Q - Power

Indoor Rowing Team

Paul (3 of 5)

"The Temple of Q" (above), where all the work gets done.

My first 2k gold medal, in the Irish Championships (below).

The IIRC 2011 official results.

After 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.

There 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 its toll. With 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. 

I 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. 

I was 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. 

I was 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.

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