Foreword from Dany ” I know Marc since a young age, and noted some determination for such a young lad and kept an eye on his progress ever since that day. Marc reached junior age and due to his results and character I choose him to ride for my Junior Composite team in the Ras Donegal in 2015, he was the best-placed rider in the GC and was sent to Belgium for a month of racing which impressed some local team and the rest is history…Raced with the Asfra-Flanders since then and was a bill-board for my project in many ways, got his international call-up during that time, and even got a bronze medal in the nationals in 2019 as an Espoir. So pedigree we talking about…due to the uncertainty of current times he decided to change his direction in life, but staying involved with the love of his life which is the cycling sport (my apologies to his sweetheart..lol) and I am convinced he can be successful, as that earlier detected “determination” will be a big factor to achieve his goals. Good luck Marc…very proud of you, and a great message to all young riders to at least try it!!
“There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough”
Stepping away from the bike has not been an easy decision and it has been an ember in the back of my mind for the past year. It’s the same story as always, it happens. Training becomes a chore, the fun is gone, regardless of how well things were going for me, both in Turkey back in February, as well as in Belgium back in March. Getting on the bike to go training each morning was getting harder and harder, getting on the bike each morning to go training was getting harder and harder to the point where I genuinely did not want to be doing it and it was rapidly becoming unhealthy.
However I have to say, I have loved every single second of it and I have been able to experience things I never would have experienced and travelled to places that I never would have been able to travel to if it wasn’t for the two wheels beneath me. I’ve made friends from all over the world, I’ve lived in Europe, I’ve ridden for my country, I’ve received a pro victory, medalled at nationals, visited mad (very mad) countries, and raced against the biggest names in the sport. No regrets. None of this would ever have happened if it wasn’t for yourselves, “The Belgian project”, Gary McKeegan at “Supporting Sports Services”, Martine (My Belgian Mum), Luc Assez & Co at Astra Racing Team, Rik and Lieve and of course, my parents and friends.
Might I just add that if any 1st or 2nd-year juniors are reading this and want to follow the same path of being a full-time bike rider, DO IT. Things will always come together if you’re willing to put in the work. And if they don’t? At least you’ve tried and you won’t be looking back in 10 years wondering why you didn’t.
I’ve been off the bike from the end of August after a final stint in Belgium. I’ve studied personal training and I’ve even gone on a holiday with my girlfriend WITHOUT A BIKE, meaning for the first time ever, no training or racing was involved whilst being abroad.
Over the last 5 years, I’ve always incorporated gym work into my winter training and loved it. I’ve said for a long time that if I stepped off the bike that I would become a personal trainer and get a job in a gym. I’ve done that and I’m now beginning work under Paddy Heaney at the Train Station Fitness Academy in Maghera.
I am by no means leaving the sport of cycling. After you put so much time and effort put into something it’s next to impossible to cut it out of your life completely. I’m linking my personal training to it as much as I can and who knows, I could be racing in IRL again.
I’m taking it step by step over the next couple of months until I find my feet in “adult life” but it’s all part of the ride.
? Strength training not only helps to improve max strength/power but also muscular endurance, meaning you will be saving your anaerobic fitness for when it’s needed.
?Strength training should be included in every cyclist pre-season; whether you are a weekend warrior who wants the upper hand on your mates or you’re a competitive cyclist looking for more wins, strength training will contribute largely to your goals.
?I’m aware the gym can be daunting for a lot of people let alone lycra wearing cyclists with arms like a T-Rex, but, with an easily followed program tailored to yourself and constant support from me regarding progressive overloading or any other queries, it can be made a lot more enjoyable and is a great way to break up long winter weeks.
?The program will be beginning on the 26th of October and will see you through until the beginning of the race season; again with unlimited support from myself for the full duration.
?If you’re interested in getting signed up or would like to find out more hit me up in the DMs. or pm on https://www.facebook.com/Heaneykid