Things have been mad since my silver in Madrid. Gav and I had an official TI media day when our selection was announced and I had a few days easy and to gather myself again.
Me n gav doing our blue steel. One of the photographers said he could stare at him all day! your in there gav.
I borrowed some children to inspire when the torch relay was about Lisburn- my niece Charley and Amelia.
I was really chuffed to receive emails from people saying their kids were watching and cheering for me. So much so I agreed to answer a few questions for young Daniel Sherwood if I could use it in my blog. Though something tells me his daddy might have come up with some of them?
What’s your weakest discipline? How have you managed to improve this in the last few years?
My weakest discipline has always been cycling, but I have been working hard with my coach to ensure I can compete with the best in the world on the toughest bike courses, such as Beijing and Madrid.
What’s you favourite training session?
My favorite swim set is 40x50s, where there are sprints and recoveries.
16, with every 4th one fast off 45 seconds.
12 every 3rd one fast off 50
8 every 2nd one fast off 55
Last 4 ALL fast off 60 seconds.
It’s a hard swim set where you get increasing more rest at the wall, but less easy swims.
And also the one you don't like?
My least favorite session would be a 4hour cycle in the cold or rain. But these sessions still have to be done, so I just have to get on with it.
How do you stay motivated even in the off season when your not racing?
I really do like to race, so my coach will allow me to compete in cross country events and swimming galas. Its not always about competing against others for me, but trying to improve on my best times from previous years and also about having fun on the domestic scene with team mates from City of Derry Spartans (my athletics club) or teaming up for a relay with Lisburn City Swim club.
As our climate is not hot and humid like where you have raced, how do you prepare for these type of races?
I am lucky to be able to have access to the Sports Institute Northern Ireland, where I train usually twice per week. Before the Beijing Grand Final last year I had done a few of my runs sessions on the treadmill in the lab, the temperature was regulated to what expected temperature was in Beijing. It was hot but it was good to be able to have experienced running in such heat before the event.In events like that it is important to be well hydrate in advance of the race, so I sip on water with electrolyte before hand.
How much has the standard and speed in ITU races moved on from when you first started racing them?
There are more women able to compete at the highest level now, so both the speed of the run, and the number of women able to run at speed have increased! Before I started racing Vanessa Fernandes and Emma Snowsill dominated the races, but now there are 15 women who are capable of winning a medal at the London Olympics. There are also changes in racing tactics, such as using ‘Super swimmers’ such as Great Britain’s Lucy Hall, who will no doubt be first out of the water in London, but will string out the field making it really fast during the first part of the race.
Would you like to do any long distance races in the future or will you stay at the Olympic distance?
At the minute I’m totally happy racing ITU, I don’t intent to race Ironman ever.
What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
When I stop racing I hope to start a family and do some coaching, I’d prefer to coach kids than adults though as I have a background in coaching both swimming and athletics as well as being a qualified PE teacher.
5th Class, The Model School, Kilkenny
Teacher Mrs Tulloch