10 Random Things I Have Learned In The Last 12 Months

So at the time of writing this blog post I am already into the first week of February 2019! Madness really when you think about it! Time really does fly!

One of the things I wanted to do over the last 12 months is to really share as much information as i can with everyone as I continue to learn & develop myself as a person and from an endurance standpoint too!

I have listed some things here that I felt would be good to share and maybe even good to discuss. No doubt a few of them will raise an eyebrow or two - but hey - thats what its’s all about.

To add to that I leave Ireland in about 19 days to begin my travels to the USA - I start the American Ultra on March 29th.

*To note these points are completely my opinion (if you don’t agree with any of them - just relax thanks)

Ok so here we go!

1) There is no perfect training plan. Whether we are talking about marathons, half marathons, Ironmans, ultra marathons, gym based plans or programs. Yes there are certain sessions, benchmarks and criteria you need to hit obviously - but getting so focused on the 7 day plan over and over is actually not the best. There are 7 days in the weeks because hundreds of years ago humans worked around the moons. I much prefer to work off 10 Day cycles. It leaves some room for adaptability and recovery too.

Far too many folks train themselves into the black hole and get injured - they do anything to tick off the session on their plan and wind up getting injured again. Actually missing the event they were so focused for in the first place.

I changed the way I train very quickly about 3 years ago as I was one of these athletes - train hard, get injured, train hard again to catch up and so on. I now listen to my body very closely on a daily basis. And train to how I feel about 70% of the time. If I feel good I go hard, if I don’t feel so good I step it back a little. Simple enough.

As a result of this - I haven’t suffered a injury in about 2 and a half years. That included running 24 Marathons in 24 Days. Now there are other aspects to that like constant strength training to go hand in hand with the endurance work, regular visits to the physio (not just when you feel sore or injured)

2) Brexit is complicated…

Yeah … not much else to add to this point really.

3) Things that really piss me off and that make me angry on the spot ….

  • People who do not use their indicators - drives me insane

  • People who piss on the toilet seat (lads)

  • People who are rude, ignorant or look down on waiters and waitress

4) People are weird….

I sometimes struggle to understand the human race too. We are an amazing species, but we are quite weird and unique too. What I mean by this I sometimes scratch my head and wonder how people pay €200 for a pair of shoes in their favourite colour but won’t invest in themselves from a learning & education standpoint.

A new pair of shoes look great but they won’t help you run a faster marathon or drop the weight you have being trying to drop for the last year.

€80 or €90 of an investment in yourself too expensive - but their next social media post is the new €200 shoes……. 6 to 12 months later how much have they changed. Probably not a whole pile. And I don’t write this to be mean or offend anyone in anyway - just want to highlight the point and get my thought across!

5) Warm weather training?

I got 3 messages in the month of January asking if I was going to do a warm weather training camp in prep for the American Ultra.

No. I think a hard winter of training in Ireland will toughen you up a lot more then coffee spins in 25 degrees sun. Again my opinion.

Looks good for Instagram though…..

6) I have a good handle on my nutrition now …. finally

I started working with Barry Murray fairly shortly after finishing the 24 Marathons 24 Days. Changed absolutely everything. The amount I have learned off this guy has been invaluable.

I was the typical carb heavy endurance guy. I still eat carbs, but now I am just a lot smarter with my timing of them. I have trained my body to be so much more efficient. From a guy who would swallow 6 gels in a marathon or 12 plus in an ironman - I am now running marathons in training on a good coffee before my breakfast. I did my last Ironman on 2 eggs, some avocado, some cheese & a coffee. No gels for a whole Ironman. 6 days later I raced again. A few years ago I still wouldn’t bother trying to put socks on the few days after an Ironman.

I look at this from a long term health stand point - the amount of sugar I was consuming was sick. Even though I looked “healthy” on the outside deep down I knew I could be healthier. Now fast forward 12-18months I am sleeping better, recovering better, leaner than ever my endurance is gone up and I actually feel healthy.

You can contact Barry by clicking on his website link here! http://optimumnutrition4sport.com/

The other thing I recommend is Barrys Patreon platform - I have learned more here than you will on any magazine or so called influencer. This is real skin in the game stuff.


7) Where is the patience gone?

A slight carry on from the first point!

Social media has fucked us up a bit …. actually a lot. Everyone is selling fast tracks to success and instant results. People can instantly make themselves feel good by posting a picture or ordering new clothes that arrive to their door within 48 hours. This is know as instant gratification and it has carried over into other aspects of our lives too!

This does not happen when it comes to training. 100% not & anyone who tells you or tries to sell you otherwise is leading you down the wrong path.

You have to do the work - for weeks and months in a row. Both from a training aspect and from a nutritional standpoint too.

Quick fixes fall apart again just as quick as they came around & there is no substitute for good old fashioned hard work.

So be patient.

8) Buying a new bike is possibly one of the best feelings in the world…

Try it!!!!

9) Stepping up ….

When you push yourself and put yourself out there it makes other people feel uncomfortable. And jealousy is not the right word - I guess the right word to use here actually uncomfortable. We are often so smothered both physically and mentally by what other people think it holds us back so much!

You see the thing is people will become negative to what you are trying to do and achieve because they realise they have settled with their current circumstances and that is probably where they are going to stay!

Believe me, it really pisses people off.

You might notice when you step up and push to become a better person - others may not follow.

That is ok.

10) Public Speaking…..

I learned in the last 12 months that I really love to speak. I love to share what we are doing and the real reason why we are doing it. When some think what I do is extreme - I disagree and explain what I go through if far less of a battle to what others have to go through.

Secondly - I leaned that I really love speaking to young people and people in their early twenties. I feel I can resonate with them and they can resonate with me in some ways too. I know what its like to feel a little lost, I know what its like to struggle to fit in & I know what its like to feel you can’t achieve something even though you really want to.

The other thing is that we are being labeled as a lazy & entitled generation. I disagree strongly with that. There were lazy and entitled people 50 years ago too you know. Don’t paint everybody with the same brush.

So there we have 10 random things that I learned in the last 12 months! Through different things and experiences they may help you in someway or another. You might also pick out from this article that I have a sense of humour and I don’t take every single little thing seriously! I am constantly learning and trying to become better! It is good to try new things, take a look at the big picture and keep an open mind to everything!

Hope you enjoyed!


Shane Finn