Latest posts by Badbark

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Sub 3h15

Posted: 19/05/2015 at 08:14

VT – Ouch, that looks lovely

GD – Enjoy the beer!

MsE – I hope your niggle clears soon and that's a sensible decision not to run

PMJ – That’s a good sub 40 10k considering you’re not 100%

Gul – Glad to read you are doing hill sprints. Strength building and injury protection all in one.

OO – Solid 15 miler

Minni – Congrats on your first sprint Tri. So when’s the Iron Man attempt?

SJ – Fantastic cycling and result! Have you ever entered a Duathon? You would certainly be at the sharp end.

Well I’m in taper mode for the third time in a month. I have the Causeway Crossing 50k on Saturday followed by the Newry Marathon on Sunday. That’s a lovely 57.3 miles of racing in 24 hours and should be interesting.

I ran the Causeway Crossing 50k last year wearing a Go Pro camera. I set it up to take a photo every 5 seconds and then created the following video out of the images - The battery only lasts about 3 hours so turned it on or off at times.

I’ve also now booked the Mourne Way Marathon in a few weeks which starts at sea level and peaks at around 1400 feet. Should be fun!

Sub 3h15

Posted: 15/05/2015 at 08:12
Poacher wrote (see)

Badbark - so you only have 82 maras/ultras to go. Plenty of people knock the 100 off in very quick time BUT they churn out a lot of very slow ones. To be reasonably fast, or in podium mode like you, while doing that many would be a great achievement of which you are no doubt capable.  I am currently on 58 (46 maras + 12 ultras) but 100 seems very unlikely.


Poacher – 58 is pretty amazing especially as you are not targeting going for 100. I’m not putting any time frame on when I reach the 100 so no pressure in that regards, but I definitely intend to run some fast and some slow. I’ll be shooting for a podium next Saturday in the ultra but will be taking it very easy in the marathon on Sunday. It will be nothing more than a 26.2 mile recovery run.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 12/05/2015 at 10:20

Good to see some solid Parkruns and 10k’s run over the weekend. Does anyone have any marathons planned soon?

SJ – No wonder you can run so well on low mileage with 8 + hour ‘solid training days’ like that! You’re a machine. Sorry to read about all the punctures though.

Gul – Sorry to read about your knee issues. I’m a huge supporter of running as many miles as possible on softer ground. As MsE says make sure to be doing exercises to improve your stabilizer muscles. I think one legged squats with a dumb bell and 10 sec hill sprints would help.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while and have now committed to a new long term goal. I want to target running 100 marathons or ultras! I’ve currently completed 18 and I’m running the Causeway Crossing 50k Ultra on the 23rd of May.

I’m going to join the 100 Marathon Club Ireland and begin working towards the 100. To kick it all off in typical ‘Madbark’ style I have just signed up to run the Newry Marathon on the 24th of May. My 50k starts at 1 pm on the Saturday and the marathon at 9 am on Sunday so all going well I’ll have completed both races within a 24 hour window. Teehee, I love it!

Sub 3h15

Posted: 04/05/2015 at 16:44

continued a little -

I plan on a bit of cross training on my mountain bike for the rest of this week.

Phew, time for a glass of wine or two me thinks. 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 04/05/2015 at 16:43

OO and Gul  - Despite not what either of you hoped for I think you both performed really well. Poor conditions can take minutes of a goal time. Running a sub 1:30 half only a week after a sub 3 marathon is damn good in my book.

I ran the Belfast Marathon today just 8 days after my 2:51 in London. I only decided last night to target sub 3 as I've never done it in 5 previous Belfast races. I ran 18 miles last week over 4 runs all at very easy pace trying to recovery from London.

There was a 15 mile wind in Belfast today coming from the SSW which meant there would be a head wind over most of the last 8 miles. However, it would be at our backs between 8 and 14 which is pretty much a steady climb.

My target was to run about 6:45 pace until about 20 miles then hold around 7:00 for the final 6 to sub 3. I felt good at the start with the wind at our backs and completed the first 2 miles in 6:35 and 6:37. However, I was already getting twinges in my quads and every decline hurt a little.

I ran the next two miles in 6:43 and 6:47 and turned into the wind a bit for the next 4 miles. These were completed in 6:57, 6:49, 6:51 and 6:51. We turned to run north starting a gradually climb but with the wind at our backs. My quads had loosened up by now and I was feeling good.

I ran 6:41, 6:39, 6:43, 6:46 and went through half way in about 1:28:50 and was actually enjoying the steady climb for a change. The climb finished around mile 14 after a 6:58 then we turned into the wind but had about 2 miles of a steep decent ahead.

This was the part of the course I was dreading the most as I could barely run down hill at all only a few days before. I upped my cadence to over 185 and tried running as lightly as possible down the hill. I ran 6:22 and 6:41 having to put the breaks on a lot on the second down hill mile due to the pain in my quads.

The next mile took 6:55 before we turned into the head wind for most of the rest of the race. My average pace was around 6:45 so I had about a minute to spare on a sub 3. It was very exposed along a tow path between the motorway and the sea but I  tucked in behind a guy running the perfect pace and took 6:55 and 6:51 to reach 19 miles.

Into a lovely industrial estate we went and my quads began asking for me to stop and put my feet up. I only managed 7:01 for the next mile reaching 20 miles just under 2:16 but was starting to really struggle. My wind breaker was pulling away and legs just got heavier with every stride with a 7:19 next. Oh Oh, my sub 3 goal was in danger but I was still ahead of the pacers.

I struggled on into the wind but could only muster a 7:41 and started considering walking and wondering if it was really worth it. I have a 50k ultra race in 19 days and had already had a good workout. Feck it, I ran on.

The sub 3 pacers came passed me and I tried to hang on to them but fell behind in no time and ran a 7:25. Into the last 5k now but my legs were totally shot and could only manage 8:10 and really struggled up the final incline with an 8:37. The last full mile was downhill but every step hurt more than anything in London which took me 8:38.

My family handed me my Chelsea scarf for the stagger to the finish which I ran at 8:06 pace singing 'Championees' holding it aloft! I finished with my garmin showing 3:05:48 and my quads more than a little angry.

I'm not too annoyed with failing to run my goal because it was a little ambitious to begin with. It was only last October I ran 2:58 in Dublin after a perfect 16 week schedule. Trying a sub 3 after giving it everything I had for a 2:51 only 8 days before was definitely a 'Madbark' thing to do.

Next stop is the Causeway Crossing 50k Ultra where I will be defending my crown after my first every (and only) win last year. I plan on a bit of cro

Northern Ireland Running

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 11:03

Good luck to everyone in the Belfast Marathon tomorrow. It looks like weather will be much drier than today.

I'm running Belfast having just managed a 2:51:08 PB in London but certainly will not (or could not!) run anywhere near that time. My quads are still a little sore and tight and I'm really not looking forward to the downhill section after the Antrim road.  

Sub 3h15

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 09:29

Good luck OO and Gul for your races today.

I'm running the Belfast Marathon tomorrow stiff quads and all. If I was sensible I would take it easy, enjoy the day and run about 3:30. But am I sensible? 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 19:23
PhilipMJones wrote (see)
Badbark wrote (

I ran the Becton Parkrun on Saturday and finished holding hands with former 5k/HM world record holder Lornah Kiplagat.

She seems happy about that as well

Tied with Mark Walker at Beckton parkrun (2015)


PMJ, that really did make me LOL. Although some spoil sport has edited it out already. I'm on her twitter site though -

Blisters - As you can see from the picture above I don't have much timber to shed being 6 foot tall and about 145 lbs. 

Granola - Everything Blisters said is great. Personally, I do believe the single most important thing anyone can do to improve their running is to run more. There is a reasons elites from 5k distance upwards run more than 100 miles weekly. I stagnated between 3:10 to 3:18 in marathons for 2 years on 50 to 60 miles a week. Now that I'm running over 90 regularly I'm down to 2:51.

MsE - Funnily enough I ate my flesh in over 5 years by having a Salmon meal after the marathon. I originally became pescetarian for a year, then vegetarian and then vegan for health reasons but have become convinced that a full veggie is not the optimal diet. It's certainly healthier than most diets but lacks a few essentials. So I'm now a pescetarian too as I intend to eat a couple or portions of oily fish a week. I'm also eating 6 eggs a week supplied by a friend who has their own chickens.

I'm glad you're feeling good with your diet and know exactly how you feel. Yes, I am indeed running Belfast Marathon on Monday but it's really only a training run on tired legs towards the 50k in 3 weeks.


In regards to the negative split discussion I think it's worth aiming for one, but in reality a slight positive split is more likely if you are pushing yourself to the absolute limit. 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 12:14


if I didn’t pick it up a bit. I buckled down, gritted my teeth and managed 6:15 and reached 20 miles feeling strong again.

Only 10k to go with my Garmin showing 6:30 pace average which I knew would have me over 2:50 but well inside 2:54. I told myself it was just a 10k race and I just had to work hard for another 40 minutes. I started my mantra of ‘PB for Charlotte’ (daughter) to keep my focused.

I was giving it all now and managed 6:35, 6:23 and 6:36 to bring me to 23 miles. I was over taking lots more than were going passed me but the quads were really shouting for me to back off. Not a chance! I pushed again and managed 6:29 but the legs were like lead and I ran a 6:45 with a mile and a bit to go.

Around this stage I over took Jenson Button and reached 26 miles after running about 6:40. I managed to rally one last time and did my best to sprint to the line in 02:51:08 chip time. That’s a PB by 3 minutes and I was chuffed to bits.

I’m not disappointed to miss a sub 2:50 as it was unlikely all things considered, and I have no doubt I’ll break it in the future. My time has a score of 78% WAVA which is higher now than my 5k best. Apparently if I was 20 years younger I could run 2:40. Over the last 7.2k I over took 104 people and was overtaken by just 13 so happy with that too.

My legs aren’t too bad with DOMS and I can still take steps going forward which is a bonus. Next stop for me is the Belfast Marathon on Monday before a 50k trail Ultra Marathon 19 days later! Run Badbark Run!

Edit -My attempt at a sprint finish can be seen in the background after about 4 seconds here - 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 12:13

I’m completely blown away with some of the amazing and gutsy performances at VLM.

Jools – I’m so happy for you to have cracked sub 2:50 with such a fantastic performance. You are an inspiration for us all and your hard work has brought you the result you deserve. I know you had plenty of disappointments along the way to sub 3 but have taken yet another huge leap forward again.

GE – Great report and GFA achieved especially considering your cramping issues.

OO – Excellent sub 3 and PB

SB - Well done on the sub 3:15 and cramp management.

DPoD – Unlucky not get sub 3:15 but that’s still a great performance

MsE – Fantastic sub 3 and loved your detailed report

Lor- Excellent sub 3:10 and a good report

RJ – 2:22! Take a bow Sir. Stellar!

Brix- Great PB and sub 3:15

Poach- Nice fancy dress running and your 58 completed marathons/ultras is amazing. So will you be targeting 100 then?

Birch – Great 3:18 and age group placing. Well done on the recent improvement. Great report too.

TAR – Sorry to read about your woes but a gutsy performance.

London was my 18th marathon (or ultra) with all but one in the last 5 years since I turned 40. I ran a recent HM PB of 1:20:45 and was targeting my marathon PB of 2:54:08 set in Dublin 2013. All my times were slower last year due to concentrating on Ultra marathons and I only ran 2:58 in Dublin last year while trying to PB. This year I was determined to improve despite missing weeks of training in January and getting Chicken Pox a month ago. I followed a 12 week P&D schedule peaking at 95 miles.

I flew over on Friday and got to the expo for the first time and enjoyed doing laps of the free sample stands. It certainly helped with the carbo loading stuffing my face with Cliff shots and bars. I ran the Becton Parkrun on Saturday and finished holding hands with former 5k/HM world record holder Lornah Kiplagat.

Race morning went well and I lined up at the FGFA section full of confidence wearing a 2:52:30 (6:35) pace wrist band. Off we went at 10:10 and I took about 30 seconds to reach the start line and started my Garmin. As everyone knows it’s not easy to run your own pace due to the early congestion and I completed the first mile in 6:50. This was expected so nothing to worry about and I knew a few downhill miles would soon bring me back on course. The important thing was to stay relaxed and not weave round people if possible.

The next few miles were ticked off in 6:38, 6:18, 6:12, 6:20, 6:26 and I reached 10k in about 40:10 a little ahead of schedule. I checked my HR for the one and only time and was happy to see it was sitting around 150 and I was feeling strong and relaxed. I wanted to get to half way slightly ahead of target as I expected a little slow down later on. I ran the following miles in 6:30, 6:27, 6:28, 6:30, 6:25, 6:36, 6:32, 6:37 and went through half way in just over 1:25.

At 14 miles I was feeling great and started to think that a sub 2:50 might be possible. I decided to forget about targeting 6:35 pace average and try to run 6:30 and see how I felt after 20 miles.  I was hoping to see my family around 15 miles and while looking for them forgot my Garmin lap button and forgot again at 16 miles. The tall building in Canary Wharf were playing havoc with my Garmin too. At 17 miles I hit lap 3 times to bring me back on course but had run those miles in over 6:35 pace.

It was getting tougher now and I could only manage 6:38 and 6:45 through plenty of turns and a few minor inclines. I knew 2:50 was slipping away and even started getting concerned my initial goal of sub 2:54 would be in danger if I didn&rsqu

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