• Megan Powell Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    Megan was inspired to get into triathlon by her mum who is an Age Group triathlete. She talks to Sundried about following in her mum's footsteps.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes definitely! When growing up, it was the norm for my family to spend the weekend out exercising or playing sport. I used to do a lot more team sports when I was younger such as netball, rugby, cricket and hockey with a little bit of running and swimming on the side to keep myself fit. I wanted to give every sport a go! The only ones I haven't quite mastered are gymnastics and horse riding.. but I'm not too sad about that!

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    Having watched my mum (also an age-group triathlete) compete and have great success for years, I was always tempted to give tri a go. However, I didn't have the confidence to do so or a road bike. I asked for a bike for my 21st birthday and it all took off from there!

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

    I did a small duathlon at the Olympic park last March on a weekday evening for a bit of fun and training. However, I ended up finding myself in second place, seconds behind first for the majority of the race. On the bike leg, my boyfriend kept shouting my splits at me each lap and I was gaining more and more time on the girl in front. I caught her in T2 and ended up leading the race for the last run- going on to take my first overall win! I absolutely loved the chase and my very first overall win was something special.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Winning my qualifier for the Sprint Duathlon European Championships 2018 and getting the chance to represent team GB! I didn't expect to win my age-group at all, perhaps scrape a qualification place.

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

    At Eton Dorney Super Sprint in May, I was leading the race the whole way but got a horrendous stitch and stomach cramp as soon as I started the run. I didn't want to stop as I was still leading but I was in so much pain- it was the hardest 5k I have ever run!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I like to try and take a positive from every situation, even if it's overwhelmingly negative. For example, if I were injured, I would look upon it as having the chance to spend some more time studying (I am a medical student), resting and planning for when I was to be training again. Everything in life happens for a reason and so you just have to make the most of every hurdle thrown at you.

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

    Ignore everyone else who is there and focus on your own race. It's very easy to psych yourself out before you've even started!

    What are your goals for 2018?

    Qualify for the World Sprint Duathlon Champs and see how it goes from there... Also I really want to work on my swimming and bring it up to the level of my cycling and running.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My mother! She has managed to juggle three kids, four cats, a job and training twice a day for years and I still don't know how she does it!  I also think Lucy Charles is pretty amazing. Although I have no intention on doing Ironman anytime soon, she has made such an impact on that world at such a young age, it's pretty inspiring!

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

    I love the charity involvement with Water for Kids that Sundried has. In the UK, we all take safe drinking water for granted and I think that combining charity support with the sale of Sundried clothes is an amazing thing to do.

    I love the Sundried Ruinette Capris, they are SO comfortable, extremely flattering and perfect for when you can't decide what the weather is going to do.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Katie Ball Triathlete

    Katie entered her first triathlon 4 years ago and has been hooked ever since. She tells Sundried about life as a triathlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    When I was younger I never really took part in sport, I just did what I had to at school. I took an interest in triathlon 4 years ago and that's when I learnt to swim.

    What made you decide to enter triathlon?

    It was different from other sports and I had a few friends that were doing it, I never thought I would enjoy it this much.

    What’s been your best race to date?

    My best race was Holkham Half in July this year, I completed the race the year before and really struggled but this year I finished strong and came 2nd in my age group.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Qualifying for ITU Rotterdam this year.

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

    My toughest race was Deva triathlon in June this year. It was my qualifying race for Rotterdam and it really opened my eyes to how tough the competition was. I had a few problems with my bike at Rotterdam but I soon got it sorted and carried on.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Just carry on no matter what!

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

    Put the hours in and you will achieve more even if you feel like you're never going to be the best there's no harm in pushing yourself. Also fuel right for every session and race.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    I am aiming to qualify for the ETU middle distance in Ibiza.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Lucy Charles, she's is amazing!

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

    I love the trisuit but my favourite is the Grand Tournalin hoody!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Xterra World Championships 2017

    Xterra is what happens when triathlon meets the wilderness. Think ocean swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but Sundried ambassador Rui Dolores made it to the coveted world championships. Here's how he got on.

    Maui, October 29, 2017

    The day starts early. The first move is to look out the window to check the weather. The weather has been very changeable recently but today the sky is clear and provides a day of sun and warmth.

    I have some breakfast, cycle to the start, and check out the water. It's choppy and hectic, which is just how I like it.

    The Swim

    After a chaotic start and being knocked around amongst the other competitors, I find my place in the group. The front-runners are strong and soon there are spaces between the groups. As I exit the water, I hear someone say that I'm in 25th position. Time to move.

    The Bike

    In Xterra, the bike course is a hilly, muddy mountain bike trail with jumps and surprises at every turn. After an initial tough climb there were some sharp corners which required full concentration to avoid crashing. I start to gain positions but had to keep a steady pace so as not to lose control. There are long climbs and the Hawaiian heat is almost unbearable, but I continue pushing up the climbs.

    After passing my support crew, I'm filled with energy and positivity.

    The Run

    I start the run in 20th position which gives me hope that I'm not out of the race just yet.The first 6k of the course is mostly uphill. It is essential to get a good pace in the first half and I was feeling good. After a few inclines and declines, I had caught up with a few athletes ahead of me.

    There are fast sections followed by sections littered with tree roots that you have to navigate and jump over, before a final descent back down to the beach.

     

    I finished 13th overall which is great for my first Xterra World Championship. Thank you so much to Sundried for supporting me through this journey.
    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Helena Kvepa Ironman Triathlete

    Helena worked as a bike fitter and got into triathlon to improve her service to her customers. She tells Sundried how that first triathlon led her on to complete Ironman races.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always enjoyed playing sport and loved riding my bicycle since I was a child. I also enjoyed winter sports too - from cross country skiing to downhill slopes. Apart from playing basketball competitively in school for a few years, sport for me has always been something I do for fun.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    My 1st triathlon was an experiment for work. I worked as a bike fitter and we did setups and worked with a lot of triathletes. So entering a triathlon was a way in which to better understand our clients. I signed up for a pool-based super sprint triathlon in 2013. At that time I could only swim one pool length in front crawl before choking and getting out of breath. I got my first road bike a week before the race. I hated running. I joined Hampstead Triathlon Club and somehow managed to finish as 2nd lady. Not long after, I qualified as a triathlon club coach to help others in their journey and give back to the sport which I enjoyed so much.

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

    I absolutely loved Ironman Lanzarote!  Not just because it's such a beautiful course or because it was my first full Ironman event, but also because the physical pain I endured and what I learned about myself and how far one can be pushed in the process. The bike leg didn't go as planned so I was worried I wouldn't be able to run. Also, it was my first ever marathon - what an experience! It was great to finish the race feeling strong and seeing my boyfriend and sister at the finish line. It's an amazing race and the whole island is out to cheer you on!

    And your proudest achievement?

    Finishing Ironman 70.3 UK in 2016. I entered the race on a whim spurred on by friends. I didn't look at the race course and was totally unprepared. My training was chaotic and  I hadn't put in enough miles. I'm a fairly strong cyclist so finished the bike leg feeling strong and didn't walk a single hill, like many did. It's a beautiful but brutal bike course. However, the run nearly destroyed me. It was hilly and mixed terrain. After the 1st of 3 laps I was ready to quit. My quads had seized up, I was angry, tired and demotivated. I didn't feel like I wanted that medal enough, I just wanted to sit down, have food and go home. I don't know where I found mental strength to continue and finish it, but I persevered and came through to finish the race. It was my worst 70.3 time to date,  the toughest finish line I ever crossed and as such felt like a real achievement when it was finally all over. I really had to work for that medal! Sadly that particular race has now been cancelled, but I still feel I have some unfinished business with it.

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

    I don't think of it as my toughest race, but it was certainly a hard day. Me and a friend did a Women's Running 10km in Finsbury Park, not long after I had a bad bike crash in June 2014. What I didn't realise was how badly my leg was hurt - I was more concerned about my missing front teeth from the accident! It was a two lap course. Towards the end of the first lap my left calf started to hurt and it felt like I had no spring in my step. I started the second lap but had to admit to myself that the pain was too much. Amazingly, the fantastic volunteers still gave me a medal and goody bag for my efforts trying to get around the course. I didn't feel like I deserved it, but at that time had no idea what was causing the pain, which was intense. My boyfriend had to almost carry me home. A bit over a month later I found out that I had a tibial fracture. It turns out that the pain was from a broken leg, which was a clean fracture all the way across the bone. I could barely walk, no wonder I couldn't run! That would have to qualify as my racing disaster.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I'm not very good with setbacks if I have people around me. I can be a bit of a drama queen and get emotional. When I'm by myself however, I just tell myself to get on with it and motivate myself to keep going. I deal with what I can and ignore what I can't deal with. I tell myself I've been in worse situations or that it could have been worse - I'm still alive. Then I do the drama afterwards once it's all over!

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

    It's not glamorous. Most importantly, racing is not the tough part, the training is!

    What are your goals for 2018?

    I've entered the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt. I want to do better than Lanzarote. Also, if it can be considered a goal, to get a time trial bike - I never felt as destroyed as in the 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga this year. My trustworthy Trek MadOne is a great partner, but it's time to step up the game.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    From my friends and club mates. It's great to see pros, but it's even more inspirational to see us average Joes overcoming obstacles, achieving, reaching goals or dealing with not getting there.

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

    I like that Sundried makes kit that does the job. Too many brands these days over complicate things. Having an eco friendly aproach is also a bonus, I spend a lot of time outdoors so feel passionate about preserving the environment I train in.

    The kit looks great, I'm really looking forward to racing Frankfurt in a Sundried suit.

    I love the seamless tights. Comfort is all on those long runs.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • What Is A Duathlon?

    A duathlon is a two-sport race which involves running and cycling in three stages (run-bike-run). A duathlon is great for those looking to move into multi-sport racing but may not be comfortable with an open water swim or for triathletes who cannot get in the open water over winter. 

    Duathlon Distances

    Similar to its counterpart triathlon, duathlons come in multiple distances to suit all competitors from beginners to seasoned athletes.


    Name

    Distance

    Super Sprint

    2.5 km run, 10 km bike, 2.5 km run.

    Sprint

    5 km run, 20 km bike, 5 km run.

    Standard

    10 km run, 40 km bike, 5 km run.

    Long

    10 km run, 150 km bike, 30 km run.


    Duathlon Training

    If you can run and you can cycle, you are more than capable of completing a duathlon.

    When training for this multisport race, whilst it’s great to focus on the individual sports, you need to get familiar with training one sport after another. This is called a brick session. Brick sessions prepare you for what it feels like to run after having jelly legs from cycling and visa versa. They are also great for building endurance and testing out your transitions, which can be tricky on race day if you are new and nervous.

    The first run of any duathlon is where you’re going to be the least fatigued, so you’re going to want to set off at your fast pace, whilst retaining energy for the bike and second run ahead. This is particularly important to practice, as you don’t want to use all your energy speeding off in the first leg, and have your other transitions suffer. If you can’t get outside and train, you can always complete a brick session at the gym.

    Duathlon Kit

    One of the bonuses of duathlon is that you don’t need as much kit as you do for triathlon events as there’s no call for a wetsuit. When it comes to duathlon clothing, the jury's out. Some people will argue that cycling shorts and a bib are fine, whilst others will suggest this is like running in a nappy and terribly awkward. Those with a tougher bum or padded seat may opt for a regular running short - which typically will be okay for shorter distances. The most popular option is to go for a tri suit or tri shorts and top. The tri suit is designed with a lighter chamois pad making a comfier ride, but without distracting your run. You can view our Sundried Tri Suits crafted with the finest Italian fabrics for the ultimate comfort here via our triathlon shop.

    When it comes to footwear, it’s best to wear what you’ve been training in. In order to limit your time in transition, if you have a pair of trainers you can bike and run in, you may save time, however some people will want to wear their cleats in order to pick up the most speed on the ride. If so ensure you have speed laces and socks which are suited to both trainers - or go sockless. 

    Once you get a taste for a multi-sport discipline, we guarantee you’ll be wanting to check out our guide to triathlon.

    Think duathlon might be for you? You can find some races you might like to enter on our events page.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren