RUNNING – #couch2christmas Guest blog Teena Gates part 3


What’s 45 seconds? For me, it’s the length of a news report or soundbite, the length of time it takes to pick up my car keys from the hook in the hall, the length of time it takes to nip into the kitchen to put the kettle on… It’s a tiny bit of time…less than a minute, almost negligible.

Last night Dr Who paid a trip to Leixlip and set up his Tardis on Le Cheile Athletics Track. Because when John O’Regan told us to run 45 seconds as fast as we can, it was one of the longest 45 seconds in my life. It was like I had stepped into a time-warp and time shifted and bent the rules of physics.

 I ‘bolted’ out of the track and ran fast for 3 paces, before my breath started to labour and my muscles burn. My head came up and my elbows pushed back as I kept pumping my legs, and tried to force air into my lungs. Liam Tilly running beside me, shouted encouragement as I began to falter and I pushed again.

How many seconds can be left? My lungs burned and my neck strained. I thought my heart would explode. How long? How LONG? I screamed silently to myself. I began to count my breaths, 6, 7, 8. Surely there can’t be much longer to go? I couldn’t BELIEVE there were more seconds left to go. Finally the whistle went. ‘Well done’ shouted Liam, ‘good running, walk now, walk quickly, this is recovery but it’s an active walk’ he said.

90 seconds walking and then we begin to jog. This was just the start of this week’s #Couch2Christmas training session. It was tough, and by the end, I was truly burned out. I could see what the method was, fast explosive action from a cold start, and then slower intervals, recovering to shorter and faster as the session continued.

When the final whistle blew, Liam asked me whether I’d be able to do a couple more intervals. Content in the knowledge that we really were finished; I answered ‘yes’.  (I was lying!). But our evening wasn’t finished there. Liam and ‘the boss’ John O’Regan had another surprise up their sleeves. When we walked into the club house, Liam had set up a cook station, where he gave us a demo on speedy, healthy cooking.

 Liam is also a chef and his skill showed in both the flavours and the speed as he demonstrated a variety of food combinations, all served up within ten minutes.

I enjoyed a spinach wrap with chicken, avocado-pesto smash, yogurt, sweet potato, toasted seeds, green leaves and Parmesan. We followed that with banana bread, pineapple and lemon curd.

The taste explosion was amazing, the meal was filling, and more importantly it re-energised my love of food and cooking.

I had grown so tired of chicken, salad and an apple. I just needed a little reminder of how simple and amazing food can be.

Today for lunch at home, I skipped the usual salad and instead had a bowl of strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, Greek yogurt, mint leaves, and some of Liam’s

homemade lemon curd. Amazing.
Thanks Liam. Thanks #Couch2Christmas

*The opinions expressed are the bloggers own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Innovation Summit.
Twitter @HIC2016
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