Mark Thompson Triathlete & Personal Trainer
Mark's love of sport and own successes in triathlon inspired him to become a personal trainer so he could help others. He talks to Sundried about training highs and lows.
Have you always been into sport?
I’ve always been passionate about sport, taking part in many team sports as a youngster and more individual events as I’ve got older.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
Triathlon offers so much more than just swimming, cycling and running; it’s putting yourself in a position where you have to keep going and knowing that somewhere deep down you have the inner strength to do that.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
This may sound strange, but my best race to date wasn’t one I took part in myself, but I was part of the crew who gave out the medals at the finish of the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon a few years ago. Seeing the faces of all those finishers and what it meant to them when they saw the medal and bottle of water I gave them stays in my mind every time I train or finish a race myself. The time doesn’t matter at that point, it’s the immense feeling of achievement and knowing how proud they and their families will be, especially when raising money for others who are less fortunate too.
And your proudest achievement?
It has to be completing my first ever half marathon (Great North Run) at the age of 25/26. I was a new dad at the time and couldn’t wait to get home and tell my little one all about it (just wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to drive the car home at that point).
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
The worst race disaster was when I trained really well for the 2016 London Marathon (14 months of training) but ended up in hospital a few days before the race, minus my gall bladder, meaning I couldn’t take my place on the start line.
How do you overcome setbacks?
By remembering there are always people in worse places and having worse setbacks than myself. A small injury or training setback is a problem, but only minor compared to others. I have my health and it’s one of the main reasons why I’m now a personal trainer.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
To train hard, but remember your life doesn’t depend on it, just enjoy it and be in the moment.
What are your goals for 2020?
Personally I want to keep training, stay healthy and complete my Level 4 Strength & Conditioning Certificate, but I have to be honest and say I take more pleasure these days in seeing my clients achieve their goals and helping them to achieve more than they thought they could.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I’ve taken my inspiration from a number of people over the years, but recently I have found myself completely admiring Doddie Weir, a great man on the rugby field, but an absolute GIANT in his fight against MND (Motor Neurone Disease) for himself and many others suffering from the disease.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Sundried is heading in a direction many others should follow.