A very interesting topic that I will be studying next year at university. I'm not going to talk much about this one just let you watch the great video below to get some thoughts in your mind. 

 
 
 
 
The decision to give up football and really commit to triathlon was one that I was excited about but also nervous. The chance to train and study at Bath was a brilliant move and I'm so happy to be there.

A long winter season training with some great friends, who have helped me and directed in more ways than I could ever of wished for has really been so fantastic. The winter was long and hard as I'm sure everyone in the UK can appreciate committing to lots of training was hard.

The biggest and most integral apart of this season and my triathlon career so far, is being introduced to Andy Bullock by a close friend of mine. His fine attention to detail, outstanding programs and very relaxed approach have complimented me better than I could ever imagine. Our aims this season were to work on the bike as much as possible and really catch up with everyone else whilst trying to maintain my swimming and running. The sole aim of this season was to gain experiences. This aim really has been already achieved and surpassed. I've had some brilliant achievements and also some bad luck and great learning experiences. From a tough start to the season in my first duathlon all the way to competing elite in London. I can't really thank Andy enough for the work he has done with me this year so far and I really hope our strong relationship can continue and I can keep improving and get some big results.

On going calf problems have meant that despite racing, I haven't been able to achieve the mileage in my legs that I could of wished for nor meet the times I set out to achieve.

Working with two great swim coaches, Phil Millard who to this day I still believe is one of the best coaches around has really helped me start to get going in the pool again. Phils knowledge and incredibly intricate sessions have been incredible! The introduction to Steve Cryer mid way this season had also been a huge factor and one that I know will make a bigger impact towards the end of this season and also next year. His determination and change of approach for me has allowed me to be challenged, alter my technique and gave me some great "big dog" confidence.

I have learnt so much already this year and with around 2 months to go now, I'm looking forward to some more good training in the summer sun. Hopefully some more successful races and learning curves before a well earned rest. Having experienced this season is has made me even more determined and despite having around 2 months left on the clock, I cant wait for winter training to really push on and start the new season.

Finally one last massive thank you to Andy Bullock who I cant thank enough, Tim Hallet for his constant support, calls, wheels and wise words. Tom, Neil and so many others for pushing me in training. Steve Cryer for giving me back some edge in the pool and in my mind. Phil Millard for your support and sessions. Kev Tonner for his work on the physio table and mending my calfs. Finally to my family and amazing girlfriend. Thank you to all of you, without you I wouldn't be achieving what I am.

Ciao

Ciaran
 
 
The more I race this year the more i'm starting to understand the sport; experience really is everything. Just like with pretty much everything the more of something you do, the better you will do it.

28/07/13
This weekend I did my first elite triathlon, what an experience. Many things could have gone better and I could have got a lot more luck my way, but that comes with experience. A very close friend always told me "you create your own luck, you know that". That is very true.

Despite me analysing and listening closely in race briefings I was left shocked when I turned up to receive my swimming hat with my competitors that they had changed our swim to non-wetsuit. Normally this would excite me as swimming would be one  of my stronger parts of the race. However this news meant that I was left running around the excel building trying to find anyone I knew to give them my wetsuit; luckily my parents had just turned up and I gave them my wetsuit before running back to the start.

Warm up felt great and I was really ready to go. A great week of tapering and hard work previous meant I was feeling more ready than ever.

I got caught out once again on the swim start, having not previously raced at this level. We were placed in a line across the water me being the furthest point away from the buoy due to not knowing and fighting for a closer line.

The swim was tough and despite feeling as though I swallowed all of the thames water when cutting across everyone I came out with a good group and felt as though the race was going to go well. A good T1 meant I was out on the bike with a chase pack of 5. Two crashes a minute into the race and then another competitor being sick left us to two and a hard push from me meant that within the first 5 minutes I was alone chasing the pack with very little hope. The rest of the race was tough as my stomach wasn't agreeing with the thames water very much. However despite this eventful race an 11th place overall left me happy but with a few what if's. However it is what it is.

After a good chat with my coach I realised that what I achieved was good and it's a great platform to work off from starting from nothing at the start of this season. A few days down time now to recover and enjoy myself until i'm back to it!

Onwards and upwards!

Ciaran
 
 
Despite a electric and heart pulsing summer of sport in Great Britain, i'm looking to answer and debate about the ever elusive question of will we/do we have a lasting legacy from the 2012 games.
More than two-thirds of the UK public believe the £8.77bn cost of the London 2012 Olympics was worth the money, according to a ComRes poll for the (BBC).

The decision to stage the Olympics, at a public cost of £8.7bn, was  justified as a way of bringing jobs and economic growth to some of London’s poorest communities, locked in post-industrial decline and plagued by high unemployment. It also gave a country huge amounts of up lift and joy over the period the games were held. There is no question that the London games were and can be deemed, a huge success. But something that was continually talked about, was what effect will the games of on Britain after the final closing ceremony. The talks of a lasting legacy?

The anniversary games seemed to bring back so many good memories this weekend. Whatever your favourite moment was of the games, everyone had one. Whether it was poster girl Jessica Ennis winning gold, Bradely Wiggins smashing the time trial to take gold or the Brownlee brothers fighting with Gomez for the 1, 2 in Hyde park. Among the favourites for gold we also had so many suprise victories that captured a nation. Over the duration of the games Great Britain and Northern Ireland received, 65 medals; 29 of them gold. Even before the curtain had come down on the Olympics, the government had promised to boost its investment in the next Olympic cycle by 11%, to £355m, to ensure our transformation from plucky losers to driven winners was sustained. This therefore looks good for sport at Elite level within our country.

But while the park’s phased reopening has been lauded as a demonstration of legacy planning and execution, there is consensus that such changes will be measured over decades, not years. Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “Legacy is a long-term programme and we’re still in the foothills of it. You’re only really going to be able to judge that over 10 years or more.” We will therefore have to look at what the games have done to inspire the next generations not in 2016 but the 2020 games. We will be able to hopefully see athletes that were inspired by the performances of a home games. Not to forget the legacy wasn't all about sport. The government don't spend 8.7 billion pounds just to win medals. They bid for the Olympics to put their country in the shop window, to sell Great Britain. They certainly did this very well, both the opening and closing ceremonies not seeming to focus on a predecessors games, but to have our own British comic value and we really made our mark. 

When a public survey was taken for the games by the BBC, It indicates 74% would also welcome the Games back to Britain. That is a very large majority of people that seem to justify the cost of the games, they believe it was for the good of the country. The results suggest people are more active since the Olympics, with 11% exercising more than a year ago, rising to 24% for those aged 18 to 24. Despite early reports from sport England Participation figures published today by Sport England suggesting that nearly a year on from the golden glow of the Games, 20 out of 29 sports recorded a fall in the number of adults taking part between April 2012 and April 2013. Furthermore overall the numbers of people exercising for 30 minutes once a week fell by 100,000 to 15.3 million over the same period, or by an even greater margin of 200,000 since October. The number of those exercising three times a week also fell (The Independent). Both very contrasting evidence and without looking deep into the research it is hard to see which one is correct, I will have to leave that to you!

The London showpiece, together with the Paralympics, cost more than three times the original budget of £2.4bn. However it has shown that recent government research suggests the UK economy received a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment from staging the Games. A year on from the start of London 2012, the survey of 3,218 adults, conducted by ComRes for the BBC brought some very positive stats. 
It found 
that, of those polled:
  • 11% said they are more active as a result of the Games;
  • 32% said the Games had a positive impact on sports facilities;
  • 22% said the Games had improved their local economy;
  • 21% said the Games had resulted in improved public services.


A change of round 20% average would normally be seen as quite a positive and large change, therefore you have to look at the stats and say, that the Olympics really did have a positive impact. However I do sometimes look at stats like this and think, is that really enough? When looking at the picture below ( I know some of you may prefer pictures to words) there is a little bit too much blue for my liking- representing no change. 

A quote from Liz Nicholl (Cheif executive of UK sport)  "During the Games, it was a unique opportunity for the whole nation to see elite sport, to value it, to be proud of it, to feel it, to experience it and be inspired by it. And our politicians were there, and they saw it and they felt it. They saw the nation was proud, and that a proud nation is a happy nation," she says.
Elsewhere, legacy remains in the eye of the beholder. Look left as you come out of Stratford tube station and you'll see the Westfield shopping centre, which acts as the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, attracting more than 700,000 visitors a week and employing thousands of locals. The benefits do seem to be affecting and making positive impacts. The olympic park is now having housing on it and many of the stadiums are being recently open as public sport centres. This is something many countries had got wrong in the past, travel to Rome and Barcelona and see deserted olympic venues. 

We seem to have got a lot right, but the question of an Olympic legacy doesn't look as though it can be completely answered until many years to come. So I guess we shall just have to wait and see. But for now enjoy the ride because that was one incredible summer!

Ciaran 



http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/jul/26/one-year-on-olympic-legacy
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/15686f24-f47f-11e2-a62e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2aWDrmd2O
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/23467773

 
 
Going into the race tonight I really felt under prepared and a lot less confident in my performances. An on-going running injury which has continued since march has left me barely doing any running sessions and racing on very little running training. A good swim meant that I was in control of the race by 30 seconds, I had a okay first lap but the crowd made me aware that a friend was catching me and I would have to get a move on to get the win. I few words with myself meant that I started to make small efforts to see how my fellow competitor would react, he was able to respond to the first one, and the second but then he cracked on the third. I wasn't going to let the lead slip now I was determined to come home the victor. I opened up and gave everything into the finish and won the race by 25 seconds.

A good night!

Ciaran
 
 
The mid week aqauthlon series over at Cotswold lake have been some great preparation events drawing in some great athletes. Having won the last one and Sunday's race firmly in my mind I was ready to go and prove to myself that I was in great form.

Once again due to the lovely summer that has hit us we were told it was a non-wetsuit swim and I once again pounced on the chance to control the race from the off. Going into an early lead and putting a good gap between me and a chase pack I was feeling great. On the day we were swimming around small sailing boats as our turn points and unfortunately I believed a boat sailing to be the furthest turning point. So while I chased a moving boat around the lake the rest of the field took the appropriate left hand turn.

Once I was getting waved at from the boat I realised the mistake I had made and turned around to see the field swimming across the lake.. In a matter of seconds I thought here we go again more bad luck. But I just thought smash yourself and see where you can come. I ended up around 2 mins off the leader out of the swim due to the extra 300m or so swimming extra I did and come 7th overall.

It was a tough four days and not the preparation I wanted leading into my A race in London. But I took the positives from my training and that hopefully the luck would turn in my favour when it come to racing in London!


Ciaran
 
 
After no rest leading up to this event on race day I was feeling very good and looking forward to the start hooter. A non wet-suit swim due to the 24 degree water temperature made me even more raring to go. Taking the lead from the first buoy made me determined not to let go of the number one spot for the whole race. I left the water and T1 with a 20 second lead and was feeling really good out on the bike.

10k into the bike and still in control of the race disaster struck.. my back wheel punctured and I was out of the race. With a lead of around a minute I was gutted but all I could do to keep myself happy was laugh it off and enjoy the lift back to transition where my parents were gutted to see what had happened.

Never mind!

Ciaran