Run Republic caught up with Portmarnock AC runner, Simon Smith. A long time friend of Run Republic, Simon is the second runner in our weekly series of “The Finish Line” where we talk to club runners around the country. The goal of the series is to highlight the achievements of runners of all abilities around Ireland.
What is your current goal?
My current goal is to break 21 mins for 5k, and 35 mins for a 5 miler
What is your favourite song?
Crockett’s theme ( Jan Hammer)
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite TV Show?
Designated Survivor (Kieffer Sutherland)
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not training?
Walk my two babies, Milo and Cesar
How did your journey begin?
To be honest, I was very low at the time, things were not good, but my Wife said why not try a “Park Run”, the best thing I ever did never looked back.
What were the early challenges you faced? How did you over come them?
I thought by running lots of 5k runs would make me a faster 5k runner?? Well it didn’t lol!
I ended up with shin splints through constant pavement or road runs. I found that running on grass, I could play around with a style or technique that was more efficient, minimal impact and overall pain free, feel good running, running with my two dogs (English Springer Spaniels) is a great way to firstly relax and enjoy running and also a great way to train your dogs to see who is the pack leader
Do you used data for training? What wearable tech do you use?
Since I began running, I have always kept running diaries. It’s helped me develop a training program based on Park Runs, Paced Miles (Athletics Ireland run), and Race results (5 mile, 10k, 10 mile) which give you a very accurate measure of where you are now and what needs to be done in the winter training.
It’s vital to know your pace. I’m not a trained coach yet, with shift work its difficult to get the paperwork done, but to avoid injury improve and feel good after workouts, knowing your pace for a session through warm up runs, recovery runs, easy run LSR runs, mile paces, stride effort/ length, is vital. It’s no secret and would be happy to share what I’ve discovered.
I use a Garmin which is vital when you are training. By the time it comes to race, a watch is not something I would recommend. You will run the best you can on race day anyway as you will already have recognised a rhythm that you have built up. 1,2,3,4 and if you maintain this, it’s a nice way to self pace and not over stride up hill down hills on the flat! 1,2,3,4… It makes no difference ,just relax and let the feet keep the dance flowing. You need to stop checking the watch, it really will mess with your head and have a negative effect on you.
What was your the first time you knew you could really compete at a high level?
High Level? Lol! Well just slightly higher than your average club runner, except for the last hundred meters “Hollywood finish”!! lol!
What have been your biggest achievements to date? What are some of your PB’s?
Achievements? Pacing the Rock and Roll 10k last year/ and again this year also. I also enjoy pacing runners in my running group “Bus Run”, very rewarding seeing them improve and become good runners, that feel good, and enjoy their running!!
5 mile 36.39″ (track)
10 mile 1hr 15.39″
What would you do differently if you had to start again?
Answer: start younger and run with a group or club ,as running with others with experience is invaluable, also gait analysis at least two,and invest in the best runners you can afford !!!
What’s next for you?
Took tomorrow off (days holiday) just to train with the “Bus Run” group runners, as this time of year its full on and hate missing it! PB Saturday Father Collins Park run, train Sunday, race Tuesday ” Grand Prix series (Clonliffe Harriers AC)
If you had one piece of advice for readers of Run Republic, what would it be?
Believe in the power of “You” !!!