Peter Francis is an accredited member of the Irish Institute of Sport and acts a consultant sports scientist to the Athletics Association of Ireland. Recently he has run an exercise science education programme for endurance coaches and has also been away on a training camp providing sports-science support to elite athletes.
The two-day course covered: nutritional status, dehydration, lifestyle, injury prevention, physiological testing and functional-movement screening.
Among the thirty delegates was Dr Noel Harvey, a Senior Lecturer from the Department of Business Studies, Galway. He said, ‘Peter was excellent and the course was very, very good. He presented a ton of material and got through it at the right pace. The material was superb and he went through the gauntlet of things we need to know about athletics, from food to injury prevention. All the material was very much up to date, including 2014 research.’
This week Peter returned from an Athletics Association of Ireland training camp in Portugal for elite athletes. Peter was responsible for daily hydration-monitoring of twenty athletes, in addition to monitoring recovery from training. Peter also carried out physiological field-testing of the athletes and conducted functional-movement workshops.
When asked what had led him to focus so much on coach and athlete education, Peter said, ‘It all stemmed from a love of distance running as a young lad, with subsequent overtraining, illness and injury. I started my education in exercise science - wanting to find out how it all worked - how did my fitness improve as I trained? By the end, I wanted to understand all the factors limiting athletic performance in order to assist future coaches and athletes to avoid the mistakes I had made. I find this work very rewarding and a chance to give back to the sport that gave me so much.’
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