Dale Quenault - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
No, growing up I wasn't really into sport apart from compulsory P.E. classes! It wasn't until I was around the age of 19 that I took up Thai Boxing and Judo. At the age of 21 I started training to join the British Armed Forces and needed a reasonable fitness for this, so this led me to start going to the gym a few times a week, as well as running. This really ignited my spark for sport and exercise and it has continued from there.
How did you first get into triathlon?
In 2016, after watching my local Olympic Distance Triathlon I was inspired, but I'd never learnt to swim as a child so that was obstacle number one! So, my goal was to learn to swim by the end of 2016; before this point the best I could do was a doggy paddle! So, after some lessons with friends and many hours in the pool, I learnt to do a basic front crawl by the end of 2016. 2017 was my first year in triathlon where I completed in a sprint, Olympic and a 70.3 distance race. Quite the baptism of fire into the sport!
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
I have two favourites really; my first was Marbella 2018. I had been off sick from training and work for a matter of months and was going to pull out of the race but my brother (who started triathlon at the same time as me) was also competing in the race at the time. He said to me, wipe all your expectations away, all that stress and don’t put any pressure on yourself to get a specific result, just go and compete and have some fun! So, I did and it was one of my most enjoyable races, lots of high fives and laughs all the way round.
My other was Super League Triathlon Jersey 2018 and 2021. Love the SBRSBR (Swim, Bike, Run x2) format, something different and makes you think a lot more about the importance of transitions!
What is your proudest achievement?
Learning to swim as an adult when most people come out with the "I'm too old" attitude. You're never too old to learn something new. It may take longer, but you'll get there.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
A few minor crashes at IRONMAN events but nothing bad. In 2018, at Super League Triathlon on the first bike leg of a SBRSBR format, I got a puncture. At that point I had to decide, do I give up and DNF or do I run and hope for the best. So, I ran the rest of the 7km bike leg with my bike, bare foot as I kept my bike shoes attached to my bike. It killed my calves, but I finished the race. Still no DNFs to my name to date but I know that day will no doubt happen one day.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I used to go over setbacks/race mistakes again and again, thinking about what I could've done better to avoid what had happened. Now instead of overthinking, I spend some time processing what has happened, write down what I have learnt from it and then move on. Setbacks happen to everyone and what makes you a better athlete is how you react and learn from them but not dwelling on it.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
"You need to go slower to get faster!" and "Pacing is everything".
I believe that works for all disciplines. At first it feels counter intuitive; how can going slow make you faster I would think. Trust in the system, we are not reinventing the wheel here and to get things right they can take time. Getting a coach was the best thing I ever did and most importantly you need to believe in your coach and trust them 100%. I think coaches are like shoes. They might be your size and they will work but some just fit better than others. It’s good to change and find what suits you.
What are your goals?
Keep enjoying my sport and training for as long as possible.
Qualify for the 70.3 World Championship.
Who inspires you?
Jan Frodeno. Because it's Jan Frodeno!
Why work with Sundried?
As well as creating high-performance sportswear, Sundried is a brand that cares about its environment with the products it produces, and I think we can all respect a brand that does that.
When training is a big part of your life, it's important to find good clothing that not only performs well but looks great too. We spend hours everyday training, recovering and planning our next session that we should have trust in what we wear so we can get the best from every session. Sundried is a brand that will do that for you, plus every time you say it you think about sunny warm weather!
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.