Hayley Lucas - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I am pretty new to triathlon. I participated in my first multi-sport event in 2018 when I swam and ran in the Tooting Bec Aquathlon. The 1000m swim felt like a monumental hurdle for me at the time, since I hadn't swam since I was a kid and had never swam competitively at all. I loved it and after running my first marathon in September 2018, which took up all my training concentration that summer, I signed up for my first triathlon in 2019.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I joined a local triathlon club to help train for my first sprint tri and caught the bug. I was lucky to meet several super talented athletes who were more than happy to give me tips and tricks which helped me improve quickly. Before I had even done my first triathlon I signed up to a Middle Distance (half ironman), because it sounded like an awesome challenge.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My first middle distance triathlon in 2019, the Hever Castle Gauntlet, is hands-down my favourite race to date. The swim is in the castle lagia, which was really special, and the bike and run courses are nice and hilly. I cried when I crossed the finish line because I had trained so hard to complete something I previously thought would be impossible for me. I went from no triathlon experience to completing a half ironman distance race in one season. There is nothing like that feeling when you finish something you thought would be insurmountable when you first started on the journey.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest sporting achievement is completing the Reading Half marathon in 2014. As a kid, I wasn't really sporty even though I played football and tennis at school. When I was 13 I discovered rowing and did reasonably well on our school's rowing team, qualifying for our first boat when a few girls got injured. But I was never really considered an athlete growing up. At university I went to the gym almost every day and ran regularly, but I never signed up for any races and never joined a sports team. At the end of my second degree I had a bit of a bad breakup and decided to set myself a goal to focus on - the Reading Half Marathon. I had never run more than 6 miles before and had never run faster than a 10 minute mile (6 min km), so it seemed completely crazy at the time. I crossed the finish line in under 2 hours completely smashing any expectations I had of myself and started to wonder what else I was capable of doing. But it took a few years before I really started to explore that question properly.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I've been really lucky not to have any big disasters racing so far. During the Hever Gauntlet, about half of the course was off-road / trail. I wore my road shoes because they were the only running trainers and they kept getting stuck in the deep mud and coming off. I had to go back to get my trainer more than once!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Whenever I've had a set back (either a niggle or personal set back), I try to put it in perspective and focus on the things that are within my control and let go of those things that aren't. I also try to set little goals each day to improve on the setback so it feels like a series of little hills to climb rather than a mountain.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Learn some basic bike maintenance (how to fix a puncture, how do the basics work). Also, joining a swim club or attending swim sessions at your local triathlon club will massively improve your swimming especially if you're a beginner. Swimming is all about technique at the beginning and a coach can really help you with this.
What are your goals?
To complete an Ironman (hopefully this year if we're allowed to race) and to race Lobsterman Tri in Maine, a place where I used to go on holiday when I was little.
Who inspires you?
I'm massively inspired by Serena Williams. She manages to have a family, a business and a hugely successful tennis career all while being herself.
Why work with Sundried?
I am so excited to work with Sundried and have been a big supporter of the brand since I started triathlon. It's an accessible, affordable brand that is high quality and has a real understanding for their footprint on the environment. The eco-friendly materials and ranges are really ground-breaking and hopefully will set a new standard for sustainability of athletic wear going forward.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.