WHAT LED YOU TO TAKE UP ENDURANCE SPORT?
I played Gaelic football for years and other various sports, but I began my journey in triathlon when I moved to Atlanta, USA as part of my college degree. I joined the triathlon club initially to take part in their weekend camps as a means of exploring the surrounding area. But I have always been competitive, so after my first race I quickly became hooked! At the beginning of 2020, I struggled with a running injury and with pools closed I focused on the bike leg of triathlon. I realised I was having much more fun with this and decided to switch sports. What I love about cycling is that you must prepare for anything and be able to make quick decisions. I am so happy I found endurance sport, for me it means freedom, self-challenge and purpose and most importantly it’s fun and now could not imagine my life without it.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK OF TRAINING LOOK LIKE?
I normally start Monday with an easy ride before heading into some tempo work on Tuesdays. Thursdays I have some sprints before a weekend of longer endurance rides with more aerobic efforts. I like to do one of the long rides off-road either on the MTB or CX bike which is a good way for me to practice my bike handling skills. Since last October I incorporate two strength sessions a week designed by MYP coaching.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRAINING SESSION?
Definitely the off-road endurance ride on the weekends. In the summer, my club also organise some motor pacing practice at Limerick Racecourse, I love the thrill of it!
WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE TRAINING SESSION?
Tempo intervals, especially when done on the Turbo indoor. These can feel never-ever ending.
DO YOU FOLLOW A STRICT DIET PLAN?
I try to choose healthy options as much as I can, and I do not restrict myself of any particular food. Last season I started getting some stomach issues, especially before big races. I worked with a nutritionist to get some advice in managing this. I think keeping your gut healthy is so important, and I am still learning on finding the best foods to keep that balance!
I have one rule of thumb, to eat after every workout, and if in doubt porridge
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN TARGETS FOR THIS SEASON?
My short-term goals are focused on getting stronger on the bike, improving my bike handling skills and getting as much experience in racing as possible in any setting.
If races happen this year, my main target races are the Road Nationals and the cyclocross National league.
WHAT ARE YOUR LONG TERM GOALS IN SPORT?
My ultimate cycling goal is to race internationally among the women UCI and world tour events. To win a national title in cycling would be amazing.
In the longer-term I would like to return to Triathlon, and compete in half and full ironman distances.
WHO ARE YOUR SPORTING HEROES?
Chrissie Wellington and David Goggins. I also get inspiration from each athlete I meet and learning from their journeys.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRAINING LOCATION?
Curraghchase. I love taking the mountain bike and looping around the trails there with my dad.
HOW HAS COVID IMPACTED YOUR TRAINING?
Firstly, I want to say I am fortunate to have been able to work from home during this time and acknowledge that the pandemic has hit people in many ways. I am grateful for all frontline and healthcare workers and their dedication and courage. Initially I was disappointed at races being cancelled but it just meant shifting the focus towards other targets like strength work and indoor Zwift racing. A big difference is my commute to work no longer being there, my mornings are a lot more relaxed opening up time to do yoga or read instead.
HOW HAS COVID IMPACTED YOUR MOTIVATION LEVELS?
If anything, Covid-19 has increased my motivation. It has made me realise that life is precious and to seize every day. I’ve also learned that we can do well with what we have been given, and we can still find motivation in being creative within the boundaries of lockdown!