#DreamRunDublin17 – 10 weeks to race day! We catch up with Barry Reid as part of a special feature…


#DreamRunDublin17 – 10 weeks until the race day – Interview with Barry Reid:

There is just 10 weeks until one of the biggest races on the European race calendar, an epic race in terms of Northern Ireland – that is of course the SSE Dublin City Marathon, which incorporates the AAI National Marathon Championships.

You’ll hopefully have been keeping up to date with the #DreamRunDublin17 project which we are involved in within Rio Olympian Paul Pollock? Paul is taking his first steps into coaching and has chosen a group of 10 athletes who he will help towards a sub 3-hour finish at the Dublin Marathon.

We decided – 10 weeks to go, 10 athletes in the group… so we’ll feature one athlete each week and ask them questions about the project, their training and their hopes and expectations going forward.

Up first is Barry Reid from Belfast – let’s see how Barry is getting on!

How do you feel training has been going since you joined the #DreamRunDublin17 team?

I was originally disappointed not to be selected the DreamRunDublin17 team.  I was just getting back from a calf injury and hadn’t ran for around 10 weeks.  I was a little down and had put around 20 pounds on as I couldn’t run and seen the challenge as a way of getting back on track.

However, a few days after the original dear John email I received word from Paul that someone else had turned down the offer, so I was in.  I’m not sure who you are but I thank you! From that initial meet up in May my training has been going well and I continue to get stronger week on week.

How has your training changed since joining the #DreamRunDublin17 team?

I now do most of my training alone in order to be strict with times and intensities.  I was always involved with a group of runners training for a marathon but just kind of went with what their sessions were as they had more experience than me.

So, the first big difference is that Paul Pollock has all the sessions tailored to my needs.  Previously, I would have went to the track for a speed session or to a hill for a session and just ran at speeds I thought was around my ability.  Now that I’m being strict with intensities that will benefit me I feel my fitness has improved.

The second big difference is the long run. Paul has definitely divided my friends on slow versus pace long runs. I would have never run a 20 miler at 7 minute mile pace on any other programme I’ve followed.  I did my first 20 miler of this program last Sunday and finished it better than any past 20 mile training runs.  Last mile was a 6.35 and I felt strong.  Also, its kind of hard trying to coax mates to come out for a 15-20 mile run at 7 minute per mile pace!

The focus is of course on getting that sub 3 hour finish time at the Dublin Marathon 2017, do you believe you can achieve this? Have things progressed the way you’d hoped?

Things are progressing as planned.  I ran my first 20 miler at the weekend and finished it feeling strong.  With ten weeks to go I can only get fitter and leaner.  I’ve managed to lose 16 pounds too so far that has helped.  I believe sub 3 hours to be a realistic and achievable goal.  I spend hours comparing last year’s runs versus this years runs on my Garmin app and I’ve never been as fit as I am now at this point.  Heart rates are lower and tempo runs are quicker.

What has been your highlight in terms of your own personal favourite performance since joining the #DreamRunDublin17 team?

We have been let off the lead a few times to race as markers of improvement over the past 16 weeks.  Lisburn 10k was a horrible night and no one ran to plan.  The humidity left no energy in the tank for a pick up in the last few kilometres and I was disappointed with my time.

Fingal 10k was next and although I ran well I got held up at the start in the masses and panicked.  I then ran the first half too quick and suffered on the last few kilometres.  So, I’m keeping my favourite personal performance for Dublin marathon!

What has been your favourite training session since commencing training with the Paul Pollock and the #DreamRunDublin17 team?

I loved the double parkrun at Victoria Park.  We had to race the first 5k then rest for 3 minutes then go again making sure the second 5k was no slower than 2 minutes of the previous time.  Usually I race the parkrun and leg it back to the hut for a coffee and a piece of cake!

Oh and we’re back at Victoria again on the 2nd September 2017 for 3 parkruns.  Someone save me a piece of cake please!

Have you got any races coming up?  What are your expectations for these?

I’m focusing on Belfast City Half Marathon as my next race.  We had an entry into Dublin too but the early start to drive down put me off so I’m going to race on home turf instead.  My PB is 1:20:20 from a few years back so I’d love to get near that again.  I think if I stick to the plan and try and run a negative split coming home strong I won’t be far off.

The atmosphere and camaraderie at the group training days is very clear – are you enjoying being part of the team?

I’ve played football most of my life and always loved the changing room banter.  Being part of this team is very similar.  We are bonding well and have developed good friendships.  Everyone has the same goal and understands the effort needed to make this happen.  Although, I would like to go on record that no one is allowed to speak to me at the start line in Dublin when I’ve my game face on!  Oh, and last one home buys the first round!

To finish, I would just like to thank Paul Pollock and Ryan publicly on getting this programme and group together.  It has been a pleasure so far and we all hope to repay you both with 10 runs at Sub 3!

What does the coach say!?

Paul Pollock:

Having just missed out on initial selection for the DreamRunDublin17 project, Barry was called up into the team forty-eight hours late.  One of the original chosen athletes was hoping to break sub 3 hours at this year’s Belfast Marathon and so it seemed only fair to give the opportunity to someone else.

Since his selection, Barry’s enthusiasm and dedication has been clear for everyone to see. While on the surface he may present a laid back, jokey persona, underneath there is a clear competitive determination that occasionally comes to the fore.

Barry currently has bragging rights in the group of being the fastest marathoner with a PB of 3:02 – a fact that he is always happy to remind the other athletes of!

His training and fitness has improved remarkably since the start of the project and with less than ten weeks until race day, he is sitting in a strong position.

We’ll catch up with another of the group next week!