• Steve Denniss Athlete Ambassador

    man running through a stream

    Steve spent 10 years of his life touring as a musician, but decided to pursue a life of sport instead. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Up until the age of 14 I competed to a county level in high jump and also dabbled in shot put and javelin. However, I decided to take a different journey in my education and pursued music and playing drums. Fast forward 10 years of touring, recording and living 'the dream' I decided it was time to hang it up and found myself getting back into sport. I started running again age 25 and haven't stopped since.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    In 2016, after running 10 marathons, 3 ultras and a 24-hour event I decided I had had enough of just running so I entered a triathlon. I instantly fell in love and ever since I have spent all of my free time swimming, cycling or running.

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

    My favourite race to date has to be the world duathlon championships in Odense, Denmark in 2018. After a year of hard work with my training buddy Mark Mills we raced together and to his surprise (and delight!) I managed to pull back a minute deficit on him on the bike leg (the 9th fastest of the entire race) to finish 15 seconds behind him. I keep threatening to finally beat him this year!

    And your proudest achievement?

    Qualifying for the World Championships in Penticton, Canada in 2017, my first ever race in a GB tri suit! Finishing that race, placing 15th in the world whilst my daughter stood and cheered for me is a moment I will never forget!

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

    I've been lucky not to have any 'disasters' however my toughest race was Redcar sprint triathlon in 2018. In 2017, it was my favourite race, belting hot sun, calm sea swim and an absolute storming bike (draft legal racing is the way forward!) In 2018, however, 50 mph winds completely changed the shape of the event. The sea swim was like trying to swim through a washing machine, on the bike we averaged 13 mph in one direction and 30 mph in the other and trying to hold a decent pace running into a 50 mph head wind is a task no one wants to take on! I managed to finish with a qualifying time for World Triathlon Championships 2019 in Lausanne though!

    cycling hill triathlete bike

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    The best way to overcome setbacks is with good solid training and a well thought out race plan. There are things that are controllable in a race, going out too fast, nutrition etc. Some things you cant, punctures, crashing, the weather etc. The best way is to control the controllables and don't worry about what you can't! No point moaning about the wind for example as everyone is in the same boat!

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

    You don't have to do everything at 100 mph, sometimes the best sessions are the slow steady ones!

    What are your goals for 2019?

    • To place top 10 at the World Duathlon championships in Pontevedra, Spain.
    • To place top 15 at the World Triathlon championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    • To complete the Adventure triathlon 'savage' events which are 6 races over 3 weekends of Triathlon Sprint on Saturday, Standard on Sunday based in and around Mount Snowdon including summing the Mountain during the race.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My main 'famous' inspirations are Michael 'Eddie the Eagle' Edwards, due to his sheer determination to achieve and complete his dreams in the face of almost total adversity and ridicule.

    I had the pleasure to meet him recently and he gave me some great words of wisdom to follow my dreams and chase my ambitions. My other 'hero' is Sean Conway, coming from an Ultra running background the ridiculous adventure challenges he takes on resonate with me a lot, again I met him recently where he told me 'mileage makes champions, take the long road', a motto I use a lot during those long winter training slogs.

    Outside of this my friends who I train with regularly are my biggest inspiration, watching them compete and train at relatively high levels whilst juggling their lives and jobs is all the inspiration anyone needs.

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

    The most important thing about Sundried to me is the ethical nature of the business and products. In 2019 I believe it is truly important that we look after our planet and also each other, the materials used to create these products but also the work with various charities are what I value the most. The quality of the kit helps too! My favourite piece of kit is the Padded jacket, there is nothing better than finishing that long winter training run or that cold open water swim and being able to put on such a comfortable and warm piece of kit!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Dan Tate Athlete Ambassador

    running marathon athlete

    Dan has always been into sport and has realised his dream of achieving World Championship level. He talks to Sundried about life in multi-sport.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been into sport and competing from a very young age. It is a major part of my life. 

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I have always enjoyed running and cycling and felt I was reasonably strong in both disciplines, swimming on the other hand was something I really needed to work on. I thought it would be a good idea to put all these together and give it a go. Needless to say I am sticking to duathlon.

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

    The first time the World Triathlon series came to Leeds was pretty special. This is where I grew up, so for me to race around the centre of Leeds on closed roads was a great feeling in front of a fantastic crowd.

    And your proudest achievement?

    This has to be racing at the European Championships in Ibiza last October wearing the Team GB trisuit. I was competing in the Sprint Duathlon. This was a very proud moment with my family watching on. I finished  8th in the race.

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

    Fortunately, I have not had any racing disasters in duathlon/triathlon to date. However, my toughest cycle event was the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015. I suffered serious cramping, extreme cold/wet and needed a tyre change. I never thought I would see the finish line, but I eventually made it.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I have had setbacks with various injuries. I make sure I get the correct treatment/physio and make sure I rest properly and don’t rush back. I always try to stay positive in this situation to get through it.

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

    For me, it is the amount of hours you need to be prepared to train and the cost of taking part in races across the country.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    My goal for the last couple of years was to be competing at the World Championships. This year I will be at the World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain representing Team GB and hoping for a strong finish.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Over the years I have watched so much sport including the Olympics and seen what the Brownlee brothers have achieved. This is inspiring to anyone interested in sport.

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

    Sundried is an ethical company that does not produce harmful products. It also has a pledge to charity ‘Water For Kids’. As a parent, this is something I am keen to support.

    My favourite bit of kit is the Sundried Roteck 2.0 mens leggings, they are comfortable and great for running in.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Imogen Matthews Athlete Ambassador

    running athlete beach triathlon

    Imogen got into running after taking part in a charity fun run. She soon discovered a passion for triathlon and talks to Sundried about race success.

    Have you always been into sport?

    No, when I was younger I was not sporty at all. It all started 4 years ago when I started running after doing a charity fundraiser for a local children's hospital. After running solo for nearly two years, I joined my running club and began to compete. I was loving it more and more and I was improving until I became injured, which is when I got into triathlon.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    In January 2018 I was hit with an injury which prevented me from running and finishing cross country season and meant many hours in the pool and on the bike instead. I rekindled my love for swimming and cycling while doing rehabilitation so decided to try a triathlon in July 2018 once my injury had settled. I loved it! I found it so exhilarating!

    My 2nd triathlon was in Worthing which was a qualifier for 2019 European Championships. I didn't think I would qualify but wanted to race anyway and try. Not only did I qualify, I also came 1st in my age group. So here begins my journey in triathlon!

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

    I think my favourite triathlon race to date would be Worthing Triathlon, not only because I was over the moon to qualify for the European Championships but also because the weather was amazing, the course was exciting, and my family/friends came to support me.

    My favourite running race to date would be the Great South run. I love longer distances and the atmosphere was amazing. I managed to place 1st in my age group and my best friend placed 2nd so it was an amazing day all round.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest overall sporting achievement would be facing injury which taught me how to train smartly. I enjoy being able to share my experiences and knowledge with my club and on my blog. I think my proudest performance achievement would be qualifying for the 2019 European Championships because I never ever expected it after only staring triathlon 3 months before.

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

    I cannot think of any significant racing disasters but last year I came back to racing too soon and had probably the worse race ever; I cried the whole race, it was so tough and I was in pain. I was disappointed in myself too but looking back now, it was all a learning experience.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Any setback is difficult for an athlete as it makes you feel disheartened and frustrated. Injury has taught me so much about sensible training, rest and recovery but also about myself. I have become more resilient and determined. Setbacks can make you feel down but you have to remain positive and focused by setting yourself little goals in cross training and rehab.

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

    I wish I had been told about over-training and the importance of rest because I think it is a trap athletes can fall into very easily without someone to guide you. I wish I had been told that I don't need to do every race because it leads to burnout.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    1. Come back from injury stronger.
    2. Perform as best as I can at the European Sprint Triathlon Championships.
    3. Achieve a new 10km PB.
    4. Try and qualify for the performance squads at university.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Gwen Jorgensen and Gabriele Grunewald.

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

    I think the values of Sundried are so important in a world where climate change is becoming more and more serious. I also love the passion that is behind the business! My favourite Sundried collection has to be the seamless one, especially the leggings and sports bras which are training essentials.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Metabolic Efficiency: What It Is And How To Achieve It

    Metabolic Efficiency refers to the measure of how well the body utilises fat as an energy source. The human body is able to store around 1,200-2,000 calories in the form of carbohydrates (glycogen) split between the liver, muscles, and blood. These stores would allow us to exercise at a low to moderate intensity for around 2 or 3 hours.

    However, there is another source of energy that the human body can store that could provide up to a staggering 80,000 calories: fat. What would happen if we were able to teach our body to use fat stores for energy instead of depleting our carbohydrate resources? 

    metabolic efficiency training

    The benefits of Metabolic Efficiency Training

    Metabolic Efficiency Training was a concept developed by Bob Seebohar in 2003 and refers to teaching our body to use fat as a primary energy source. This has a number of positive implications:

    • If the body is able to use fat to produce energy, racing athletes can become less dependent on carbohydrates.
    • Less carbs means a lower probability of GI distress (stomach cramps being a common issue among endurance athletes).
    • More fat burnt means less body fat and a leaner frame, a positive impact on performance for endurance athletes.

    It's key to understand when the body uses fats or carbohydrates as its primary energy source. Typically, short-duration exercises will use carbohydrates, while longer endurance exercise will cause the body to start burning fat. This happens during aerobic training when the intensity is close to the aerobic threshold or lactate threshold.

    In order to be 100% accurate, Bob Seebohar described a lab test known as “crossover point”.  This is the exact point during an aerobic session when the body stops using fat as an energy source and moves to burning carbs as its energy source.

    How to achieve Metabolic Efficiency

    As not everyone has access to a lab where this test can be performed, there is a way to teach the body to be more efficient. There are a few rules that everyone can follow. This is best performed at the beginning of the training season, when the athlete is building an aerobic base.

    • Avoid high-calorie carbs such as pasta, rice or white bread. During this period, all carbs should come from vegetables and fruit. Also during this phase, more good fats (omega 3 or 6) and proteins should be consumed.
    • Avoid sport supplements such as gels or bars which are high in carbs.
    • Practise training in a fasted state, building up the duration of the training sessions slowly until you're able to complete up to 3 hours on only water. These session must be endurance-based and performed at a low intensity.
    • After training, avoid recovery drinks and high glycemic index carbs. If the training session was easy, theoretically the body used fat as its primary fuel source and so carbohydrates won't need to be replenished. 

    By following the aforementioned rules, the body will become more efficient and better at using fats as an energy source.

    Which foods to eat when training for Metabolic Efficiency:

    • Protein: poultry, tuna, salmon, mackerel, eggs whites, whey protein or plant protein.
    • Low glycemic carbs: spinach, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, cauliflower, carrot, beans, sprouts.
    • High glycemic carbs: oats, quinoa, potatoes, whole wheat bread, rice, pasta.
    • Fats: avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, egg yolk, nuts, peanut butter, almond butter.

    About the author: Cesar Martinez is an Ironman athlete. 

    Posted by Guest Account
  • Q&A With The Triathletes Of Nuneaton Triathlon Club

    Nuneaton Triathlon Club Sundried brand ambassadors activewear

    Sundried chats to the members of Nuneaton Triathlon Club who will be partnering with Sundried as brand ambassadors. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Lee Harper: Yes I've always been into sports, football, tennis, swimming and athletics.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    Amanda Harris: Due to knee injuries in the past, I was advised to cross train. It then made sense to compete in triathlons as I enjoyed the combination of the 3 sports. 

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

    Debra Suffolk: Definitely the Sandman Triathlon in Anglesey, Wales! It's a hard event and testing course but in beautiful surroundings and you get a real sense of achievement just finishing. I love it. 

    And your proudest achievement?

    Andrew Downes: When I crossed the finish line at the Outlaw Full 2018 iron distance triathlon. Having a heart condition and a pacemaker it just went to show that conditions like these don't have to mean you can't enjoy life to the full. I am a member of several pacemaker groups and I felt extremely proud that other pacemaker patients found my ironman journey truly inspiring and gave hope to new patients that they would after time still be able to achieve their goals. 

    Nuneaton Triathlon Club Sundried race belt

    Your toughest race yet?

    Helen Talbot: The toughest race for me was the Ironman World Championship in Kona. The race conditions, humidity, and the high level of competition were quite intimidating. Closely followed by Ironman Wales because the whole course was very draining: a rough swim followed by a hilly bike course and run. 

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Martin Shuttler: I attempted Ironman UK in Bolton in 2017 and didn't quite make it so competed and finished it in 2018. In my personal situation, not wanting to be beaten, determination and perseverance, knowing that I could do it if I focused on those areas where I struggled but at the same time, not forgetting the others.

    Paying more attention to nutrition and better quality training sessions were always a big factor. I made sure that I filled the training time with the best effort I could rather than just completing the training time. Ultimately, I know its a cliche but a lot of overcoming setbacks is mental strength and shear strong mindedness. 

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

    Phil Harris: Don't try to achieve everything at once. Take the time to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and look after your body, you only have one! 

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Chloe Croft: I would love to get a sub 25 minute Parkrun and a sub 6.5 hour 70.3 (half iron distance). 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Zoe Brown: I take inspiration from people who have overcome something and still succeeded. Katie Piper, Billy Monger, people who show the world they can do anything regardless of their limitations.

    Also my other half Andy who has a pacemaker but nothing stands in his way. He has competed in the Outlaw Full and Half and also run marathons.

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

    Spencer Truscott: I love a new pair of socks and you can't beat the Sundried running socks. I also highly rate the Sundried padded jacket; it's fantastic and is especially great before and after a race.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren