• Alan Doney Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried ambassador cycling

    Alan first discovered multi-sport a couple of decades ago and now is a strong Ironman athlete. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been into sport as a child from school age.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I wanted a change from running and started duathlon in the 90s, I didn't start triathlon until 2011 and after two short races, I jumped into Ironman.

    What’s been your best race to date?

    I have many favourite races but draft-legal duathlon events are great with Oulton Park circuit being a good, hard course!

    And your proudest achievement?

    I also have many achievements but my age group place in the GB team for this years World Duathlon Championships was my proudest at age 51.

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

    A racing disaster was notable in the 90s, when my handlebars went sideways at a 45 degree angle. I finished the cycle, with some strange looks from the public with 'sideways bars' and ended up finishing 4th!

    My toughest race to date was the Enduroman Ironman 2011 event in The New Forest with gale force rain and cold. The mud was very deep on the off-road marathon, which was constantly up and down. I finished with severe leg cramps in 7th place and had 5 punctures on the bike!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try to think in a positive way and prepare for each race, I am then more prepared for any setbacks.

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

    My advice to newcomers would be to do the best you can and not worry about where you finish in an event.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    My goals for 2019 are to achieve the best position I can in age group races or Championships. My best position so far was 6th in the European Qualifier in March 2019 at Bedford Autudrome duathlon.  My aim is to qualify for next year's European and World Multi-sport Championships. I would also like to complete a double Ironman event (two Ironman triathlons back to back) in 2019 or 2020.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from the old 1980s 'Ironwar' between two triathlon legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen in the Kona Ironman Event in Hawaii.

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

    The ethics of recycling within the Sundried Brand is a brilliant idea and I look forward to wearing their men's performance trisuit.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Kate Miller Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador Team GB triathlete

    Kate took up running to lose weight and soon found her calling in the sport of triathlon. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Not always, I took up running at the age of 21 in order to lose weight having been overweight throughout my teens. It worked and I became hooked! I started off running around the block and then that little bit further until I was comfortably completing half marathons. Not only did running help me to lose weight but it also had a massively positive effect on my self esteem and body confidence.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I entered my first triathlon when I was 22 ( a while back...). I had very little idea what I was doing (regular swimsuit and mountain bike) and I was not particularly fast but I finished really pleased with my accomplishment. I didn't do another race until after I'd had my daughter 10 years later when it really helped me to regain my fitness and lift my mood after a difficult period in my personal life. Triathlon took me out of a very dark place and gave me focus and the confidence to push myself and realise my own capabilities.

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

    There have been so many! However, I really enjoyed the Nottingham Sprint ETU qualifier last year (2018). The swim was a bit like being in a washing machine but once I got on the bike course I felt strong and my run was equally strong meaning I finished 8th in an extremely competitive field. It was enough to give me a qualifying spot at the Glasgow European Championships which is where I first represented Team GB, a very proud moment in my life indeed.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Representing my age-group in Team GB obviously makes me feel very proud and privileged but it's the races and training that gets me there which makes me proud. Last summer, I travelled to Worthing to compete in the sprint distance race and knew I had to finish in the top 4 to qualify for the European Championships in Russia this year (2019). I pushed myself hard and finished in 4th, knowing I wasn't dependent on a roll-down place or on someone withdrawing was a huge relief and extremely satisfying.

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

    Many! Disasters have come in the form of panic attacks in the water meaning I have to stop and have a word with myself, mechanical issues such as the chain coming off, punctures...and then there's falling off and flying over the handle bars resulting in a lie-down in a ditch until the initial pain subsided!

    The toughest race I've done was probably the Slateman Full Distance Triathlon in Wales. The bike was particularly tough and the puncture I had didn't help (beautiful scenery though and great road surfaces!), the run however finished me off. A 7-mile run up and then down a slate mine. I attempted to run up the ridiculously steep parts but when the people walking were overtaking me I knew it was time to join them and save my legs for the few flat and downhill parts of the run. It was such a relief to finish and at the time I said I’d never do it again but as the saying goes ‘never say never’..

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Around 5 years ago I was knocked off my bike by a driver not looking where he was going. At the time I thought I’d just suffered a lot of bruising but it turned out I’d actually torn the scaphoid lunate ligament thus dislocating my left wrist (typically I’m left-handed!).

    Due to the complexity of the injury it was really hard to diagnose and spot on scans and X-rays but eventually I saw a specialist who operated. Overall I was in plaster for 3 months which obviously put a stop to my swimming and my outdoor cycling but instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do I concentrated on what I could manage including running, sitting on a spin bike and some strength training. It was mentally pretty tough and painful but I came out the other side and now look back upon it as something I’ve learned from which inevitably made me stronger.

