To Shod or Not to Shod: Are We Asking the Right Question?

This week I wrote a piece for the sports & exercise medicine practitioner journal co-kinetic: The article explores the most prominent running injuries and associated risk factors with a view to explaining how barefoot running may alter load to the tissues most affected by running injury. It explains the difference between barefoot running and gait … Continue reading To Shod or Not to Shod: Are We Asking the Right Question?

Routine: The key to winning YOUR race before it starts

Whether you want to break your park run best or qualify for your first Olympics; what all of us runners, across that spectrum, have in common is the desire to do something that we’ve never done before. Most runners, beyond their initial ~6-month honey moon period, whereby progress occurs on an almost weekly basis, will … Continue reading Routine: The key to winning YOUR race before it starts

The Road to Redemption: 10,000 hours of practice

“When an athlete gets injured, it’s akin to amputating a chair’s leg and expecting it to stand. The leg which supports them, defines them, disappears” - Cathal Dennehy, Sunday Tribune, 2007. Ironically, I had been coaching at Cathal Dennehy’s parent club Emerald AC for some months when I read his award-winning piece of journalism ‘Nil … Continue reading The Road to Redemption: 10,000 hours of practice

A Lions Tour: Divided Loyalties, Rich People, Haka’s and the Greatest Rugby Team of All-Time

The best thing about the Lions tour is the opposition. The All-Blacks, as I describe to athletics friends, are the Usain Bolts of rugby – the greatest of all-time. Every single fixture, be it warm-up or test, affords the opportunity to watch New Zealand rugby and witness attacking skills we just don’t see in the … Continue reading A Lions Tour: Divided Loyalties, Rich People, Haka’s and the Greatest Rugby Team of All-Time

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

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