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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Two-a-days and mam's home-cooking fuelling Paul Robinson's Olympic dreams

The Kildare athlete will defend his Spar Great Ireland Run title at the Phoenix Park this afternoon.

KILDARE MIDDLE-DISTANCE athlete Paul Robinson is defending his Great Ireland Run title at the Phoenix Park this afternoon. Robinson, who represented Ireland at last year’s World Championships and has his sights on the Rio Olympics in 2016, tells us all about his training regime and how he prepares for big races.

Paul Robinson Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

At the moment, we['re still a long way out from the European Athletics Championships [in August] so it is just heavy training at the moment. I’m based at home at the moment as I’m just home from Australia where I was based and working on aerobic and all-round fitness.

A typical week will involve running every day. Because I’m not a long distance runner — I’m still a miler at the end of the day — I’m not doing as much running as the 10k runners. I hit about 80 to 85 miles per week and train twice a day, every day. It would be two runs, maybe four times a day. The days I am not running, I will be going to the gym. You’re doing your longer runs in the morning and sessions in the morning with the shorter runs or the gym in the evening.

At the moment I’m out of college for a year so I am training full-time. I’m in DCU at the moment and they are great as they’re allowing me to space out my education over a number of years so I can train as a full-time athlete. I was living on campus when I was at college but because I’m coming and going so much this year, I am back living in Kilcock, just outside Maynooth, with my parents. It is only a 25-minute drive away from the Phoenix Park, where I do a lot of my training.

Luckily for me, you are allowed to eat quite a lot. I try to eat good food as much as I can, and try to keep away from sweets and chocolate. I try not to worry about how much I eat. Once I’m eating good food, I’m happy. My mam always loves it when I’m home because I am away for long periods of time. It is always great to get back into the swing of things and get your mam’s cooking.

My coach, Robert Denmead, is based in Ireland and, luckily for me, my manager Nic Bideau [Sonia O'Sullivan's husband] is a coach in Australia. He has a group over there called the Melbourne Track Club. I find myself trying to get over there as much as possible as it has the nice weather and a great set of lads to train with. I’ve been doing that with them for the last three years. I’m travelling to America with that club, for five weeks, but we try to base ourselves in London for the European season.

For myself and Mark [English] at the World Championships last year, we got an eye-opener as to how good you have to be. We’re pushing each other as much as we can but it is a different level out there and we got exposed to that last year. This year, I have been trying to put in the work and improve as an athlete. Hopefully every year you get that little bit stronger and that bit more experience.

I won last year’s Spar Great Ireland Run and it would be great to get that title again. As it is a home race, you will have that added pressure but I’m looking forward to it.

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Patrick McCarry

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