How marathon elite are coping

How marathon elite are coping
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From a coach’s perspective it offers significant challenges.

Three-time Olympian Dick Hooper oversees two of the country’s top male runners, 2016 Olympian Mick Clohisey and two-time Irish national marathon champion Seán Hehir. 

“They are training away, but they are unclear as to what the road map is,” the three-time winner of the Dublin marathon says.

“They are really just ticking over, but in such a fashion that if there was a bit of certainty out there, they would be able to get back into full mode very quickly.” 

In the midst of a marathon training block, Cooke would be hitting 100 miles a week, but at the moment the focus is more on threshold fitness.

“I’m training as if I have a 10 mile or half-marathon,” she says, adding that maintenance is key.

“At some stage we will transition when races do come back, even if we don’t know when that will be.”

Hooper feels the loss of a year for the Olympics – some question whether it will take place at all, especially if a vaccine isn’t available before next summer – is more keenly felt for the more experienced runners.

For the likes of Clohisey (34) and Hehir (35) the window of opportunity for peak performance at an Olympic Games is closing.

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