Rhys has been destined to be a triathlete from a young age. He talks to Sundried about overcoming setbacks and his grand plans for his triathlon career.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been into sport from learning to swim and ride a bike at the age of 3 to competing in primary school races and falling in love with triathlon.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I was a strong swimmer and runner and raced for clubs, so when one of the coaches asked if I’d ever tried triathlon I thought I would give it a go. From then on I fell in love with the sport, winning everything I could at that age.
What has been your favourite race to date?
My favourite race has to be my first ever race when I knew triathlon was going to be the sport for me. I won the race and fell in love with a sport that was unique and exciting.
And your proudest achievement?
It has to be racing week in week out at national level in the British Triathlon Super Series with the best in the country.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
I have a disaster every race, always trying to overcome new unforeseen circumstances. However, my toughest race was my first race back after suffering from glandular fever, knowing that I was recovered from the illness but that I was nowhere near the fitness level I needed to be. It’s a knock to the confidence but it’s motivation to get back into training after 6 months out and to be back fitter, stronger and faster than ever.
How do you overcome setbacks?
You have to keep a cool head and I learned this through my coach; he is amazing and has taught me that I can’t control the uncontrollable, all I can do is make sure it doesn’t happen again and this has taught me never to make the same mistake twice and has improved me as an athlete.
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Training is 90% physical and 10% mental. Racing is 90% mental and 10% physical.
What are your goals for 2018?
My season is nearly finished however I have the European Age Group Duathlon finals in Ibiza in October and my goal is to medal in that.
Who do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from the Brownlee brothers. They are arguably the most determined and best triathletes of all time.
What do you like about Sundried and your favourite bit of kit?
I love the fact that it is a company made by athletes and personal trainers and that they know what they want in clothing and kit. My favourite bit of kit at the moment is the BPA-free reusable water bottle. I love it for the gym, swimming and athletics, it’s the perfect size and is easy to drink out of.