After narrowly missing out on a medal at the London 2012 Olympics, Corkonian Robert Heffernan was bitterly disappointed. However, not one to be easily deterred, Ireland’s top race walker is now back on his feet and intends to look after some ‘unfinished business’ as he sets his sights firmly on a medal at Rio 2016. From his Olympic dreams to mandatory foot care routines, MICRO Pedi MAN Ambassador Robert is sharing his story and his giving his tips from the top in the hope of helping and inspiring the next generation of race walking enthusiasts.
Robert Heffernan has dabbled in football, GAA, hurling, short distance walking and even running like his athlete wife Marian, but prior to London 2012, Robert had only competed in three 50km races, the third of which was his Olympic qualifier. Whilst in Barcelona supporting wife Marian in her 400m run, Robert took a chance and entered into a 50km where finally he found his true calling and recognised his talent for the longer race.
“As you get older you develop more endurance. I’d love to have been born 6ft 5in and run 100m but I know I can be more competitive with the 50km race walking.”
With his eyes fixed now on the 2016 Brazilian Olympics, Robert has stepped up his training and is set to compete in Spain, Slovakia and Russia this year alone in European and World championships. Training for Robert is intensive and in preparation for his competitive races he easily puts away 130miles a week but the stepping stones to success have often been problematic for his feet. A build-up of hard skin and calluses has affected his gait and a few close shaves with razors and graters have almost hindered his performance.
“If I get any calluses or hard skin it’s almost the same as an injury, it makes you change your technique and biomechanics to avoid that part of your foot which in turn can cause problems in your knees or hips. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference so MICRO Pedi MAN is a very practical tool for me. It’s safe, portable, easy to use and I don’t have to worry about damaging my feet or taking off too many layers of skin. It’s become an integral part of my everyday routine.”
Looking to the future, Robert is keen to inspire a new generation of Irish race walkers, developing programmes for school children in Cork and working with clubs and societies to spur on race walk training and competitions at a junior level. With all this on top of intensive training for Rio, the key for Robert is to take it one step at a time!
About the Emjoi MICRO Pedi MAN
The Emjoi MICRO Pedi MAN works to gently, yet effectively, buff away callused and coarse skin with a unique roller action,spinning 360 degrees at 30 times per second, removing even the roughest of skin on heels and feet. Ergonomically designed, the hand held pedicure device is easy to grip, fool proof to use and the perfect size for your gym bag.
The Emjoi MICRO Pedi MAN is available from Boots, leading pharmacies nationwide and online from www.micropedi.ie or phone 1890 25 22 06.
Replacement rollers are also available from Boots, leading pharmacies nationwide and online. Price €14.95