Andy made the progression to triathlon from running and has since completed a full Ironman. He talks to Sundried about training and plans for the future.
Have you always been into sport?
I’ve always been active and enjoy watching and participating in almost anything that is considered a sport. I played football at a half decent level until breaking my leg and also have enjoyed badminton, squash and golf on a social basis.
More recently I got into running and did a few half marathons which led onto my current passion which is triathlon.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
It was a progression from the running that I did. A friend at work had done a triathlon and encouraged me to start swimming. I joined a local triathlon club – Black Country Triathletes – and took my son along to some of the junior sessions. I made loads of good friends and found I loved the variety of training.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was my first sprint triathlon as the nerves were really high as I had never done something like that before. It also showed me that I could do the sport and opened up the opportunity for bigger and longer races.
And your proudest achievement?
Within sport, my proudest achievement is completing an Ironman. I’ve always been sporty, but thought of myself as a sprinter or someone with fast twitch fibres, so the endurance part of the sport has always been a challenge and is something that I’m continuing to work on.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The first time I tried to have my clip in shoes already mounted on the bike was a nightmare! I hadn’t practised at all and I ended up with a cut ankle and blood-filled white bike shoes at the start of the bike leg.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Having worked in sales for many years, I’ve often faced setbacks in a work environment, but I believe in what I’m promoting and selling and I’ll often need to tweak the process. The same is true for racing triathlon or running; I’m confident in my overall approach but open-minded to listen to people with more knowledge and experience than I have to learn to adapt. Hopefully, having a fresh outlook enables me to reflect on the setback but turn that into a positive by looking forward to the change that I need to instigate.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I’ve come to realise that you have to follow the process to get to where you want to be; things don’t come easy. So I wish that I’d understood that at an earlier stage and accepted that my progress to becoming a better endurance athlete would take time.
What are your goals for 2020?
I’m running a few trail races and I’ve already done Coed y Brenin trail half in my Sundried gear. I’m also booked up for the Outlaw full distance and Outlaw X, so I’m looking to go sub 12 hours for the full and sub 5:30 for the half.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Inside and outside of sport there are many people that I respect and admire for their dedication to a specific goal. My wife is someone I admire and she gives me inspiration with how she has focus on what she wants and how mentally tough she is.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I have a job where I believe in what I sell and promote and that is what is appealing about becoming an ambassador for Sundried; it is a brand that is ethical, open and transparent. I appreciate the quality of the products and like the fact that you can be wearing something that is made from completely recycled materials.
I love my Sundried Monte Viso Men's Padded Jacket and my cycling bib shorts are such great value. But I’d say the product that has surprised me most is the swimming goggles. They fit like a charm, never steam up and don’t rub, so I’m stocking up on a few pairs for sure.