Gerry Duffy motivational talk in Fermoy for Blackwater Triathlon Club

On Friday, 15th January endurance athlete, author and motivational speaker Gerry Duffy came to the Adair Hall in Fermoy to give a talk for The Blackwater Triathlon Club.

In June 2011 Mullingar man Gerry, who was previously four stone overweight, made athletic history – becoming the first winner of a Deca Ironman challenge, a gruelling 10-day test of athletic endurance. Gerry Duffy was one of just three men (out of 20) to complete the torturous 10-day test – finishing one Ironman Triathlon every single day of the ten. The race began every morning at 6am with a 2.4-mile swim, before a 112-mile cycle and a marathon run of 26.2 miles – a total course which saw Duffy travel over 1,400 miles using his own body power and nothing more.

Gerry subsequently wrote ‘Tick, Tock, TEN’ detailing the story of his remarkable achievement. Gerry was no stranger to amazing endurance events having already completed the remarkable feat of running 32 marathons in 32 counties in 32 days some years earlier, which became the basis for his earlier book Who Dares, Runs.

In his latest book, The Goal Getter, Gerry offers 35 simple strategies that will not only help you set your goals, but also to achieve them.

Despite the icy conditions earlier in the week Gerry’s talk was well attended, both by BTC members and members of various other sports clubs from the locality. Over the course of a couple of very entertaining and informative hours Gerry spoke of his achievements over the last 20 years and gave us all an insight into the motivational strategies he has used to such good effect.

I think it’s fair to say that everyone who attended learned something that night and hopefully we’ll all be able to put some of the methods described to good use in the coming months.

Vo2 Testing

The club recently organised a series of Vo2 tests for club members. Vo2 testing measures a person’s ability to transport oxygen from the air and deliver it to the working muscles. It provides athletes with a detailed breakdown of their unique fitness profile.

Most professional athletes undergo regular cardiovascular testing at hospitals or universities, so this was a great opportunity for club members to gain a better understanding of their actual fitness levels. The tests were performed on a treadmill and a bike with the person being tested hooked up to the test machinery via a mask and a heart rate monitor. The intensity increases at one minute intervals through speed or incline in order to raise both oxygen consumption and heart rate.

The minimum the test can last is four minutes and the maximum the test can last is 24 minutes. The time on the treadmill or bike varies according to the fitness of the athlete being tested as he or she needs to keep going until they have reached maximum effort. These tests, which took place over the course of last weekend in Fermoy, were a huge success with 20 tests being conducted over Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning by Sean Kinane from Health Matters.

Most people found that they were fitter than they thought themselves and all went away with more focus knowing how to train smarter to improve performance for better results. It will be very interesting to see how the results will compare in May when Sean will be back to do retests.

Turbo Tuesdays

As the winter is well and truly upon us our winter turbo training sessions have started again. This year there is a change of venue with the sessions running from 7 to 8pm on Tuesday evenings at the Adair Hall in Fermoy (except for the first Tuesday of every month when it is held in the hall in Clondulane).

These sessions, which are run by Nigel Carroll for the Blackwater Triathlon Club are aimed at anybody who enjoys their cycling regardless of what level they may be at. If you’re curious and haven’t tried it before you’ll need to bring your bike, a towel and a change of clothes. Turbo trainers are best suited to racing, touring or hybrid bikes but a mountain bike with smooth tyres will also do the job fine. If you don’t have a turbo trainer there are a number them available to try out courtesy of Blackwater Triathlon Club. These are available on a first come first served basis.

Training Camp 2016

The 2016 Blackwater training camp weekend will take place in Killarney on the weekend of 1st to 3rd April (the weekend after Easter). This year Lynne Algar will be putting us through our paces at the training camp. Lynne is currently employed by Triathlon Ireland as a high performance coach and performance manager, based in Limerick, working with a number of the national U23 male and junior athletes in the Munster region.

Her role includes the development of a pathway for athletes with attributes favourable to elite triathlon to progress. Through Triathlon Ireland she is also employed as a tutor on the National Council for Exercise and Fitness Courses.

Lynne was also been short-listed for coach of the year in 2015. The training weekend will consist of both theory and practical sessions for all three triathlon disciplines, including some morning swimming sessions at the Killarney Leisure centre. This is an ideal opportunity for all club members to avail of a very high level of coaching by one of the top triathlon coaches in the country. It’s also a great way for newer members to get to know other club members. More details will be available on the club website.


More advice and information on triathlons is freely available from your local club. For further information see our club website or contact Niamh Fleming at or 087-9814035.