• Chris Lewis Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon triathlete racing

    Chris is a triathlete who originally took part in triathlon to beat a friend. He talks to Sundried about his passion for sport.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I’ve always been interested in sport. My main love for sport was Rugby League which began when I started playing at 7 years old.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    My friend asked me in 2017 to enter a triathlon he was doing. My response was, “absolutely not, why would I want to do that?” He asked me again in January 2018. My response that time was, “yeah go on then I’m not doing anything else”

    My main aim for that race was to beat him. If I beat him then I thought I wouldn’t have to do another triathlon. Well, triathlon is now an addiction.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    I’ve raced in a European Championship and qualified for other European and World Championships, but my favourite race was Chateaux de Chantilly in 2019. It wasn’t my best race but it was very well organised with closed roads on the bike and a great run loop around the grounds.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Qualifying for the World Championships only 15 months after my first triathlon

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    In 2019, every race apart from one was a disaster. Nothing went right that year. If I swam well then I had a mechanical on the bike, if I biked well then I blew up on the run. I’ve had 2 really good results in 2020 despite having limited races.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I’m quite a determined person. I’ve ruptured my ACL 3 times. I technically need a 3rd knee reconstruction but realistically that won’t happen. There isn’t a straight line to success. Sometimes you’ve got to go sideways or even backwards. It’s all part of the process. I like to evaluate and adapt so I can achieve the things I want.

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

    I would have liked advice on equipment. I bought good things for swimming, cycling and running but not particularly great for triathlon. I eventually had to replace or upgrade most things. Starting out in triathlon, after a few years' absence competing in sport, I was training wrong but I was training and loving it. It was enjoyable, advise that early may not have worked for me.

    What are your goals?

    I have the European and World Championships next year but my main goal is to go for my Elite license in middle distance. With the right coaching and training, I know I’ll get it.

    Who inspires you?

    There is a small group of us that train together in East London. We all have different strengths in each discipline. We all race different distances. We are so competitive against each other which pushes us harder in training. The energy and motivation in our group is great. We thrive off each other’s success and inspire each other.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I don’t know much about Sundried apart from what is on the website. I want to see what Sundried can offer in triathlon. I want to see how Sundried can help me progress and achieve my main goal.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Catherine Searcy Athlete Ambassador

    trail running fitness adventure

    Catherine is an athlete who has some big goals ahead of her. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    As a child, I swam within my local borough until my mid-teens and swimming has always been my go-to sport for keeping fit. Other than an on/off relationship with the gym for general fitness in between having 4 kids, I only began taking my own health and fitness seriously in January 2019 when I started running and did the Couch to 5k programme. I now swim (both pool and open water), bike, run, interval training, gym and quite fancy trying paddle boarding next summer too.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I took part in a few relay triathlons with family members a number of years ago, completing the swim element of each, but now I’m hoping to challenge myself and complete one in 2021 solo.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    The Harborough Carnival 10k – a local road race around where I live. Originally, I had planned on only doing the 5k distance as I didn’t think I would be able to complete 10k, but as the date drew nearer I changed my mind. There were 5 members from my family plus 2 friends who all ran in memory of my brother-in-law and despite the torrential rain and horribly steep hill at 8km, it has lots of special memories.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Completing a run streak in 2019 – I ran at least one mile every day of the year and in the end, as a beginner runner, ran almost 800 miles in total! It was such a personal achievement to actually get out and run each day, even when I was ill or injured and I would recommend to anyone to give it a go.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I accidentally knotted my trouser loops during my half marathon as I was stopping for a toilet break. I didn’t have time to attempt to untie them so just had to carry on, regretting the amount of water I’d already taken on with another 6 miles to go!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Take a moment to step back and assess what your goals are. It's not about what other people's goals for you may be, but what you are wanting to achieve from the moment. Once you’re clear on the goal, then look at how can you still achieve it

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

    Make sure you take the time to enjoy each run/ride/swim and each race. What’s the point in being able to complete something if you don’t remember any of it whilst doing it?

    What are your goals?

    Starting in December 2021, I’m aiming to complete 13 challenges in 13 months, including my first triathlon, aquathlon, another half marathon, a few month-long run streaks and more.

    Who inspires you?

    I find a lot of my inspiration through social media accounts that I follow. I love being able to gain knowledge and tips from such a wide range of athletes and like-minded people, as well as offering my own to others too.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Aesthetics plays a big part – I love the look of the kit. But also the quality of it and the company's approach to exercise and sustainability.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jamie Pugh Athlete Ambassador

    running triathlon racing

    Jamie is a young triathlete who competes along with his dad. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes I have always been into sport, playing a lot of sports when I was a child and then focusing on triathlon as I got older.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I did my first triathlon because my dad got into them and I thought I’d give one a go.

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

    My favourite race was the World Age Group Duathlon Championships as it was an international race (held in Spain), was draft legal, and had a great atmosphere.

    What's your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was coming 9th in the elite field at the British Duathlon Championships.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I’ve definitely had a few racing disasters. For one race, I forgot my cycling shoes and only realised an hour after we left home. Luckily, a friend had a pair I could borrow at the race. Another was forgetting to put my timing chip on my ankle and leaving it in the car, which was locked and I couldn’t find my dad who had the keys. After sprinting to registration and back again to pick up a spare chip I made it to the start.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I overcome setbacks by looking at what happened and seeing if I could have done anything differently to change the outcome. Also, to stay motivated I remember old races and reflect on them.

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

    There isn’t anything that immediately comes to mind in terms of advice for when I first started out.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to represent my University at BUCS and to race the national triathlon series.

    Who inspires you?

    Lots of people inspire me but the first to come to mind are Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I wanted to work with Sundried as I strongly agree with their brand and values.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Nathan Morgan Athlete Ambassador

    swimming open water triathlon

    Nathan is a triathlete who has qualified for the GB Age Group team. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, in a really big way. At school I was lucky enough to have access to a variety of sports – both individual and team-based – which naturally evolved to playing for local teams and representative sides too. Each one gave me the opportunity to improve different elements of fitness, co-ordination and tactical approaches. After University, I focussed on rugby, playing 14 seasons for my local team (including as Captain) and more recently combining that with cycling and triathlon/multi-sport events, which has been the sole focus for the past 3 years.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    My mother started participating in triathlon in the early 1990s, so I had exposure from a very young age. I participated in some junior events that were run alongside the main events, but fell away from it in my teens as team sports took a front seat.

    About 6 years ago, when I realised that I couldn’t play rugby forever, I got back on the bike and in the pool and haven’t looked back. I love the variety that triathlon brings, especially when it comes to training. The camaraderie between fellow competitors is brilliant and there is always someone to turn to for advice, motivation or a simple chat.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    I would say an event I did this year (2020) in the Cotswolds, for a few reasons. I enjoyed the time-trial format which was brought in to assist with social distancing; the event was a ‘sprint plus’ distance, shorter than I usually compete at – so felt I had no pressure going in – and finally it was an Aquabike event, so the only running was from bike racking in T2 to the finish line (the run element is my least favourite discipline!) It was a very well organised event, especially given the current climate, and I managed to take first place by just a few seconds.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    From a sporting perspective, achieving my Great Britain Age Group team qualification. Outside of sport, it’s watching and helping our son, who has just turned 1, grow and develop into quite the little character.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Nothing major has ever prevented me from finishing an event, long may that continue! I did damage my ankle badly, just as I was about to start a specific 6 month training plan for Ironman UK, but luckily I managed to flex the plan to accommodate. As running is my least favourite discipline, it was an excuse to spend more time in the pool, lakes and on the bike… every cloud!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    When setbacks happen, I tend to dwell on them for a little bit. However, I’m quite pragmatic, calm and level-headed, so very quickly I look at how best to get back on track, whether that’s doing a different training session, refocussing for another event, or just allowing myself downtime to recover and refresh mentally.

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

    Control the controllables. There is nothing to be gained worrying about things outside your control. Channel that energy into improving what you can directly affect.

    What are your goals?

    It’s hard to know how the 2021 season will pan out with lots of events being cancelled or postponed in 2020. My main goal is to make my Great Britain Age Group debut in 2021, as the 2020 middle distance European Championships in Austria, for which I had qualified, were cancelled and qualification moved to 2021. That’s out of my hands somewhat and I hope, as we all do, that we get back to some sort of normality as soon as is possible. I’m planning to compete in potential qualifier events for the 2022 Age-Group European / World championships, so my goal there is to achieve qualification for 2022 representative events, ideally in the middle distance ‘Aquabike’ discipline.

    Who inspires you?

    People with a positive attitude and a non-defeatist mentality. Whilst inspiration can be drawn from specific performances, it’s the mindset behind those performances that inspires me. As an example, the Tour de France this year – the race winner Tadej Pogacar was the youngest winner in over 100 years, but it was Richie Porte, who made his first Tour de France podium at 35 years old (having crashed out in 2017 and 2018, and not making top 10 in 2019) who inspired me most. The mindset behind that performance and being ready and willing to compete at that level – despite his recent setbacks at the Tour – is really motivating.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sundried’s gear is durable as well as being ethically sourced. In today’s world, I believe we all have to do our bit to limit our negative impact on the planet. Kit made from recycled material really resonates with me – the one part of training that I always feel bad about is the amount of kit I can get through and the environmental impact of having to throw kit out. I feel Sundried is a natural fit for me, as I believe our values are very similarly matched.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Scott Rodwell Personal Trainer & Athlete

    cycling triathlon racing

    Scott has been a personal trainer for nearly 20 years and has his sights set on competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. He talks to Sundried about life in fitness.

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

    As a self-funded, dedicated triathlete and personal trainer, I started competing in Ironman (swim 2.4m/bike 112m/run 26.2m) and Ironman 70.3 (swim 1.2m/bike 56m/run 13.3m) competitions back in 2011 and have taken part in Ironman and half Ironman competitions in my age group, throughout Europe, most years since then, improving my PB with each competition.

    This year has been somewhat challenging as most races have been deferred until 2021. With gyms closed including my own place of work, my training has had to change. However, this has not stopped me, as I am currently training for two Ironman 70.3 races in Europe next year and am currently fundraising to help with the costs via my campaign page.

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

    In my youth, I enjoyed taking part in athletics, rugby, and football, playing for two Sunday league football teams. In my spare time, I ran and competed for Woodford Green AC and mountain biked around Epping Forest. I loved the freedom of cycling and exploring new places. Eventually becoming a member of the Eagle Road Cycling Club, competing in regular, 10/25/50 mile time trials, hill climb championships and the Wild Wales challenge, in the extremely hilly but beautiful Bala, North Wales.

    Whilst I enjoyed team sports, I seem to thrive under pressure when competing as an individual. I remember the feeling of exhilaration when winning a 1500m and 3000m track race on the same day.  This was probably one of the defining moments of my life, which led me down the path towards triathlon (combining a love for cycling and running) and my career as a personal trainer.

    What are your training goals now?

    My aim is to compete in 2-4 half Ironman races per year over the next three years, which will give me the best chance to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which is my ultimate goal.

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

    I still have my first road bike, a blue and orange Condor, which I saved up for and bought 20 years ago.

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

    Set mini goals between the start of training and the race date, to gage what you need to work on to improve your performance and never give up!

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

    I try to eat and sleep well and have a balanced diet. I use protein shakes/bars after training, which help with muscle recovery and I use gels whilst doing long sessions (i.e. 90 mins+) of cycling/running. In addition, I use prebiotic powder before bed, to help improve quality of sleep, which is especially important when undertaking vigorous training sessions. I no longer drink alcohol and try to reduce my caffeine intake.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I like to work on all aspects of triathlon. I regularly train on my Wattbike, which is a great piece of equipment, as it gives me instant feedback and I can look at all the data after each session.

    Swimming is a bit more of a challenge, but I am lucky in that I don’t live far from the Olympic Pool at Stratford, in East London. Although this year use has been restricted. I try to run several times a week and am spoilt for choice, with plenty of parks and Epping Forest on my doorstep to provide variance in incline and views.

    In addition, I undertake regular strength training and Yoga sessions at home. I also follow a number of professional athletes and try to incorporate some of their training into my own.

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

    I always try to make their training sessions fun, enjoyable and progressive. I find it works best if I set some mini goals which they can achieve by a certain date. This acts as positive reinforcement and helps them to achieve their long term goals. Variety is key to ensure they don’t get bored, or lose motivation. So I try to mix it up, making sure that not all sessions are the same. In addition, it is really essential to try and instil self-belief and a positive mental attitude.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Having been a personal trainer for nearly 20 years, during that time I have undertaken a number of courses, which have helped me to add additional skills. I have quite a collection of books on fitness and nutrition and of course nowadays the internet provides an instant source of new ideas and trends, some of which I integrate into my training sessions, both personally and for my clients.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Treat every client as an individual, so get to know how to motivate them.
    2. Set them realistic and achievable goals from the outset.
    3. Encourage, encourage, encourage!

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

    Sea bass.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I wanted to support a sustainable company who like myself, care about the environment.  I am delighted to have been chosen as one of Sundried’s Ambassadors. It is great to find a company that has managed to produce eco-friendly, yet affordable, high quality fitness clothing and I look forward to working with them to promote their brand to a wider audience.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "Without ambition, there is no drive.”

    Posted by Alexandra Parren