Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I'm sure we all have heard this word over and over in Endurance Sport, most of the time it goes in one ear and out the other. About 10 years ago I was lucky to be around Irish 3k/5k/10k record holder Mark Carroll. He also ran 2:10 in New York not to long ago, after dealing with some injuries he retired from International Competition and now Coaches at Auburn. Anyway our Coach at the time was Brother John Dooley (in my mind one of the best Junior coaches in Irish History) Well Bro Dooley always talked about the important of recovery and we used Heart Rate monitors on hard workouts and to take our resting HR which we recorded along with our weight/mileage and food in our logs which he looked over weekly. As much detail as possible to see how our bodies were handling the training volume and lifestyle stresses. Back to Mark ! he would stress the importance of running really easy on recovery days to allow your body to absorb the work from hard sessions. I would think, really this guy runs 7:30 for 3k and then runs 7:30min-7:00min pace on his easy days ?? It didn't make sense to me, until some 9 years later I fully started to understand the meaning of RECOVERY. If your confident in your body and your ability you don't need to go hard day in and day out in training. Everything needs to have a purpose and RECOVERY has a major purpose in you getting stronger. There is a good chance the person winning the race your in, is not the one who is training the faster or the most he knows his body the best and trains the smartest. We need to be in tune with our body and know when it is time to push hard in training and when to fully recover.
Recover is not just rest, its about been smart and using all in your power to get your body stronger. Something to remember after you crush a good workout is your less fit when you done with the session, as you just brokedown your body. Now its time to rebuild and repair. For me its straight to the water bottle to drink down my Endurox R4.
It has the prefect mix of 4:1 carbohydrate to protein to assist my body get recovered and allow me to become stronger,faster and fitter.

So train smart and ask yourself about is the purpose of the workout ?


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Script - Rusty halo

What a day today !
It ranks as the best of the year so far. So many positive things goes on right now. Music is a big part of my life, especially Irish bands. U2, Snow Patrol and The Script are top of the list.
Sometimes when you listen to an Album there are the obvious hits that you like and they get all the play. I've seen The Script live twice and "Rusty Halo" has become one of my favorite song off their first Album, the song has so much energy and so much meaning for me.

"Everyone's running from something
But we don't know when it's coming
So we keep running and running gotta"

I feel like its coming so hopefully I get to shine my Rusty Halo in 2011.

Below is a video of the boys, if you want to check out the song.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Interview Friday: Shawn Johns

One of my ageless training partners bust on the Tri scene in 2010. An interesting guy and a man who loves to workout. Lets find some more out about Shawn.

Give us some background on yourself ?: I am an Alaskan Native and Sioux Indian that was raised in the town my dad grew up in Juneau, Alaska. I started running with my parents during the 1970's running boom.

Rumor has it that you are making the jump to the Ironman in 2011. Can you confirm and explain the reason why?: There are a few reasons why I am making the jump to the full ironman distance in 2011. One, early in the 2010 season, we both spoke about signing up for a full ironman and qualifying for Kona. That was what got the idea going. And two, now that I have raced Clearwater in 2010, I thought I would set a new goal in 2011 and try and qualify for the Ford Ironman in Kona, Hawaii.

Last year, you had a pretty good season. What in your mind was the highlight ?: My biggest accomplishment was placing 3rd in the 45 to 49 age group division at Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans, LA. and qualifying for Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 Clearwater, FL. That was my biggest highlight of the excuse to go to one of Florida's nicest beaches! One other highlight was racing a PR there in 4:21:57. That was good for 16th place in my division. Hopefully, I can do better, I think I have lots to learn, this is only my second season racing triathlons.

What are your goal for the 2011 season?: On May 7th, I will race my first full ironman at St. George, UT. I hope to place high enough in my division to earn a qualifying spot for Kona.

You are always on the 7am and 10am DC Velo rides. Two local Bad Asses Chuck Hutch and The Muscle always are pushing the pace. Who do you prefer to follow in a break away and have a chat with ?: My first answer is, you don't want to be the guy following either of them. But if I have to chose it would be Langley, he actually will let up a little to let you go by. With Chuck, forget it if he is on is TT bike! Its always good to talk to Chuck, he always has words of racing wisdom if you ask. He can't help it he lives for racing! Or is it racing to live!

Been Native American, I'm sure Billy Mills was a role model for you. Also you probably have watched Mill's amazing final lap from 1964 many times. Have you even had a race finish were you untapped your inner strength to kick like Mills?: Not like that, never! How could you, this guy was racing for a gold medal! My greatest kick and finishing 1st was my senior year of high school, when I won the region five cross country championships in Ketchikan, Alaska. I went out in first and stayed in first and won by 2 seconds.

How is your Training going right now?: I am in the phase of adding volume on top of volume! Last week I did my longest ride of the new season. I rode both the 7am DC Velo ride and 10am rock creek ride for a total of 114 miles when I got home. Last week my longest run was a 11 miler and today my new longest run is a 14 miler. As for swimming I am now pushing 14,000 meters a week. Soon that will go to 16,000 meters a week. Goals are to get swimming to 16,000+ meters a week, biking to 300+ miles a week and running to 40 to 50 miles a week.

What is one piece of training equipment that you can't live without?: That's funny you ask that question, I was just thinking today about how my road bike is my go to training partner. Have you ever seen the movie with Mel Gibson, "We Were Soldiers?" In the movie, Mel tells his soldiers that the Sioux had their horses in battle and that they, the soldiers, would have the helicopters. He said, referring to the helicopters, "Men, and this will be our HORSE!" As a Sioux, living in the city, I call my road bike my modern day horse.

Your a young spirit and love to log the yards and miles. Do you see yourself riding your bike at 90?: Yeah. If my knees don't give out and I can still see.

Finally, have you ever set the dogs on anyone?: Oh, you remember, I have two Jack Russell terriers. No, I have never let them go after anyone or thing. They are to unpredictable in what they are capable of doing, so I have to keep them close. At times they do run out my front door and get after what ever is flying down the road....................and they are wicked fast!

Cheers mate. We are expecting some wicked fast running out of you this year !

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Step Closer

Monday was Martin Luther King Day. I ran a small 10km race with my buddy Zac to check our fitness and for me to knock out a time for the European Duathlons which are in Limerick, Ireland this year. This race is my focus for the next 90 days. I was lucky to have the one and only Mike Wardian to run with and help me hit the pace. Mike is a great guy, we set out with the goal of running 5:12-5:14 which was what I needed to run a sub 32:30 effort to show my fitness is coming along. I ended up 31:58 and felt decent.

More exciting news is I have pretty more finalized my racing schedule for this year. I got to say triathlon is really hot right now there are so many great opportunities for people to race. A few are in my backyard and will be priority races for me. So watch this space for the list ! Check out the new 5150 series.

Last week was a great week of training, I got some good work done. Highlight of the week was the Saturday 7am DC Velo ride, I had so much fun riding off the front with Chuck ( and an exciting up and coming Dutch pro rider Nick Mulder .

Just like my other two sports, I'm feeling my cycling is coming around and I'm getting into bike shape. I sometimes wonder, what is I just biked and didn't run or swim. Instead of logging 80-120 miles a week and did 300+. We all have those what if questions ! Maybe in 10 years I will be a Cat 1 and just ride my bike. Lets call it phase 3 of my sports Career. Until then I have a master plan to get the best out of myself in triathlons.

Enjoy your training and remember to thanks your Training Partners.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Interview Friday, Steven Hallinan

Nickname(s): Steve, Steve-O, TheConducktor(my xbox live name lol)

1500- 3:44.1
3000- 8:09.9
5000- 14:10
10000- 29:54
10 miles- 49:12
Half Marathon- 65:31

How long have you been running and how did you start ?

I've been running since the age of 9 (15+ years). I went to Catholic Grade School in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they had a cross country and track program along with the Philadelphia CYO. My sister Megan, who is a year older than me, started running when she was in 4th grade, so when I got to 4th grade I followed.

What are your Goals for the 2011 season ?

My overall goal is to hit a qualifying time for the Olympic trials. I have some other short term goals that I'm hoping will set me up for that. I'm going to be running some indoor track for the first time in 3 years so I want to PR in the mile (4:07.7 from 2007) and 3000 (8:09.9 from 2006), and then bring down my PR's outdoors.

