Danny enjoys the challenge that triathlon brings and has his sights set on the Team GB Age Group team. He talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
I have been into sports from a young age. Initially, that began with a love of football and swimming, and although running and cycling were sports I later got into, I’ve always been keen on keeping fit and healthy. Triathlon came much later for me unfortunately and is something I wish I got into much sooner.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
To be honest, I got a little bored with just cycling and wanted to take my fitness and challenge up a level hence the entry into triathlon. It wasn’t a total stab in the dark, as my early swimming background gave me confidence that adding this into the mix wouldn’t cause too many problems. I was also looking forward to trying to manage the training for three sports!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Wow - well there are a few I really like doing which I try and do each year. One of these is Windsor triathlon as it’s such a great setting for a race. I also really like the Outlaw half in Nottingham and this year competed at Ironman 70.3 Vichy which I am doing again next year as it was such a great place to race.
And your proudest achievement?
We could probably all list great performances and things we are proud of and there are a few my end. However, the one thing I am most proud of is helping others into this sport and coaching them to overcome fears (particularly open water swimming) and seeing them elated when they've finished a race. Something they were so unsure if they could do, now being accomplished and knowing I was part of that journey is a great feeling.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Yes a few! Who hasn’t? Where do I start? Luckily, I wouldn’t call them disasters but more mishaps! My latest….leaving transition and onto the bike with my ear plugs still in my ears! I wondered why I couldn’t hear the crowd noise! There have been a few over the years that I look back on and laugh at. My toughest race to date was probably Ironman Vichy 70.3 in 35-degree heat – they were tough conditions and I don’t perform well in that sort of heat!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Most of my setbacks have been injury-related. It’s taken some time to learn what makes my body tick and when it may be breaking down. One thing I have learnt from injury is that you can’t rush your recovery. Mentally, it’s tough when you’re injured, especially when everyone is out training and racing.
Work out what you can do and put a focus to it. That’s the beauty of triathlon; the three sports give you flexibility over what you can do, so always look to find this out and set some goals in these as something to work towards.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Don’t fear it! Enjoy it and learn from each experience. The most important thing is to train consistently and not put a ceiling on what you can achieve.
What are your goals for 2020?
My main goal this year is to qualify for the GB middle distance team.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
That’s a tough one! There’s two sides to this I believe: the mental and physical. I wouldn’t single this out to one person but a range of people in different fields. I follow a lot of other athletes (both professional and amateur) and take a lot from them in what they set out to achieve. There are also some fantastic coaches out there, particularly at grass roots level, who give up a lot of time in developing others. These are very much unsung heroes that we all know and love who do great things for others.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The ethics of this company sit really well with me. I believe we all need to do our bit for the world and the commitment they are making not only sets the bar high but shows larger companies the impact they play in society. We all have a responsibility and being aware of the practices of companies around us better informs the choices we make.
An active lifestyle is important to me and it seems this lays true with Sundried. Training in well designed gear that you know has been considered through its production is great. There’s lots of great kit I use and one that stands out is the great quality of cycling and triathlon apparel. It’s so comfortable and really well made!