Ahead of the Liberty Insurance GAA Games Development Conference 2015, Irish sporting legend Sonia O’Sullivan took time out of her guest speaking preparation to take part in our recent Live Twitter Q&A.
It’s the start of a New Year and Sonia responded to questions on motivation and provided tips for getting the extra edge when training including how to perfect the ‘Sonia kick’ on the last 200m in a race.
Q1. With all the hard work you done when did it all pay off? #GAAQnA via @FionnMcdonnell
SOS. I didn’t realise it at the time but Athens 2004 at my last Olympics the values of sport all made sense to me.
Q2. Sonia, was there a big backlash when you took @padraig_h off the good wall on @SecondCaptains? #stirring #GAAQnA via @cianhyland
SOS. Not at all, lots of good banter and I think it was all taken in the spirit I intended.
Q3. Sonia, I guess your happiest moment on the track was winning Olympic Silver Medal in Sydney? Well Done! via @johnboyle52 (COMPETITION WINNER)
SOS. Yes took 3 Olympics for me to finally win a medal so a lot of persistence, patience and belief to get on the podium.
Yes took 3 Olympics for me to finally win a medal so a lot of persistence, patience and belief to get on the podium.
Q4. Your first memory of watching the GAA as a child? #GAAQnA via @YL_CFC
SOS. I didn’t watch much GAA as a child as my Dad played with @CobhRamblersFC Jimmy Barry Murphy was 1st player I remember.
Q5. Best supporters comment you’ve heard when running? Mine is ‘you’re running so fast I thought you were late for mass’ #GAAQnA via @runningro
SOS. Run like you stole something!
Q6. Hi @soniaagrith to keep young teenage girls in sport what do you think is no 1 thing we have to do? #GAAQnA via @sportwomenIRL
SOS. We need 2 value all girls & their positive attributes not just those that are good at sport. You need a team of champions!
Q7. Any tips on how to develop that famous Sonia kick towards the end of a race? #GAAQnA via @ShaneRooD15
SOS. You need to go to track and run 200m as fast as you can then believe that you can always do that at the end of any race.
Q8. Hi @soniaagrith in your early career did you ever consider another sport apart from athletics? @LibertyIRL #GAAQnA via @RonanCassidy.
SOS. I often envied the school camogie team while lapping around the field, i joined in a few games but better on my own.
Q9. Being from the best sports county in Ireland ;-) who was your female sporting idol growing up in #Cork? #GAAQnA @mary_white33
SOS. My idol was Zola Budd more locally not female but from Cork Marcus O’Sullivan and also Frank O’Mara.
Q10. What role has mental preparation in the training environment? #GAAQnA via @Edge_Ahead
You need to be able to balance the mind & body plus get them to work together when competing, belief counts for a lot of miles.
SOS. You need to be able to balance the mind & body plus get them to work together when competing, belief counts for a lot of miles.
Q11. Outside of athletics, which sports people past or present would you take inspiration from? #GAAQnA via @BallymoreCobhAC
SOS. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf so many to think about Chrissie Wellington I love to read sports biographies and learn.
Q12. Hi Sonia what’s the best thing about living in Oz? #GAAQnA via @Mairead_W
SOS. The sunshine when it’s not too hot the outdoor life swimming in the sea at this time of year is amazing and the cafes.
Q13. The lactic acid is building but the finish line is in sight, how do you push yourself to glory? #GAAQnA via @ONeills1918
SOS. One step at a time, it felt like slow motion in Sydney clawing at the track each step one step closer #GAAQnA SOS
Q14. Who were the people you never forget who helped you during the early part of your athletics career? #GAAQnA via @coilinduffy
SOS. Pat O’Halloran, Sean Kennedy, Jim Hennessy, Phyliss Kidney all from Cobh all believers in my ability before I even knew it.
Q15. Hi Sonia any quick fix tips to lose the Christmas muffin top? #GAAQnA via @finnerty_shane
SOS. Set yourself a daily goal before you go to bed each night, variety is key, we don’t need to eat so much drink water. Plus muffins are cake #nomuffins :)
Q16. Any tips on a very slow healing Achilles tendinitis? #GAAQnA via @mullontherun
SOS. I don’t have the answer as i am in the same boat. Patience is key & a good Achilles strength program I’m told pays off.
Q.17 Hi Sonia, running with OR without music and why? #GAAQnA via @lemachine
SOS. Generally without music especially if running fast and with purpose. If tired or unfit i like to listen to podcasts.
Q18. You’ve achieved so much and you’re a great sporting ambassador, but what’s left on the bucket list? #GAAQnA via @ShaneRooD15
SOS. New adventures are always welcome, maybe an adventure race like Gaelforce i like the idea of kayaking & sportifs.
Q19. Do you still have that inner competitiveness or has it changed? #GAAQnA via @sportswomenIRL
SOS. I’ve changed the level of competitiveness, always competitive with myself Strava is my friend.
Q20. What would be your key tips for training for a first marathon? #GAAQnA via @ryanelainem
SOS. Long slow runs most important, short races to improve your efficiency and make the long runs feel easier.
Q21. Have you ever used sport psychology to help prepare for competition? #GAAQnA via @ciaranjkearney
SOS. Not regularly but I did use a life coach to sort my thoughts out at one time & have taken advice from sports psych.
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