PHIL Healy cranked up the heat ahead of her first Olympics by having a week of hot baths to help her acclimatise to the Tokyo heat.
The Ballineen woman flew out to Japan last Friday ahead of the Games that start on Friday, July 23rd.
With the humidity and heat in Tokyo certain to be a challenge, Healy has left no stone unturned in her preparations for the biggest event of her life.
‘The sports department at Waterford IT rented me a hot tub for a week,’ she told The Southern Star.
‘It was our protocol to do hot baths at 40 degrees for seven days, the time increased every day, starting from 20 minutes and going up by five-minute intervals every day. I have that done now.
‘Hopefully that will help me some bit with the conditions that I will face in Tokyo. I have two weeks out there before I compete as well so I will be adjusted to the conditions by the time I start.’
Warmer conditions are ideal for sprinting, Healy explained, but it’s the humidity that could present a challenge.
She feels ready for the Olympics and will make history as the 26-year-old is the first Irish woman ever to compete in three events at the same Games.
‘To achieve qualification in one event is a dream for any athlete as the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career. I am thrilled to be selected for two individual events in addition to the mixed 4x400m relay,’ she said.
Healy will race in the women’s 200m and 400m, as well as with the Irish mixed 4x400m relay team. It means she will face into a very busy schedule at the Olympics, but she’s not fazed at all. The relay is first up on Friday, July 30th, with her individual events early the following week.
‘Looking at the bigger picture the relay is probably the best chance of getting to an Olympic final. It is an Olympic semi-final straight off, the top 16 teams in the world,’ Healy explained.
‘That will be a good dress rehearsal for the individual events, to go through the call room and get my bearings. I will be the oldest on our relay team so I will take that leader role and bring the team along with me. That’s on the Friday.
‘Then the 200 is up on the Monday and we’ll see how that goes and we have the 400 on the Tuesday.
‘It is going to be busy, but look at the European Indoor Championships, I did the three 400-metre races in 36 hours. Once you are in the zone, you just get on with it. I am looking forward to getting there and getting to work.’
Healy’s coach, Wexford man Shane McCormack, is also flying out to the Games with Team Ireland.
The athletics events occur in the second week of the Olympics, running from Friday, July 30th to Sunday, August 8th, with the events taking place in both Sapporo Odori Park and the Olympic Stadium.