10 Questions to a Trainer
The word "character" was invented to describe people like Mick Keogh but he's deadly serious when it comes to training his athletes for triathlons. We caught up with him to find out what drives him to push himself and his team to achieve their absolute best:
What is your sporting background, Mick?
I played soccer at a high level up until my 30s, winning the Irish junior international player of the year award in 2007, while keeping myself in shape with gym work and eventually opening my own gym in 2010.
And how long have you been a triathlete/coach?
I’m a fitness instructor qualified in nutrition and strength & conditioning since 2010 in my gym MDfitness Coolock. I’m a triathlon coach 5 years and a certified official Ironman coach since 2017.
Who inspires you to keep going in the sport?
Inspiration is a huge word for me, so along with my clients- especially the total beginners when they overcome setbacks and failures in the early stages, learning three new disciplines but still stay consistent to achieve their ultimate goal no matter what the distance - I have to say, my kids.
I've two kids (Katie, 15 & Mikey, 5) and another one on the way, and I'll be in this sport to cross a Hardman triathlon finish line with all three of them, so that dream gives me my WHY and keeps the fire burning.
What's your best achievement as an athlete?
Backing myself 100% in 2015 and signing up for my very first triathlon Ironman Barcelona 2016 when, looking back, no one had a clue what the sport was or what I was doing. It wasn’t popular in my local area or the people I mixed with and having to learn to swim from scratch and not giving up. Standing there on that beach in Spain knowing I had that 3.8k sea swim in the bag is a feeling that will be very hard to beat.
And what's your best achievement as a coach?
Training my two close friends for Ironman Maastricht in Holland after they supported me in Ironman Barcelona the year before. After speaking to both of them and convincing them this would change their lives for the better I would go on to train them free of charge to pull off what other people think is impossible. My biggest achievement as a coach is witnessing them every day become better people and knowing I had a small part to play in this.
So Mick, why should people take up triathlons?
Triathlon is an amazing sport for all fitness levels and all ages. I feel it teaches you discipline, patience, courage, and the skill of never giving up, when sometimes this feels like the only option, and all these areas of growing as a person today are being overlooked in society. The mental/physical health benefits are endless when you surround yourself with goal-getters to inspire you.
What trend worries you about triathlon at present?
100% the reliance of technology for every walk, stretch, workout, race, and sleep an athlete completes these days (Yes, it’s gone this far).
It’s making people compare journeys and taking the goodness out of their own journey, while I believe making people overtrain just so they can post what they think is a great day's training on all these formats.
“Remember Easy is an Effort and technology is only a good second opinion.”
What trait do you look for before working with a client?
I actually like signing up all different personalities from all backgrounds and seeing how they reacted to the challenges triathlon has to offer. Triathlon has its own special way of slowing down egos and building up all low self esteems to mould you into the best athlete you can become. I find it helps when someone tells me in their assessment that they are doing it for their kids, a total life change or even a passed away family member as it gives them accountability for their WHY.
One piece of advice to anyone involved in or thinking of getting involved in triathlon?
The best investment you can make is in yourself. People are throwing crazy money at situations in front of them feeling that will fix their problem when they still have to swim in that wetsuit, cycle that bike and run in them runners.
No pressure, Mick, but what's your favourite race?
EASY, Hardman Waterville 70.3 and this is coming from a triathlete that completed Lanza, Barcelona x 2, Maastricht & Cork IM including all the big 70.3’s.
It’s not because this is a Hardman survey but because this race is a special middle distance race that tests you in all areas. Sign up and find out and I’ll see you in July.
If you'd like to see what you're capable of, here are Mick's contact details:
Website - www.keoghfit.com
Instagram - keoghfit
Facebook - keoghfit
YouTube - keoghfit