partner biggrin

Link to my stats for race - https://www.strava.com/activities/1445474299

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest and Recovery for Ironman 2018

Hi all I am into my second week of my full on 6 month Ironman training plan.  It is fairly intense and at the end of a tough week on rest day I will try go to Ling Ling in the Wellness Center for a well deserved and needed sports maasage. 

I have been going to Ling Ling frequently for the last 2 years or so and without a doubt Ling Ling and her staff are the best in the business and believe me I have had alot of massages so I know what I am talking about.

I find a massage session here helps my muscles, body and mind recover quickly for the next training session.

Check out the link to her Wellness Center for more information and details and tell her Gerry sent you.

http://linglingwellnesscentre.ie/

Quest Kenmare 10/3/2018

Beautiful scenery in Kenmare, Co.Kerry

Quest Kenmare is a new race in the Quest race series, it replaces the Killarney race that was usually held in Killarney in March.

I have entered myself into the 67km Expert route (I always enter the longest/hardest route available, yes I love to torture myself).

Thank you to Ollie the main man behind the Quest Adventure Race series for sorting me out with a slot in the sold out race, got in by the skin of my teeth.

I am not to sure what lies ahead for me in the route but no doubt plenty of mountains, mud and steep climbs.

I cant wait to smash this race and hopefully finish in the top 100 athletes.

Keep you all posted.

Gerry.

http://www.questadventureseries.com/race/quest-kenmare/

 

 

 

Ironman Hamburg July 2018

Beautiful sunrise on Sunday morning 7/1/18

Hi Gang, How are we all? Hopefully all doing great and Id like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

I  am 6 months out from Ironman Hamburg and winter training has been going well so far, however it is hard to get out in the bad  weather at times but it still needs to get done. The real training starts for me at the start of Febuary as I will be following a specific plan that I found on the internet (for free by the way). Some sites charge crazy prices for training plans so I will leave a link below to the  one I will be following rather than you paying hard earned cash for one.

I  am feeling fit and healthy thankfully and I am looking forward to the longer days  to fit more training in. I am starting pro  swimming lessons next week also as I want to be efficient in my technique so I am not wasting any energy on the swim part of the Ironman swim course which is 2.4 miles long. 

I have recently bought a turbo trainer. A turbo trainer is a machine that you put your back bike wheel into and you can train/cycle indoors from the comfort of your own home if the weather is wet or it is to dark or even if you have to baby sit /mind kids you can still get your training done, so no excuses. I went for my first cycle of 2018 last week end 7/1/18 and it was tough enough on the hills for me however I still managed a respectable 35 miles in 2 hrs 32 mins , lots of elevations were included in my route.

I go trail running/road running no matter what the weather is like  so my running fitness has not been affected at all over the winter months. Rain, snow, shine I will be out on the trails/roads. It is my escape from the stresses/strains of everyday life. My runs vary in distance depending on my mood or how I feel, the runs usually range from 5 miles to 20 miles if I am training for a race or marathon. I will never run the full 26 miles unless its an actual race or marathon as I feel there really is no need to as on race day you will be fully fit as long as you have done the training and stuck to the plan.

 

Link for 6 month training plan below -

http://www.220triathlon.com/training/training-plans/free-6-month-ironman-training-plan-thats-simple-to-use/11685.html

Anyway I will try and update as often as I can here so for now have a great week and Ill post new items soon.

Gerry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aftermath of Mangerton Mountain

My mangled foot.

I ran 1 marathon with Shane Finn who completed 24 marathons in 24 days for Spinabifda Ireland

Follow some of my training runs on Strava - Click link below.

Clonakilty Marathon 9/12/17

Nice medal for the rack.

Hi gang, how are we all? All good I hope. This is the next event/race  up for me  and that will finish up my race calendar for 2017. This a a very nice marathon with some nice elevations to as it hugs the west Cork coastline. I have been training away nicely and I am aiming for hopefully a 3hr 30 finish time so Ill see how I fair on the day.

Some info here about the route and marathon itself - http://runclon.ie/

Quest Killarney Adventure Race Series 7/10/17 - Co Kerry , Ireland.

