Tearing On

At the end of every track season many athletes “take a break”, this can range from one week to one month – or maybe more depending whether you have been carrying an injury or you body and mind just need that down time from the hectic regime of training, racing and traveling the world to compete.

Part of me loves the “off season” and part of me dreads it. Socially I love it as I get to catch up with lots of my friends, indulge in lots and lots of good food and fine wine (although I’ve never really been one to deprive myself of a treat), catch up with all those little jobs round the house and garden that you have put off and generally, well just be lazy for a while. read more

What Happens in Dam

On the 24 – 27 August 10 Frontrunners from the UK team: Aaron, Veronica, Lotta, Marcus, Kelly, Jenna, Kerry, Carl, Geoff and Becca (me!) joined 150 Fronties from 25 teams across the globe for the super duper ASICS FrontRunner meet up.
Over the course of the weekend we braved raft building, 7am runs, rain showers and a 5/10km race all in beautiful Holland (not to mention some epic partying!) It was an amazing chance to get to know team mates from different countries and make lifelong memories.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 25: during the ASICS Frontrunner Global Meeting on August 25, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Andy Astfalck)

Here is an account of our experiences…… read more

#InstaMe

“Is this the real life or is this just fantasy?” Little did he he know, but Freddy Mercury pretty much summed up Instagram in the first line of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Like it or not (pun intended), our lives are becoming more and more focused around social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat to name a few and of course Instagram.

Lately Instagram has been my social media platform of choice – why? I guess it’s like when you were a young kid and your mum took you to the library, which books did you first choose? Possibly the ones with the most pictures and not too much writing? read more

Your Glutes – Are they Firing?????

The Glutes
The ‘glutes’ are one of the most important muscle groups in the body due to their size, positioning and connections. The three main glute muscles are the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. Behind the gluteus maximus we have another muscle called the piriformis, which assists in hip rotation.

When we pick up a niggle or an injury we often hear our physio say that our glutes are ‘lazy’ or ‘not firing’. So why do our glutes stop firing? Our primary use for our glutes is to sit down and we do a lot of this in our daily lives – in work, when we travel, socialise and even chilling out. read more

Warm Weather Training – What’s All the Fuss About?

For many years I’ve travelled to altitude to reap the benefits of training and preparing for major competitions. During the winter months it’s not always possible to travel to areas high above sea level as it is the ski season in many resorts. The beautiful forest trails are under a few feet of snow and are transformed into fabulous tracks for cross-country skiing – which is a sport that I love.

Pyrenees Mountains

When winter approaches in our neck of the wood we see many of the power athletes (sprints and field events) travel to sunnier climates, so this year I decided to give it a go. In January I travelled to Murcia in Spain with a few other local athletes and we joined a group from New Balance Manchester and Welsh Athletics. read more

The Lows of Sport

I am devastated and deeply hurt not to have been selected for the NICWG team for the 2018 CWG Gold Coast.
 
Under the Athletics NI Selection Policy, as a steeplechaser, I was required to achieve two sub-9:54 performances during the summer season of 2017 – effectively between mid-May and the beginning of September. Unfortunately, I picked up an injury in the first race of the season in May, really at the worst possible time – that is the cruel unpredictability of sport.
 
I had come into the season in the best shape of my life, had run an indoor 1500m PB and competed at the European Indoors in Belgrade in early March. I had done a solid 3 weeks at altitude during April and went into that first race of the season, a 5000m, in lifetime best shape. I was well inside my 5000m PB with less than 2k to go, then, my calf pinged. read more

Your Setback is the Platform for your Comeback

Well, it’s been a while since my last blog and even longer since I had an injury setback.

The indoor season was one of my best to date and I ticked the box for competing at another major championship, the European Indoors 2017 Belgrade. Unfortunately, I picked up another virus (cold) before the race and it didn’t go to plan, but I was proud to be there and enjoyed the experience.

My spring trip to Font Romeu went really well. We had a big dump of snow as usual but it only lasted a few days and it was my final week out there so all the hard work had been done. My first two weeks back home also went well and training was going great. I developed a bit of tightness in my right calf but that’s normal for me when I come off a hard session on track, especially mondo! I was able to get it eased out and went in with confidence to my first race which was a 5000m in Solihull at the BMC. read more

Race Nerves – Do they ever get any easier?

From club runner to International athlete, I think we have all, at some point in our lives, experienced race nerves. Whether its down to the competition you face or trying to better your PB. I’m not sure if I have ever met someone that hasn’t experienced some type of nervousness before competition.

For me race nerves have always been there, my whole life. They are not something I like and at times I wish they were not there at all, but in a way we do need them to some extent.

The nasty side to race nerves is that struggle to eat, the nausea, the running to the toilet all day, the worry, the panic, and that feeling that something is trying to psych you out of that one thing you really love to do, Race/compete. read more

2016 Gone in a Flash, but Setting New Challenges for 2017

I can’t believe how fast 2016 went by, it felt like I was waiting for the Olympics for an age and now I can’t believe it’s 7, yes nearly 7 months that have passed by since I was standing on that start line in Rio ready to run the race that every athlete dreams of in their career.

2016 ended on a high for me, representing Ireland once again at the European Cross Country Championships in Chia. A team medal wasn’t to be this year with strong opposition from Turkey, Great Britain, Spain and Romania, but we all had strong runs and held our heads high finishing 5th team. read more

An Olympian

The day before my Olympic debut and I started to get very emotional. My Papa had been my number one fan and we lost him to Cancer in 2012, in that same year I had been trying to make the London Olympics but had then picked up an achilles injury which ended my season prematurely. Before he died I had run a great race and he said “she’s going to make the Olympics”; it was very hard not being able to make it that year and I felt I had let him down.

FullSizeRender

So four years on and I was finally going to make him so proud, but not having him here to share this whole experience with me and be in the Olympic Stadium was upsetting. The Olympic Village had a reflection area and an Olive Tree where you could take time to write a message to the people who are no longer with us, I put a little message to him on a ribbon and tied it onto the reflection tree. He couldn’t be here with me but I hoped in some way he was. read more

International Athlete