Running Matters One:2:One with Michael Moran

By Martin Lyons

This week I’m interviewing a young man from Multyfarnham, steeped in athletic and triathlon pedigree. Michael Moran started running with Mullingar Harriers, inspired by his older brother Padraig’s achievements, carried on by younger brother Jack, and by athletic parents in Nuala and Seamus. He grafted away over cross country and track for most of his teen years, a lot of time despite injured calf muscles, culminating in a 2-minute 800-metre run (4 min mile pace) in Belfast in 2015, and, even more proudly for him, he was a scoring member on the Coláiste Mhuire winning cross country team.

Michael then turned o triathlon, as much as anything to act as a relief from years of running injuries, and the incorporation of clever cross training and a keen interest to improve has yielded an even more successful and enjoyable path for him.

As you’re about to read, he has his sights set even higher now in France, where he is currently based. Going by his results in recent years, in sprint distance triathlons in particular, and if the right attitude to training is anything to base success on, he has a huge future at national and international level.

Name: Michael Moran

DOB: 7th September 1998

When did you start running and what motivated you take it up?

I started running when I was around eight in Mullingar Harriers. I got into running through my older brother who had success at a Westmeath Schools Cross Country race, and I went with him to training. I’ve taken up triathlon since going to college two years ago. This came about after lots of problems with my calves in running and after cross training on the bike and swimming loads triathlon quickly became my new passion.

What is your favourite and least favourite type of training and your favourite race distance?

My favourite type of training would be hill sessions. They’re the hardest sessions, but great for working on form and speed. I live in Multyfarnham so I’ve no problem finding decent hills to train on. My least favourite sessions lately are test sets in the pool – basically time trials at different distances. There is nothing worse than running into oxygen debt while in the water and it is often hard to pace these efforts. My favourite race distance in running would have to be 800 metres. I did a lot of them before moving to triathlon and it was a distance that I really enjoyed training for – a nice mixture of speed and endurance involved. In triathlon I’m a big fan of sprint distance races in the draft legal format. I hope to do a lot of them this year in the French triathlon league.

What running achievements are you most proud of and why?

I’m most proud of my all-Ireland schools success in my final year of school, CBS Mullingar. I was battling a lot of calf muscle injuries in the year before that season and I was delighted to be able to grind out some training and score for the team, which for the school was their third ever national title.

List your current PBs for the following distances (running and triathlon):

800m: 2.00, IMC Belfast 2015

5k: 15.48, Jingle bells 5k, Phoenix Park 2018

10k: Triathlon 10k, 36.30, Base 2 Race 2019 Triathlon National Championships

Sprint distance Triathlon: 1hr 30secs, Two Provinces Triathlon 2019

Olympic distance Triathlon: 1hr 58mins, Base 2 race 2019 Triathlon National Champs.

What are your running goals for the next 12 months?

I’m currently living in France and training with a triathlon team in Reims. I hope to improve my 5k time in running and get under 15.30. In triathlon my goals are to get a podium finish in the Irish national triathlon champs and help my new team get a promotion to the next division. Apart from that, try to stay fit and healthy and I’ll keep on enjoying the hard sessions and races.

What advice would you give to anyone who is looking to take up running?

My advice would be to look for training groups to get involved in, as they will keep you motivated and it makes the overall experience much more fun. Other advice I would give is to try to slowly incorporate runs on trails and grass and lots of different surfaces as much as possible, because it really helps in improving form and strengthening up all the little muscles in your legs.

What are your lifetime goals and PBs for the following distances (where applicable)?

5k: 14.45; 10k: sub 31mins. My overall goal is to get to international level in triathlon and compete at European cup and world cup level. Hopefully with continued hard work and the right physical and mental preparation, I can reach these goals.

What is your favourite post race meal?

My favourite post-race meal would be a good greasy burger and chips! Something to reward the body and mind after the strict training and eating leading up to a race.

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