!ATHLETE OF THE WEEK!
It has been an absolute pleasure interviewing our first athlete of the week, the definition of courtesy and kindness, a role model for all our young athletes on and off the track.
800m - 2.05.54
400m - 55.15
Alanna: I’ve transitioned to 800m being my main event over the past 3 years so I think it has to be my favourite! Plus you never run into the same level of lactic hell as you would in a 400m 😅
My best performance thus far would have to be my 4th place finish in the Un23 European Championships last Summer where I ran my PB of 2.05. 4th is the hardest place to finish and being only .10 away from the bronze was hard to swallow at the time but that Championships was a big breakthrough for me after a few years of being static!
FB: So..... Obviously you didn't reach this level over night what made you start athletics🌟
A: After winning a few sprints in school and local sports days my parents decided to sign me up with Galway City Harriers! And it really was as simple as that, once I was in I was hooked 🤗
My mum also did athletics when she was younger so she’s adamant the genes have come from her!
FB: Did you find you loved the sport from the start or were there rough times?
A: It was all love from the start, running was where my best friends were and where you could escape from the drama of school and the homework you should probably be doing! As I got better, the training got harder and the little sacrifices began. Sleepovers, nights out or birthdays were given up for racing or early training the next day so they were rough times in my teenage years. Now it’s normality! Don’t get me wrong there are still times when it can be a love/hate relationship, I’d be lying if I said I love going out in this -3degree weather for a run and having to thaw my hands for an hour after but the good times that the sport brings are worth every rough time ten fold 🌈
FB: In terms of training what would be your typical week?
A: Training varies dramatically for me depending on the time of year! My coach James Nolan plans every week meticulously using specific training principles that he has talked about extensively in an article in the Irish Runner magazine 👌🏼 In general I would usually have 2 gym sessions per week, 2 recovery runs of 30-40mins in duration and 3 key session days that can include track, grass, hills or tempos!
FB: With all that training do you find it hard to balance training and social life?
A: It has its moments of crazy alright😅 For sure, life can be a bit of a juggling act at times with training and college and sleeping taking up the majority of the day but I always make time to meet up with friends in the evenings after training and I’m home in Galway every weekend to see my family and boyfriend 😌 I think you need that social aspect away from training where you can just forget about times or reps or laps and just unwind with your favourite people!
FB: With all those appearances to keep up, you must need some great fuel for the mind, Would you be health conscious food wise or do you find there's no need?
A: Absolutely I think nutrition and athletics go hand in hand! It’s almost impossible to be properly prepared for or recovered from sessions if you’re not fuelled correctly! I’ve been told that getting the right foods in pre and post race or session can make up that extra few percent in performance and I think that’s what we’re all looking for at the end of the day? 💁🏻♀️ Very simply, I carb load before racing and training and ensure I get some protein after - Mooju being a personal favourite!
I also eat plenty of fruit and veg and I’m rarely seen without a bottle of water in hand! In saying that I never skip my weekly treat day, always important to be kind to yourself 🤗
FB: Would you feel supported within your various communities - home - friends - athletic, etc.. ?
A: 100%, I’m so lucky to have family, friends and a coach that go above and beyond to support me in all aspects of my life! My parents are my motivators, my advisors, my pick me up-ers and my chauffeurs. My coach is the man with the plan, the organiser and the non biased one who’ll instil belief when the doubt comes creeping in. My boyfriend and friends are the calmers of nerves, the ones that bring the tears of laughter and with whom I can relax completely and forget about everything! #DreamTeam🌈
FB: So lastly, What are your aspirations for the future both sporting and career?
A: Athletics wise the long term goal is and always has been to qualify for and compete at the Olympic Games 2024. Career wise I hope to travel to New Zealand with physiotherapy once I qualify in 2019 and continue my training in a warmer and more Vitamin D rich environment ☀️