'A run can start from anywhere'


MY RUNNING LIFE: JOHN O’REGAN, 43, running coach with Le Chéile AC, Leixlip, Co Kildare

When did you start running and why? April 2001. I read a book called Survival of the Fittest and one chapter was about the Marathon des Sables, and it caught my imagination. I started running to do that race and the rest just happened.

What’s been your biggest achievement? Guiding Mark Pollock during the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon, representing my country in the Ultramarathon and completing the Spartathlon.

What was the toughest thing about running 24 hours? Trying to justify why I do it. I’ve built up to this type of event over the years and have run races that are longer and take more time, so I know that going into a 24-hour race it’s not the unknown and I’ve been there before.

How, and what, did you eat during that race? I didn’t and don’t eat a lot during 24-hour races. In my most recent one I ate mostly coconut oil, two bananas, yogurt, four PowerBars, two gels towards the end, and drank mostly water but switched to a combination of carbohydrate drinks and flat Coca-Cola towards the end.

Best thing about running? It’s simple and a run can start from anywhere. There’s no better way to maximise your available training time.

Where’s your regular run route?1. Leixlip to Connolly Station in Dublin city centre or vice versa. 2. Leixlip and surrounding area. 3 City centre. 4. Dublin Mountain Way.

What are you training for? The Siberian Black Ice Race with Mark Pollock and the 24 Hour World European Championships, both in 2013.

What’s your goal?To stay healthy, injury-free and to keep improving. I’d also like to get as many people running as possible, in particular those that think they can’t.

Are you a morning or evening runner? Both – and I’m also a night-time and afternoon runner. I’ll take any opportunity I can get.

Do you stretch?Yes, but not as much as I should, or maybe it’s not as much as I’m told to.

Good or bad diet?It’s OK and closer to good than bad. I make the effort to eat good, nutritious food and include lots of healthy fats with foods such as avocados, nuts, fish and eggs, but I have a very sweet tooth and would snack a lot. As I get closer to a race I pay a bit more attention to what and when I eat.

Do you have a personal trainer? Yes. My strength sessions are under the guidance of John Belton and his team at No 17 Personal Training on Merrion Square.

What’s your average training week? Typically I run 140-170K per week, and for the most part it’s easy running, but I do make sure to include two or three Tempo sessions and always run over hilly routes. I train twice a day most days, and that will either be two runs or a strength session and run. I like to think that I’m always less than two months from being race ready, with some event specific work for the fine-tuning.

What do you wear on your feet? Saucony ProGrid Guide for road and Salomon S-lab for trail.

Ever been chased by an animal?Yes, and mostly dogs.

Favourite running book? Lore of Running by Prof Tim Noakes.

Favourite running tip? Put as much or even more effort into your recovery as you do into your training. You should only do what you can recover from.

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