runner marathon athlete

Michelle is an athlete who has a true passion for her sports. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

Have you always been into sport?

My relationship with sport was on and off as a kid - I loved PE at school (most of the time!) and played netball for the school and a local team for a few years but I was always active.

In college I had a weekend job so that filled my spare time and I dropped sport for a few years, but then joined the gym to get me back into it and started running. When I went to uni, my enjoyment of sport returned and I joined the swim team as a fresher (but didn’t compete) before well and truly falling in love with running and continued from there.

How did you first get into triathlon?

I am not necessarily a triathlete per se, I do each of the disciplines but on their own. My main love is running; road, track, cross country of any distance. To mix my training up I’ve had a turbo for a while and eventually got myself back in the pool regularly about 4 years ago, but until this last year I hadn’t ridden outside for ages but have really found a love for it. I’ve got lots of friends who are triathletes and keep trying to get me to do one. One day maybe!

What has been your favourite race to date and why?

It has got to be Cardiff Half Marathon. I’ve done it a couple of times now and it’s where I first broke 90 minutes for the half. I love the city and although each time it has gone from bright sunshine to pouring with rain at some point during the race (typical Wales) there is always so much support and a mix of sights to see.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest sporting achievement is winning the Isle of Man 5,000m track and field championships when I spent some time out there for my uni elective. There weren’t many of us in the race but that is probably what makes me prouder - it was the first time I had raced on the track; I had to push myself both mentally and physically and threw myself into meeting new people in the time I spent there. Outside of sport, it’s persevering and not giving up when I haven’t been successful in applications for uni and jobs first time.

Have you ever had any racing disasters?

Hasn’t everyone? I’d probably choose a 5 mile race I tried to do at Newcastle Racecourse where I turned up and it was pouring with rain, blowing a gale and pretty chilly and I still tried to race in shorts and a vest. Needless to say, my head wasn’t in it and added to the conditions I pulled out not long after starting…something to learn from!

How do you overcome setbacks?

Tricky! Definitely talking things through with friends and my coach, going for a nice long walk (ideally near the sea, in the sunshine, with a coffee) to think things through and then try to work out what I could do differently next time and what I am going to do next.

What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

That it’s okay to go slowly. You don’t have to try your hardest in every session - but then this is something that I still can’t do.

What are your goals?

Firstly, to get out of a bit of an injury rut I have got myself into running-wise and find some training consistency again. I’ve then got time goals I want to achieve in distances from 5k to unfinished business with the marathon but ultimately to represent my county at cross country.

Who inspires you?

Definitely many of the new and up and coming GB runners. Lilly Partridge, Jenny Nesbit, Natasha Cockram and Hayley Carruthers just to name a few, also Gwen Jorgensen, Paula Radcliffe and Jo Pavey for all of their amazing achievements whilst being fab mums.

Why work with Sundried?

For a start, the kit looks amazing. It is so comfortable, high quality and well made and lasts forever. Sundried support sustainability and take staff well-being seriously - some lessons that many companies could learn from.

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