Laura is a young triathlete who took up the sport at university. She's gone from being a novice to an elite athlete within the space of only a couple of years and her motivation is inspiring. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
Middle distance running was my forte when I was younger along with any sport that I could fit into my week… netball, dance, cricket, you name it and I probably did it. When I started University in 2014 I decided to try something a little different and triathlon took my fancy. The first training session I attended was a 90min swim and I spent most of the time trying not to drown but I was determined I would get better.
What’s been your best race to date?
It’s got to be the 2016 AG World Triathlon Championships which were held in Cozumel. The atmosphere was insane and the holiday wasn’t bad either!
And your proudest achievement?
I was pretty pleased with 4th in the 2016 AG Triathlon British Championships and 1st in the 2017 Duathlon British Championships, but my proudest achievement is the progression I have made from a complete novice with no bike experience and limited swimming ability. It’s a little crazy to think I’ll be racing in Elite French Grand Prix and setting my sights on National medals this year.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I’ve only ever had one major racing disaster which caused my one and only DNF… It was Chatsworth house last year where I punctured 10 minutes into the bike, pretty devastating!
That’s a hard one as I always find racing extremely hard… but a standout race would probably be my first ever Triathlon in Geneva; I honestly did not know how I was going to make it through the race but somehow I did and crossed the line in first. It’s crazy what your body can do if you have the right mindset and determination.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I would love to say I have the perfect strategy for setbacks but the truth is, I don’t. I’ve had a lot of low points in my athletic career due to injuries and I’m still yet to find the perfect way to deal with them. I think it is important to stay positive and focus on the things you can do rather than what you can’t. There is always a way to keep fit and busy whilst nursing an injury, although aqua jogging doesn’t quite have the same appeal as running…
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
"Don’t be a master of training, be a master of racing!"
I think as endurance athletes it's very easy to get into the routine of hard grinding all the time but that’s how we end up over tired, underperforming, and injured. Rest days and recovery weeks are just as important as your training sessions. Sometimes it’s good to take a break!
What are your goals for 2017?
I am aiming to podium in the British Championships this weekend and then my next major focus will be the World Championships in September. Wish me luck!
Who do you take your inspiration from?
There are so many people that inspire me on a day to day basis. My Dad is probably my number one inspiration; his running successes definitely help me to believe I can achieve great things. Another pretty big inspiration is my boyfriend, Luke Pollard, who competes in the elite circuit of Triathlon. Unlike most elites he started his triathlon career 5 years ago as a complete novice, the progression he has made is admirable and relatable to so many people who take up triathlon a little later.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the ethos behind the brand and I can’t wait for my tri suit so I can see out the 2017 season in style!