Plenty of club news this week – good and bad – it’s going to take time to read through it all so grab a cup of tea and some biscuits (low fat, Keith!).
Nenagh CC Juniors: we were planning on doing a 2 day training camp this week but the weather is looking very unsettled so we will postpone it until the following Tuesday and Wednesday. This week we will have the training on Tuesday – turbo at 6:00pm (final one). Thursday training (for older juniors) is at the earlier time of 10:00am at the Five Alley. We hope to cycle a longer distance than normal. There could also be Saturday training at 2:30pm at the CBS – we will confirm this late in the week.
We have one big change to the triathlon training time table kicking in this week.
*** Our Monday track running session is returning tomorrow at 6:15pm in the CBS ***
To run or not to run…..that is the question…
“I can’t go up there…its too fast..”
“I’ll look foolish….”
“I am not fit enough yet…give me a few weeks….”
Whichever line you choose to use…we have heard them all (probably!!) but this is hoping that we can convince some of you who have yet to venture to the track otherwise!! It is that time of year again when we switch the emphasis of the running sessions back to the track so with it comes the myriad of reasons not to give the track a go….
Unlike the winter season where lack of sunlight and wet conditions mean that longer runs on the road are the only training option usually, the track sessions have a completely different emphasis and format. They are designed for ALL running abilities….the ONLY requirement that is needed in order to do well is that you bring a watch…..runners are optional!!!! The sessions slowly build up on distance so if you persevere with it over the course of the months you will notice a dramatic improvement in both running fitness and speed. They are held entirely in the CBS, so there are no worries about being left behind miles out the road. Plus, in the majority we are a friendly lot so you might even have a bit of craic..!
The basic format for the sessions consists of a 2 mile warm-up around the CBS grounds, a main-set based mostly around the 400m track, and a 1 mile cool-down.
For the warm up and cool down there are plenty of options for shortcuts so that you do not need to do the full distance….pick a pace that is comfortable…you should be able to maintain a conversation during the warm-up so if you cant then you are going a little too fast. There is no point busting a gut to keep in with the faster runners on the warm-up and then being unable to do the main set, so its important to pace it slowly!!!
The main idea behind the main set is that the sessions are based on repeating 1 lap of the track (400m). The main problem with people starting is that they have no idea how fast they should be going and invariably go off way too fast usually trying to keep in with the faster more experienced runners and only manage to do half the set before having to stop……..
The solution is simple, and it is where the watch comes in. The easiest way is to calculate your basic lap time is from any previous 5k or 10k runs you have done. There are 25 laps in a 10k so just divide your 10k time by 25 to get a rough lap time (eg. If you did a previous 50min 10k then your lap time should be around 2min). If you have a previous 5k time just do the same but divide by 12.5….could not be easier!!……If you have never done either well then for the first few sessions you just do it at a light jog pace and record your time until you have an average you can hold.
Each session is divided into short efforts with rest periods in between. The important part here is to make sure you take the full amount of rest….again this is where having a watch is invaluable. To get the most from these sets the most important part is to actually finish the set…As the weeks go on we build on this with longer sets so if you get the basics correct at the start then the rest is simple!!…..well simpleish….
If you bring a watch the track sessions can be as tough or as easy as you choose. They are a bit of craic and are a break from the boredom of the long mile after mile of pounding…
These sessions can only take place if members show up, and they will bring on your running to a much higher level than just distance running….and most importantly are completely free!!!! The sessions will be put up on the website beforehand so you will be able to see what we will be doing so you can figure out times etc…If you are looking to improve your 10k/5k time or even just trying to finish one then these sessions have something to offer!!!
The first session will be:
– 2 mile Warm-up:
– 8 x 400m with 1 min recovery between each
– 1 mile Cool-down
So clean the cobwebs off those runners and see ye on Monday at 6.15!!
National Duathlon Champs – Ennis: The club had two representatives at this race. Darren Dunne was our big hope for the overall title but it wasn’t quite to be on the day. Darren lead the race after a very strong first run where he put time into a lot of fine runners. Being a junior triathlete, he was always going to struggle a little on the bike as it is not a huge focus. Also with a very tough TI training day the day beforehand he certainly wasn’t going into the race fresh. He still did very well on the bike but lost places to the TT specialists. The tough head wind seemed to sap what was left of his energy and in the end Darren lost touch with the winners and finished down the field. Stephen Greene was also racing for the club. Stephen has been putting in a great effort since getting hitched at Christmas and performed well here too. Stephen finished in 101st overall in what was a high quality field. Well done lads!
Nenagh CC – Dungarvan
Juniors – many of our juniors took one look at the weather this morning and opted not to head down to Dungarvan for the 2nd junior race of the season. Cycling in poor weather can be a little daunting, but thats cycling for you! Nobody said it was going to be easy!! Fair play to the 3 lads that toughed it out. In the U/16 race Calvin O’Brien and Christopher O’Meara took part. The course was a hilly one and with a strong breeze blowing the lads were sure to get a good workout. Unfortunately Calvin’s race didn’t last long as he punctured out of the race early. Christy toughed it out for the whole race and should be delighted to get his first race out of the way. In the U/14 race, Odhran O’Driscoll took part for the club. Odhran’s race couldn’t have got off to a worse start as he came off his bike immediately and had to spend the rest of the lap chasing others on the road. One by one he passed quite a few, especially on the last climb and he should be well happy with that performance. Fair play to all 3 for racing. Some times it can take all your will power to get to the start line, but with every race you do you will gain more experience and fitness. You now have one more race than all the others who chose to stay in bed this morning!!!
