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Leinster and Munster round out junior endurance camps

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Leinster and Munster round out Junior endurance camps

Last Friday The Leinster Junior Endurance Performance Squad arrived at Gormanstown College Co Meath for their final training camp of the season. With an even split of boys and girls they all gathered at 5.30pm in the magnificent campus sports hall for a strength and conditioning session with Claire Lodge who again went through the importance of S&C as part of every athletes weekly routine. After leaving their bags in their dorms (all totally refurbished and very impressive) we gathered for dinner and then a Team meeting with weekend coordinator Joe Ryan and coaches Niamh Richardson and Fintan Reilly where he went through the sessions for the rest of the weekend.

On a cold but sunny Saturday morning the group did a fartlek session on the ‘football pitch and putt course’ with the boys group doing 2 sets of 4, 3 ,2 & 1 min fast and the girls 2 sets of 3, 2, & 1 min fast followed by some strides. Niamh earlier that morning went to the nearby Drogheda swimming pool to show some injured athletes some workouts that can be done in the pool to maintain fitness levels. The athletes had some ‘study’ and free time after lunch and then we were joined by Annette Quegan who put the athletes through a rigorous stretching and mobility session. With all the ooh’s and aah’s from the athletes the coaches feared some of them may not be able to pull themselves up off the floor afterwards and fully expected the Red Cross who were also in Gormanstown for the weekend to come rushing in with their lifesaving equipment!

Following dinner we had another team meeting and a team quiz with Fintan and Annette coming to the conclusion that the leaving cert grades in Geography may not be what some parents are hoping for. Many of them may also need to learn who the President of AIT is!

On Sunday morning Annette did some more stretching routines followed by our customary slow long run and strides before a weekend debrief. The athletes were collected at lunchtime. It was great to see how well the athletes have grown to know each other after many of them having attended the weekends in Curracloe in Wexford, Curragh Camp in January and now Gormanston College. This part of the sport in some ways is just as important as the training. The Gormanston College venue is very impressive and very well equipped from a training and accommodation perspective and we anticipate many more training camps there going forward. Many thanks to all involved in Gormanstown for facilitating us and to Steve Macklin and Joe Ryan for having the vision to set up these regional camps which will be of major benefit to our athletes and also to Claire, Annette, Niamh and Fintan for giving up their time to make the camp a success. Thanks to all the athletes for adding to a superb weekend. Finally best of luck to all the athletes in the up coming track season.

Munster train in spectacular surroundings

The final Munster Junior Endurance Performance squad camp took place last weekend at a new venue in Killarney Co Kerry. The squad coaches decided on a change of venue from the usual Banna Beach base for some variety. It proved to be a stunning venue next to Killarney National Park.

The athletes arrived to Killarney on Friday evening and settled into their accommodation before hitting the National Park for an easy run followed by a run through of a full drills routine and strides. That night there was a group meeting outlining the structure of the weekend and National Junior Endurance Coach Steve Macklin spoke about the key principle of "Normalizing Excellence" and bringing your best to everything you do. The athletes then enjoyed some downtime blending together as a group for the night before getting some sleep.

The squad was up early Saturday morning where they headed for the incredibly scenic surroundings of Muckross House & Gardens led by coaches Steve Macklin, Joan Hough, Collette O Riordan and Ray Shanahan. The athletes completed an aerobic fartlek workout on grass followed by some short fast strides working on good running mechanics. Following this it was back to the accommodation and a chance for the athletes to cook for themselves in the large kitchen under the watchful eyes of the lead coaches. Some very interesting concoctions were made!!! Saturday afternoon saw lead coaches Joan Hough & Collette O Riordan take the younger athletes for a brief Nutrition & Sleep workshop while the older athletes were led by Steve Macklin & Ray Shanahan in a workshop entitled “Doing the Little Things Right”. The athletes then headed for the local secondary school hall where Steve led an interactive workshop focusing on a mobility routine and a hip/glute routine. The athletes then had the night off to relax, mingle together and recover for the following morning’s long run on the beach. ‘Jenga’ proved to be a popular game for the evening with athletes all taking turns and then making the loser do a forfeit. We won’t mention what these were!!!

A very enjoyable long run was had in a snow shower on Sunday morning on the local golf course followed by strides. Then it was clean up time for each room before one final workshop with the athletes, a debrief of all the weekends training & workshops. A great learning experience and a great end to the camp! A word of thanks to Killarney International Hostel for their hospitality, all the lead coaches, the personal coaches that attended and especially all the athletes for their immense contribution to the camp and its success. The athletes now turn their focus to the up coming track season. 

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