Junior Endurance Camp supported by Affidea Ireland
Athletics Ireland annual junior endurance camp supported by Affidea Ireland was held in the wonderful surroundings of Alfa Mar Portugal over Easter. Endurance carded athletes and those on the 2017 National Junior XC panel attended the 8 day training camp to aid their preparations for the upcoming track season. Alfa Mar provides an ideal setting for the camp with two tracks, gym, nature reserve trails and the XC course that hosted the European XC Championships a number of years ago.
Our focus for the camp was on conditioning and laying a good base of endurance, speed and strength work before athletes get more specific with their training into the competition season. The athletes specifically focused on nutrition/sleep/hydration/mobility/stretching. Each morning they filled out a monitoring sheet taking their resting heart rate to monitor their recovery from the previous day(s) training and also looking at other markers such as appetite/mood state/motivation/sleep quality & quantity/muscle soreness etc. This provided valuable information to the coaching & therapy team around what training or treatment was needed for that day.
Our thanks to coach Annette Quegan for her brilliant support with the athletes, our physiotherapist Paul Carragher (Sport Ireland Institute) and our two soft tissue therapists David Roche and Lisa Charles for their support work with the athletes in managing injury issues and keeping them healthy. We would also like to thank Martina McCarthy strength and conditioning coach (Sport Ireland Institute) for her work with the athletes and to some of our senior endurance athletes including Olympians Kerry O Flaherty, Michelle Finn and Sara Treacy who attended the camp and integrated well with the group and provided many insights into their experience as athletes. It was also great to have out regional junior squad coaches present at the training camp, thanks to Matt Lockett (Connacht Junior Squad Coach), Pat Hogan (Munster Junior Squad Coach), Joan Hough (Munster Junior Squad Coach) and Mark Kirk (Ulster/NI Junior Squad Coach). A special mention to Affidea Ireland for their support of the camp and the junior endurance programme. Finally we would like to thank the athletes at the camp; they were a credit to themselves, their coaches and their parents. Now the attention turns to the track season, we wish all the athletes the best of luck for the season and hope they all achieve what they set out to.