Jon entered the sport of triathlon relatively late in life but is making up for lost time by having already completed a full Ironman. He talks to Sundried about the year ahead and his preparations for racing the Escape From Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco.
Have you always been into sport?
I entered the world of sport quite late; I was 28 before I started to take an interest in sport and 31 before starting triathlon.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was looking for something to change and mix up the type of exercise/training I was doing and triathlon peaked my interest due to the variety it offers.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Ironman UK, in Bolton, is my standout race. The atmosphere from the spectators, especially riding through the villages where the whole streets are lined with people, was amazing. Running down the famous Ironman red carpet to achieve that goal I had set myself was a moment I will never forget.
And your proudest achievement?
This is tough as there have been so many! I am often proud of all sorts of aspects of my racing and training, but finishing my first full Ironman has to be it.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I entered a Great Britain qualifier and I started the swim feeling strong but as I got on to the bike and people were flying past me it was hard to stay focused; mentally it became more and more challenging to keep going. At the start of the run I really wanted to quit; keeping going at that point took every ounce of willpower and energy I had!
How do you overcome setbacks?
There will always be setbacks, but even when they happen with the experience I now have is tough. The first thing I do is analyse what has gone wrong and why, what has caused this setback, either injury, a mechanical issue in a race, or a poor performance. Once I know what has gone wrong, and why, I can make a plan to overcome it. Writing it down and following the plan gives an actual method I can target to get over it and having a plan makes me feel more relaxed about overcoming the difficulties. I also remember the bad times which make the good times even better!
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Make sure you enjoy the training! It sounds simple and obvious, but I think people get caught up in doing training for training's sake and forget the bigger picture of why we do this, for FUN! Enjoying your training also means the quality will be higher, don't just do some training because you feel you 'have to'.
What are your goals for 2018?
I am competing in the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, and I am competing in some qualifiers to hopefully represent Great Britain at the world and European AG championships.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from all sorts of different ways, but the one thing that inspires me most is looking how far I have come in my fitness journey, from not being able to run 100m to winning trophies, that encourages me more than anything.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Sundried seem to approach sportswear from a different perspective than other manufactures. The ethics of how the apparel is produced is at the forefront, with a wider focus of ethics and the environment throughout all areas of our lives, Sundried are leading the way with regards to activewear.
The Grande Casse Running Jacket is a great bit of kit, made 100% from recycled materials, and it packs away super small, so easy to carry out on a long run in changeable weather.