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tralee: time for another challenge

On the road for a new goal – original photo ©

Two weeks since the Dublin Marathon and my unsuccessful bid to claim the sub-3:20 I dearly desire. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve analysed not just my race data but also my training data, looking for gaps. I’m far from infallible and there are definitely areas that I identified as posing questions if not concerns.

The #BVSC handbook includes the following mantra for coping with less than successful runs: “you’re allowed one hour to beat the shit out of yourself and then move on”. It’s a useful phrase to exchange with fellow runners and an even better ethos to run by. I may have taken a bit longer than the permitted hour but to be fair, there was a lot of data to go through. Also, despite my experimental attitude to training over the past year, it was slightly scientific in nature and deserving of a proper post mortem.

answers or ideas?

Has my analysis identified a single point of failure? Perhaps not; I don’t think it’s that straightforward. It has provided many ideas though. Ideas that I can build upon and work into a new wave of training experiments. Yes, that’s right, I’m going again! My sub-3:20 dream is not over yet.

True to my word, I resisted temptation to sign up to the 2020 Dublin Marathon despite having my guaranteed entry code. As previously said, it’s a great race but I just won’t be going back after 6 outings there. Instead, I’ve looked elsewhere for lower key events around Ireland. I came across Tralee and its scheduled date of 11 April 2020; I thought why not?

Five months is more than enough time to have a slight wind down and then build back up into full experiment mode again. The course doesn’t look too bad either – very scenic for sure. There are a few sharp climbs when viewing the elevation map in detail but overall the course is more than comfortable.

a couple of very sharp inclines in tralee but nothing too worrisome
a couple of very sharp inclines in Tralee but nothing too worrisome


How I will train for this race has yet to be fully decided. I do need to bring in some of the learning from Dublin this year and the post mortem analysis. I anticipate repeating many elements of my Dublin plan. However, a new fueling strategy and long run magnitudes will supplement the plan. I will publish all outcomes on the blog. Hide nothing – be humble in achievement and be humbled when things do not work out.

the tralee marathon route promises some great scenery including the offshore excursion at mile 15
the Tralee marathon route promises some great scenery including the offshore excursion at mile 15

My race entry complete and my hotel booked. That’s all I know for now. There are a few things to do before 2019 comes to a close but 2020 already has a significant target on the horizon. Here’s looking forward to my first Tralee marathon!

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