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James Powell - Athlete Ambassador

by Aimee Garnett
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Shop Sundried's Cycling Collection

Have you always been into sport?

I have always enjoyed sport from a young age. With an interest in football and athletics. When I was younger I rode bikes for fun, but I always preferred other team sports like football and cricket. Once I left school, I found I was no longer doing much physical activity. So I took up running to keep fit and regularly I would be out trying to beat my 10k PB’s

How did you first get into Cycling?

I got into cycling almost by accident actually. In 2008 I got a knee injury which stopped me from being able to run without experiencing pain. I needed to find another way to keep fit. My Physio advised me to try riding a bike as it would be gentler on my knees. So I went out and bought myself a bike. It was an old mountain bike, but it got me back outside keeping fit and having fun. 

I started taking part in charity rides riding further and further. I was definitely hooked. In 2010 I signed up for the Prudential Surrey 100 to ride for Beating Bowel Cancer charity. I knew I was not going to be able to ride 100 miles on my old MTB so I purchased my first road bike. I have since rode the Surrey 100 another 2 times along with lots of other charity rides and sportives. I joined my local cycling team in 2015 and with them I take part in Time trials and Hill climbs.

If you are interested in getting into cycling, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. We have both men's and women's options available.

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

Not really a race, but my first Surrey 100 back in 2010 has to be my favourite. It may have taken me 7 hours to do, but it was this ride that showed me what I could achieve if I put my mind to it. It was also the ride that got me fully into road cycling.

What is your proudest achievement?

Completing the 2018 Surrey 100 in 5 hours 2 minutes. This was my third attempt at this ride and I had set myself a target of 5.5 hours

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Fuelling... back in the early days I was out on a long/ hilly training ride. I only had water in my bottles. No electrolytes or nutrition. About 3 hours in, I completely hit the wall. I was cramping and felt really bad. This ended up being the worst day I have ever had on the bike. Definitely learnt from this one.

How do you overcome setbacks?

The important thing is to learn from any setbacks. I find it is best to take a step back, reevaluate and persevere. I find this way most setbacks can be overcome.. 

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

Include Yoga in your daily routine. I have found especially as you get older, it is easier to get little niggly injuries. Which can take longer and longer to overcome. With practicing Yoga everyday I have found I am able to keep my body more supple and ready for action. The benefits and gains I have achieved from my Yoga practice are phenomenal. I just wish I started a lot earlier.

What are your goals?

Short term I would like to finish on the podium in one of my local 10 mile time trials. Longer term I would like to take part in the La Marmotte cycling Gran Fondo.

Who inspires you?

Other than my Grandfather, who was a great inspiration to me. My Favourite athletes are Jens Voigt and Peter Sagan, But I think I get the most inspiration from the older athletes still competing at the top like Alejandro Valverde and Marianne Vos.

Why work with Sundried?

I really like Sundried’s ethics and their desire to make long lasting, high quality clothing. Whilst looking after the planet by using sustainable materials that are fully traceable.

I find it awesome that Sundried can stick to these standards and still make really comfortable and good looking clothing.

To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

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