Tag Archives: Waterford Greenway

Green Exercise

I’m all about being green. In general. Recycling, upcycling, air miles, composting, you get the drift. But I’m also all about Green exercise. Getting outdoors, into the non recycled air.  And for me, that’s one of the benefits!

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In general you are pretty limited in the gym. Sure you can adjust the incline, but nothing beats the undulating terrain of the outdoors. Working out outside promotes “muscle confusion,” which can help your body burn more calories.  Very cool. And it’s totally cool to be green.

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I love a good fartlek….

As you know I have a serious love/ hate relationship with running.  I love it when I’m finished, but hate that I can never seem to run as fast or as far as everyone else.  I tend to be prone also to injury, so feel sometimes that I am starting from scratch all over again, everytime.  So after much trying of different types of running training, I now combine a number of methods that seem to keep me in the game, injury free, and motivate me. Fartlek being the main one.

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Fartlek (meaning speed play) is the first.  Similar to interval training, it was designed in Sweden by Gösta Holmér in 1937, he was the coach of a cross country running team who were not doing particularly well.  Sessions should be performed at an intensity that causes the athlete to work at 60% to 80% of his or her maximum heart rate. This means (hopefully) that the body will not experience too much discomfort while exercising. An athlete should also include a good warm up at the beginning of the session, and a cool down at the end of the session, to improve performance, minimize post-workout muscle soreness, and most importantly for me; to decrease the chances of injury.. So hence it’s the model of choice for me.  The “Fartlek” intervals can vary in length, and speed.  When I’m starting off I’ll do a walk/jog interval, then if I’m feeling “in the groove” I’ll do slow run, fast run intervals.  My ultimate aim is to decrease the number of walk/runs. Fartleks are a great option for people that run for their health because the fat burning portion makes it a very efficient exercise.

Waterford Greenway

The Greenway is fab in both good and bad weather

But still running by yourself can be quite lonely.  I use to run with music, but after a particularly long injury break I started back running and simply forgot to put the music on.  It is also safer for when I’m running on the road. I really envy the people who can run with other people.  I just can’t.  Firstly I’d be embarrassed as I run SO SLOWLY.  And then I’d struggle to chat- and for anyone who knows me- seems impossible.  So I just run and retreat inside my head. And it’s free. With money tight -a gym, or fitness classes are completely out of the question, so I strap on the runners and use some of the roads and tracks around my area.  The Waterford Greenway is an amazing running/ walking/ cycling “way” that runs from Waterford to Dungarvan along the old route of the railway.  it’s 46kms of safe running and we are lucky to have access to quite a few entry points.  If that doesn’t get you out running or walking nothing will!

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I do have a machine companion however, I’m one of those annoying people who share their exercise on social media.  The main reason is for support, even if noone “likes” it, I still hope that there is support out there for my lonely feet slapping runs 3-4 times a week in my endless journey to increase my fitness and decrease my weight.  Although over the last few years those priorities have changed in emphasis.  My health, both mental and physical are more important to me now than ever.  Too many friends have gone, too many people take their lives for granted.  I’m determined not to be one of those.  And sure I like the scenery.

Our Waterford Greenway Adventure

I’m not a great cyclist, the balance just isn’t entirely there.  So when I suggested taking the newly opened Waterford Greenway from the Workhouse in Kilmacthomas, to Dungarvan by bike one Sunday, the family went along with my enthusiasm. There’s lots of parking in the Workhouse, and toilets aswell FYI.  The bikes were unhitched, we hiked up our padded pants and off we went.
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The first stretch is really beautiful, the trail winds over the main Cork Waterford road, and onto the viaduct. This part is quite busy but there’s lots of room for walkers and cyclists alike.  It’s still a bit confusing on who’s on which side. but I’m sure we’ll all figure it out- eventually.
Greenway

Having run some of the various parts I recognised vistas and crossings, but it was really good to do the whole journey as one.  I had, in a moment of madness thought that once it was finished I would aim to run from the start to the finish.  But I fear I’m being too ambitious and that even cycling the whole way might take training and time.

 

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Our aim was to get to Dungarvan for lunch, but due to some jigs and reels of delay before we started, we didn’t make Dungarvan until just before three. We had planned to eat in the Moorings Dungarvan Bar.  There’s parking for the bikes so we didn’t need to worry about locks etc.  But I think Santa probably needs to bring us some anyway.  As you can imagine we were delighted to sit down on something NOT a bicycle seat and the snug suited us perfectly.  Even if we weren’t completely famished we would have said the food was top class. My fish and chips were so light and tasty, between the smell of the seaweed as we cycled through the town, and my meal, I really felt on holiday.

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The portion sizes were perfect for three hungry cyclists, mind you I didn’t even have room for pudding, although, ahem, one member of the party did try the chocolate cake.  And judging by the speed it was inhaled, it was as good as the main courses.
Greenway

So back on the road we went, this time I stayed behind the others as my wheel was definitely turning like a square at this stage and it was decided to meet at Durrow carpark.  I was very thankful as every rotation of the wheel on the bike felt like I was going over a ramp!

Tips for the Greenway:

Make sure your bike is in good order if cycling, and wear a helmet

Patience is required at times when you are in the busy parts

Between the access points it’s easier going traffic wise, and you can take time to smell the roses and appreciate the view

Eat in the Moorings Dungarvan!

This link to the Greenway website should help you with all other information you might need.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of it being open.  But might stick to completing it in stages, for the moment anyway!