We were super impressed with Lori’s entry for our competition to become a Sundried ambassador with Triathlon 220 magazine. A PE teacher and great all round athlete with a love for triathlon who represents GB age group, what more could we want?
Have you always been into sport?
Sport has always been a major part of my life since I can remember. I joined Staines Swimming Club when I was 5 years old and swum competitively up until I went to University. I also played a lot of Tennis and Cross Country growing up, along with playing County Netball and was also selected for England U21 Lacrosse trials. I was always a good all rounder but never exceptional in one sport. However being sport obsessed, I continued to play Lacrosse at University with a bit of Football and also graduated with a Sport Science degree. I am now a PE teacher, so sport still practically takes up every minute of every day!
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
After university I started doing a lot of running but kept picking up injury after injury. My physiotherapist Neil Mason kept saying to me I should take up triathlons but I wasn’t keen on cycling and hadn’t been back in a pool for over 10 years! Plus I couldn’t think of anything worse than swimming in a lake! I ran the London Marathon in 2015 and again picked up another injury, so decided I should probably listen to Neil and take the plunge and enter a triathlon. I did London Triathlon in July 2015 and loved it! I knew at this point I was going to get the bug. I then did Budapest 70.3 in July 2016 and finished in an ok time with very little training. I thought at this point I should probably get a coach and train properly! So I contacted Team Dillon and Emma Pallant; the rest is history! I have been training with them for 8 months and absolutely love it! Sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have started this journey earlier.
What’s been your best race to date?
After joining Team Dillon in August 2016, I entered Thorpe Park Sprint in the September. I had only done about a month’s hard training and finished 3rd and 1st in my age group. My first podium! From this race I qualified for the 2017 GB Age group European and World Aquathlon Championships.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement so far has been standing on my first podium after such a short time with Team Dillon and the GB triathlon suit arriving on my doorstep! I never in a million years thought I would qualify so quickly for an International Championship. I now can’t wait for the season to start.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I have had a few always due to cold temperatures! The biggest error was being massively underdressed for Eton Dorney Duathlon in January. It was -6 on the start line, and I couldn’t function for the majority of the race. A nice man had to put my helmet and trainers on for me in transition! I have learnt that it is better to be too warm than too cold!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I talk to Emma and close friends. It is very easy to keep problems to yourself, however talking does help and being honest with those around you. A problem shared is a problem solved, or halved at least. Trying to juggle working full time and training up to 15 hours a week can be tough. I try to keep my life as balanced as possible, including trying to have some sort of social life! Although this usually involves exercising, most of the time a long ride with friends. I love training and don’t see it as me having to make sacrifices, as it’s something I love doing.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Listen to your body and don’t train when you are tired, ill or have a slight injury niggle. It is very easy to get caught up in a train hard mind-set on every session, except our bodies are not machines or robots. You cannot PB every training session. Easy training sessions are just important as the hard sessions. Your body does at times need a break. Taking a few days rest in the middle of a hard training block is sometimes just what the body and mind needs to stay fresh. Remember that the tough days make you tougher!
What are your goals for 2017?
My goals have slightly changed this year. I am now focusing more on the longer distances. As always, I will always give everything in every race. I try not to focus too much on A races because I wouldn’t even know how to give 80% in a B race or 60% in a C race. I am super competitive and will always push myself in any race I do. However, the main goal is to qualify for the 2018 World 70.3 Age Group Championships in South Africa. I want to become the best athlete I can be; Team Dillon style!
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Emma and my family are my daily inspiration. Emma is at the top of her game at the moment and the way she trains totally inspires and motivates me everyday. Her work ethic is a different level and she’s also a great coach. Also my Grandad died in January and a picture of him sits opposite my watt bike. In his 92 years he never moaned or stressed and fought right to the end, he inspires me to push those watts that little bit higher! Having my parents support me at the majority of races also makes such a difference. When I was swimming they used to drive me to the pool 9 times a week, including 4 early mornings, I hope now I can repay them for bringing me up so well and being so committed to my training.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the values behind Sundried and the importance of trying to minimise the carbon footprint. They respect the environment when so many companies don’t even consider the negative impact the fashion industry is having. They also value the importance of living a healthy active lifestyle, which mirrors the way I try to live my life. My favourite piece of kit is the Ortler T-shirt; it is a classic piece of clothing, comfortable to train in or to wear to travel to races. I would definitely recommend you try it out!