running triathlon fitness

Lily-Mae turned to the disciplines of triathlon when the gyms closed this year. She talks to Sundried about her passion for sport.

Have you always been into sport?

I have always played a lot of sport. I played county, regionally and nationally in multiple sports all throughout my teens including hockey, netball, lacrosse and pole vault. After joining university and having no more time to compete at such a high level, my sports interests shifted more towards the gym, CrossFit and generally getting strong. I competed regularly in CrossFit and trained twice daily for the next few years, I fell in love with the sport.

I started road cycling at age 21 where I took my first challenge on the 8 mile ride to work which at the time was epic, now I get a similar feeling with a 100 mile ride! I continued with CrossFit for the next few years, dabbling only lightly into triathlon, but with the gyms closed during lockdown I took up cycling and running more consistently, cycling 150-200 miles a week and running around 40-50 miles a week. My week now consists of training 2 to 3 times daily trying to balance all three triathlon disciplines and a little bit of CrossFit too.

How did you first get into triathlon?

An Ironman has been on my bucket list for years and lockdown gave me the perfect excuse to switch from CrossFit and gym training to running, cycling and swimming. I have done a few unofficial triathlons over the years on activity holidays or just with friends but when all the gyms closed, I thought I’d take the plunge and start training for an Ironman next year. 

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

I did the Bournemouth international in September where I ended up coming first female for the team I was competing for. The support and atmosphere there was fantastic and all 50 of us were all representing in our kit together, I felt proud to be part of it.

What is your proudest achievement?

I don’t have a proudest moment really. I have been so fortunate in life to have had so many opportunities to achieve great things which I have taken and loved every single one! I can talk all day about good sporting memories all as good as the last, and hopefully many more to come! Times I have been most proud are where there have been others to achieve it with and share that moment with them.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Not to date, and hopefully keep it that way!

How do you overcome setbacks?

I train because I love it so a setback means I just adjust my routine but keep training. If I have a set back like an injury, I keep training around it, but train smart by adjust work load/weight/distance. I am strict on stretching and injury prevention and if something is wrong for a while I seek out a professional who, so far, has managed to fix me up!

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

Train smart not hard. I trained so hard for so many years with no real plan but to smash myself every session. This works for a time until you plateau and need to change it up with training blocks varying in intensity and volume. I programme all my own stuff and am still learning but definitely training smart is so beneficial!

What are your goals?

Well I have just completed a goal for this year which was a 10 mile swim last week to raise money for charity, such a great day! Then goals next year are to complete an IronMan, somewhere abroad and warm ideally! Also to run 250 miles of the SW coastal path over 2 weeks (around 20 miles a day). Another on my bucket list since a child is to swim the English channel, which I will definitely do at some point (maybe not next year with the other challenges happening too).

Who inspires you?

A big inspiration of mine is Ross Edgley. He swam round the uk last year and is always so positive and bubbly, something I try and install in my own personality as it is infectious!

Why work with Sundried?

I have only recently discovered Sundried and love the quality of their clothing. It’s not just another cheap gym top I'm going to wear to death and throw away next year, its high quality and will last. I also like how Sundried do an EcoTech range made of completely recycled material, which is new and innovative, and the way the world should be moving!