Robert is a highly competitive athlete who has his sights set on going pro and winning an Ironman. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes - I swam competitively when I was younger. At age 18 I became a British swimming champion. I played every sport at school and enjoyed a variety of individual and team sports.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I wanted a challenge after finishing university for the summer before starting my third and final year. I decided I would run for 8 weeks. I bought a road bike 4 weeks before the event and did a handful of swims. I took on Weymouth 70.3 as my first triathlon race. I think I came around 13th in my age group in just over 5 hours.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I really enjoyed racing at the World 70.3 champs in South Africa but my favourite race experience was at Challenge Salou in 2019. The Challenge family really look after their athletes and they put on a great race. I will be racing with them again for sure.
And your proudest achievement?
Coming second in my age group at Staffordshire 70.3 in a time of 4:25. I had a lot of problems in the race and lost plenty of time on the bike. Losing my hydration and Garmin was not part of the plan. Nor was having my front wheel damaged by another rider. I am proud that I managed to get myself to the finish line and I was doing better than I thought when I left T2. Overtaking Lucy Gossage at the start of the run was a highlight too!
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Yes. Most of my 2018 triathlon races didn’t go to plan. I had quite a few problems with the di2 on my race bike. Being stuck in the same gear or the bike automatically shifting to the lowest gear isn’t great. Luckily, I now have a mechanical TT bike. Let’s hope that when we return to racing it will all be okay. No problems thus far!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Talking helps. Don’t leave it too long before reaching out. Don’t suffer in silence. I find talking to my wife and my coach whenever I encounter a dip of motivation a really big help. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy the process.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Consistency in training is the most important part of becoming a better athlete. Train easy for the majority of your sessions and identify the key workouts in the week. Those key workouts can then be successful, as you are ready and able to go hard.
What are your goals?
Win the overall age group race in a 70.3. Gain my professional license. If I choose to go to the world 70.3 - aim for the win/podium.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from knowing I am becoming fitter through consistent training. There are a few UK pros that I also admire, and they have worked extremely hard to be where they are today.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I like that Sundried is environmentally friendly. I like that the kit is comfortable and it is of quality. My favourite item of kit are the bib shorts. They are also a steal at such a low price.