When not working on my research I have a few other interests to keep me busy. I enjoy playing and watching football and I am not much good at either.
My other love is swimming and Triathlon. For those who don't know what a triathlon is, it is a 3 sport event involving swimming, cycling and running (in that order) over various distances. The main types of triathlon are:
I held the role of Captain of Queen's Triathlon Club for 4 years during my PhD where I had to organise training sessions, coaches, recruitment of members, the Irish Intervarsities and club social events. During this time I also led training sessions and coached some sessions too (no one liked it when I turned up to coach the swimming sessions - no slacking those days).
In past seasons I have competed in numerous triathlons including the Irish Intervarsities, IM, half-IM, World and European championships. I have competed for Ireland in the ETU European Triathlon Championships in Pontevdra, Spain in 2011 at age group level and then again at the ITU world championships in London in 2013. In 2016 I competed in my first (and possibly last) full Iron distance race: Ironman Frankfurt. Training for that one took up a significant amount of time (about 14 hours of pure training a week for half a year, not including the stretching and ice baths that were needed for recovery! I think I had about 8000 calories a day as well…)
In 2017 I decided to sit out the triathlon season, as I was a little busy with other things and I think I needed a break season after the Ironman. I've since thrown myself into pool with masters swimming with the hope of competing (and challenging for podium spots) in some open water races in 2018. I'm also dabbling with the idea of doing a few sprint triathlons in the coming season to see how things go (that's all dependent on the cycling I can do in the off-season). That depends on how busy I am and how much desire I have for it. At the minute I'm enjoying the swimming and I think I might be competitive, with less hours than I would need for traithlons. I'm not writing it off though, I'm sure I'll be back at some stage!