Lucy was first inspired into the world of triathlon while on an activity holiday in Greece. She talks to Sundried about racing highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, pretty much. Since I was very young I've always been active in one way or another. From tumble tots at my local gymnastics club once I could walk through to dancing, swimming, trampolining, netball and rugby in my primary school years.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I went on a summer activity holiday in Greece and after a week of water sports and tennis I signed up for a bike ride to say that I'd tried all the activities on offer. Having never been on a road bike before I was initially apprehensive, felt wobbly and wasn't sure at all about it! By the top of the first section and meet-up point, with a long incline to finish I was somehow out the front and absolutely loving it! Chatting with some of the others in the group, triathlon was mentioned (something I'd considered in the past but never actually done) and Team GB age group qualification.
Competing for Team GB in sport was something I had only ever dreamt about, and never considered to be within my grasp. A week of riding later, some 2.4 km sea swims around the off-shore island, and more suggestions from others in the field that I could really do this, the triathlon seed was firmly planted.
Since then it's been a steep learning curve and journey of a lifetime; one which I'm loving being on and seeing where it can take me. Ups, downs, twists and turns. It's all part of the experience, and one I'm hoping will take me all the way....ETU, ITU and beyond. Race the world and make it as a pro!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Probably either my first triathlon (St. Neots) as I went in with no expectations or preconceptions about it, knowing very little, but just going into it to see what it was like. I absolutely loved it (even though there were quite a few things that went wrong/could have done much better) and it confirmed that I wanted to be a part of the triathlon world and to pursue the dream.
Or Cambridge Half in March 2018 as I hadn't done much training for it and was very pleased to go sub 1:30, especially given the conditions and build-up due to the 2018 UK snow.
And your proudest achievement?
Either my sub 1.30 half marathon or a couple of the run times at the end of triathlons.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
In my first triathlon I got my hair caught in my helmet and I couldn't get it unattached. I was in transition for what felt like an absolute age trying to tug my hair free, and seriously considering if I could run the final leg with my helmet still on!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I try to see the positives and try to learn from them to make me better in the future. I know it's not always easy, but in every situation there is something positive to be taken away, whether it's just the fact that I made it out of the house for a run (even if it was super slow), or turned up to the training session and/or completed it, regardless of whether it was at the pace or level I wanted.
In other aspects of life I try to use the same mentality and see what I can learn and take forward from a situation to improve on in the future, however it's not always easy and I am known for being incredibly self-critical and harsh on myself.
I'm always striving to do better and am determined to improve day on day, so whatever happens I try to make sure I don't do the same things again, but try to make them a little bit better the next time, even if that's only a tiny fraction better, it's still a step in the right direction.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
- Enjoy it!
- Try not to compare yourself to others.
- You are yourself, not someone else, so you can only do what you can at that time. You can strive to do better, and improve, but everyone has their own qualities and is unique - use those to your advantage not disadvantage trying to be someone you're not.
- Slow and steady progressions are more sustainable and will get you further in the long run than a sudden burst and then burnout.
What are your goals for 2019?
Get some races under my belt and some experience. I'm doing the GB age group team qualifiers and it would be awesome if I made selection, if not that would be my target for next year, with a bit of racing experience and more knowledge going into them.
Once those races are done (June/July) I'm going to reassess the rest of the season and decide where it is that I want to go, not just for the rest of 2019 but for 2020 and beyond, and start to build towards those goals
Who do you take your inspiration from?
There's quite a few inspirational athletes out there who I take inspiration from. In the triathlon world there's Chrissie Wellington and Lucy Charles, but before I got into triathlon I was always inspired by Jessica Ennis-Hill and a lot of the athletics stars out there.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The quality and the values behind the kit. Knowing that the products are made with as low a carbon footprint as possible, and that the company really does care about and think about the environment is a breath of fresh air and something I think is really unique and attractive.