Dan is a trainer who also competes in long distance triathlon. He talks to Sundried about life in the sport and fitness industries.
Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
From a young age I was an avid rugby fan and was eager to try my hand at it having watched Wales play a few times. I played from 7 years old to my mid twenties, until I made the decision to retire early from the sport. I then spent two seasons playing lacrosse following a recommendation from my boss at the time (personally I think he was short on numbers and didn't want to forfeit the match!) Unfortunately, they couldn't string a team together for my third season and I was unable to find another team to join.
I spent around 3 years in limbo, attending the odd run here and there. I then somehow discovered triathlon. I'd never been a good swimmer, I hadn't been on a bike since my teens and I'd only ever run races to raise money for charity. I think that I liked the idea of doing something that I could only describe as "crazy". I'd never tried anything like this, but it was new and exciting. I've now been in the sport a few years and have taken up a coaching role at our club.
What are your training goals now?
My training in 2019 has been for the Tenby long course weekend and Ironman Wales, so lots of long workouts with plenty of hill work. Once those races are completed, 2020 will see more focus on strength work. I'm yet to decide on next year's goals just yet.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
When I was younger I use to think that if I wore Nike Air trainers I'd be able to jump higher.... because they have "air" in them.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Nike Air trainers don't make you jump higher!
Jokes aside, I'd say consistently challenge yourself and enjoy the process. It's a long road and there is no quick way to get there.
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I don't follow a specific plan as I love my food. I do, however, like to balance my diet. If I'm going to eat high calorie foods, I make sure I've had a hard workout.
I never skip a meal and I always ensure that I'm prepared for my races by eating enough calorie-dense foods.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
I'm always on my clients' backs, I may only see a client for an hour a week so I'm relying on them to put in the hard work whilst we're apart. I'll regularly message them to see what they are doing.
As a tip to stay motivated, set yourself an achievable goal every week.
Talk us through your training regime.
I'm currently tapering for a race, but prior to this I would train for 13-15 hours per week. This consists of 2 swim sessions, 4 indoor bike classes that I teach, 1 outdoor ride, 2 runs and 1 strength and conditioning gym session.
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
I'm a coach member of British Triathlon so I have access to all of their online content and I'm always reading to further my knowledge. I'm currently reading high-performance training for sports by Joyce Lewindon. I also attended courses to gain additional knowledge and qualifications to develop.
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Listen to your body, push hard when you can and rest when you need to.
- Hold yourself accountable for your progress.
- Be someone's inspiration.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Most definitely pizza, meat feast.
What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact that Sundried encourage a 10 minute workout every hour to encourage the team to exercise and keep moving. I'd love to see this implemented everywhere.
I'm a big fan of the men's barefoot gym shoe. Training "barefoot" is a great way to stabilise the foot and train the body in a natural manner.
Favourite fitness quote:
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky