Judyta Kajstura Athlete Ambassador
Judyta is a Polish athlete who has found a love for extreme triathlon racing. She talks to Sundried about her love for this interesting sport and some of her future challenges.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been active but I wasn't part of a club or a training group until a couple of years ago. I love movement and I am always keen to try new disciplines, exercise systems etc. Triathlon, Pilates and Parkour seem to suit me best so I have recently been more focused and moved from exercising for fun to more structured training. I also like climbing with friends for fun.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I always did a bit of running and swimming. I have fallen in love with road cycling after seeing the Giro d’Italia in 2012. About the same time, my colleague mentioned training for a long distance triathlon and I though that it would be fun to combine the three disciplines together. I only arrived in the UK two years before that and at that time triathlon was not a known disciple in Poland where I am from. Then, I ended up helping at the Celtman Xtreme Triathlon in Scotland… and I knew that this is for me. I have done a few sprint and middle distance triathlons since then. In 2019, I completed my first long distance race, the Swissman Xtreme Triathlon in Switzerland.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Swissman Xtreme Triathlon 2019 was iconic for me. I have been involved in organising the Celtman and Swedman Xtreme Triathlons for over 5 years now and the atmosphere around the preparation and the race itself is very different to other races. You have to have your own support throughout the whole race, it all happens in a remote location with support from locals. Swissman takes you over three Alpine passes on the bike to then run a mountain marathon finished at the base of the Eiger glacier.
And your proudest achievement?
It might not sound impressive but it was a 1500m swimathon back in 2013. I have only been swimming front crawl for a few months and the challenge felt massive. It has been a big test to my determination and self-belief.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The Swissman Xtreme Triathlon 2019 was the toughest due to the elevation you gain on the bike (3500m) and on the run (2000m). But the toughest is still ahead of me, the Celtman Xtreme Triathlon. You swim in cold water with jellyfish, then cycle 200km over undulating hills against the Scottish wind and then run over two mountains.
How do you overcome setbacks?
With the right mindset. Setbacks teach us more than our successes. In training, you have to aim for something that is not yet achievable. You keep working at it, striving to achieve it until you get there. If it is an injury, I think about it as a message from my body about what I have neglected. Each setback is an opportunity to analyse your training, form and mental attitude.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
To do more Pilates and do all my physio exercises, even after the injury is gone! Cross-training, keeping the body balanced and strong overall will allow you to do what you love longer and with less injuries. If you want to get better at running, you have to run, but if you want to run for the next 40 years you have to do some strength and conditioning and each season work on your weaknesses. I do Pilates because it covers it all in one session.
What are your goals for 2020?
Amazigh Xtreme Triathlon in Morocco at the end of October. It is a first edition of the race, but the culture and landscape are so different to any other race on the calendar that I have decided to give it a go. It will definitely be an adventure: preparation for the conditions, travelling there and logistics on race day.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I am mainly inspired by people I meet during training or during events. I find professional athletes competing for the podium in Ironman World Championships in Kona equally inspiring as all the novices participating in Duke Sprint Triathlon in Scotland. It is not the achievement that I am impressed by, but the determination, sacrifices, and the daily journey all these people face. Being uncomfortable and making an effort to be a better and stronger human should inspire and there is plenty of people around us that do that.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Sundried has been recommended to me by a friend as all the company stands for reflects my values: low carbon footprint of garment production, looking after health of their employees and working with charity Surfers Against Sewage. The design is great: bold, practical and always in fashion.