• Holly Rostron Athlete Ambassador

    running treadmill gym

    Holly is a professional musical theatre performer and dance teacher. She talks to Sundried about her fitness journey.

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

    I have a passion for all things dance and fitness. As a professional musical theatre performer I have worked in film, television & theatre, appearing in musicals in the West End, on tour around the UK and in Japan.

    I regularly take part in charity running events and have ran the Manchester, East London & Blackpool Half Marathons. This year I ran the Lancaster Trimpell 20 miler in preparation for the Manchester Marathon, which was sadly postponed until next year. The Manchester Marathon will be my first marathon event!

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

    My dance and fitness journey began at a very young age. I have always danced! It is my passion and it’s what I’ve been determined and fortunate enough to make into a 10 year career. My Granddad worked at my primary school, he was a teacher who specialised in sports and would teach after school dance and gymnastics classes, which I attended. He’d also encourage us to run 6 laps of the playing fields as part of his lunch time running club! I loved it. Both dance and fitness were instilled into me from a young age and have had a profound effect on my life. The discipline and healthy competitiveness (with myself & others) have helped me through my dance career and my Granddad’s passion for dance, fitness and teaching has been passed onto me!

    What are your training goals now?

    To train for the marathon next year!

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

    I tried surfing for the first time this year - in Scarborough!

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

    I wish I’d have been more aware of how having a career in the dance and theatre world will affect your ‘normal’ life. People tell you how hard it’ll be and how much training you’ll have to put in but nobody can really prepare you for the impact it’ll have on your personal life. It is an ‘all or nothing’ kind of industry and requires the same kind of commitment to your profession as that of an elite athlete. You may miss family and friends’ birthdays, weddings and decide to cancel or postpone holidays because you’re auditioning or rehearsing. It’s hard to prepare yourself for making those choices until you find yourself having to make them. It’s a different kind of commitment compared to the physical side of training every day, but I think it’s just as challenging.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I currently keep myself fit by running about 3 times a week. I also maintain my body strength by attending Pilates classes with one of the fab instructors from the gym where I work. Recently I have done some online workouts with my personal trainer colleagues too. I teach 2 online dance fitness classes and an online ballet class, which help me stay in shape and keep my creative side active by choreographing and planning lessons.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    The personal trainers that I work with at Energie Fitness inspire me with their fitness knowledge and workout ideas and I read Runner’s World for running tips.

    What are your top 3 dance teacher tips?

    Have fun with your classes! If you have fun and enjoy yourself your dancers will too!

    Think carefully about what music you use. I am a BIG music fan and enjoy using a variety of music styles for my classes. Really prepare this before the class, make sure the exercises fit and that there is something for everyone. Regularly keep in touch with your dancers. Whether that be through social media or email & texts. Make sure they are kept up to date with information about your classes but also make sure they know enough about you to feel engaged with you. Give them a bit of insight into what makes you you!

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

    Haha I love my food so that’s tricky. I really had to think about this. At the moment I love a tasty brunch so I’d probably say that. Eggs on toast, tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado, everything that makes up a yummy brunch. Either that or a roast dinner.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I’m so excited about the opportunity to work with Sundried. Sundried combines my love for fitness clothing and trying to look after the planet, so I was very keen to get involved. We share the same eco friendly values. I have consciously been shopping much more sustainably recently, trying to buy clothes made from recyclable or recycled materials, so I was very happy to discover Sundried’s EcoTech range.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "We dance for laughter, We dance for tears, We dance for madness, We dance for fears, We dance for hopes, We dance for screams, We are the dancers, We create the dreams." - Albert Einstein

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Paul John Smith Athlete Ambassador

    mountain biking outdoor adventure

    Paul has a passion for mountain biking and has broken a few bones over the years. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I did road cycling in my mid-teens but lost motivation in my late teens. I returned to cycling and took to mountain biking in my forties after a long term injury.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Open bike race in Gruyere, Switzerland. I lived in Switzerland for three years and miss it terribly. This race involved racing through the castle village of Gruyere. I am looking forward to racing this event again in 2021.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    This is an ongoing thing, I strive to make each event my proudest moment and live in the now.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    During my first 8-hour endurance race, in truly vile conditions, I lost traction and broke my collarbone.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    As a person with autism, my obsession is in mountain biking and to a lesser extent running. I have broken several bones and maintain my passion. Crashing and injury are a by-product of sport and whilst frustrating, we need to accept this and find ways to motivate ourselves through these struggles.

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

    Don’t expect overnight results.

    What are your goals?

    To compete in the nations in the MTB marathon discipline.

    Who inspires you?

    Julian Absalon, Emily Batty, Isla Short.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am pleased to be working with an environmentally conscious clothing brand, who produce quality items within an attainable budget.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jevon Jennings Athlete Ambassador

    athlete Sundried activewear ambassador sport

    Jevon is an athlete who enjoys the outdoors, cycling and trail running. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been an active person from a very young age. My parents allowed me to take part in many different sports not only to burn off energy but to find a lasting interest. This then led to running, football, cycling and outdoor sports such as kayaking and climbing.

    How did you first get into cycling?

    After years of working in the outdoor industry, a colleague persuaded me to go for a trail run and that was me hooked. Cycling has always been a part of my life from an early age when that was my only means of transport. I've always enjoyed any type of cycling from racing BMX when I was four years old to taking part in sportives. Now I am focussed on road cycling, gravel riding and mountain biking.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    The Climb south west, Jurassic 100, a fantastic trail race from Weymouth to Exmouth.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Representing Devon at youth level for football.

    4th place in year group and 11th place overall in the Junior grizzly run.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Yes, a fair few DNFs, but I feel I have learnt from them to try and get fitter and stronger. 

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try to focus on the positives and set out a plan and follow it. Also accepting change is a big point, if you don't then you will come across barriers.

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

    Keep trying, do your own thing and not what others are doing. Have your own plans and follow them. Never be afraid to change the plan.

    What are your goals?

    I want to be able to compete with some of the local athletes and get some good race results. At the moment with the way things are, it's hard to plan too much.

    Who inspires you?

    Anyone who believes in themselves and wants to achieve good things for themselves, someone who wants to strive to be great at what they do.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I really like the clothing and the company values. The fit of the clothing really is true and the quality of the product is fantastic.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mathilde Lecaillié Athlete Ambassador

    runner marathon athlete

    Mathilde is a runner who excels in marathons. She talks to Sundried racing highs and lows.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Not really. As a child I tried different sports like dancing, swimming, table tennis and so on, but never stuck to one of them. I used to do sports in school, when I "had to", otherwise I was kind of a lazy kid. When I started studying at university however, it was a whole different story.  I have always been a very stressed person, and I found out the only thing that made me feel better and that allowed me to release some of this stress was to go out for a run.  That's how it all started. From then on, it has become more than a way to release stress, it has become a passion.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I am slowly getting into it, hopefully. I really love running and cycling, my huge weak spot is swimming. So I hope I will one day throw myself into the water and achieve another goal of mine, to complete a triathlon.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    A really difficult question to answer as I have two favourites. My first marathon, the Berlin Marathon, holds a special place in my heart. It was an amazing experience, I felt so great from beginning to end and my parents and boyfriend travelled with me to Berlin, so it made it even more special.

    In April 2019, I ran another marathon, in a small town in Belgium (Namur), which is the city where my godfather was born. It was nothing like my first marathon as it was a much smaller race with fewer people. Why is it one of my favourite races to date? Because I won it (the women's field), and I never thought I would be able one day to say that I won a marathon.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Winning a marathon!

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Who hasn't? Last year I went to Chicago to run the marathon. The night before the race we went to a restaurant to eat pasta (carb loading, you know the drill). Unfortunately, the food was not that good and I guess I didn't eat enough because I wasn't able to go to the toilet before the race.

    I felt amazing the first half of the race and completed the first 21k in 01:29:26 which should have led to a huge PR. But at 25k I started having real bad stomach cramps and I knew exactly why. As stubborn as I am however, I refused to stop, and finished the race feeling awful.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I tell myself that this is only temporary, that I will be back stronger and that I will learn from this.

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

    Take your time and don't do it on your own, take advice from a coach.

    What are your goals?

    I want to finish all 6 major marathons. I already ran Berlin and Chicago, and was supposed to run New York this year, but it was canceled. I'd also really love to do my first cycling race.

    Who inspires you?

    All athletes who never give up inspire me. I love seeing people pushing through and going beyond their limits. Recently, I have been inspired and amazed by Sarah Hall and her performance at London Marathon. She is an amazing runner and is so humble!

    Why work with Sundried?

    I have been looking for an ethical, eco-responsible and sustainable brand for quite a while now, so when I discovered Sundried I knew it was the one. I love their values! Moreover all Sundried clothes look amazing! I love the colours, logo and how it fits perfectly.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Poppy Lee Personal Trainer

    personal trainer southend

    Poppy is a personal trainer who works hard to see results for herself and her clients. She talks to Sundried about life in the fitness industry.

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

    I have done Tough Mudder which I loved. At the moment I'm prepping for a fitness photoshoot which is happening in December. I’ve never done one before, so I’m excited to see how far I can push my body and challenge myself by staying disciplined with my weight training and nutrition.

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

    I’ve always loved sports and being active and it definitely has been a huge part of my life. I’ve always been quite competitive, at school I used to compete in netball, athletics and cross country. I have loved horse riding all my life and also used to compete in swimming. In the last 5 or so years I have been more focused towards weight lifting and I also love boxing, circuits, barre and Pilates.

    What are your training goals now?

    I am focusing on my weight training programme which is an upper/lower split. I’m currently working towards keeping my strength consistent while being disciplined with my nutrition for my fitness shoot in December.

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

    I am currently training to be a Pilates instructor.

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

    Get a knowledgable coach/PT if you have set yourself goals and you’re not sure how to get there. Ask for help/advice and as many questions as possible, be patient and work hard at whatever it is you want. Consistency is key and you will get that. Giving up is not an option!

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

    I am following a certain macro split which my coach has given me, I don’t follow a set nutrition plan though. I eat a range of wholesome, nutritious foods daily which help my performance in the gym and leave me feeling energised and satisfied which helps me to achieve my current goals. Obviously enjoying the foods I love in moderation too.

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

    I’m very honest with my clients and tell them no one is motivated all of the time, however it’s about building habits and staying disciplined to get to your goals. If you have a plan set out and tick the boxes day by day, you will see progress in whatever area you’re working towards and this is what leads to sustainable results.

    Once clients start to see a little progress, this motivates them to push on. It’s about pushing through on the days we don’t always feel like it. Also, track your progress! Whether that be strength, amount of reps, progress photos, measurements, how a person feels or scale weight. I also practice what I preach which helps clients too. My top tip would be to set goals so you have something to work towards, no matter how big or small!

    Talk us through your training regime.

    At the moment, I weight train 4-5 times a week. My coach has just added in 2 extra cardio sessions and I also love to get outdoors and walk.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I read and I follow some really talented and knowledgable people on Instagram so I like to learn through them. I also listen to a lot of podcasts and I’ve also attended some online seminars. Even though I am a PT, I have my own coach. I think it’s important to continually learn from someone with more knowledge and experience than you so you’re always pushing forwards! It good to hear other people’s opinions on different topics like, nutrition and ways of training.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Trust the process
    2. Be patient
    3. A tiny bit of progress is still progress, keep going!

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

    This is a hard question as I love food. I have a sweet tooth, so something like pancakes or waffles with ice cream, Nutella and banana. I also love anything with truffle on, so a good truffle pasta has to be up there too.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I love that the brand is big on quality products that last, I think this is really important both for the planet and especially when it comes to buying training gear. I think the products also look really smart and professional on and they are also very comfortable. I love the sports bras and the jackets.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    I follow Marchon Gym on Instagram and the owner Ollie Marchon always says “train everything, ready for anything.” I think this is a really inspiring quote to go by as you can train in a variety of ways to improve all areas of fitness.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren