Back in 2016, the Deansgrange native and Wicklow resident took part in a charity cycle from the Aviva Stadium to the Stade de France in time for Euro 2016. Fast forward 7 years, Jamie has completed his first ever Rás Tailteann as a guest rider for St. Tiernan’s Cycling Club.
Founded in 1953, the Rás Tailteann is an annual international cycling stage race, held in Ireland. This year’s competition spanned over 5 days, starting on Wednesday, May 17th, running from Navan to Birr. The following day, riders cycled from Birr to Ennis; Ennis to Castlebar on Friday; Charlestown to Monaghan on Saturday; and finally Monaghan to Blackrock, Co. Louth on Sunday. Those who completed all five stages, like Jamie, racked up a colossal but gratifying 770km.
Taking part in a challenge this formidable is no easy task, with the amount of training you need to complete in preparation for it. On average, Jamie would train 15-20 hours per week, usually in the mornings before work. This was achievable by the schedule he set for himself of a 4 day locuming week.
“Flexibility is a huge thing for me - I love having the ability to pick and choose my days in and around my races, plus being able to travel places if I have specific training on.
I do a 4 day week to suit my training; I generally work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and take most Wednesdays off to do a longer training day. I also train every morning before work - it’s just my thing… Otherwise I’d be single if I was training every night!”
Coming from a full time position, and being in a role that required some weekend work, in the past Jamie found it awkward to schedule his working days around his races - often having to worry about swapping shifts or finding cover if a Saturday race coincided with his rota. “I don’t mind working weekends, but I need it to be on my own terms.” Locuming relieves this stress and allows Jamie to plan his working days around his racing and training schedule - he even has his entire Summer calendar already booked!
“In the winter months, I am not supposed to be training as much, so to keep me busy I work more. Again, picking my own hours being my own boss allows me to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Apart from the ability to pick and choose his own days, locuming also suits Jamie as it allows him to work from anywhere! If he needs to travel for training or races, he has the option to pick up some shifts around the country - it’s also a bonus for spending time with his family and friends who live a little further afield!
“Coming up to a big event, the physical and mental stress is so intense. I’m juggling that with work, and a family life, while trying to be present in everything. You can’t ease off on any of those! When I’m at work, I work hard. When I’m off work, I don't think about work. That's why locuming suits me - I don’t have to bring it home with me!”
“I say this to everyone I work with: The best thing I did was, before I even left my full time job, I got in touch with Anthony at Clarity Locums. I got Garda Vetted, and threw myself in the deep end by locuming for a day. I wanted to experience it before making any decisions and it was just great. I really enjoyed how different it was!”
Overall, Jamie puts his love of locuming down to being his own boss and picking his own schedule - choosing what days and locations suit him, networking and meeting new people.
“The freedom to pick and choose is amazing. You blink and you’re in a job for ten years so you have to enjoy what you have - everyone works hard so freedom is a big thing for me.”
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