Luke is a triathlete who was inspired to compete by his mum, who also participates in triathlons.He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, all my life I have been active and wanting to participate in sport! I used to play rugby from a young age starting with tag and football at the local park every Wednesday. I always loved running the most though and started by doing the local parkrun and running with my parents.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I first watched a triathlon in 2012 when I was in Hyde Park watching the Olympic triathlon run through and I loved watching that! My first triathlon was in 2015 when I was 11 years old. It was Junior Outlaw in Nottingham at Holme Pierrepoint. My mum was doing the full Outlaw the next day and I took part in a 200m lake swim, 5k bike and 1500m run. I loved it and from there I was hooked.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
Hever Castle sprint triathlon. It was my first triathlon on a road bike and the course was incredible. I had done the junior event twice before and came back when I was old enough to do a sprint triathlon. Lake swim within the grounds, hilly bike around the countryside and then an off-road hilly run back in the castle grounds… just an incredible event I would highly recommend. Great food at the end as well which is always a bonus!!!
What is your proudest achievement?
Completing Hever Castle sprint triathlon. It was the first time I had raced with adults and was scared about getting battered in the swim (which I did) but I was so proud of myself when I got out of the water and was able to compete. In my first junior Hever triathlon I started the first half of the swim holding onto a boogy board they have in the water in the children’s events so to come back and swim 750 metres with many other people was a big achievement for me.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Oh yes! My first ever triathlon at Nottingham, after being last out of the water, I couldn’t get my wetsuit off and had to sit on the floor whilst two race officials had to yank it off my ankles before I could get on my bike. When I got to my bike in this same event, I tried putting my helmet on with the sunglasses still inside of it which didn’t work. Successful first triathlon, I think.
How do you overcome setbacks?
The main setbacks I’ve experienced have been with injuries and I’ll admit I’m not always the best at acknowledging them and being smart but I have started to learn more about how to manage it. I think it is important to look at the bigger picture and how in that moment it may be difficult but it won’t last forever and if you stay positive and focused on the end goal, it is much easier. For example, I had a recurring foot injury in 2020 from running and struggled with it because it kept coming back but I had to think that, although it may take a month or so to get back to where I was, it is better than having to take 6 months off running and a year to get back so I looked at it in that way and focused on the bigger picture.
What advice do you wish you’d been given when you first started?
I was given a lot of good advice when I first started with my parents being PE teachers and also my mum and step-dad having completed multiple Iron distance triathlons. I think it’s more what do I wish I listened to. I wish I had taken on their advice about not taking it too seriously early on. I always wanted to train hard and push myself in every single session to get the best out of myself but that just isn’t a good way to train and now I understand the easy work is just as, if not more important, than the hard intervals.
What are your goals?
For this year my main goal is to race well at junior long course weekend in Wales. This is such a huge event and the atmosphere seems immense so I hope I can perform well there. In the long term, I want to race at the elite level in Iron distance triathlons and get to the Kona one day racing the best in the world.
Who inspires you?
It may sound like an answer most aspiring long-distance triathletes would say but Jan Frodeno. He is at the very top of elite triathlon and is an incredible athlete. But he has never let the fun side of it get away and still loves the sport as a whole. This is what I want to be like because I feel if you're not enjoying it then why are you doing it?
Why work with Sundried?
Why not work with Sundried is a much harder question! It is fantastic, high quality kit at a very affordable price. That is what every athlete wants when they are buying kit so to help promote Sundried is an incredible thing to be a part of. As well as this, supporting a brand who work to decrease plastic waste and help the environment with their EcoTech range is definitely a brand I want to be a part of!
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