Meet the member – Paul Doheny
Well Paul, how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?
Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?
When I moved to the US, I had just broken my leg playing football for the 3rd time. I was living the American dream eating out 2-3 times a day and having a few too many beverages to go along with it. I got close to up 80kg… I’m 5ft 8 so it’s a tad on the heavy side, I was not really taking care of my body or my mind I was too quick to reach for a bottle of wine or a beer most nights.
When we moved to Chicago it was the marathon weekend, just a Great buzz around the so I signed up for the next year. I did the typical rookie runner mistake by running every training run as fast as I could, go hard or go home…. 2 months in my knee was ruined and I couldn’t run… so I bought a bike a Cannondale Cad 12, $2 k I thought this is a bike for life … then I had the brain wave to do the Chicago triathlon 6 weeks before the marathon.…. not being able to swim 50 meters didn’t dampen my spirits, until I got in the water…. lots of sleepless nights leading into that race but got through it
We moved back home on 2017 and I had gone to college with a Pulse member, Paul Cunningham, shy chap so not many would prob know him. Cunny invited me to a track session and then spend the session beating the shit out of me and talking…. always talking…
Tell us about your first race?
I did a sprint in Naperville just outside Chicago. It was a small local race, the swim was in this outdoor pool/ cove area, got swam over after seeding myself incorrectly. I’m not even sure I had cycling shoes at that stage but finished
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
Ironman distance. The shorter stuff hurts too much
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
We did an vEveresting event on Zwift in lock-down for the Gavin Glynn foundation. Myself, Brian Power and Niall Connaughton spent the best part of 12 hours on the turbo chatting random crap, we had a few Pulsers drop in for a few hours too. We raised nearly 5 k
What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?
Like minded people…
When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?
Family and work. I have three kids and a demanding job so at times it full on early starts are a given
Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement? (Doesn’t have to be your own!)
I don’t get too hung up on team sports as much anymore. I grew up a big football and man united fan, but I have fallen out of love somewhat with football….
Obviously, Kona is the dream for a lot of members, but are there any other bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime type races you’d love to experience?
KONA KONA KONA …. It’s so competitive to get a slot some of the qualifying times are inhuman…. I love training so I’ll enjoy the journey no matter if I ever do qualify or not. For now, it’s just enjoying the journey and when I get to striking distance I’ll put a more detailed plan in place, for now just enjoying the journey and a few other races like Ironman Wisconsin, Challenge Roth, Ironman Wales…
What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?
I’ve got Copenhagen in August and some unfinished business I did 10 hours 17 mins, 2 years ago so I’ll be looking to cut a fair chunk off that
What’s your favourite book/movie/TV show? What do you like about them?
I read a lot.
Autobiographies…., David Goggins, Andre Agassi, Shoe Dog are some of the best…. I like just understanding people’s mentality, what makes them tick, beneath it all people are very similar, same anxieties, fears, insecurities, but with ‘successful’ people there is a drive or something from their past which drives them…. I remember reading Paul O Cornell’s autobiography and it struck me how much self-doubt he had at times, and this was when he was recognized as one of the best in the world…. Agassi has an insanely abusive Dad and he hated playing tennis…
I like Sports psychology…… Ironwar, Endure, the Sports Gene… anything by Matt Fitzgerald
I work in finance, so Finance/business books are of interest – Extreme Ownership (best management book I ever read), Good to Great, The Everything Store, Liars Poker, anything by Michael Lewis
What are the go-to tunes/podcasts for a training session?
Just put on Spotify and I have a few playlists, could, be anything from Eminem to 90’s dance to Taylor Swift….
Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?
that could be a long list. I get inspiration from people who put the work in. Some think that the professionals have god given ability and that’s true to an extent but what really separates them is work/effort, look at Jan Frodeno, he lost KONA in 2018 and then proceeded to chase down Sanders, Lange and Kienle on their home patch, despite being the GOAT he still went back to prove himself.
Closer to home some of race performances and distances/challenges we have seen in recent years in the club is inspiring, it shows what can be achieved…. And I think it’s just the start, we will see a (male) Kona qualifier in the next 5 years, the women have already shown the way!
What one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?
I’ll give 3:
1. Slow down and learn how to train easy…. This is something I struggle with too, to go fast you need to slow down. Some, I included end up training like Tarzan and race like Jane…. if you are smashed after a training session and struggle to get off the couch later that day chances, are you are training too hard
Take yourself off Strava if necessary, I do that early in the year to avoid chasing arbitrary times that don’t make a blind bit of different to how well I’ll do in my A race 6 months away
2. Recovery- invest in a foam roller and do 2-3 20 mins of yoga/stretching a week.
3. Get your nutrition right, Aine in the club has given me great advice down through the years…. make sure you get enough salt… in society we are thought to avoid salt but when you train 10-20 a week that doesn’t apply to you. Practice your race day nutrition, I was doing a lot of fasted stuff and wrecking myself going too deep when fasted …. Simply stuff but common mistakes and ones I still need reminding of.
Finally, can you tell us an interesting fact or story we don’t know about you?
I wish, I guess I’m just not that interesting….