So tonight seen the last session of the 3rd block of sessions with The Running Coaches, Dermot Mathers. Now a household name within the MAC camp, respected, revered and cursed up and down the promenade every Thursday, in this block of sessions we were able to expand and experience the collection of sadistic interval sessions he had to offer.
In fairness I knew this block of sessions where going to be more observational for me with Dublin Marathon imminent and I questioned whether I should even sign up to them. However Dermot did assure me that they would be of benefit to me and not one to play hard to get, I was there every session.
The Train. It wasn’t that we weren’t working hard, we were, it was just a different approach to session working more on team work in our groups instead of being out for yourself. I think the fact it was the first training session of hi vis gear and the back drop was amazing, helped set a peaceful and calm scene.
As the nights began to draw in and the cold started to bite a bit more, the revelation that tea was a big part of Dermots life came to light. I ended up on the side lines of this 400m followed by 200m blast intervals due to being on a scarey dose of antibiotics. This session showcased how the group had grown to support each other. Demonstrating inclusion right across the mixed field of athletes as they all crossed the line together, shouting words of encouragement to get everyone to the end. Something that I have watched grow and develop in the sessions which is lovely to see.
A recap on the theory which was priceless. You get complacent and you do sometimes forget things so it was great to go back to basics and “fix” yourself. This was followed by two mini sessions that Dermot kindly overseen by our coaches in training. The highlight of the session was the Q&A section and the insight into Cadence breathing. No joke I passed a few mile and laughed to myself around Dublin singing “hooked on a feeling” whilst focusing on my breathing, thanks to this session.
Week 4; Just here for the craic
Dublin was happening at the weekend so I was taking a back seat. However session looked really beneficial and Death By Dermot was back with a vengeance. 1000m intervals. 1000m is a long way! It was like they set off and didn’t come back for at least 5 minutes. But as always, a method to the madness and I will be trying this interval out in the coming weeks. Running this distance and repeating will get your body used to race pace and pushing yourself in a race. No point going out to push yourself and expect results, if your body isn’t used to it. See I’m taking the theory on board.
Week 5; The aftermath
So with Dublin done and dusted, I returned to the promenade to give session a go. I know not much was expected of me but I gave it a shot. 400m x4 with a short recovery. I managed half of each block as legs where feeling heavy and didn’t want to push on. Everyone done well and a sense of being lost now the block of sessions is over was felt throughout the group.
There is no doubt that in the run up to Dublin, the sessions did help me, my form continues to improve and it added more thoughts to my head to keep me occupied around 26.2 mile, drop those shoulders, head up, slow down (well for my first 10k anyway).
I am always in awe at how Dermot manages to keep the whole group together. Its not an easy task I am sure, but to have me crossing the line, with an average 12 minute mile, with others who turn out 8 minute miles on a training run really opens your eyes to the level of thought and planning that goes into the sessions. A professional, a coach and dare I say it, a friend.
So who’s up for Nugaleto next Thursday night to fill in the gap? – I hear many athletes frequent there and I am sure a Nuggypot wont be the death of us in the way an interval session would be.