Laura Wakeham - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I've been swimming regularly in a swimming club from the age of 5, but not competitively. I mostly swam socially and joined in with squad sessions as I got into my teens. I also played waterpolo and trained for this a few times a week (although I played the matches very badly!) I enjoyed yoga, running (sporadically) and cycling as my form of transport. I took up triathlon when I went to university and, although started off a bit heavy on the swimming, haven't looked back since!
How did you first get into triathlon?
University. We had such a friendly club and the sessions were great.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
That's a tricky one as I enjoy most races and like to aim to get something from them. In terms of my biggest race, it would have to be the Outlaw Bowood Half. I've raced age-group European championships but the magnititude of the Outlaw Half Bowood was a stand out for me. Also, the look of some of the other hardcore TT bikes was pretty daunting at the start of that one!
What is your proudest achievement?
Probably completing the Outlaw Bowood Half and podiuming in my age-group. I was 3rd female 25-29 and 6th overall. It was my second 70.3 distance so I learned so much. Also, I'd been chasing a sub-19 at Park Run for a while so when I managed 18:47 that was a bit of a stand out for me. What I love about triathlon is that you can always set that next goal so you don't really have much time to spend too long thinking about you have done, but what you want to learn from it moving forwards.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Yes many! Mostly involving running or cycling the wrong way, haha. And a DNF for not putting my foot down at the "foot down" point during my first triathlon.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I overcome setbacks by generally just keep on trying and enjoying the process. If a session's not gone well, for example, 10 x 25m with dive starts and the goggles are falling off every time, I'll take the goggles off for the the next set of 8 x 25m and get what I can from that. Also having a laugh with fellow training buddies is important. I think enjoying training and having fun with it is what gets me motivated for every session. When races don't go to plan, or even in the lead up, I focus on 3 positives and then addressing the negatives with how I can improve next time.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Focus on the process. Focusing too much on outcome goals involves so many uncontrollable elements that can affect that goal. By going into a race with clear process goals that you can control, you can take what you want from it, without that feeling of "failure" or "disappointment". Also the importance of nutrition and that, basically, you can't eat too much to fuel triathlon training (within reason anyway!) Also, more training is not always better. It's about being smart and taking time to recover.
What are your goals?
My goals for this season are to follow my training plan and to race 70.3 distance competitively next year. I also would like to race an early season half marathon.
Who inspires you?
Many different people inspire me. Lots of people in my triathlon club at Torbay Tri and other local athletes inspire me with my training, as well as my other half Pete Wilby. Also, my coach and my nutrition coach are elite athletes and pretty inspirational to me. Sophie Gibbs Nicholls is a GB pool player and she inspires me in terms of focusing the mind.
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried is a well-respected brand that has great gear designed especially for triathlon. The clothing is practical for the sport and really nice! I am excited to be part of the Sundried community as I think community in sport is really important!
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.