Name: Carolyn Hayes
Years involved in Athletics: 7
Other sports participated in: Swimming and Cycling
1. What is your earliest running memory? Running across a rugby pitch in the U7 mixed rugby blitz in Bruff and going over for a try. I out ran all the boys
2. Where do you draw your inspiration from? My parents have always been my role models. As well as that Mum would always have us watching all the big athletics events around the world- the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the Europeans etc and I guess I was influenced by these big competitions in many ways.
3. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in athletics? My first marathon back in 2008 is something I am incredibly proud of. I trained using the irish runner marathon plan. I had no fancy GPS watch, no coach, and I aimed simply to finish. I ran the race drinking only water and some of the Energizer orange drinks they provided. I chatted the whole way to various groups of runners having no idea what gels were for or why everyone had belts filled with the stuff… so when I crossed the line in 3h13min I couldn’t believe it. I rang my mum first thing and she was delighted for me. It was by far one of the best days of my life.
4. What do you currently /did you do in your training that are/were keys to your success? Every year I set a target and I stick to it. This year I aim to run the marathon again and this time I aim to run it faster than previous years. I have set the target so I will set the specific training in motion 2-3months out. I’m fortunate that triathlon allows me to maintain a solid cardiovascular fitness year round so marathon training, while specific, isn’t terribly taxing on the body. I also ALWAYS make sure that I’m enjoying my training- if not I wont do it. For me training lets me clear my head from al the study I do (and it means it’s always pushed back too because my studies are my priority at the minute)
5. How many miles on average did you run per week? At the minute I’m in build mode trying to get fit after exams so I have had 2 back-to-back weeks of 90km plus running. This will come down and settle around 50/60km and lower again come race weeks.
6. Do you prefer road racing, track or cross country? I love cross country- it’s honest and dirty at the same time
7. Favourite race distance? 10km
8. Favourite race location/ race event to take part in? Adare 10km
9. What is/was your diet like? I’m healthy year round but I have periods of being ‘super healthy’ and then some days I just need my haribo fix- but that’s as bad as it gets. I don’t take alcohol or eat take away food it’s just the odd jelly or dairy milk when I crave it. Otherwise everything is homemade and always based on a salad of some sort, protein (egg, fish, meat) and carbs.
10. Who was/is your training partner or did/do you train solo? For my first marathon I could count the one and only Seamus McAuliffe as a training buddy! Both him and Ger guinea made sure I got my long runs done. I couldn’t possibly hope to have two better men around me (maybe my dad if he was running at the time). Generally, though, for triathlon I train on my own most days. For speed sessions on the track I rely on the group atmosphere to really get the most out of myself. A group pushes you on.
11. What is the best advice that you were given? Easy is easy, fast is fast.
12. Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by? Enjoy what you do and you’ll always do it.
13. If you could run with any person, past or present, who would it be? My twin sister Rachel or my Dad. We have had so many laughs out running together so there’s no one else I’d rather run with than them.
14. Anything else you’d like to share? It’s kind of an obvious one but West Limerick AC are the by far the best running club in Ireland to be involved in- a great bunch!