Name: Gerard Guina
Years involved in Athletics: 25 years Not out!!
Other sports participated in : I always enjoyed team sports when I was younger playing a bit of soccer and GAA for Newcastle West but when we got to U18 I had to pick one and for me that had to be Athletics. The thing about running is you get out of it what you put into it. There is nowhere to hide and no one to blame (only yourself).
- One of my earliest running memories was with Coolyroe Ac running in the Munster BLOE X-Country. I was new to running and Coolyroe were one of the top underage x-country clubs in Munster. I remember finishing 7th Coolyroe boy home and missing out on a Munster medal. One of the coaches at the time took me aside and said id a great run and if I kept it up I’d get my Munster medal. The next day out I just managed to get onto the team and a few days later the same coach called to the house and gave me my first Munster medal. I still have it!!
- I’ve been part for a lot of good days as part of West Limerick Ac teams eg. Winning Munster half marathon 3 years in a row, winning Munster intermediate X-country and lots of County titles but one of my favourite runs was back in 1997 and my second race for West Limerick Ac when I won the County Intermediate X-Country in the Demesne Newcastle West.
- When I was running my best times back in 2009 it was all about consistency. Every week was around 50miles a week. To most 50miles a week isn’t that heavy but it worked for me. I’m a believer in quality not quantity. My week would consist of 2 sessions probably a Tuesday and a Thursday. Tuesday would normally vary from 35sec to 6minute efforts and on a Thursday the session would be more of a Tempo run. The other main run of the week would be the long run at the weekend which would be 12 to 15 miles. All the other runs would be easy recovery runs.
- My favourite is and always has been the tough slog of the X-country (Separates the Men from the Boys).
- Don’t really have a favourite race distance. I’d chance my arm at anything.
- I’ve no real favourite race I always did like the Munster Half Marathon when it was held in Blarney.
- I never paid much attention to my nutrition but it is something I’m trying to improve at the moment. When I did my most recent body analysis test it revealed my percentage body fat is at an all-time low of 4.6%. So at the moment when I burn up all my glycogen stores my body can’t use its fat and goes straight into burning muscle. So this is something I’ve have to look at by just taking on more of the right types of food especially as my training load grows.
- When I was younger I was always rubbing shoulders with Joe O’ Connor, the O’Callaghan brothers, all the MacDomhnails and Con Dowling. But back then it had to be Patrick McCartan. He had speed to burn. If you beat Paddy you knew you had a good day and he had a bad one.
At a senior level myself Dermot Kearns and Martin Doody always brought the best out of each other. The best thing about all these guys was we were best of enemies in the race and best of buddies before and after.
- One of the best bits of advice I’ve got was from our very own Marathon man Seamus Cawley. On one of our many long runs on a build up to my first Dublin City Marathon back in 2006 Seamus said be very carefully with the early miles in the marathon “The race starts at 20miles”. And how right he was!!
- “Go Hard or Go Home” and/or would you ever “Rev up and f*** off” would suit me 😉
- When I was growing up Sonia O’ Sullivan and Mark Carroll were the top Irish Athletes and looking back a bit before my time John Tracey would have to be in there too. But my favourite would have to be the Navan lady Catriona McKiernan. Catriona was always a top top runner but looking from the outside there always seemed to be someone better than her on the day for example finishing second in four world X-Country finals. Seeing her coming back on the scene lately and getting herself back up to the business end in races just shows how talented she is. She also has ran 2:22 for the Marathon….Super Running!!