Sunday, 20 July 2014

Beginning my love for all things athletic and cycling related

For a long time now friends and family have been telling me to start a blog so I've finally decided to give it a go. I'm completely new to the idea of writing about my training, etc. and posting it online so I hope you enjoy reading it.

Hopefully, it may shed a little insight on how with a little dedication and commitment it is possible to go from watching a race and wishing you were taking part, to not only taking part but even winning it.

People, especially Irish people love to know how you got into sports and I have been asked many times if I was always a sporty person.

My answer is always "No of course" as I still laugh at the idea of me being an athlete. I only developed an interest for athletics/cycling after I had finished college. Up to that point I had only a passing interest at best.

I can remember my father watching the Tour de France on television and I not able to understand how some fella could win it even if he hadn't won a single stage.

Even in school I was constantly trying to get out of doing PE and would always have a note explaining why I couldn't do PE that day. I don't think that the teacher was fooled though.

When I was attending the University of Limerick, I got more involved in sports and was an active member of the karate and kayak clubs. Myself and a good friend Diarmaid Lane would periodically take part in circuit training in the UL arena or a in a kick about on the astro turf pitches next to the arena.

I have always had a bicycle but up until I started racing, the bike was used purely for getting from point A to B. The words "aero" and "carbon fibre" meant nothing to me and doing a "brick" meant something completely different.

In 2009 my friend Diarmaid told me about this exercise class called spinning and that I should give it a go. Long story short, I tried it out and after I got over the first few classes of "wobbly legs" when I got off the bike I was converted.

The bike to work scheme was a huge factor in my decision to buy my first road bike which I purchased in 2009. It was a basic, entry level, aluminium bike that I thought was amazing. After I turned up to my first duathlon, I then discovered it was not. However, I soon put it to good use, biking the back roads and hills of West Cork only for leisure at the start. The idea of racing never even occurred to me.

The very first duathlon that I did was in Clonakilty which I cycled to from Dunmanway with my running shoes in a bag on my back. I arrived late and had to run off down the road with my race number in my hand.

I think that I managed to come in the top ten but when I returned for the next race I made sure I was on time and managed to win it.

Well I think I'll leave it there for the time being and will continue to add as I get time.

Hope that you enjoyed reading it.


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