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Munster Junior Endurance Squad take camp at Banna

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Munster Junior squad take to Banna Beach

The Munster Junior Endurance Performance Squad enjoyed their first training camp of the season at Banna Beach, County Kerry on September 25th-27th. The camp was held in glorious sunshine and 38 athletes attended the camp along with some personal coaches.

The athletes arrived to Banna on Friday evening and settled into their accommodation before hitting the beach for an easy run followed by drills, hurdle mobility work and strides. That night there was a group meeting outlining the structure of the weekend, rules of the camp followed by a small review of last years camps and the key themes that arose from them. National Junior Endurance Coach Steve Macklin spoke about the key principle of "Normalizing Excellence" and bringing your best to everything you do and lead coach Pat Hogan summarized last year's camps. 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 sand dunes led by coaches Steve Macklin, Pat Hogan, David Matthews, Collette O'Riordan and Ray Shanahan. The athletes completed an aerobic fartlek workout on the beach followed by some short fast strides working on good running mechanics. Saturday at 12pm saw Joe O'Connor lead a highly interactive and informative S&C workshop for the personal coaches on periodization of S&C for athletes and power development, incorporating force and velocity. Following this the group split in two with Steve Macklin taking the younger athletes for an interactive workshop on nutrition, sleep and mobility work and Joe O'Connor taking the older athletes for a practical workshop on proprioception, single leg stability and balance at the all weather pitch.

Late afternoon there was a planning workshop for the personal coaches and a great discussion was had re structuring a yearly plan and selection of races. Profiling of athletes was also discussed and what types of training suit each. Following this the final workshop of the day was held with Pat Hogan leading the younger athletes in an AIS stretching and hurdle mobility workshop on the astro turf pitch and Paulette Egan taking the older athletes for a sports yoga workshop. The athletes then had the night off to relax, watch the rugby match, loosen out in the pool and recover for the following morning’s long run on the beach.

A very enjoyable long run was had in beautiful sunny conditions on Sunday morning and following this the athletes returned for hurdle mobility drills and strides. Then it was clean up time for each house before one final workshop with the athletes, outlining the international competition opportunities for 2015/2016, details of the carding system and a debrief of all the weekends workshops. A great learning experience and a great end to the camp!

A word of thanks to Banna Beach Hotel for their kind hospitality as always, Joe O'Connor Nisus Fitness, Paulette Egan Sportsyoga.ie, all the lead coaches, the personal coaches that attended and especially all the athletes for their immense contribution to the camp and its success. A special thanks to Richard O'Flynn of EBS for his kind sponsorship of hoodies for the entire squad. The athletes now turn their focus to the upcoming clubs cross country season. 

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