Mooreabbey Milers athletes go the distance

Lynda Hynes


Lynda Hynes


Mooreabbey Milers athletes go the distance

Willie O'Donoghue pictured as he finishes his lockdown challenge

Distance Derby 

THE brain child of Gary McCarthy was an event called the 'distance derby' a multi parish fundraiser for which the monies raised are to be donated to Pieta House. The event occurred over 48 hours last weekend. A parish versus parish battle event saw club players take part in a head to head duathlon.

The parishes also needed each of their small local communities to get out and go the distance for them! On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July between 9am and 9pm  the communities walked, ran and cycled their legs off from the smallest small to the well seasoned master. 

While we had club members compete in the run cycle run duathlon. There was also a massive drive asking the people of the community to clock up as many kilometers as possible.

This is where the major battle began as the parish with the most kilometres travelled were be crowned the derby champions. Out clocking up the milage for the parishes were club members from The Blackburn Family,  The Ryan/Cunningham Family, Padraig Wallace, Mary Hinchy, Mike and Michelle Carey, Ann Cummins, Jason Wright and Damien Holian.

We might however have to disown some of our club members as it was heard that they were putting the milage up for our rivals over in Ballylanders. As Dan from Killnascully said, "If there's a shower worse than the black and tans tis that shower over in Bally".

The rivalry continues but at the time of going to print the total raised so far €16,000.


During lockdown club member Willie O'Donoghue set himself a challenge to focus his training energy on distance and consistency.

His challenge was to run for 100 consecutive days amassing a daily average of no less than 7 miles. Willie ploughed though the days and eventually hit day ninety when after a session found himself trying to fight a knee injury.

After consultation with his physio and under taking her advice they found a suitable mileage for the final 10 days. All of you who know Willie will know that not finishing the last 10 days of the challenge was not an option. Finishing his 100 days on the 04/07/20 Willie was delighted to complete his challenge amassing a total of 720 miles.

Note the date Willie finished the 04/07 'Independence Day' it just goes to show don't be afraid to challenge yourself, you can do anything by yourself if you put your mind to it while always knowing you have the support of the club members behind you for guidance, help and support. 

Cahir Half Marathon And Relay 

Last Saturday should have seen the clubs biggest fundraiser take place in Cahir, Co Tipperary.

Unfortunately for the club and our elected charity partner due to the current climate situation we were unable to run our Cahir half marathon and relay event this year but roll on 2021 when we will be back bigger and better. 

Tom Tells Us About Tapering

Now that we are nearly back to competitions starting up, I would like to look at tapering.
Normally high quality runners will pick out 5 or 6 events each year that they want to peak for in the case of the top elite group they may be planning on European, World Championships or Olympic qualification.

This won’t bother most mere mortals like your average club runner or part time jogger. But there is merit in tapering for one or two events. 

How to taper:

TO taper you have to be doing mileage usually it will be in the form of a training plan over a 5 to 6-week period.

So let’s say you are doing 30 miles during the week with a long run of 10 miles at the weekend totalling 40 miles and you want to do a 10k and get a PB (Personal Best).

So over the 6 weeks you have built up to 40 miles and have been consistently running and putting miles in the bank as we say. These miles are your base and will help to build strength and stamina, but as you are building miles you do it slowly you may average 8 to 10 minutes per mile or slower. When all these miles are banked speed needs to be built, so you will cut miles and do 2 to 3 speed sessions for 2 or 3 weeks, mileage may be reduced for these weeks and at least two nights you will need to do speed.

Speed work is normally done on a track, if you can get to one, most people will do 400 meter reps with a timed recovery, a coach will probably start you with 8 of these done in two sets of 4 with a long recovery in between sets. You may run 800’s or 1k reps depending on the event you are concentrating on competing in.

Why do speed work? 

Doing speed work after doing your base work allows you to run fast over a short distance and repeat it several times, it helps you develop your speed over a longer distance and as you get comfortable doing repeats helps you to get a feel for pacing yourself over longer distance.

Ok, so you are doing 40 miles a week over 6 weeks at a pace of 8 to 10 minutes per mile and now you start running 400 meter repeats. You will probably be running them at 90 seconds and taking 1-minute recovery the following week you will be looking to ramp that up to 87 or even as low as 85 seconds per repeat.

If you consider this and add the numbers, you will see that you are running 6 minute miles straight away and over the space of a couple of sessions will be trying to reduce it down to 5.40 or 5.30 per mile. The next step is to run a mile and see can you axially run a 5.30 minute mile, even if it is closer to 6 minutes that’s a big improvement from 8 minute miles.

If time was on your side you may do a tempo run for 20 minutes to see if you can hold the pace, maybe a week before your 10k.

There are other factors to consider in the process but generally this is the process. If you throw in adrenaline and a strong mind and good focus God only knows what you could achieve.

I have put down 6 weeks to build miles, the body has rhythms and will get stronger and stronger as you ramp up training.

But if you keep pushing the body over a long period that elastic will break and you will get injured or will break down in another way. So you have to manage training we are all different and a good coach will help you and know how to navigate through a program and will know if it is too easy for you or too hard.                  


We are currently back at training on Tuesday and Thursday nights between 7 and 8 pm for adults only. Our set up has a new framework that we have to incorporate into our training schedule.

For contact tracing pre booking is essential through our online booking system for our current members. 

Newbies: Always Welcome

Should you have interest in joining us at our training sessions please message us via our social media page Mooreabbey Milers AC on facebook and we will point your running shoes in the right direction.