Flynn’s marathon focus

by James Hendicott

BLANCHARDSTOWN athlete David Flynn is continuing his step up to marathon distance over the winter, having notched a series of impressive recent results that include a win over 10km in the Phoenix Park 10km and Waterford Half Marathon.
Flynn hopes recent time spent training at altitude in Morocco, training with top-level Belgian pro Soufiane Bouchiki and working with his training group in Mammoth Lakes California will help push him still further.
“The step up to the marathon can be quite daunting at first,” Flynn told the Dublin Gazette of his recent change in focus. “But when your putting the time and effort into it that I am, I gain confidence as the training gets more intense.
“For example, this will be my fourth week running over 100 miles a week, including an 18 to 20 mile-long run every Sunday. Other than that, I’m running twice a day everyday.
“The highlights of 2017 were representing Ireland in the European Cup in Vaasa, Finland. We stayed up in the first league which was very important for us as a small country, competing against countries like Portugal,Turkey and Sweden.
“Another highlight was running 66 minutes for the half marathon in Rock and Roll San Diego. The race was extremely humid and I knew after the race that in the right conditions I could knock a minute off that time next time.”
Performances like Flynn’s run in San Diego and recent win in Phoenix Park give plenty to build on for 2018 and he’s going to extreme measures to ensure he gets the best from himself.
“I got back from three weeks altitude training in late November, and got in very good shape up there. My training partner Soufiane Bouchiki is a Belgian professional athlete who was one place off making the world championship final in the 5000m this year, along with credentials such as winning a European Under-23 cross country gold medal.
“Training with him everyday elevates my fitness to new heights, along with helping me gain confidence. Next year I hope to qualify for the European championships in the marathon. I think Ireland as a team can compete with the best in Europe.
“I’ll also represent Ireland and my club Clonliffe Harriers at the European Clubs in Portugal 2018. My main goal, though, is to cement my name in Irish athletics as one of the best marathoners in the country.”
Christmas, with the ice, isn’t naturally a great time to train to run distances, but Flynn simply gets out of town and dedicates his time to his sport, essentially setting the season aside for training purposes.
“The cold winters and ice on the ground can be tough going. But I’ll be honest, I usually try to get away to a warmer climate when the temperatures drop below zero. Sometimes if it’s very bad I have to run on a treadmill, which I hate, or aqua jog in a pool.
“The off-season is something I’ve struggled with in the past. I thought during the offseason I could go out with friends regularly or go on holidays but the reality is if i want to get the most out of myself and achieve my goals on the international stage I can’t have a social life or go out with friends at the weekend, because if I stay up late it will hamper recovery, and if I drink it will interfere with training. So my next off-season will consist of aqua jogging in the pool everyday and cross training.
“This year, I will head to Morocco, to 6000 ft until January 1 to train with some of the best athletes in Europe.
“I don’t think they even celebrate Christmas in Morocco, so it might be just a normal day over there! In Morocco, all the vegetables are brought straight from the farm, and they have countless fresh fruit markets, so I will be eating very healthy this Christmas!”
The dedication needed to progress, clearly, has become part of Flynn’s psyche.

Related Articles