Luke is a local triathlete who competed in Sundried's inaugural triathlon. He talks to us about his inspiration and how he overcomes setbacks.
Have you always been into sport?
As a kid it was only football for me... I tried my hand at rugby once for the school as the PE teacher threatened my place on the football team if I didn't. After being bundled into an icy puddle on a freezing January morning I quickly made up my mind on that sport.
What made you decide to enter triathlon?
My dad has always been a keen cyclist and tried his hand at triathlon later in life. As a role model to me, it seemed like the coolest sport to master. A real test of perseverance and pain to master 3 tough disciplines!
What’s been your best race to date?
Each year has seen improvement and this year saw my best position in fifth place at Hanningfield Sprint Triathlon despite the chain coming off my bike and riding half the bike route with only half my gears. I'd aimed to make top ten and out of nowhere very nearly made podium.
And your proudest achievement?
Inspiring my two nephews to compete in their first triathlons aged 9 and 11 is by far my proudest achievement. They already adore the sport and have that children's confidence that they're destined to become the new Brownlee brothers.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
One year a sign error sent me 5 kilometres further than I needed to run in a standard distance. Needless to say I was way back in the field but it did inspire me to take on middle distance.
How do you overcome setbacks?
My set back each time is a recurring achilles injury. Overcoming this is a mental battle as much as it is physical. For the weeks I cannot run I focus on my cycling goals and enjoy being able to concentrate on my riding for that time. As for the recovery, I've learned that strength training and stretching are to be taken as seriously as the other 3 disciplines in triathlon.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Enter events to gain experience and fitness rather than only entering when you feel you're strongest. You will surprise yourself and also this will help you to set specific training plans for your 'big events'.
What are your goals for 2017?
As 2017 draws to a close I've only got one more race planned which is the Monster Standard Distance Triathlon at Ely. My aim is to simply race this as hard as possible and then decide from my results which distance to really focus my training on next year and hopefully step up to the next level.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from everyone training around me and all abilities. As a member of JBR Run and Tri club in Essex I love seeing people new to the sport work relentlessly to complete their chosen distance and from seeing those attempting to qualify for their age group pull on a union flag-marked tri suit
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Not many brands, being it sport or fashion, concentrate on looking after the people making the garments. Sundried's ethical stance makes me proud to become an ambassador. Also the not overly loud, stylish designs look good in any environment.