Next junior race – is in two weeks time down in Fermoy. It is vital that you spend the two weeks school holiday on your bike. Focus on getting fit and fast for this race. Have the mindset that no mater what the weather is like in Fermoy, I will be there.
Seniors – a smaller group than usual headed down to Dungarvan for the senior races. The mood going down wasn’t great but as the rain cleared and the sun came out everyone was eager to get going.
A4 race – Keith Butler continued his cycling renaissance in Dungarvan. He is clearly a man on a mission, as never before has he ever turned up voluntarily to a race with so many hills!! Keith is starting to show some good form as he had no problems on this hilly 66km circuit. He climbed with the best A4s and was still there near the front on the final ascent to the hill top finish. In the end he finished around 20th of a 100 strong bunch. Nice work!
A3 race – The big news of the day was the return of Con Kennedy to racing after his bad accident 2 months ago. Con is still very much lacking fitness but was eager to pull on the club jersey and get back racing again. Con found the pace a little tough on his return but he will be back flying it soon enough. All he needs is time. Also racing for the club was Ronan Costelloe. Ronan was cramping up throughout the race but was never in trouble in the bunch. He would be well able to score on a da like this if he was feeling right. Today wasn’t his day though as he couldn’t quite squeeze into the points on this occasion.
A1/A2 race – Shane Scully lined up on the start line for this race. The 107km hilly circuit would normally suit Shane so there was always a chance of getting in the points. An early breakaway of 4 went down the road never to be seen again. After stupidly leading the bunch up the 2 mile climb onto the 2nd lap Shane got jumped by 3 others on the top, so that was break no.2 gone without him in it. Things weren’t looking great at this stage. The rest of the bunch remained together right till the end and were fighting it out for 8th place on the final climb. Shane crossed the line 3rd out of the bunch and finished in the prizes in 10th place overall, making it his 4th time in the prizes this year. He also gains another point and edges closer to A1 promotion. It’s gonna be hard to hold off until after the Kanturk 3Day and Ras Dun na nGall.
Next races – Rás Mumhan is a 4 day stage race that take place in Kerry over the Easter weekend. Shane will be taking part in this. There is also Rás an Laois for A3 and A4 cyclists; this race is very popular with our club members so that is certainly one that is worth targeting.
Saturday Cycle Report
Well, that cycle sure didn’t go as expected. Things seem to be getting less and less organised as the months pass by. The same issues keep cropping up – too many strong people opting for the first group = the group goes too fast and people go out the back way to early on a 110km cycle = first group stop miles down the road (but only half way through the first interval) to wait for dropped people, that shouldn’t have been dropped in the first place! = second group passes the first group way earlier than expected, never to be seen again.
I am not sure who is calling the shots (probably nobody and that is the problem) in the first group but it is not quite working. The speed in the front group has to be controlled, within reason, so nobody gets dropped. If that is too slow for you – here is the important bit – go in the fast group or make 3 separate groups on the road as it is not fair on the slower cyclists.
The cycle itself was a tough one. This was down to the strong wind we all had to contend with. We were all blown out to Roscrea in double quick time. However, once the groups split and turned towards Templemore the torture began. The back group quickly formed an echelon as they tried desperately to find some shelter from the crosswinds. It actually made for good practice of a skill we never really focus on. Coming towards Templemore the back group saw two riders up the road and knew that things hadn’t quite gone to plan in the first bunch. On entering Templemore we could see that the original plan of an interval session from Templemore to Thurles had been completely ignored as the front bunch had pulled in for an unscheduled stop. The back bunch put the heads down and continued on.
On the road to Thurles the racing group came across Brian Maloney who was the only person to rightly keep cycling from the back bunch. Brian jumped on the back and cycled with us for as long as he was able. In Thurles, the racing group eased up and got some food in. There was still a long way to go yet and with the hills and head wind to deal with, every ounce of energy would be needed.
The other group got going again once everyone had regrouped. Once again the pace picked up as they finished the interval into Thurles, with only 5 remaining in the group as they entered the town. Once again the group stopped to wait for others. Waiting at the end of the interval is a better option, but once again, we don’t want that bunch whittling down to just 5.
Up the road in Ballycahill, the racing group got into formation again and picked up the pace. The rolling terrain, dead roads and wind were sapping the energy from the group quickly but they persevered onwards, knowing that once they turned at Kilcommon there would be a slight tail wind. It turned out to be very slight and more of a cross wind to battle with. Through the hills the lads battled hard and coming over the top of Bollingbroke there were 4 left in the group. The pace eased up back to Nenagh but with a final average pace of 20.2 mph for a hilly, windy 75 miles of cycling, an easy few miles home was well deserved.
The other bunch battled well for the rest of the cycle but didn’t do the 2nd interval. Opting instead to race one of the last hills and with that splitting the bunch to pieces again. The disjointed nature of the first groups training meant they came in over 30 minutes behind the racing group. I am sure everyone got in a great training session and more than a few commented that it was a desperate hard day on the bike. If you want to improve there are going to have to be days like that where you are pretty shattered at the end. If we can just tighten up on the structure of our training sets a little more then we can make sure that everyone gets a quality session and nobody goes home disillusioned.