• Winter Training By Laura Rose Smith

    Laura Smith Ambassador Triathlon Bike Climb

    Winter is always a time of digging deep and putting in the ground work for the upcoming season. We all struggle to find motivation for a 3 hour turbo or a late-night run but it’s important to remember your goals and keep going. Medals are won in the winter after all! 

    My winter training has been proceeding well. I’m managing to juggle studying whilst getting solid blocks of training in, which is easier said than done. It’s my first year in Manchester studying dentistry and the initial adjustment to living away from home combined with a demanding course was hard but I seem to have it under control at the moment...Just about.

    Unfortunately, Manchester University doesn’t have its own triathlon team but I haven’t let that hinder my training. 

    When I first arrived in the city I trained to get a grasp of life up north. It’s not easy motivating yourself for a 6am lonely swim session so I soon signed up for the City of Manchester Swim Team and have been training with them for the past few months. The coach at City is great and has given me a whole new meaning to the word swimming... I didn’t know a kick set lasting an hour could exist!

    I’m also training alongside the University's cycling and athletics clubs which is definitely pushing my capabilities as a multi-sport athlete, although I do have to admit that this winter I haven’t been very brave and a lot of my bike miles have been spent on the dreaded turbo.

    I have my fair share of mental battles when it comes to training so I thought I’d share some top tips for staying motivated this winter:

    1) Set your 2018 season goals now and use them as motivation when you are about to snooze your morning alarm or head home early from a long run or ride.

    2) Join a triathlon team or join multiple single discipline clubs to enable you to train with others. 

    No one is ever going to be up for a 3 hour bike ride alone but add in friends and a cafe stop and riding has a whole different meaning. 

    3) Plan your week and follow a structured programme.

    It’s a lot easier to stay on track with training when you have your weeks mapped out, planning for your work/study/social life. You will soon get into a good routine and pre-planned days off remove any feelings of guilt that us triathletes suffer from.

    3) Get the right kit! 

    There is nothing worse than getting in from a run and having no feeling in your hands and feet or leaving the swimming pool shivering. Invest in some good warm kit this winter and make training in the cold that little bit easier. I know I can always rely on my trusty Sundried kit to keep me toasty.

    4) Sign up for some races! Just because the triathlon season is over it doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your weekend with the odd cyclocross and cross-country race.

    5) Most importantly, have fun!

     It’s easy to get caught up in the triathlon trap of training because you feel like you have to. Treat training as a chance to unwind from work, make memories, and spend time with friends.

    That’s all from me for now.

    Have a great winter’s build and keeping smiling!

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • James Eastwood Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried ambassador running ultra marathon James Eastwood

    James is an ultra runner who first started running to raise money for his dad who was battling cancer. He tells us about life as a long distance runner.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes I’ve always loved sport. Before running, I was very much into cycling doing 10/25/50 mile time trials.

    What made you decide to enter the world of running?

    I started running to lose weight but took it seriously when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and to raise money I signed up for my first marathon in Brighton.

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    The Thetford marathon; it took place on my birthday and at each check point they sang happy birthday to me.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Completing my first ultra marathon.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?

    My second marathon ended up taking almost 6 hours due to the trail and mud and rain; I wasn’t aware it was a trail run. Now I read the course reviews first before I start!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Take time out and think about my options.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Do more speed work.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    The Boston Lincolnshire marathon is my primary goal. I want to get as close to a 4 hour marathon as possible. My second goal is to take an hour off my ultra time in the Monster ultra marathon.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    The memory of my dad and the way he handled the pain during his fight with cancer. 

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    I love the quality of the kit. My favourite bit of kit is my gloves as I suffer from Raynaud's so they are essential.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Adam Fretwell Personal Trainer

    Adam Fretwell Personal Trainer Smiling Obstacle course race

    Adam is a passionate PT who loves training himself as much as he loves motivating his clients. He talks to Sundried about life as a personal trainer.

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

    • Isle of Wight Challenge: running around half the Island in under 8 hours.
    • London to Brighton bike ride.
    • Nottingham and Ramathon Half Marathons.
    • Colour Obstacle Rush – so much fun in the paint and inflatable obstacles with clients.
    • OCR events – Airfield Anarchy Mud Fest 5k, 10k and 10 mile mud runs over a weekend. Mudnificcent7, X Runner (all of them, Men’s Health Nottingham. The list goes on……)

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

    I was always active as a child playing cricket, squash, badminton, and going on long walks with family. I loved PE at school, especially athletics, or if it rained so we could play cricket in the hall. I wasn’t 100% sure what path I wanted to follow after school and college but I ended up at Nottingham Trent University doing Sports Science and Management. It was the best of both worlds for me; I was still learning about sport and exercise while gaining what turned out to be vital management skills I’m now using every day as part of my business. I graduated in 2007 and took a management job in retail to gain confidence around the qualification I had gained. In 2010 I started training as a Personal Trainer with Premier Training and qualified in 2011. I’ve now been running my own Personal Training business for 6 years starting from my garage at home to now working from my own private Studio at AJKM Hockey Barn.

    I was a finalist in 2015 at the Derby Telegraph Sports Awards and a winner at this year's Erewash Borough Council Sports Awards in the “Active for Life” category for getting my clients engaged in their sport and exercise.

    What are your training goals now?

    They are the same as they have been from day one really. Keep improving, pushing myself, and aiming for improvements. It’s nice to see my 10k times slowly come down while I’m lifting heavier weights with better technique than ever before. If each year I can have small all-round gains I’m happy.

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

    I’ve got a massive DVD collection. For me, there's nothing better than chilling out with a film after a day full of training.

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

    Expect the unexpected! In the last six years I’ve been asked the most random questions by clients and it reminds me of something my business lecturer said: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid answer.” and it’s true. If a client asks a question no matter how ‘daft’ or ‘trivial’ it might sound to you as a trainer, they have asked it for a reason so give a respectful answer and you will build up a great rapport with your clients.

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

    Nope, I just have a healthy balanced diet with everything in moderation. I enjoy my food and love cooking so it’s great to try out different recipes and see how you can mix them around with different fruits and vegetables.

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

    Make sure they’re enjoying their training. If they enjoy their exercise and activity they will stick with it and earn the benefits they set out to get. I also work with MyZone so clients can see their effort level live in front of them. This gets their competitive sides working in group sessions to help each other burn more calories or earn more MEPs.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I join in all of my group exercises sessions; I can’t expect a client to do the exercise if they don’t see I do them myself. Then I aim for 2 to 3 weight sessions a week and 2 to 3 cardio sessions. Sometimes these are a quick blast on the assault bike in a gap between PT sessions, other times I can get out for a longer run.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I’m a geek so in 6 years I’ve done around 10 years’ worth of CPD courses to keep expanding my knowledge, plus reading online articles, blogs, and books.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Enjoy your exercise, sport and activity.
    2. Work hard at the basics and the rewards will come.
    3. Find a fitness family you can be part of and the physical and emotional benefits are amazing.

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

    A difficult one and not the healthiest but probably homemade lasagna.

    Why work with Sundried?

    It’s a company built around exercise, sport, activity, healthier lifestyles all in an ethical way. We can train healthy while looking after the natural resources of the planet all at the same time.  

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden (University of California head Basket Ball Coach)

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sporting Values

    Sundried Les Rouies Womens Running Vest

    Have you ever stopped to think about the brands that athletes support, promote or collaborate with and the relationship between these brands, the athlete’s real personal values and the essence of their sport? Is an athlete’s integrity compromised when these elements aren’t in alignment?

    As endurance athletes we largely train and compete outdoors. Without clean air, clean water (rivers, lakes and seas) and nature/land to enjoy, our sports are simply nonviable or at least pretty unattractive. But how often, as consumers and ambassadors, do we consider the need to protect this environment that we so enjoy? Are we being conscious consumers or buying and participating in the commercial world without much thought? How often do we really stop to feel gratitude and privilege and consider the part we can play in minimising our environmental impact and of the brands we collaborate with and use?

    As consumers, we vote with our money and as social influencers we shape the behaviours of others. Through our own choices in what we buy day to day in utilities, vehicles/transport/travel, food, clothing, training gear and sports nutrition, household items and entertainment we can choose to get behind brands that support, or harm, the very environment that facilitates our sporting passions, health and well being. By making the connection between our sports, the world that plays host to these, and our own choices, we can align our values and actions into firm and powerful authenticity and integrity. Surely the best advocate or ambassador is a person who lives with consciousness and responsibility, and in whom others can truly believe.

    If we’ve been approached by a brand, or are working with them, then we have considerable power of choice and influence in our interactions with them. Remember that they come to us because we have something they want – the strength of our own personal brand and influence. Whilst offers of sponsorship or ambassadorships are flattering, we should do our own research into the history and truth behind brands and if their operations and values don’t align with ours, we should be strong enough to walk away and preserve our integrity. Alternatively we can take this as an opportunity to start a dialogue with the brand about our concerns and how their actions/values/messages may not even be in their OWN best interests in attracting others like us as their target market. By raising their awareness we may even help them to improve both their social and environmental impact and their bottom line – so it could be a win/win/win. If they are rude or negative towards our feedback then they probably aren’t a brand we should be aligning ourselves with anyway. A poor choice of brand alignment can damage or destroy a reputation and a good name is a hard thing to rebuild.

    Whether we’re amateur or professional athletes we all have our own personal brand, ethics, values and integrity to consider, and every athlete that plays, trains and competes outdoors must surely value the health of our environment. Let’s think about how the things we buy and support can be improved and let’s speak up for innovation and change? By consciously living and acting in alignment we can use our collective, significant influence as a force for good.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • Leanne James Personal Trainer and Triathlete

    Leanne gave up her corporate job to follow her dreams of becoming a personal trainer. She talks to Sundried about triathlon training and juggling all this with being a mum.

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

    I have been involved in triathlon for only 2 years and am hooked. The last 18 months have been a journey – especially as in January last year I couldn’t swim a length of a 16m pool in front crawl.  This year, and with the help of my coach Fran Bungay from Goal Specific Coaching, I have completed 3 Middle Distance (Fugitive, Cotswold Classic, Ironman Weymouth) and 1 Olympic Distance (Eton Dorney) triathlon – all with Top 10 placings including a podium place; achieving beyond what I thought was possible in a relatively short period of time.  To end the season, I entered a Standard Distance Duathlon which was a qualifying race and came 3rd in my Age Group – meaning automatic qualification for the European Championships in Ibiza next year as part of the GB AG Team.  Still so early on and without a solid winter block of training I am confident that next year will be even better and will include some more podium places.

    I already have a busy 2018 lined up and am entered into Ironman Staffs 70.3, Ironman Switzerland 140.6, ETU Duathlon Championships in Ibiza, plus some half marathons to keep me going in the off season.

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

    I have always been into fitness.  I was a club runner as a youngster competing in x-country, 800m and 1500m, and have always had an interest in keeping fit and healthy. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that I got back into running and I completed a few 10ks, half marathons, and then the London marathon before a friend suggested triathlon.  My initial response was “absolutely no way am I swimming in a horrible cold weedy Lake….”.  I decided to give it a go and the rest is history! 

    Recently I also took a big leap and gave up my career of over 15 years in the energy industry to pursue my dream of working in the fitness industry.  I am now a qualified Personal trainer and Level 1 British Triathlon Coach, setting up AIM Beyond Personal Training & Fitness.  This is definitely the best risk I have ever taken and I am steadily building up a good number of clients, as well as the classes that I take.

    What are your training goals now?

    I obviously have a big year next year.  For me, the winter is about building strength and working on my weakness which is the swim.  Maintaining consistency across the winter months can be difficult so this is a key goal.

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

    I travelled Australia and qualified as a diver!

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

    Learn how to switch off!  As someone who is extremely passionate, I found it very difficult in the early stages to think about anything other than the business 24/7.  I am now very disciplined, especially not taking my iPad to bed!

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

    I do follow a plan whereby I break my diet into three phases: off season, peak season, and tapering.  I also eat healthy most of the time and I include lots of protein.  I try not to eat refined / processed foods, having said that on a long bike ride there could be some cake involved! Health, fitness and nutrition habits need to be developed over the long term and therefore need to be sustainable

    Leading up to a race I do increase my carbs slightly and leave the rest of my diet untouched.  On race day I never try anything new.

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

    I challenge my clients and work them hard, but at the same time I ensure variation in workouts and try to make it fun.  I take a weekly circuit class where we play team games which is great for motivation and fitness.  I plan the music carefully to enhance the experience.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    A typical week would look like the following.  This needs to be flexible as I have to balance this around my 2 children, and also working as a Personal Trainer I am constantly on the move and taking classes

    Monday – Turbo or Outdoor ride and Swim Session

    Tuesday – Run and Strength & Conditioning

    Wednesday – Long Bike Ride and Swim

    Thursday – Run or brick & Strength & Conditioning

    Friday – Turbo or Outdoor ride and Swim Session

    Saturday – Long Run

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I attend regular CPD courses, read a lot of material and learn from others.  I have a real thirst for knowledge so am constantly wanting to keep up date on the latest developments.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Be consistent
    2. Adopt a routine that works for you – we are all different
    3. Do what you enjoy doing

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

    Soup..  You can pack so much into a bowl of soup!

    Why work with Sundried?

    I very much like what the Sundried brand represents, especially the values which match my own.   I think it is fantastic that you can find out the journey of each of the products, and also for each purchase a pledge is made to charity!  And of course, the clothing is fab.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    Nothing will work unless you do.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren