Running Questions answered by the New York Times

Published in Members on 18th August 2018

The running questions below were submitted by New York Times subscribers.

 

What exercises can I do to strengthen my legs in order to prevent shin splints?

Shin splints are common for new runners. The best defense is to take it slow. 

 

Is there any way to stop post-run, post-shower hour-long sweat sessions?

Try using sweat-wicking clothing to help keep you dry and lessen sweating when you run.

 

How do I make running feel like fun rather than a chore?

What you focus on is really going to dictate what your running experience is. And running with people is a great way for it to feel more social. 

 

I'm a fair weather runner, just trying to get in some miles. There is so much negativity around the treadmill, but I love it. Too hot, too cold, too dark, too scary. No problem. I can get it done without worrying. Is it really that bad?

There’s nothing wrong with running on a treadmill, but if you’re training for an outdoor race make sure you get outside, too. 

 

It seems no matter what level of shape I’m in, I always get a right side stitch. Any tips on how to prevent it?

Strengthen your core and hydrate properly to help prevent side stitches. 

 

I'm overweight. Can I run? I feel embarrassed.

Yes, absolutely. Remember, it’s also OK to start as a walk/runner.

 

I keep hearing that weak glutes are the source of a lot of running injuries. What strengthening exercises will strengthen this muscle group most effectively with the fewest moves?

Doing squats at the gym with hand weights or under a squat rack is an ideal way to strengthen your upper legs. 

 

I have a nagging hamstring pull, and I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have for getting past it, particularly in terms of what I might incorporate into my pre, during and post-run activities, as well as any targeted strength work.

Deadlifts are a great exercise to make you a stronger runner. Other good exercises include hamstring sweeps, ‘toy soldiers’ and leg sweeps.

 

Help! Why am I getting slower?

When you feel like you're running slowly, or slower than you should be, it is sometimes a sign of overtraining. 

 

I hate how running makes my lungs feel, but I want to run to improve my overall health and lose fat. How do I get from searing hot lungs to enjoyable running?

Focus on gradually building your endurance and controlling your pace. You’ll enjoy running a lot more when your pace is slow enough to go for longer. 

 

Any advice for triathletes on how to keep your legs fresh, and have a good run, after the swim and bike legs of the race?

It’s all about practice.

 

How do you organize your thoughts to help get you through the longer runs?

Visualization, mantras, podcasts and music are all good ways to help you focus. And practicing focusing your thoughts while you’re not running can help ahead of a big race. 

 

My busy family and work schedule allows me to run only in the early morning before breakfast. This is not my ideal time of day for exercise and I often feel drained during my runs. Any tips on fueling up before these runs?

It’s important to get a good night’s sleep the night before a run, but a small snack should be enough to get you through. 

 

Do you think lightweight, barefoot feel shoes provide enough joint protection for someone training about 15km per week?

When trying any new gear, gradually increase your use to be sure it works for you. 

  

Recently, my knees have started to hurt when running (~7km/day). I got a good pair of stability running shoes which helps. Can you suggest what else to do? I'm 42 and I'd be so sad to have to stop running due to aging knees.

First, rule out that something more acute, such as a ligament tear or tendonitis, isn’t the cause of your knee pain. If not, releasing the tight hamstrings and IT bands using a lacrosse ball may ease discomfort.

 

What are specific actions I can take to avoid injury when training for my first marathon?

Be sure to build up your mileage slowly and prioritize the long run each week as you do. Also, take your rest days and listen to your body.

 

How can I protect my toenails? I keep injuring the nail beds, and they turn purple and sometimes I lose the nail partially.

Foot care is very relevant to runners, but once you're past a certain distance, losing nails is kind of unavoidable. 

 

After trying to ramp up my mileage, I started to get a dull pain in my Achilles which moved to my heel. Do I need to completely stop running for some period of time, or can I cut way back and rebuild?

Rest is often the best recovery tool, but seeing a physical therapist or acupuncturist is also a good idea. 

 

How do I choose the best sports bra that won't chafe?

Find a well-fitted bra and use anti-chafe balm on your skin before a run to add an extra layer of protection for your skin. 

 

What's a good way to break through a plateau when you feel like you aren't improving?

