Thomas Barr is a 400m hurdler and one of Ireland's main medal hopes at next year's Olympics in Tokyo.
The 27-year-old finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro three years ago and won bronze at the European Championships in Berlin last year.
Originally hailing from Waterford, he trains at the University of Limerick under coaches Hayley and Drew Harrison.
Thomas Barr spoke to Balls at the launch of Indeed's #TalentUnleashed campaign.
What's a training week like for you?
The schedule is very much the same throughout the winter as it is into the summer. It changes a little bit when there’s competitions.
Monday is gym and track session. Tuesday is circuits. Wednesday I usually do a run and rehab in the morning if I haven’t done a run before circuits on Tuesday. Then I have a technical session over hurdles on Wednesday evening. Thursday is speed on the track. Friday is gym and a run. Saturday during the winter is hills but during the summer it becomes a technical session - hurdles, blocks, that type of stuff.
Who do you train with?
Paul White, Cathal Crosbie, Jack Mitchell, Diarmuid Clancy, they would be my main training partners. They’re all 400m [runners], 400m hurdlers - young lads. They’re helping push me on. Cathal is running very well. He was was at the [European] U23s there for the 400m.
Our group is so diverse. There’s some people there who are trying to work on their speed for other sports, all the way up to [people] competing at major championships.
I thrive off that group environment. That’s what keeps me going, keeps me motivated.
Olympic hurdler and Indeed ambassador Thomas Barr launches #TalentUnleashed to celebrate one year to the day until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Over the next 12 months, proud Team Ireland partner Indeed will champion Irish athletes as they unleash their talents in hope of qualifying for the Games. Picture credit: Billy Stickland/INPHO
Are there aspects of training which you love and ones which hate?
I love technical sessions over the hurdles. Fast sessions.
I detest slow, long runs. The 20 minute runs we do during the week, but we get them done. That’s only 4km. I take my hat off to anyone who runs and does mileage because I am not cut out for it at all.
I love gym sessions as well, they’re good bang for buck - you feel good after them.
How do you relax away from training?
I'm still into cars. That's how I switch off. I go out and tinker around with the cars for a while.
I've downloaded Netflix now. Netflix is the job, I'm becoming addicted. My housemate is a Netflix aficionado. He's been giving me all the different series to watch. I'm plugging away with them.
I wouldn't have watched TV ever and now I have a TV and a PlayStation in my room. It's too easy. I don't feel too guilty because I'm like, 'No, I need to be recovering. I need to be relaxing'.
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