This week we meet Naoise who was an integral part if the cross country team this winter just gone. She has come a long way since starting out as a couch to 5k runner, with a string of impressive PBs and plans to run the marathon (again) this year!

When did you join Sportsworld?

January 2013

Where do you work?

I am a social worker in an adult mental health service

What is your favourite club session?

Fartlek and the occasional hellfire club session, the views of the city are just stunning and are a welcome distraction.

What is your favorite race distance?

I prefer longer distances so maybe half marathon

What is your favorite meal before a big race?

Porridge with berries and seeds

My Favourite place to train/compete is?

I love the Waterworks and the Phoenix Park

What is your target for the next year?

To stay injury free and if I can do that then I would like to train for the Dublin marathon in October.

What is your best Sportsworld memory?

I have a lot of good memories from my few years at Sportsworld but I think the cross country season this winter is something that will stick with me. It was great to experience running with a team. The camaraderie and support from the other girls on the team and the lads who were also racing was just fantastic.

What international events have you ran?

I ran a 10k in Bogota, Colombia in 2014. It was quite the experience as there were 30,000+ runners taking part and running at an altitude of 2,600ft was challenging. It was a great way to see the city and really enjoyable.

What do you like doing when you don’t run?

Spending time with my family and friends, reading, baking, practicing Spanish, planning holidays

How/When did you start your adventure with running?

In January 2012, following a suggestion from a work colleague, I started the couch 2 5k plan. I used to get up early in the morning to do it before work, partly so no one could see me attempting to run for a minute and dying at the end! I hadn’t exercised for years so it was really challenging for me to get to the 5k point. I got through the plan and then I then decided to keep going beyond the 5k and signed up for the Great Ireland Run that April.  It helped that around the time I was comfortable running 5k, my sister Sibeal was starting back running after having a baby so we would occasionally run together.

Tell us about your PB’s / What is your biggest achievement?

Over the last year I have gotten a few PBs which have been a real boost to my running confidence such as 5 mile 35:54 and half marathon 1.40.39. I think my biggest achievement has been completing the Dublin marathon in 2013. I hit the wall after Milltown and really struggled to the finish line but with some fantastic support from family, friends and clubmates I eventually got to the finish line. It took me a while to appreciate that even though it hadn’t gone how I had wanted, I had actually achieved my goal.

How often do you run / What is your typical weekly mileage?

I try to run 4 times a week and attend as many of the Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday sessions as I can as well as the Sunday long run so I think that’s somewhere between 25-30 miles per week.

What would you say is the best thing about being in a Running Club?

The support from other club members and coaches.

What made you join a Running Club?

My mum Nessa and sister Sibéal are members of the club and when I started to run in 2012 they were both encouraging me to join. In winter 2012 I was running in the Phoenix park on Sunday morning and I came across Tony McGann out with a group and he also gave me a little push to come down to the club.

What was your first day at the Club like?

I remember being a bit anxious about joining but it helped that I knew Emily and a few other members through my mum and Sibéal. The session that night was down at Mount Carmel. I think I just did laps with a few of the other new members. It was a few weeks before I attempted a session.

Why is running important to you?

It helps to clear my head. Working in a mental health service I am very conscious of the role exercise can play in maintaining good mental health.

Is there anything you would like to see more of or less of at the Club?

Advice around nutrition and injury prevention.

Who is the person in the club who inspires/drives to run better?

Our coaches are great and other club members really inspire me and push me at training sessions. However, I would have to say that my mum and my sister are both really inspirational. They both have years of experiencing of running between them and understand what it’s like when you are having good and bad days. I’m grateful to share my interest in running with them. Some of my PB targets have been based on catching up with Sibéal’s PBs so we have a bit of healthy competition between us!

Do you do any cross training / other sports on a regular basis?

I try to swim twice a week and I have also recently started Pilates.