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A/R/tist in the spotlight - Testosterscone

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  • 06-10-2018 9:02pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭


    I'm delighted to introduce our next A/Rtist in the Spotlight

    The helpfullest man on boards, always ready to give tips and advice, especially to new runners, a super-fast runner who's been running and competing for most of his life, a coach, a PT, and now a new dad!

    It's TESTOSTERSCONE!

    (He was in the spotlight, under a previous handle, about 6 or 7 years ago, but most of the boardsies have changed since then, and things have changed for him as a runner and personally since then, so it's very much worthwhile having him again).

    Thank you for accepting my invitation.

    Here are a few questions from me:

    1. As a coach, what was the greatest improvement you saw in any of your coachees, and what led to it?

    2. What's the one piece of advice you wish novice runners / new posters on boards would take to heart?

    Thanks very much, we're off.


«134

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,020 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    Excellent choice.

    I have some questions Testosterscone. Hope fatherhood is treating you well.

    1. Have you run and been involved in athletics since you were a child?
    2. What got you into coaching?
    3. What’s your favourite thing about coaching?
    4. Your least favourite thing about coaching?
    5. What’s your preferred race distance?
    6. Favourite ever race?


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


    I have to say I'm delighted to see this and can't wait for the week ahead. So much to learn....

    1. What other sports do you follow?

    2. What is your favourite race on the current calendar?

    3. What are both your best and favourite race distances?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    Apologies in advance. There's gonna be soooooooo many questions.


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


    1. When will you do another marathon?

    2. Reckon you'll ever give sub 150 minute marathon a good rattle?

    3. Fave restaurant in Dublin?

    4. What's your fave running gear? Any particularly nice or preferred tops/shorts/etc.?

    5. Top 3 concerts you've been to.

    6. What keeps you coming back to boards?

    7. Do you have any treasured running paraphernalia, like old race numbers, your first pair of running runners, Raheny 5M plaque etc.? Or at least hang on to any of it? Or is it straight into the bin?

    8. Any claims to fame?

    9. iPhone/Android/I don't like smartphones?

    10. Do you run with music/podcasts/etc?

    11. Why do you coach people? What do you get out of it?

    12. How has becoming a Dad changed things for you?

    13. When did you realise you were talented at athletics?

    14. Who's the most famous runner you've physioed :)

    15. What's the deal with yourself and Safiri?

    16. Who do you look up to (any or all of career, personally and running)?

    17. What newspapers do you read... sorry, it's not 20 years ago, what online news sites do you read? :)

    18. What's the best race in Ireland?

    19. You win Euromillions. Serious money. What do you do?

    20. What's your pre-race routine like?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    1. How many people do you coach?
    2. Do you ever feel like your own running suffers at the expense of helping others?
    3. You ran a ridiculously good time on your first marathon. Where do you think your peak is at the marathon i.e best possible time? And do you feel this is a distance you want to peak at?
    4. How do you maintain your interest in running over such a long time? Seems to me you've been running since you were a kid. How do you keep the interest?
    5. If someone told you you could only ever run and train for one distance again what would it be?
    6. You've mentioned in the past that you've really only reached peak effort in some races. Why is that? Do you think some races should be run in a controlled manner or is it down to each individual athlete?
    7. What's your opinion on 'plans'? The reason I ask is that a lot of people stick religiously to plans on here (in particular your ones) but I've often wondered is this what you had in mind when you drafted these plans. In other words do you think people are too religiously following plans?

    Pretty heavy questions to start. I'll have a lot more!


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


    :pac: Ah Singer that's pure greedy! He only has a week....


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD


    I'm looking forward to this one.


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


    HelenAnne wrote: »
    I'm delighted to introduce our next A/Rtist in the Spotlight

    The helpfullest man on boards, always ready to give tips and advice, especially to new runners, a super-fast runner who's been running and competing for most of his life, a coach, a PT, and now a new dad!

    It's TESTOSTERSCONE!

    (He was in the spotlight, under a previous handle, about 6 or 7 years ago, but most of the boardsies have changed since then, and things have changed for him as a runner and personally since then, so it's very much worthwhile having him again).

    Thank you for accepting my invitation.

    Here are a few questions from me:

    1. As a coach, what was the greatest improvement you saw in any of your coachees, and what led to it?

    2. What's the one piece of advice you wish novice runners / new posters on boards would take to heart?

    Thanks very much, we're off.

    Thanks for the great intro.

    Hmmm biggest progression I have seen seen from a time stand point is a hard one to nail down a few come to mind. It’s a none linear thing though so some have made progress more regularly and taken as much off in same time frame just over a few races

    Swashbuckler and another athlete had recent breakthroughs over the HM both breaking 1.20 after coming into the year with 1.31 and 1.25 PB’s. No major secret other than good consistent training week after week and month after month

    Duanington dipping under 17 for 5k was another breakthrough though he has positioned himself in a good group recently and the group sessions have really been a catalyst.

    Likewise I have seen one athlete pick up an ultra Irish record (indoor) after working on shorter distances for a while.

    Outside of performance starting to see some athletes getting confidence in themselves and self reliance. As a coach this is something you strive for. The aim is to educate an athlete to the point where they are self reliant as you can’t always be there to hold there hand. Knowledge is power and more people in a situation have it,the better the outcome

    2. Embrace movement before you become a runner. By that I mean try, circuits, multi sports drills etc any bit of active movement. Don’t take up running to get fit, get fit to take up running most of us just bounce from plan to plan with miles being the main aim without any real thought about how we run those miles. There is no perfect plan unless it takes into account your starting point and background


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


    Kellygirl wrote: »
    1. Have you run and been involved in athletics since you were a child?

    I have been running since I was 8 starting off as a hurdler (didn’t have the flat speed for sprints) before finally settling in distance running. I have done every event bar pole vault though so can’t say I didn’t give them all atleast a try before ruling them out haha
    Kellygirl wrote: »
    2. What got you into coaching?

    Naivety. Was never afraid to shy away from giving advice here if I didn’t know something I made sure to try and educate myself. Had the book learning and from there looked for guinea pigs here on boards to eat the experience. Would advise anyone who is interested in coaching to do the same... try and fail you will be surprised how much you learn and grow from it. Given the generic plans people rely on working to tweak training will generally be a step up so I wouldn’t be fearful of offering people help if they are willing to accept it.
    Kellygirl wrote: »
    3. What’s your favourite thing about coaching?

    Generally the people I work with have a) a good work ethic b) are willing to listen and c) a genuine passion for the sport.

    Those characteristics help remind me of the purity in the sport and it is great to see and the buzz of PB’s and good performances
    Kellygirl wrote: »

    4. Your least favourite thing about coaching?

    Probably the limitations of remote coaching there is stuff I would like to prescribe but won’t at times simply because I cannot supervise to correct if needed

    Elsewhere an underperformance always has you questioning yourself as a coach and how you approached things
    Kellygirl wrote: »
    5. What’s your preferred race distance?

    Hmm probably torn between 1500m and HM. Grew up on the 1500m so I have a lot of fond memories while half marathons tend to have been my best race distance in recent years
    Kellygirl wrote: »
    6. Favourite ever race?

    Favorite race watched was prob Chris Solinsky breaking US record over 10000m in 2010, or El G s mile world record. Both races were set up for fast times but favorites got challenged and were proper head to head races.

    In terms of races run Night of 10,000m pb s was best atmosphere race event ever ran a proper spectator/competitor friendly event.



    Will get around to other questions tomorrow


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,020 ✭✭✭Kellygirl



    2. Embrace movement before you become a runner. By that I mean try, circuits, multi sports drills etc any bit of active movement. Don’t take up running to get fit, get fit to take up running most of us just bounce from plan to plan with miles being the main aim without any real thought about how we run those miles. There is no perfect plan unless it takes into account your starting point and background

    I love this! Makes so much sense.

    Thanks for answering my questions.


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


    skyblue46 wrote: »
    I have to say I'm delighted to see this and can't wait for the week ahead. So much to learn....

    1. What other sports do you follow?

    2. What is your favourite race on the current calendar?

    3. What are both your best and favourite race distances?

    Can easy myself in with these before the start of my thesis in response to the lads questions ðŸ˜

    My full time job (outside of the PT) it’s centered around sport as such I would get exposure to most sports (including being introduced and watching the vicious sport of Kabaddi, well worth a view for anyone who has never heard of it)

    This however has sometimes left me a little numb due to over exposure. Football for example even though I still consider myself a Man Utd and Shelbourne fan I wouldn’t watch every match religiously. Likewise I used to watch F1 religiously during the Schumacher/Mika hakkinen era but find it hard to do little more than glance at results in passing in work these days.

