• 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
  • Steve Bonthrone Personal Trainer

    runner marathon finish line

    Steve is a personal trainer and an athlete who has achieved some incredible feats. He talks to Sundried about training, racing, and what's next on the horizon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I got into sport in a bigger way just over 20 years ago when I suffered a back problem. I decided I needed to get fitter so I wouldn’t be affected by back pain throughout my life and so I entered the ballot for the London Marathon and got in first time. Crossing the finish line changed my life and inspired me to quit my job making pizzas and train to become a PT. I still make pizzas but just for myself!

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I signed up for a triathlon on New Year's Day in Edinburgh 5 years ago and loved it. I had done very little swimming in training but loved the thrill of trying to catch everyone on the bike and the run. I’ve done a couple of sprint distance triathlons and a couple of Ironman 70.3 races since then. My main sport is running, I have done loads of marathons, but love the extra challenge triathlon offers.

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

    My favourite marathon is at Loch Ness. It’s a fantastic course - downhill from the start, rolling hills and an amazing atmosphere towards the end in Inverness. The scenery is stunning, everything you’d expect from a race in the Scottish Highlands! I did love the Edinburgh Ironman 70.3 too. The sea swim was easier for me than I thought it might be, the cycle route was good and I loved the run section for the views and also because I got into my rhythm and nobody passed me!

    What's your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was completing all 4 races at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in 2014. I ran the 5k and 10k on the Saturday then the Half Marathon and Marathon on the Sunday. I ran them as a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of my dad who died the year before.

    The Saturday races were fine but Sunday was the most amazing day! The Half Marathon started at 8am and I had to race it and finish in around 1:30 then meet my friend to give me a lift back to the start on his motorbike. The Edinburgh Half and Marathons both finish in Musselburgh, outside of Edinburgh and so needed to get a motorbike back to the centre of Edinburgh for the start of the marathon.

    We were held up in heavy traffic on the way back and so I had to sprint to cross the start line before they lifted the timing mats. After that, the marathon was the easiest I’ve ever run as all I needed to do was get to the finish, so I chatted to lots of people all the way round. The last 6 miles were tough but the feeling when I saw the finish line and crossing it was just the best experience ever! My wife and I raised over £10,000 in combined fundraising activities that year.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    My only racing disaster happened last year at the Stirling Marathon. My plan was to try and get the qualifying standard for a Good For Age place for London (sub 3:10). I was on target, but let’s just say that my body took a different reaction to a caffeine gel than I was anticipating and I had to make an emergency toilet stop. I think that might’ve been around 15-18 miles and the rest of the run became more of a jog and nowhere near my target!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I believe that there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback, so if something happens, I think about why it may have happened, what I can learn from it and what I can do next time to make it better. Using this approach stops me from letting things get to me and usually feel good as I know how to solve the problem.

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

    The advice I did get when I started out from my dad but chose to ignore it is that running (or any activity) should be about enjoyment first, have fun doing it and make it something you look forward to doing for how it makes you feel. I was always about trying to beat my times on every run and getting annoyed when I didn’t run faster.

    The penny finally dropped and is the foundation of what I teach my PT clients - to make exercise feel enjoyable, like playing and something to look forward to rather than something they need to do. When they switch off from thinking about pace, distance etc and focus on how it feels, it changes everything and all the metrics they want come later on.

    What are your goals?

    I still want to get that Good For Age time for London! I’m going to be 50 in December and wanted to do it before then, but many races got cancelled this year so I’ll do it next year instead. London is where my marathon journey started and I want to go back but earn my place. I’ve got in through the ballot, charity place, club place etc and so the only means I haven’t done so far is by Good For Age.

    My immediate plan for this year is to run the 4 Edinburgh races again but all in the one day as virtual events. Other than that, I’m doing most of my PT by video call and want to demonstrate that you can get great results training from home and don’t need a gym. Some of my best running happened in brick sessions in Ironman training and I’m currently training my body to get back there again. How to run faster while using less effort!

    Who inspires you?

    I’d say my clients inspire me and people like the Brownlee brothers and Calum Hawkins, the people who have smashed it or are smashing it by doing things their way and not following what the ‘experts’ say they should do.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I’ve seen the lockdown as an opportunity for us all to change and do things better. I came across Sundried after my wife bought one of your products. After looking at your website, I liked how you are an ethical brand and what you stand for. I’ve also bought one of your t-shirts and really like it. I want to work with more ethical brands moving forwards. In addition to this, I am also planting trees for every new client I work with.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Avril Waters Athlete Ambassador

    rowing athletics sports

    Avril is a rower who has competed for Team GB. She talks to Sundried about her journey.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I started playing hockey when I was 5. My older brothers have provided me a competitive environment to grow up in, from playing in the garden to chasing them on sports fields.

    How did you first get into rowing?

    I got into rowing because my dad was a professional rower and now a coach. I watched the older girls at my school compete and it inspired me to take part - partly wanting to impress my dad but later on setting my own personal goals.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Racing at the Belgium championships in Ghent in 2018 was amazing. After a small road trip with my dad to get there, I raced well and took two wins. The atmosphere was brilliant and we got to eat Belgian waffles afterwards.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Competing for Great Britain as a 16 year old was unfathomable to me when I first started. Achieving one of my biggest goals gave me a motivational boost that carried me through the following year. I have to stop and remember how far I've come, it's easy to take it all for granted.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I arrived at Henley Royal Regatta, our crew nerves were only made worse when I realised I had forgotten to pack my racing kit!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I write down everything that has gone wrong and evaluate the situation. Often, even in disasters there are some positives. I also like to re-write my goals out to remember why I'm in it for the 'long run'

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

    Never underestimate the power of a smile. When it's winter and the hard miles seem anything but fun, a smile can lift your spirits and keep you going.

    What are your goals?

    I would love to row at the World championships in the future (and win!) Beyond that, I would love to finish an ironman triathlon.

    Who inspires you?

    Lots of people - Chris Froome is particularly inspiring, his passion for the sport from a young age allowed him to gain an advantage.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sundried are putting their environmental sustainability high on their priority list whilst still designing comfortable and stylish kit. In this day and age everyone needs to follow suit and start thinking about the future.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren