Micheal Doyle

Tara A.C’s Micheal Doyle will represent Ireland for the first time as a senior athlete in Portugal this weekend. This event has a very strict qualifying standard which only allows Olympic standards and athletes who are with in touching distance of the qualifying times. “This is a huge breakthrough for me. I haven’t qualified to represent my country in a major championship since I was a junior”

Michael’s last major competition for Ireland was in 2006 were he came 35th in the World Cup as a Junior. “That was huge for me at the time, but it old news now. I found the last four very hard to break into a major championship. There is a huge step up, especially when you’re competing against the best in the world”.

Over the past four years Micheal has be competing on the World and European Race Walking Grand Prix circuit around the world trying to break into top ranks of his discipline. “The Grand Prix circuit is very competitive. There would be 100-120 athletes in each race. Normally 20 of them are Olympic standard, and then roughly 30 potential major championship competitors and the rest would be top National standard athletes”. Over the past four years Micheal has been place in the top 20 on four separate occasions. “Even though I have put in some solid performances over the past four years I still found it extremely difficult to break into the top times to qualify for a major”.

Micheal is now a full time athlete and has been for over two years now. The young Rathfeigh man is also study a part time Masters in Health Promotion, Nutrition & Strength and Conditioning where he has been offered to coach Professional teams such as MK Dons and Bedford Blues but turn down these offer to pursue his Olympic dreams.

Micheal has prepared meticulously for this event, He has raced on the circuit, with a 15th placing in the Czech Republic grand. “I’ve used my opening races to prepare my nutritional layout, competition mentally as well as physically “When your trying to compete with the best there is so much to take into consideration such nutrition, gels, drinks, caffeine intake and so on”. Micheal has also been working with Liam Moggan his sport psychologist to insure he is fully prepared. “Liam has been brilliant, when your racing there is so much to take into consideration and if you lose one of these elements it could cost you vital seconds which could possible end up in a minute by the end of the 20km race”.

Micheal is currently putting the final preparations by finishing a 3month spell of altitude training. Micheal has trained in South Africa in March, Slept in an Altitude tent in April and is now with his coach Daniel Jacinto Jimenez in Spain. “Everything is going great now, but even though I’ve prepared well its no different to what everyone else is doing at this level so I’m not getting
carried away with myself”. Doyle is aiming for a top 35 in the competition that only allows the top 50 walkers in Europe to compete. The race will include up to 40 Olympic athletes.