Yep, I’m putting it out there.

But first, let’s kick-off with the recent races…


First up, great run from international orienteer and Stablemate, Jens Waechter, in the Kerryway ultra. Jens, moving up from orienteering to ultra trail running, found himself in a phantasmagorical battle for a podium spot. His race report details how he overcame a dance with the Midnight Beast of Kerry, how he battled the Kerry bogs and his personal demons, and if that were not enough, he goes into great detail about his on-course snogging exploits. Excellent performance (the run not the snogging).


Young Spillane finished off his time in The Stable with an excellent 6th place in the national junior 3000m champs. Banging out yet another sub 9’ 3000m (three in a row) and a PB to boot. Spillane did himself proud in the blustery conditions at Santry. Everybody in The Stable wishes him and his mullet well as he starts his undergraduate studies at the University of Limerick.


Top dog in Kerry, James Doran is really setting the standard on the roads. James jumped on board with me back in May. He was keen to lift his running to the next level. Since starting four months back he’s run PBs over 5k, 4 miles, 10k, 10 miles, and the half marathon. It’s a real Rocky Balboa story: the once upon a time journeyman finally gets a shot at the title (not giving anything away but watch this space)…


And talking of future champs, let’s have a goosey at the current Irish National Marathon Champ, Aoife Cooke. Here’s a snippet from my recent post in the world-famous, Stazza’s Stable Strava Group

Right then, Stablemates, here’s something juicy for you and something you can get involved in: Aoife Cooke has been invited to run in the elite only Valencia marathon on the 6th December (we’ve known this for some time but held back about saying anything). 

Valencia will go ahead like London, without the masses. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we’ll be ready. 

In Aoife’s build-up to the Vienna marathon (after coming back from Kenya earlier in the year) she was going well and on for about 2:27:30-2:28. With races being cancelled, the Olympics postponed, and lockdown, we decided for Aoife to take a break (3 weeks). 

Since the break, we’ve gradually built her back up, never forcing anything. The original plan was to run the Malaga marathon in December but now that she’s been invited to run the elite only Valencia marathon, the plan’s changed. 

Below, you’ll see the first draft/outline of Aoife’s proposed build-up to Valencia. Each week, I’ll explain in detail (in advance of her training) the reasons for every run/session. Each week, we’ll also assess how she went in the previous week. You’re all welcome to chip in and comment. 

Every Tuesday afternoon, I’ll be heading down to Cork and staying over so that on Wednesday mornings I can oversee her sessions/beat her with Stazza’s Stick. I’ll be videoing the sessions and chatting with Aoife after the sessions. Aoife and I will post the vids on our respective Instagram accounts, Facebook, and here in The Stable News.

Last year, as many of you know, twelve weeks out I predicted what time Aoife would run in the Dublin marathon. Unfortunately, I was four-seconds out: I predicted 2:32:38 and she ran 2:32:34. For Valencia, I’m predicting, 2:26:29. 

I think all of you will find it interesting to watch how Aoife progresses and hopefully you’ll learn along the way. It’s very unlikely that we’ll follow the plan below exactly (it’s an outline). We’ll tweak sessions accordingly. 

Aoife’s goal over the next 10 years or so is to compete in three Olympics, three world championships, and beat Catherina McKiernan’s, Irish marathon record (2:22:23). And when I say compete, we mean compete and not just turn up. We hope to have Aoife in 2:22 shape for Tokyo (if it goes ahead). 

Anyway, enjoy (you’ll all love that first workout)… 

So kids, that’s what I posted in the Stazza’s Stable Strava group (along with the outline of her draft schedule; as and when necessary, the schedule will change as we go along). The Stablemates have all the details of her schedule but for you guys, I’ll give you it weekly in advance. Here’s this week:



Easy runs: (am) 8 miles easy (pm) 8 miles easy 

Easy pace: 7’50” – 8’30” 

1x S&C (Monday) 
1x Pilates 
1x Mobility 

Mon – 8 miles easy + S&C + 8 miles easy 

Tue – 8 miles easy + 6 miles easy 

Wed – warm up—40x400m in 78”-76” (rec. 200m in 2’) 

Thur – 6 miles easy + 8 miles easy 

Fri – 8 miles easy + warm up—12x80m hill sprints—cool down 

Sat – 8 miles easy + 8 miles easy 

Sun – 4 miles warm up—12 miles @ 5’50”—4 miles easy

Each week, we’ll review the training and pop-up next week’s graft…