Friday, May 6, 2011

Sligo AC News: Running Shoes

A few weeks ago one of our High Performance athletes was flying out of the country to compete. At the airport he encountered one of our leading hurling teams who were on route to Portugal for warm weather training. He got talking to them and they told him they were going for five days. They said they would train three times a day for four days and on the fifth day they would drink. Being quite near April 1st I thought my High Performance friend was winding me up but I did not have to wait long for confirmation that the mentality outlined was prevalent in that sport. The headline on the Irish Independent caught my eye. “Kingdom chief dismisses talk of 40K bill for Portugal Camp”. Apparently the local newspaper in Kerry “The Kerryman” had a go at their team for spending 40K on warm weather training abroad. The chairman of Kerry County Board defended the decision to go abroad and among the things he said was the following gem of a quote. “The benefits of warm weather training are that players can train three times a day. In normal circumstances we train three times a week, so if the players spend four days in warm weather training which is now proposed that is equivalent to four weeks training.” If proof were needed why we in athletics don’t take sports like this seriously then what I have just outlined is enough. Warm weather training is just that. A sportsperson who is used to training only three times a week doesn’t suddenly train three times a day for three or four consecutive days. I have accompanied numerous athletic teams and individuals on training camps and they train exactly as they train at home. A lot of athletes would train twice daily at home so they would do the same on a training camp. The big advantage being abroad is that there is more time to rest. Athletes usually train hard in the morning, have some physio before lunch, sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon and have an easy training session in the evening. Sligo A.C. athlete Emmett Dunleavy has won All Ireland medals on the track in the summer of 2009 and 2010. At the end of May he will be heading to Kenya for a three week training stint in warm weather and at altitude. He has done that successfully in the last two years. Like the aforementioned hurlers and footballers, Emmett holds down a 9 to 5 job. His three week training will not differ greatly from what he would be doing at home. The big difference is the benefit of altitude and the extra time he will have to rest. Incidentally the hurling team who went to Portugal were comprehensively beaten on their home ground in a league match a few days after they returned. I rest my case.
Athletes are reminded about the upcoming Streets of Sligo 5km road race which is on Sunday, May 15th at 13.15. With an Athletics Ireland licence in place it is expected to attract a big entry. Enquiries to Terry Hayes on 087-2274622.
Finally this week congratulations to Alberto Sanchez on winning the universities 5000 metres track title in Antrim last Saturday. Also well done to Rachael Kilgallon on finishing 4th in the 800 metres.