We have spoken to Nordic Oil ambassador; Eimear Mullan after her impressive Commonwealth Games performance, in the Northern Ireland relay team. Eimear is a 70.3 and Ironman champion triathlete, and she recently claimed her third consecutive win at Ironman UK 70.3, and crowned Embrunman Female Champion. We spoke to Eimear to find out more about her Commonwealth Games experience.
1. Tell us a little about how you prepared for the Commonwealth Games:
A: The selection for the Commonwealth Games wasn't finalised until quite late, so I trained as I normally would for my middle and long distance season and kept to my race plan. I raced a few half Ironman distance races, and 4 weeks out from the games I did my first ironman of the season at IM France. It seems close but it worked well for me. I had one recovery week, one week building back in to training and then two weeks of short, fast, explosive work to get prepared for the super sprint distances of the triathlon relay. The triathlon relay distances are 250m swim, 6k bike 1.6k run so it's quite different from the usual 3.8k swim 180k bike and 42.2k run that I'm used to, but I adapted well and it was a very refreshing change for the body and mind.
2. The atmosphere was incredible for both the individual and mixed relay triathlon event at the Commonwealth Games. What was your experience like behind the scenes, in the athlete’s village for instance, and the team atmosphere amongst NI athletes?
A: The atmosphere from when I met the Northern Ireland team in Belfast, until I left Glasgow was brilliant, and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. I wasn't racing in the individual triathlon race, so I was lucky enough to get tickets for the grandstand for the race, which was great to watch. As for the triathlon relay I think it was a real crowd pleaser. Everyone loved it and many people; even those who are not in to triathlon, were very impressed with the fast paced and unpredictable racing. Hopefully the popularity of the even in Glasgow will see it being considered for the Olympics in the future.
3. The short sharp race format that each athlete had to do in the mixed relay, of around 20 minutes worth of fast and furious effort, was quite different to that of 9 hour Ironman race. Which section did you most enjoy?
A: The race is all over so quickly and it's the hardest I've ever pushed in any race. If I had to choose a favorite part it's the running dive off the pontoon. That was great fun!
4. The crowds were deep with spectators, just like London 2012. Many individuals within the crowd would have been inspired by athletes like yourself racing. What advice would you give to those who might want to try getting into triathlon after the Commonwealth Games success?
A: Triathlon is such a fast growing sport and it's great to see it becoming so popular. It feels great to be considered as someone who could inspire others to take part in sport. My advice to anyone thinking about it is to just go for it. The likelihood is they will be addicted after the first try. Even my mum is considering one for next year!
5. Finally, what’s next for you this season? What does the next few years within triathlon hold for Eimear Mullan?
A: I changed my original plan a little due to a small shoulder injury and a lack of endurance training leading in to, and just after the games. It became like an unplanned mid season break which was probably just what I needed. I have entered the totally epic race of Embrunman, one of the toughest Ironman distance races in the world. I'm feeling a little underprepared but I'm willing to give it a go anyway. After that I will hopefully race at Gerardmer Triathlon in France, followed by Ironman Mallorca, which are both in September.