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

THE CONVERSATION THAT COULD CHANGE THE WORLD

Campus.ie: 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 … Continue reading THE CONVERSATION THAT COULD CHANGE THE WORLD

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 … Continue reading Translating Consistent Running into Performance Outcomes

Cross-Training for the Runner (that actually works!)

Runners reject cross-training like a wild animal rejects defective off-spring. Every other form of exercise is considered a lesser species. There’s probably some truth in this; in that no other form of aerobic exercise has a higher energy expenditure for a given time cost. Running is weight-bearing uses most of our muscles especially the big … Continue reading Cross-Training for the Runner (that actually works!)

TED, why are we such awful people?

Note: This piece is also published on campus.ie. Ireland's largest student web-site with 28,000 followers. I imagine a coffee-shop conversation: ‘Isn’t that awful about the famine in Africa?’, to which the reply comes, ‘Yes, those poor people, I put some money in a collection for them just yesterday’. Our imaginary friends would then progress to … Continue reading TED, why are we such awful people?