Lewis has excelled in the sport of triathlon and hopes for a stellar year in 2019. He talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
Sport and exercise have always been pivotal factors in my life. I played and coached football for many years but have dipped in and out of swimming, athletics and anything else I could give a go. I have a Sports Coaching Degree from Oxford Brooks University and currently organise charity running and cycling events around the UK.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
After I left university, a friend suggested that I give triathlon a go so nervously I signed up to a Sprint Triathlon at Eton Dorney. With a reasonably good swimming background and feeling confident with the run, I figured it was just the cycling and at the time the confusing transition process to master! From the moment the swim began I think I was hooked; the challenge to push myself along with my competitive streak meant there was no going back.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I have had some really enjoyable races at London and Blenheim amongst others, however I think my favourite race was the World Triathlon Leeds 2017. After a good result in my age group, that was the moment I decided to take the sport more seriously and try to qualify for GB Age Group Championships in the 2018 season.
And your proudest achievement?
Qualifying for Team GB Age group (25-29) in both Sprint and Standard Distances at the first attempt, hopefully this will develop into a great result at the World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fingers crossed!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
I had a memorable race from hell at Hever Castle which was my last race of the 2017 season. It started with stubbing my toe on a slab going into the swim, taking a massive gulp of the slimy river water, then throwing up on the bike and dropping my chain, all topped off with stomach cramps for what felt like 8km of the run. I accepted that sometimes it's not going to be your day!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks are never enjoyable but I take a deep breath, asses the performance, learn the lesson where I can and focus on the next race with more race experience under my belt.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
I was relatively naive when I first started competing which isn't always a bad thing; you don't need to know it all straight away. To have been told that you will make a lot of mistakes and a race where there is no improvements needed is the Holy Grail of Triathlon (I've still not had one!), don't be disheartened just learn from each of those mistakes big or small your times will quickly tumble.
What are your goals for 2019?
I've got a few goals for the upcoming season, there's hope its going to be my most successful year to date. To improve my bike leg which will hopefully accumulate good results in Lausanne at the end of the year and a Top 5 in my age group at the National Championships.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Tim Don has always been someone in the sport who I've looked at and thought you're a decent guy who works hard and gets some unbelievable results all with a smile on your face. His 2018 season was full of extreme highs and extreme lows but he just got on with it, tackled each hurdle put in front of him and made it to Kona against all odds.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Immediately, the style of the Sundried kit stands out but behind the scenes the awareness of the social and environmental impact their activewear has is truly something admirable and should act as a benchmark of excellence for other clothing brands. I'm excited to race the 2019 season in the Sundried mens trisuit, as well as arriving to all my races in the comfort of the Matterhorn quilted hoodie.