• Debbie Bradley Duathlete

    Debbie Bradley GB Duathlete

    What do most people do for their 40th? Drink, eat cake, maybe have a mid-life crisis. Not Debbie Bradley, for her 40th she entered not one, not two, but four duathlons.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I rode horses from a young age and competed in show jumping and eventing, so I definitely had that competitive streak! When I was 22 I joined an all-male boxing gym and trained as the only female for 8 years. It was there I started to run a little and found I really enjoyed the discipline of structured training.

    I ran my first, and only, marathon at 32 and that’s where it all started for me…

    What made you decide to enter Duathlons?

    After the marathon I joined a running club and improved a lot but was plagued with injuries. I started cycling with a triathlete friend purely as a way of cross training but quickly fell in love with it! It didn’t take long before I wanted to race so I had a go at a few time trials before entering 4 Duathlons for my 40th Birthday, just to set myself a challenge and try something new… 3 years later I am loving it more than ever.

    What’s been your best race to date?

    The 2015 ETU European Duathlon Championships felt like a race when everything came together for me. After winning Gold at the Worlds, I could feel the weight of self-expectation which was mentally tough in the lead up. Although I was beaten by a phenomenal runner in my AG, I came away with Silver, the fastest bike split and top 10 women overall.

    Debbie Bradley Duathlon

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

    For sure! In my first GB Age Group race – The 2014 European Duathlon Championships in Horst. I led coming in from the first run but hit a barrier and flipped my bike less than 3 minutes into the bike course. I went to get back on but I’d snapped both front forks so it was race over. All those months of training and it was over in a flash. I think the adrenalin must have kicked in because I stood at the finish line and cheered everyone in before realising I probably needed to go to hospital.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Definitely winning Gold at the 2014 ITU World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra. I couldn’t have asked for a better 40th Birthday present. After the disappointment of my crash in Horst, to come back next race and win gold was pretty special. It’s hard to explain that moment when you realise all of those hours of sweat, sacrifice and tears have paid off.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I think this is every athlete’s biggest challenge. Being competitive is a major strength and a weakness at the same time.

    It’s hard when you work so hard and put so much of yourself into something for it then to go wrong. Last year I was in great shape and set to compete in the European and World Duathlon Championships. After a silly fall whilst out running in Lanzarote I damaged the tendon over my knee which wiped out pretty much the whole season.

    In these instances, it’s not easy but I try to gain perspective and think of the bigger picture. I’m healthy and I have a beautiful daughter and there will be other races. The bottom line is I’m an amateur athlete and I’m meant to be doing this for fun!

    Debbie Bradley GB

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

    Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Get a coach, who will help you to train hard but sensibly and trust the process. Once you relax and enjoy racing and the results will come.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    The European and World Duathlon Championships are my target races but I’ve been working really hard on the bike so I’m hoping this will translate to 10, 25 and 50 mile time trial PBs as well. So watch this space…

    Debbie Bradley

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Every day people who love what they do. People with fire in their belly and a passion to reach their goals.

    I’ve learned from some pretty awesome friends that age, balancing work and family is most definitely not a barrier to achieving your dreams.

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

    It’s important to me that a brand has strong values that mean something to me. Knowing that every purchase made includes a charitable donation is pretty awesome. So not only are their products amazing but they are making a difference to others.

    I love a nice T-Shirt and Sundried do not disappoint. Their Ortler T-shirt comes in a perfect grey colour with a slash of red. The Ruinette Tights are my absolute faves as they are flattering and oh so comfortable! I hardly take them off! Thankfully they wash like a dream too.

    You can visit Debbie's website Duathlon girl here.

