• Adam Diver Athlete Ambassador

    swimmer triathlete Sundried activewear

    Have you always been into sport?

    Sport has always played a massive part of my life. I served 27 years in the army and being part of a team has become second nature. Relying on someone to achieve your goals helps you progress physically and mentally while building confidence.

    I started swimming at the age of 6 and it still plays a big part in my life, however triathlon is now my main sport.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I started triathlon training at a “late age” – 30ish. I was already fit from my army training so running wasn’t an issue. I have always ridden a bike leisurely so I picked up the pace and trained on my turbo every second I had; I even had a turbo set up next to my desk at work!

    Competing in army triathlons was fantastic. They were run monthly and organised perfectly, as you would expect from the army. This gave me the confidence to enter civilian competitions when I started to climb the tables. My last triathlon was a sprint triathlon where I came 10th out of 450 competitors – I trained hard with no injuries so the early mornings paid off!

    I like the buzz that you get from the other competitors. The kit people wear, the bikes and the stories at the end. Some competitors will have a great swim while some competitors will tell you the opposite. The bike section is the most unpredictable for me as you just never know; you may encounter a mechanical. The last stage, the run, is always in the back of your mind. Have you burned out? Did you give the swim and the bike too much pace?

    All three disciplines need to be practised and practised again to make sure you finish the race. Finishing is the aim and it’s always nice to get a PB.

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

    Southport 2018 GB Age Group qualifying race; I didn’t make the cut that year however I learned so much about myself, both mentally and physically. The way my training had to move up a level to compete with disciplined and committed competitors. It made me more hungry and determined to be better.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Ironman UK Bolton was pretty cool to finish. My family and friends came to watch which was fantastic, especially at the end. The training was heavy but enjoyable. I spent lots of hours in the saddle and hitting the tarmac ready for the run. The aim of the race itself was to finish and forget the time (as long as I made the cut off) which made all three disciplines fun to do.

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

    My toughest was Southport 2018 – I had a few disasters, the first being the swim. I was kicked in the face and my goggles were ripped off my face. This wouldn’t be a problem usually however the incident broke a strap so the goggles kept leaking; the swim was now even tougher than usual! After this I wanted to catch up and regain the time I had lost. This wasn’t the best tactic and the race started to fall apart. I came 11th in my age group when I was really looking at a top 4 place.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Learn from past experiences and try not to make them again. Stick to a plan and be race ready. If your training has setbacks, just do your best and come back stronger.

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

    Take things easy and enjoy races when you can. Try other sports as enjoyment; this will ease the self-induced pressure that can sneak up on you for your main sport and your A race.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    I am planning to swim the channel. I have my qualifying swim on 16th October 2019 in the Lake District. This consists of a 6-hour non-stop swim in 16 degree water. I have a kayaker with me who will monitor the swim and make sure I stick to the rules and regulations. The channel swim will hopefully be in 2020 or maybe 2021.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My mum. She has survived cancer twice and always fights back when it gets tough. I think of her when I’m struggling to pull through.

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

    I like wearing the Olperer t-shirt to relax in – maybe my day off. The tri kit is my favourite.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ryan Coombes Athlete Ambassador

    running triathlon racing

    Ryan got injured playing rugby and discovered triathlon during recovery. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, from young age I have played rugby and football to academy level. I pretty much had no life outside playing football and rugby. I live and breathe sport. I took up triathlon 5 years ago and have started training as my main priority since the start of 2019.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I had a concussion and triathlon was my way of getting over it. I love the challenge of doing three events instead of just one. There is an endless amount of opportunities you get in triathlon being the places you can train in the world and the amount of amazing people with very different backgrounds.

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

    Ironman Wales - Biggest achievement and very hard day but crowds were just amazing and kept me going every step of the way. It was a very hard day and I loved every second of it.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Finishing IM Wales and qualifying for GB Age Group.

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

    The Wimbleball Triple Crown weekend is the hardest event I've ever done. On the Saturday morning it's a 10k run followed by an Olympic distance triathlon that evening. Then Sunday morning it's a middle distance triathlon. If anyone has raced in Wimbleball you will understand how hard this was. On the Sunday, I hit the wall after getting off the bike during the middle distance triathlon. It was a very long half marathon after that.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I keep trying, re-plan my approach, and give it another go. I always try to keep a smile on my face.

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

    Trust the process of your training and keep to a plan. Don’t over train.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    • Getting the best time and the highest position I can at the European Championships in Estonia.
    • To PB in all of my events.
    • To enjoy the season and come out the other side stronger and better.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My father.

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

    All of the designs of the clothes are excellent. I love how the brand is very environmentally friendly and that they make kit from recycled products. They make a big difference to the cause and it is needed.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Scott Findlay Athlete Ambassador

    triathlete stretching wetsuit swim

    Scott was inspired into triathlon by a relative and hasn't looked back since. He talks to Sundried about the highs and lows of racing. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    I've been into sport pretty much my whole life. I started with team sports at primary school and very quickly discovered that although I could run around and go fast, my skills didn't quite match up to my engine. But I persevered and played football until secondary school and then ice hockey until I was about 20.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    The idea came to me from a relative who at the time was 70 and was doing triathlons (he still is!) After stopping ice hockey, I spent a while just going to the gym and going running for fun but eventually needed a new focus. I needed a new challenge and it's safe to say I definitely found it in triathlon.

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

    Challenge Almere Middle Distance 2017. I don't think it was my fastest or best placed middle distance race but everything clicked into place perfectly and I was able to completely empty the tank on the run. Sometimes that doesn't happen because there's such a long time for things to go wrong, so I really enjoyed being able to 'race' the run rather than just getting through it.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Probably my whole 2017-2018 season. Not for any one particular performance but for what I did in the season. I raced The Championship in Slovakia, ITU Long Distance World Champs in Odense, ETU Sprint Distance European Champs in Glasgow and ETU Middle Distance European Champs in Ibiza. It was a lot of travelling and racing in high pressure conditions. By the end of the season I was totally done in but how I handled myself during the season made me pretty proud.

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

    My one DNF... it was a sensible decision at the end of the day but I still wish it hadn't happened. I was preparing for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2015 and raced the 'A Day In The Lakes' middle distance triathlon, in spite of issues with my Achilles. I got through the swim which was cold and miserable. I got through the bike which was full of hail and sleet and just generally a horrible time. I got 4km into the run and my Achilles started playing up. If I hadn't been racing at the World Champs in a few weeks time I might have pushed on or even walked the rest of the run. But to get that far into the race just to have to take a shortcut home and hand in my timing chip was devastating.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    My Achilles issue was a big setback for me, I was super fit at the time and lost a lot of fitness. But by being methodical about it I know I can break the problem down and tackle it like that. I was able to say, "yes maybe it has messed up the rest of the season but I can get over it." I broke it down and figured out why it had happened and what I could do to fix it.

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

    Don't worry about all the gear yet. If you're going to do Ironman Nice next year - do more training!

    What are your goals for 2019 and 2020?

    2019-20 season is going to be slightly different from the previous 7. The focus is going to be on doing what I enjoy with a much broader view of racing middle distance/full distance competitively in a few years' time.

    Having fun is a big one; if I don't want to swim I'm not going to force myself and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. I want to do an ultra run and I want to do a bike race. I'm also thinking about a week-long self-supported run trek. The idea behind all these things is that not only will I enjoy doing them, in a couple of years my aerobic fitness should be through the roof!

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Although I'm hugely impressed by the professionals' ability to basically train full time (it's harder than you think!) the elite age groupers inspire me most. Some of these athletes have been racing for years and years, getting up ridiculously early to train before going to work a full day, training after work and then going home to spend time with family. That time management and commitment is something I think we can all aspire to, whether it's sport related or not!

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

    The eco mindset definitely drew me to the kit at first but having used it for a while now, the quality of the kit itself is a huge plus too. I've used the softshell jacket so much and really like that but I am also a huge fan of the Plaret Training T-shirt (especially because I've never owned a piece of clothing made from recycled plastic bottles before!)

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Adam Whittaker Athlete Ambassador

    duathlon race triathlete Sundried ambassador

    Adam was a sporty child and that translated well into becoming a great athlete. He talks to Sundried about training and racing. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Always! Sport has been a massive part of my life from a very young age. From trekking up mountains in various national parks with my parents as a child to playing county hockey as a teenager, sport has always been a form of relaxation and a goal simultaneously.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I come from a background of cycling but had done county/national level athletics at school so my running was quickly up to speed and working as a lifeguard for several years made it an obvious step.

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

    National Universities team time trial 2019. While a student, I was president of the cycling club at the university and racing with people who where also committed to the club for a shared goal made it very memorable and coming away with a strong finishing position was a massive bonus!

    And your proudest achievement?

    My first half marathon. My first 13.1 mile race (and longest to date) was in March 2019. With excellent weather conditions and a solid winter of preparation behind me, I was hoping to finish in sub 1 hour 25 minutes. Despite a poor starting position (as a debut) I pushed hard to chase down the athletes ahead and finished in a time of 1 hour 17 minutes, good enough to put me in the top 100 male finishers overall on the day!

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

    One that particularly out is the ETU Duathlon Age Group qualifier in February of 2019. The weather. Oh the weather! 70mph winds, torrential rain and 2 degrees above freezing made for grim racing conditions. Due to being slightly disoriented by the conditions, I managed to accidentally completed an extra lap on the bike (woops!) After a solid 2 hours of running and riding hard (mostly to stay warm) I was happy, firstly that it was over but also that I had successfully qualified for the European Age Group Championships for 2020.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try to overcome setbacks in a logical and managed way while making the most of what I could do and this would be the advice I would give to others. I recently struggled with a neck injury which was limiting my cycling as I could not hold my head in the desired position. While the injury healed, I was able to keep training with posture-focused running and no hand/upright turbo sessions.

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

    Listen to your body to prevent over training. While a large training load may initially feel beneficial, it will quickly take its toll. Build into training and don't do too much too soon (speaking from experience!)

    What are your goals for 2020?

    My biggest goal is the European Age Group Championship. It will be my first championships so it is hard to give a realistic goal but placing high will be strongly on my mind. A sub-75 minute half marathon and PBs in 10/25/50 mile cycling time trials are also in mind.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My inspiration comes from the sheer enjoyment of sport. This makes the scarifies, early mornings and late nights worth it.

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

    Sundried was created by an athlete, just like you or I. The founder, Daniel, had the goal of creating well-priced yet good quality kit for sports people. Quality kit for sports use can be a barrier to entry for many into a sport and having brands like Sundried make this possible for more to get into sport. My favourite piece of kit is one I purchased before knowing much about Sundried, the water bottle. Sleek looking and designed for use equally in an office or the gym while saving the planet!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sarah Tye Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried activewear triathlete ambassador

    Sarah specialises in cold water swimming and has done some of the toughest races out there, including the now defunct Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball. She talks to Sundried about training, racing, and inspiring her daughters. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been into sport – mountaineering, caving, kayaking, running, climbing, cycling – so moving into triathlon sport was natural to me.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I was inspired to get into triathlon by my daughters as well as my friend who is a Team GB Age Group triathlete. I wanted to inspire my daughters to do what I have done and to see that anything is possible. Now I want to inspire others to see that they can do it too. If I can do it, anyone can.

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

    It’s always the Cotswold 113 half Ironman in June. The organisers, 113 Events, are lovely and it’s a great race for all levels and age groups.

    And your proudest achievement?

    There have been so many! Training my daughters to swim in cold water and learning to race in open water. Moving to a TT bike and my 5 years of triathlon achievements. 

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

    There have been a lot, but I would have to say missing the bike cut-off for Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball. I cried for 2 days! I was ten minutes over the time allowance but there was 3 miles of climbing on the bike route.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I stay calm and work through them, like I do with my businesses. You have to stay focused on the goal and then put in place activity to sort out what might have gone wrong. Sometimes a challenge isn't right for you and you have to accept that. For example, I tried to complete the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim but it was way out of my league.

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

    I learnt everything the hard way on my own without advice but I think that has made me a better athlete. I made so many mistakes; wrong bike, gears, wetsuit, injury, over training, crashes and more, but I have learnt so much. It’s the journey that counts!

    What are your goals for 2020?

    Complete the Polar Bear Swim, do another Ironman 70.3, complete a long distance swim, and get my girls to 2k in open water and on the road; they are 12 and 13. 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    All my friends do amazing things and I just look at them and I am in awe!  Swimming in the World Cold Water Championships, my friend Corinne Clarke going to Kona, seeing Sarah Thomas swim the channel 4 times back-to-back, Ross Edgley and Lewis Pugh. 

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

    I love the fact it's sustainable but also technical. It’s a brand trying hard to be the best. I love the barefoot gym shoes because I love wearing less in the gym on my feet and of course the women’s performance tri suit – because that’s me!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren