Martin Kirwan shares Success Stories from Focus on Fitness Clients; Weightloss, Ironman, Triathlon, Para-cycling, Endurance, set some goals and give Martin a call.
Before I started training with Martin in early 2012 I was firmly convinced that I was always going to be unfit and overweight. I thought that it was just the way I was and that there was nothing I could do to change that. Meeting Martin and starting to train with him was definitely one of the biggest turning points in my life. I still remember going to my first class in the park and the fear I felt as I walked over to the group. I was terrified as I felt so out of place amongst all these fit people. I was so close to doing a runner back to the car when Martin came over and welcomed me in.
From there Martin's personal and individual approach slowly had me realising that I could achieve things that I always thought impossible. Week by week and month by month Martin encouraged and supported me in correcting my diet and trying out different types of training. Every session and every target was tailored to meet my personal goals.
Over the last four years I have gone beyond what I ever dreamed possible. I've lost over four stone, more than halved my body fat, completed various running, cycling and triathlon events and just last month I completed my first marathon. Most importantly though, I have realised that there are no limits and anything is possible once you work for it.
*I know without a doubt that I would not have achieved a fraction of what I have without Martin's support and guidance. If you are willing to put in the work I guarantee he will help you to reach your goals. Taking that first step is always the hardest part but trust me if you do it could be life changing.
October 2016 Katie topped off a great year (Marathon, half Ironman and full Ironman) by finishing Ironman Barcelona in 14:45 and rounded off the the 15 athletes from Focus on Fitness who crossed the line.
I got ‘hooked’ into the world of Triathlon in 2010. I was an absolute beginner at the sport, I had never cycled or swam, my only background was in underage cross-country and track running but that was many moons ago, basically I had no clue where to start, what was involved or ‘how’ to train. I contacted Martin Kirwan, Focus on Fitness for coaching and advice. I received a structured and tailored training program and progressed from strength to strength. I started competing in local road races and on the duathlon/triathlon scene in Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman and Ironman distances. The program covered all aspects of my training including Strength and Conditioning, Functional Movement, Running Technique, Bike Skills and Food & Nutrition for performance.
Thanks to Focus on Fitness I have received great enjoyment from the sport and the training and to top it all I have had lots of success and a number of podium finishes in duathlons and won lots of age group prizes both in Triathlon and local road races. I won my age group in both the National Duathlon Championships & National Half-Ironman. In October 2014, I completed the Dublin Marathon (my first stand-alone marathon) in a time of 3 hours 14 mins. To-date I have competed in four Ironman races; Austria, Lanzarote, Nice and Copenhagen. In Ironman Lanzarote (known as one of the toughest Ironman races on the international circuit), I finished 2nd in my age group and just narrowly missed out on a much sought after spot for the World Championships in Kona. Being on the podium at an Ironman race is attributed to Focus on Fitness, the preparation and training I received was tailored for that particular race. Martin had every aspect of the race covered from the strong winds to the savage climbs on the bike. Focus on Fitness has a lot to offer all athletes at all levels and ability, it is not always about success and winning, it is also about doing the best that you can do on any given day and Focus on Fitness has something to offer everyone.
In June 2014, I competed in Ironman Nice. Weather conditions on the day were dreadful, torrential rain made road conditions dangerous and having completed 150km of a tough bike course I suffered a bike accident resulting in significant injuries leaving me unable to work or drive for six months (which is a story in itself!) and it looked like my triathlon days were a ‘thing of the past’. After a couple of months I started working with Martin on a rehabilitation program, basically we had to start from scratch, building back basic mobility, strength, and over time my fitness but most importantly and hardest of all to achieve…confidence. Recovery was a long slow road but the program Martin put together for me and the support, advice, patience and encouragement brought me incredibly right back to the start line of Ironman Copenhagen (just 13 months later) and to a personal best time over the Ironman distance. This would never have been possible without Focus on Fitness and a rehabilitation / training program designed exactly for what I needed to get back out there taking part and competing again. Everything I have achieved, I attribute to the training programs, support and advice I get from Focus on Fitness. What Focus on Fitness offers is a ‘unique’ package, tailored to individual needs, combining Experience, Knowledge, Commitment, Time and above all Patience!
In February this year, I wanted to improve my fitness and signed up with Focus on Fitness. I talked to Martin and he advised me to set a goal.
A friend shared Ironman 70.3 Dublin on Facebook. It never entered my head to do such an event before as I thought it was only for the super fit and out of my reach. However, I took the plunge and signed up and thought to myself... you're mad!
I started on Martin's weekly training program which consisted of an open water swim on a Monday, running speed training on a Tuesday, cycle on a Wednesday, longer run on a Thursday, rest on a Friday before the longer bike and run sessions at the weekend.
The sessions built up slowly. I could manage it all easier by training with groups of people from Focus on Fitness and the Waterford Triathlon Club, the encouragement really spurred me on.
I was genuinely taken aback by my progress. I was doing sessions I hadn't done before and I was losing weight, toning up and getting fitter. I still remember how exhausted I was after my first brick session but it got easier and I soon found myself at the start line of the Olympic Distance in TriAthy.
My only goal was to meet the cut-off times and finish the race. I found myself well ahead of these times which allowed me enjoy the day itself, I was not under pressure at any point.
I am absolutely delighted to have completed my first Half Ironman, the biggest event I have ever done!
People are now asking me.....So what about a full Ironman??????
"Huge thank you Martin for all the support and your super plan to get me so well prepared for the Half Ironman event.....absolutely thrilled to have completed it. Never thought a year ago that I'd be able to do anything like this! Thanks to all focus on fitness members for all the support and encouragement along the way"
In the summer of 2011 I took up running to try lose some weight, at the time I was in excess of 20 stone and feeling very unfit and unhealthy. As 2011 progressed I got my weight down to 18 stone and participated in some local races. In October 2011 I completed the Solas Run for Life (photo on left) in 1 hr 40 mins. Five weeks later at a Waterford Triathlon Club open day I first met Martin and I can honestly say it’s the day my life started changing for the better. As part of the open day Martin gave a talk about training for triathlons, duathlons, running, cycling and strength and conditioning. His knowledge and enthusiasm for training were clearly apparent and I knew he was the person to contact if I was going to start this triathlon journey.
As 2012 began I knew I wanted to give triathlon a shot, there was however one small problem...I had no experience with multi discipline sports and no back ground in swimming, cycling or running. Not knowing where to even begin I contacted Martin to get a training program and advice. My initial goal being to lose weight and work on overall fitness and enjoy getting involved in triathlon but as anyone involved in triathlon knows things can escalate quickly. So all of a sudden I found myself signed up for Ironman 70.3 Galway in September. With the race only a few months away and no triathlon experience I knew I needed some kind of structured programme or I would not even get to the start line in Galway. From day one Martin brought a perfect mix of knowledge, expertise, professionalism, individualism but also an aspect of enjoyment to the training programs and the training sessions.
After training with Martin for a few months and having completed some short distance triathlons I had a mad thought of signing up for Ironman Lanzarote the following May. When I approached Martin to suss out what he thought, he thankfully ,took it in his usual calm stride and said if I wanted it and was prepared to put in the work there was no reason why I couldn’t do it.
That really was the start of it all, since then I have developed a strange love for long distance events. Over the last five years I have completed numerous events with a strong focus on long distance endurance events.
Below are the main races that Martin has coached me for over the last 5 years.
2012 – Ironman 70.3 Galway
2013 – Ironman Lanzarote, Dublin Marathon
2014 – Ironman Nice, Shadowman Half Distance
2015 – Tri an Mhi Half Ironman, Ironman Copenhagen
2016 – Paris Marathon, Ironman 70.3 Dublin, Ironman Barcelona
2017 plan – The Race, Ironman 70.3 Dublin, Ironman Barcelona
From day one Martin has given me the confidence to believe I can achieve anything . I know that with Martin’s support and guidance once I put in the work anything is possible. When I go into a long distance event I like to know that I have left no stone unturned in my preparation. Having Martin as my coach gives me the confidence to know that after months of training I am in the best possible physical and mental condition as I stand on that start line. Martin’s approach to training ensures that every session I do is tailored uniquely to my needs and is focused on my goal race and having me fully prepared. I know that if i just follow the plan and complete the sessions that I will achieve anything I set my mind to.
One thing you might notice is that year after year I’ve been able to race long distance events continuously. I’ve also been able to participate in a range of shorter races mixed in throughout the season as part of my preparation for the longer events. I’ve been able to do this because I’ve been largely able to stay injury free. Martin is a huge factor in keeping me injury free and in good condition. With the volume of training I do it is essential that I have a coach that understands the demands being placed on my body and can help me avoid injuries. Martin’s programme keeps me strong all year round and ensures I am looking after my body so that I can consistently train without any problems. Some of the main sessions we do and that are a main stay in Martin’s programmes are track sessions (including running technique), turbo classes (including bike technique), functional movement, strength and conditioning. The variety in my programme and Martin’s knowledge and expertise ensure that I remain in good condition year on year.
I cannot recommend Martin highly enough, he is like no other trainer I’ve come across. His experience, knowledge and his commitment to each of his clients is second to none. Whether you are looking to lose weight, do your first race, aiming for an Ironman or looking to bring your performance to the next level just give Martin a call. I’ve gone through all of these from losing weight, short distance, long distance to wanting to bring my performance to the next level so I can safely say there is no better coach out there to help you with your goals.
Check back in March after I hopefully complete The Race for my blog “From Fat, To Fit, To Fanatic”
I am a hand cyclist and in 2014 I competed in the national pararcycling league finishing approx 10-12 mins behind the lead cyclist in the pararcycling national league time trials. I contacted Martin in November 2014 and asked him to do a personal plan for me to improve my fitness and competitiveness in pararcycling. Martin gave me an excellent plan of turbo sessions, road sessions and a gym programme. This was designed to help me lose some extra weight I had, increasing my competitiveness on the various time trials and road races I was competing at both in Ireland and the Continent. Through Martins personal involvement in my training, observing and tweaking elements as the year went on, my 2015 season consisted of me consistently knocking 7-8 minutes and sometimes more off the times I had posted the previous season and up to 14 minutes off the road race times. He had me as close as 30 seconds off the pace in one of two of the races this year and finishing as high as 5th place on the European Cup races which was a huge improvement on 2014, something I could not have achieved without Martins input. I look forward to again working with Martin over the winter continuing with a gym/turbo programme and also during the Racing season in 2016. I would have no hesitation in recommending Martin as a personal trainer and wish him every success with his own racing in 2016
Growing up I always kept active by playing team sports like hurling and soccer. I began working in Dublin and so couldn't commit to the training so stopped playing. I stopped exercising for a number of years, put on weight and got unfit. I wanted to change this so in 2010 I signed up for the Great Ireland run 10 km race in the Phoenix Park. In 2013 I joined the Athy Triathlon Club and set my sights on completing my first triathlon. From then I developed the triathlon bug, wanting to get fitter and faster. I began working with Martin in March 2014. My first assessment with Martin saw me weigh 95 kilograms. He put me through my paces week in week out and the results have surpassed any expectations I ever had. I currently weigh 78 kilograms and am feeling better than I have ever felt. Martin's training programme has been excellent and I have seen major improvements in all three areas of swimming, cycling and running, but in particular running which has seen me take 20 minutes off that first 10 km race I did.
His training plans are suited to bring you along at your own pace and his encouragement all throughout this journey was fantastic.
August 2015 at Ironman Copenhagen I completed the full distance, 3.8 Km swim, 180.2 Km bike and 42.2 Km run. This was down to Martins commitment and dedication to every person who he coaches; he always has a friendly word to keep you motivated. I heard of Martin through a friend and cannot speak highly enough of the motivation, encouragement and self-belief he has instilled in me.
This post is a big thanks to Martin Kirwan of Focus on Fitness who has coached and helped me for the last couple of years. If anyone needs to lose weight or improve their fitness contact Martin at 083-1185564 you won’t find a more helpful or patient person to guide you on your journey. Thanks again Martin.
In 2013 after a few years of running I decided to give Triathlon a go. Having done a few sprint distance races I felt I needed some direction in my training so I got in contact with Martin Kirwan of Focus on Fitness. And it has been a great journey! With Martin's help and Guidance I completed my first half Ironman in 6hrs 25m.
Last year once again with Martins help I took part in Tri an Mhí Half Ironman and took 25mins off my time from the previous year.
This was all part of the lead up to Ironman Copenhagen 2015. Again with Martin's training help and guidance I completed the race in 12 hrs 59 m. This year sees the journey move to Ironman Barcelona, again with Martin. For anyone looking to improve their Running, Cycling or just to get direction and focus in training I have no doubt that with Martin's help you can achieve your goal.
Ger Nolan on his 2nd Ironman race crossed the line in 13.03 he had picked up a bit of an Injury during the day but battled all the way to the finish.
When I first started training with Martin nearly three years ago I had been running already for a few years. Initially I was going to Martin for gym and weights sessions as I wanted to lose some weight. After a while we then started running training and that’s where my journey began with “Focus on Fitness”. Since then with Martins help and patience I have made a lot of progress and Martin has helped me to achieve many personal bests over several distances and achieve goals I never thought I would including a few top place finishes in races. Whats special about training with Martin is that regardless of how many people he is training he has a massively individual approach and takes into account each persons level of fitness/performance, goals, challenges and balancing training with everyday life. No matter how busy he is Martin can always spare a few minutes to talk and nothing is ever a problem. While he pushes us to achieve new things and constantly seeking ways to improve, Martin still makes sure that most importantly we enjoy what we are doing and that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I have him to thank for getting my running to a level I never imagined I could get to when I started out running 9.30min/mile pace and I have met some fantastic people and friends along the way. I now love running more than I ever did and hopefully I can continue to improve.
I met Martin over two years ago, I had been doing some sprint triathlons but my goal was always to see if I could do longer events such as a half marathon, full marathon or even an Ironman. I had an initial chat with Martin, from the outset I knew certain things I was doing were not helping me. I smoked 20 cigs a day and went out for a few pints a couple of times a week. I also had 3 operations on my knees in previous years from football injuries which were always going to be an issue for me.
Did any of that phase Martin? No!
Martin set about setting challenges for me, using daily training tasks that were individual to me.
I completed my first half marathon in Dec 2014; my goal then was to complete an Ironman in Copenhagen in Aug 2015. By following Martins training plan and with regular meetings with him I could see I was getting stronger and fitter, even though at times I didn’t see the bigger picture he did and he kept me focused on the end goal.
In April 2015 I suffered a setback with my left knee and had to have another operation, I was told that was it as far as biking and running goes. Or that was that I thought. Martin spoke with my surgeon he said unless I could build up enough strength around my knee I would never get the training in to complete an Ironman.
Martin set about a new training plan with pool running, cross training and weights to maintain fitness and build up the strength in my knee. There were times I thought this is not going to work but it did and I completed the Ironman Copenhagen in Aug 15.
Since then I've had very few injuries and I recently completed my first marathon in Paris, April 2016.
In summary I found Martin very approachable and understanding of my needs and limitations whether it's to lose some weight, do a 5 k race or a marathon; regardless of ability everyone is treated as an individual. His classes are fun and productive. I would recommend anybody to try focus on fitness it's changed me for the better in so many ways.