• The most common training mistakes to avoid in endurance sport

    Sundried Endurance Training Common Mistakes

    Whether you are training for a triathlon or for your next ultra-marathon, making mistakes will undoubtably impede your training progression. To train effectively, you will need to know about the most common mistakes so that you can avoid them.

    1. Lack of training periodisation

    In any endurance training, there needs to be an element of differentiation throughout the year. Doing a ‘bit of everything’ all year long, instead of following specific training phases, will only provide very limited benefits and fitness improvements. In triathlon, for example, the winter ‘off’ season’ should be utilised to build a solid base level of foundational fitness and strength before moving on to a more race-specific programme in the spring.

    2. Training too hard, all of the time

    A common mistake that individuals make is believing that a session is wasted if it isn’t hard. As a result, most of their workouts will fall into the same ‘moderately hard’ category. This type of workout should actually be avoided as it provides very little fitness return on your training investment. The ‘moderately hard’ category also results in high levels of fatigue and thus the inability to actually train hard, in a well-planned and structured way. High-intensity training like VO2 max and anaerobic capacity workouts are essential to achieve performance improvements but you will never hit these levels if you try to push every session.

    By training too hard, athletes also fail to train at a lower intensity which can bring about many physiological benefits. These lower-intensity workouts can also be combined with form and drill workouts, an excellent way to maximise your time spent training by accomplishing more than one goal at a time.

    3. Focusing on a ‘magic’ number

    Too many times athletes focus on the number of training miles (or hours), instead of quality. This approach only results in an unhealthy addiction with exercise and copious amounts of fatiguing junk miles that have little performance benefit.

    4. Unclear goals or objectives

    It is important to have clear objectives and expectations, that are based on your performance metrics like heart rate, pacing and power. The more fact-based they are, the better. Once you have defined your objectives and where your fitness improvements should come from, you can then determine what training plan and structure will be required to achieve these goals and measure your progress. 

    5. Not considering practicalities

    Once your goals and objectives are in place, you will need to temper them with a practical view; there is no point in creating a plan that is not feasible. Think about the time you have, budget, and facilities available before deciding what is achievable. 

    Do not let perfect get in the way of great!

    6. Doing it all alone

    Training is a great opportunity to engage with fellow athletes. There is something to be said about the power of working with a group or training partner to increase motivation and performance.

    Sundried Activewear Endurance Training Running Team Partner

    7. Overtraining

    Athletes do not always appreciate the importance of recovery and the physiological adaptation that takes place during this time, but it is an essential component of training. Recovery weeks, rest days and taper weeks have a specific purpose and should not be ignored. Ignoring them will result in a training plateau before fitness declines.

    8. Poor form

    Maximum athletic performance can only be achieved when someone’s physiological efficiency and mechanical efficiency are at their best. It is important to work on your form and technique to ensure that your muscles are activating at the correct intensity, in the correct order, with the correct range of motion.

    9. Not fuelling correctly

    Training requires the appropriate nutrition in order to maintain performance and prevent injury. This is quite a complex component of training and requires some element of trial and error to get it 100% right. Often, much like their training, athletes will focus too much on specific nutritional practices, that have marginal gains, and neglect the fundamentals. Ultimately, no amount of beetroot juice and intermittent fasting is going to overhaul a poor diet.

    Initially, focus on consuming enough calories in a well-balanced manner and taking on enough fluid and electrolytes, before progressing to a more complex outlook on sports nutrition. If you are looking to move things on to the next level, seek professional advice and avoid adopting circulating fads.

    10. Taking it too seriously

    Too often than not, athletes can get all-consumed with their sport and lose sight of why they started in the first place, for the enjoyment. Remember to always keep it fun.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice from our Ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Erik van der Lee - Athlete Ambassador

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    Have you always been into sport?

    I have been heavily invested in sports since I was a kid. I trained in judo from ages 5 to 12, and started training in Mixed Martial Arts at the age of 15 until this very day. The transition to running/cycling has been gradual but heavily inspired by Covid-19, as I required another outlet due to the closing of gyms.

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

    What is your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement within sports is winning a professional fight in China against a Chinese fighter. In China, the judges tend to favour their local fighter. I was able to use my earnings from this fight to relocate to Europe, where I currently live.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Setbacks and injuries among all sports require patience and flexibility. Especially when considering injuries; it is important not to settle for the quickest solution like cortisone shots or surgery if it can be avoided through rest. Although it can crush you having to give up an upcoming competition due to injury, short-term solutions usually end up resulting in long-lasting problems.

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

    Don't worry about the critique of others. Do your best at all times and remember that it is never the people that are better than you that give their critique.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sundried is a company that cares about its athletes, and most importantly cares about the environment. As humans, the most important thing is what we leave behind on this Earth. I appreciate a company that considers those same values and applies them to their business practices.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Sally Talbot - Yoga Instructor and Ambassador

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    How did you first discover your love for yoga?

    In 2000, I was diagnosed with M.E. a chronic and debilitating illness. It took many years for me to recover fully. It was an illness that left me house bound and often bed ridden.

    In addition to nutritional changes (ones I still adopt to this day) Yoga played a huge part in my recovery. I found a local class and attended when I felt well enough. This weekly class gave me an insight into the importance of mindfulness and movement and what a powerful combination that can be when practised appropriately. As my health improved I became more curious about this ancient practise. I embarked on a 3 year Teacher Training Course with The British Wheel of Yoga. My passion for Yoga was ignited the moment I sat on my mat all those years ago, despite my ill health.

    What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?

    The word “Yoga” means to unite. During a yoga class and by having a regular practise of Yoga we aim to unite both mind and body. This is achieved through posture work (asana), breathing exercises/awareness (pranayama), meditation (dharana) and relaxation techniques (yoga nidra). Yoga in essence is the ability to quieten the mind by working on all of the above principles. Unlike many other fitness disciplines, when practising Yoga, being competitive with either yourself or others is strongly discouraged.

    How has yoga improved your life?

    Yoga not only improved my life, I will always credit the practise for giving me my life back. Yoga allowed me to have a life. I learnt the meaning of listening to my body. I discovered tools we can use to quieten the mind. I started to understand how important the act of breathing is for our mental and physical well being. I cannot underestimate how important this practise has been in my life and continues to be. The philosophy of mindfulness that I learnt through this practise underpins everything I do both on and off the mat daily.

    How often do you practise yoga?

    I have a daily morning practise which includes mobility work, breathing and meditation.

    What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?

    You do not have to be flexible to practise Yoga. You just have to come on to your mat and breathe. Find a teacher you feel comfortable with and choose a practise that makes you feel good. If you don’t enjoy your first class, explore others. Find a teacher who offers you an experience you feel comfortable with. There are many different styles of Yoga. Some offer more breath work. Others will be more physical. Find a class, a style and a level that you enjoy.

    If you are interested in getting into Yoga, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Shop our Gym and Yoga Collection today. 

    Tell us something unusual we may not know about you.

    I have an identical Twin Sister.

    Do you follow a specific diet plan?

    Yes. I don’t eat meat. I haven’t done so for over 20 years. I rarely eat fish. I am mainly plant based. I drink milk alternatives such as almond, oat and soya. I do enjoy a homemade cake post long cycle ride or run though, but tend to avoid sugar as much as possible. I also avoid processed food. Preferring to eat seasonally and healthily. I adopted this method of eating in order to support my recovery. For me personally, it works. I don’t advocate this specific dietry plan but I do encourage everyone to find foods that make them feel well. Foods that nourish them. And in that discovery, become more mindful of where the food comes from.

    How do you keep your knowledge up to date?

    I am a member of the British Wheel of Yoga. They are the UK governing body of Yoga in the UK and who I trained with. They offer fantastic training days, extra modular courses and In Service Training Days. Pre covid I have enjoyed Yoga Retreats in the UK and abroad with well known and respected Teachers in the industry. I hope that these will one day resume. Until then, it’s making the most of on line learning, reading resources and being part of the Yoga community via The British Wheel.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am firm believer that how we treat the planet is equally as important as how we treat one another. At Sundried I have found a brand who shares this belief. Not only are their products built to last, they are created ethically and sustainably including a range of active wear made from 100% recycled plastic. I am also supporting a company that wants to give back to the community. This is demonstrated in the support to Water For Kids and Surfers Against Sewage. They are a brand that offers so much more than high quality, great looking clothing. And I am thrilled to be part of the team.

    Favourite fitness quote?

    Progress not Perfection.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Guide to using microgoals in your training

    Shop Sundried's Running Collection

    Have you ever started a long run and thought, ‘I am never going to get through this!’ Or finished the first effort of a turbo session and wondered, ‘how can I do this over and over again?’ 

    Ultimately, it can be really difficult to motivate oneself when the finish seems so distant and the effort to get there is so great. The good news, however, is that there is a way to ‘trick’ your mind into thinking that the end is near.

    Micro-goal setting is something that I have been unknowingly implementing into my training for many years. The act of breaking up a workout into more manageable chunks really helps to alleviate the daunting prospect of having to work hard for a prolonged period of time. 

    Below, I have detailed some examples of micro-goal setting that you can try out for yourself. You will be amazed by just how long you can keep your body moving when your mind has mini targets to hit.

    Micro goals for a long run

    Next time you are heading out for a 90 minute run, why not think about it as six 15 minute chunks that feel infinitely more doable. Or perhaps you might find that three 30 minute chunks is more approachable. The way you break down a run will depend on your personal preferences and the way your mind works.

    Micro goals for a turbo session

    Sitting on the turbo and repeatedly hitting the correct wattage for a specified period of time can be both physically and mentally challenging which is exacerbated when fatigue sets in. If your session entails nine 3 minute efforts, break the nine efforts up into three. Three lots of three 3 minute efforts certainly sounds more doable than nine 3 minute sets!

    Making sure you have the right kit can also play a huge part in getting you through a difficult session. Try Sundried's Cycle Kit today, suitable for all abilities.

    Micro goals for open water swimming

    Plunging into open water is possibly one of the most daunting scenarios a triathlete faces but micro-goal setting can make things seem much easier. When swimming, concentrate on getting to the subsequent buoy in the loop and once there, focus on arriving at the next. 

    Shop Sundried's Swim Collection

     Micro goals for a race 

    You can use this same strategy in a race too. After logging all those training hours and miles, you should have a good idea of your goal race time; use this information to break things up. For example, if you plan to run 40 minutes for 10k, then split it into four 10-minute chunks. 

    It is amazing just how long you can ‘trick’ your mind into carrying on by focusing on the next mini goal. Remember to try out different approaches during training so that when it comes to race day, you know exactly what method works for you. 

    Connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app for more advice, workout tips, training plans and more. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is a high level athlete and has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • May Ling Perry-Foo - Yoga Instructor and Ambassador

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    How did you first discover your love for yoga?

    Wanting to release tension from my back and shoulders, I was told yoga might be a good way to address that. So there I was at my first yoga class ever and after 90 minutes I felt amazing. As I continued to practice more regularly to primarily release physical tension, I got absolutely hooked to it because I noticed how my body became stronger and flexible, and I always felt so much better after class. As my practice developed, so did my love for yoga and the only regret I have is that I didn’t discover yoga sooner!

    What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?

    There’s something for everyone! Yoga can be calming and relaxing, but it can also be sweaty and challenging... and all the aforementioned at the same time! While yoga can be done as a single way to keep fit, it’s also a great way to complement any other fitness regime, not only to build strength, but also focus.

    How has yoga improved your life?

    Yoga has mostly taught me confidence. Through yoga I discovered that I’ve got a level of strength within me, both physically and mentally, that I didn’t even know was there. Also, yoga was what kept me sane when I was working in my previous corporate career in market research and consulting, eventually making me realise my purpose in life was not to be working on research projects, but to be sharing the magic of yoga with everyone!

    How often do you practice yoga?

    Every day! 

    What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?

    Go for it! There’s so many styles of yoga, be open to try out various styles and classes to see which ones work for you.
    Go into a class without expectations, keep an open mind and focus on what you’re feeling, rather than how you look. Listen to your body and don’t feel the need you have to do every single pose.

    And most importantly: breathe!

    If you are interested in getting into Yoga, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Shop our Gym and Yoga Collection today. 

    Tell us something unusual we may not know about you:

    I love horror movies, especially the cheesy slashers from the eighties. Probably not something you’d expect from a yoga teacher!

    Do you follow a specific diet plan?

    I start every morning with some warm lemon water, and throughout the day I keep myself hydrated with water and green tea. I try to include as much fruit and veg into my meals every day to complement the steaks and burgers I enjoy so much!

    How do you keep your knowledge up to date?

    I attend additional yoga teacher trainings and listen to podcasts. I keep a collection of reference books around anatomy and class sequencing, and also continuously read up on the science and history behind yoga. And lots of self-practice, trying out poses and transitions to experience them properly so I know how to guide my students accordingly.

    Why work with Sundried?

    My aim is to keep yoga accessible to anyone who’s interested. Sundried offers clothing that is affordable, yet still maintains high quality with consideration of the environment. This proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to be able to keep yourself supported, comfortable, and looking good while keeping yourself fit and staying kind to the planet.

    Favourite fitness quote

    “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett