The Fascination of What is Difficult: Athletics and the GAA – more in common than we’d care to admit

“Go away you fat GAA b*****d”, I’d say to my first house mate at college. A retort to his claim that running is for those who have no skill to do anything else. And on it would go. Twelve years later, not much has changed, yet everything has changed. Back then, although we didn’t know […]

Beyond Running Economy: Why Strength & Conditioning Training is Good for Runners

A systematic review published by colleagues of mine, at the University of Limerick, demonstrated quite nicely, that strength training enhanced time-trial performance and economy in endurance athletes. In science, we like systematic reviews because they help us pool information from a number of studies to answer a specific question. In this case, does strength-training enhance […]

Beyond Speed: Why Runners Should Train like Sprinters

Running, jumping, hopping or bounding at maximum capacity helps a runner develop a robust sense of their capabilities. This blog is based around Tuesday’s training in the blog I wrote: How much training for the sub-35 minute 10km? Briefly, it consisted of 2 miles jog warm up, drills, 3 x 10 ankle hops at maximum […]

THE CONVERSATION THAT COULD CHANGE THE WORLD Peter Francis recounts a recent conversation with a friend that left them both more tolerant and informed. “I don’t like [insert crime], it makes me really uncomfortable and I don’t want to watch any films that contain ‘it’. A decision about a film to watch was the beginning of a conversation between Jess and […]

Translating Consistent Running into Performance Outcomes

Consistency Consistency is number one, with good reason. You cannot achieve anything worthwhile without it. Consistent running has put me in a position whereby I can get ‘preferred entry’ to start at the front of large scale road races. I feel justified wearing a race singlet and a pair of flats, rather than a t-shirt […]

Learning Humility from the Greatest Rugby Players in the World

‘Hi man, how are you?’ said a soft spoken voice from behind my left shoulder. It was 7:30 am, coincidentally on the morning the Lions would arrive in New Zealand, and I was sat at the edge of a breakfast bench in the Auckland Blues training ground kitchen. I was waiting for my contact from […]