Marcus Lawler - Athlete Of The Week
We are pleased and honoured to announce Marcus Lawler, a man who needs no introduction to the athletics scene, as this weeks athlete of the week. Marcus’s epic performances and hard years of training have rewarded him with PBs and records and many many titles down through the years. Marcus recently ran 20.40 seconds for the 200m in front of a home crowd at the cork city sports and we wish him all the best on his journey to the European championships in Berlin from August 6-12th!
Club: St Laurence O Tooles AC
PB: 100m 10.30 / 200m 20.40
Favourite event: 200m
ML- I Started out in community games u8s but playing football GAA right up to 2013 alongside my running. In the winter of 2013 was my first time focusing fully on running and gave up GAA.
My mam (Patricia Amond Lawler - former sprinter) has always been my coach. However no year has ever been the same we’ve bettered the training programme every year and have been open and seeking advice from different coaches and spending time with different coaches.
FB- Do you have a team around you, supporting you or is it just your coach?
ML- I do have a team around me including training partners and athlete services from the institute of sport and services and support from my college IT Carlow.
This all includes physio, S&C, nutrition and sport psychology etc etc
On top of that then is having some sponsors with my main sponsor being Pratt’s Autoimage garage Carlow who’ve given me a Dacia stepway making journeys to training and the airport easy. SuperValu in Carlow also support me and over the years various local businesses have supported me. It’s all a team effort and I’m grateful for the help as it gives me great opportunity to fulfil my goals.
FB- What would your advice be to athletes dealing with injuries or adversity in any way ?
ML- Patience and to not get down about it mentally. During my time of rehab last year with a grade 2 hamstring it was important not to cry about it. It’s important to do the work meticulously to get back right and follow the programme given by physio.
FB- A vauluable lesson for all athletes to learn at some stage! Most definitely the only way of getting it right is to listen to the advice of the pros around you!
What would be your typical training week this season?
ML- Well it’s very hard to give a typical training week to be honest. Every phase is different since we’ve started. There’s no secrets just hard work. However we put a lot of focus on the speed endurance this year which mam has done a great job on and the longer work, which has helped. Typically there would be 3/4 running sessions a week and 3 gym sessions a week under the guidance of Martina McCarthy. Then there’s your own add ons that you need to work on outside of training time.
FB- Cool, sounds tough but it’s definitely working! What did it feel like to cross the line in 20.40 and qualify comfortably for the Europeans and what athlete has been your biggest influence on your career?
ML- It was class! I actually thought it was a little faster initially. But then again it wasn’t a Massive surprise as I have been knocking on the door of 20.4 and 20.5 for some time now. I ran 20.43 illegally last year. It was waiting to come out and it was great that it came out in cork in front of a home crowd. Loads of my friends from Carlow also got to see it on the TV!
It’s hard to pin point one. I always admired Paul Hession, David Gillick, Derval O Rourke, Rob Heffernan. All of those. They were great. All world class athletes and have really inspired me
FB- Do you put your success down to diet at all or are you not too strict on yourself ?
ML- It’s important not to look at nutrition or any aspect of my preparation in isolation. They all go hand in hand - the running, the gym, physio, nutrition etc etc. so my success to date isn’t down to solely nutrition. But I do need to do things to the my best with regard to nutrition to help me training and recover to the best of my ability. I also have a treat after I race as I think it’s important. You can’t be too hard on yourself.
FB- Absolutely agree, and finally last question - Where do you see yourself in 5 years time what do you hope to have achieved??
ML- Hopefully I’ll have made an Olympic Games and many other major championships and that I’ll be competitive in all those championships. I hope to further better my PBs and not put a limit on what I potentially could do.
FB- Brilliant Marcus! It's been a pleasure interviewing you - Best of luck to you we’re rooting for you all the way.