What is your favorite running spot in DC ?

I'm a big fan of Roosevelt Island. I know it's only a 1.5 mile loop but getting there also gives you a good tour of the city depending on where you're coming from. From the Logan Circle Pacers you pass the Watergate Building, The Kennedy Center, The Lincoln Memorial, and can run along Rock Creek Park and the Mt Vernon Trail, so you get a great feel for DC.

So you have been running for more than 15 years, Can you describe a moment when you did a Greg Jennings and put the Team on your back dogg to win? (editor's note, youtube Greg Jennings for the video to fully understand the question)

Hahaha. Just so everyone knows, me and Robbie work together at the Logan Circle Pacers, and we are big fans of this video (check it out here not the best language so I warned you) ANYWAY, if you don't want to watch it, essentially this dude is playing Madden 11 online and scores a TD at the end of the game with Greg Jennings who has a broken leg and he's providing commentary of the play while watching the instant replay. So to answer you're question I've had a few moments while running relays in High School and College where I've "put the team on my back". There was a 4x8 in college where I got it down while running the 3rd leg. The anchor for the Navy was a 1:47 guy so I knew I had to blow it open for our anchor. I ended up splitting 1:50 and gave our anchor a 50 meter lead, game over. In high school I was a mile/2 mile guy, but I was on our 4x8 that won the National Championship and had the fastest split on the team. So nothing to the level of a broken leg, but what can you do.

Your a pretty chilled guy, Can you tell us how you get to that dark side to dig deep and let fly on race day ?

The dark side is a great way to describe it because my mind sometimes needs to go to another place so my body can hurt. I think a lot about all the training I've put in before a race so I can reinforce to myself how fit I am. Doubts and Fears are expected when a big race is nearing so by training hard it provides me with ammo to combat them. Its funny though because often when I PR in a race, it's almost like the race is coming to me pretty easily and I'm just flowing along, the racing where I'm not feeling well is when I have to really zone in and keep telling myself "I'm not going to get dropped, if this guy can do it I'm staying right here and doing it to." Running is a big mental war, and the preparation is really a huge deciding factor.

The word on the street is your a big sports fan. Can you predict the follow winners in 2011

Stanley Cup:
Clearly the Philadelphia Flyers are going to win Lord Stanley's Cup. They got robbed last year and are going to come back this year with a vengeance. Plus they're a much better team than those Washington Capitals, haha.

Since the Sixers (Philadelphia basketball team) are terrible, I won't be a homer and pick my team. I'm a big time basketball fan and the NBA this year is a tough call. It's always a safe bet to go with a team like the Celtics/Lakers/Spurs because they are in every sense of the word a TRUE team, great veteran leadership, great point guard play, consistency. Then there's of course the Miami Heat, the evil empire in some peoples' eyes. They started off a little shaky, but I think have won 21 of their last 23 games which is nuts. So if they stay hot they could be tough to beat. There's a great young team in Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook, which I don't think will win this year but they're worth mentioning for people to watch in the next few years.
To make a pick I think I'm going to go with the Celtics. Ray Allen/Paul Pierce/KG/Shaq/Rajon Rondo too much of a TEAM.

If you didn't run from an early year what sport and what position would you see yourself playing?

Well if you asked my dad that question he's tell you I'd be an NFL quarterback, haha. But i'll be realistic. If I focused on basketball I maybe could have played D3 ball as a shooting guard but thats a stretch. If i didn't run I would have a real person job at this point.

What kind of music is on your I-Pod these days ? Any throw backs that you like to hit replay on.

I'm a big fan of rap, Eminem, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, TI, and the list could go on. I actually just got an ITouch for Christmas because my Ipod I had for like 5 years got stolen from my girlfriends car this fall (I was pisssed!!). So I'm really just building my library back up. But if I heard my old school jam (probably from 7th grade, '99) by Jay-Z "Money Ain't A Thang" I'd definitely have to hit replay.

Ok, here is one for you ! Who is your favorite Irish Runner between Sonia O' Sullivan ,Marcus O' Sullivan, Eamonn Coghlan and Ronnie Delaney ?

