Adam Whittaker Athlete 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!