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Chris Debonnaire Athlete Ambassador

cyclist triathlete cycling athlete

Chris has worked hard to achieve his goals and now has even more he'd like to achieve. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

Pretty much, I've always been fairly active, whether that be competing or just being outdoors and on the go. I also took part in a variety of sports at school, such as swimming, cricket and hockey, the last of which I continue to play now alongside triathlon.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

I had had surgery on my foot after an injury so was spending quite a lot of time swimming and cycling as part of my rehab. I was enjoying it after not swimming since school and decided to enter a sprint triathlon for charity as a goal to work towards and it all went from there.

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

It's close between Ironman Frankfurt and a local sprint race. I'll go with the local sprint as I'll come on to Frankfurt later. I raced it as my first ever triathlon, but think my favourite time was the 2nd time I raced it a year later as it really brought it home the progress I had been able to make in a year.

And your proudest achievement?

Qualifying for the GB Age Group Sprint team. I'd set it as one of my main goals for 2019 and achieving it really helped to prove that the amount and type of training I had been doing was paying off.

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

Ironman Frankfurt is head and shoulders above anything else for toughest race. The distance itself is challenging enough, but racing it during the warm summer we had in 2019 made it something else entirely. On race day we had temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius, meaning a non-wetsuit swim, very little shade, and forced a complete rethink of any pacing/fuelling strategy.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I think I just try to make the best of the situation with what I've got available to me. Whether that's getting into swimming/cycling while not being able to properly bear weight due to a foot injury or adjusting my training plan to involve banded swimming and makeshift strength and conditioning while under lockdown.

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

Do more brick runs. I don't think anything can fully prepare you for the first race going from bike to run, especially after race intensity, but trying to get more transitional workouts in will certainly help, whether that's changing a little quicker after a swim at the pool and a bit of a longer ride home, or jumping off the bike and heading out for a short run, it all just helps the body get used to going from one activity to the next and will help make it all feel more familiar.

What are your goals?

I've got 4 main goals I'd like to achieve, some are quite specific and others a little broader. I'd like to race my first duathlon and I'm looking at revisiting Iron distance racing as there are quite a few lessons I'd like to carry over now. I'm also aiming for a sub 3:10 marathon and finally, I'd just like to give it my all and come away from my first GB Age Group race knowing I couldn't have done anything more

Who do you take your inspiration from?

Jan Frodeno, as cliche as it may be, he's achieved so much both at the Olympics and subsequently at Kona, while still remaining so down to earth and not really trying to cover up how much work he's had to put in to get to where he is now.

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

I like the company's ethos and the fact they are looking at innovative uses of fabrics to try to be greener and more sustainable. I think that my favourite piece of kit is the Stealth Bib Shorts with Pocket, they're comfortable in the saddle and I find the pocket really useful for essentials, especially on the turbo.

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