Best foot forward
The best piece of advice I’ve ever got in running was ‘always have a goal’ to keep you motivatedWhen did you start running and why?
I started running when I gave up smoking (30 a day) five years ago. Running provided a distraction from the cravings and also gave me great satisfaction and a sense of achievement every time I completed a run.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
My biggest athletic achievement was when I won the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km road race in July in Wales. This is an ultra marathon which is staged annually between the top ultra marathoners in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. What made the win even more special was the fact that I was the first ever Irishman to have won the event.
What’s the best thing about running?
The best thing about running for me is the simplicity of it. You don’t need any equipment. Anybody can do it, whether you are an elite athlete or a fun runner. I love the buzz it gives me. A run first thing in the morning sets me up for the day.
What’s the one thing you’d change about running?
Personally I wouldn’t change a thing about running. It is probably one of the most honest sports out there, whereby you will only gain whatever you put in, unlike team sports where if you are having a bad day, you have a dozen other team mates to carry you.
Where’s your regular run route?
Being an ultra marathoner means I run a fairly high mileage training week so my run routes vary, but I have a route which I run every Sunday which takes me 15-20 miles from home (depending on the stage of training I’m in) which is Ennis. It is along country roads in Clare, which I like because they are so peaceful. Also the reason I run out 15-20 miles is because I know I will have to run another 15-20 miles if I want to get home. I remove the temptation of cutting my run short if I’m feeling tired.
What are you training for?
At the moment I am in training for the European 100km Championships, which will take place in France in April. I hope that I have done enough over the past year to ensure selection on the Irish team and earn my sixth international vest.
What’s your goal?
I believe that if you’re going to dream, you may as well make it a good one, so my ultimate goal is to medal at a major championships.
Are you a morning or evening runner?
Both. I train in the morning and evening. I do a short run of six to seven miles in the morning at an easy pace and then, after work, I will do a faster session of anything from eight to 18 miles.
Do you stretch?
I do stretch, but maybe not as much as I should. I will try to squeeze a few stretches in when I get a quiet moment at work.