Dublin Marathon – Meet the Runners – Kenny Gleeson

October 23, 2022

With just a week to go until the Dublin Marathon, we have been talking to some runners about why they are running the Dublin Marathon, as well as some questions about their running journey. 

Next up is Kenny Gleeson from Co. Galway.

Hi Kenny, tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi my name is Kenny Gleeson I am 45 years old and am a self employed with a commercial office fitout company which specialises in glazed partitions. I’m married to Hayley have 3 boys Jake Isaac and Bobby, 2 dogs which all adds up to being kept going most of the time ☺️

Why are you running the Dublin marathon?

Well Dublin is always the main target each year for most Irish people who run marathons. The crowd and atmosphere are pretty hard to compete with. It is always a great event to do and always a great buzz beforehand and afterwards.

Can you remember the moment when you decided to run your first marathon?

I actually can, it started out as a bit of banter between me and a cousin of mine who had signed up for Dublin marathon 2017, and I was saying there was nothing to it. Obviously I had no clue as I had never even ran a 5k at this point, but only winding him up.

Anyway he said if you think it’s so easy why don't you do it so I said ok so I will! This was at end of July and marathon was in October!!!!

So to make sure I didn’t back out I decided to raise money for charity and raised a few quid for the Make a Wish foundation. Was a big ask but thankfully I got through it with the help of a few training buddies

Have you run many marathons before? Have you any run this year, or planned for next year?

Yes this will be my 8th marathon to date. Once you start them it becomes kind of addictive I find. I have done 2 this year already; one in Calgary in Canada and one in Portumna Forest (my local area). Me my brother and my brother in law are actually thinking of going down the route of some adventures races next year but there will definitely be a Dublin Marathon and possibly Clonakilty and Dingle in the mix as I love all those courses

How did you get into running?

As explained earlier it was kind of an accident through a bit of banter with a relation but once I started I got really fond of the peace and quiet away from the phone the work related emails and just soak in the world around you and switch off for a while. Just pop in some music and get out there and enjoy the air

How do you find the time to train? And how do you cope with missed sessions?

It’s quite tough for me to train sometimes as I am out in the road a lot with work and stay away from home quite a bit. Long days usually mean I end up running at night (which I like) a lot, having a very physical job sometimes it’s really hard to get motivated but always feel great once it’s done.

I used to get very worried about missing sessions but I think mentally the pressure we put on ourselves for missing them is far worse than the actual effects of missing a session.

Unfortunately I often miss long runs at weekends being busy with family etc but I have found that regular mileage and consistency in my running ensures I get there in the end.

Obviously long runs are vital but I have missed them in the past and still managed to get there on the day and often times you get a nice surprise once you don’t put too much pressure on yourself

How has your preparation been for the marathon? Have you run other races, or shorter races? Have you had injuries?

I’m gonna be really honest and say my preparation for this years event hasn’t been as on point as I would like, generally due to “ life “ happening around me. Busy work life, new baby this year etc. But all the same I get regular runs in and am pretty confident I will be ok on the day, but there is always the thought of  "have I done enough" .

I have done a few races this year, 2 marathons, a couple of 1/2 marathons one or two 10k races, and try get Parkrun done as many Saturdays as I can as they are a great way to get a free timed 5k .

I had my share of injuries over the last few years, knee, IT band, ankles, the other knee, back, etc, but am currently injury free for a long time and hopefully it stays they was fingers crossed. Recovery is always a tough one just wanting to get back running so I do try to listen to my body these days and if I feel a niggle coming I think it’s important to ease off. Prevention is always better than cure!

Everyone has a different method of training. Do you train with a club or on your own? Tell us about your training plan

I tend to train alone mostly as I have a very varied timeline of when it happens. Usually late at night and often away from home due to work. I do have a couple of training buddies but both of the main ones are currently injured and will miss out on Dublin this year.

I don’t tend to be able to stick to a specific training plan as such due to various issues so I try to get my mileage up in a mixture of distances during the week as opposed to most peoples long weekend run.

As I have run a few marathons now, but am by no means an athlete, my training would probably have running coaches cringing but it works for me. I do my regular running in the week and generally do a couple of faster sessions and had been doing my long run on a Sunday morning early. That has recently been a bit of a problem just not getting the time so I just try ensure I have the equivalent mileage done throughout the week.

One thing I am doing this year a bit different is working with a friend of mine who is a nutritionist to try make my body a bit more efficient and she’s a few lbs before the event. So quite different territory for me on this years event but looking forward to seeing how it goes

What is your goal time for the Dublin marathon?

I am aiming for 3:30 this year and maybe it is a bit ambitious as my training has changed for this event, but I did a 3:30 marathon in Portumna earlier in the year but GPS didn’t record it as the full distance due to being in the forest, so my buddies won’t allow me to accept it as a PB!!! So all guns blazing to get my 3:30 this time officially!!

My previous best was 3:41 so if I beat that in Dublin I will be happy

What would your advice be to runners heading into the marathon?

The main thing I would say is don’t get caught up in the atmosphere and start off too fast! Mile 1 and 2 too fast and it makes the other 24 a lot more difficult. But also to enjoy the day, your training is done don’t put pressure on yourself just enjoy the atmosphere and the support the cheers and the bling at the end!

As they always say this is just the victory lap for all the training you have done

Do you have any techniques to motivate yourself when the going gets tough?

Mine is simple really I just think to myself the slower I go the longer I have to suffer, it’s not the best advice but it’s the truth. Your legs will undoubtedly get tired but just keep plugging away as I find the tough times you feel don’t last long and although it doesn’t feel like it when it hits it passes pretty quick and that second wind is a godsend.

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