    Rugby and GAA would be the two I follow closely (attend matches watch tv etc) as a Dublin/Leinster fan.

    I did develop an interest in UFC due to one of the guys I went to school with going Pro (sadly had to retire due to a medical condition) as well as a former house mate also going pro however the last 18 months of nonsense from McGregor and the Wrestling pantomime story telling really have turned me off and hoping that last nights loss as well as the surrounding circus will open peoples eyes to the nonsense of it

    Favorite race on the calendar?

    Armagh 5k by a land slide would encourage people to even do the open 3k or spectate. One of the few races that still instills what the sport is about and promoting standards.

    Favorite/Best distances

    As mentioned 1500/HM would prob be favorite and if including best as well probably Steeplechase though I am not quite sure you could ever say you enjoy it. I have never come across the line thinking anything other than the sheer pain of the event


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


    Breaking these up to give me a chance to get through them
    Singer wrote: »
    1. When will you do another marathon?

    Good question Berlin 2017 went by the wayside due to finding out about the impending birth of my son. This was a conscious call made at the time. Dublin 2018 was the next target, birth of the son was managed but another spanner in the works that took precedence and has left me in probably the worst shape of my life. It was not a choice persay it was simply the fact that fitness is so poor at the moment I would struggle to even get around. I haven't ruled out a marathon next year but realistically focusing on just getting fit again first before making any plans.
    Singer wrote: »
    2. Reckon you'll ever give sub 150 minute marathon a good rattle?

    I definitely think If I can get my act together then I can get into low 2.30 shape. It would involve a huge amount of work but I think if I can get into that shape and get a certain amount of luck then it would be a realistic target (probably a few years of good training off atm though)
    Singer wrote: »
    3. Fave restaurant in Dublin?

    My favourite restaurant actually closed recently enough. Sabor Brazil stood head and shoulders above all in terms of both food and service. I think they stretched themselves a little with what they were trying to do as we went back about 12 months after first visit and while the food was still of the same high quality they were cutting back on the little things (less waiting staff, downgrading of some of the chairs) It was shortly after this they closed there doors with little to no notice. Pity to see it go to be honest.

    Dax would also be a very good restaurant for food quality. Quite rich but very tasty and a good atmosphere
    Singer wrote: »
    4. What's your fave running gear? Any particularly nice or preferred tops/shorts/etc.?

    To be honest have always found adidas gear to be streaks above all else. Fits well and good wear. Generally avoid Nike as a matter of principle but more often than not I will wear what ever gear is going. When in full training between gym, doubles there is alot of washing to be done as well as the fact I couldn't afford to kit myself out with that much adidas
    Singer wrote: »
    5. Top 3 concerts you've been to.

    1. Bruce Springsteen - Nowlan Park. Been to him a few times but Kilkenny was a standout performance and atmosphere that definitely trumped Croker.

    2. Rodrigo y Gabriella - The Ark Temple Bar. Most people may not have heard of these (though will recognise them as they played track on pilot of Breaking Bad) but they have gotten big enough since this gig back in 2005/2006, before that though they were an obscure duo living in Ireland and managed to get to an intimate gig - 15 people and met them after.

    3. Skrillex - Vegas
    Not a concert per say but while I was in Vegas one of our group bought tickets for this, told us how much we owed him and that we were going. To be fair it was probably one of the best sets I have seen (not a Dubstep fan but became a fan of his after this and still listen to it)

    (Had lost my love of music till recently just due to never really getting a chance to listen but amazing how quick it can return when introducing himself to all the music I grew up listening to)


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


    Singer wrote: »
    6. What keeps you coming back to boards?

    I learned alot from boards and continue to learn. Running is a small knit community as well so unlike many message boards there is less of an anonymity feel to it. There is a tendency for people on boards to have a greater desire to improve and learn moreso than any other Irish Social media community for running. I won't lie I am not as active as I used to be for a number of reasons over the past few but I still enjoy seeing the progression of people. With the number from here I coach as well the logs help give me an extra layer of info as sometimes there is key information made off the cuff without the person even realising when they are talking about there training which helps me.
    Singer wrote: »
    7. Do you have any treasured running paraphernalia, like old race numbers, your first pair of running runners, Raheny 5M plaque etc.? Or at least hang on to any of it? Or is it straight into the bin?

