#DreamRunDublin18 – Just 4 days until race day! We catch up with Liosa McKeown as part of our special feature…

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#DreamRunDublin18 – 4 days until the race day – Interview with Liosa McKeown:

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 4 days until the SSE Dublin City Marathon, which incorporates the AAI National Marathon Championships.

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 and Peter Morrison.  In the remaining days, we’ll speak to the final two runners of the #DreamRunDublin18 team, starting with Liosa McKeown.

Let’s see how Liosa is getting on…

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

The training was going brilliantly until I became injured, which has set me back quite a bit. I missed about 6 weeks of proper training.

I was really enjoying the sessions, and I could see a massive improvement in such a short period of time.

Hopefully, I am finally in recovery (from a hip injury) and can get a few solid weeks of training before the marathon.

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

Well, it is a lot more structured and focussed. Since having Cúan 15 months ago, I was running whenever it suited.

I didn’t have a plan or any intention behind my running. I just ran short distances at a very comfortable pace.

Now every run has a purpose. I know what I’m doing every day and I know what the result should be for each run.

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?

At this point, I am doubtful that I will get under the magic 3.  I feel that I’ve missed so much with the injury.  However, before the programme, I had never considered running a sub-3 marathon. I know that I even if I miss out in Dublin, I still have the ability in there somewhere.

Saying that, I am confident that I will get a PB in the marathon and I am still hopeful that a miracle will come from somewhere.

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

The highlight in terms of performance has been seeing the improvement every few weeks. On a Sunday afternoon when the sessions come through, I think they’re impossible, then I’m hitting the splits that Paul has set and I can’t believe it.

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

There have been a few that I’ve enjoyed.  I like the progressive runs that start easy and increase pace over distance. I’ve also, strangely, enjoyed the 400m reps. Of course, it has been nice meeting up with the others when possible.

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

Yes, the team are great and really supportive.  We really want each other to do well.

What the Coach thinks…

After a promising first two months, building a strong base, Liosa unfortunately hit a number of bumps in training through various injuries.

With the most recent injury only clearing at the beginning of October, while most of the group have been enjoying a taper, Liosa has not had that luxury.

However, given where the 31 year old was a month ago, I could not be happier with the level of fitness that she has managed to reach. Her talent (already shown with her 3:13 PB) and strength has never been in doubt. With only a number of days to go until race day, her body is in one piece and painfree.

If she has a good race on Sunday, a sub three hour time is definitely within her current capabilities. After the many ups and downs, making the startline itself has been a great achievement for Liosa and I hope that she runs a time that justifies the effort that I know she has put in.