Orla Walsh is the Irish champion in the women’s sprint and the national record holder in the 500-meter time trial, but her journey to becoming a pro athlete was far from ordinary. She didn’t begin cycling until her 20s, when she started commuting into work on a second-hand bike given to her by her dad. She then fell in love with it, and quickly transformed herself from a self-described party girl (who was smoking up to 20 cigarettes per day) into one of Ireland’s best athletes.
Our resident cycling expert Jeremy Powers slides into the host’s chair for this discussion. Jeremy is a legend in the cycling space in his own right, he’s a 4-time Cyclocross national champion in the U.S. and was one of our first guests on the WHOOP Podcast in 2019.
3:13 – Discovering cycling.
5:36 – From partier to pro athlete.
8:46 – Competitive juices.
11:28 – First competitive race.
15:31 – Veganism.
24:26 – Making the most of a short career.
25:06 – Being a woman in cycling.
31:08 – Using WHOOP.
32:29 – Detecting COVID with respiratory rate.
34:06 – Rest and recovery.
35:03 – Goals for 2022.
37:17 – Performance mindset and avoiding the term “race.”
37:49 – Dreams and aspirations.