Claire is a duathlete who has her sights set on the Team GB Age Group team. She talks to Sundried about training and motivation.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I've always been really active. I've been into running and subsequently cycling as an adult.
What made you decide to enter the world of duathlon?
I did a lot of running, culminating in a marathon in 2011. I wasn't ever the most natural and it was and still is the hardest thing I've completed. After the London marathon, I didn't run for ages and off the back of the 2012 Olympics I unexpectedly got a place in the first Ride London sportive.
I fell in love with cycling and did the Ride London three years in a row. After my daughter was born, it took me a while to get back into fitness and what really got me back to it again was a super sprint duathlon. I hated and loved the experience all at once and this motivated me to get fit and try longer races.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date has to be the Great North Run. I'm loving racing duathlons but due to them predominantly being in the winter, the weather is nearly always torrential. I'm hoping the Marlow Fugitive middle distance duathlon will be an exception to that rule as it's in July this year!
And your proudest achievement?
Getting back to fitness after having my daughter. I don't think there are enough female role models out there encouraging mums. More often than not, mums are spread so thin between looking after their children and going back to work that exercise is not on the radar. I now set my alarm for 4:30am at least 4 times a week to get out and train. Whilst this is ridiculously early, it allows for 'me time' and I believe it makes me a better wife and mother!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Hands down Bedford Autodrome duathlon in 2019. To say it was raining would be an understatement. That coupled with the fact it was the first race on my TT bike made for a very painful last 5km run.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks are what help us learn and grow. I unfortunately suffered with post-natal depression and anxiety after having my daughter. I could have let that define me and stop me from getting back to feeling like myself again, but I took my time and (eventually) gave myself a break. It's still an ongoing struggle with anxiety at times but I'm definitely a better person for going through it.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Just get out and do your best. Whatever the outcome, you can't be unhappy if you have tried your hardest.
What are your goals for 2020?
To get through the Fugitive Middle Distance Duathlon in July. I have a couple of standard duathlons in the diary and my long term goal is to make it onto the Team GB Age Group team. I may try a triathlon this year as well
Who do you take your inspiration from?
This is a very difficult question to answer as there is not one person. I admire a lot of people for varying different qualities. I most admire people who come through adversity to gain success.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Sundried kit is great. I still can't get over how it is made with recycled coffee amongst other things!