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800km cycle around Ireland is Tracey's plan for 2018

Friday, 9th February, 2018 10:00am

800km cycle around Ireland is Tracey's plan for 2018

Tracey Finnegan

Training at the Athlone Sports Centre is more than a busman’s holiday for Tracey Finnegan. She has been a member for a number of years, and has been employed there for a couple of months.
When Tracey’s job finishes in the evening, she heads straight upstairs to the gym to train on the bikes for her 2018 Challenge.
“I’m planning to do a cycle this year around Ireland of 800 km in total,” said Tracey.
Cycling is a major part of Tracey’s training, alongside gym work, and lately she trains on the Milon machine which is proving popular at the Sports Centre.
“What I started training on when I joined the Centre was the treadmill, the bike, and I used to do a lot of the classes, both virtual and with instructors,” said Tracey.
She was one of the first people to sign up in the gym for the eight-week programme, which began in 2012 entitled ‘Look Great In 8’. Tracey was also the first winner of the challenge.
“I did three 'Look Great In 8’s' in total, and the first one I won, and I lost around 25 lbs, roughly in the eight weeks,” said Tracey. “Joe Macken, my instructor was a big help in keeping me focussed. I knew I had to weigh in on the Thursday, and I was so focussed. I knew that Thursday was coming, and I’d do the weigh-in, and I’d have my treat coming on the Thursday evening. What I was in the mood for was more chocolate, or just something with a cup of tea that evening.”
While she did the Challenge and did her training, the main thing she did was to totally change her diet. Joe advised Tracey to cut out processed food and eat natural food.
“I get up in the morning now and have my breakfast where in the past, I could have had my first meal at one or two in the day, and would be so hungry by that stage,” she said. “So I got into a good routine of eating regularly, and have a snack at 11, and lunch and dinner. I wanted to eat healthy, because what’s the point in killing yourself in the gym, and then having a packet of crisps.”
Cycling is her main sport and fitness endeavour and something she enjoys very much. Tracey also does spinning classes in the Sports Centre, along with outdoor cycling, and she also works on a watt bike in the gym.
Tracey formerly worked in restaurants, but it wasn’t something she wanted to do long term, partly because of the hours.
“Then the job came up in the Sports Centre for part time work,” said Tracey. “I knew everybody there and I knew the whole building inside out, so I just applied for it. I started working there about two months ago.”
From her position on both sides of the front counter, Tracey can advise people about the centre.
“If you want to join the Centre, throw yourself in at the deep end, and get a membership and don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help,” she said. “They are more than willing to help. Some people see and hear about classes, but mightn’t know what they’re about, so ask at reception. Put your name down to do something.”
She still believes in the importance of healthy eating, as well as going to the gym.
“When you are focussed on going to the gym and focussed on eating healthy, you have more fuel in your system to work out in the gym,” said Tracey.

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