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Ambassador’s Blog – Patrick Munnelly

16th June 2016

Time Management & the Leaving Cert!

This month I thought I would write about how my training has been going recently compared to this time last year as well as how I am managing to keep up my training during the Leaving Certificate.

This time last year I had finished school at the end of May when I went to the European Junior Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic. When I returned home I had a month and a half before our national championships in mid July. This year I do not finish my exams until June 24th so my training program is a little different. I am unable to train twice everyday like I did last year but I am still managing to train eight times a week. I don’t believe people need to take time off from training when they have exams, they just need to manage their time better. Unfortunately that means a little less sleep and relaxation time and more studying before and after training. I have found it quite difficult to stay awake the last few weeks so without resorting to coffee I have simply started to drink more chocolate milk and energise drinks for extra sugar. I find this helps me stay awake when I am studying.

The floods this year posed a big problem for my training. I was unable to row for a period of ten weeks which meant I was on the rowing machine and wattbike in Athlone RSC a lot more this year instead of out on the water. The hard training I did over the winter this year really paid off. I pulled a personal best of my ‘2k’ ergo test, however when I returned to the water I found I couldn’t generate the speed on the water that I had built up over the winter. In the last few weeks after facing some disappointing results and hard training sessions on the water, my coach and I realised the rigging (set up) on my boat was all wrong. Once I rectified this the change in my boat speed has been enormous.

The speed of my boat on the water has increased dramatically in the last few weeks and I finally feel as fast if not faster than I was last year. The benefits of a hard winters training are now beginning to show. I am just a little worried the poor rowing sessions I did for a couple of months may have affected me too much to recover from. Either way I have learnt this lesson the hard way and I feel I am a now a more confident and better athlete because of it.

The mark of a top athlete is how they react to set backs. The day after I finish my Leaving Cert I have the final trial to see if I can represent Ireland at the Home International Regatta in Scotland at senior level. There are three spots available and I plan to give my all to secure a spot on this year’s team.
I will race at the Irish national championships in July with another club in a few different boat classes along with my single. I am looking forward to finishing my exams and getting back to focussing 100% on my rowing.


14th May 2016


Patrick Blog PicPatrick with his gold medal after winning the Intermediate single scull at the inaugural Lough Rynn Regatta (Picture to the Right)


Training and Nutrition

This is my first blog for the Athlone RSC Ambassador webpage and I thought that this month I would tell you a little about my training and nutrition.

For rowing I have ten training sessions per week – seven fitness sessions and three weights sessions. With rowing being an endurance sport, my main source of food is carbohydrates. My diet consists of 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, 20% fats and I consume between 5-6000 calories each day.

Each rowing session lasts for 1.5 – 2.5 hours and I can burn up to 2000 calories in a single session. Since my body is constantly training and burning calories I must follow a strict diet to make sure I get enough fuel throughout the today. That way I can manage training and have enough energy to study as well.

I try to eat five or six meals a day with the earlier meals in the day consisting of more carbohydrates than protein and later meals switching to a higher protein and lower carb mix.


Meal 1 – Multivitamin, 120g of porridge oats, 1 scoop of whey protein, 1 banana, a handful of spinach and 700ml of water blended

Meal 2 – 4 slices of whole meal bread, 2 slices of ham, turkey, cheese and mayonnaise

Meal 3 – 200g of brown pasta with ketchup

Meal 4 – Brown rice (2servings), tub of beans and a tin of Tuna

Post training – High GI recovery shake

Meal 5 – Dinner, fish/chicken/meat with potatoes, carrots and broccoli

Meal 6 – 3 eggs and a bowl of crunchy nut

Snacks – Fruit, toffee pops, pizza, nutrigrains and rice cakes.

It is difficult to eat all of this food. However if I don’t, I find I am fatigued and do not perform at my best.

So that’s it for now, looking forward to posting again next month.



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