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With a background in Gaelic Games and horse riding, Ailbhe Carroll is not your average triathlete. Here Ailbhe talks us through a typical week of training and lets us in on some of here loves and hates. It’s exhausting just reading about it…

Describe your typical week?
My typical week is filled to the brim. Every weekday morning (sometimes Saturdays, depending on races, etc.) I’ll hear the alarm go off at 4.31 and make my way to the pool. We swim with the HPC in University of Limerick Arena from 5-7ish, then I hop back into bed for a quick snooze before starting work at 10. During the week after work, I’ll fit in four runs (one or two track sessions during winter) and one run on the weekend also. Biking takes over the weekends, with two turbos-trainer sessions added during the winter or two or three spin classes during the week if the weather’s good. Gym work is majorly important for me as I’m prone to having an injured back (hence me needing Rocktape’s help), so I do three sessions per week to keep me intact. That totals 5/6 swims, 4/5 runs, 4/5 bikes and 3 gyms. All go, but so much fun!

What is your favourite training activity?
My favourite training activity is definitely swimming. I think I grew fond of it due to my club. I only started club swimming at 18 (late starter) and I just fell in love with the set up and the bonds and friendships made. They make training so much easier.

What is you least favourite training activity?
For me, the least exciting things are gym sessions. It’s not that I don’t find them fun, cos more often than not I actually do, it’s just that I do them on my own and so it’s not as exciting. Though I have more time to concentrate, I guess…

What is the single most important or effective part of your training?
Initially my gym work sprung to mind here, as without it I tend to crumble, but I suppose nutrition would play a fairly big role here too. Without that, the body also crumbles.

What are your top tips for any aspect of achieving sporting goals?
In my mind it’s pretty simple: you set goals that are challenging, but realistic. There is no point in setting a goal you know is out of reach or the opposite. Too easy to achieve = no satisfaction. Once the goals are set, keep your eye on the prize and don’t let anything stop you! If you want it, go get it!

What activities to you enjoy that are not directly linked to triathlon?
Being Irish, I do enjoy a bit of GAA. Hurling and football are a great way to pass some time. I often go for an evening mess-around game of hurling with a friend. I also love jut chilling with my friends or going for walks. Boring as that sounds, I do enjoy a nice walk! AND OF COURSE, my number one favourite activity is playing with my puppy! She always makes me smile … She’s a little hero!

What’s your guilty pleasure on recovery days?
If I’m honest, I usually take recovery days to sleep. Though I’ll also have the odd nice cup of hot choccie and a scone, which I suppose might just suffice. After a race it is a different story, as I might splash out and have something nice (for that read naughty).