He's off the Mark

Irishman plans to build on his success by stepping up training

Last Updated: 03/11/11 10:18am

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Hand cyclist Mark Rohan has already started spending some of his Sky Sports scholarship funding.

The Irishman has flown to Florida to buy a state-of-the-art bike as he bids to build on his gold medal at the 2010 European Hand-cycling Championships.

But he found time to get on the phone to Sky Sports News HD to explain why the scheme will improve his training methods, and allow him to take some time off work.

Rohan said: "For me it's a thrill to be involved with top-class athletes and also to have the support of Sky Sports.

"It means I can concentrate fully on my sport. I can take a career break from work and really give 100 per cent over the next 12 to 18 months.

"The bike I'm picking up at the moment costs $8,500 and then you've got to put the wheels on that and put power meters and stuff on. You're definitely talking up to the $10,000 mark.

"I've taken a career break, so [the scholarship] has allowed me to base some of my camps overseas in warm weather, but also it will improve recovery and hopefully I will be able to add in a few bits and pieces like stretching, strength-conditioning and take a more hands-on approach to sports nutrition.

"Recovery's a massive part of elite sport, so I'll also be having a kip during the day and not worrying about meeting targets at work!"

First

Last year Rohan became the first Irish Paracyclist ever to win a gold medal at European or World level.

And he told us about the grueling training routine, which he now plans to expand in order to stay at the top of his sport.

"Training is more or less 24/7," he added.

"You're on the bike for two to three hours a day and you're also in the gym for a strength conditioning programme three to four times a week.

"Because there's such pressure and I use my arms constantly, a lot of it would be just to prevent injury also. Training is anything up to 20-25 hours a week.

"Then you've got to look after yourself food-wise and just be smart about training."

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