Hannah is a triathlete who has big aspirations for the future. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
From a young age I have always enjoyed sport. I remember really enjoying running at primary school and persuaded my parents to take me to a school cross country race one weekend. I think I shocked both myself and especially my parents with how well I did. At secondary school I participated in every sport team possible (every lunch time was spent doing something!) I decided to take up running seriously around year 9 and joined my local running club and loved it from the very beginning.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
Whilst I was able to improve my running, whilst studying at Loughborough University, I unfortunately kept obtaining lots of small niggles and injuries. This meant I spent lots of periods of time swimming and cycling on a Watt Bike as cross training to keep up my running endurance. I had always thought about doing triathlon, having swum from a young age and enjoyed cycling. It wasn’t until my final master’s year at Loughborough that I joined the triathlon club even though I didn’t have a road bike at the time. It was clear it was an excellent decision and by Christmas I was asking for money towards a road bike. I think that for someone who likes variety, triathlon is great. There is always something to be working on and each discipline draws on different skills.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Whilst still relatively new to triathlon – I would have to say my favourite race to date was my first. Simply because I proved to myself I could complete an Olympic distance triathlon – and somehow managed to run a 10km PB off the back of it!
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement for Triathlon would be representing Loughborough University at the Accenture British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup last summer having only been involved in triathlon for a year. My proudest running achievement would be getting selected to represent my county, Hertfordshire, at the UK Inter Counties cross country championships as a senior – something as a junior I hadn’t ever thought I would get to do.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Yes – racing in the London ‘Live to Tri’ Olympic distance race last year. Unfortunately I hadn’t quite got my hydration or nutrition intake timing right and ended up having a disaster of a run! However the essential thing is that I learned a lot that day to take forward to future races - ‘It is okay to make mistakes – as long as you learn from them’.
How do you overcome setbacks?
‘Fall down seven – stand up eight’. See every set back as an opportunity to reflect – not just on what hasn’t gone so well but what has helped you to improve in the past. Use this reflection to help you positively plan your next steps to help move forwards to be ‘the best version of yourself’ that you can possibly be. My favourite quote which I work from, for both sport and everyday life, is this – ‘the only limitations in life are the ones we set ourselves’
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
What to do when you can’t get your wet suit off during transition! Top tip - practice. Practice after sessions when your arms are tired finding the most efficient way to get it off quickly. Maybe make it a competition with your team mates – last one to get their wet suit off has to do 10 press ups to add the pressurised feeling you may get during transition. It may seem like such a small part to practice but the seconds can add up in transition if you can’t get it off quickly.
What are your goals?
Given the current situation – to stay healthy and happy. At the moment I am not putting pressure on myself during rides or runs but instead using my time outside as an opportunity to escape and switch off from the world. As most upcoming summer races have now been cancelled I am looking ahead now instead to Age Group Qualification Duathlon races and all the mud the cross country season brings.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
From a very young age Kelly Holmes. I can distinctively remember watching her win double gold in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. I remember being in awe of her grit and determination to win. I think on a day to day basis I take inspiration from all of the people I train with. I love the community and support we provide each other – getting us through tough sessions and muddy cross country courses in dreadful weather conditions together.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
For me I love that Sundried have eco-friendly ranges and make high quality products at an affordable price. That’s a tough question - as anybody who knows me well will tell you that I live in sports kit whenever I can get away with it!