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Linda Byrne – the Virtual Interview

Another incredible athlete and team member today- Linda Byrne. We are very lucky and proud to have Linda involved and competing with the club to this day.

Linda’s career has seen amazing highs from winning many national and international medals for Ireland and DSD throughout her junior and senior career



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When and why did you join DSD AC?

I joined DSD at a very young age of 9/10, so that would have been back in 1996 (feeling slightly old now!). I had been taking part in the local community games and had heard about the local Club DSD through people in the Community.

What was your best event and what event did you like best?

When I was younger I took part in many events and I wasn’t too bad at Sprints and hurdles. Back then I really enjoyed the shorter events and running the indoors in Nenagh. As I grew older I really enjoyed Cross-country for many years and I was naturally better at the longer events. There was something about cross-country that felt so natural and even if it was lashing rain, it would be great fun running in the muck and experiencing a variety of courses with hills, twists/turns, log jumps etc.

What is your favourite training workout?

I’d say my favourite training session was 1000m intervals (not too long, not too short). We used to do them on Wednesday evenings and I was pretty good at nailing the right pace for these workouts. I’m sure many can agree that we dreaded some of these sessions but it was worth it after the hard work was done and you knew there was a race in sight to aim for.



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And your least favourite?

My least favourite was hill reps. I know they’re good for strength work but I always felt like I was going so slow up those hills.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in your athletics career?

I cannot choose one moment but there is a few that I cherish including winning a number of National titles as a juvenile on the track and cross-country, finishing 4th place in the European Junior Cross-country Championships in 2005 and also winning a Senior Womens team gold medal at the European Cross-country Champs in 2012. Of Course, qualifying and taking part in the Marathon in the London 2012 Olympic Games was a major lifelong ambition.



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What is your most loved athletics sporting moment of all time ?

There has been many sporting moments that I have loved throughout the years but when David Gillick won the European indoor 400m Championships (twice), that was a very exciting time. I always love seeing Irish athletes doing well on the big stage especially local athletes as there is more a connection to that and it makes it extra special.

Also, being in the Olympic Stadium when David Rudisha got the world record for the 800m in 2012, was an amazing moment.

What is your favourite race / athletics meet to take part in?

I’d say my favourite was the European Cross-country Championships as there was always a great atmosphere at this event and the courses were always different depending on where it was being held which made it more interesting.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it?

I was lucky enough not to get many injuries over the years but at one stage I remember having an IT band problem which caused a pain in my knee. I managed to get over it by including more stretching and strength exercises into my training programme. I did develop low iron levels and fatigue more so than injuries, which I tried to manage by looking after my nutritional intake and ensuring that I included recovery days into my training.

What do/did you eat before a race and how long before did/do you eat?

I would have eaten something light 3 hours before a race (making sure that I ate well the evening before). For a race in the morning time I’d have breakfast cereal and toast with a banana and if it was in the evening I’d eat pasta or a sandwich at lunchtime (always drinking fluids/electrolytes throughout the day).

If you could have dinner with 3 sporting personalities past or present who would you pick

David Rudisha Serena Williams Katie Taylor

It would be interesting to meet 3 sporting heroes from 3 different sports. I met Katie Taylor in London and she is so down to earth and just such a nice person, I would love to meet her again.

What is your next running / athletics goal?

I had to take a few years out from running for health reasons so for now I’m just doing what I can and appreciating that I can run and building up some miles.



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How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? As we are stuck inside a lot these days its quite easy to get out for a run especially when the weather has been so nice too. I motivate myself by appreciating what I can do and being grateful for that.

What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete?

Make sure to believe in yourself and the hard training that you put in. You cannot hide in a running race, if you havn’t put the work in then it will show in the race. Once you know you’ve put the training in and done your best then thats all you can do. I’d also advise that recovery is just as important as the hard training sessions. Its amazing the benefits you will see if you let your body adapt to the training. Listen to your body as its with you for life. There will always be good days and bad days but you’ve got to learn how to deal with this and if you don’t know how then make sure to ask for help. I’d also say go for it while you’re young as it gets harder as you get older and life takes over. Enjoy!

Do you have any memorable or funny story from DSD that you could share?

I remember one Sunday we were all heading off on our long Sunday run (after a hard session on Saturday). Those long runs were supposed to be “steady” but they always ended up fast as we were young and competitive at the time. Anyway on this particular run we headed around Marley Pk for a bit and then off up the mountains we went (just to make things tougher on ourselves). As we were running up a very steep part of the mountain you could hear nothing only the group of us breathing so heavily and for some reason I thought this was so funny and started to burst out laughing. At that point I realised that running hard and laughing at the same time, do not go well together at all.

Can you share an old picture from your running days Dodgy hurdling and celebrating with running friends



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