This week, Louise Heraghty, Vhi’s Training Support, did a test run training session with Team Vhi/Herald’s volunteer Helena Goss and 2FMs’s Ciara King as part of their final training preparation ahead of Race Day.
There’s no better preparation for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon than running the actual route itself, so on Tuesday morning with 2 weeks to go, I helped Herald Volunteer Helena Goss and 2FM’s Ciara King brave the hailstones (yes hailstones) and tackle their very first 10km.
Helena had alrady built up to a 10km in her training but had never completed this route and Ciara’s longest run before hand was 7.5km. Both were concerned that they may not be able to finish the run without having to stop but either way they were determined to get through it together.
I told the girls we would be concentrating less on pace and more on completing the distance. Also it was important to factor in the obstacles that won’t be an issue on June 1st – like stopping at traffic lights and having to cross the dual carriageway.
So we took off from Baggot St Upper – where the race will begin!
Ideally we would have warmed up for longer but the windy, wet conditions meant we started as quickly as we could. The first 3km were handy enough - a nice flat route out past the RDS that took us up the junction of Merrion Rd & Nutley Late, but here’s where it got tricky! Nutley Lane is very deceiving as anyone who has ever run the Mini Marathon will know - it doesn’t look too hilly but it is a slow gradual incline and can be quite tough. I told the girls to keep the heads up, take shorter strides and just think about reaching the top which they did! I guess the fact that we were chatting non stop throughout the run didn’t help with our speed but it’s another reason for them to be more confident on the day itself- chatting can obviously effect breathing technique and can wear you out quicker. Both girls will be running alone on the day so this won’t be an issue.
We headed out the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway, past UCD which brough us to the the halfway mark at 5km just before we turned at Fosters Avenue. Sure enough, it being the end of May in Ireland- we were faced with another hail shower but instead of giving up the girls embraced it and pushed on.
Once we turned around on the Stillorgan Rd and headed back in towards the city the route was flat enough and the girls were feeling good. For many, this home stretch is where they speed up in the race but we maintained our pace of around 7 mins per kilometre (with an aim to finish in around 70 minutes).
The last 2km from Donnybrook can be tough and both Helena and Ciara were feeling their legs tiring but we maintained a good pace. I kept reminding them that the finish line was near. It was a busy lunchtime on Leeson St with people going about their business but the three girls running towards St Stephen’s Green were ecstatic if not a tad out of breath!
We did it in an impressive time of 1hr 10 minutes. Well done to Ciara and Helena, a huge confidence boost ahead of running their first Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Now it’s time to recover the legs and prepare for June 1st.
Each week training and nutrition support will be provided by the Vhi Support Team - David Gillick and Louise Heraghty. Don’t forget to download the Vhi WMM 2015 App and join us on the journey to the start line on June 1st.