that things started to get rather more serious. Q persuaded me we had hardly
started and decided to make a serious go of things. With a broad long term
training plan which would run for some 3½ years , Q geared the next tranche of
training towards the Irish Championships in November 2011. As an extra
incentive along the way, I set myself the target of breaking as many of the
Irish 30-39H records as possible and also the overall records if I could.
were a few training hiccups along the way, something I have now come to
appreciate are fairly standard given the training I was doing, but we seemed to
be on track. Who said a few years of rugby and American football doesn’t take
the substantial (although steady) increase in training volume, and a marked
sharpening of attitude and approach, I moved my training from the back bedroom of
the house to a purpose built shed in the back garden specifically for my training,
affectionately named The Temple of Q. After some of the hard
sessions where I am out for there for 2 hours and finish up lying on my back too
tired to get back into the house, I want to call it something else.
have to say "Q" is an outstanding coach and has guided me to some
huge PB's including a 17k+ 60min row. By the time we got to the Irish Championships in November 2011, I
had taken all my age group records apart from the 2k (which the regulations
provide can only be broken at a C2 event), so the pressure was on. The race
went well and I won gold in a time of 6:11.8 (another PB), but not the Irish
record we wanted - more work to be done.
entered into the World Championships in Boston, USA (known as the CRASH-B
Sprints) in February 2012 - a long way to travel for just over 6 minutes of intense
pain and suffering, but I had the opportunity to go and grasped it with both
hands. Part of the motivation was the race in itself, part was a reconnaissance
effort for future appearances there, and
part was to meet more of the hugely supportive indoor rowing community – a truly
global and very friendly group.
pretty sure I was outside medal contention when entering, but I trained hard
for the event and Q kept me precariously balanced between physiologically
beneficial fatigue and total exhaustion. I was knocking out 100,000m or more
each week and by February 2012 I was ready for it.