Maria, after recently finishing up your indoor season, how are you feeling right now?
I am feeling really well right now. The Indoor racing did not go quite as well as I had hoped due to a number of reasons, but mainly due to getting quite run down just before I was about to seriously race. But I definitely got some great training in, speed and paces that I had not done in years, so I know that this will stand to me as I go back to the roads and the longer stuff again. It was really enjoyable to spend the winter working on speed rather than the traditional base training that I would normally be doing.
Following on from your great performance in the Dublin marathon and your previous successes, Can you sum up what it takes to get to that level?
The Dublin Marathon was just such a fantastic day because I got everything out of me in that race. It was an accumulation of a fantastic 12 weeks of marathon specific training that peaked on that Bank Holiday Monday. You never know what is around the corner and I went into that race grabbing the opportunity that everything up to that point had gone so well and then it all fortunately went right on the day. I was so confident and positive that I had done everything right and I was so ready for that Marathon. It really is a question of believing in the training, following it diligently and doing everything in your capabilities to stay healthy and injury free.
What are your current objectives/goals?
My long term goad is to go the Rio Olympics 2016 in the Marathon. But there is a process of getting there, and so I have a number of goals and objectives along the way. The winter was to go back to working on my speed and pace.. Right now I am aiming to lower my half marathon time of 72.26. I am going to the Berlin Half Marathon at the end of March to achieve that goal. Then it will be back to a bit of speed/pace work again before doing an Autumn marathon, which has yet to be confirmed. This marathon aim will be aimed at securing a place on the Irish Olympic Team
How important is physical fitness, (Strength & Conditioning) work to running?
I introduced Strength and Conditioning with SportsMed. in April 2014 and it has made a huge difference to my overall fitness and racing performances. I am so much stronger, balanced and powerful than I have ever been. It has been a huge contributing factor to setting some personal best and course records over the past months. I know it has helped keep me injury free.
Typically, how many hours a week do you commit to training between running & gym?
I typically run around 90-110 miles a week, split between a morning and evening run, 2/3 hard sessions a week and the rest would be mainly aerobic miles. The upper end when in marathon training and 85 during a big race week. I do two gym sessions a week, one supervised with Sportmed and the other on my own.
What is your favourite marathon course?
You cannot beat Dublin for the support. It seems to get better and better every year. There are huge benefits to running your home course, as you get to sleep in your own bed, prepare your own breakfast and run through your home village of Rathgar, where the crowd cheering is almost deafening.
What are your least favourite training days?
The workout days are the toughest, but then they are the most rewarding. There is nothing like that feeling when you have nailed that workout. You have executed exactly the aim and you have a nice tick mark next to the road to your marathon.
And your favourite?
I do love hill reps. I love the simplicity of the workout. You against the hill. You are working on form and drive
How has the training and preparation for your sport changed over the course of your career?
It has changed loads, I now do easy recovery days. I would often listen to a heart monitor. I do strength and conditioning/gym work. I tick all the boxes each week -speed,intervals, easy runs, endurance long runs, steady runs, gym, sprints, drills.
Are you currently using any supplements?
I take a few vitamin and mineral supplements, like iron, and a tonic drink. I also use a recovery protein drink after hard sessions and races. But I try to eat really healthy and I enjoy that side of things.
Have you any superstitions?
I definitely like to do a specific warm up for racing. I just like to go into automatic mode and it helps keep me focused and not get too nervous.Leave a reply →