Leinster Endurance Camp Report
Athletics Ireland in conjunction with Athletics Leinster held their 2nd weekend camp of the 2016/17 season. The venue again was the fantastic facilities and grounds at Gormanstown College. Around 40 of our top endurance athletes attended. First up was a Friday afternoon run with Irish 800m record holder David Matthews. During the run David spoke with most of the athletes and although its 21 years since he broke the Irish record he showed that age is no barrier to showing your quality! This was followed by a pilates session with Aishling Fahey. Aishling who has a BSc in human physiology and sports rehab, with a post grad Dip in Sports Nutrition and Exercise focused on functional movement and neural training. Star of the show here was Cian Kelly while a number of others realised that there is a bit more work to be done here! After dinner there was a talk with David Matthews who gave a great insight into his journey as a top class junior up to his retirement from international competition at age 26. David’s progress at 800m was remarkable; at 18 (1:52), 19 (1:48), 20 (1:45) & 21 ( 1:44.82). His dedication to athletics even when injured didn’t hold him back as he still mirrored each training session in the pool as opposed to the grass and track. His first time ever on a plane was when he travel to Seoul, South Korea for the World Junior Championships and as a result of his success he had the opportunity to see the world! He spoke about the need to enjoy the sport but also to be honest with your coach. David also mentioned that his one regret was not studying harder while at University as education is the most important thing at the end of the day.
Saturday morning breakfast was followed by a group session consisting of 8 x 3mins tempo with 90 secs recovery for the boys and 8 x 2 mins tempo for the girls with 90 secs recovery in between. It was a great session with super effort by all athletes. Some of the boys thought they were at warm weather training during the session with the six packs on show!! Lunch was followed with a couple of hours in front of TV’s watching the Edinburgh XC. There was good social media banter with the Munster camp during this with the Leinster camp coming out on top!! Paul Gallagher hosted a top calls workshop on injury prevention and performance enhancement. If the groans from Aishling’s class on Friday were bad then this was 100 times louder! The athletes were shown how to use foam rollers and balls to properly loosen out and ease muscle pains. After dinner Richard Rodgers presented to the team on his experiences as a coach to Rio Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty, his role as part of the management team to the endurance athletes at the Holding Camp prior to Rio, the slow build-up of aerobic training, and his overall outlook on how athletes train and prepare for competition. Nothing happens overnight!
On Sunday morning the athletes went for easy runs ranging from 40 -75 mins around the beautiful Gormanstown College grounds. It was one of the most action packed weekends we have done so far yet at the same time the athletes had plenty of down time to enjoy themselves and bond as a team. Thanks to Annette Quegan, Lisa Dixon, Joe Ryan and Fintan Reilly for their work on the camp and special thanks to David, Aishling, Paul and Richard who gave up their own time to provide great insights and practical help to the athletes.