Lauren Watts Athlete Ambassador
Lauren is a young Welsh triathlete who was inspired to start competing after watching her dad excel in triathlon. She tells Sundried about life as a young triathlete.
Have you always been into sports?
Yes, I have loved sports since I was little, trying lots of different things like netball, football, and rounders, but triathlon has always been my favourite! I did my first triathlon at the age of 7 (I am 16 now) and really got into it at the age of 11, when I started training with adults, which is when I decided I wanted triathlon to be my main sport.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
When I was growing up, I saw my dad training and racing in triathlon, which made me want to join in. I started training with the adults with my dad and soon after that I joined the Cerist Tri ladies running group which helped develop my run technique, speed and endurance. I started cycling with my dad on the weekend which we both really enjoyed, which inspired me to enter my first adult triathlon in 2016.
What’s your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race is the Dyfi Dash sprint triathlon which is in Machynlleth, Wales. This race was my first adult triathlon and it's organised by the Cerist Triathlon club of which I’m a member and a coach. I enjoy the atmosphere at this race as everyone is so friendly and willing to help each other. This is also my first race of the season, therefore I always look forward to it!
What is your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is completing a half marathon at the age of 14. My most recent achievement is passing my level 1 triathlon coaching course, which I worked hard to achieve.
Have you had any racing disasters/ toughest race yet?
My toughest race yet was definitely Llanrwst triathlon, where I crashed on my bike. I hit a rock in the road and landed on a very sharp stone wall and badly cut my shoulder and thigh. However, I carried on the rest of the cycle and went onto the run bleeding (I got some VERY strange looks from marshals and spectators!) It was tough to continue, however it pushed me to go faster to make up the time from the crash. In the end I came 3rd in my category and only 1 minute off 2nd! Apart from the crash I would say that I really enjoyed and would recommend this race.
How do you over come set backs?
I would wait until fully recovered, as you don’t want anymore set backs, and would then train harder for longer.
What is the best piece of advice you wish you were given before you started competing?
"Race your own race”. The last thing you need to be doing on poolside is worrying about your competition. You need to think about yourself, warm up, get into the zone, and do your best!
What are your goal for 2018?
I'd like to perfect my tumble turns and improve my 400m swim time from 6 minutes 10 seconds to 5 minutes 58 seconds, which will take lots of hard work.
Who do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from my dad, as he is the one who inspired me to start triathlon and is also one of the people I train with therefore we are quite competitive and always pushing each other to get the best times. Another person who inspires me is my head coach Kev, as he has done races all over the world, including Ironman which I would like to take part in in the future.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of kit?
I really like the designs of all the Sundried kit and I love the fact they are different to other brands by being environmentally friendly. My favourite bit of Sundried kit is the womens trisuit. I really like it because it fits perfectly and is comfortable for all sections of the triathlon. I also love the fact the women's trisuit dries quickly after coming out of the water, so I’m not left feeling wet and cold for the rest of the race. I would 100% recommend!