Have you always been into sport?
I have come to love being much more active in my thirties. I was a little out of shape in my twenties preoccupied with career and a young family and my health suffered due to poor diet and inactivity. I started small with couch to 5k and have built on this distance up to Ultra marathon and mountain trail running in Europe.
How did you first get into triathlon?
Some friends talked me in to signing up for a sprint triathlon in the wake of the 2012 Olympics and Brownlee’s success, and I have been hooked ever since.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
The recent AJ Bell Leeds Triathlon, was my first Olympic distance, the atmosphere was amazing even with the post COVID environment, a challenging hilly route on the bike and run, but I was so happy to be out and racing and crossing the finish line was amazing.
What is your proudest achievement?
Completing the Edinburgh Ultra 2019, it wasn't fast or pretty, I was nursing a injury and started to limp from mile 10! I thought I might not complete, but I kept going, just to the next check point and raced against the cut off, I was really pleased to cross the finish line before the race cut off time and first pint after was amazing!!
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Only a few months ago, I had an ultra race, 37.5 miles, I had been training and preparing nutritionally for many months, and felt in great shape for it. Unfortunately the weather was awful which meant, last minute kit change with spare clothes, plus I had only planned to race each lap with just enough fluids for 2 hours, picking up fresh bottles from friends spectating – however due to the torrential rain – it wasn’t fair for them to be standing around, so I ended up changing to a larger hydration pack. I had to pull out at 25 miles due to toe/foot pain brought on by the water proof socks – last minute change which I hadn’t trained with. Really disappointing, but with a busy race calendar, I did not want tot jeopardise the next race and training due to injury. In hindsight, I would recommend putting the ultra race at the end of the season to allow more recovery time.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I make a promise to myself that I will come back next year and tackle it again. I have been racing the Brighton half marathon every year for past 5 years, and each year I don’t get things quite right, so I try to learn and adapt and improve each year.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
- It is really important to start where you are, not where you were 10 years ago or where someone else is now, it is all about building strength and confidence, set manageable distances and goals. The couch to 5k is an excellent coached running course which lasts 9 weeks and helps you build week on week.
- If you can afford it, book a running MOT with a run coach, they will film how you are running and provide specific tips to improve your efficiency and help ensure you avoid injury.
- 80/20 Matt Fitzgerald is excellent book and training program – use heart rate monitors to spend more time (<80%) in lower intensity training zone, if you always train at maximum effort, you will carry a lot of fatigue in to your next session. I learnt quite late on about the benefits of recovery runs and low intensity sessions, allowing your body time to recover and repair doesn’t have to mean stopping, just ease back a bit and take it easy.
- If you are training to get in shape, ultimately I am sorry to say, you cannot out train a bad diet, nutrition is foundation upon which everything else will sit, get your protein right and you rebuild and recover, get your carb level right and you won’t run out of steam mid session or mid race, keep your hydration and electrolytes on point – especially when endurance training anything longer than 90 mins.
- Finally, accountability is my best tool to keep training, book a race in 3 months that is challenging and scary enough that you get out of bed early and train in the rain, book a run with a friend each week or long cycle each weekend, you are much more likely to succeed if you have an accountability partner- if you have no one local that can help – check out the StickK app!
What are your goals?
I am training for half Ironman triathlon – this is a challenge as before this year I had only competed in sprint distance races, my focus over the last few years has been running, so I am training hard to get my open water swim, bike back up to par.
Who inspires you?
I love reading about the adventures of ultra runners and triathletes, Scott Jurek, Rich Roll and the incredible endurance events undertaken by David Goggins – Ultraman!
Why work with Sundried?
I love the quality and fit of the Sundried clothing, and found their pricing is fair, plus they recycle coffee to make 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.