Every athlete plateaus: It’s part of training. When you experience it, take stock and either rest up or shake things up with a more intense session to jolt you back into the training cycle. 

 

What is the best way to build up both endurance and speed?

Whether you're training for a 5K, a marathon or even an ultra marathon, you should incorporate tempo runs. The uncomfortable pace will teach your body how to go faster for longer.

 

How do you develop good technique so that your heels don't land too hard? I often develop heel and knee pain and I believe this is one problem.

Try adjusting your pace. Our form can get sloppy when we’re running either too fast or too slow, which might be contributing to the pain. 

  

For long distance running, marathons and half-marathons, what training exercises apart from running do you recommend?

The glutes and core are probably the two biggest things for runners. 

 

I have started training sprints with my kids. In one month, we have become significantly faster, especially them. I would like to get tips about techniques and drills and general tips for sprinting beginners.

There are several interval training methods that one could do to work on your sprints. Try Tabata or a simple H.I.I.T. workout.

 

What are the best stretches I should do post-run?

The most important stretches are ones that hit the main power center for runners: the hips, the quadriceps and the glutes.

 

I'm in the habit of running five miles. Seldom more, seldom less. Is there value in varying my distances?

Variety will benefit you as a runner. Even if you run the same route, running in the opposite direction can be beneficial. 

 

How bad is it running on pavement as opposed to running on a grass surface?

While it might be a bit harder on the body, most people are just fine running on pavement.  

  

How important is form? I’m training for a half-marathon and wondering if I should hire a coach to ensure I’m running with the proper form.

Running more efficiently will come naturally as you increase your distance and endurance. A coach may be more helpful later on in your running journey. 

 

What is the best way to prevent or eliminate post run muscle soreness?

R.I.C.E. is a good acronym to remember to help with soreness. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Some simple yoga poses can also help.

 

How long can I safely run without re-fueling? I'm a casual runner, currently comfortable at completing 10K runs twice a week and considering longer distances. I'm not a fan of carrying gel packs or sugary drinks.

Most people can run up to 90 minutes without extra fuel. When considering fueling, think more about how long you’re out running, rather than how many miles you’ve covered.

 

What are good ways to keep blood sugar levels steady while running, particularly for people with diabetes?

It will take some trial and error to figure out what works for you. I recommend carrying some fuel, such as marathon goos and gels, and wearing a glucose monitoring device. 

 

What is your go-to pre-race meals? What are your favorites for fueling during long runs?

I really like a slice of toast with almond butter and a half a banana. 

 

What do you drink after a work out?

I drink a lot of water. 

 

Am I deluding myself that I can get faster? I'm 62, and run often, but seem stuck at my not-fast-enough-to-satisfy-myself pace. It seems so unfair that as I age, my maximum heart rate slips in the tables.

The tempo run is one of the most underutilized speed tools.  But paces do evolve and change over the years, too. 

 

I run 30 mins, 3x a week, and I'd like to add interval training. How should I begin?

Start off with making one of those sessions an interval-based session in a moderate 1:1 ratio, meaning you run all out for a period of time, then slow down to recover for an equal time.

 

I am running the Maine Marathon on 9/30 and then the NYC Marathon 5 weeks later. These will be marathons number 5 and 6 for me,and I expect to finish each in about 6 hours. I could use training advice for how much to run between the marathons.

To run races five weeks apart, you need to be prepared for both your endurance and recovery. 

 

What music or playlists do you listen to while you run? And are there headphones that you recommend?

What you listen to is personal — find what works for you. 

 

Is it bad to run every single day? I do about five or six miles per day.

The human body is certainly capable of it, but a rest day is important for the body as well. 

 

In terms of distance, is there a mark or mileage where the benefits of a run increase exponentially?

It depends on your objective. If your goal is a race, you will need to vary your mileage accordingly. 

 

How do you stay safe running early in the morning in the dark?

Wear reflective clothing and let someone know where you are headed. 

 

What are the best foods to eat to post run? I’m not a very fast runner and I get tired easily so maybe I also need to focus on what I eat before runs to fuel more energy.

Don’t eat too much just before a run. After a run, make sure you consume protein and a small amount of carbs.

 

How should I be breathing? Nose? Mouth? How much does it matter?

As long as you’re getting oxygen into your lungs, it doesn’t matter where the air is coming in from.

 

Can you recommend any good books or other all-in-one resources for starting and maintaining a running and conditioning program that keeps you fit, strong, flexible and healthy?

“Hanson's Marathon Method” and “Daniel’s Running Formula” are iconic, tried-and-true training bibles. Think about the vibe that you want and find a book to match.

  

I'm an advanced marathoner who moved to the city for work. Will doing a lot of my running on the treadmill in the gym be bad for my form?

Better to do your run on a treadmill than not do it at all.

 

What is your favorite interval workout? And please don't say Yasso 800's.

Yasso 800s are probably the best, or you can try Tabata intervals. 

 

Should I walk to warm up before jogging, or just jog slowly, build a little speed, and stretch afterward?

Walking and jogging are great ways to warm up, but try adding in some high knees or butt kicks to better activate your muscles. 

 

What is a good way to tell if your running shoes are shot and it’s time to get a new pair?

A good rule of thumb is to replace a pair of shoes after you have run between 300 and 500 miles in them. And if you are starting a new training regimen, it might be a good idea to get a new pair of shoes.

 

I'm trying to start running. I'm 58 never done this before not in the greatest shape. Any tips on how I can ease into this and make it a habit?

Use the buddy system and tell people who support you about your goals to help keep you accountable. It also helps if you make your goals very specific. 

 

What are the best stretches for runners? And how do you avoid plantar fasciitis?

Do exercises to strengthen the muscles in the arch of your foot to prevent plantar fasciitis. 

 

What is the best way to start running?

Head out in minutes, not miles, and don't go out too fast.

 

What's the best way to stay hydrated during a run, especially in hot weather?

Drink water. 

 

I’m two months ahead of a half marathon. What would you advise people like me, with little time for training over a week?

If you have been doing minimal training up to this point, training for a half marathon in two months is aggressive, but doable. Focus on prioritizing long runs, gradually increasing the distance each week, and taper off before race day.

 

For full article see:

https://www.nytimes.com/ask/fitness

 

Athlete Profile - Kieran Guiry

Published in Members on 12th May 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  June 2010.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  I was very overweight and was getting absolutely no exercise. I have arthritis as well and the extra weight and lack of exercise was making it worse. Decided one day to get out the door and try going for a run. Haven’t looked back since.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Right now I’m back in Saucony Omni for training but I’ve used Brooks Adrenaline and Asics GT2000 series as well. For racing I use either Saucony Fastwitch, although I find the new ones very unresponsive or else the Adidas Adizero Tempo (my favourite)

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? It’s got to be the Athenry AC Singlet. Its great to see so many people wearing it at the start line of races. Although I did have a ‘lucky’ pair of shorts for a long time. Sadly they are no more.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  For me it has to be the Dublin Marathon. It’s the big club event of the year and once the 5K series is over you can see so many people's attention switch to it. All the different groups getting together for the long runs. Not only it the atmosphere leading up to it so special but the whole organisation and support on the day is second to none. Even on the days where things are not going well, or indeed totally pear shaped the support on the course just keeps you going.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  Would love to give the 100K in Portumna a go sometime and I have to get over to London one of these years for the Marathon.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Connemara Ultra in 2014. First, and only, time going up to the distance. Had previously done a 50K in Portumna. It was something I had been thinking about for a couple of years and just decided to go and do it. Trained very hard for it including getting up to 2 X 22 miles per week for a couple of weeks with one of them loops down in Ryehill. Conditions on the day weren’t ideal to say the least but felt strong and stuck to the plan. Had hoped on a good day to get under 5:30 but managed to keep everything together over the last ½ marathon and signed off for a 5:17:20. Its also the only time I’ve managed to beat my brother in a race.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Oh there are so many. I think for most of us the days where things don't go to plan far out-number the days where everything goes right. I guess that's what makes the good days even better.

The big one though is Manchester Marathon just gone. I set myself an ambitious target at the start of the year of having a right good crack at a Sub 3. Training for the race had gone pretty well, it’s never 100% but I felt I was in with a shot of it of everything went to plan on the day. Worst case should have been well under 3:05 anyway.

After 3 miles though it was all over. Bad stomach cramps and a quick look at the heart rate showed it was up in my 10K range. Managed to hold it roughly together up to half way but after that it just fell apart totally. 2 hours 18 for the second half for a 3:45 finish

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  I like anywhere around Athenry on the quiet roads. Love a lunchtime run from work out Claddagh and out to Salthill as well on the rare nice days we get. Also love a nice quiet recovery run around the woods in Monivea.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  They all have their place but the satisfaction that you get from really nailing a tough speed or tempo session is hard to beat.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Nearly always prefer to run in a group, for the chat on a long run and just to have someone to chase or keep ahead of on the tough ones. Sometimes a quiet solo run can be great though. Just you, your thoughts and the road.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Some of the funniest things heard would be from either Ray Somers or Patrick Forde and there’s no way they could be repeated here.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Enjoy it. The day we stop enjoying our running is the day we need to step back from it.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? Luckily I’ve never had too many injuries. The only one that put me out for any length of time was a bout of shin splints back in 2014. Those were brought on by my own stupidity and thankfully have not been repeated. I suffer a bit from tight calfs and hamstrings but never enough to stop me. The foam roller helps a lot.

Thankfully the arthritis has only ever flared up a few times over the last few years.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  No. I keep saying that I must but I just don't seem to have the time for it. I do foam roll and stretch at home pretty regularly though.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? Being passed in Dublin one year by a man wearing a mankini. Despite the rumors I can confirm now that it wasn’t Frank Burke.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Fergal Walsh. May as well aim high. Realistically though whoever is ahead of me coming towards the finish, especially if they are wearing an Athenry singlet. I’m just a little bit competitive.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? ? I am a big fan of John Treacy, it’s hard to believe that he still holds the Irish Marathon Record given all the advances in training techniques etc.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? The Marathon. It’s sitting there as by far and away my weakest PB despite it being my favourite distance. It’s time to put that one right.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      18:59          Tuam                                 June 2015

8km                      31:37          Tuam                                 Jan 2014

10km                    39:51          Colmanstown                     April 2015         

10 mile                 1:05:56       Dungarvan                          Jan 2014

Half Marathon       1:27:16       Athlone                              Sept 2015

Full Marathon       3:11:45       Dublin                                 Oct 2015

Athlete Profile - Mick Rice

Published in Members on 12th May 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  A long time: I think it was 2001.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  I hate to sit still and I couldn’t kick a ball out of my way so my options were limited.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  ASICS Gel Nimbus or Gel Cumulus.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? Don’t have one.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  Dublin City Marathon.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  The Comrades Ultra marathon in South Africa.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Dublin Marathon 2010 – 2:44:31.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  I didn’t finish the Portumna 50km a few years ago. I was exhausted going in to the race having flown back from the US the day before.  I was leading the race at about half distance when I decided to lie down and have a nap on the grass in the rain.  I’m told I went from there to an ambulance but can’t recall much of the day beyond the first few miles of the race.

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  The Fields of Athenry 10km loop. There’s no place like home.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  Long and slow. It gets you to a different place.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? I love training in company. There’s magic in groups.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Just before the Helsinki 24 Hour Indoor Track race a few years back, Valerie Glavin and I remarked to each other on careful the organisers were being about litter. We had seen that they had placed large plastic bins at regular intervals around the track. It was later that we found out that they were the ‘vomit bins’.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? You’re capable of so much more than you believe now.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? Injured pride.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Never used to. Now I swim, bike, do yoga, lift a few weights and do the odd spinning class. I’d like to do lots more and hope to do so later this year.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? I’m genuinely hard to embarrass in a running context, having said that I finished second last in the national senior cross country in Sligo one year as the stewards were dismantling the course.  That came close.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Paul Hession

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? ? My late friend Tommy Madden of Derrydonnell was and is my running hero.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? My PB days are over.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                      When

5km                      17:09          National League Track Race     June 2009

8km                      27:26          Streets of Galway                     Aug 2008

10km                    34:40          Fields of Athenry                     Dec 2010         

10 mile                 57:56          Craughwell                              March 2010

Half Marathon       1:16:09       Galway Bay Half                      Sept 2009

Full Marathon       2:44:31       Dublin                                     Oct 2010

Athlete Profile - Siobhan Guinan

Published in Members on 21st April 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  Since January 2013.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  To keep fit.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Have probably tried them all, brooks, saucony, mizuno but use Asics GT3000 now.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? has to be my watch.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  Kinvara Half Marathon.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  Too many to mention but would like to run Great North HM in UK.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Kinvara half marathon 2015.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Loads.....mainly marathon distance races :O

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Anywhere near the sea.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  probably speed.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Definitely group training although HR training is killing it a bit.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  I saw something rather disgusting during the Manchester marathon, too gruesome to print so ask me if u really want to know.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Pace yourself.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? I have had a few minor injuries, none seem to be re-occuring .....thanks to Jane Ann.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Strenght & Core and Yoga.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? None I can think of.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? ? Sonia O’Sullivan.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? I would love to get sub 3.30 marathon sometime!!   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      20:16          Tuam                                 May 2014

8km                      34:43          Tuam                                 Jan 2015

10km                    43:06          Colmanstown                      March 2016         

10 mile                 1:14:41       Craughwell                          March 2016

Half Marathon       1:36:44       Kinvara                               March 2015

Full Marathon       3:30:29       Dublin                                 Oct 2013

Athlete Profile - David Noone

Published in Members on 21st April 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  The beginning of 2012.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  I bought a bike to start cycling, I did some adventure races and realized I prefer running to cycling, so I parked the bike and concentrated on running.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Brooks Pure Cadance for Road and Brooks Cascadias for Trail.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? My Salomon hydration backpack essential for long runs and days out in the mountains!

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  Wicklow Way Ultra.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  I'd love to run one of the American classic trail races like Western States 100. Or one of Europe trail races like Ultra Trail de Mount Blanc.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? My sub 3hr marathon in Portumna, I was a little happy after that race as you can see from the the finish line photo, thanks to Iain Shaw for capturing that moment.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Every 10k I've ever done. That distance has broken me so many times.

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Give me any mountain or forest trail to run up, especially Croach Patrick.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  long Runs.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training?  A healthy mixture of both.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Some things cannot be repeated, isn't that right Mr Forde!!!!!

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Run as slow as you can for as long as you can.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? nothing too serious.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  I do strength and core class and I do some Thai Boxing.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? I once got left behind by Frank Burke during a long run!

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Ray Somers.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? Ultra distance trail runners like Scott Jurek and Killian Jornet and also Irelands Eoin Keith.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? Marathon.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      17:54          Tuam                                 2015

8km                      30:55          Streets of Galway               2013

10km                    38:21          Athenry                              2014    (And Top 50 finishers T-shirt, my pride and joy Ray)     

10 mile                 1:14:00       Craughwell                          2016    (The only 10 miler i've ever done)

Half Marathon       1:28:14       Galway Bay                        2012

Full Marathon       2:59:44       Portumna                           2014

Athlete Profile - Donna Lane

Published in Members on 12th April 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  I joined Athenry AC in 2013.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  My asthma was progressively getting worse so my doctor suggested walking or running. I absolutely hated both, as both involved a bit of effort but my friend Brighid Cannon called to visit the next evening and said we were signing up for F4L so it all went from there.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Saucony Omni. I 'briefly' changed to another brand because I 'liked' the colour ( I know Jane Ann, say no more) and boy did I pay for it with shin splints.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? Well, I count her as my apparel  as I race with Marguerite Wilkinson, she keeps an eye on the watch at all times as I panic if I think we're going too fast. She has brought me through many a race so I suppose you could say she is 'my most prized possession'….just running of course!

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  The Streets of Galway every time. The atmosphere and crowds are just fantastic.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  The ‘New York Marathon’ but I don't think that will ever come to pass. I've seen the qualifying times and I'm afraid I could only ever dream of doing one of those.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? It has to be the Athlone Half Marathon 2015. I beat my 1st half time by 15 minutes and enjoyed every minute of it.  After doing Kinvara (see no.8) I honestly thought I wasn't cut out for anything further than 10k.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  My 1st half marathon in Kinvara 2015. It was unbelievably windy that day which didn't suit my asthma and coupled with nerves it was a complete disaster from start to finish.  I looked some sight at the finish line.  Although, this year I didn't look much better either. I think Kinvara doesn't suit me!

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Anywhere really around the roads of Athenry.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  I love them all once I've finished but if I had to pick one it's probably Tempo.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Oh definitely group training.  Anyone that knows me knows I never shut up talking so obviously, I don't like solo.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  I have such fantastic running buddies that there is always a funny story to laugh about every Saturday morning….something  funny happened to my husband out running one day but I'll let him tell that one when his time comes up for 20 questions.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Definitely join F4L. I couldn't say enough about the leaders that were there when I started, full of encouragement and patient with each and every one of us and it still remains the same today.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? I've always had a few niggles with my back but I've certainly injured it this time!  I had just completed my long miles for the Manchester Marathon and my back just went.  I currently have a prolapse disc so cannot complete my 1st marathon next Sunday. I'm absolutely gutted but hopefully, there will another time.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  No, and perhaps that's why my back gave in but am starting Pilates shortly.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? Thankfully, none to date.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  As some of you may be aware I'm noted to be a 'little' bit competitive when coming to the finish line so it would have to be any of my running buddies but if I had to pick one of them it would be without a doubt Caroline Freeney.  At a 'friendly' 5k last year I nearly tripped her in order to finish before her.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? It has to be for me, Jane Ann and Mick Rice.  I have never seen two people that just seem to glide when running.  I would honestly stand out in the rain all day long to watch those two. Plus it goes without saying all they have done for the club as well.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? Any of them…..I am a bit competitive!!   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      23:55          Galway Airport                   May 2015

8km                      39:38          Streets of Galway               Aug 2015

10km                    49:30          Claregalway                       Aug 2015        

10 mile                 1:30:56       Craughwell                        Mar 2015

Half Marathon       1:51:52       Athlone                             Sep 2015

Full Marathon       To Be Completed (Hopefully)

Athlete Profile - Paul Hegarty

Published in Members on 12th April 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  Just over two years, Jane Ann convinced me to join during a physio session. I only said yes to try and make the pain stop…it didn’t!!

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  I was getting married in 2013 and I wanted to try and shift some excess weight beforehand. I was surprised how addictive I found running and have kept at it since.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  I always use Brooks Adrenaline.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? My Garmin Forerunner, if I forget it for a speed session I always go out too fast.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  I really enjoy the buzz of the 5k series as you always meet people at it that you may not have seen for a while.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  Has to be the Dublin City Marathon. All you ever hear is such great reports about it, so it’s definitely one for the future.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? It would probably be my 5km PB in Maree in May 2014. It was my first time to go sub 20 min for a 5km, so it’s pretty memorable.

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  The Athenry leg of the 5k series in 2014. I had a poor finish to the race and it just annoyed me loads. I haven’t been a fan of the course since, but Speedy ensures me that the new 5k course is a thing of beauty, so here’s to Athenry 5k in 2016!

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Narin Strand, at home in Donegal. On a nice sunny day, when the tide is out, it’s just a beautiful place to run, you just totally switch off and relax.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  It has to be the speed sessions. It’s a great feeling, when you know that you have emptied the tank at the end of the session.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? No real preference, quite happy to do a bit of both.

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  The strangest thing I’ve heard was whilst out running in Galway city. I was running on the footpath out at Galway Crystal one afternoon and you could quite clearly hear two people having their own workout in the trees beside the footpath!! Needless to say, I picked up the pace for a bit.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Join a club, it makes training so much easier and it improves your times so much.

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? I have a bit of a knee and a hip injury that is causing me problems at present, I’m hoping that it doesn’t persist for too long.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Nope, unfortunately.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? I took a gel a couple of miles from the finish of my first half marathon in Limerick in 2014. Unfortunately, the gel didn’t really agree with me, so I grabbed my medal as I crossed the line and headed straight for the wheelie bins. You can figure the rest out for yourselves!

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Nobody in particular, just whoever I can see in front of me.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? ? Sonia O’Sullivan, I just remember the air of excitement that was always around coming up to her big races.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? I’d love to break my 10km PB and bring it down closer to the 40 min mark.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      19:50          Maree                                2014

8km                      32:36          Streets of Galway               2014

10km                    41:23          Claregalway                       2014         

10 mile                 1:10:01       Galway (Kick Assphalt)       2014

Half Marathon       1:30:49       Galway Bay                        2014

Full Marathon       TBC :-)

Athlete Profile - Maeve Noone

Published in Members on 30th March 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  9 happy years :-)

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  Myself and my sister in law walked the Women’s mini marathon one year and were so frustrated with the crowds we vowed we would run it the following year – However it did take 9 months to get started when I joined Alan Burkes Meet and Train group and the rest is history.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  Mizuno Wave Inspire.

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? My Garmin watch and HR monitor has caused me lots of pain this year with HR training but I couldn’t be without them and my Athenry Ac singlet of course.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  On a yearly basis it would have to be the Dublin marathon but my best memories are from the Portumna 50k 2012 when a group of us trained for our first 50k together and celebrated in style that night . The Boston Marathon last year was the best running experience I have ever had – the only race I have ever done that I didn’t want to end.

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  The list is long –but if I had to pick one it would be the New York marathon.

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Dublin 2013 – The year I got my marathon pb thanks to a brilliant pacing job by Jim Leahy – I’m surprised he is still talking to me :-) 

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Quite a few but the one that comes to mind every time is the national half marathon in Carlow a number of years ago. Someone suggested taking a gel before the race and with my dodgy stomach I should have known it was going to end in disaster – lets just say I spent the entire race looking for bathrooms and when I arrived at the finishing line I just stayed going to the amusement of the organisers and the shock of Dee Quinn who stood at the finishing line wondering had I lost the plot.

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Kilcornan Woods in Clarenbridge.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  I love speed when it’s done but I dread it every week – I love the weekly long run for the chat and the craic – Of course that’s when there is no heart rate training and the watch is your only company!!!

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Group training – No contest. 

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Not quite on a run but just before a race. At the Portumna 50k we were all newbies to this distance and weren’t quite sure on fuelling etc but one person wasn’t taking any chances – A large cardboard box arrived out of the car containing a box of gels (all 25 of them ) and a container of salt tablets and endless amounts of coke- She will remain nameless :-)

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? I spent many of my earlier years involved with Fit 4 Life and the one piece of advice I would always give is you need to run slow enough so you can talk if you can’t talk you are going too fast. 

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? Thanks to Jane Ann I have never had any injury that put me off running for more than a few days – but I have lots of weak spots – Currently my glutes – Its strange the way they move around . Last year it was my back the year before my IT Band. 

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Yes I do yoga twice a week and core and strength twice a week – Gave that triathlon stuff a try but not much craic or chat swimming up and down a pool for an hour. 

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? See question 8 for the incident in Carlow.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Do you really need to ask – FRANK of course it would be better than winning a race!!!!

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? The runners that inspire me most are those who may not have achieved their goal but never give up and stay training and trying and eventually they always do – There are many in Athenry Ac who tick this box.

On an elite level I think Maria McCambridge is incredible – She didn’t make the cut for London but she continues to race to her max while most of those that did go to London seem to have disappeared from the sport.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? The marathon.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      21:43          Maree                                 May 2014

8km                      36:06          Streets of Galway                Aug 2013

10km                    43:49          Colmanstown                       Mar 2016          

10 mile                 1:12:00       Craughwell                           Mar 2015

Half Marathon       1:36:00       Kinvara                               Mar 2016

Full Marathon       3:27:00       Dublin                                 Oct 2013

Athlete Profile - Frank Burke

Published in Members on 30th March 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  Since 2006

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  A friend of mine had taken it up so i joined him for a few runs

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  At the moment Nike Lunarglide 

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? Nothing really but i do like this year’s 10k hat

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  Dublin in October

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  New York or Tokyo marathon

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Beating Ray Somers in the Resolution run a few years ago. I was on fire that day :)

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Limerick Marathon 2013. It’s my only DNF . It was a bad day for the club as i think 3 or 4 of the 7 that started did not finish.

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  Athenry

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  Long and Slow

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Group

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  Well on my first Marathon at about 20 mile i was overtaken by a man dressed as a bear ? I was at crawling pace and he was so hot in the bear suit that he had the zipper at the back all the way down so i got a great view of his poorly fitting boxer shorts as he shuffled down the road.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Join a Club

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? The back is getting a lot of attention at the moment

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Ya I’ll try anything . I am a member of Predator Tri Club so i swim about twice a week, do turbo and long bike on Sunday. Yoga and Core with JA.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? Well: A long time ago on my first or second long run we were up to about 22/23 miles . We were new to going long so didn’t bother with water or fuel and as was the usual at that time we went out hard. Needless to say we were in bad shape near the end ( i remember being about a mile from home and could not see the road ).

