Laois Athletics Weekly Notes

All the news from the athletics clubs around the county

Sports Editor


Sports Editor


Laois Athletics Weekly Notes

The organisers of the Laois Primary Schools relaxing for a quick picture after the hectic morning

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Downey Nissan Laois Cross Country Championships
The next day of cross country on the Laois calendar is the Masters Junior and Development Races in Emo on 6th November. This is event is being hosted by St Michaels AC and Mountmellick AC. The first race will be kicking off with the U-10s at 11am.
We would like to thank the OPW in Emo for their kind support and Downey Nissan for their continued support.

Sprint Squad - Laois Athletics Sprints Squad [Training Plan]
Laois Athletics Sprints Squad recommenced group training last month after a short, well deserved break following the end of another busy track season. Many of the sprint squad athletes linked up with our throwers, jumpers and endurance runners to compete for Laois in the National League Track & Field for the first time in many years and some fine individual performances were recorded. Training within the Sprint Squad this season has been structured to progress our sprinters gradually and methodically through the various sprint training phases so that they can compete to the best of their ability at Regional and National indoor and outdoor competitions in 2017. This season the squad has introduced a Strength Training session on Wednesday nights, to supplement the Sunday morning sessions. With so much competition for juvenile athletes nowadays it’s almost impossible to successfully plan [periodise] training so that athletes are at their peak on competition day. Notwithstanding this, the main focus from the Sprint Squad perspective is to progress the athletes through the respective training phases throughout the year e.g. General Preparation, Special Preparation, Competition, Transition etc. Training involves preparation for Regional and National Indoors early in 2017 and Regional and National Outdoors in mid-summer. To plan for these competitions the athletes need to progress through all the sprint training phases as well as the six phases of strength training, which is every bit as important as the technical elements of sprinting. Currently the athletes are coming towards the end of phase one of strength training i.e. Anatomical Adaptation phase. The other phases involve Hypertrophy 1, Maximum Strength, Conversion [to power], Competition, and Transition. So, there’s a lot to get through in a short space of time, and once indoor competition is out of the way it starts all over again!
Speed training is being modelled on the double triangulation method [Speed and Tempo]. Historically sprinters worked to a single ‘speed’ triangle, whereby early season focussed on Speed Endurance, with the athlete sharpening up their speed as they got closer to competition season. The double triangulation method combines ‘Speed’ and ‘Tempo.’ Acceleration is incorporated into training sessions from the very start of the season and continues right through the training season. Early season focus is on ‘Extensive Tempo’ training, with athletes sprinting at about 70% effort. By mid-season focus has changed to ‘Intensive Tempo’ with pace increasing to about 90%. Training during Championship Season is geared towards competition, focus is on ‘Special Endurance I’ and ‘Special Endurance II’ with athletes training at about 95% of athletes ability and overall distances covered in each session proportionately reduced.
A typical Sunday morning training session commences with foam rolling and tera band work aimed at improving athletes functional movement. This is followed by a light jog and about 30 minutes of dynamic warm up incorporating drill work and acceleration. Athletes then break into groups depending on their ability and \ or whether they are all-out sprinters or endurance sprinters and get down to the main business of sprinting. The squad then regroups for a cool down and static stretching.
As indicated above the group is meeting on Wednesday nights for Strength Training and is currently well progressed through the Anatomical Adaptation stage. This stage involves general strength training or overall body conditioning and is a precursor to the maximum strength & power phases. The session is an hour long and involves TRX, Med Ball and Resistance Bands.
In addition to the formal sessions in Vicarstown on Sunday and Wednesday there is also an informal session on Friday nights in Emo. This session concentrates on the technical and tactical aspects of training. The focus here is on perfecting acceleration skills; using starting blocks; hurdle drills and specific exercises for the prime movers.
The squad concentrates on improving the performances of county athletes that are genuinely interested in competing at Regional and National level. New members are always welcome to come along and test\perfect their ability to compete at maximal speed over distances from 60M up to 800M.

Vicarstown Parkrun
A total of 61 runners took to the banks of the Grand Canal in Vicarstown last weekend for the weekly Parkrun. It was a perfect morning for running, a crisp morning with no wind and good conditions underfoot.
Out of that 61 that ran 20 managed to get a PB on the day and some even breaking their course PB by over three minutes. Out standout run on the morning was that of Fionn Marum. The young hard working athlete from Portlaoise not only broke his own course PB but also managed a Junior course record in his age group. Well done Fionn, it won't be long till you break it again.
The Parkrun takes place every Saturday morning at 9.30am in Vicarstown and newcomers are always more than welcome.

Upcoming Races
Local Races
- The Gingerbraead Run 10k and Half Marathon. 20th November.
- Ballyroan 10miler and 5k Santa Family fun run Registration from 10:30am at Ballyroan Community Hall, 10th December
- Vicarstown Parkrun every Saturday 9.30am.
Downey Nissan Cross Country Championships
- Day 3: Masters, Junior and B Championships. 6th November. Venue: Emo.
- Day 4: Senior and Relay Cross Country 20th November. Venue: Stradbally.

If your race does not appear on the calendar please contact us via Facebook or our website.


Ballyfin AC Training Schedule
Strength and Conditioning: Wednesday from 8-9pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall.
Senior Men: Tuesday 7.30pm meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise (opposite Portlaoise Prison). Thursday 7.30pm meet at St Fintans Car Park, Portlaoise (opposite Portlaoise Prison). Sunday 10.30am meet at Emo Court Car Park.
Senior Women: Monday from 6.30-7.30pm, meeting in the Old Dunnes Store Car Park in Portlaoise.
Juvenile Training: Every Monday from 6.30-7.30pm in the Ballyfin Community Hall. Every Friday from 6.30-7.30pm in The Portlaoise Leisure Centre, aimed at kids 10 and over.


