Welcome to the series of posts I am writing on some of the different runs we use at WestLimerickAC on our weekend long runs. Before I get into this post I thought it might be useful to highlight why I decided to write this series. There are number of reasons, but the main two being;
- Insight for others who might want to join
- Firstly the Fun –The weekend run is probably the most enjoyable in some ways as we get to ‘run long’ – ‘long’ meaning more time, more distance, more running = more fun! So wanted to share a little about these runs as I love them, and I hope a few club members will enjoy reading them.
- Insight for others –I often talk to people, other runners, who perhaps aren’t in the club but who run and enjoy their various routes on a weekly basis, but often ask me about when and where I run, and how far etc.Often I hear runners which consistently run their 4 or 5 miles but haven’t ever really run any longer than that. A situation I am familiar with as for years I ran on my own and never really thought about running longer than half an hour or 40 mins. I never had a GPS tracker for one thing, but also I never appreciated the benefits that come from the long run. So I talk about them in another post.But also I never had the confidence to run longer. Could I run 8 miles? Could I run 10 miles? 13? Might sound like a long way… How long would it take? Would I make it back ??! If these thoughts sound familiar then you know what I’m talking about.
So I thought it would be useful to give some insight into some of the runs we do at weekends. How long they are and the differences between them. Often joining in on a slow easy run is a great way to make the next step forward in running and also meet new runners – social running!
TempleGlantine Trail Run – anything up to 13 to 15 miles
Templeglantine is a track/trail run starting in Templeglantine and going out towards Abbeyfeale on the railway track.
It’s an out-and-back (not loop) so one of the benefits is you can pick your distance and run out half way and turn back. Its great for getting off the road and the views are great as it’s elevated, and set a good bit away from the main road. This time of year in winter as well, with icy roads and foggy conditions, its ideal for running in a group and being able to relax and enjoy the run. This photo was taken last Saturday and as you can see it was foggy, so was a good choice. Yet maybe sometime less is more as in the heavy fog Martin Lyons said he noticed the winding river to the side of the trail – which he’d never noticed before!
Trail / off-road surface
Also being track/trail is another plus as its not as hard a surface as the asphalt road, or worse, concrete footpaths but is stone and gravel on a firm bedrock base. Some slight uneven terrain underfoot as well is the best thing for building your foot and ankle muscles (our body was never designed to spend all day on smooth flat surfaces!).
No hills – so its super easy. Railway track runs are as flat as you’ll ever get a run in Ireland – this one has a very slight drop in descent on the out and then the reverse on the way back.
Views / Setting
I mentioned the views already and the setting is very picturesque as the track winds away from roads and up across the countryside and along by meandering streams. The photo shows a nice section where it goes through a wooded area but mostly its up on the side of the valley with open views across.
Some runners dont like the idea of the out-and-back routes, but i really like this one – views always look different on the way back and you know with every step you’re closer to home. Also if you want to drop some water bottles half way, or ditch a jacket when you get warm you can easily do it on this quiet and secluded track.
You can fork off the track at a number of junctions to add in some road sections, and also hillier sections, and rejoin the track further down as well if you like to add variety.
We run as a group but people usually agree how far they want to go at the start, and there’s always a willing runner to pick the same distance. You can go all the way to the bridge at Abbeyfeale now and a little beyond it which is 6.5 miles out and 13 in total. You can also run about a mile in the other direction back towards Newcastle West so adding another 2miles if you;re looking for more.
We usually meet at 8am in the Community Hall car park and run up the hill behind the car park, and go left at the track.
Any one interested in joining in any of our long runs is welcome and it can be nice introduction to the club. We are friendly bunch!
To find out more you should like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WestLimerickAthleticsClub/?fref=ts
or drop us a line at our contact page: https://www.westlimerickac.ie/test/contact/