• Shayne Wilson Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador triathlon running activewear

    Shayne made the transition from being a heavy rugby player to a competitive triathlete. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I've been into sports from an early age. I got into competitive swimming until my teens. During my teens I chose to dedicate my time to hockey. I'd say I enjoyed sports in my 20s but didn't dedicate myself to it. It was a pastime and more about socialising and being with team mates than a passion. Until my 30th, when injuries started to take their toll, but also hockey began to impact triathlon training - you can't train hard covered in bruises all the time! Since then, I've dedicated myself to triathlon.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I took a bet from a friend at the hockey club. I was a stocky 15st lad and my friend had dropped a lot of weight over pre-season. I asked him how and he told me he'd started training for the London Triathlon. He knew about my swimming background and asked how fast I could do the swim in - he bet me that I couldn't beat him and laughed when I told him that I'd be 19 minutes in my prime. So I entered, bought a road bike for £300, and began swimming, biking and running as often as I could.

    I fell totally in love with the training and after my first race I was hooked. My first race was the Pendle Triathlon. It had been blowing a gale, there were downed trees on the course and people had been dropping out with hypothermia. I loved it though.

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

    That has to be Snowman Savage. I came 4th by about 3 minutes. However, the sprint trip on the Saturday is a drag race downhill, then a turnaround and climb back through the most beautiful North Wales scenery. Then the "Olympic" on the Sunday is a hilly bike through North Wales and Snowdonia, with a run up to the summit of Moel Siabod. It's an amazing race in an incredible location.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Qualification for the GB age group team. Given my starting point of fitness, seeing GB trisuits at my first race, I set it as a goal for myself immediately after that race and I achieved it 4 years later. I've had a family and qualified for worlds and Europeans since, but did not take the places which I really regret. However, my aim is to qualify again and see how well I can do against the best age groupers in the sport.

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

    Racing disasters would be the European Championships in 2017. I went into that race in great shape, but contracted a tummy bug a few days before. I was running in and out of the race briefing the day before so started the race a little under the weather and having to concentrate on holding myself together - remember to eat "safe foods" before a massive race! To make matters worse, I punctured at the turn around point on the bike leg, so had to nurse the bike back to transition for 10km.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Good question. I think the first thing is to expect them. Setbacks tend to happen to me when I least expect them, but at least I've got a Plan B and can deal with them. When they do happen, like injuries and such, I think it's important to remember a few things: you can't get fit if you're not healthy - so focus on your recovery and learn to pre-hab when you're fit again. Fitness that you've already built will return quickly. Focus on the journey and the process  - it's all part of what makes our sport great!

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

    Aim higher.

    What are your goals?

    My goal is to podium at a major championship race.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    A few people. When training gets really tough or racing hurts, I tend to think of my wife, my daughter, my parents and other loved ones. I really like Chrissie Wellington's advice of dedicating a kilometre to a loved one.

    In terms of people I look up to - Jan Frodeno, and I love the way that Lionel Sanders trains.

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

    I love the ethical and environmentally-friendly aspect of the brand. We have so much kit and plastic in our sport. I think it's important for us to do what we can to help the environment. However, I wouldn't use it if it wasn't exceptional for me to race and train in. I love the comfort and quality of the garments. my favourite is my bib shorts - so comfy - even for hours on Zwift!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Daisy Davies Athlete Ambassador

    cycling triathlon activewear fitness

    Daisy is a young triathlete who has big dreams of competing professionally. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I have been involved in sport from a young age. Initially as a way to channel my energy! I tried lots of different sports but enjoyed running and mountain biking the most.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I first discovered triathlon at the age of 11, after entering a local triathlon race my dad found as something for me to do. I turned up with my trusty mountain bike and a pair of trainers and really enjoyed it and wanted to do more. Four races later, I won the national championships for my age group of Tristar 2 at the IRCs (Inter regional Championships) representing Team South West.

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

    My favourite race to date has to be the British Triathlon Big Weekend last year. I entered the race with no expectations due to returning from a substantial injury and a bad bike crash. I surprised myself by coming in 2nd Youth B, which meant even though I only raced 3 races of the British Super Series I came 2nd overall. However, the result isn't the reason why this race is my favourite, it's because it showed me how much I enjoy the sport and love racing.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement is coming 1st in Youth B at the 2019 Performance Assessment Weekend, as I showed how my hard winter's training was worth it.

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

    When I was around 13/14, I managed to go head-over-heels in T1 trying to get on my bike. Thankfully I managed to get back on my bike and finish the race!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I've had a few setbacks, both small and big. The biggest thing I've learnt is to focus on myself and not what others are doing.

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

    I wish I had built more recovery into my training programme, as I think this would have helped to improve my performance and avoid some of the injuries I've had.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to keep enjoying the sport and continue to move up through the levels, hopefully to a professional level, racing in the World Triathlon Series around the world. I am also very interested in Xterra, which is the off-road version of triathlon, as well as Ironman 70.3 racing.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from professional athletes, especially Vicky Holland and Georgia Taylor-Brown, as I have had the privilege of training with them. They race at the level that I want to reach.

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

    I like Sundried as it's affordable but still high quality and is sustainable, which many other big sportswear brands are not! I'm really looking forward to getting the Sundried Velo jersey and bib shorts and putting them though their paces!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Fran Bungay Athlete Ambassador

    sundried activewear triathlon ambassador cycling

    Fran is a triathlete who set up her own triathlon club and now also trains others to become triathlon coaches. She talks to Sundried about the highs and lows of triathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    No, I didn't get involved in triathlon until after I had children. I wish I had though; it's great to see so many juniors enjoying the sport from a young age, and the great thing about triathlon is that with Age Group competition, you can still race no matter your age.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    A friend suggested giving it a go and I loved every second of it. My breaststroke at that point was better than my crawl, but I worked hard at it over the years. It was a critical turning point in my life as it also changed my career from a teacher to a PT to a Triathlon Coach and Triathlon Coach Educator, working for the BTF training new coaches.

    While my children were young, I re-trained, set up taster sessions in schools to promote triathlon to our younger generations, and established a Junior Triathlon Club in the Purbecks. This is now a family club for all ages and abilities from 7 to those in their 70s.

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

    This is tricky as I have fond memories of lots of races, but for different reasons. The race I keep going back to because it is just iconic is the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon. I have raced the long course quite a few times and the short course a couple of times. We have a place overlooking Lake Verney, the start of the race, where we run triathlon camps and spend most of the summer, so that probably helps!

    However, the race itself provides a challenge; you have 3 mountains to climb on the bike route, the last one being Alpe d'Huez, as the run is at the top of the mountain. The race features stunning scenery, amazing sportsmanship and the experience of being involved in an athlete-centred week-long festival of triathlon, as there are junior races, duathlons, and both short and long triathlon events.

    And your proudest achievement?

    In terms of racing? That's a really hard question, as all the races I have won have been amazing, either championship events or local events. Maybe a standout race for me would be winning the European Ironman Championship Event. Racing was going really well that year, but unfortunately I had damaged my ankle, and halfway through the 3rd lap on the run I went over on it again and couldn't walk, let alone run.

    I knew I was having a fantastic race and was in the lead, so I managed to find a way of running on the straight bits of the road and walking around corners, finishing the race in the medical tent. It was also my last key race in terms of performance, as from that point onward it was about managing the ankle until I had surgery.

    If we are looking at triathlon in a more broader sense, then setting up Tripurbeck Club and establishing an amazing team of Goalspecific Athletes, who work hard and perform out of their skin is very special. I am probably more nervous when we have team members racing now!

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

    Lots! I have had my handlebars on my bike come loose, my breaks have failed, gears broken, the best was probably my pedal coming off - sadly it was a Championship event! Getting disqualified due to losing my race number on the bike. Last year racing in Peguera I was stung in the face by a jelly fish, which meant I couldn't see out of my left eye, my face blew up, and over the course of the bike I began to feel rather unwell. I still have the tentacle scar on my face! That is one I will not forget, and I still managed to climb onto the podium. They were not my toughest races though.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I have suffered from anaemia a few times throughout my racing career, but the biggest setback for me was returning to racing after ankle injury. I had surgery to have a ligament pinned in my left ankle a few years back, and at the same time I was losing my dad to cancer over the course of a couple of years. The net result was my rehab was sidelined as my dad was the priority, and the next few years I found that I was unable to run, picking up injury after injury on my left leg, starting from the foot working its way up to the hip.

    All races over the last few years have been a swim, bike, then struggle to the end. Last year I was going to call it quits as I could not find a solution to it. However, I decided one more year, worked hard on specific ankle strength work and mobility work, went back to basics with running and built it back up very slowly.

    Joe, my physio, worked very hard on my hip and left leg, and I have got to a place now (fingers crossed) where for the first time in literally years I can run pain-free, consistently, and am enjoying it again. Huge thank you to my husband, and coach Ade for getting me to this position. It's just a shame there are no races! However, I am finally excited at the prospect of being able to race again.

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

    Just focus on yourself, your own goals, and don't worry about anyone else, and always remember the reasons for doing it in the first place!

    Focus more on the impact of your mental self, as it's very powerful. Self doubt and negativity will have an impact on every outcome, although this is easier said than done!

    That is not to say I didn't know this and was not provided with the advice, but when it all is going your way, you are naturally more positive, and do not have so many negative demons. After many setbacks, it's very difficult to find that positive mindset and to create realistic positive goals that are far from what they used to be.

    Over the last year, I have had to work very hard at this, and hopefully when racing starts again I will be racing with a more positive mindset and self-belief in my ability to race to the end, not just T2!

    What are your goals?

    In terms of my racing goals, my overriding aim is to be able to get off the bike and run pain-free (obviously within reason, it always hurts!) with a positive mindset to the end of the race. In terms of outcome goals, if I am fit, have raced to the best of my ability, I will be happy with the outcome, whatever it is.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My family and our Goalspecific Athletes. They are all truly inspiring; without them and being fortunate enough to be part of their own triathlon journeys, I would have stopped racing years ago.

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

    Sundried's values and ethics are paramount. I also love the simplicity of the kit, comfort and quality. At the moment my favourite would be my running shorts, which are very comfortable in this heat. Though I am looking forward to riding in the bike kit I have just ordered!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Tilly Anema Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador triathlon cycling

    Tilly is a triathlete who has competed in the Super League Triathlon series. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I have always been involved in sport and started swimming competitively when I was 9 years old.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    When I was 17, I started to really enjoy running as well as swimming so I decided to have a go at triathlon.

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

    My favourite race was Super League Malta. It was such a great experience and I also enjoyed racing in the heat

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was racing at Super League during my first year of competing in triathlon.

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

    My toughest race was performance assessments which was the first of the super series races, as I was new to this style of racing and didn’t know what to expect and finding out how important each individual element of the race was (especially transition!)

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I have overcome setbacks by learning from every race, working on areas for improvement and focussing on the positive parts of every race.

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

    I wish I had known how fantastic it feels to compete… I would’ve started sooner!

    What are your goals for 2020?

    Perfecting my transitions.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from both my parents for working so hard. Also Joe Skipper as he’s a local inspiration within triathlon. Watching the level of competition with the likes of Cassandre Beaugrand and Sophie Coldwell inspires me to train hard to get results.

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

    I love the ethics behind Sundried and style of all the kit. It’s hard to chose my personal favourites but among them is the Sundried Ultra High Visibility Cycle Jacket, what a great bit of kit to been seen in!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Tom Spencer Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador

    Tom is a Team GB Age Group triathlete who works hard to achieve results. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    During my childhood my main sport was football which I played for 12 years, I also played cricket during my teenage years before finding a love for weight training and bodybuilding. I competed in my first triathlon 9 years ago but only decided to dedicate all my efforts to the sport 2 years ago and have seen massive improvements so far.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I love pushing myself to the limit and seeing how far I can go in every sport I play and found the challenge of being able to compete in 3 sports back to back the ultimate physical test. I also love the training as it’s so varied I never get bored!

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

    My favourite race is probably the national relays at Holme Pierrepoint, more for the atmosphere and team aspect than my individual performance or course, it’s a great day out and you meet lots of like-minded people!

    And your proudest achievement?

    Definitely qualifying and competing at the ETU Standard Distance Duathlon Championships in Punta Umbria. I worked so hard all year to qualify and the whole experience was amazing! It’s definitely something I want to do again.

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

    By far the toughest race was the ETU qualifier at the Bedford Autodrome last October. It was freezing cold, wet and windy, I was definitely underdressed for the weather and suffered mild hypothermia as a result. Although I qualified for the European Championships so it was worth it in the end!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Re-evaluate your goals and aspirations first and concentrate on the things you have control over. You may have to miss your target race due to injury or illness but there are plenty more races to enter. Work on addressing the issues, weather it be doing more rehab and pre-hab work or addressing your diet and lifestyle to help prevent any illnesses you might pick up.

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

    Join your local club, whether it’s swim, cycling, running or triathlon club, join them all! They help keep you motivated and disciplined in your training. The people there are always so friendly and you can pick up some great tips and advice from everyone there, from how to setup transition to local cycling and running routes.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    My main goal this year is to complete my first 70.3 distance race and qualifying for the European and World Duathlon Championships in 2021. This is looking to be very difficult as all qualifiers this year have been cancelled. I feel very lucky to have managed to race once this season, as racing in 2020 looks unlikely. 2021 is going to be a busy year!

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    As a British triathlete, the obvious role models are Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, those 2 have achieved so much and have helped the sport become more mainstream. I also look up to Lionel Sanders, his background and what he has achieved is so amazing and you can’t forget Jan Frodeno who has won everything from Olympic Gold to 3 times Ironman World Champion. They are all absolute machines!

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

    The fact the company is eco-friendly and has a 100% recycled range is a massive positive for me, I think we all need to look at how we can do our part to preserve the environment. The high visibility cycling jacket is a must for winter cycling. You can also unzip the sleeves and turn it into a gilet so you can be seen whilst running in the dark which I love.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren