This year’s Solas Cancer Support Centre Run and Walk For Life has gone virtual!

You choose the day, the distance and the route and help raise vital funds for the Waterford-based centre.

Plus you don’t even have to participate to enter, simply donate what you can here!

Blog Two – Week Two

Right so week two has been a bit of a mixed bag if I’m honest. I sort of slipped off for the first two days and didn’t train ( I did go for a 4K walk if that counts?). By midweek I realised that I literally need to run for the next three days to keep on target so that became the plan. The body really doesn’t appreciate slipping off of the programme so I wouldn’t really recommend it but it can be done if needed.

Week 2, Run 1 : 4km at slow & steady pace

As I mentioned, I kind of slipped off at the start of the week and made myself believe I was fit as a fiddle after week one and didn’t need training. As you can guess, I was wrong about that. I went to a loop trail by the Estuary in Tramore to get the run done there. I did a 1km walk around first to warm up and then went straight into a 2km run. I tired myself out from it; to be honest I haven’t really figured out pacing myself just yet. I cheated just a tad and walked for 500m. once I got my breath back I did another 2km then finished off the final 500m to make it a 6km workout in total. I have to say running really is a mental game as by the end of the run I was thinking to myself “I’ll do more, I can do more”. I had to stop myself though as I had to get back and go to work. Praying to myself that I don’t lose that slight bout of enthusiasm for my next run.

Week 2, Run 2: 3.5 km in intervals (800m run, 2 min walk x4)

I think I might be going crazy because I genuinely enjoyed this workout. I think intervals are just my thing. They allow you to push yourself and then just chill and get your breath back for a bit before going nuts again. I think I find the full non-stop run a bit tougher as I’m not the best at controlling my breathing ( I blame my asthma because I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m just unfit haha). I went to the nature park behind Kingfisher in Waterford for this workout. There was no one around either so it made it easier for me to express how out of breath I was by the end!

Week 2, Run 3: 3.5km in intervals (250m fast run, 2 min walk x8)

I genuinely must have thought that I had become some olympic athlete in my brain before this run because I really was an idiot. I went to the gym before this run and decided that it was a good idea to go and train my legs…a lot. By the end I felt great thinking to myself that I was going to be one of those super fit people by 9th October and then realised I still had the run to do as well. To say my legs turned into jello is an understatement. Thank god it was interval training because I don’t think I would’ve gotten through it if I didn’t know that the faster I run, the faster it’s over! I went back to the park behind Kingfisher for this workout as I was closeby anyway. I pretty much slept for 12 hours that night with one or two nightmares about the long run next week!


Blog One – Week One

I suppose I’m going to start this off with how I start the Top 7 at 7…Well! What’s the craic? As you’re most likely aware from the title of page, I’ve embarked on the journey of doing a 10km run as part of the Solas Cancer Support Centre Run and Walk For Life.

You know the way everyone had their own way of coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and at the start of lockdown so many people and their dogs got a newfound love for fitness? Well, I wasn’t one of those, to put it plainly. Exercise is something that I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with; I enjoy going to the gym and pushing myself but I’m also easily persuaded to forget about going and see the most recent release at the cinema instead. Over the past few months, I’d go for walks and that but once the gyms closed, any other form of exercise sort of left my thoughts. That’s why when the opportunity came up to do the Solas Run For Life, I stepped forward.

The Solas Cancer Support Centre gets 96% of its funding from public donations with the Run and Walk For Life being their biggest fundraiser. It’s such a vital service to have in the South East and almost everyone has been affected by cancer in once sense or the other in their lives. Both my brother and grandad died from forms of cancer and I know that if this service was around back then, would have helped members of my family so much. This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic the event has gone virtual and has become easier to take part. You can choose the distance you want to run/walk, the day you want to do it (9th – 11th October) and the place where you take part.

With that in mind (as well as my strive to become fit again), I’m going to run 10km on the 9th October for the Solas Cancer Support Centre. Shane Dineen is a personal trainer who is helping people across the South East on their journey to the 9th -11th October and has created a 4-week plan to go from 0 to 10km. My personal goal is to to 10km in under an hour so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the programme I did have a little hesitation in my mind as 4 weeks can arrive very quickly.

Week 1, Run 1 : 2km at slow & steady pace

For me, the most daunting task of running is people seeing me in bits during a run so I did cheat a little bit for the first one. I did it on the treadmill but by god was I wrecked afterwards. I heard that running on the treadmill is easier than the road as you don’t have those natural inclines that take your breath and don’t give it back for four days. Obviously, I’m only fooling myself taking the easier route so I added an extra kilometre on the run. It took me around 18 minutes to reach the 3km putting the treadmill on higher and lower paces at the end. I’m not going to lie, this run kicked my brain into gear telling me to cop on as my goal is to do 10km under an hour. 3km in 18 minutes is grand and all but adding tiredness to the remaining 7 km means I need to put in some serious work between now and 9th October to do it in the time I’d like.

Week 1, Run 2 : 2.5km in intervals (500m run, 2 min walk x4)

This was genuinely far more enjoyable than run 1 on the treadmill. I ventured outside for a night-time interval run which put me in a much more positive mindset (I might actually meet my goal if I do it like this!) It was a big lesson in pacing your runs as I wasn’t as tired when I finished a 2.5km interval run in comparison to the first one. Ready to go for run 3!

Week 1, Run 3 : 3km run in intervals (500m fast run, 2min slow walk x8)

Right so, do you remember that positivity I had in run 2? It was nowhere in sight for this one. It was raining and cold and I was tired. I left it literally to the last moment of the week to get the run in so it had to be done. I got through it and at the end I was delighted I did. My laziness had been creeping in, showing me the beautiful path to the sofa but I avoided it and got those running shoes on. Running really is a mental toughness sport and it makes me realise that I need to plan out my runs a little bit better if I want to reach the 10km.


Overall, week one was great! I got up off my bum and started the programme. Even though I got very tired by run 3, it made me more conscious of planning ahead for week 2! Chat to next week , you never know, I might be like road runner at that stage, Beep beep!



This year Debbie Ridgard from the Takeover is aiming to run 10km in the virtual Solas Cancer Support Centre Run and Walk For Life.

Trainer Shane Dineen has put together a 4-week programme for those looking to sign up for the charity event.


Join Debbie Monday to Thursday on The Takeover from 7pm

Listen live here.

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