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Colin Warden Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren

runner athlete fitness

Colin has a true love for multi-sport and has competed at world level. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

Yes, I have always been into sport. When I was younger I played a lot of rugby and also sailed. I was interested in anything sport-based and tried my hand at many sports. I have played hockey, I have sailed, windsurfed and kite surfed. I also used to do a fair amount of climbing.

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

After I finished university, I carried on playing rugby for a while but then became rather disillusioned by either people out for a fight on a Saturday afternoon or props landing on me! I stopped playing rugby and did not a lot for a while. I was then watching the Great North Run on television and thought that I needed a challenge to focus myself on. Whilst looking at entry details for the Great North Run, I saw an advert for the London Triathlon and thought it sounded like fun, so I entered. Fortunately, I have always been able to swim, cycle and run but thought that I could do with a bit of advice about putting them together so joined the local triathlon club. This was back in 2012 and I haven't looked back since.

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

My favourite race is probably the annual club relays at Holme Pierrepont. Because of the way the race is structured, you can go out and give each leg full gas. There is also the competitive club aspect to it, and it is just a day of fun. I wouldn't recommend racing in both the morning and afternoon though!

And your proudest achievement?

Representing the GB Age Group team at the World Duathlon Championships in Ottawa, Canada where I finished 10th in my age group.

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

Toughest race was Ironman 70.3 Weymouth in 2018. It was raining and freezing cold. They delayed the swim start by 20 minutes as you couldn't see the buoys due to the sea state and the fact that it was still dark at 7 in the morning!

The swim was interesting with the waves but having done sea swimming and surfing I wasn't fazed by this. The bike section was horrendous though. It was freezing cold and wet. My hands were so cold that I couldn't grab my drinks bottle off my frame that had my gels in. I had to stop and use both hands to grab it. People were getting punctures due to the rain washing the flint into the road from the hedge bottoms but fortunately I did not get a puncture or it would have been race over. (I had the spares, just not the finger ability!) It actually stopped raining for the run and the sun came out. By this point, I was nowhere near the time that I wanted so I enjoyed the run up and down the seafront.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I think that it is important to go back and analyse to see if there is anything that you could do differently to improve for next time. With regard to injuries, I have learnt the hard way that it is important to let them heal completely before returning to sport.

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

Don't always focus on everyone else. Control the controllable.

What are your goals for 2020?

I want to go sub 4 and half hours for a 70.3 distance. I also have a separate running goal of sub 1:25 for a half marathon.

Who do you take your inspiration from?

I take inspiration from many different sources. Mainly from my daughters and other triathletes who I train with. It's always nice when you get back from a race and your daughter says to you: "Did you win daddy?", and if no is the answer she replies with "it's ok, you can win next time."

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

I think Sundried make excellent quality clothing at affordable prices. I also like that they are an eco-friendly company. My favourite piece of kit is my Cadence Bib shorts. They are super comfortable, don't ride up your legs, and look great.

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