Isabelle is a high school student who has been doing sport since she was tiny. She talks to Sundried about life as a junior triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
I’ve always been into sport and my parents have always encouraged me to do it. I did my first 5k run when I was 5 years old. In primary school, I was in many of the school teams including netball, football, rounders, cross-country, tag rugby, cycling and swimming. In my first 3 years of secondary school I've also competed in many of the school teams including outdoor and indoor athletics, cross-country, football, netball and cycling.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I’ve always loved running and when I was 11 I joined my school's cycling club. I wanted a sport that I wouldn't get bored doing and that would keep challenging me. I found that with cycling, swimming and running I always had something different to focus on and improve. It meant that I'm always able to set myself a challenge to reach. But ultimately it was for fun.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date was probably Hever Castle Triathlon because I came out of the swim 81st. As soon as I came out of the swim I was determined to push up the leader board. With my run and cycle I managed to overtake 63 people and finished 18th in my category.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was coming 2nd in the London Triathlon series this year. As I moved up a category and it's only my second season.
Have you ever had any race disasters/your toughest race yet?
In one of my races this year I had a complete disaster when I started the second lap of my cycle, taking the wrong turn and headed toward transition. I realised the mistake I had made and made my way back realising that any advantage I had gained on my first lap I had lost. I was determined to complete the race though..
How do you overcome setbacks?
A lot of racing and sport for me is mental. If something has gone wrong or you haven't done as well as you had wished it can knock your confidence. It is important to look back over your race and think about what you can improve on but I also have to remember that it's not the end of the world and it's only one race. You always have good days and bad days.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Study your course! The worst thing that has happened to me when I've done a triathlon is getting confused on which way to go, laps I need to compete and getting muddled in the middle of all the people going different ways. It can make you really stressed that you may be penalised or even disqualified. So studying your course will really help you relax when racing and will allow you to focus completely on the race.
What are your goals for 2018?
My goal for 2018 is to improve my swimming so that I'm not always having to fight so hard to gain back what I have lost when I come out of the water.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I have a really brilliant coach. He is always trying to help us be the best athlete that we can be. He is also very knowledgeable in the sport and is always willing to help us. But he knows the boundary and will never push us too far.
What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?
I really like Sundried because of the quality of their products and the charity work that they do. Every purchase includes a charitable donation. Knowing that you have contributed to help other people is really cool. Also I love that they use different materials like coffee grounds and plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landfill. Tri suits are a key item in my kit bag. They make racing a lot easier and create less hassle in transition. My favourite bit of kit is the Women's Performance Tri Suit because it fits really well, is good quality product and it has a nice design. It is also really comfortable to wear when racing.