• Alistair Brownlee Wins Ironman 70.3 Dubai

    Alistair Brownlee Ironman 70.3 Dubai Splits Times Sundried

    Alistair Brownlee has completed Ironman 70.3 in Dubai with a blisteringly fast win of 3:35:30, 6 minutes faster than second place winner Sven Riederer who came in at a time of 3:42:05.

    Alistair Brownlee Ironman 70.3 Dubai Splits

    Swim

    Ali completed the 1.9km swim in the Arabian Gulf in a time of 22:36, side-by-side with Johann Ackerman. 

    Bike

    Alistair Brownlee completed the 90km bike course in 1:58:51.

    Run

    He ran the half marathon run in a searingly fast time of 1:09:36, clinching the win for Great Britain.

    Alistair has said "it is just fantastic to be back racing". Will he win the coveted Nasser Bin Hamad Triple Crown series and take home the elusive $1,000,000 prize? Only time will tell!

    Related: Read about Sundried ambassador James Bale's experience racing alongside Alistair Brownlee at the Super League event in Jersey last year.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Emma Ludlow Personal Trainer

    Emma Ludlow Personal Trainer

    Emma is a powerlifter who also runs a health and fitness blog. She talks to Sundried about life as a personal trainer. 

    Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up. 

    Last year I started competing in powerlifting and came fourth in my weight category at the British Championships. I have also won gold medals at regional level. I am currently training for a South East regional competition and hope to qualify for this year’s British Championships.

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    I began gymnastics training at age six and progressed to trampolining, athletics and swimming. I’ve always been sporty, but I got really serious about fitness when I joined a gym run by personal trainers. Whilst there, I learnt about kettlebell training and the benefits of weight training for women. The London 2012 Olympics inspired me to change career (I used to be a journalist) and make my passion for fitness my business.

    What are your training goals now?

    I train primarily to get stronger and would particularly like to hit a 100kg squat in competition. I narrowly missed a medal at the British Powerlifting Championships last year, so would really like to make the medal rostrum this year.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

    I’m obsessed with 80s music and even named my personal training business after an 80s band (Swing Out Sister).

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and shout about your business and talents. If you don’t champion your career, no one else will.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I’m a fierce opponent of fad diets and try not to be too regimented about food. However, I follow the 80:20 rule, eating a healthy, high protein diet 80% of the time and treating myself to a little of what I fancy 20% of the time. With my active lifestyle, I find eating five small meals a day keeps hunger at bay and controls sugar cravings.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    Seeing progress is such an important motivator. When I first meet my clients, I ask them how they would like me to track their progress. I then give them regular updates, whether that’s taking measurements, weight, loads lifted or before and after pictures.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I do four weights sessions per week in the gym: two upper body and two lower body sessions. The sessions are built around the three key lifts: squat, deadlift and bench press. I also do two 25-minute HIIT sessions per week for cardiovascular fitness and weight maintenance.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I write a successful health and fitness blog which has made it through to the finals of the UK Blog Awards 2018. I’m regularly researching posts, so I make sure I keep on top of new studies and fitness news.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Be consistent. Looking after your health is a lifetime commitment, not a temporary measure.
    2. Accept that success will require hard work.
    3. Eat real food. The only way to be sure of what’s in your meal is to prepare it from scratch.

    If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    Protein cheesecake

    Why work with Sundried?

    I like Sundried’s ethical brand values and low carbon footprint. Sundried’s activewear is practical, functional and looks fantastic.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Garmin Launches The Approach X10 GPS Golf Band

    Garmin Approach X10 Golf Band

    Garmin today announced the Approach X10, a comfortable golf band that comes preloaded with data for over 41,000 courses around the world. Golfers of all levels can easily see precise distances to the front, back and middle of the green, as well as hazards on the touch-screen display.

    “The Approach X10 is a simple and intuitive band perfect for beginners just starting to learn the game, or for avid golfers who want a fundamental golf band used exclusively on the course,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Even if you’ve never played the course before, the Approach X10 will give you the tools to swing with confidence.”

    With the Approach X10, players will know the distance to the front, back and middle of the green. The band will display layups, doglegs and hazards like bunkers and water on over 41,000 pre-loaded courses worldwide, which include free lifetime course updates. This device will automatically transition holes as users move from one to another. Additionally, it will keep track of stats such as greens in regulation, putts and fairways, and measure shot distance. Thanks to the Approach X10’s Green View display, players will know the layout of the green, and they can easily position the pin on the touch-screen to that day’s location for an accurate shot selection. 

    To add another level of fun and competition, the Approach X10 is one of the many Garmin golf watches compatible with the new Garmin Golf app that lets users compete in weekly leaderboards on any golf course. This free app allows users to compete against friends and fellow golfers on the same course, plus view another players’ rank, score, handicap and more. Players can use this app to set up their own tournament event and invite multiple friends to compete. Users can input their score manually in the app, or upload their scorecard from the Approach X10 using Garmin Express and view it in the Garmin Golf app.

    The slim, comfortable and unobtrusive design with a 1-inch touch screen display. It is water resistant to 5 ATM so it can withstand the occasional rainy round of golf or sweat on a hot day. The rechargeable battery can get up to 12 hours in GPS mode – perfect for the player who wants to play one more round.

    The Approach X10 is expected to be available in January 2018 for a suggested retail price of £159.99.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Bearbrook Running Club 10k Race Report

    Bearbrook 10k Running Race

    Bearbrook Running & Triathlon Club is based in Aylesbury and boasts 300 loyal members. Each year the club hosts the annual Bearbrook 10k running race which starts and finishes at Aylesbury Rugby Football Club near Wendover in the Chilterns region. This was my first race away from my home county so I was excited to see what was on offer.

    The Course

    The course was one of the best I've ever done for a 10k race! It is described as 'fast and fairly flat' but I was in for a treat. My home county of Essex is deathly flat and running can become a bore, so undulating hills are something I enjoy to mix it up. The first 2 miles of the 10k took us runners through beautiful countryside and an idyllic village reminiscent of the Cotswolds. As we took a left turn out of the village, the marshalls uttered the dreaded words "That's right! Up the hill you go!" and I thought okay, time for a challenge. I do like running uphill so I wasn't too worried. The hill was a long, gradual incline which meant it didn't take the wind out of my sails too much and none of the runners were having to walk it. Upon reaching the top there was a short downhill stretch which was a nice reward. However, the next marshall I passed then said something I wasn't ready for: "Great! Just 3 more hills and then the home stretch!" Three more hills! I was up for the challenge. The great thing about the hills was that they weren't too steep and they meant the time flew by. There was always a slight descent after each one so that I could get my breath back a bit before tackling the next one.

    After reaching the top of the final hill I felt great, and when a marshall said "That's it! Downhill all the way now!" I looked at my watch and thought, "Really? 2 whole miles all downhill?" and that was absolutely the case! 2 glorious miles powering downhill a gentle decline which meant my joints and muscles were not put under too much pressure but I was able to run at my fastest pace and make up the time I had lost slogging up the hills.

    The final 0.2 miles are back inside the Rugby Club grounds and are round the field. It was reminiscent of school cross country which was not pleasant and was on grass so I had to consciously keep pushing round. I could hear the announcer over the speakers from around a mile away from the finish so it was very encouraging to get to the end. The support at the finish was great and it made the perfect end to a perfect race.

    Organisation

    I was utterly impressed by how well organised this race was. There was an abundance of marshals which meant every road crossing was safe and I never had to hesitate or slow down my pace. They were all incredibly friendly and supportive and it added a great atmosphere to the race. The announcer at the start line was witty and put the racers at ease before the big race. There were ample toilet, parking, and food facilities on offer meaning everything was taken care of.

    Results and Prizes

    The winner for 2017 was Matthieu Marshall of Southampton AC in a time of 00:32:42. I thought I might get a PB as the last 3 miles were so fast but I was 1 minute off thanks to taking the hills a little too slow in the first 3 miles. There was a branded mug for every finisher but no medal which I was rather disappointed about! There were free sports drinks, water bottles, and snacks for every finisher too which was a lovely touch.

    I was hugely impressed by this race and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here! I would definitely recommend this race to others and I will probably make my way back for next year! Bearbrook Running Club is hosting its inaugural duathlon in September which should also make for a great race.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Lee Patmore's Epic Challenge

    Lee Patmore Handcycle Fibromyalgia Help For Heroes

    Lee Patmore is a Sundried ambassador who suffers from life-limiting illnesses. Along with his band of brothers, he took on the impressive challenge of travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats on a hand-cycle. Lee talks us through his incredible experience, which was in aid of Help For Heroes.

    About The Challenge

    In May 2017 I started on a journey that would take me from the northernmost point of the UK to the southernmost point. The legendary John O’Groats to Lands End adventure, but not the normal route that is around 874 miles, this journey has a major twist. I’m a military veteran and also a Help for Heroes beneficiary, and belong to the group within Help for Heroes know as Band of Brothers. Along with two other Band of Brothers and a support crew, we took on a journey that would see us cover 1,300 miles, along with close to 60,000ft of climbing. On our route we visited the Help for Heroes Recovery Centres and a number of active military bases. We started on the 1st of May and finished on the 29th of May. For me, it was all about arm power and the mental battle to push myself beyond limits I’ve never been to, and the daily battle just to get out of bed and get in my hand-cycle.

    We started our journey in John O’Groats, which was very cold, very windy, and just miserable weather. Approximately two and a half months before we started, during what should have been the peak of my training period, I had a major flare-up with my Fibromyalgia. This ended up leaving me bed-ridden for two weeks. When I say bed-ridden, I got out of bed once per day to go to the loo, and the rest of the time I was in extreme agony with tiredness and just couldn’t function. The flare-up came without warning and basically ended my training prematurely along with removing the ability to tap into the full level of fitness I had achieved. At this stage, just before we set off, I could just about manage 2 miles in one go on a flat route. Nothing like the 40 to 60 miles per day needed, especially when you start in Scotland and know the terrain is anything but flat.

    The first three days were hell.

    The hills were relentless and seemed never ending. There were some great downhills that saw me coast at speeds of up to 40mph, but these were short lived and nowhere near enough time for a recovery to tackle the next hill. It was clear that I needed some help getting up the hills. The guys with me would get off their road bike and take the weight enough to allow my arms to continue to power myself uphill.

    At this stage I had a theory. As long as my arms could physically move and power the cranks to get me up the hill, I was still working. If my arms failed (and they did) I would get off my hand-cycle and with a locked out left leg, I would drag my Handcycle and weak leg up the hill as far as possible. If my legs failed and I couldn’t get myself and my hand-cycle up the hill by my own doing, I would call it for that day and we would then need to decide if we stayed within the time frames and planned stops or if we would move the stop and then try to make up the time later on. Thankfully, it never came to that, as we made all the planned stops and even managed to get in a double-leg to give us an extra day's rest towards the end. 

    The real turning point was day five. Out of nowhere, my fitness came in again, and as much as I still needed the short recovery stops, I was not given help from this point on.

    Achievements

    Day one was the farthest I’d ever cycled in one day, and day three was the first time I’d cycled more than two days in a row. 

    The never-ending hills

    Before we got to Colchester, we had some of the worst sets of hills on the way to Catterick. We are talking a couple of miles with gradients staying between 10% and 15%. With many short recovery stops I took on each hill and made it to the top. My speed was very slow, cadence was also very low, but I powered up each hill and sections of each hill under my own power and was determined to not be beat.

    The scenery was epic. 

    A memory to hold forever along with the achievement of the journey. I have photos that spark a memory, but I was in such a tired state each day that it was only about completing that day’s route. I wasn’t interested in where I was or what I’d just ridden up, it was about how far we still have to complete that day’s route.

    For me, it was about each day was its own day, and a unique challenge in itself, with good friends and excellent support.

    John O'Groats Scenery Bike Cycling

    Scenery Mountains Scotland Cycling

    Posted by Guest Reviewer