Monday night long run leaving from Sue Ryder at 7pm sharp. Tuesday training at the GAA field at 7.30pm for all ages. Thursday night, training continues for our 10 mile on Thursday night at GAA field at 7pm sharp. Hi viz top must be worn. Cost is €2 per night.

Longwood 5k and 10k
We had four athletes travel up to Longwood, Co Meath for the seventh annual running of the well organised competitive races. The 10k got underway first with our only representative Sandra Fitzpatrick fifth lady home in 44.10.
The 5k race took off shortly afterwards where we had three athletes compete, Noel Burke came home in 8th place overall in 18.22, Jean McEvoy ran a great race and was in the prizes as third lady home in 20.17 and our youngest competitor Faye McEvoy who ran an excellent race in 21.54.


Training continues every Monday night from 6.45pm to 7.45pm for our younger athletes, and it is great to see a number of our older athletes taking up Assistant Coaching positions in the club to assist with Monday night training. Training for our older athletes continues on Friday nights 7pm to 8pm. There is also structured Strength training on Wednesday nights 7pm to 8pm in the hall in Vicarstown for those involved in the County sprints squad.


Club Training
Mountmellick AC hold their training every Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm at the running track in Smith's Field. As the winter is fast approaching we will be training under flood lights and we are reminding all juvenile Athletes and their parents to make sure that they are dressed and kitted out in the right attire for winter training sessions and also as the flood lights are on a timer it is imperative that all parents arrive on time to pick their children up at the end of training. It is club policy that juvenile athletes under the age of 10 must have a parent/Guardian present during training.

Membership of the club is open to adults and children over the age of seven years.

Contact Details
For information on membership or anything else you can visit our Facebook Page. Leave a comment or private message. Or you can contact us directly on the club phone at 087-3493503.


Parkrun Vicarstown
Congratulations to Mary Murphy who completed her 100th Parkrun on Saturday the 8th  of October. A fantastic achievement! well done Mary. Parkrun Vicarstown celebrated its 2nd birthday last Saturday. Thanks to the volunteers who are there week in, week out, in all weathers, without whom Parkrun would not be possible especially John Scully, David Foley, Patrick O'Loughlin, Ava Foley and Jimmy Finn who rarely miss a week.


Trevor Shines in Longwood 
Trevor McCormack had another fine run last Sunday in Longwood, Co. Meath. After being in Cross Country action the past few weeks Trevor returned to the roads and had a great race to take top spot in the O-40 section. Best of luck to Trevor in his upcoming marriage also.

Vicarstown Park Run 
Fionn Marum continues to dominate this run, with another top spot for him last weekend, following up on his recent silver in the county championships. Not alone did he take first position but also set a PB and a course record for a junior. Well done Fionn. His brother Tiernan also put in a strong performance to keep the family well represented.

Female: Tuesday and Thursday, 6pm to 7pm, Track, Portlaoise College.
Male: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, College Track.
Juveniles: Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm to 8pm, Portlaoise College Track.
Please check our Facebook page for updates.


Cross country training on Wednesday evenings at 6.30pm to 7.30pm in Kilvcavan.


Things are going nicely on Mondays and Wednesdays for anyone interested in joining up the sessions.


Emo LSR 
Well done to all our athletes who joined those doing DCM for a LSR on Saturday, we had over 40 people running 10-16k at a nice pace on a beautiful morning. The run summed up our club where the camaraderie and support shone through, it was a fantastic morning and one which we will all savour.
The hard work was deservedly rewarded with tea/coffee and scones at the Emo tea rooms with smiles and laughter all round. Many thanks again to Gwen LaCumbre and Mick Cullen for organising - it was a truly wonderful morning for all involved.

Many thanks to Gwen LaCumbre and JJ Stapleton for all their hard work in organising new DCM jackets for all those partaking in this weekend's Marathon. We have over 40 runners from St Michaels running in this year's marathon which Is our biggest number ever and the jackets will have us all at least looking our very best on the day!
Many thanks to O'Deas Bar & Bistro and The Anvil Inn for their sponsorship of the jackets, your support is as always much appreciated.

Dublin Marathon
Good luck to all  those in the final stages of preparation for the big  day, all the hard training  runs are over and it's time for the well deserved tapering stage. We will follow you all on the day and will be cheering you on from the sidelines!

Senior training takes place twice each week from 7pm to 8pm. Tuesday training takes place at Heritage Hotel – meeting at 7pm. Thursday Training for the next few weeks will take place in Corrig. New members are always welcome at any time, just turn up at one of our training sessions, and give it a go!
Senior members still meet each Saturday morning at 9am in the Lidl car park (beside Odlums) for a long steady run. Distance range from 5K to 20K, and anyone is welcome to join in for an easy run and a friendly chat on the scenic country roads and forest trails around Portarlington, Emo and Killenard.

Juvenile training will continue each Monday and Thursday in 2016 from 6pm to 7pm recommencing in September at McCann Park in Portarlington. We would ask that all who take part in the sessions are fully registered with Michael’s athletics club, registration forms are available at each session. For more information, contact Jean on 087-2125870.

Find us on Facebook (Michaels AC) and send a friend request to keep up to date with all that’s happening, or check out our club website on Any questions and comments are welcome by e-mailing