Hi all , just an update on the Quest Killarney Adventure Race that I competed in yesterday in Co.Kerry. I entered myself in the longest of all the available courses, the 83km Expert Route. Yes it is as hard as it sounds. It was a bit different this year to previous years as we had a rolling start at 8am from the Gleneagle Hotel to the base of Strickeen mountain, a nice 8.5 mile cycle to warm the legs up for the tough climbs ahead. I led all the way from the hotel to the second transition. However, everyone is pacing themselves and usually I do not like to be the pacer, I like to follow behind and then attack so it was a new experience for me to be the lead man for everyone else, I do not like it all biggrin

I hopped off the bike and from previous races you gain valuable experience so I knew not to carry any extra weight going up Strikeen mountain, so I left my camelbak and other items with the bike. I hydrated with coconut water and off I went to battle the elevations for the next few miles up Strickeen. It is a tough climb as the body is not fully warmed up by that stage. Every year I am convinced that they move the dib in section (electronic check in for your times) further and further up the mountain but alas it is just my mind playing tricks. I reached the top within half an hour and I took a few seconds to catch my breath and take in the awesome views. The downhill descent is so much fun and I personally think it is one of my secret weapons. You really have to concentrate going down as one wrong move and you could really injure yourself. I met alot of traffic coming up the mountain but I passed everyone unscathed. Covererd in mud and with my heart pumping I was game for this race. I knew I was doing well as I glanced at my watch, I had gone up and down Stickeen within 57 minutes. 

Back onto the bike and away I went to take on the mountains of Kerry. I had clear road in front of me and had a few lads behind me but I let them pass so they could pace me. I took time to hydrate and fuel up so I wolfed down a snickers, within a few minutes you can feel the energy surge, the body is an amazing machine and you really have to listen to what it tells you. I let the lads ahead pace me until the start of the climb section at The Gap of Dunloe where I took the opportunity to overtake them, which I did. The legs I wont lie were starting  to burn at this stage but like everything you just have to get on with it. To my pleasant suprise at the very top of The Gap of Dunloe there was a group of lovely cheer leaders with pom poms and music blaring shouting out words of encouragement , it is the small things like this that give people a moral lift, thank you ladies for that. I then dealt with the tricky downhill section into the Black Valley, reaching speeds of over 40mph on the bike so you have to be fully focussed. For the next 22 miles or so I enjoyed cycling  at a steady pace and tackling the likes of Molls Gap, Ladies View, Eagles View and Lakes of Killarney. Off the bike after 1 hr 37 mins on the saddle and away I went to run a quick mile to the kayak section. For the first time  in over 8 races I had got to the kayak stage where I had the option of kayaking by myself (usually only an option for the leading group of first 10-15 athletes so I knew I was doing well) which I decided I would, BIG MISTAKE!!! Put it this way in this case 2 is defo better than 1, I still managed to kayak a mile or so in under 16 minutes but my energy was sapped and I still had the toughest part of the race left, Mangerton Mountain.

I dibbed out and off I set to tackle my arch nemesis Mangerton Mountain, I officially hate it! Its a half marathon up and down one of Kerrys most awkward mountains. I first had to make my way up Torc steps where every step feels like its 10ft high, the back of my legs were screaming and my knees were saying why oh why are you doing this to me! Everyone is in the same pain and it never gets easier. I chatted with a few people along the way giving words of encouragement as I passed them out, I thought I was only doing OK timewise but as I looked at peoples race numbers and waves I was quite taken aback as they were in wave 1 which started 30-35 minutes before my wave 2 so I was delighted but obviously did not tell them this. I paced myself nicely through the National Park until the base of Mangerton Mountain and as I looked up at her cloud covered summit we both said to each other "So we meet again". 

I trudged my way slowly but surely up the muddy, steep, rocky, grassy. slippy, wet but beautiful  mountain, even the mountain sheep were giving funny looks as if to say "dude you aint no sheep, this mountain is our domain" although I say beautiful mountain today, yesterday I hated it. As you make your way up Magerton you meet the first wave of pro athletes coming back down from wave 1, to be honest a very unfriendly bunch which I am disappointed at as any little word of encouragement really does give a moral boost to any athlete who is battling with their minds and finding it tough. Anyways enough about that. I reached the summit and took in the awesome views of Co.Kerry , worth the climb alone just to see it! I refuelled, took a few pictures and I knew I was on the home straight to the finish line once I descended. A few minutes into my downhill run I knew something was wrong, I had a very sharp pain in the sole of my left foot, I looked down and my runner had fallen apart and I mean disintegrated into bits. For the first time ever  I was worried I would not finish and my mind was saying you are going to fail you are going to fail as I was in immense pain, I thought there were rocks or mud/grit stuck in the sole of my shoe, later as I discovered it was actaully a large piece of skin missing from the sole of my heel, lovely! I basically told myself you are finishing this race even if you have to crawl over the finish line, my mind was playing its usual tricks doubting my capabilities, I told it to go F*ck yourself. I hobbled alittle, ran alittle, walked alittle. Kept repeating this for a few miles and as other athletes passed me going the opposite way towards Mangerton I went out of my way to give them moral support even though I was in pain myself. I finally made it back to Torc waterfall to transition, it took me just under 2 hours to go up and down Mangerton, not bad for a lad with a mangled foot and ruined trail runners.

With adrenaline flowing and the pain being somewhat blocked out I cycled the last few miles to the finish line where all athletes are greeted with amazing crowds and music at the finish line. I finished in 77th place in a time of 6 hrs out of 2500 or so various athletes so I am very happy to finish pretty much in the top 5% , I love these races although this one was very interesting with a sore foot. The mind is a funny thing it can be your best friend or your worst enemy, it is up to you to decide which one wins.

These Quest medals are earned, not given.

Thank you to Ollie and Quest team for putting these events on, they are a great day out full of adventure and interesting people. Big up to everyone who took part you have my utmost respect as it is not easy, all ages, all types of body shape, all fitness levels, we all feel the same pain and battle the same struggles and that is why it is pretty much a level playing field.

For now thank you Quest Killarney Adventure Race Series 83km Expert route, until next year when we will cross paths again but with a back up pair of shoes biggrin

 

 Link to view my race and what it involves - https://www.relive.cc/view/1220726148

 

 

 

 

 

22/9/17 - Training update

Very true.

Hi gang, how are you all? I am just giving a quick brief update on my training. I have 2 races coming up within the next 4 weeks. I am entered in Killarney Quest 83km distance which I am really looking forward to and then 2 weeks after that I am entered in SCAR 75km in West Cork, these are pretty tough races as there are alot of elevation gains and losses.

These 2 races involve plenty of cycling, running and kayaking, perfect races to bring me right up to Clonakilty Marathon at the start of December.

Over the past week I have found it hard out on the trails and roads. I have been feeling quite lethargic and the body/legs very heavy. These are the sessions/days that count the most in my opinion. Today I ran only 7 miles cross country but it might aswell have been 700. The human body is a complex machine and sometimes it fools itself mentally and physically. On any given day I can run 20 miles with no problems and cruise without getting tired and then today I had to stop 3 or 4 times to catch my breath and try fuel up with coconut water. This is where it becomes a mental challenge, your body will always want to stop but this is where you have to convince yourself with your mind that you dont.

What I told myself today is you have good days and bad days like everything in life, so onto the next one.

 

 

Below are the races I have entered to bring me up until end of 2017 race season.

Quest Killarney October 83km Expert Route

Races I am entered in to take me up until December 2017

SCAR Endurance 76km Route

Races I am entered in to take me up until December 2017

Clonakilty Marathon Dec 2017 (26.2 miles)

I signed up for Quest Killarney Oct 2017 83km Expert route as part of my Ironman training.

Gap of Dunloe, part of Quest Route 2017

Stage 1 - 14km Cycle

Stage 2 - 6.5km Mountain Run

Stage 3 - 36.5km cycle through Gap of Dunloe, Black Valley and Molls gap then on towards Lakes of Killarney.

Stage 4 - 1km Run to Kayak section.

Stage 5 - 1km Kayak

Stage 6 - 18.8km Mangerton Mountain run up and down including Devils Punch Bowl and Torc steps.

Stage 7 - 5.5km Cycle to finish line at Gleneagle

 

More info here - 

http://www.questadventureseries.com/race/quest-killarney-october/

 

The holy grail , these medals are earned not given.

"The difference between impossible and possible is a mere measure of ones determination"

Every journey starts with a single step ....

Dingle Marathon in 2015 at around the 15 mile mark.

Some links that may be useful if you are training for any upcoming races, marathons or any race for that matter.

http://www.myasics.com - Go to this website and register your details and it will automatically give you a tailored plan that suits your needs, eg. age, amount of days you can train and so forth, I have used this for many of my marathons and I think it is the best one out there and its free.

 

If you would like to follow my training sessions I have made my Suunto profile public so just click on the link below and it will give you all the info/specs of each session I do, I usually train 5-6 days per week and always allow for 1 rest day per week. Sometimes every day life gets in the way and I have to tweek the shedule to suit my needs, some days you can have all the energy in the world and the next day you have zero energy and they are the days when you just have to drag yourself outside and  get it DONE! These are the sessions that I think are the most important as its all mental getting yourself up off the couch and tearing yourself away from The Game of  Thrones. 

http://www.movescount.com/members/member1690908-gerry_farrell  - For the past 12 years I  used Garmin Connect to track all my training sessions and races but I switched to Suunto Movescount as it gives a better break down of your training from heart rate, to average speed, max, speed, ascent, descent, calories burned, recovery time (which I never adhere to by the way but I should), peak training affects and loads more info and specs.

I bought the Suunto Ambit 3 Sports GPS watch a few months back from Wiggle in the UK and it is without a doubt the best watch I have used, its a fantastic piece of kit, it does so much & I have yet to figure it all out, check it out below.

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/suunto-ambit-3-sport-with-hrm/

 I find Runners World very useful for info and tips about anything involved in running/walking

https://www.runnersworld.co.uk/

Some of the items I use for training -

Top of Carrauntoohil Irelands highest mountain

 As you all know all sports are costly to start off with whether its a fancy bike, clothing, runners, wet suits, gloves, glasses, watches, heart monitors, you get the idea of where I am coming from. Below is a list of the brands of items I use, different athletes prefer different brands and thats all good as every indivdual is totally unique, what suits one person may not necesscarily suit another person.

Trail runners - I have always used Salomon Speedcross 3, they are expensive but if you shop around online you will get cheaper, I must have gone through 15 pairs over the years.

Road runners - I have a neutral foot so I can pretty much wear what ever brand I like as I do not over pronate or under pronate, I usually wear Asics Nimbus or Asics Gel Kayano however over the last 2 months I have tried out the Zoot range and they are brilliant for roads only though. 

Clothing - I generally use 2XU for my races and then use Asics/Salomon/Compressport for training, as long as you are comfortable and not chaffing in any areas then you will be fine. I always wear a Compressport visor as it soaks up all the sweat as its not a very nice feeling having stinging eyes out on a long run. Sometimes I will wear sunglasses but recently they just bug the sh*t out of me as they fog up very easily and get covered in sweat so now they are a big no no for me.

Road Bike - Giant Defy 2 This bike has served me well over the last few years but I will upgrade in the next year or so, it is a perfect bike for triathlons, long cycles, races or whatever you fancy really, I do however use gatorskins to protect the tubes from punctures and trust me they are around 75 euro for a pair but they are well worth the money and will save you alot of time and dirty hands from fixing punctures smile The bike is fitted with Shimano PD-R540 clip in pedals but depending on my race I will change to normal so I do not lose time getting in and out of shoes. I use the DHB t1.0 triathlon cycling shoe which clips right into the pedal, takes a while to get used to clip ins but you will find they will improve cycling abilities by maybe 10% - 20% so its worth the hassle.

Hydration Bag - Camelbak Rogue, I usually only take this on long runs and always bring it for races as it holds 2 litres of whatever drink you want (I usually use a mix of half water and half coconut water with a pinch of rock salt) There is also plenty of room for phone, gels, snacks and other bits that you may need. It fits nice and snug to your body so its movement is very minimal. It is around 70 euro but it will last a long time however make sure to clean the hydration bladder after every use otherwise it will smell. Only downside is with 2 litres of liquid you are adding around 2kg extra weight but the quicker you hydrate the lighter it gets.

 

 

The training plan I will follow  when I am 20 weeks out from Ironman Hamburg 2018

Sometimes people tend to over complicate things when there is no need. I will be following this super simple 20 week training plan by Matt Fitzgerald (he knows a thing or two about the sport of triathlon). The simpler the plan the easier it is to follow. This plan will get you to the finish line provided you have a good foundation already to build on. I am hoping to finish in under 14 to 15 hours, If I set the level at that time frame and I finish quicker than that I will be super happy.

The link is below but you have to hit the download button and as I always try to do where possible is try get things for free.

http://www.triathlete.com/2011/02/training/super-simple-20-week-ironman-training-plan_301772

 

I will also leave one more link to another great training plan. This is based around a 10 hour per week training programme which is quite small depending on how many hours you have to train.

http://www.triathlete.com/2017/04/training/10-hour-week-ironman-training-plan_300853

 

 

 

A fantastic book for motivation.

I am currently reading this brilliant book at the moment. Its about the 2 greatest triathlon athletes of their generation Dave Scott and Mark Allen, both 6 time Ionman world champions including Kona, the holy grail of Ironman.

 

Below is a link to the actual footage of race but the quality is not great.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWrpbMVicnY

Make your bed, a brilliant video for will and determination.