Martin Owen Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I had got into karate from a young age (10) and always had a love of football. It was only around 7 years ago, however, that I started running and more seriously in the last 5 after I had joined a club and began entering races. I wasn't the most sporty of children, but like to prove that anyone can do this - you just need a positive mindset.
What made you decide to enter the world of duathlon?
Unfortunately, injury meant my running suffered and I ended up taking around 9 months off. During this time, though, I fell in love with cycling. It had a completely different type of freedom to that of running, and also meant I could keep training. When I came back from injury, I started doing both together!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
The London Marathon will always hold a place in my heart. Not everyone gets to run it so I was incredibly lucky. It's an amazing weekend.
And your proudest achievement?
Finishing the London Marathon! But also my most recent duathlon. I'd moved up to middle distance and ended up winning my age group. It was definitely the hardest race I've ever done, but I want to give it another shot next year!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Touch wood, no disasters yet - no DNFs at least! I think the toughest races are always the first - my first half marathon, first 20 mile race. London Marathon was tough - it was a very hot day and my nutrition plan went out the window! Blenheim Palace half marathon always sticks in my mind: not a disaster, but I was only 12 seconds away from a PB...that's 1 second a mile! Physically, Battlefield Duathlon was the toughest. 'Challenging' and 'lumpy' is an understatement! When 3 people give up after the bike, you know it's a tough course.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Refocus. Don’t give up. Keep a clear head and remember the reason you are doing what you're doing. Not every training session or race will be perfect, that’s part and parcel of the process - but it’s overcoming that and looking at the bigger picture that counts.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Duathlon-wise - brick training. I hadn’t done much for my very first sprint distance race and suffered. Nowadays, 3 out of my 6 training days are bricks. General running tips though - manage any niggles! Prevention is better than cure.
What are your goals for 2018?
Train hard and do well in races this year. Hopefully GB qualification for Powerman Zofingen in 2019.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I try not to focus too much on any one person in particular, but anyone taking on triathlon or duathlon should be applauded. Due to my own goals, I do look up to Emma Pooley - she's the current and 4x World Champion in long distance duathlon (as well as previous Olympic & Commonwealth AND Time Trial World Champion!). Closer to home though, I do love to watch my partner who is a GB triathlete. Seeing her train so hard every day, and sometimes even training together, is a huge inspiration. She sets herself a goal, gets her head down and earns it. To see her journey and achievements first hand is amazing.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
It's such a unique brand and the ethics the company stands by are to be admired. The men’s Olperer training top fits well and feels awesome!