I actually grew up about 10-15 minutes from Villanova, and when I was in grade school I used to go to Marcus O'Sullivan's Track and Cross Country Camp at Villanova. I'd have to say Eamonn Coghlan is my favorite though because I've run at The Millrose Games a couple times and he's the "Chairman of the Boards" and had the most Wanamaker Mile wins at I think 7 until this past year. The Millrose Games is a great atmosphere. I ran there twice in college, winning the college 4x8 both times, and it's an unbelievable experience to run at the Garden with all those spectators.

Which Athlete of all-time do your admire the most? Why ?

Michael Jordan is my favorite athlete of all-time. He took the NBA to another level and his drive to win is unlike anyone else in sport. I think it's funny when people compare other current day players like Kobe Bryant to MJ, because Kobe averages maybe 27 points per game, and until MJ's stint with the Wizards (and yes I have his Wizards jersey) he average nearly 33 points a game for his career. Just no comparison in my eyes.
As a runner I also admire PRE because the man was an animal, plus we have the same first name so that's pretty cool

Cheers mate !

Thursday, January 13, 2011

U2 I Still Haven't Found What Im Looking For Live From Milan

U2 rule the music world in my mind. Looking for inspiration listen to any U2 song. Today I rode with Darion for Hill reps around Arlington. We maybe 10 years apart but have many solid things in common. An obvious connection is the dream and desire we both have to better ourselves. That is what gets you on the bike in the winter, when everyone else is on the trainer. "Sometimes you can't make it on your own" my friends. Check out the lads give it a lash in Milan many years after this song had written, they still got the Desire after all the years this is what I'm talking about ! I remember been a dreaming 18yr old lad who would run 100 miles a week in the rain and do 20 X 400 hill reps in the cold with the desire to do anything to get a Scholarship to the States. Now I'm onto a new Chapter in my life, but the desire is still strong.
Night !

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Haymarket Bike League round 2

This morning I rode the 2nd round of the Haymarket Bike League. The weather was cold but the pace was hot ! The group was about half the size of last week, it was the hardcore crew who got out of bed this morning. Youngster Darion Fleming was back from his trip to Ireland and is ready to start laying the foundation for his first bike season with Team Snapple. Follow his progress at
The dirt section was alot easier for me this week as I could shift to the small ring up front on my bike. Man last week I was getting killed in the dirt going up any kind of hill basically slipping because of all the force I was pushing. This week I could ride and enjoyed it alot more. I'm feeling stronger every time I get on the bike, this week I rode 3 times, last week I rode twice, and once the week before so its about time to add more riding to my training. I will aim to get out on my Tri bike at least once a week starting this tomorrow.
In relation to my training overall the other two sport are up to frequency and I will continue to add volume and intensity over the next few weeks.

Check out Darion before the race.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where I train ? Part One: Swimming

I thought it would be a good idea to share my training spots with the blog world. Firstly the above photo is where I mainly swim, a High School in Arlington called Washington-Lee. I live just over a mile from the pool so it is easy to get to. Arlington County just built the new pool in July of 2009 to replace the basic but working old one. For everyone in Ireland this pool is at a secondary level school. Crazy right ! Its open to the public from 5:30am-9pm M-F (with a mid-day break), Sat 6am-7pm and Sun 11am-6pm. So lots of hours to get the work done and the cost is pretty good too. For me the best way to swim is use the buddy system of training. That is were you agree to meet someone to train with, this way you are guarantee that yourself and your training partners put in a solid workout and stick to the plan. This morning I swam with Mindy and Jessica both on Team Snapple. My main swimming buddy is Zac.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Funny British Animal Voiceovers


First week of 2011 and 100 Days until European Duathlon Championship in Limerick. Training is going well this week.
Funniest moment of the week: Falling off my bike while talking to my Dad as I was cycling to the Pool, he kept talking while I picked myself up. Lucky I was going uphill and like 6 MPH. I did get some road burn. Hey! I got to practice hitting the deck, right ?

Off to put in some time in the hills on the bike before work.

Oh if you haven't seen this yet check it out this Video above.