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David Heywood Athlete Ambassador

by Alexandra Parren
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triathlon running finish line

David decided that completing an Ironman would be the ultimate test of fitness and endurance. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.

Have you always been into sport?

Absolutely! I grew up in North Wales and sport is a big thing there. I tried everything I could; cricket, karate, rugby, swimming, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, running, basketball, football...lots of stuff. The ones that stuck with me were running, mountain biking and rugby!

How did you first get into triathlon?

I got into triathlon on a complete whim! I’d seen an advert for Ironman and thought that if I could complete one then I could do anything – ‘Anything is possible’...

I could already swim and ride so I thought why not?! So off the back of that I signed up to UK Triathlon’s North West Sprint Triathlon. What a day! Great weather and an awesome event. As a result, I signed up to a 70.3 – The Ultimate Half – that happened a few months later. I loved that even more so did another 70.3 that summer – Outlaw X.

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

Without doubt, Outlaw X has been my favourite race in triathlon. The experience as a whole was incredible. The atmosphere on race morning setting up in transition was electric. The lake start with the sun rising over us was pretty special too. We had a pretty wild bike too – sun, wind, rain, hail! I think we went through the whole British weather system...! The on-course support was amazing and the post-race meal and beer was the icing on the cake.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement so far has been gaining my Half Marathon PB at the Conwy Half. I wouldn’t say I’m one of the fast boys but I felt like one on that day! Awesome race that takes you up the Great Orme and back. So to set a PB on a course like that instead of your typical go-to like Manchester Half was an awesome feeling.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

So far so good...uh-oh...maybe I’ve just set myself up for a disaster in my next race...

How do you overcome setbacks?

I think the best way is to listen to your body. I’ve spent the last 3 months or so realising this. I’d started upping my intensity and training amount rather quickly and got injured as a result. When I’ve had an injury or I’m lacking ‘mojo’ I try really hard to take everything back to basics and build up again gradually. If you do it right, you’ll be back quicker and stronger.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

I wish I’d been told that rest days are just as important as the training and that nutrition, in triathlon particularly, is the 4th discipline...I suffered a lot on my first 70.3 because I didn’t have a clue about fuelling properly. I changed that and had a plan for the second one and took 30 minutes off my time!

What are your goals?

My goals for the next year or two are to complete an Ironman distance race (maybe Outlaw Nottingham) and to finally get a sub 1:40 Half Marathon...17 seconds to shave off there! All while training to be a teacher...

Who inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the Ironman circuit pros – Jan Frodeno, Patrick Lange and of course Lucy Charles-Barclay!

Why work with Sundried?

I really enjoy the fact that loads of the kit is made from recycled materials, imagine that...running in gear that is made from recycled plastic bottles and coffee grounds?! I’m environmentally conscious and always have been so the company’s ethos and manufacture sits well with me!

My favourite bit of kit so far is the Century Bib Shorts and the Century Short Sleeve Cycle Jersey

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