    Not really a sentimental type (The OH had to stop me chucking out my marathon medals as the move) I have a number of medals won from younger age (County/Province and National level) which I am sure I will appreciate as I get older but for now bar a Ras Na hEireann medal from back in the day there is not too many which I hold sentimental value from

    I still have my 1st pair of spikes (gold and navy Aasic spike) and I have a singlet which I got signed by Linet Masai, Chris Derrick and Lisa Uhl (2 popular NCAA athletes at the time) at the World Cross Country in Punta Umbra back in 2011
    Singer wrote: »
    8. Any claims to fame?

    I used to be able to beat Brian Gregan in sprint finishes both in training and XC growing up :P
    Singer wrote: »
    9. iPhone/Android/I don't like smartphones?

    Currently use I phone its handy but to be honest if I had a bit more tech inclination I think Android trumps Apple pound for pound :D
    Singer wrote: »
    10. Do you run with music/podcasts/etc?

    I used to religiously run with music though it was a bad habit that managed to get myself out of. These days only time I listen to either is in work.


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


    Singer wrote: »
    11. Why do you coach people? What do you get out of it?

    I coach people because rather than complaining about decreasing standards I want to try and buck that trend. I was lucky enough to get great input through the years that I want to give back. The huge surge people running coincides with the decline of the clubs as majority people aren't putting anything back into the sport as such many of the life long volunteers have been stretched to breaking point. With that in mind we have lost a huge amount of coaches and there are very few actively coaching in clubs. If I can help people improve and in turn those people learn and can help others helps the sport overall and takes pressure off an already stretched coaching pool within clubs.

    I get the buzz out of good performances. An athletes PB is almost as nice as a PB for myself (and coaching a number of athletes that gives alot more opportunities for that feeling)
    Singer wrote: »
    12. How has becoming a Dad changed things for you?

    It has definitely changed my focus although the last 2 months things have been up in the air with a short term move and our living situation being thrown into disarray. I don't think I have had a chance to fully settle into live with himself just yet but he is definitely my number 1 priority.
    Singer wrote: »
    13. When did you realise you were talented at athletics?

    Haha, truth is I didn't. This might come across as disingenuous but I wouldn't consider myself as talented.

    I grew up training in a group where 3 athletes went on to represent Ireland. From there I went to college where I was a back of the pack runner for the most part (it was a middle distance group primarily) and from there I trained under 2 marathon runners who were running 2.14-2.16. I tend to shy away from big fish small pond races for the most part also.

    In terms of my fitness I tended to lose it quick and have to train alot more to get to same level as others.

    The one talent I reckon I do have is that I have had a pretty injury free career. I think most of this came down to focusing on looking after myself so much to try and reach higher levels that often came easy to those around me (focusing on core, nutrition etc early on when many just ran hard in sessions and it worked for them) Work capacity is something I do feel I have built up well over the years
    Singer wrote: »
    14. Who's the most famous runner you've physioed :)

    Overall probably Hannah England (World 1500m silver medalist) or Brie Fenagle (US NCAA 1500m Champion)

    From an Irish perspective I had opportunity to work on Jason Smyth 2 weeks before his World Championship double in Lyon back in 2013
    Singer wrote: »
    15. What's the deal with yourself and Safiri?

    Didn't realize there was a "deal" :o

    I think we have had a difference of opinion on training stuff recently I don't think there is anything underlying (unless I am mistaken) Difference of opinions is how we learn or even re-affirm our own beliefs if you can't stand by your training beliefs what is the point in having them. Sometimes I probably come across as having a pop but generally it's the material content that I base my opinions on "Attack the post not the poster" for the most part is something I think gets lost here as it should never be personal (given it is an anonymous message board essentially despite the community atmosphere that most would have)


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


    Singer wrote: »
    16. Who do you look up to (any or all of career, personally and running)?

    From a running perspective Eliud Kipchoge's humbleness and get it done mentality with no distractions is commendable especially after he had already achieved so much for so long before being a marathon runner.

    For sheer balls the Robertson twins. They had a dream and went after it rather than sitting around and just talking about it. Not many will walk the walk outside of there comfort zone especially at such a young age
    Singer wrote: »
    17. What newspapers do you read... sorry, it's not 20 years ago, what online news sites do you read? :)

    Generally the only one I would look at would be Reuters. Aside from that I generally don't follow any one new source and rely on links via social media from people I follow and repect the opinion of
    Singer wrote: »
    18. What's the best race in Ireland?

