Runner of the month for May

|||Runner of the month for May

Runner of the month for May – Michael Dunne

My First attempt at a blog, so bear with me!

So after a bit of an up and down April with missing a race due to illness, I was itching to move into May knowing I had a couple of races to really test my fitness and hopefully knock out a new 5k PB.

The first week saw me head home from a long weekend in the lakes which I now looking back I think this was a big turning point in how I felt running recently. I spent most of my weekend doing some easy running up and down the numerous hills; this is unusual for me as I usually stick to the flat although I felt great and the legs responded well. All good positives.

After returning back from the lake district I only had one day at home to knock out a ‘Botanic Park’ sesh in the sunshine before heading off to Portugal for another long weekend of running and wedding prep (I get married there next year). Another three great training runs including local area recce, a solid 5 mile tempo round the local golf course and a longish run made for another good week in the bank.

Back home and time for one last good week of training before a couple of race weeks. I switched my session from Tuesday to Wednesday after a late flight home on the Monday night; this was a good move, so EZ 6 on the Tuesday to wake up the legs and then one of my favourite sessions on Wednesday… Tempo & Hills (2 mile tempo | 6 x 60 sec hills | 2 mile tempo), its one session I’ve grown to love and I now call it the “session of champions”. Post activity comments read “NAILED” so it must have been good 😉 The weekend session had me in one of my favourite places to run “botanic park” walled garden. This place is an oasis for running hard efforts (8 x 3 mins this week), it’s a 700m loop inside a walled garden and it’s always empty apart from the odd bloke reading his paper on the bench who grunts at you every now and then “keeping going son”. Another good session banked and ready for a race.

Race Week
Race week arrived and with the race being on the Friday night I knew the plan would be a moderate session on Tuesday and easy running the rest of the week – I was correct. Tuesday my work diary meant a trip to Birmingham for an early meeting on the golf course then a further meeting in the afternoon of which I should have arrived home by late afternoon at the latest and plenty of time to get the session done unfortunately this didn’t go to plan and I arrived home after 8pm – session not happening. After speaking to coach he told me to relax and don’t panic we would switch it to the following day but not go as hard. I enjoyed the session on the Wednesday (fartlek – 10 x 60 secs) and it got the legs in the mood shall we say, now just an easy run Thursday and race day would be upon us.

Race Day
Now Christleton 5k is one of the go to 5k’s to really try and smash a good time out in. It’s flat and fast (also accurate now). This was great opportunity for me to have a stab at going sub 16. Having not properly raced (I have done a ParkRun) since what I see was a bad result at the Wilmslow Half in March I really wanted this to be a confidence booster going into the summer.
I was getting a lift across to the race with a guy I’ve ran with a few time Neil (he’s now a new JM coaching athlete). Whilst waiting for my lift I took a call of the Jonny who gave me his wise words of wisdom including “go out hard and it’s going to hurt” before wishing me good luck – great touch and a sign of how much Jonny dedicates to his team. The journey there was fine and we arrived with plenty of time to collect numbers and a final pee stop – oh and also got to say hello to Paul W (@scruffylookingpostman) which was good before I did my warm up down to the start line.

Before I knew it we were at the start and the gun went, we all flew out the blocks and with little in the way of jostling for position the field opened up and I got into my stride. The first mile was great and the watched buzzed in 5:06 – slightly quicker than planed but happy with that, then before I knew it my watched buzzed again as I looked down it just had Garmin across the screen, s&$t what’s happened, how quick am I running. Before I panicked I told myself don’t give in just go as hard as you can for as long as you can and who cares about the watch. This said I cracked on and we are now into the second loop and it’s starting to hurt, but I appeared to be making progress and passing others as appose to the other way round, always a good sign! The last half a km was through the village and past the local pub where the support was amazing, I turned the final corner with yards to go the clocked staring at me said 15:55 – come on Michael it’s almost in the bag. With a second to spare I’d done it 15:59 YES!!!! Although I did panic as the initial results said 16:01 when I checked my phone but by the time we walked back to the car and done a quick cool warm down they had updated and it was confirmed as 15:59.

Now this was a massive confidence booster and a proud moment in my short running career. Sub 16, I never thought in a million years I would ever be able to run that quick plus this is only a sign of things to come with the RnR 5k and Port Sunlight 10k coming up before the big training starts for the mara in October.

Over and out – Michael

And remember guy’s summer is now here so it’s no longer “GREY SKIES OUT THIGHS OUT”, it’s “BLUE SKIES OUT TANNED THIGHS OUT”

Favourite pair of running shoes? – Great subject, my current and all-time favourites are the Nike Flynit Racer – they are a racing flat that just suit my style. You have the extra bonus that they also look good away from running.

Favourite place to run? – Botanic Park walled garden, Jonny introduced me to the place and it’s like your very own playground for runners. (Look it up)

Who inspired you to start running? I have to say this and I know a lot of people probably say the same thing but it was watching Mo Farah in London 2012. I remember watching it and thinking wow what a performance and how must he be feeling. I laced up a pair of trainers not long after. Although it wasn’t till I watched a rerun early in 2013 I started running more than once a month! There is now a number of inspiring people out there in the running world including the man himself JM. 

First race? – Hoylake 10k back in 2013, I’d just properly taken running up and entered not knowing what the hell I was doing. Managed to run 43:xx and loved it.

What do you love most about running? – the freedom it gives you, there is nothing better than having a bad day at work, heading home to put you running gear on and disappearing for an hour on your own. I also love the community; the “Everything Running” group is a prime example of a great community with excellent camaraderie.  

What are three things still left on your running bucket list?

–       London Marathon

–       NYC Half Marathon (have a crack at the coaches PB – ha ha)

–       Elite start in a race (Name on my bib)

Interests away from running? – I’ve always been a keen golfer and try and play as much golf as I can. Away from sport you’ll usually find me in one of the numerous coffee shops in Liverpool city centre with the wife to be.

Invite four famous people to dinner, who would you choose and why?

  1. Mohammed Ali – full on inspiration
  2. Donald Trump – he’d cause some unrest and good topics of conversation
  3. Paul Gascoigne – the stories of his highs and lows
  4. Paul Wellar – provide the music

Go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go? – Tiger Woods, he was my childhood hero growing up. Our trip would consist of playing all of the British Open golf courses

If you were an animal, what would you be and why? – Butterfly, this may sound strange but as a butterfly you are always developing into new stages. I see these changes as the way the world moves on and how you progress as a person.

Date, marry, or make disappear forever? 

Date – Paula Ratcliffe – just to talk about her running

Marry – my fiancé (need to say that as it’s not far of the big day)

Disappear – Kim Kardashian – what is her point on the planet


Quick fire round…

Coffee or tea? Coffee (Addict)

Books or movies? Book

Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi (if I needed to drink one)

Cadburys or Galaxy? Galaxy

Winter or summer? Summer (Sun, Sun, Sun)

Dancing or singing? Dancing (but even that’s bad)

‘Netflix and chill’ or cinema? Netflix and chill

Horror or comedy? Comedy

Wine or beer? Beer

Fruit or vegetables? Fruit

Hot or cold? Hot

Tempo or track? Toughy but got to say tempo

eBay or Amazon? eBay

iOS or Android? iOS

Mac or PC? MAC

Save or spend? Spend

Ocean or mountains? Mountains

City or countryside? Countryside

Bath or Shower? Shower (I don’t fit in the bath)

Cats or dogs? Dog

Liverpool or Everton? Everton

New Balance or New Balance? Haha (trick question)