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It's not failure until you stop trying.

Posted by Damian McKeever on

So after following a 6 week training plan that promised to get me to sub 20 minutes I wasn't able to produce the goods on the day!!

Where did it all go wrong?

When I arrived in Shanganagh I recieved a call from one of our biggest supporters on the blog, Liam Dillion to say he couldn't be bothered turning up to see my 5k attempt even though he only lived 5 minutes away. That was a huge blow to the team that in truth we never really recovered from. Now I'm not the type of person to blame someone else, but if I was to blame anyone it would be Liam Dillion for his lack of commitment to the cause.

Anyway myself and Declan Hogan turned up with Ken Noonan there to support us. The first 1k was pretty hard and I was half hoping when it was over that my garmin would tell me we had run a 3:45 and i'd have to dial it back a bit. It didn't I posted a 4 min on the button, I then attempted to pick up the pace for the next kilometer and Mark and Suzanne were chatting away just in front of me saying they were just going to "Jog" around in 20 minutes. I sort of knew if I could stay with them I wouldn't be too far off, Declan fell back a bit and I lost touch with those two. I was sort of in no mans land and the kilometer beeped at 4:07 that was a real kick in the balls as I felt I couldn't really go any faster than that. The next K was 4:23 and at that point the sub 20 dream was over for sure and thoughts starting going towards well at least do 20 minutes something to make it look like you were close. I finished according to my Garmin on 21:20 but on the actual results i'm 20:59.


Afterwards I was pretty ok with it. Look I tried and failed, it's time to move on and do some actual Ironman training. However the amount of people that have asked am I going to try again and more importantly the amount of people who have said "I told you so there's no way you could knock 2/3 minutes off the time" I'm motivated to give it another 6 week cycle. 

There were a few things that I feel may not have helped me.

1) Having a chinese the night before was not a good idea. I got back late enough from work and wanted to watch the leinster match. Ended up having a chinese take out with fried rice the works.

2) I never missed a key session on the plan but I did miss quiet a few none key sessions. This time I'm going to run 4 days a week (last plan was 6 days a week), but not miss a session.

3) I'm much more bitter this time. Genuinely taken back by some people who laughed at the idea of me doing sub 20. As Anthony Foley once said "you're better when you're bitter". In fairness most of them said nothing till I didn't do it and then said "ah sure you were never going to do it too far off the time carrying way too much weight".

4) Weight- they may have had a point on the weight one. I started at about 91/92 kg but weighed myself the morning before the race and the night after the chinesse jesus 95kg I've never been that heavy.

New plan, New coach, 1st July is 6 weeks out we are going for it!!!


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  • Hey mon , you know you can do it!!
    You just gotta believe in youself Damian.

    That, some training and change your support team. Surround youself with positivity mon!



    Usain Bolt on

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