    Armagh 5k. Manages to bring grass root kids right up to Elites together and all for a reasonable entry fee (£15). They open up to all with the 3k while still aiming to push standards with the Entry standard for the 5k.
    Singer wrote: »
    19. You win Euromillions. Serious money. What do you do?

    Honestly outside of house and covering day to day costs not much I would want. I have been time poor for so long that not having to work and focus on what I enjoy would be the biggest benefit.

    Having said that I would probably put alot of focus into club, perhaps buying local gym to provide a bit of part time employment to cover some bills while allowing upcoming athletes to train. I remember reading Bowerman's biography back in the day and his efforts to integrate his athletes into the local community creating network links for his athletes. Could go a long way with keeping some in the sport and perhaps work towards making club self sufficient in supporting athletes
    Singer wrote: »
    20. What's your pre-race routine like?

    On an ideal race day.

    - French Toast with coffee
    - Plenty of water to follow up
    - Couple of Youtube video's (a number of ones that help get me worked up but Al Pacino's speech in any given Sunday is one of the staple)
    - Arrive about 2 hrs prior to race to collect number etc
    - Warm up 1 hr prior to race - 3 miles, + 20 min drills + change socks on with racers and singlet
    - Sneaky strides past start line with walk back to prevent being pushed too far back


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD


    Shels? My condolences :pac: Do you get to many games?

    What athletics coaches in Ireland do you admire?

    Do you embrace technology in coaching or see it as hindrance? IE holding back runners relying on their watches too much? On the track with your athletes would you tell to put the watch away and time them etc.

    Is the future of Irish athletes in short and middle distance?

    You mentioned Eliud Kipchoge as someone you look up to, can you see a sub 2 marathon happening anytime soon?


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


    1. How many people do you coach?

    Currently s it stands 17

    6 Boardsies
    4 Club members
    2 following more general outlines (6 to 8 week in advance plans)
    2 currently on sabattical (need to touch base with following break and other commitments)
    1 custody share ( One session a week dictated by another coach
    2 external athletes

    There are a few who come to me pre marathon training for 10k guidance but this is usually a short lived i.e a short build up to a summer target race
    2. Do you ever feel like your own running suffers at the expense of helping others?

    Normally no, 95% is remote coaching so as such fit it in around that if my training suffers usually it is on me and not the coaching commitments
    3. You ran a ridiculously good time on your first marathon. Where do you think your peak is at the marathon i.e best possible time? And do you feel this is a distance you want to peak at?

    The marathon is definitely a distance I want to revisit. The fact the last few miles went pear shape was definitely a valuable lesson I felt that fitness was there for a 2.38/2.39 but conditioning was missing

    I think ultimately I want to hit sub 2.30 whether or not that is achievable will depend on how I bounce back from the current dip in fitness. I definitely don't think I have come close to a ceiling or any major limitation outside actually getting off my ass and training to do it
    4. How do you maintain your interest in running over such a long time? Seems to me you've been running since you were a kid. How do you keep the interest?

    Now probably not the most ideal time as running definitely took a back seat the last two months but I have seen what athletics has given to me and many of my friends.

    I have seen an old team mate meet his current wife while on scholarship in the states. Another friend has become Director of sport in an educational institution of the back of his athletic performances. Another friend got a taste for living abroad due to scholarship and as a result moved with work despite no longer running. Because it is part of my life all these years it has helped definite me and make life long connections.

    Running has given me health, friends millions more benefits so with that regard it is something I could never truly lose interest in completely.


    5. If someone told you you could only ever run and train for one distance again what would it be?

    Probably 10k, if you look at the likes of Ciaran O Lionaird or Steven Scullion, a good balanced 10k program could probably set you up for a solid marathon or 1500 if done right. I think the problem is that people look at training for certain distances as bi-paced meaning you have race pace and easy pace. No matter what the training you should have paces from 400/800 up to MP in the difference is how you tailor it (strides with long recovery could be a post easy run speed development or MP mile reps with short recovery can be a good endurance workout for a middle distance runner)

    6. You've mentioned in the past that you've really only reached peak effort in some races. Why is that? Do you think some races should be run in a controlled manner or is it down to each individual athlete?

