Sam is an athlete who got into triathlon because he found just running to be too boring. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes I have, from a very young age I’ve always been a very active person which has led me to participate in over 11 sports, a mixture of individual and team sports ranging from Judo to rowing to rugby or table tennis.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I used to be a long distance runner only, and once took part in a 50km ultra-marathon run, which was great fun but also got slightly boring after a while, which led me to think whether I could be able to combine my running with other sports. Adding to that a friend of mine had previously competed in various Ironman races which convinced me to take up triathlon.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race so far has been the Bath Half Marathon 2019 for a couple of reasons, one being that I am a student in Bath and was really looking forward to running in front of a home crowd and people I knew very well, and also because I managed to hit a PB of 1:24:29.
And your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was running the Bournemouth Marathon when I was aged 17, which I ran after having only just recovered from a 2 month long rugby injury.
Have you ever had racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Luckily I haven’t yet had any major issues during a race, I do make sure the day before the race that all my equipment is all ready and set to go and that I am physically ready to race. But these things do happen and I am sure that I will inevitably face some more or less serious issues on the race course that I will have to deal with.
How do you overcome setbacks?
When I have a bad performance or a training session I’m disappointed with I just turn back and look at the positives, either in that particular race/training session, or throughout the months of training and the amount of improvement that I have gone through over that period. It’s always tough but this sport just like most sports is fought mentally and it’s your mentality which will often define if you reach your ultimate goal or not.
What advice do you wish you’d been given before you started competing?
A piece of advice I would have appreciated while training for my first ever triathlon would probably have been to practise transitions as well as brick sessions ( running straight after cycling, or cycling straight after swimming ). I had only been focusing on the individual disciplines and came the day of the race and I was so far off my target because running after cycling is just a new sport in itself, but it taught me a lot and it was a valuable experience.
What are your goals for 2019/2020?
My goals for 2019 are to compete the Ironman 70.3 in Vichy, being my first middle distance triathlon I have for goal to complete it in under 5 hours, but we’ll see how it goes. Then I will be running the Cardiff Half marathon in September and hope to aim for a new PB. There is no doubt I will be racing another 70.3 in the early months of 2020 but the dates aren’t yet confirmed.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of things, a lot of incredible athlete have completed a lot of incredible things which is in itself amazing, but if I were to think of an athlete in particular I would have to say Tim Don, who is a Ironman champion who in the past year had a terrible accident while he was ruling the triathlon world, which set him back hugely, but he made a full recovery in 3 months and is now back up and running and competing on the biggest stage again which is just incredible in terms of mental strength and motivation.
What do you like about Sundried and what is your favourite piece of kit?
I recently bought the Sundried tri-suit and have tried it a few times and have been incredibly surprised by how breathable it is and how incredibly aerodynamic it is. It also provides a surprising amount of comfort for long rides which I did not know was possible.