triathlete racing open water

Georgia is a young athlete who shows a lot of potential. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

I’ve been very lucky in that my parents have always encouraged me to give everything a go, both sporting and otherwise. At primary school, I used to sign up to all the sport competitions, even for sports which I didn’t even know how to play. Aged 10, I started to swim competitively, and this is when my passion for sport really started. I competed at county and regional level individually, and nationally with school, and have many happy memories in the pool. When starting university, I knew that sport would continue to play a big part in my life.

How did you first get into triathlon?

I’d done a little bit of running and cycling before university, but not that much as I’d mainly just swam. However, I did enjoy the other two disciplines and after going to triathlon taster sessions with the university team, I knew it was triathlon I wanted to pursue at university. I’ve now been a true triathlete for a year or so, and wouldn’t want it any other way.

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

Aa lot of my races were cancelled this year, and having only started triathlon a year ago, I haven’t had many opportunities to race. That said, I did compete at BUCS Duathlon and Biathlon last year, which were both very enjoyable.

I also did the Colwick Aquathlon over the summer which I loved as was my first-time racing in open water, which was a thrilling experience for me as I’ve not swum much open water before, and combined my favourite two disciplines.

In terms of swimming, we used to have a yearly trip to Scarborough for a gala and that was great fun- we used to dance on the start blocks while other swimmers were warming up and it was such a friendly and fun atmosphere. I’m so excited to get back into racing triathlon soon!

What is your proudest achievement?

Although not a very tangible achievement, I think I am proudest of how I have managed to motivate myself to achieve my ambitions, even when things are challenging. For example, this summer I ran more than I ever had before due to lockdown, and managed to push myself with the training, but also balance it with rest.

A year ago, I would’ve struggled to get under 21 minutes on a 5km run, however when I returned to uni I got a massive PB of 19:18. I am proud of this achievement as although it isn’t a podium finish or medal, I feel it is something I have achieved purely through my own hard work, but also the realisation that what makes you faster isn’t just loads of training.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Not any big ones, but I don’t want to speak too soon! With swimming, I was very good at getting disqualified for false starts, but hopefully this won’t transgress into triathlon! Even with marshals, I sometimes find it hard to work out where to go (I have quite bad eye sight) so that could be potentially problematic.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I always try to remember that although something may seem important at that moment in time, at some point you will look back and have got through that obstacle. This may just be a matter of hours, but it could be months or years, but I think if you have the hope that better things will come, it makes things more bearable in the present.

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

I think when I started out, I took part in sport purely for the enjoyment of it, however as I progressed it became a lot more of a routine, and too intertwined with other aspects of my life, such as eating. I wish I could tell my younger self that if you’re not enjoying training, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. I also think that it’s important that we recognise that more isn’t always better, and that a balance between sport and other things in life is essential.

What are your goals?

I really want to try long distance races such as half (and possibly full) distance Ironman, as well as half and full marathons. I want to qualify for the age group team, with more of a focus being on aquathlons as I think this is my strongest multi-sport event. Personally, I also want to get more flexible with my training, and better at understanding what my body wants at that moment in time, whether that be a big training session or a rest day!

Who inspires you?

Last year, I was lucky to train with Lucy Gossage. She was a massive inspiration to me, as not only is she a 13x Ironman champion, she is also such a lovely, friendly and well-rounded person, and was more than happy to help me both with triathlon and with looking after myself, On a similar theme, my family, especially my mum, have always encouraged me to try my best and achieve my dreams.

Why work with Sundried?

I like how Sundried has athletes at the heart of the business, and considers what their wants are and what works well for them. I like the relationship between Sundried and athletes, and how keen they are to support up and coming triathletes. I also like how Sundried has ranges which are made with consideration for sustainability, as this is a very important aspect in design.