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Marathon training'S ARCHIVE

  • Lessons from the Manchester marathon

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on April 30, 2019

    2018 was one of the worst running years since I started to take running seriously. It consisted of my slowest ever marathon in Rotterdam, my slowest half marathon in 7 years at the Great North Run and an abandoned half marathon because I hurt myself in a circuit class two days before it. In a […]

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  • At the start of each of the last few years I have targeted improving my personal bests in running pursuits. Each year this becomes my goal. Over the last couple of years, it’s been listed, but more out of stubbornness than true belief that I would do it. On the car journey from Eldoret airport […]

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  • Final lessons from Kenya

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on December 21, 2018

    So as I wait at Doha airport for my final flight home, it’s the ideal time to pen my thoughts and highlight the lessons learned from the whole Kenya experience. Whilst it was a running joke with my clients that this trip was a jolly, it’s purpose was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to learn how […]

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  • Home of Champions: part two

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training, Outdoor | on December 15, 2018

    Sunday was rest day. By rest, this meant a 4am start for safari day. Having been stopped for speeding enroute to Lake Nakuru and our bus breaking down when returning, this truly was a ‘Kenyan Experience’. Alas our sightings of lions or leopards didn’t materialise however multiple zebras, giraffes, water buffaloes, rhinos and baboons were […]

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  • Home of Champions: part one

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Marathon training, Outdoor, Workout | on December 8, 2018

    Following an insanely long journey which involved choosing to stay awake on the first 7 hour flight (when I had three seats to myself) so that I can sleep on the second six hour flight (where I was stuck with two parents and their one year old boy, crying for the duration), I then had […]

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  • The importance of goals

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Marathon training, Workout | on August 27, 2018

    I’ve been writing blog posts pretty consistently since 2013. I’ve covered a host of topics ranging from nutrition to fitness; mindset to marathons and a host of others in between. One topic that I have touched upon on a few occasions is goals. In life and in fitness, they are pivotal in getting you to […]

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  • Rotterdamned! Review of the Rotterdam marathon

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training, Outdoor | on April 17, 2018

    I wrote this marathon blog whilst waiting for my delayed flight out of Rotterdam airport – so my body was still sore, and to a degree, so was my pride! For Rotterdam marathon, my fourth, I wanted to change up my training in order to achieve a personal best time – my current being 3:19. […]

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  • The Big Half review

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on March 7, 2018

    Keen to pester clients at Dynamic Fitness Training into booking onto local races, the weekend just gone, I competed in the inaugural half marathon race run along the streets of the Capital. Won by Sir Mo Farah, the race began on London Bridge, taking in the sights of Canary Wharf and ultimately finishing at the […]

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  • Marathon motivation

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on January 16, 2018

    There are two peak running periods for half-marathon and marathon runners – Spring and Autumn. These are the times that races are many in number and the conditions allow for personal bests galore. The number of races in winter and summer dwindle because, in the case of summer, people travel and the conditions can be […]

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  • Lessons for marathon runners

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on May 12, 2017

    It’s the end of another marathon training programme. After the elation of completion, with the pain beginning to subside, for me, the most important element is learning – what went well, what went wrong, how can things be improved. This is my fourth marathon training programme. I have completed races in Dublin, Edinburgh and now […]

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  • North London half marathon 2017

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on March 16, 2017

    Sunday 12 March was the north London half marathon and my first race of the year. Beginning and ending at the iconic Wembley stadium, it is one not to miss. But would I run it again? I’m not so sure… It is the hilliest race that I’ve done. Well, actually, I’ve completed this course twice […]

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  • Marathon training plan

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training | on October 3, 2016

    The autumn is upon us which for the advanced recreational runner usually means competing in the last race of the year or beginning in earnest the training for a spring race. After a busy summer of work and my wedding, a race in autumn was always going to prove too difficult to train for effectively. […]

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  • The fitness industry is full of myths. Some based on assumptions, others based on clever marketing and some are based on small studies being extrapolated to the broader society. One of the main ones revolves around cardiovascular training – namely, the ‘fat burning zone’. I’ll attempt to clear the wood from the trees in this […]

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  • How to search for a personal trainer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on June 28, 2015

    In addition to personal training with my fantastic clients at Dynamic Fitness Training, I also spend time tutoring and assessing on fitness industry courses for YMCAfit. The more vigilant amongst you will recognise that I am essentially developing my competition in years to come – probably not the wisest move I guess! However, in reality, […]

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  • As I write the second blog of my marathon week, I am sitting on a train returning from Edinburgh, knees sore but feeling smug. I had achieved a personal best time and exceeded my earlier predictions. Without question I am learning from every race. Foolishly, prior to my first marathon in Dublin in October 2013, […]

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  • Training for running events can be an arduous task but training for two in the same week is bordering on madness. That’s exactly the challenge that I set myself and over the next two blog posts, I will outline: how I trained; how I tapered; and how I got on. Realising that I haven’t updated […]

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  • The benefits of endurance training

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Marathon training | on September 23, 2014

    Endurance training is pivotal for anyone looking to complete a long distance event, be it a marathon, cross country run or even an Ironman or an Ultramarathon. We do more training and then we get fitter – simple, right? Well as you train, the body is undergoing very intricate changes which are enabling you to […]

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