Oliver only entered the world of triathlon one year ago but with his running and cycling background he was soon making waves in the sport. He tells us about life as a new triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, from a young age I have always been a keen sportsman. I grew up playing team sports at school, moving onto running and cycling in my teens. My main interest used to be cross-country running where I represented my county. I moved to road racing before my change to triathlon. I love the competitive nature of sport and the social aspect of group training. I believe that sport and training improves happiness.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I entered the world of triathlon one year ago. Alongside competitive running, I have long been a keen recreational cyclist, so two components were already there. The recent success of British Triathlon and its increased media coverage made me want to give it a go! I was instantly hooked and trained at Loughborough University where I was studying. This first year has mainly been focused on improving my swim whilst maintaining and improving bike and run fitness.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It's hard to pick between two races. The Barbados National Triathlon Championships has to be up there because it was my first race win. There was something special about the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches too. The heat wasn't so nice!
The other is the Oulton Park Duathlon. It was a hard race on an undulating surface. It was at this race that I qualified for the GB age-group team, making it one of my favourites!
And your proudest achievement?
Qualifying for the European Duathlon Championships. I set it as an over-ambitious goal at the beginning of the season seeing as it was only my first year in the sport. To qualify was an amazing feeling!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I haven't had any racing disasters to date - touch wood! I have definitely had some tough races for different reasons. The toughest has to be the Oulton Park Duathlon because it was a European Championship Qualifier. I found it tough because of the added pressure to achieve my goal of qualification in a very competitive field.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I find poor race results, or injury setbacks, as frustrating and demoralising as most triathletes do. In every circumstance I find the positive, no matter how negative it maybe. For example, if I having a running injury, I'll take the time to improve my swimming technique and research what caused my injury. Poor race results are inevitable occasionally and it's important for me to reflect what went wrong so I can focus on correcting this in future.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Not to shy away from the sport because you have a weak discipline. I was always apprehensive because I lack a swimming background. The gains you can make in a short space of time when you are new to a sport is amazing. All it takes is some hard work!
What are your goals for 2018?
My goals are to establish myself on the age-group scene and execute a great race at the European Championships.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
The Brownlee brothers are my inspiration. Their determination to be the best, and their relentless training dedication is extremely admirable. I don't think there are any British triathletes who don't take their inspiration from these guys.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The ethical focus is a winner for me. There needed to be a change behind how the clothing industry operates and Sundried is a driver behind this. It's great to see and be a part of!
My favourite bit of kit is the Grand Combin Training Top. With the cold winter months ahead, this is going to be a crucial part of my training wardrobe.