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line? Over the years there have been a few and i like a bit of competition and craic but i would loved to have beaten OC in a road race

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? Ya i remember watching  John Treacy’s marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 . He finished 2nd under 2.10 . Anyone who trains and races a Marathon to their best is fairly inspiring

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? Any of them.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      18:58          Tuam                                  2015

8km                      31:13          Streets of Galway                2013

10km                    39:21          Colmanstown                       2013          

10 mile                 1:03:31       Craughwell                           2013

Half Marathon       1:24:45       Athlone Flatline                    2013

Full Marathon       2:59:25       Dublin                                  2013

Athlete Profile - Jim Leahy

Published in Members on 22nd March 2016

1.      How long have you been an Athenry AC member?  I joined in 2012, Frances joined in 2011 and was telling me about speed sessions on a Tuesday so I decided to join to do speed only. It was grand for the first few while I knew nobody but when I got to know people I got sucked into more and more sessions and then finally they convinced me to do Dublin.

2.      Briefly, what started you running?  I had always ran when I was in my teens and twenties. But then I when to London and discovered Alcohol and cigarettes and stopped running. We moved home and bought a house that looks out on the mountains and I just got the hankering to run in the mountains, it's a fantastic place to run.

3.      What shoes do you train/race in?  I train in Saucony ride 7`s and race in New Balance Rev Lite

4.      What piece of running gear/apparel is your most prized possession? None. But if you ask which thing I hate the most it`s that god damn watch. I`ve had 3 different types and hate them all. They're never on or are on the wrong screen or are about to die. And according to them I`m never running fast enough. They cause me nothing but pain.

5.      What is your favourite event/race of the year?  Dublin City Marathon

6.      What event/race that you haven’t done would you most like to compete in?  Multi-Day desert race

7.      What performance/race do you take most pride in? Probably Dublin last year I really had to talk myself into keeping going over the last 5 miles

8.      Is there any performance/race that you would rather forget?  Dublin 2014.  3:49, I landed up in the medical tent after it. It was a really bad day.

9.      Where is your favourite place to train?  When I can the mountains but injuries have kept me on the flat for the last couple of years.

10.  What type of training is your “favourite”? (Speed,Tempo,Short,Long Run,Slow????)  Speed. Nothing like the feeling when it done.

11.  Do you prefer solo or group training? Group

12.  What’s the funniest/strangest thing you’ve seen or heard on a run?  One day myself and my sister were running up in the mountains. Cattle roam freely up there. We were on our way back down when about 20 of the cattle decided to join us.  It was like something you see in Pamplona at the bullrun and just as scary.

13.  If you were to give 1 piece of advice to a newcomer to running what would it be? Do core and stretching

14.  What injury has caused you the most problems since you started running? Groin injury, its been go on for over a year now and JaneAnn managed to get me through last year but I have done a really good job on it this time round so haven`t run since mid January. Hopefully I`ll be back running in another 3 weeks.

15.  Do you cross train? If yes what type?  Core, and a bit of yoga.

16.  What is your most embarrassing running related incident? The first time I decided to do the Saturday Morning run it was dark when I got dresses (I am not a morning person) I met everybody at 9 o'clock and started running. The run went grand but when I got back to the car park and we were doing some stretching I realised my shorts were on inside out.

17.  Which club member would you most like to beat in a sprint to the line?  Frank Burke every time, I wouldn`t care about the time as long as I`m in front of Frank.

18.  Do you have a favourite current or past athlete that inspires you? Eamon Coughlan I grew up watching him on the TV. He should have had at least 1 Olympic medal.

19.  Which PB would you most like to break this year? Any of them.   20.  Can you share the following PBs with us?.......   Distance               Time           Where                                When

5km                      18:42          Tuam                                  2013

8km                      31:55          Streets of Galway                2015

10km                    39:54          Colmanstown                       2013          

10 mile                 1:06:00       Craughwell                           2013

Half Marathon       1:26:00       Athlone Flatline                    2015

Full Marathon       2:58:00       Dublin                                 2015