Michael Akers Athlete Ambassador
Michael started out as a ski instructor but soon found a love for triathlon. He talks to Sundried about Ironman racing and what it means to him and his family.
How did you first get into triathlon?
After a few years out in the mountains as a ski instructor, I fancied a change of sport. Triathlon seemed pretty interesting but way harder than I expected. I've been truly humbled by the training involved.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I'd have to say Eton Dorney middle distance as my wife and family were there.
And your proudest achievement?
I would say completing Ironman Austria in under 10 hours. It was an unknown for me going into the race as I’d been injured for a long time during the build up. My mum had just recovered from cancer so it was very special for her to be there with me. The atmosphere in Austria is incredible and hands down the beat place I’ve ever raced. It’s been going for over 30 years now!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I would say Lakesman Half Ironman 2018. I traveled all the way from Bournemouth to the Lake District. I had a nightmare swim, got onto the bike and made my way to 4th place with the aim of a podium spot. However, a puncture in the last 10 miles of the bike took me out of the race.
How do you overcome setbacks?
In terms of training, I try to be realistic in what I can do if I miss a session or get an injury. I don’t think you stay in the sport very long if a setback alters this approach.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Quality training within a well structured plan allowing for recovery will always trump mindless hours of unstructured training.
What are your goals for 2018?
To return to the routine of training following an injury and hit some late season half marathons. Potentially Gosport half and Bournemouth half marathon. Next year I’ve got 2 Iron distance races booked with the aim of a GB Age Group spot.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I would say Lionel Sanders, self coached and triumphed over adversity from a sporting perspective. Also my mum who bravely battled cancer last year and is now in remission.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the men's running clothing and the mens trisuit, which is nice and light and fits great. Plus as autumn approaches, the lightweight water resistant running jacket and men's running leggings are ideal for race warmups.