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David Matthews interview-Main goal of NIALive to get recreational runners onto track

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative


    Say most recreational runners see running on a track as an intimidating challenge as in “Track is for the fast lads like Bolt, Rudisha, Bekele etc, I have no business running on a track”. I know myself I wouldn’t have the confidence to run a track meet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    OOnegative wrote: »
    Say most recreational runners see running on a track as an intimidating challenge as in “Track is for the fast lads like Bolt, Rudisha, Bekele etc, I have no business running on a track”. I know myself I wouldn’t have the confidence to run a track meet.

    From my experience, the NIA Live is about as low key and un-intimidating a track meet can possibly get. It is absolutely the perfect place for people to dip their toe in track.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 282 ✭✭S.L.F.


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    “If you were a casual golfer you’d love to compete in Augusta or St Andrews, so why isn’t it the same in athletics for a recreational runner? If you were a recreational runner, why would you not like to compete in the National Indoor Arena, a 38 million euro facility?"

    Spoke to David Matthews about the newly formed NIA Live series, and his plans to bridge the disconnect between recreational running and competitive track and field.

    How do people see it unfolding? Realistic target or destined for failure?

    http://therunningreview.com/david-matthews-if-you-were-a-casual-golfer-youd-love-to-compete-in-augusta-or-st-andrews-so-why-isnt-it-the-same-in-athletics/

    I see you putting up your interviews here and there and always debating any track subjects. Do you work for an official athletics journal or what is it you do exactly?

    I see so many of the old boards crew gone from here saying its dated etc. How come you're still around?

    Is there any other sports forums or more popular sites beside lets run where athletes congregate?


  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭Coffee Fulled Runner


    I'm a late comer to athletics and running I only took up runner in my mid 20s and I love to race on a track. Maybe 5000 mts or 3000 mts, then try the sorter races. Unfortunately there aren't many meets like that in the west for seniors. The only track race I remember was when Dermot McDermott was trying to get Mary Cullen to qualify for Rio in 2016 in Sligo. He had graded 5000 meter races for seniors sub 20, 18, etc so no one was lapped. Also long jumps and races for the juniors. It also had some big names like Ciara Mageean down. I had a slight injury at the time so I couldn't run. It was a great event and I think having more meetings like that all around the country would definitely get more interested in track.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    From my experience, the NIA Live is about as low key and un-intimidating a track meet can possibly get. It is absolutely the perfect place for people to dip their toe in track.

    I agree it's very welcoming and a great setup, however I still finished second last in a the third of three 800m races a month ago, and I'd run a 18:3x 5k in 2017... it didn't bother me, though I can see how showing up to this standard might discourage folks.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,849 ✭✭✭✭average_runner


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    “If you were a casual golfer you’d love to compete in Augusta or St Andrews, so why isn’t it the same in athletics for a recreational runner? If you were a recreational runner, why would you not like to compete in the National Indoor Arena, a 38 million euro facility?"

    Spoke to David Matthews about the newly formed NIA Live series, and his plans to bridge the disconnect between recreational running and competitive track and field.

    How do people see it unfolding? Realistic target or destined for failure?

    http://therunningreview.com/david-matthews-if-you-were-a-casual-golfer-youd-love-to-compete-in-augusta-or-st-andrews-so-why-isnt-it-the-same-in-athletics/

    The difference is the following, for golf it's the challenge of the course. But for the track you need speed, not many recreational runners have the speed.

    Look at team sports when we grew up, only 4 out of 20 had good speed. I know I have no speed, can do a sub 20 min 5k but track is a different kind of fish. So there is no.challenge for me on the track.

    I would say maybe there is 10% of recreational that have the speed, they are the ones we need to get and the clubs need to identify and encourage them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    Despite the good intentions. Destined to fail.

    Number of our club runners who are involved 18 months or less tried it and hated every minute of it. Track can be very intimidating. You might be lucky and find a small % who like it and will return but for newbies (particularly those 30/40 +) there is no incentive to run these!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    Despite the good intentions. Destined to fail.

    Number of our club runners who are involved 18 months or less tried it and hated every minute of it. Track can be very intimidating. You might be lucky and find a small % who like it and will return but for newbies (particularly those 30/40 +) there is no incentive to run these!

    I dunno I think it is a decent stepping stone. While some found it tough there were those who seemed to enjoy it (One from are club actually managed a race win over 800m in his first track race)

    The numbers have been growing steadily week after week and Thursday night had 200m and 800ms sold out (8 races in 200m and 4 in 800)

    The mile with Sonia and Catriona have also been popular and the numbers are being driven by newer people to track to be honest.

    Could act as a good gateway to graded meets in the summer


  • Registered Users Posts: 928 ✭✭✭TRR_the_turd


    time will tell but my feeling is the novelty will wear out soon enough! Hope I’m wrong.
    I dunno I think it is a decent stepping stone. While some found it tough there were those who seemed to enjoy it (One from are club actually managed a race win over 800m in his first track race)

    The numbers have been growing steadily week after week and Thursday night had 200m and 800ms sold out (8 races in 200m and 4 in 800)

    The mile with Sonia and Catriona have also been popular and the numbers are being driven by newer people to track to be honest.

    Could act as a good gateway to graded meets in the summer


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    I consider myself a recreational runner and when I see someone like Singer coming second last in a race I lose all interest in trying it out.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,438 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    I’ll be running one of these meets in a couple of weeks. I couldn’t care less about the prospect of coming last, or close to last, which is very likely. As far as I’m concerned it’s an opportunity to do something a bit different, and the fact that it is overtly aimed at all standards of runner is to be welcomed. I’d encourage anyone who is curious to put the trepidation aside and just show up and enjoy what is after all an expensive public facility built with your tax (and possibly Lotto) euros. If you’re worried, bring a friend who’s a little bit slower. ;) Enjoy!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    skyblue46 wrote: »
    I consider myself a recreational runner and when I see someone like Singer coming second last in a race I lose all interest in trying it out.

    To be fair by his own admission he hadn't done any sort of speedy work in a while and is in the middle of ultra training, a few weeks of speed work and I would be surprised if he didn't take 5-10 seconds off that especially as the shorter distances take a few races to as rust busters for all levels.I would have thought that would inspire people truth be told. There were 6.30-7 min milers there last week.
    Murph_D wrote: »
    If you’re worried, bring a friend who’s a little bit slower. ;) Enjoy!

    This +1000. This event caters for all levels but unfortunately it can only do this if all level start showing up. The high entry point will only exist if there aren't people willing to enter, Organizers will ask you what you are hoping to run and seed you accordingly so that 1) lapping becomes less and less off an issue and 2) every race is as competitive as possible whether it is a 2 min 800m or 3 minute.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    To be fair by his own admission he hadn't done any sort of speedy work in a while and is in the middle of ultra training, a few weeks of speed work and I would be surprised if he didn't take 5-10 seconds off that especially as the shorter distances take a few races to as rust busters for all levels.I would have thought that would inspire people truth be told. There were 6.30-7 min milers there last week.



    This +1000. This event caters for all levels but unfortunately it can only do this if all level start showing up. The high entry point will only exist if there aren't people willing to enter, Organizers will ask you what you are hoping to run and seed you accordingly so that 1) lapping becomes less and less off an issue and 2) every race is as competitive as possible whether it is a 2 min 800m or 3 minute.

    That makes total sense alright. You've convinced me! I'll put it on my to do list :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    I've enjoyed the 2 outings I've had as part of the series, my 1st time running indoors incidentally.

    The only advise I would give is that they could be more transparent and upfront with the grading (sub 5 mile, sub 6 mile, sub 7 mile, etc).
    Waiting until 5 mins before your race to put participants into races more than likely adds to the apprehension newcomers would have.

    They have a pretty standard on site registration set up, estimated time could also be included and real time start lists could be rotated on the big screen. It would be easier then to bring a handful of novices from the club if they new they had the comfort and knowledge beforehand that they were going to be running in a grade that suited their ability.

    They are trying to be disruptive and innovation, so I'm sure Enda could involve a few clever folks from UCD to assist in taking this to the next level through apps, real time lap info pushed to facebook or whatever.

    I hope it succeeds, but needs some tweaking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    A bunch from BP have run these and enjoyed them. I'm hoping it will lead to a few people doing the graded and masters races this year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 282 ✭✭S.L.F.


    To be fair by his own admission he hadn't done any sort of speedy work in a while and is in the middle of ultra training, a few weeks of speed work and I would be surprised if he didn't take 5-10 seconds off that especially as the shorter distances take a few races to as rust busters for all levels.I would have thought that would inspire people truth be told. There were 6.30-7 min milers there last week.



    This +1000. This event caters for all levels but unfortunately it can only do this if all level start showing up. The high entry point will only exist if there aren't people willing to enter, Organizers will ask you what you are hoping to run and seed you accordingly so that 1) lapping becomes less and less off an issue and 2) every race is as competitive as possible whether it is a 2 min 800m or 3 minute.

    So Testost, next time you have an injury and are coming back can you be expected to show up and compete in the 8 minute mile group?

    In my opinion, I can't see many people at fun runner level forking out money to compete in sub 8 or 9 minute miles.

    Sure the Irish Runner or one of those groups are doing mass miler races for a fiver or something silly and you can run with people who really are in the same category as you and are genuinely out for the fun of it.

    I've seen a few of them live on FB and they're a serious looking bunch who I imagine are very competitive and probably better than the category they're placed in.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    S.L.F. wrote: »
    So Testost, next time you have an injury and are coming back can you be expected to show up and compete in the 8 minute mile group?

    In my opinion, I can't see many people at fun runner level forking out money to compete in sub 8 or 9 minute miles.

    Sure the Irish Runner or one of those groups are doing mass miler races for a fiver or something silly and you can run with people who really are in the same category as you and are genuinely out for the fun of it.

    I've seen a few of them live on FB and they're a serious looking bunch who I imagine are very competitive and probably better than the category they're placed in.

    Not quite sure of the point you are trying to make but I won't be racing the next one but more than willing to pace you through a 7,8,9,10 min mile no problem if it means a couple more trying their hand at it.

    Regarding the money issue it's a strange one that people seem adverse to paying 10e to have access to our National Arena for 3-4 hours. Sure my local community centre would atleast that for fitness bootcamps etc.

    In terms of what you have seen on FB, pretty sure the only one streamed was the first one where numbers were low and presumably those who supported that one were already track runners.

    I attached two pictures from the last to and there is a relaxed atmosphere. In terms of competitiveness why is that seen as a bad thing. Trying to do your best at any level is to be encouraged, at the end of the day it is a sport so competitive nature is the one thing which should unite all people taking part in that sport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,606 ✭✭✭ultrapercy


    Not quite sure of the point you are trying to make but I won't be racing the next one but more than willing to pace you through a 7,8,9,10 min mile no problem if it means a couple more trying there hand at it.

    Regarding the money issue it's a strange one that people seem adverse to paying 10e to have access to our National Arena for 3-4 hours. Sure my local community centre would atleast that for fitness bootcamps etc.

    In terms of what you have seen on FB, pretty sure the only one streamed was the first one where numbers were low and presumably those who supported that one were already track runners.

    I attached two pictures from the last to and there is a relaxed atmosphere. In terms of competitiveness why is that seen as a bad thing. Trying to do your best at any level is to be encouraged, at the end of the day it is a sport so competitive nature is the one thing which should unite all people taking part in that sport.
    Athletics is the only sport I know where people are criticised for being too competitive. Even at the lowest level of club football or soccer competitiveness is not only encouraged but demanded. In running/athletics the competition sometimes has to be disguised for fear of putting people off. I dont understand it for me the exciting part has always been the events that seemed to be out of my dept.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    ultrapercy wrote: »
    Athletics is the only sport I know where people are criticised for being too competitive. Even at the lowest level of club football or soccer competitiveness is not only encouraged but demanded. In running/athletics the competition sometimes has to be disguised for fear of putting people off. I dont understand it for me the exciting part has always been the events that seemed to be out of my dept.

    Have to agree

    Off the top of my head the races I got the most sense of occasion from over the last year.

    National Seniors Cross Country - 23rd from the back
    National Seniors Track - Last by a minute (bad day at the office but even running a PB would have only seen me 18th out of 20)
    Armagh 5k - 6th from the back despite only being 3 seconds off my PB

    That nervous excitement is really something I can never replicate. You remember the minute details of the day, the warm up, the trip down. This is the element of racing which makes all the work put in worth it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭career move


    I ran the 200m before xmas. It was my first ever sprint race and I'm sure there are plenty of people who think I have no business sprinting because I'm slow but I never got that feeling from anyone I met in the NIA that night. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We were put into groups according to our expected finishing times and I never felt out of my depth. There was no 'this group is fast and this group is slow'. The atmosphere was so relaxed it was like being at a club training session. I couldn't recommend this series highly enough and if I lived a bit nearer I'd do them every fortnight


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    S.L.F. wrote: »
    So Testost, next time you have an injury and are coming back can you be expected to show up and compete in the 8 minute mile group?

    In my opinion, I can't see many people at fun runner level forking out money to compete in sub 8 or 9 minute miles.

    Sure the Irish Runner or one of those groups are doing mass miler races for a fiver or something silly and you can run with people who really are in the same category as you and are genuinely out for the fun of it.

    I've seen a few of them live on FB and they're a serious looking bunch who I imagine are very competitive and probably better than the category they're placed in.

    Genuinely out for the fun of it?

    Are you implying that people who run faster do not enjoy the sport?

    Trying to improve yourself as an athlete and enjoying the sport are not mutually exclusive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    ultrapercy wrote: »
    Athletics is the only sport I know where people are criticised for being too competitive. Even at the lowest level of club football or soccer competitiveness is not only encouraged but demanded. In running/athletics the competition sometimes has to be disguised for fear of putting people off. I dont understand it for me the exciting part has always been the events that seemed to be out of my dept.

    Yep. That word “elitism” gets shouted out in our sport a lot. I’ve never heard it said in any other sport. A 5 a side kick about on an Astro with a bunch of mates becomes competitive. Sport by nature is competitive. Yet it seems to be frowned upon by some people who run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    Genuinely out for the fun of it?

    Are you implying that people who run faster do not enjoy the sport?

    Trying to improve yourself as an athlete and enjoying the sport are not mutually exclusive.

    I have to agree. Most of us regardless of standard are trying to get a little better. Sometimes the competition it just with yourself but it doesn't lessen the enjoyment of beating your previous best.


  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭Coffee Fulled Runner


    One thing I hate about athletics is how it's frown upon by many in the sport to be competitive and how the word elite that gets thrown around. What's wrong with trying to better yourself in the sport you take part in?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 282 ✭✭S.L.F.


    Not quite sure of the point you are trying to make but I won't be racing the next one but more than willing to pace you through a 7,8,9,10 min mile no problem if it means a couple more trying their hand at it.

    Regarding the money issue it's a strange one that people seem adverse to paying 10e to have access to our National Arena for 3-4 hours. Sure my local community centre would atleast that for fitness bootcamps etc.

    In terms of what you have seen on FB, pretty sure the only one streamed was the first one where numbers were low and presumably those who supported that one were already track runners.

    I attached two pictures from the last to and there is a relaxed atmosphere. In terms of competitiveness why is that seen as a bad thing. Trying to do your best at any level is to be encouraged, at the end of the day it is a sport so competitive nature is the one thing which should unite all people taking part in that sport.

    I'm not doubting for one minute that you would pace 7 minute milers and upwards.

    Its probably difficult for you to get my mindset since you're not a fun runner and your life and career revolve around running. You are extremely good at running as a result and are looking at it from a totally different perspective.

    Its kind of like this, i remember reading someones comments here and they said if they thought they were going to run slower than they expected they'd sooner hide in a bush than finish at the slow end of a race with people watching them come in.

    Or another one who I know regularly stands at the end of races and claps in all the slower runners but would also sooner hide in a bush than finish with them unless they were pacing them.

    Well I think a lot of fun runners would also rather hide in a bush than finish last in a 9 minute mile race in front of people who are really good at running, not that I think they'd be even watching a 9 minute mile race to begin with.

    As for the streaming, I don't think I said it was streamed. I can only think that it was the club themselves who were recording the races that I seen. I think they might have been trying to get people interested in it like yourself.

    I thought it looked intimidating and competitive and something I would only try if I was actually in a club and they were going to training.

    The average fun runner is likely running on their own or with like minded friends. They're more likely to mosey up to the park or the A.L.S.A.A for an informal run with people of all sizes and ages.

    They wouldn't even know about this track to begin with.

    Unless they were thinking of becoming serious about running I still cant see them heading over there to pay to feel intimidated.

    If someone is breaking 7 minutes for a mile then I'm sure they're already competitive and might want to go over to hedge their bets. 7 minute mile is nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Again I totally respect that you help runners who look to you for guidance, no doubt you do judging from the ongoing support you get on this forum.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 282 ✭✭S.L.F.


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    Genuinely out for the fun of it?

    Are you implying that people who run faster do not enjoy the sport?

    Trying to improve yourself as an athlete and enjoying the sport are not mutually exclusive.

    I havnt even read your post, I'm assuming its as dramatic and as shouty as ever.

    You've some neck posting to me now when you didn't even have the courtesy to respond to my post asking you about where you're getting your interviews from.
    In my opinion you should be citing your work if you're going to bring other peoples opinions into it who aren't around.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative


    S.L.F. wrote: »
    You've some neck posting to me now when you didn't even have the courtesy to respond to my post asking you about where you're getting your interviews from.
    In my opinion you should be citing your work if you're going to bring other peoples opinions into it who aren't around.

    Simple bit of research & you could find the mans work, he’s under no obligation to tell you anything here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46


    S.L.F. wrote: »
    I'm not doubting for one minute that you would pace 7 minute milers and upwards.

    Its probably difficult for you to get my mindset since you're not a fun runner and your life and career revolve around running. You are extremely good at running as a result and are looking at it from a totally different perspective.

    Its kind of like this, i remember reading someones comments here and they said if they thought they were going to run slower than they expected they'd sooner hide in a bush than finish at the slow end of a race with people watching them come in.

    Or another one who I know regularly stands at the end of races and claps in all the slower runners but would also sooner hide in a bush than finish with them unless they were pacing them.

    Well I think a lot of fun runners would also rather hide in a bush than finish last in a 9 minute mile race in front of people who are really good at running, not that I think they'd be even watching a 9 minute mile race to begin with.

    As for the streaming, I don't think I said it was streamed. I can only think that it was the club themselves who were recording the races that I seen. I think they might have been trying to get people interested in it like yourself.

    I thought it looked intimidating and competitive and something I would only try if I was actually in a club and they were going to training.

    The average fun runner is likely running on their own or with like minded friends. They're more likely to mosey up to the park or the A.L.S.A.A for an informal run with people of all sizes and ages.

    They wouldn't even know about this track to begin with.

    Unless they were thinking of becoming serious about running I still cant see them heading over there to pay to feel intimidated.

    If someone is breaking 7 minutes for a mile then I'm sure they're already competitive and might want to go over to hedge their bets. 7 minute mile is nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Again I totally respect that you help runners who look to you for guidance, no doubt you do judging from the ongoing support you get on this forum.

    In all fairness the "support" he gets is very justified as far as I can see. He is an absolute gent in giving advice and support.

    The average fun golfer hates hitting it into the trees, the average 5 a side footballer hates shanking it wide from a yard out and a 5 minute miler hates performing badly too. I don't see why they should be criticised for that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,834 ✭✭✭✭ThisRegard


    Despite the good intentions. Destined to fail.

    Number of our club runners who are involved 18 months or less tried it and hated every minute of it. Track can be very intimidating. You might be lucky and find a small % who like it and will return but for newbies (particularly those 30/40 +) there is no incentive to run these!

    I don't think it can be all put down to the intimidating aspect, boredom plays a part. For a lot of people running is also about getting out there and away, not doing circles. It's good for speed work and intervals and the likes.

    "Recreational runners", are out running for health reasons and the enjoyment of it (Of course I'm not saying those in competitions aren't enjoying themselves, but you get the point I'm making). Track lends itself moreso to competition so there's no real natural segue between the two.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 282 ✭✭S.L.F.


    OOnegative wrote: »
    Simple bit of research & you could find the mans work, he’s under no obligation to tell you anything here.



    It would've been courteous of him to post what you just responded with.

    Can people go up on forums and quote what others have said to them without giving a source?


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