Mountain high, valley low


THIS RUNNING LIFE:John Healy (37) is a mountain runner and instructor and recently ran the full 200km Kerry Way non-stop

When did you start running and why?I’ve been running off and on for over 10 years but started running regularly in May 2011

What’s been your greatest challenge?My greatest challenge has been completing The Kerry Way trail as one continuous run. The trail is 120 miles long with almost 4,500 metres of ascent along trails and mountain tracks.

It usually takes 6-8 days to complete as a walking route. I took on this challenge both to raise money for charity but also to simply see if I could do it. I had never done anything of this length before and both the training and the big day itself proved a “voyage of discovery”.

I was very happy to see the finish after 37 hours of running.

Best thing about running?I really enjoy the mental space it gives me. Some time to think, away from distractions.

One thing you’d change about running?My weight . . . or maybe the weather.

Where’s your regular run route?I travel a lot for work so it tends to be whatever is available, most commonly the back roads of counties Cork, Wicklow, and Kerry. I enjoy running on the mountains when I have the chance also.

What are you training for now?Taking a break for a few weeks and then working on fitness for climbing and skiing in the spring.

Your aim for the year?This year it was to complete the Kerry Way run. Next year, who knows?

Are you a morning or evening runner?Both.

Good or bad diet?Mostly good.

Do you have a personal trainer?No.

What’s your average training week?Work makes my running very erratic, but I typically run four days a week. If I’m busy they can be 5-10 miles per run. In training for the Kerry Way there were runs of 20-30 miles when I could fit them in and two “100-mile weeks” at the peak period.

What do you wear on your feet?Nike Vomero on the roads, La Sportiva Crossover on the mountains

What’s on your iPod when running?I don’t like running with earpieces and on the backroads I need to hear the traffic coming. So almost never have music. I sometimes listen to the radio via my phone.

Any niggly injuries?Ongoing calf problems.

Favourite running book?Feet In The Clouds by Richard Askwith. It’s a great account of one runners battle with a major hill-running challenge, combined with a history of hill-running.

Favourite running tip?Variation. Choose different routes: road, trail, parks. Run with a companion, or a group and run by yourself. Find what you enjoy and keep doing it.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.