Phil Healy training in isolation with Tokyo Olympics still her target

March 20th, 2020 11:59 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

Phil Healy is the Irish 100m and 200m record holder.

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PHIL Healy calls it an ‘isolation training camp’. This wasn’t on the cards earlier this year, but, like everyone else faced with the threat of the coronavirus, she’s had to adapt.

Plan B has been sprung into action.

The Irish record holder is currently staying in a cottage near Curracloe Beach in Wexford as training continues ahead of the Olympics Games this summer.

Despite the growing uncertainty around the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Games in Tokyo, due to start in late July, are still her main goal.

‘Until I hear the Olympics are cancelled – and that’s when things will change – for me, as of now, they are going ahead and I am training with that target,’ Healy told The Southern Star.

The Ballineen woman is on track to qualify for the women’s 200m at the Olympics and she’s currently ranked 27th in the world with the top 56 qualifying for the Games.

With Covid-19 spreading nation-wide, herself and her coach Shane McCormack made the decision to move Healy away from her normal training base at Waterford IT.

‘I am training in isolation,’ Healy explained.

‘I have a house in Wexford, by the beach, which is only 150 metres away.

‘I had to take myself out of college in Waterford because there was too much of a risk there, with the lads in the house coming in and out and they being in contact with lots of people. Our track was going to be shut, the gym was already shut so there was nothing left for me in Waterford.

‘Shane made this plan, I’m here since last Wednesday. Yes, it has its challenges – but you are either going to embrace it or not embrace it.’

Healy has filled the house with all the gym equipment she needs, including weights and a bike. and is training away as normal.

‘When I hurt my foot last year and couldn’t run, Plan A went out out the window and we moved to Plan B. This is another Plan A gone out the window because our facilities in Waterford have shut so it’s now Plan B and we have to adapt,’ she explains.

The indoor season is now over so Healy was always going to be moving into a fitness block. A planned warm-weather training camp in Malta in April has been canned, but, again, Healy says she just has to adapt to the changes and get on with it.

In the recent indoor season, Healy set a new national 200m indoor record and shot to the top of the European rankings. She’s well on course to qualify for the Olympics, and until she hears otherwise, that’s still her target.

‘We have everything we need here in Wexford, and if it comes to it there are beach runs, forests trails and more for me to keep training, so we’re pushing on with the target of the Olympics until we are told otherwise,’ Healy added.

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