David off to Canada to take part in Duathlon World Championship

David off to Canada to take part in Duathlon World Championship

David Sheahan

Twenty-two year old David Sheahan from Mallow is competing in the Duathlon World Championships in August after taking up the sport just six months ago.

David, who is also a full-time plumber, started competing in duathlons in January.

“I had been cycling for the past four year and would have been in the top ranks in Ireland in the sport," he said. 

David would cycle 5-6 times a week in a mix of interval and endurance training.

“I had a good level of fitness and I wanted to try something new.” 

David said his background in GAA led him to turn to running and mixing running with his passion for cycling naturally led him to try duathlons.

David needed to come in the top four in four races in Ireland in order to qualify for the Duathlon World Championships, which will take place in Canada.

The young athlete managed to come third, first, first and second in the four races and easily secured a place in the final.

The plumber will be competing in the Sprint duathlon against 30 others for the top prize of duathlon world champion.

The Spring duathlon consists of a 5km run, 20km cycle and a 2.5km run.

“Speed endurance would be my strong point,” David said.

Training for the duathlon championships is a tough task, but David takes it all in his stride.

“I am part of the Mallow Tri Club and I have a coach who sets out a training plan for me. Tri coach Bjorn is my coach. He plans out tailored cycling, running, strength and conditioning, flexibility and nutrition plans for me to get the best out of myself," he said. 

“This also takes huge stress away from me and I can just put my full focus towards preparing for the worlds.” 

David trains six days a week, sometimes twice a day. 

"I train either before or after work and then I might do a second session in the day as well.” 

David said at the moment his training focuses around short spins, short intense workouts, interval work and one long three-hour spin a week.

As well as this, David likes to go Aqua jogging 2-3 times a week and runs 10km a few times a week as well.

Nutrition is another element of his training plan that requires a great deal of dedication.

“I try to watch what I eat. I try to keep my diet natural and organic. A lot of broccoli, spinach, kale, beetroot, chicken and steak. I also take protein shakes after training to help with recovery.” 

When he isn’t working or training he said he likes to just hang out with his girlfriend and do normal things like go to the cinema.

Thankfully for the young athlete, his girlfriend is also interested in fitness and is very understanding about his gruelling schedule.

“My girlfriend is very fit as well so we are on the same wavelength. She does a lot of crossfit.” 

Speaking about why he trains as hard as he does, David described his love of sport as an addiction.

“I love training, its an addiction, I get a buzz from it. I suppose I train to see results, I want to be faster, stronger."

The Corkonian said he was probably competitive in all areas of his life, but sport was definitely his outlet.

The six day trip to Canada to compete in the Duathlon World Championships is going to cost David an estimate of €4,000, which he is currently fundraising for.

David said the fundraising has been going well.

“So far so good. I have two sisters, one older and one younger, and they have been very supportive and helping out with the fundraising."

David said his mom is very proud of his achievement and helping as much as she can to raise the funds to send him to Canada to compete.

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