Louise Madge Athlete Ambassador
Louise is a triathlete who was inspired by the 2012 Olympics and has since competed at a world level. She talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
I was always a sporty kid, flying over the gymnastic vault, but I wasn't the most graceful gymnast which led me naturally into karate which suited me more. I had the privilege of representing England U21 a few times gaining a few black eyes in the process.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was massively inspired by the London 2012 Olympics, but I had just had my first child at the time. I kept fit with a bit of running and swimming and then after having my second child in 2015 I entered a local sprint triathlon. I finished it but decided I could do better so I joined my local triathlon club to help improve on my swimming. The following season I entered more races and just loved it, I definitely got the triathlon bug!
What's been your favourite race to date and why?
It has to be the 2018 European Age Group Aquathlon Championships in Ibiza. We got shipped out to sea on a party boat playing the loudest rave music, literally walked the plank for a deep water start, swam back to the harbour then ran soaking wet past trendy people having lunch at the famous Café Del Mar. I couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous we must've looked. I should've grabbed a mojito on the way though!
Training hard to qualify and race in a GB trisuit. From my first Age Group race at the ETU European games in Glasgow 2018 and to more recently the 2019 ITU World Championships in Lausanne. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, and support (for which I'm so grateful!) to be able to race among some phenomenal athletes on some great courses.
My highlight of the last year has to be racing at the European Age Group Cross-Triathlon championships in Romania, where I bagged an unexpected bronze medal. It was possibly the bears in the woods on the bike course that made me pedal faster (yes really!)
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
I've been lucky not to have any major disasters, although I have gone the wrong way a few times on the bike at local races and missed the starter gun in the water as I've been chatting!
My toughest race was on the European Cross-Duathlon Age Group championships course in Ibiza 2018. It was so hot and the fact that everyone was barbecuing on the beach didn't help! The run was part on sand and part around a rocky cliff path which I fell down during the first lap, gashed my leg and ripped my GB trisuit (to this day I still wear it as it makes me laugh!) I must've looked like a sweaty zombie!
How do you overcome setbacks?
In every race, I look at what I did well and what didn't go so well and try to work on them for the next race. There is no point getting worked up about every little thing as it's unproductive.
What advice do you wish you had been given before you started competing?
I think I've been lucky to have had some great advice from coaches and fellow athletes over the last few years but what they didn't tell me about is the wardrobe I would have to buy to house all my tri gear! In all seriousness, I wish that someone had got me into the mindset of doing regular strength and conditioning work as I'm sure I would've made bigger gains earlier.
What are your goals for 2020?
I'm doing something completely different this year. I wanted to try a long distance triathlon and I managed to get a place at Challenge Roth in Germany. So far I'm enjoying the training and I know it's going to get much harder. I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead and I'm definitely going to make the most of being part of this iconic race!
I've also qualified for the AG Cross-triathlon World Championships in Amsterdam, so I'm looking forward to heading over to compete with the amazing Age Group team.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I absolutely love watching the Brownlee brothers race as well as other pros such as Lucy Charles, Vicky Holland, Sophie Coldwell, and Georgia-Taylor Brown. I'm also a massive fan of Chrissy Wellington and get star struck when I see her out and about in my hometown of Bristol.
Closer to home, I take a lot of inspiration from many of my fellow club triathletes and coaches. These athletes are dedicated and hard-working, and race at the top of their game despite other commitments.
I also love the legendary Tina Turner.
What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of kit?
I love that Sundried supports sustainable and ethical production of kit, after all we are all trying to help reduce our environmental impact. Sundried's triathlon kit is good quality and super stylish and I especially love the women's bib shorts which are comfortable and built for mile after mile on the bike.