    Put that down to decisions made in a race. If I am not aerobically strong enough I know I won't handle surges or going out too hard I will suffer. Likewise if I am missing turnover or rusty I may need to be more aggressive from the gun. Other aspects could be mental tiredness and just not being in tune to make the right split decision calls in a race. Every race situation is different so making the right call in every situation and more often than not you make atleast 2-3 mistakes in a race. However once in a blue moon the planets align and all of a sudden a PB that has been a monkey on your back gets put so far in the rear view mirror you nearly want to go out and remeasure a course just to make sure.
    7. What's your opinion on 'plans'? The reason I ask is that a lot of people stick religiously to plans on here (in particular your ones) but I've often wondered is this what you had in mind when you drafted these plans. In other words do you think people are too religiously following plans?

    Good plans (as opposed to plans in general) are a safety net to prevent people from doing anything too stupid. The have gained popularity with the decline of club running and the absence of club coaching. In an ideal world though coaching educates an athlete to the point of self reliance and having and understand of there body and can make tweaks and a back and forth dialogue between athlete and coach.

    The plans I designed here were meant to be an alternative to the likes of the Hal Higdon or others which I felt were too one dimensional and ultimately while are counter productive to long term development as it is all about miles and little to no variety. However even a good plan is only as good as it's interpretation and here is where the issues with plans lie while they might be based on solid principles they don't take into account that Joe Bloggs currently weighs 15 stone or that Jim down the road has been dealing with shift work and two sick kids the week of a build up to a key session.

    It's funny even though plans are solid when I look at them in isolation the amount of clarifications and changes I make in posts here when someone asks in relation to their own background shows that while they are a good safety net in an ideal world one to one would always see people get more out of them.

    I see some people ticking the right boxes of physiological training but have a fear of pushing to discomfort and as a result don't actually progress despite them doing the "right training"

    Majority of clubs these days are relying handful of coaches and are overstretched trying meet the supply of new members (many of whom don't need specialized training they need to get a solid base) and as a resukt many new coaches are simply managing these plans as well so in effect coaching is next to non existent.

    In an ideal world we could recruit more apprentice coaches and through experience meeting the demand people would see people improve a hell of alot more than the current plan base.


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


    Shels? My condolences :pac: Do you get to many games?

    Ha stop its been a long hard road since the days of Champions League Qualifying ties against Deportivo La Coruna and the likes.

    As mentioned earlier football fatigue has set in a little with work so I would very rarely get to any matches or watch to many (unless I have to with work and rarely is that LOI)
    What athletics coaches in Ireland do you admire?

    For their passion for the sport John Downes and Dermot McDermott have done more for the sport than anyone to be honest.

    I think Rob Denmead is one of the top coaches (though I think much like many coaches these days he suffers from being so stretched)

    For performances Eamonn Christie has been consistently one of the top coaches for the last 10 years though tends to go quietly under the radar
    Do you embrace technology in coaching or see it as hindrance? IE holding back runners relying on their watches too much? On the track with your athletes would you tell to put the watch away and time them etc.

    I don't think technology is necessarily the issue it is how its used. Over reliance is definitely an issue especially with those who are relatively new to the sport (coming back later in life) they usually have no idea how to run by feel. Most of my coaching is done remotely so as such paces are generally given as a guideline but they tend to be rough ones. I try to get most of my athletes doing XC for a duration for the main reason of getting them to learn effort based running and nullifying the watch. Generally the ones most resistant to it are the ones who probably need it the most.

    If I was supervising session though yes I would opt for coaching cues (perhaps a whistle or split calls over athletes wearing their watch)
    Is the future of Irish athletes in short and middle distance?

    As it currently stands yes but I don't necessarily think we can't be more successful at the longer stuff. I think we probably need a few more athletes and possibly coachesgetting into groups abroad (ala Scullion in Flagstaff) and changing the mindset though. Mary Cullen, Fionuala Britton, Ray Treacy, Ciara Mageean (can see a transtion to 1500/5k runner sooner rather than later) Mark Caroll are a few examples of recent success stories from abroad> We have the athletes and the coaches i think there is just a missing link in the mindset
    You mentioned Eliud Kipchoge as someone you look up to, can you see a sub 2 marathon happening anytime soon?

    Honestly no. To be honest I would be very surprised to see him go much quicker now that the WR monkey is off his back. I think a second Olympic title will be the last jewel in his crown with another win in London next year between he is so far ahead of the rest of the world (on performances he already was but PB still had others in the same breath) now that I don't think there is another challenge there to ward off complacency. He admitted himself the WR attempt really thrashed his body I am not so sure there is too many more cycles in him like that to be honest (not to say that he still can't perform at a level still a good bit ahead of his competitors even not being at that WR level)


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    Thanks! I'll be back.....


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


    Thanks! I'll be back.....

    1. Are you a believer in shoes needing to be neutral or support depending on pronation. I know there are mixed views on the subject.

    2. Any chance of a grads grads plan? ;-)

    3. If you could run one race again, eliminate the 2/3 mistakes that are made in every race...which one would it be?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭Kurt.Godel


    Delighted to see you doing this, and thanks for your ongoing input.

    Q1. A good few years back the three best ever mods on this forum were looking after things at the same time (best ever being Wottle, yourself, and me, in that order ;)). Did you enjoy those times at all (having a bit of input into the forum's direction), and (another question!) were you then happy/relieved to "step down"?

    Q2. How do you (as a coach) motivate someone who has signed up to your stable, but isn't training/performing as well as you expect them to? (Assuming you do motivate them)

    Q3. How long can you swim underwater without taking a breath? (Most important Q of the 3 ;) )


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


    skyblue46 wrote: »
    1. Are you a believer in shoes needing to be neutral or support depending on pronation. I know there are mixed views on the subject.

    No. Simple fact is that all the science behind this would actually state comfort is a better guide to shoe choice than anything else (I will see if I can find a good meta-analysis from a few years back which covered this) . For me shoes won't correct any issues they just force the issue elsewhere. If you have issues more than likely weakness / tightness will influence your gait. This comes back to the point about getting fundamentally active before you start running. If you just do miles you work the same muscles over and over. They condition themselves to tolerate this repetitive motion to a point but when fatigue sets in the body looks elsewhere to support these muscles.
    This is half the reason why people start picking up niggles and injuries usually half way through a marathon plan. It is also why you see many people who come with a background in field sports usually out performing those who have been sedentary. Normally it is put down to residual fitness but more often than not they tend to be able to sustain a better work capacity due to the multi plane movement done over a duration.
    skyblue46 wrote: »
    2. Any chance of a grads grads plan? ;-)

    We will talk come Nov ;)
    skyblue46 wrote: »
    3. If you could run one race again, eliminate the 2/3 mistakes that are made in every race...which one would it be?

    Hmmm good questions I reckon Clonee from last year was one with a few regrets. Went into the race with a poor mentality, body a little stiff and I over reacted to it and probably a bit too cautious and let the lads get away from me early on in the race and worried too much about the watch. In the end I snapped out of it and came back strong only 4 seconds shy my PB but that was after coming through half way almost 30 seconds up so a major negative split. I was in the shape of my life but convinced myself there wasn't a good time for the taken there and ultimately it was a missed opportunity of a PB I was targetting that year.


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


    Kurt.Godel wrote: »
    Q1. A good few years back the three best ever mods on this forum were looking after things at the same time (best ever being Wottle, yourself, and me, in that order ;)). Did you enjoy those times at all (having a bit of input into the forum's direction), and (another question!) were you then happy/relieved to "step down"?

    I think back then modding was a bit easier and were luck in having such proactive posters The likes of the BAC Handicap race some of the meet up training days and the regular Group training runs really drove the birth of a virtual club so to speak.

    There was a naivety to the place pre sock puppet accounts, the re-reg phenomenon and ulterior motives within posts.

    It was a handy time and I was younger so had an idealistic view of encouraging people into the sport. I think things have changed on social media as well which I feel probably influencing how people interact here as well compared to previously

    By the time I did step down though I was glad to be done with it I don't envy the mods these days as it is a one way street there are less boards projects and even some of the positive efforts in the last year or two were tarnished.
    Kurt.Godel wrote: »
    Q2. How do you (as a coach) motivate someone who has signed up to your stable, but isn't training/performing as well as you expect them to? (Assuming you do motivate them)

    In a luck position at the moment where there are decent groups around the same level so performances and camaraderie seems to be working for motivation and driving each other on.

    Having said that I do tend to focus on outcomes from races more so than times. We look to external factors and are willing to change things up if things aren't going to plan

    Generally though most of the people are work with I do so because the is an internal motivation and drive I see long before I agree to take them on. As coaching is mostly remotely I need to know that a) they will be completely honest (if they bail from a session or go out too hard they own up to it) and b) aren't looking for excuses as they are wasting there time and mine
    Kurt.Godel wrote: »

    Q3. How long can you swim underwater without taking a breath? (Most important Q of the 3 ;) )

    I can probably manage a length of a 25 m pool at a push


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    1. I've often wondered how you decide on specific approaches for given athletes you coach. For example, the likes of me, Duanington, AMK and others all have different types of sessions even if we are training for the same distance. What is it you are seeing that decides your approach? Is it, for example, that some are speedsters and need development of their endurance and vice versa?

    I only snuck this one in as I saw you had caught up with all your answers ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,110 ✭✭✭Kurt.Godel


    I think back then modding was a bit easier and were luck in having such proactive posters The likes of the BAC Handicap race some of the meet up training days and the regular Group training runs really drove the birth of a virtual club so to speak.

    There was a naivety to the place pre sock puppet accounts, the re-reg phenomenon and ulterior motives within posts.

    It was a handy time and I was younger so had an idealistic view of encouraging people into the sport. I think things have changed on social media as well which I feel probably influencing how people interact here as well compared to previously

    By the time I did step down though I was glad to be done with it I don't envy the mods these days as it is a one way street there are less boards projects and even some of the positive efforts in the last year or two were tarnished.

    Great answer L, I was always taken by your enthusiasm. They were more innocent days, shame that enthusiasm becomes replaced by naivety as the defining word. In any case, enthusiasm and positivity always win out.
    I can probably manage a length of a 25 m pool at a push

    Sure I could probably manage a 2:29 marathon myself at a push :D Thanks for the answers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,437 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    I think this is the study you are talking about above, in relation to shoe choice.

    Great stuff so far, as expected!

    1. Which coach/coaches have influenced your own approach the most?
    2. Who is the greatest female coach, and why aren’t there more women coaches?
    3. Favourite holiday destination?
    4. Best track you’ve run on?


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


    1. I've often wondered how you decide on specific approaches for given athletes you coach. For example, the likes of me, Duanington, AMK and others all have different types of sessions even if we are training for the same distance. What is it you are seeing that decides your approach? Is it, for example, that some are speedsters and need development of their endurance and vice versa?

    I only snuck this one in as I saw you had caught up with all your answers ;)

    When I look at an athlete a few of the factors I look at for sessions

    Strengths/ weaknesses
    How many miles they can handle
    General running background
    What kind of strength work they do
    How they have responded to sessions in the past
    Where I feel they have struggled in races in the past

    These are just a few factors from there while the specifics might be different often the outcomes are actually the same.

    A post in one of the logs actually sparked an idea regarding compiling a case study of a long term approach that I may do over the next few months either in the group or here on boards.


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


    Kurt.Godel wrote: »
    Great answer L, I was always taken by your enthusiasm. They were more innocent days, shame that enthusiasm becomes replaced by naivety as the defining word. In any case, enthusiasm and positivity always win out.



    Sure I could probably manage a 2:29 marathon myself at a push :D Thanks for the answers.

    Between club/NGB politics and exploitation of athletes from bottom to top that enthusiasm takes a more cautious approach these days as everyone tends to be in it for themselves for the most part

    The 25m might be ambitious alright as you can tell don’t spend too much time in a pool I do have good lung capacity though which offsets poor swim technique


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,831 ✭✭✭Annie get your Run


    Delighted to see this!

    - You seem to have an endless amount of good grace and patience, which isn't really a question, more of an observation and a 'thank you' I guess.

    - How would you best advise someone to ditch the technology and run by feel?

    - It's a bit soon yet but are you already thinking about when to get your son running :) ?

    - Are there people who are just not cut out to be runners and if so, what would your advise to them be?

    - What are your thoughts on the explosion of parkrun?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler


    A post in one of the logs actually sparked an idea regarding compiling a case study of a long term approach that I may do over the next few months either in the group or here on boards.

    I'd pay good money to see mine if you're interested in making a quick buck. Haha. Thanks for the answer.

    I'll...... Be....... Back


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