• Guide To Buying A Cycling Helmet

    guide to buying a cycling helmet Sundried

    A cycling helmet is often obligatory if you're going to be road biking and cycling in organised sportives and multi-sport races. It's important that you have a helmet that is perfect for you, so follow our guide to find out everything you need to know before buying a bicycle helmet.

    Many thanks to Cycles UK for their collaboration on this guide.

    Safety

    Safety is always paramount, and this is the primary reason you will be wearing a helmet for cycling. Thankfully, all cycling helmets sold in the UK have to pass the same safety standards and so this is not something you need to worry about when buying a cycling helmet.

    cycling helmet guide

    Aerodynamics

    Aerodynamics have been one of the main areas of innovation in cycling in the last couple of years. Aero helmets used to be reserved for specialist track racing and time trials but they are now also a common sight at road races, triathlons, and club rides. Modern aero road helmets can save you as much as 40 seconds over a 40km ride compared to a standard cycling helmet, while a dedicated time trial helmet could save you almost double that. The major difference between the two is the amount of ventilation they have.

    On a short sprint triathlon, a full aero time trial helmet could save you 30 to 40 seconds on the bike leg. The downside of this is that to achieve good aero performance, the helmets have very little ventilation and you need to keep your head relatively still. If you are on a closed road where you are not going to have to look up and around a lot, and it’s not a particularly hot day, this could be a good option.

    Sundried ambassador Alice Hector aero helmet Southend Triathlon

    Sundried pro triathlete ambassador Alice Hector wearing an aero helmet while competing at the Sundried Southend Triathlon

    If you are doing a longer triathlon, or it’s going to be hot, you will probably be better of with an aero road helmet like the Specialized Evade. One of these helmets will save you 40 to 50 seconds on a standard triathlon bike leg but will still have enough ventilation to keep your head cool on all but the hottest and hilliest days.

    Not everyone gets on with aero helmets and some people will want more ventilation on their training rides. You’ll also be looking at spending well over £100 to get a time trail or aero road helmet so it may not be an option for you if you are just starting out. In this case, go for a standard road helmet like a Kask Mojito or Specialized Echellon. These helmets still have some basic aero performance but will keep your head cool and your wallet relatively intact!

    cycling helmet riding bike

    Fit

    The hardest part about buying a helmet is the fit. Most manufacturers will give the size of the helmet in centimetres so you can roughly match them to your head. The helmet will then normally have adjustable systems inside so you can get the fit exactly right.

    However, not all helmets are the same shape. Some manufacturers make their helmets long and thing oblong shapes, others make them rounder. Many cyclists find that certain brands' helmets simply don’t fit their head. If it’s your first time buying a cycling helmet, it’s well worth visiting a few bike shops and trying on as many different brands of helmet as you can until you find the one that works for your head shape.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Tara and Tom McBride Personal Trainers and CrossFitters

    Tara McBride Running Hawaii CrossFit Raining Fit

    Tara and Tom McBride have known each other since they were 15 and are now a married fitness couple. They are CrossFit enthusiasts who believe in becoming a well-rounded exerciser. They tell Sundried about their lives as fitness lecturers and talk all types of training.

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

    We originally hail from Alberta, Canada. We grew up playing as many sports as possible, including basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, mountain biking, downhill luge, track and field, cross country running, and well, everything we could try really.

    We went to rival high schools, and have known each other since the age of 15. A few years after high school, Tom was firefighting as a forest firefighter, and Tara was running triathlons and preparing to travel the world. Tara convinced Tom to try running a triathlon, and he took it as a test to prove himself to her (only in his mind, not hers). He ended up placing 2nd overall. They then started training together and to make a long story short, they got married and both ended up at a university out in Hawaii. We both graduated with double majors, and after a short return back to Canada ended up back in Hawaii where we currently teach at the university in the Exercise and Sport Science Department.

    CrossFit Box Gym Squat Weights Fit Strength

    What are your training goals now?

    Currently, we are training in the sport of CrossFit with the goal of being the most well rounded as possible. We may show up and have to perform a 3 rep max back squat, then have the following event be a long distance run and swim, then even a hill sprint with a sandbag. The only way to prepare for being well rounded is to train every system of the body and specialise in not specialising. It keeps training fun and exciting. Plus, it allows us to express our general fitness in a wide variety of ways. If our friends ask us to join the local half marathon, help them move some heavy furniture, or simply join the local club sports team, we are prepared at the drop of a hat.

    In recent years, Tom was diagnosed with degenerative spine disease, a fairly common thing, but had some severe nerve impingement due to a bone spur and retrolisthesis of his vertebrae. The structural problems are congenital, and not due to any one accident or pattern of use. The first prescription from a general physician was to never surf, lift weights, or expose my body to impact or load ever again.

    For months Tom worked with PTs, chiropractors, pain management doctors, and many other alternative medicine specialists. Nine in total. All had varying opinions, and none could fix the bone spur. Dr Kyle Mitsunaga, a spine surgeon and Stanford University graduate, looked into my situation and wanted to help. He understood how important sports and fitness are in my life, and that functional movement is important to the longevity as well as the quality of one's life.

    A few hours after a relatively short (3 hour) necessary surgery to remove the bone spur, Tom walked out of the hospital. The first few weeks following the surgery were wild. Pains and aches he had endured as a teen, and not even realised at the time, were gone. "My body felt much like your feet feel after taking your shoes off after hiking all day".

    Fast forward to today. I have the green light to lift heavy, play sports, and live life as it should be lived. The good doctor gave me 2 prescriptions.
    1) To never become obese
    2) To keep my core as strong as possible through functional movements. 

    Overhead Squat Weightlifting CrossFit

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

    Tara can hold her breath underwater for almost 4 minutes.
    Tom was training for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but instead decided to serve a mission for his church.

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

    To connect with our clients and athletes, we've tried dozens of the mainstream diets and nutritional recommendations. We've found that what works for us is to stick to a whole foods diet. Basically, we do our shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the aisles. "If it has a food ingredients label it might not be food". We like to stick to the following mantra. "Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat". -Greg GlassmanWhat do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

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

    Our workouts are constantly varied but not random. On the days that it really hurts, our community is there to support and uplift one another. The nature of our training makes it so it's never monotonous or boring. We don't segment our training because we believe that that brings segmented results.

    Our clients are staying motivated because they are seeing results. Being able to better live life because of general physical preparedness is motivation in and of itself.

    Front Squat Strength Legs

    Talk us through your training regime.

    Our training focuses on functional movements. Movements you see out in the world. Squatting, deadlifting, running, throwing, etc. Life doesn't happen in isolation, so we don't train in isolation. We don't use machines, we are the machines. The body is an amazing machine with different systems and engines that overlap and connect in a multitude of ways. If you isolate and segment these systems, they are then trained in isolation. We've tested this over and over again.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    As University instructors and gym owners/trainers, we are both morally compelled and personally mandated to keep up to date with our research and fitness knowledge. All of our methodologies and practices are empirical and open source. Empirical meaning that its based on hard evidence and results and not just theory, logic, or the current dogmas. Open source means that nothing we do is a secret and if someone comes along with a better path to fitness, and can support their claim with hard evidence and results, we will adopt their philosophies and practices.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Care more about what you can do and less about the scale or what you look like.
    2. Solid form and full range of motion will get you further than half reps and lots of weight.
    3. Get out of the gym and express your fitness!

    Why work with Sundried?

    Technical activities require technical gear. The activewear made by Sundried is both up to date and at the forefront of activewear technology. The Earth is such an amazing place and companies like Sundried are working to keep it that way. Through the support of such charities as Surfers Against Sewage and Water for Kids and a very transparent supply chain, Sundried makes sure that it leaves things better than it found it. We really like that.Favorite fitness quote:

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "Cardiorespiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, flexibility, agility, accuracy, balance, and coordination: you’re as good as your weakest link"

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jordi Martin Triathlete

    Jordi Martin Triathlete Ironman Running
    Jordi is a Spanish Triathlete who has achieved fantastic things. He talks to Sundried about his motivations as an athlete and his goals and aspirations for the future.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have been involved in swimming and water polo since I was 9 years old. I started in triathlon two years ago, but a shoulder injury prevented me from continuing until now. After having an operation, I am starting to train and challenge myself. 

    What has been your best race to date? 

    My best race that I remember is the last one I did, crossing the Illes Medes.

    And your most proud achievement?

    My first championship swimming competition in Catalunya, against all odds I came first.

    Have you ever had a career disaster / your hardest race yet?

    My biggest disaster was to train for over a year only to come last in the 50m freestyle swimming championship in Spain. 

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    It is not a question of overcoming them, I use setbacks to learn and improve.

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

    To trust in myself and my abilities more.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    My goals for 2017 are to complete the Gavà Triathlon in Spain, Barcelona Triathlon, and Radikalswim Costa Brava.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from those who help and support me and give me the strength to continue, especially my wife Anna and my son Didac. 

    What do you like about Sundried?

    I love that Sundried use excellent quality materials and are premium. Their range is fantastic and great for triathletes.

    Social

    Instagram @jordi_mt

    Jordi Martin Spain Cycling Triathlon

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sophie Kirk GB Age Group Triathlete

    Sophie Kirk Triathlete Cycling

    Sophie Kirk is a Team GB Age Group Triathlete who got into the sport at university. She has a habit of falling over her bike during transition but this doesn't stop her being a fantastic triathlete! She talks to Sundried about life as an elite athlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    As long as I can remember, yes. At age 12 I was swimming competitively 6 or 7 times a week before I started running and orienteering at senior school. I orienteered in the GB junior team for a few years and then got back into swimming and took up cycling at university.

    What made you decide to enter triathlon?

    Triathlon and Cross Country clubs were closely connected at university so it soon seemed a good idea to get back into the pool! After a summer internship where I earned enough money for my first bike, I entered my first triathlon - BUCS Sprint - in 2014. Although I didn't do another triathlon for a further 2 years due to an incident on a bike and broken elbow!

    What’s been your best race to date?

    My best race has to be either winning a silver medal at the World Duathlon Championships in Aviles, Spain or 5th place at the World Standard Championships in Cozumel last year

    And your proudest achievement?

    Last year was my first 'season' of triathlon. Completing my first standard distance and gaining selection for the World Championships in Cozumel has to be my proudest moment for pure surprise and joy of achieving my aim for 2016 so early in the season and in front of my parents now supporting me in my new sport!

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

    At the moment I have a habit of falling off my bike in transitions, this week it was a full over-the-handlebars moment coming into T2. Not a good look, but I think I ran off the pain and still finished 2nd!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Return to the plan! I live for my training plan, and if I'm ever in doubt I just look back over the previous months of training and hard work to convince myself that taking an extra rest day because I'm feeling tired is fine!

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

    Never forget the reason you started triathlon. Always enter races for fun! There's no point in getting up at 6 am if you're not going to enjoy the race at the end of it.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    I'm entering my first half ironman this year. I have a time goal for Ironman 70.3 Vichy, and a sneaky ambition for selection for World Champs IM 70.3 in the future.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    A lot of my inspiration comes from my coach Imogen Simmonds. She has just gained her pro license and always seems to say the right thing at the right time. It's also hard not be inspired by someone who trains so religiously....even if it is out on a beach in Phuket!What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

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

    I love the fact that Sundried is not only quality kit, but also working hard to maintain a fair and responsible business all along the supply chain. It's also accessible to most athletes. I love the Tour Noir Tank, perfect for keeping cool in Summer.

