Alice was inspired to enter the world of triathlon after doing an endurance event in the Lake District. She tells Sundried about life as an age grouper while maintaining a full-time job.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes I've always loved sport. I was a dancer for 11 years, competing in anything from street dancing to Latin & Ballroom. I started swimming competitively when I was 14 and carried this on whilst at university where I studied Sports Science. Since leaving university I have dabbled in lots of different sports including weightlifting but have finally now settled on Triathlon.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I did an endurance challenge in the Lake District in 2013. It involved cycling 26 miles through quarries, hiking up and down Helvelyn and kayaking 3 miles across a lake before cycling 24 miles back home! It took us 11 hours and I loved it! I realised that if I could do 11 hours of exercise in this way I should be able to do an Ironman, so my journey began!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I loved my first AG World Champs in Edmonton. It was only my third ever Triathlon so I had no idea what I was doing but I loved the atmosphere, the course, the support, it was just amazing! I really hope I get the opportunity to race there again.
And your proudest achievement?
I think it would be my first AG Triathlon podium in 2016. It was my first sprint race of the year and my first triathlon since a serious hip injury at the end of the 2015 season. I had to re-learn how to run and was so worried about the race as I still wasn't completely comfortable whilst running. But everything went to plan and I managed to come second at the AG British Champs. I think it was the sense of relief more than anything but I was so pleased to have made it through all the rehab work and be back to racing.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I have a disaster every other race!! I'm quite clumsy; I fall over quite a lot, most spectacularly whilst racing at Eton Dorney when trying to do a flying mount. It did not end well! I've also been punched in the head during the swim and had a concussion, split my feet open and had to run in blood filled shoes, had asthma attacks (before they knew I had asthma) mid race, I've had more mechanicals than anyone I know - I am a walking disaster!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Well first of all I spend about 24 hours sulking and probably crying. Then I like to think that I look at all my race elements rationally and determine which elements are completely under my control and can therefore be changed. So if my chain comes off mid-race, I can't control that but I can make sure I can deal with that situation quickly so that it doesn't hugely impact my race. If I had a bad swim I'll discuss this with my coach and we talk through ways of adapting training and my race day tactics to make improvements.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
The importance of listening to your body and not over doing it. I find it really easy to slip into obsessively training, comparing myself to professional athletes even though I work full time and can only train around 10 hours per week. I am notorious for pushing myself too far and getting ill. It's a really fine balance but I feel like I'm learning to listen to and giving my body a break if it needs it without feeling guilty about missing training.
What are your goals for 2018?
I would like to race both the Sprint and Standard Distance races at the AG Worlds in Australia so this will be my main focus. I will also be racing at the AG Sprint Europeans and I'd like to race in some of the elite races again this year - mainly to redeem myself from last years disastrous race at Blenheim where I passed out in the swim. I wasn't very well and shouldn't have raced - just one shining example of me not listening to my body!
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I'm very lucky to be part of a team called Artemis Tri. My three teammates are a constant source of inspiration to me, they are incredible athletes all whilst juggling full-time jobs, Masters degrees, babies - the whole lot! I love having that support network whilst being challenged in my own training - we all know that despite being teammates we all want to win and that's okay. It's a really nice dynamic to be a part of.
Then obviously the likes of Jodie Stimpson, Flora Duffy, Jess Learmonth and the ultimates Christie Wellington and Gwen Jorgensen. These ladies never cease to amaze me - they are incredible at what they do!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love that the Sundried range is ethically produced. This is really important to me and seeing as I spend half my time in sports kit it's great to have a company producing high quality kit with a low carbon footprint.
My favourite items are the sports bras (super comfy) and the training vests - I don't like my kit to be too clingy and these tops are perfect for my gym and run workouts.