running runner cross country fitness

Katherine first got into triathlon at university and has since raced at an international level. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

I've always been pretty active. I started playing tennis aged 6 and played competitively until 16, then took up running and joined the cross country team at university. I did a lot of running and gym work with no real structure in my early 20s and it's no surprise I had a lot of niggly injuries back then! After buying a road bike and deciding to give triathlon a proper go, I joined my local tri club 'Abingdon & Vale' in 2015.

How did you first get into triathlon?

At university. I ran for the cross country team and lived with rowers who were into cycling and triathlon. I really wanted to give triathlon a go, but knew so little about the distances, the kit and how to train. I was a bit naïve looking back! I entered the Crystal Palace Triathlon on a whim with no swimming ability and with a second hand road bike that was far too big for me. I made a lot of mistakes and didn't attempt another race for a long time!

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

Leeds Standard Distance in 2019. It was a GB Age Group qualification event. I'd trained hard in the months leading up to it so the day was a mixture of emotions for me, but the atmosphere running into the City and finishing on the infamous WTS blue carpet is unbeatable. Plus you get to watch the Pros race the same course a few hours later. I can't wait to go back there hopefully in 2021!

What is your proudest achievement?

It has to be qualifying to represent Great Britain in my Age Group at the European Sprint Championships in 2020 and 2021.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Taking my feet out so early on the bike leg of a tri (thinking I was closer to the finish than I was in reality) and cycling for about 20 minutes with freezing cold, bare feet and very little grip, thinking the finish was just around the corner... it led to a slow and painful T2 and no feeling in my feet on the run.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I try to look at the opportunities that a setback presents. In sport, if I'm injured and can't run or bike, I can work on my strength and conditioning, swimming or things I tend to neglect like stability work. I also try to look at what went wrong to cause the setback, what I could've done differently and what I've learnt for next time.

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

That not every session needs to be an all out, PB effort. Do the easy sessions easy and the hard sessions hard. Also I wish I'd understood the importance of good nutrition for fueling training and recovery properly.

What are your goals?

In triathlon it's to keep striving to be better across all 3 disciplines and to improve at the little things like getting the nutrition, conditioning and rest right. My goal for 2021-2022 is to finish in the top 3 in my age group in either a European or World Championship race for GB.

Who inspires you?

In sport I look up to the females who have worked hard and succeeded in triathlon. For me, the ones that stand out are Chrissie Wellington and Vicky Holland. Both very down to earth, happy people who have achieved amazing results in the sport through hard work, grit and determination.

Why work with Sundried?

I remember seeing someone at a triathlon in Sundried kit and thinking how sleek and professional it looked. I researched the brand and was impressed with its ethics and commitment to producing high quality and affordable gear. I've been racing and training in Sundried kit ever since and wouldn't go anywhere else. I'm excited to work with Sundried and hopefully help to develop the brand.