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

    Be prepared to dedicate many hours of your life to training! I knew juggling three disciplines was going to be tricky but sometimes there just are enough hours in the day.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    This year I’m travelling to Russia for the European sprint distance championships, I’d really like to finish in the top 10 of my age group so that’s my goal. I’m also increasing my distance to try to qualify for the standard distance at the end of the summer in Brighton so plenty to focus on and train for over the coming months.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Lots of athletes inspire me particularly the awesome para triathletes who have the strength and perseverance to compete. My inspiration comes in many forms though including seeing strong women succeed in all areas of their lives and being role modes for future generations.

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

    I love the Sundried brand for what it stands for and it’s values. I’m a big advocate of ethical clothing and very keen to encourage people to think very carefully about what they can do for the environment and our planet. Sundried have some fantastic pieces and I’m very excited to see the new cycling range.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Jennifer Harmon Athlete Ambassador

    running swimming cycling Ironman triathlon

    Jennifer started out as a dancer but found the sport of triathlon as a means of rehabilitating injuries. She talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, sport has always been a central theme in my life and I attribute sport for keeping me so mobile now!  I swam and ran with my dad before I was old enough to join a team. I thank him for teaching me to build a strong body.

    Of course, I joined many teams as I grew older and only left them when I discovered a passion for dance.  I trained and danced throughout my youth, only leaving the path to professional after a fracture in my vertebrae and multiple dislocations left me unable to keep up with the demands of training.  I embraced Pilates and yoga over the next decade until I finally had surgery to repair my spine.  My surgeon recommended cycling as a recovery tool, and I only wish I had pursued cycling sooner!

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I needed to find a way to strengthen my entire body in the most balanced way possible.  I was somewhat active in Pilates and yoga, but I was craving more endurance and cardio.  I had recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndromes and was encouraged to build up endurance sports to condition my autonomic system.  I was told to condition my body to the best of my ability to not only assist my nervous system, but to build muscle and endurance to do the job my connective tissues cannot do.

    I remember watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona on television as a young child and I remember taking that into my daily life at the time.  I remember pretending I was racing during my evening jogs around the neighbourhood with dad or zooming around on my pink and purple bike.  I needed a big goal after so many years of not having one (after leaving dance) and the daily increasing pain from Ehlers-Danlos as my body had de-conditioned.  I signed up for an Ironman 70.3 and threw myself into training.

    I found multiple workouts a day refreshing and reminded me of my years of dance where I spent all day in the studio.  I also noticed that the three sports began to build muscle around many of my problem joints, and the pain slowly began lessening as my muscles took over.  I feel my best when I am training.

    That first race solidified that triathlon will forever hold a place in my life.  The atmosphere and the community were electric and I was pinching myself because I was there.  I had built up from bed rest and being unable to stand straight to finishing a 70.3.

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

    Lanzarote 70.3 was incredible.  The volunteers astounded me at every station and along the course.  They were relentless in their support!  The encouragement from not only the spectators and volunteers, but the breathtaking views along the course had me enamoured.  It is such a special place with such special people and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit and to do a little swim, bike, and run.

    And your proudest achievement?

    I think my proudest achievement to date would be starting the race at Lanzarote 70.3.  I had been stuck in bed for the four weeks leading up to the race with a flare-up of symptoms.  I had a good block of training before then; yet during those four weeks, I barley managed a walk and an easy indoor trainer ride most days.  My husband and I decided to go on the trip since it was paid and simply treat it as vacation with the hope of some sunshine therapy.

    As race day grew closer I was consumed by the electricity in the air and the kindness of everyone we met.  My husband has encouraged me through missed races before and knows how disappointing it can be, so he encouraged me to “go for a swim” with a few hundred friends and then see if I felt like a bike ride.  I did.  Once I started that race, I knew I would finish.  It was my slowest time, by far, but frankly that day was never about time anyway.

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

    I have completed three 70.3 races and one Xterra; yet I cannot say that I have actually “raced” any of them.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every race to date and look forward to being fit enough to actually race in the future.  I am sure I have plenty of disasters by many standards, but the unexpected is part of what I love most about training and racing.  The disasters teach me that I am stronger than I think.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Usually I go for a bike ride and I try to clear my head.  I aim to find something to take my breath away.  There is something about the emotion of complete awe that helps to reset my expectations.  Overcoming setbacks is a process as they are never easy.  I am learning that I may not be physically able to do everything I initially wanted in my life; yet the plan I may have had for my life can never be as great as the one this life has planned for me.

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

    Sign up for a race as soon as you know you want to do it…they do sell out.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    I would like to actually “race” an event this year. I have a big race calendar set for 2019, so I am working to arrive at every race healthy and to truly enjoy each day.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I am inspired by, you, the community around me.  Everyone has fought through something to be at a start line, or even to make it to a workout.  You all keep showing up and doing your best on the day despite challenges most of us know nothing about.

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

    I think it is about time that companies embrace a business model conscious of ethical production.  Fitness is medicine and the personal trainers at Sundried are leading by example.  I am thrilled to be associated with such a team!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Beginner Triathlon Training Plan

    beginner triathlete triathlon training plan first time

    Training for a triathlon can be a complicated process, especially if it's your first time. Follow this simple beginner's triathlon training plan to get you to the start line feeling your best and ready to race.

    What gear do I need for a triathlon?

    Before you begin your training, make sure you have all the gear you need to train and race. Triathlon is a complex sport with lots of moving parts, so you'll need a few different pieces of kit. Read our beginner's kit guide for first-time triathletes which outlines all of the gear you will need from a trisuit to running trainers and everything in between. 

    Related: Guide to triathlon gear

    swimming training triathlon plan guide workout

    Beginner Triathlon Training Plan

    This is a 4-week training plan for a sprint distance triathlon for absolute beginners. If you already have a fair level of fitness and/or experience, this plan may be too easy for you.

    Week 1

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Do 10 minutes of stretching afterwards.

    Tuesday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to complete this without stopping.

    Wednesday Bike Cycle non-stop for 30 minutes, indoors or outdoors.
    Thursday Rest Make sure to do stretching and foam rolling as is necessary and eat plenty of protein and drink plenty of water so that your muscles can recover.
    Friday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim to accomplish that today.

    Saturday Rest Make sure to take a complete rest day and don't be tempted to over-train.
    Sunday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Pace doesn't matter.


    Week 2

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Rest

    You may be feeling tired or achy after week 1 so take it easy, hydrate and nourish well and make sure to stretch.

    Tuesday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to complete this without stopping.

    Wednesday Run

    Run for 20 minutes non-stop.

    See if you can make it further than you did last week.

    Thursday Bike

    Cycle for 20 minutes outdoors.

    Enjoy an easy pace on a flat course.

    Friday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim to accomplish that today.

    Saturday Rest Make sure to take a complete rest day and don't be tempted to over-train.
    Sunday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Pace doesn't matter.


    Week 3

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Run Run for 20 minutes at a steady pace.
    Tuesday Swim

     Complete 6 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to swim non-stop.

    Wednesday Run Easy 10 minute run.
    Thursday Bike 20 minutes on a flat course.
    Friday Swim

    Complete 6 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim for that today.

    Saturday Rest
    Sunday Run/Bike Brick

    Cycle for 30 minutes then run for 25 minutes at an easy pace.

     

    Week 4

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Bike Cycle for 45 minutes and try to include one hill as a challenge.
    Tuesday Swim

     Complete 10 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Go all out in order to complete it non-stop.

    Wednesday Run Run for 30 minutes without stopping.
    Thursday Rest
    Friday Run/Bike Brick Cycle for 30 minutes then straight into a 15 minute run.
    Saturday Rest
    Sunday Race Day!

     Good luck!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Renato Pilipovic Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador swimming triathlon

    Renato only discovered sport very late in life after living unhealthily until he was almost 40. He can now say he's done a half Ironman and a marathon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    No! I lived very unhealthily until I was 39.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    One day I realised I was too overweight and smoked too much; I would be out of breath just walking 10 steps! So, I started to run and after a while I started to swim too. I then went to the local triathlon club and started training under the supervision of the coach. The rest is history!

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

    I ran the Lubljana Marathon in Slovenia in October 2017. It's a beautiful race in a romantic city with excellent organisation. Plus it's my only marathon to date. 

    And your proudest achievement?

    For me, the fact that I practise sport at all is a big achievement. 

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

    I didn't fuel properly during my first half Ironman. This resulted in agony that lasted for hours. But I finished the race!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Triathlon taught me that perseverance is the key to everything. Not only in racing but in life too.

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

    I wish I had started earlier!

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Improving on my personal records in all distances.

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

    The Plaret men's training t-shirt is my favourite as it is so soft and comfortable.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren