Jonty is a triathlete who is passionate about making his sport ecofriendly and suistanable. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
No, I grew up playing basketball until the age of 18 and then diversified across rowing, hockey and dodgeball throughout my university years, before really discovering triathlon in 2015 and throwing myself into it. The last few years I have become really focused on it and I enjoy the intensity of the training.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I had two friends who were interested in it. One friend had already started competing and another asked if I would do a sprint triathlon with them. I agreed, had an interesting first race where it took me 3 minutes in transition to get a top on and got to the end of the race absolutely spent. I never thought that after this I would then be able to compete in anything further than sprint, so as I find myself often doing, I challenged myself to the 70.3 race down in Exmoor and the rest as they say, is history.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Outlaw Half Nottingham in 2018 has been my favourite race to date, as the weather was outstanding, the race organisers even had to panic buy 10,000 sponges a few days before because it was that warm. I had a great race day and it was also the first race my daughter was in attendance (not that she had much idea what was going on at 4 months old). I also got a personal best on the day at middle distance.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is the discipline that I have developed through training for triathlon. I have found that this discipline has then carried throughout the rest of my lifestyle as you have to be disciplined in all areas to make time for your training. Having a full time job, a family and a hobby like triathlon can be a difficult balance and sacrifices have to be made. I have found that with 6am workouts (sometimes even 5am), two a day workouts, that you can sacrifice less out of basic discipline to your training plan and to your timings.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Yes, like a lot of triathletes I have had many, from dropping bottles mid bike course, falling over while taking my wetsuit off, and swimming in the wrong direction. The stand out one though, is on the first triathlon I did. I had no race belt so had my number stuck to a cycling top which it then took me over three minutes in transition to get on, admittedly a steward then helped me out.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Early on setbacks would really knock me and take me a while to get over. However now I find I am more resilient and this has been built up through the training process. I am very good at immediately reframing a setback and seeing it as another learning to go through to get to my end result.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Consistency is key. This is something I have really taken to in the past 18 months. Early on I would train for my 'A' race then take 2 months off after, then coming into the next season I would be starting 100 steps back from where I was rather than 2 steps back.
What are your goals?
In the next 2 years I want to break into the GB Age Group squad for middle distance triathlon.
Who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from all over the place. I am still a huge basketball fan and athletes such as Micheal Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant are huge inspirations. Not so much what they achieved on the court but what they achieved off the court through their consistent hard work they would put in when no one was watching. Triathlon wise I look at people such as Lucy Gossage, Lionel Sanders and of course the great Jan Frodeno.
Why work with Sundried?
One of the biggest draws for me is sustainability, to be able to partner with Sundried where it is one of their top priorities is a real privilege. In a world of fast fashion it is great to be able to work with a brand who are conscious about making apparel which is built to last and even more so made out of recycled material. If we all work together to make a difference then we can have a huge impact on the world. Read more about Sundried's story here.
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