    Social

    Instagram @sophiekirktriathlete

    Twitter @SophieKirkTri

    Sophie Kirk Triathlete Team GB Winner

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jo Theyer Personal Trainer

    Jo Theyer Running Marathon Ultra Runner Personal Trainer Sundried

    Jo is prolific in the sporting world, boasting a degree in Sport and Exercise Science as well as having run 9 marathons. She is now pursuing a career as a personal trainer and tells Sundried about how she helps her clients going from personal experience. 

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

    During my earlier years and during University I played a lot of sport, my main sport being badminton with which I represented the Welsh Universities. I have now completed 9 marathons, my best time being Edinburgh Marathon which I
    completed in 3:52. This year I have set myself a couple of new challenges and have entered my first ultra marathon and middle distance triathlon. The ultra marathon is the 100km trail run along the Cotswold Way and the middle distance triathlon is the Cotswold Classic.

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

    My journey to fitness started from a young age taking part in as many school sports as possible. I then went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at University adamant that I wanted to go into teaching, however when I suffered my injury my career path changed as I became more interested in the rehabilitation side of fitness, this leading me into the career path of a Personal Trainer.

    What are your training goals now?

    I'm currently 5 weeks out from my first ultra marathon, this involves long runs and lots of core and stability exercises. I have also entered my first middle distance triathlon at the beginning of August so training is also tailored towards that goal.

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

    I love avocado. I have to limit myself to a pack of 4 a week.

    What would future you, tell yourself when you were starting out?

    To believe in yourself and always push outside your comfort zone.

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

    I try not to follow a specific nutrition plan, I believe it is important to follow a healthy but sustainable diet. I see it far too often where clients crash diet to lose weight but then 2-3 months later are back where they started. I cook from scratch and make sure my meals are well balanced and healthy, not depriving myself of that odd treat.

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

    I believe that if you are motivated and passionate about what you do then it provides clients with the energy and belief that they can also achieve their goal.
    I try to keep their sessions as varied as possible, setting them goals which are achievable but at the same time will challenge them. I am on hand to help them with their fitness goals but also provide nutrition advice; personal training for me is about re-educating individuals about what a healthy lifestyle is and to make it long-term rather than a short term habit.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I train 5-6 times a week in training season, usually 5 in off season. I usually run 3 times a week varying between long slow runs, short intensity runs, and intervals. On the other days I then swim or bike. Twice a week I will do some core and stability work in the gym  just to keep the strength in the legs and core, I find this helps prevent injury. Every night I spend about 20-30 minutes stretching and foam rolling. I see far too many people who suffer injuries from not stretching.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I listen to podcast when I run and in my spare time I read a lot of training articles and journals, I find this a vital part of progressing my learning. Every 3 months I try to book onto a course, whether that's a weekend away or just an online learning course. It's a great way to stay up to date and current within the fitness world.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. To enjoy what you do, don't just go to the gym because you feel you have to, do something you enjoy, whether thats a sport or a fitness class.
    2. Set yourself goals- Don't just set yourself a weight target, focus more on measurements or a fitness goal, far too often people give up on exercise as they don't see the number on the scales change.
    3. Nutrition - Dont just reduce calories, eat a healthy well balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be boring or restrictive, just try to be sensible and make wise choices in what you do eat.

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

    FTP test on a watt bike - This is 20 minutes from hell but at the end, you know for those 20 minutes you have given everything that you have. I find it a great way to test my fitness.

    What are your training goals?

    My training goals are to be the best and fittest that I can be. To keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone through entering new challenges. My future training goals would be to complete an Ironman.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Finding a fitness brand that you can be proud to wear because of how it looks and of what it stands for is one of the reasons I was so keen to work with Sundried. Sundried have developed a brand of clothing that not only looks and fits great but also gives something back, working closely with charities and also protecting the world with a low carbon footprint.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda

    Posted by Alexandra Parren