• Angelo Louis Personal Trainer

    personal trainer athlete ambassador Sundried activewear

    Angelo grew up in Mauritius and has been into sport from a young age. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

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

    I am currently playing football for Catholic United in the Essex Olympian Division Four League.

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

    My journey started back in Mauritius. I began playing football from a very young age and then progressed to playing at a national level. I also competed in various other sports too – athletics, handball, and basketball – during school sporting events. Growing up, fitness has been in every aspect of my life and now I am trying to give it all back.

    What are your training goals now?

    My training goals are to get stronger, quicker, improve speed and agility, and get shredded.

    What's an unusual fact we might not know about you?

    I share the same birthday as my Father - 31st of December.

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

    That it all comes down to consistency and hard work.

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

    My top tips would be not to overthink or over-complicate your life. Everything in life is about finding balance, so too should your approach to fitness.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    My training regime is quite simple. I do weight training three times a week - push, pull, and legs, as well as 2 days of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Watching webinars, reading books, going to workshops and via fitness newsletters.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Master execution.

    2. Challenge yourself.

    3. Stay consistent.

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

    My mum's chicken curry with white rice.

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

    I like the brand and the quality of the products.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Anna Maharg Yogi Ambassador

    yoga ambassador Sundried

    Anna is a marathon runner who discovered yoga as a way of improving her running performance. She talks to Sundried about training and racing. 

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

    The spring season is one of my favourite times for training and running. In January 2019 I finished my 16th Marathon within six years. Three of them I ran a Boston qualifying time. In 2018, I ran my first trail marathon as well as an international marathon in Ireland. Some years have more races than others, but I have enjoyed the progress and the adventure! While training and on the course I always learn something important along the way.

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

    My journey to teaching yoga and running marathons began as a way to relieve stress and a way to manage the transitions life was throwing. It began as just jogging around town until I found a group called The Dawn Crackers. As the miles climbed and my training improved, I found myself continuing to challenge myself. The distance lengthened and I set my sights on a marathon. Once that began, it opened an entirely new set of challenges. One of them was overcoming injuries, which is what began my journey into practising yoga. The self-care stretching evolved into me teaching yoga at various studios. Classes are for everybody, including some for those struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, and even a class specifically for the high school varsity cross country and track team.

    What are your training goals now?

    Currently, I have goals for my own improvement, along with goals for teaching yoga and the participants in my classes. Personally, I am trying to increase my speed in marathons to get a faster marathon time. My goal is to break 3:30, which is no record for the Olympics, but is substantially fast for THIS girl. I’ve been cross training with swimming, biking, and most of all, strength training. Weight lifting is part of my daily routine, to help keep balance and strength in my whole body. Weight lifting challenge: pull ups! 

    As for teaching yoga, I want to create a space and a class where everybody can work through their practice on their mat. I have to let go of “making” people better and instead create an opportunity for my clients. It is incredibly rewarding to see that progress though!

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

    I was never athletic as a kid. I was a total band geek in high school. Riding my horse was the only physical thing I did, and most of that included falling off, but being too stubborn to quit. I kept getting back on. I think that really helped me overcome set backs, and “falling down” while training now.

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

    I wish I had been told to listen to myself more and that my training and progress will be different to that of others, but that is okay. We are always comparing ourselves and I did that excessively. Instead of taking into account where I was at and what my body needed.

    I wish I had been told to be patient with myself and not beat myself up over every step along the way. Some runs are great, some days are strong, some days I can touch my toes; but some days are not. Realising this is part of the process, learning from it, and continuing forward; undaunted and not discouraged.

    I wish that I’d realised lifting, yoga, and running are all a bit of a marathon, not a sprint. Corny, cheesy phrase, but so very true. Focusing on long term goals and not getting bent out of shape over the bumps along the way.

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

    This is the hardest part! They always compare it to an iceberg, with 80% of training being nutrition. That’s another goal of mine: talking to a nutritionist. I try to have protein in three meals a day, with 3-4 healthy snacks. I hope this progress is notable going forward.

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

    Each person is motivated differently. That’s one of the beautiful things I’ve discovered about yoga. It has nothing to do with being able to do a “perfect pretty pose”. I like to offer new poses and new ways of getting into them. I like to challenge balance. But even more so, celebrating success along the way.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    Mornings are dedicated to running 3-4 days a week. One longer training run and the others are intervals and sprints. Swimming and cycling are on the off days, as well as a spectacular rest day. I lift in the weight room 6 days a week, focusing on different muscle groups. I usually do 4 sets and a drop set of each exercise, focusing on 8-10 repetitions. Yoga usually falls between the two and sometimes the morning. All the way up to taper time before the marathon, then everything changes! Also, this training schedule sounds mad and crazy when it is typed out like this.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I try to find reputable published information to read and I talk to athletes more successful than me! Occasionally, instructors coming through, I keep an eye out to take classes, I’ll never stop learning.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Try new things. Even if they are difficult, even if you struggle, keep trying new things. Keep your balance challenged, keep your mind engaged, and keep your muscles guessing what will be demanded of them next.
    2. Be consistent. Treat your workout time like a date or an appointment.
    3. Find a friend. If you can train at the same time, use your time together to do more difficult things than you would normally attempt on your own. Check in and keep each other accountable. It’s harder to skip if someone is waiting for you.

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

    Cheese. All kinds. Local regular cheese, string cheese, goat cheese, buffalo mozzarella cheese. Favourite place to get groceries in the city? The cheese counter at Pennsylvania Macaroni Co.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Their commitment to quality product and the environment is unlike any other apparel I’ve used. I love how the clothes are from recycled materials (especially coffee, because I love coffee).  Doing so and maintaining material that is flattering and comfortable to sweat in makes it unique and coveted. I like clothes that don’t shift on me while working out and teaching; ones that let me move unhindered. Nothing is worse than running and having to use a hair-tie to hold your pants up, or teaching a class and having your shirt flip up over your head.  Yes- both are true stories, neither times happened in Sundried clothes.

    What's your favourite bit of kit?

    Sundried Tour Noir Women’s Vest! Running, lifting, yoga – a favourite go-to for all.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they worked on it every day”.

    ~French Proverb

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Pregnancy Fitness Training – Second Trimester

    pregnancy fitness training second trimester workout

    The first trimester was all about getting through fatigue, keeping the secret, staying fit and healthy, and trying to continue doing the things I enjoyed pre-pregnancy.

    At the end of the first trimester, the exhaustion started to lift and I got the spring back in my step! I wasn't going to be getting any PBs (I was carrying extra weight and PBs were not my goal) but I actually had a lot more energy and felt I could push a bit more than I did in the first trimester.

    A shift in training focus

    I felt I had the energy and the need to plan my exercise routine better. After feeling a little lost in the first trimester with no sporting event to train for, I set some goals to help me train for a healthy pregnancy, birth and beyond. I would also love to do a triathlon before the end of the year, so the training also linked in with that.

    Posture and balance

    I started to go to yoga and Pilates and incorporated more of these movements into my own workouts. I didn't go to pregnancy-specific yoga and Pilates classes as the instructors I had were great and accommodating. I wanted to make sure the instructor felt comfortable with me there so I made sure I knew which exercises were good and not so good for me.

    Pelvic floor and core training

    I continued with pelvic floor exercises and practising ‘connection breathing’, and also put a lot more thought and effort into training my core in the correct way. Exercises focused on reducing risk of lower back pain, incontinence, and to help with birth.

    Specific strength training

    I definitely lost strength in some of my muscles, but I focused on working my back, core, and glutes in terms of function rather than max strength.

    Cardiovascular fitness

    I maintained my cardiovascular fitness through running, swimming and indoor cycling. These activities were also vital for my mental health.

    Move often and move well

    I did some kind of exercise/movement every day and also importantly moved regularly throughout the day.  Not sitting for extended periods at work for example, and active recovery days walking and stretching.

    Adjustments for pregnancy fitness training

    I delivered and participated in spin classes. I couldn’t hit quite the same gears as I used to but I would still give it a good try! The key is to wear breathable clothing and drink plenty of water.

    I continued to go to outdoor boot camp sessions. I armed myself with a repertoire of alternative exercises I could do when ones weren’t appropriate for me. I also took a head torch as it was dark and I didn’t want to trip up.

    I was still running by the end of the second trimester. Runs would be between 5-10km but I could still happily swim 3km, so I decided to swim further and more often, and just run as far as I felt like running on that particular day. I’d try to appreciate that I was still getting out there and not worry too much about time. I’d always take my phone with me in case of emergency.

    I started to try some home workouts and circuits in my local park. I used mainly resistance bands to do 30-60 minute workouts. I know getting to the gym is not an easy option on maternity leave so I figured if I could start doing some home workouts now, it will be less tough to do once I’ve had the baby.

    Pregnancy fitness tips

    1. Doing some cardio and specific strength training is helpful. This will give you a well-rounded training plan but will also be valuable for birth. Do be aware that the hormone relaxin loosens your joints so be careful not to over-stretch.

    2. Don't ignore things that don’t feel right. I definitely could feel the extra weight when running, however I was surprised that it was just harder and slowed me down rather than it being uncomfortable. But if something doesn’t feel right, you might need to reassess. I have turned back on a run because something didn’t feel right.

    3. Plan and practise sleep and food. Getting to and staying asleep became more difficult and I need both of these to exercise effectively. I tried to have a bedtime routine, including listening to podcasts to take my mind off things, not eating too close to bedtime, and a u-shaped pillow helped. I had to eat well in advance of training sessions otherwise training was too uncomfortable as digestion is less efficient. Drink lots of water!

    4. If you're unsure or worried, seek advice from a professional. The female body is amazing and a pregnant body can do a lot more than you might think! But you must look after your body now more than ever as it’s not just you anymore.

    5. Think about why you are exercising. I thought of exercise as a way to keep me and the baby happy, and as a way to prepare me for birth and beyond. Yes I was still doing lots of the things I was doing before pregnancy, but I made some adjustments and additions to make it more relevant for what my body needed.

    6. Take time to connect with your baby. For me, life has been busy with a full-time job, fitness routines, date nights, and friends to see before the baby arrives. When I’m out exercising I like to think of me and my baby as a team; I’ll look after us both and hopefully he’ll enjoy the ride!

    Second trimester pregnancy training routine

    ·       5-10km run x 1-2

    ·       Outdoor bootcamp x 1

    ·       Climbing x 1

    ·       1.5-3km Swim x 2

    ·       Strength based gym session or park/home workout x 2

    ·       Yoga/Pilates x 1-2

    ·       Occasional spin class

    About the author: Sophie Kennedy is a Sundried ambassador.

    Posted by Guest Account
  • Jayne & Bibi Rogers Athlete Ambassadors

    Jayne Bibi Rogers Veggie Runners Sundried Ambassadors

    Jayne and Bibi Rogers are a mother-daughter running duo. They talk to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    We were both late bloomers, each getting separately into fitness as adults then discovering how much fun we could have if we swim, run and/or bike together!

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    We had a year of running PBs, beating our targets for 5k, 10k, half and full marathons. After that, we decided to look for a new challenge and triathlon certainly gave us that.

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

    We're runners at heart and Loch Ness Marathon is our stand-out favourite race of all time. From pipers leading you to the start to searching for the monster as you get delirious around mile 20, it's beautiful.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Crossing the finish line together with a PB at Yorkshire Marathon a few years ago was pretty special.

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

    Bibi had a horrendous time when she ran London Marathon in 2017. She discovered she was pregnant with baby Stanley a few days later so at least there was a good reason why it was so tough!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    We both do yoga and meditate so we try to have a little 'om', accept it ,and move on. It doesn't always work but it's worth trying!

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

    Enjoy every minute. When you're ill or injured and unable to train, you'll think you were an idiot for complaining when you could!

    What are your goals for 2019?

    In the past year, between us we've had a baby, gone back to work after maternity leave, bought a new place, relocated and changed jobs. This year, we're giving ourselves a break and training for the fun of it. We'll do plenty of races but we're not setting goals. Any PBs will be purely incidental!

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Like everyone, we're impressed by elite athletes but we're really inspired by everyday athletes who push themselves to do things they never thought they'd be able to do. Anyone who gets off the couch and onto their bike, into the pool or pulls on their trainers for a run impresses us.

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

    Sundried embodies everything we believe in: fitness for all, great kit, ethically sourced, treating workers fairly. What's not to love? Our favourite bit of kit is the Sundried women's performance trisuit. It looks and feels fantastic. We feel like superwoman when we wear them.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Cecilia Frisari Athlete Ambassador

    OCR World Championships obstacle course racing

    Cecilia was born in Italy but when she moved to the UK she found a love for obstacle course racing. She tells Sundried about training and racing in this sport.

    Have you always been into sport?

    As far as I remember yes! I have been competing in sports since I was 6. I did swimming for almost 10 years, 3 year of athletics where my mum was actually my coach (she was in the Italian national team for high jump) and I also did 6 years of volleyball, which I loved.

    What made you decide to enter the world of OCR?

    When I moved to the UK from Italy I stopped practising sports as it was difficult to find a volleyball team or find something that could motivate me to compete. I never liked going to the gym as I found the use of the machines a bit boring. In October 2017, I decided to try to do an obstacle course race with my boyfriend, and even if we did not train for it (in particular for the obstacles) we really enjoyed the race and I realised that I could do most of the obstacles. The variety of challenges in a single event and the mixture of training styles required made me sign up for further races. One race led to another and within 6 months I had qualified for and competed at the OCR World Championship.

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

    My favourite race was in June 2018, a sprint over 5 miles with 20 obstacles. I was a bit scared as the race is well know in the UK to be really tough due to the many steep hills during the course. They call it the Death Valley. I didn't have any expectations for this race as I didn't really train for hill runs but I pushed myself hard, in particular in the sections of the race where the running part was flat and I finished first in my age group.

    The result allowed me to qualify for the second time that year for the World Championship but also the European Championship the following year in June.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was when I qualified for the World Championship after only 3 months of competing in OCRs.

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

    Yes, unfortunately that happened last October, 2 weeks before the World Championship. The day of the race it was raining a lot and I had to run 25km plus all the obstacles.

    It was really cold, my fingers couldn't bend leading to limited grip and I couldn't hold onto any obstacles. On top of that my IT band troubles from earlier in the season hit me again.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I think that setbacks can happen at any time: during a race, at work, or in your life. When that happens I always try to focus on how to finish the task at hand in a positive way.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

    No matter how you feel during the race, do your best but do not push yourself over the limit – it is better to compete slower than not compete at all. Remember that for every race you learn more about your mind and body and will improve for the next one.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Qualify for the World Championship again and improve my running.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I do not have one specific person that inspires me. I get inspiration from different people in the sports world; one of them is Jon Albon for his racing quality but also his modest yet strong personality.

    What do you like about Sundried?

    I love the fact that nowadays we can use so many different sustainable materials as fabrics and I love the fact that companies like Sundried utilise these materials for making environmental sports wear without compromising on quality and comfort. My Masters thesis was about sustainability in the fashion industry and I cannot agree more about Sundried’s philosophy!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren