This month Rio Olympic hopeful and Chia Bia ambassador Niall Tuohy talks about some of the preparation that goes into planning a big year of athletics training and racing for his series on the ‘Road to Rio.’ This time Niall tells us about the importance of setting goals and having the right team around you.
Niall has recently launched ‘Be Your Best’ a secondary schools initiative that draws on Niall’s experience and background to inspire young people to reach their full potential. Take a look at the video to hear all about it!
Training for Rio with Chia Bia Athlete Niall Tuohy
Following a three-week break from running I am ready to get going, fresh, re-charged and hungry for the new season. September training is not intense relative to other times of the year but rather a slow, steady build up as I try accustom my body to the requirements of twice daily training. The lighter training load allows a chance to focus on the planning and preparations needed for a fruitful year. As with any successful team, business or project – a big performance or breakthrough doesn’t come without prior planning and goal setting. It’s vital to put a few structures in place before I begin.
My goals and targets for the year are set with my coach and ex-Olympian, James Nolan. This year, my overall aim is to qualify for the Rio Olympics in the 800m by running the qualifying mark of 1minute 45.8 seconds. My most likely opportunities to run this time will be in July so the whole year is planned around progression that builds to peak performance in this month. Once the vision is in place, we work back from that point and discuss all the phases of training and racing that are required in order to achieve that goal, month-by-month, week-by-week and down to what is done in morning and evening of each day.
My base for the next two months will be at home in Waterford. This is made possible by some very generous sponsorship from Chia Bia in Tramore enabling me to take a year from my medical studies to focus on athletics. The basics are covered well at home with a relaxed living environment, supportive family and healthy food, which is fuelled by regular trips to ‘Full of Beans’, my local health-food store. An explosive and endurance event like 800m running requires significant g
Finally, a vital part of the whole set up is having the right medical back-up and injury prevention support. Having suffered so many long-term injuries and setbacks I take this aspect very seriously. Once, and sometimes twice, each week I drive up to Carrick-on-Suir to visit injury specialist, James Sullivan. The goal of the treatments with James is to identify potential injuries before they become an issue that could prevent training. The unforgiving nature of distance running puts huge strain on muscles, joints and ligaments. Injury is a runner’s greatest fear and I can’t over-emphasise how important these treatments have had for me in the past and this year they will be needed even more than ever! ym work and I’m enjoying the great facilities at CrossFit Waterford. I’m really helped by the positive environment and hard working people in the gym. Karl Gilligan, a strength and conditioning coach in Dublin prescribes my gym programme. Add to this my Ferrybank AC training partners and the wonderful running venues such as the Tramore sand dunes, Portlaw woods, WIT Sport Campus and the RSC Track – Five Gold Stars for Waterford!