Elite rower - Patrick Munnelly
Patrick Munnelly is an elite rower at Leander Club, which is the most successful Olympic rowing club in the world. Patrick aims to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta for Leander Club and to compete for Ireland at u23 level.
How did you get involved in rowing?
When I was fourteen I was a keen Gaelic football player in Ireland. I dislocated my knee in a match which resulted in me being sidelined for several months. During this time I started rowing and have never looked back since.
Do you have an athlete role model who inspired you?
Michael Phelps. During his career he once went six consecutive years without missing any training sessions. That is dedication.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking up rowing?
If you are someone who strives to be the best they can be in all or any aspects of life, then do it. Rowing is a sport that enables you to be the best you can be. Not just in sport, but as a person. It is the ultimate team sport that people don’t know too much about.
Best rowing achievement so far?
In 2015 I became Irish champion in the junior single scull for my local club, Athlone boat club. This was the first time in twenty-seven years that my club won a national title, and the first ever junior men’s championship. However, nothing beats representing and winning for your country. In 2015, I was part of the junior men’s quadruple scull that won the Coupe de le Jeunesse for Ireland in Szeged, Hungary.
Aspirations in rowing for 2018 and beyond?
To row for Leander Club at Henley Royal Regatta and try to represent Ireland at u23 level.
What are your top three sport nutrition tips?
1) Timing your food around your training. High GI carbohydrates before and immediately after training. This helps supply a fast-acting source of energy before training and easily absorbable carbs after training to replenish your glycogen storage to aid recovery for the next training session.
2) Food is fuel. As a rower, I need about 6000 calories a day to keep my energy levels up and to support muscle growth and prevent going into a muscle catabolic state. Eat in moderation. But, for someone doing a high intensity or endurance sport like me, I would recommend a diet of 60% carbs, 20% protein and 20% fats.
3) Water is key. Water is something that can be easily over looked. Our muscles and bodies are made up of water and it is essential to drink enough water to prevent fatigue, dehydration and lack of concentration. Adding a pinch of salt to water with some squash can act as a cheap sports energy drink.
What are your top three training tips?
1) Be driven, not motivated. Motivation comes and goes. Someone who is driven will stay on track even on the tough days when it is hard to find motivation.
2) Take pride in the little things. The small things that some athletes over look, like stretching, sleep, diet etc can play a major role in performance. If putting more effort into these small things means a 1% gain in speed, then that can either win or lose you a race.
4) Power naps are essential. Although most of my naps go on for too long, a thirty minute power nap can make the next training session and next days training a lot easier.
Can you give us an insight into your pre-race routine?
My pre-race routine starts the night before. I like to ‘carb up’ and eat as much as possible because I find it difficult to eat a lot on race day. I also take some caffeine. I do not drink coffee or take anything with caffeine while training or in my daily life. Therefore, I find caffeine gives me that extra edge on race day to perform to my best.
How did you hear about Beet It Sport?
Anyone who is serious about their sport will research into what is the best diet for performance and what foods/supplements can aid performance. I found out about the benefits of beetroot juice from researching it online. I then found Beet It Sport through my research and knew that it is something that can help me achieve what I want in rowing.
Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?
The reason I use Beet It Sport is because a rowing race is mainly aerobic. The nitrates in Beet It Sport products allow more blood and oxygen to be delivered to the muscles while training. This also reduces the energy cost of exercise and positively contracts muscle contraction.