Running Matters One:2:One with Pauric Ennis
By Martin Lyons
This week I’m interviewing a man from Kilbeggan who runs for Tullamore Harriers AC.
Pauric Ennis started to run seriously during his time at UCD. After initially getting fit and training hard, he found the marathon to be somewhat of a learning curve and he struggled to improve. That’s when he joined forces with Mullingar Harriers athlete Eddie Newman, who took him under his wing around the end of 2014 and quickly he started to notice the improvements.
Since then, Pauric has posted impressive marathon performances, as well as personal bests over shorter distances, as he outlines below.
His run in this year’s Dublin Marathon highlights the improvement and hard work that Pauric has put in, and he continues to improve.
As you are about to read, one of his lifetime goals is now unsurprisingly, to run in the green of Ireland some day. No doubt his determination and natural ability will go a long way in ensuring that dream becomes a reality.
Name: Pauric Ennis
When did you start running and what motivated you take it up?
I started running when I was around 19 or 20 years of age. Prior to that I would have played quite a lot of football, but never really enjoyed the running aspect of training.
My mother and brother were runners and competed in community games and in cross country events, with Mullingar Harriers.
When I was studying for my degree at UCD I started to do some running around the Belfield campus, just as a means to keep fit.
In 2012, I decided I would do the Dublin Marathon. I did not know anything about marathon training, besides knowing I needed to do some long runs. So as an example of my training, I ran from Kilbeggan to Moate and back again, about 20 miles.
I ran the marathon that year in 3.32. Along the way, I also ran the Athlone half marathon in 1.30.
The following year, I ran Dublin again, but it was in 3.53. I knew then there was something not right with what I was doing in training.
By the end of 2014, I was starting to improve on my fitness and training. I met Castletown-Geoghegan native and Mullingar Harriers athlete Eddie Newman around that time, only by chance, at a race.
After about eight months of structured, specific training, I ran 2.49 in the Dublin Marathon and surprised a few people, including myself.
Less than two years later I ran 2.34 in the Berlin Marathon, in wet conditions.
Eddie coached me for a number of years and he would have given me the tools to strategise my training and to condition the body to become a distance runner.
Eddie also gave me a whole new outlook on lifestyle, training and racing that I still rely on today.
I’m from Kilbeggan. I compete for Tullamore Harriers and I work and live in Dublin. I now train mostly in Dublin, in the Phoenix Park.
My main motivation for running is for fitness and health. I just love being fit. I like to be competitive in work, academics and sport, so running provided an ideal outlet for that.
In 2019, I won three races and ran a marathon PB, so it’s been a good year.
What is your favourite and least favourite type of training and your favourite race distance?
My favourite type of training would be something like a 10-mile tempo run around a fairly hilly course. I do this particular run a lot around Kilbeggan and Clara. I would have run this route many times, in preparation for a big marathon.
My least favourite training would be something like a set of 200/400m intervals on the track, although that is something I have been working on recently. For the end of this year I have placed a big emphasis on developing my basic speed.
Marathon training involves running a lot of high volume with some speed and marathon pace workouts included.
Typically, I would have done something like 4x2 mile or 15x1km on a Tuesday, a fartlek run of 15 miles on Thursday, 9-15 miles tempo run on Saturday and 24 miles on Sunday.
All of these sessions would have been slightly faster or slower than target race pace in the marathon.
My favourite race distance would be a 10-mile or half-marathon road race. One of my favourite races is the Mullingar 10-mile as it is my local race and I would have trained on the roads around Ballinagore and Dalystown over the years. I compete every year and came second in 2017.
What running achievements are you most proud of and why?
I ran a PB of 2.33 in the Dublin Marathon. I was particularly happy with this result as 2018 was a difficult year for running, due to injury and loss of form. I was very happy to bounce back and to hit top form again and regain the confidence. Mainly I am happy to train consistently and regularly and this enabled me to get back to running at a high level.
List your current PBs for the following distances:
5k: 16.22 Enfield 5k, May 2017
10k: 32.50 Clonee, June 2017
10 Mile: 54.20 Mullingar 10, July 2017
Half marathon: 1.12 Tullamore, August 2017.
Full marathon: 2.33 Dublin, October 2019
What are your running goals for the next 12 months?
The shorter term goals include breaking the 2.30 barrier for the marathon, as well as running faster over 5k and 10k.
Those will both require considerable work and dedication, but I am confident of raising my game.
What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to take up running?
My main advice is to start out slowly and try not to take on too much at a time. You don’t have to run a marathon to be a runner. You can be just as fit, if not fitter, by running a fast 5k.
Try to eat healthily and sleep a bit more than usual, as this aids recovery.
Also, get fitted for the correct running shoe. The RunHub are based in Dublin and have a great gait analysis service and a wide selection of running shoes.
Finding a good group and coach are also key to improving as an athlete.
As you progress, you’ll naturally get fitter and people shouldn’t be afraid to race. Racing helps develop fitness and confidence, not only in running, but in every aspect of your life, in my opinion.
However, the final and most important piece of advice to remember, is to enjoy your running, regardless of ability.
What are your lifetime goals?
I would like to compete for Ireland and wear the Irish singlet some day. I Would also like to complete an MBA. Another big goal outside of running, would be to start and manage my own company.
What is your favourite post race meal?
Nothing fancy really. I tend to keep it very simple when it comes to meals. Something like eggs and black pudding, or steak with chips and salad. Iron is very important for runners. I like a scone and strong cup of coffee too!