Andy is a triathlete who is conscious about his impact on the environment. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
How did you first get into triathlon?
In 2012 I got back into running after a few years away from it and trying other sports. So decided to get back into running for my local club Nuneaton Harriers, but in 2013 during a game of squash tore my hamstring which I didn’t realise at the time was very serious and would in fact stop me running for the next two years. Being so determined to get back to fitness, a lot of specific strength based exercises assisted with being able to start running again. And with a lot of member’s at Nuneaton Harriers trying Triathlon I decided to enter Hever Castle and in my first triathlon took part at the Olympic Distance. This was the first taster and despite suffering a puncture still performed reasonably well. Since then I’ve competed in a couple of triathlons and a duathlon. Once Covid allows I’ll get back into Triathlon’s and see what I can achieve.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
It has to be Hever Castle. The ground of the Castle are stunning and a really nice setting to test yourself. I didn’t realise when I applied just how hilly this course was for the bike leg. That was a real shock to the system. But due to some consistent training I managed to continually pick up places during the bike leg.The run around the grounds made the 10km seem like 5km.
What is your proudest achievement?
I think changing the rear tyre during Hever Castle triathlon due to the puncture in under 5 minutes is up there with my achievements. But also after my hamstring tear being told that I’d probably never be able to run competitively again due to the seriousness of it. But I’m not one to give up and I’m now back running, competing in cross country races and with all the strengthening exercises the hamstring has never felt so strong.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
No real racing disasters. I competed in a cross country race a few years ago and being in the top 5 places with about 3 miles to go I got sent the wrong way for half a mile and then slid down to mid 40’s. Albeit frustrating it was a case of drop out which isn’t me or use the frustration to my advantage…. Hence I chose the latter and worked my way back to a top 10 finish. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some races where I just thought it was pointless exercise but equally those bad races are still good training.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I genuinely believe that you either let these setbacks get to you and drag you down or you learn from them and use it to your advantage. I’ve had a lot of setbacks and not just injuries, but believing in yourself and then having a support network of people around you that you can rely on when you need them the most. That works both ways and I’ll always support those close to me or anyone that asks for help.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Be consistent and remember that rest and recovery is really important. There’s no point absolutely exhausting yourself during every workout because you can’t sustain that level. Varying the training brings additional benefits. But equally in recent years I’ve noticed the added value of good rest and recovery. You reap the benefits during future workouts and this has benefited me hugely since returning to competitive sport in recent years.
What are your goals?
In terms of running, 2021 has started strangely and who knows how the year will pan out for competitions. The plan is to reduce my times for 5k up to a half marathon. With regards to Triathlon I had some races planned in but I’m now waiting to see where and when we can compete. The aim this year is to not just take part but use each race as a platform to improve after each race. My cycling needs to improve so that I’m not relying too heavily on running.
Who inspires you?
Two people. Chris Thompson and Stefan White. Both of these chaps were/are runners. They were extremely talented but both struggled with injuries throughout their careers. I’ve been there and watched them both race when fit and no one could touch them. Watching Stefan White over cross country and how the mud never seemed to slow him down was one of those things you cannot explain unless you see it in person.
Why work with Sundried?
I became aware of Sundried a couple of years ago whilst searching for some training clothing. So I ended up purchasing a few items and seeing how it performed against other well-known brands I was really impressed. So it was a no brainer for me really, I'm excited to work with an ethical clothes apparel business whose products are ideally suited to my sport and to assist in promoting them and their ethics.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.