    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • Louise Douglass GB Age Group Duathlete

    Louise Douglass Duathlete

    Our lastest ambassador Louise Douglass discovered Duathlon after being told that continuing sprint and hurdle would put her on an operating table. Before she knew it Louise had qualified to represent Great Britain in her age group for Duathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Since I was a little girl I have always been taking part in sport. I used to want to do everything my older brother did, so I have taken part in every sport you can imagine; Swimming, Karate, Judo, Thai Boxing, Football, Cricket, Gymnastics, Dance, Athletics, Cross country and now Duathlons and Triathlons, to name just a few!

    What made you decide to enter duathlons?

    I had been suffering for a number of years with a serious back condition and my Consultant finally gave me the news that Hurdling and sprinting would send me to the operating theatre. I couldn't walk away from sport, it was too big a part of my life. A close family member had recently passed away after a long battle with Cancer and Macmillan Nurses had supported them through the whole journey. After leaving my own Hospital appointment I felt I wanted to take part in some sort of challenge that would combine my love of sport and also raise money for Charity-London Duathlon for some reason became my challenge! I literally turned a page in a magazine and saw the advert and just went for it!

    What’s been your best race to date?

    My best race to date was the European Championships in Kalkar, Germany. Not necessarily due to my individual performance (I came 5th in my first ever International) but due to the fact for the first time in years I felt I was achieving a dream. Pulling on a Great Britain Trisuit and representing my Country.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was my first ever qualifier race. I had no idea how I would perform or where I stood against my opposition. Athletics is very clear when it comes to performance-every race is timed, ratified and ranked against everyone else. Whereas in Duathlons/Triathlons every race is different you can not look at a result and compare yourself without actually competing. Imagine my delight and actually disbelief when I won my age group and qualified outright for my First European Duathlon Championships!

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

    Oh my goodness, I have had a couple! The first Duathlon I ever did I didn't fuel properly the day before and literally dragged myself around the last run. Last year at the Bedford Autodrome I was racing in a Sprint Duathlon in Thick freezing Fog. I made the biggest mistake with my layering, and in Transition 2 I wasted over two minutes trying to get my bike shoes off and trainers on because they were so cold! The worst however was the ETU Qualifier again at Bedford back in October 2016. I had a good first run, swift transition and had just settled into the bike when BANG...puncture to my front wheel, race over and no GB Place in the Sprint Distance at the European Championships in 2017!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Any setback I see as a learning opportunity, I think that's my teacher side coming out! Setbacks I believe happen due to poor preparation. Now my kitbrick is full of extra clothes for all seasons!
    Louise Douglass GB Duathlete

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

    I wish someone had told me to just relax and let your training pay off. I have always been a competitive person and I over think a lot of things, especially on race day! This can sometimes lead to me getting over nervous, warming up for too long and then potentially not reaching my best on race day, even though Training data shows I am in the best form of my life!

    What are your goals for 2017?

    My main goals are to improve on my positions at the European and World Duathlon Championships. I finished 5th in Europe and 8th in the World. I am aiming for the podium! I want some bling! My other aim to complete a standard distance triathlon and hopefully even qualify for the ITU Triathlon Championships. It's going to be a busy year!

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take my inspiration from lots of different sources. I am inspired by my family and friends who really believe in me and push me to succeed. I am hugely inspired by those I compete against especially those that are in older age categories and are whipping my backside! I lost my Grandma a few years ago before I started Duathlons, but she would always call me before a race in athletics and wish me "Best of The British", her memory inspires me every day!

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

    My sport is an outdoor sport, embracing the environment around to challenge and push you to your limits. Sundried is an ethical company who also believe in my surroundings and environment. I think they have the perfect relationship! My favourite piece of kit is the Sundried Grivola Tee, I love to slip it on between sessions when I am chilling out and relaxing!

    Follow Louise Douglass:

    Louise Douglass Twitter

    Louise Douglass Facebook

    Louise Douglass Instagram

    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • Vote Reece Barclay in 220 Triathlon Awards

    Reece Barclay GB Age Group Triathlete

    If 2016 has taught us anything, it’s know who you’re electing before you cast your vote.

    So we get to know our ambassador Reece Barclay who is up for Triathlon 220 magazines male age group triathlete of the year.

    Describe yourself in three words:

    Committed, a little clumsy and very honest.

    Lefty or righty?

    Lefty

    Strongest discipline?

    Swimming

    Do you have any unusual or interesting racing rituals?

    I like to obsessively run through the Transition area layout so I don't get it wrong coming out the swim and off the bike.

    Reece Barclay Sundried Triathlete Ambassador

    Best race of 2016 and why:

    Ironman World Championships Kona, I stepped up into 25-29yrs category and finished in a personal best time of 9:33, I was also leading the age group out the water which was a huge buzz.

    Worst race of 2016 and why:

    Ironman UK, despite securing my World Championship qualification I had a rotten bit of luck in the build up. Man flu + food poisoning made it a seriously long day out in the 'sunny' hills of Bolton.

    How does it feel to be nominated for male age - grouper of the year by triathlon 220?

    It's an honour to be shortlisted amongst so many other talented individuals. Not just from my category but in others. I'm really pleased that my achievements have been recognised and it motivates me to strive further next season.

    Who do you draw your inspiration from?

    I have a built a list of inspiration over the years, not just from sporting greats but from lesser known unsung hero's. However, being an ex swimmer Phelps is up there as one of the biggest inspirations.

    How do you inspire others?

    I work as a Triathlon Coach and Personal Trainer, I preach to all my clients how they can all achieve personal greatness with commitment and a plan. I like to think I inspire them to strive towards their goals... even though they might not always recognise it while I'm pushing them hard in the gym!

    Reece Barclay Ironman

    What are your goals for 2017?

    My primary goal for 2017 is to obtain a professional race license so that I can start to make this hobby into a career one day.

    Why should people vote for you?

    Because I'm amazing, joke!. I'm just an average guy with a passion for Triathlon and have committed to my dream. I'm sure allot of people reading this can relate to that, and will understand the level of commitment it takes to dream big and achieve those goals.

    Reece Barclay Triathlon

    Reece has certainly got our vote.

    To help Reece achieve his goals visit the 220 Awards page and vote here.

    To find out which other awards are up for grabs read our post on Triathlon 220 Awards here.

    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • How to Choose your First Triathlon

    First Triathlon Swim

    Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a triathlon after seeing the Brownlee brothers carry each other to glory in this year's olympics.

    When choosing your first tri event, you’re spoilt for choice, but which triathlon should you enter? Follow our step by step to get you to the starting line of your first event.

    Setting a Goal:

    The first thing you need to do is make your goal of entering (and of course completing) your first triathlon, a SMART goal.

    What makes a goal SMART? Smart is an acronym which helps make your goals clear for success.

    Specific - To make a goal specific this is where you ask yourself the who, what where and whens. So for a triathlon you may decide where you want to compete, is that alone or with company and when will your first race be?

    Measurable - Make sure you can measure your progress? This could be adding minutes to the amount of time your training each week or increasing your distance.

    Attainable - Any goal is attainable if you put the work in, but make sure your triathlon goal is achievable, give yourself the relevant amount of time to complete your training and give your best performance.

    Relevant: Is your goal worthwhile, does it fit with your other aims? For example, if your secondary goal is bulking and building muscle, a triathlon could impair your progress here. Make sure all you goals compliment each other for the best results.

    Timely: This is your time limit, so for example rather than I’d love to do a tri, it’s in 2017 I will complete a triathlon.

    Once you’ve got a clear smart goal for your tri training. It’s time to pick a distance.

    Choose a distance

    The chances are you’ve probably thought about this whilst you’ve been accessing whether your goal is SMART, but this is your next step, as your distances decipher your training routine.

    The are three main triathlon distances:

     

    Race:

    Swim:

    Bike:

    Run:

    Sprint

    750m

    20km

    5k

    Olympic/Standard

    1500m

    40km

    10k

    Half Ironman

    1.9km

    90km

    21km

    ITU Long Distance 02

    3km

    80km

    20km (Double Olympic)

    ITU Long Distance 03

    4km

    120km

    30km (Triple Olympic)

    Ironman

    3.8km

    180km

    42km

     

    Typically, most people will start their first triathlon with a sprint distance, however those with a little more competitive experience, ie. marathon runners, may be tempted to begin with the Olympic distance, as they are already confident with the run. Having said that, remember the run is the last discipline meaning unlike your regular runs, your body is now tired from a swim and bike ride.

    Choose a race

    Once you’ve decided your distance, you’re set to go to pick a race date.

    To figure out which race you want to enter there are tons of tri event pages, Sundried have a list of UK events here (link to tri) . If you have a specific area in mind, simply search the area you’re heading to followed by sprint triathlon and you’ll be sure to find any events.

    First Triathlon Bike

    Indoor triathlons

    An indoor triathlon can be a great way to ease yourself into your first triathlon, as it removes the element of the sea swim - which can often be the most daunting discipline for newcomers. This allows you to practice performing three sports and perfecting your transition before you tackle a sea swim, which comes with the worry of battling the tide, other swimmers, sea debris, drifting and what can often be a difficult entry or exit to the transition zone.

    Book early - events sell out

    Events such as triathlon take a lot of training, so people tend to decide well in advance that they’re ready to enter. And with such detailed safety requirements, organisers often enforce a limit on the number of entrants. Once you’ve set your goal, book an event asap to avoid disappointment.

    Finding time - and balance - to train for three sports

    In order to ace your first triathlon you need to practice each of your three sport disciplines and it can be difficult to fit in the time for training. Even if, for example, you’re confident with your run, it’s still worth practicing a run after a cycle or swim, as this very much changes your race dynamic. Training sessions where you include more than one discipline are called brick sessions. Brick workouts stack together two sports and so are a great way of testing how your body will react after your muscles are pre exhausted. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event.

    Get a coach

    For novices, training for a triathlon can feel complicated and a good coach will make your training feel simple, increasing your confidence and ensuring you're prepared for every aspect of the race. They’ll help with your plan, nutrition and any questions which may pop up along your journey. You can visit our Personal Trainer Ambassador pages here to find a trainer profile you’re comfortable with, or alternatively visit our Personal Trainer database to find a trainer near your location.

    The Training

    Now comes the tough part, the training. Sundried are producing a training regime for your first triathlon which will be developed over the forthcoming weeks. In our ‘My First Triathlon’ section you’ll find all our hints and tips, advice from pro athletes, accessory reviews and trainer advice.
    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • Alice Hector Triathlete

    Alice Hector Running

    Meet our newest member of the team, Alice Hector.

    Alice has been racing as a professional triathlete since 2014. She is a recently crowned IRONMAN 70.3 champion (Ruegen - in a course record time), 2* Israman champion, and has collected wins and podiums at several 70.3 and full ironman distance races. Over the past 2 years she has been both Scottish Triathlon and Duathlon Champion. Alice was the fastest amateur overall at the World Sprint Championships in 2013, which is when she decided to make the move to the pro scene. Alice also enjoyed an unbroken run of ultramarathon victories from 2010-2012; a sport which she plans to return to with full force in the future. For the 2017 season - her aims lie with 70.3 championship events and more time on the podium! Aside from triathlon, Alice is a freelance copywriter and fitness model. We found out more:

    How did you get into triathlon?

    I swam and ran for the County as a child and wanted to be an elite athlete at both distance running and sprint swimming. My coaches tried to get me into triathlon but I thought it sounded like a silly sport so put it off for ages.

    When I got to Loughborough University, I approached the swim coach who promptly told me I would only be good for their 4th team, and to go and do triathlon. I could avoid it no longer. Desperate to be an elite at something, the journey started aged 19.

    I fell out of love with triathlon after a few years of taking it too seriously. I stopped, got a job and did the ‘living for the weekend’ thing for 6 years, but there was no real satisfaction in that. To keep ‘my toe in’ whilst working, ultra-marathon was my new sport. I only did a couple of years of it and won the 5 I did: the furthest being 100 miles in one day. I got injured (as you would) and was swimming and cycling a bit which also coincided with a move to Windsor in 2012, where I met lots of ‘triathlonny’ people who were actually pretty fun! Hence my relationship with EVO tri club was born and remains to this day. I decided to go for the World AG champs, won that in 2013, and never looked back. I’m loving this ‘second wind’ – it feels like I’m doing it my way this time, and it’s starting to work!

    Having said that I want to know my limits with ultra running, so will definitely look to return to that once I am too old and slow to be a pro.

    What are your top tri tips for anyone new to the sport?

    1. Join a club. Experiences are far better when shared with friends, and you’ll learn a lot too.
    2. Triathlon has so many facets to it that it can easily become obsessive. It’s important to maintain friendships and relationships outside of the sport and not become one-dimensional and boring.
    3. There will be good days and bad. Try not to get too high when it goes well and too low when it doesn’t. The nature of sport is that it’s unpredictable, so go with the flow, and try and learn from every experience.
    4. Stick at it! You’ll be amazed how far you come but it takes a bit of time. A lot of coaches say never to look back, just look forward. For me, remembering from whence I came is a vital part of keeping my motivation intact.

    How much time do you spend training?

    Totally varies. This week I’ve only done about 6 hours as I’ve had a cold! A typical week tops out at around 20-25 but I don’t really count. I’m not huge into volume and find regular, quality sessions work best for me, then I simply add in a few long rides as an aerobic boosters before any race at or above 70.3 distance.

    Alice Hector Ironman

    What are your favourite exercises?

    I like the hardest interval wattbike sessions so anything with repeats of 1,2 or 3 minutes when I’m right on the limit. The same with treadmill sessions: I like short interval repeats, repeated over and over! I prefer the treadmill as it sets the pace for you and all you have to do is not fall off.

    However, were all my sessions to be indoors I would most definitely get cabin fever, so a breath of fresh air is a wonderful thing too. Windsor has great open water swimming venues in the summer and I like the freedom of being able to do my own swimming training uninterrupted.  

    Do you have a pre race routine to get yourself motivated?

    I certainly don’t need motivating any more at big races – they are nerve-wracking enough.

    I find it best not to have a ‘must-do’ routine as this can get you stressed in a new place. I had it in my head a year ago that I needed to swim the day before a race to keep ‘the feel’ alive, so we would end up trekking into various squalid lagoons or driving a long way to go to a pool. Then I didn’t bother one race and the outcome was no different. So it’s a case of ‘whatever’ now, to an extent.

    I do lots of mobility exercises that I can do anywhere, and chill out as much as possible. A few minutes at race pace the day before the race sees me good.

    Who are your fitness heroes?

    Sadly, I have banished heroes from my life as I was a massive Lance Armstrong/100 m sprinting fan as a child and that got spoiled. I do love the stories on social media about older people running long or fast or being gymnastic at 90 – they amaze me and I hope I am fortunate enough to emulate them in some way one day.

    Alice Hector Triathlete Running

    What do you like most about Sundried?

    The Sundried brand looks great, for starters. I like the vibe of the team: positive, creative types that buy into my skillset as an athlete and brand.

    Sundried mirrors to a great extent the qualities that are required to succeed in elite sport: they take no shortcuts, use quality products, and there’s a real attention to detail with the little things, such as packaging, stitching, fabrics, and overall presentation. They’re extremely ethical and are setting the standard for other clothing brands to aspire to.   

    We’re delighted to have Alice on board and wish her all the best for competing in 2017.

    Alice wears:

    Posted by Victoria Gardner