#DreamRunDublin18 – Just 2 days until race day! We catch up with Michael Broadhead as part of our special feature…

#DreamRunDublin18 – 2 days until the race day – Interview with Michael Broadhead:

You’ll hopefully have been keeping up to date with the #DreamRunDublin18 project, which we are involved in within Rio Olympian Paul Pollock?

In the second edition of the Project, Paul has chosen a group of 10 athletes who he will help towards a sub 3-hour finish at the Dublin Marathon.

There are now just 2 days until the SSE Dublin City Marathon, which incorporates the AAI National Marathon Championships (Sunday 28th August 2018).

In the run up to race day, we have been featuring all athletes, asking about the project, their training and their hopes and expectations going forward.

So far, we have caught up with Conor Hogarth, Tracey Atkinson, Adam Ferguson, Eamonn O’Reilly, Peter Thompson, Philip McBride, Wesley McDowell, Peter Morrison and Liosa McKeown. Last but most definitely not least, we will catch up with Michael Broadhead, the final member of the #DreamRunDublin18 team.

Let’s see how Michael is ahead of the big day…

How do you feel training has been going since you joined the #DreamRunDublin18 team?

I’m really pleased with how my training has been going since joining the #DreamRunDublin18 team. I’ve never felt in better condition and I’m getting personal best’s all over the place – so there’s no question it’s working. It’s been good to mix up my training with some sessions that are new to me.

How has your training changed since joining the #DreamRunDublin18 team?

It’s great to have structure and focus to training – I’ve been guilty in the past of not taking sufficient recovery time and doing a lot of junk miles. These days, if I’m training, I’m training, and if I’m recovering, I’m recovering. As much as anything, it’s great being told what to do every week – it takes all the thinking out of it from a coach who’s challenging but supportive. My wife, Suzi, has also been great and supportive, which has meant I’ve been able to be disciplined with the sessions.

The focus is of course on getting that sub 3 hour finish time at the Dublin Marathon 2018, do you believe you can achieve this? Have things progressed the way you’d hoped?

I’m looking forward to getting to the start line in Dublin. There’s a couple of things I’m still working on, like my plan for fuelling during the race. As the race gets nearer, the focus of our training is shifting to race day, so I’m confident that I’ll be prepared. I think that sub 3 is achievable. I hope that’s not famous last words!

What has been your highlight in terms of your own personal favourite performance since joining the #DreamRunDublin18 team?

I really enjoyed a park run that we all ran a couple of weeks ago at Victoria Park. We had run a moderately fast 3 miles, followed by a flat out park run then finished with another moderately fast 3 miles. So I was very happy to PB in the park run in the middle of the session, especially at my running clubs usual park run. I’d been overtaken in the previous couple of races by one of the other runners on the project, so I was also pleased that I somehow managed to stay in front of him ?

What has been your favourite training session since commencing training with the Paul Pollock and the #DreamRunDublin18 team?

The toughest sessions that stretch me the most are the ones I enjoy, although it really doesn’t feel like it at the time. Maybe it’s runners amnesia, knowing that the next day is probably a rest day, or just seeing progress that feels good. It feels great to nail a challenging session, even if my hand is usually completely written over with repeat, set, timing and session details! I’ve been able to meet up with the other DreamRunDublin runners fairly often, in particular for the long runs. A few of my clubmates have joined me on some of the midweek sessions too which has been great.

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

It’s a great set of runners, largely from different running clubs in the area. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the meet ups and running with them – there’s a lot to be said for running in a pack and a strength in numbers. I can’t wait to toast everyone’s success in Dublin when we all smash a 3 hour marathon!

I’d like to add…

I’m still over the moon to be involved – I’m learning so much and hugely enjoying the challenge. Paul, Ryan and all the other runners are making it a lot of fun. It’s a privilege to be coached by someone of Paul’s calibre and I’ll really miss it when it’s finished!

What the Coach thinks…

Michael has been a pleasure to coach throughout the project. He has benefited from staying relatively injury free since May, which is reflected in his current level of fitness and strength. After a slow start to the project, where he had to work hard, it is only recently that he is beginning to reap the rewards.

Following a strong race in the Belfast half, taking several minutes off his best, he should be coming in to the marathon day, full of confidence and hope. With a current marathon best of 3:12, I fully expect him to continue breaking his personal bests, and take a big chunk off his marathon time. There is no doubt that he has the talent and currently the fitness, to break the 3 hour barrier and after all the effort that he has put in, it would be fully deserved.

Lastly, good luck to all of the #DreamRunDublin18 team and to all other competitors in this year’s Dublin marathon. It promises to be another fantastic day, so control the nerves, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy running in one of the best marathons around.