Finding the balance between training and recoveryJuly 27, 2012 - 7:00am
A Galway sports scientist – who is at the cut and thrust of elite sport and has worked with such sporting legends as three-time 3,000m steeplechase World champion, Moses Kiptanui – believes Ireland’s athletes do continually well to punch above their weight at international level.
With the Olympics on our doorstep, even the most cursory of sports fans will be anticipating Irish success at the international showpiece but Moore says that for an athlete to qualify for the Games is a phenomenal achievement in itself.
“I think, in Ireland, we are massively punching above our weight, yet we have athletes who are working at the very highest level of world sport and have an opportunity to compete,” says Renmore native Moore, who is founder of ORRECO, an IT Sligo-based sports company that helps athletes to reach peak performance.
“Any athlete, if you think of it, who makes it to an Olympics is phenomenal. They are unique and special and are extremely talented. The only thing is, when the Olympics come around every four years, if they don’t win a medal, people think they are not a success.
“However, these guys train phenomenally hard for four or eight years. So, I think anyone who gets a personal best at the games, that has to be their first marker. Then, it (second marker) would be a top 10 finish, and the next goal is to reach a final. And once you are in a final, who knows?” says Dr. Moore.
Indeed, the 36-year-old has a unique insight in this respect, having worked with many of the top sportspeople and athletes over the last decade. These include Kiptanui, our own Sonia O’Sullivan, current Olympian and reigning European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton and the British Olympics sailing squad.
In addition, members of ORRECO have also worked – and, in some cases, continue to work with – the likes of golfer Padraig Harrington, renowned British athletes Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah, and the Nike Oregon Track Club (USA), which has five athletes competing at the Olympic Games in London. Also, ORRECO recently signed a significant two-year contract with the Irish Institute of Sport.
The credentials of ORRECO’s staff are almost as impressive as those they work for. They include former first team physiologist for Real Madrid, Dr. Carlos Gonzalez; former speed and power consultant to the New Zealand All-Blacks, Dr. Christian Cook; and the performance nutritionist for Great Britain’s Olympic teams, Nathan Lewis.
What Moore and his impressive team has done through ORRECO, is develop a high tech blood and saliva testing technique that helps athletes reach peak performance, protects sports men and women from overtraining syndrome and helps reduce the number of training days lost to illness and infection.
Although the company was only incorporated by Moore and consultant physician Dr. Andrew Hodgson in November 2009, the Galway man’s journey to this point in time began almost 18 years ago when he began training as a physical education teacher in Strawberry Hill in London.
“I was inspired to go there by my PE teacher in St. Mary’s, Liam Sammon,” says Moore. “I hadn’t fully appreciated it at the time but when I arrived I realised it was one of the top European bases for middle and long distance running.
“You had a lot of the world class Kenya athletes, along with some Americans and Australians. They were all based there in South West London. In fact, on my very first day, Moses Kiptanui, the world record holder, jogged passed me.”
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.