Sam Francis - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I started running at Senior school and ran for my school. I entered my first race when I was 19 (great south run) and got the love for competing. I ran in local events and joined a running club later on in my running history. I competed in the Hampshire road race league and ran as a cub runner for quite some time. I've run 7 marathons in the UK and abroad and competed in many races over the past 18-20 years. Due to an injury I took up cycling and from then I fell in love with both sports.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I worked in Health Promotion and we worked closely with the local leisure centre. They organised a Triathlon and so we got a staff group to enter. I came 5th female and therefore this ignited my competitiveness to keep getting better and try out different triathlons. I enjoyed it so much I completed my Triathlon Coaching Qualification.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race has been the Chichester Olympic Triathlon. It was my first ever race and since then I have completed it several times, I love the route, it is a great combination of challenging hills and great scenery and my son even got to run in with me on one occasion.
What is your proudest achievement?
Two first places. It was always my dream for 1st place and two years in a row was amazing for me and I was injured at the time!
I also came 17th Female in the Great South Run earning my Elite Position which was totally unexpected but absolutely amazing.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I pulled my hamstring during the Brighton Marathon which meant walking a few miles and hyper ventilating at the side of the race as myself and my running group had put quite a bit of pressure on me to get under 3 house 30. However I still managed under 3 hours 30 so I was very happy with that.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I had a hip injury for quite some time which hindered the running part of the triathlon but with strength work and an understanding that the run part will have to suffer slightly for a while I actually came back stronger! Mental strength and determination to succeed with a clear goal is what has always got me through.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Not to get totally changed in the transition between swim and run. This added quite sometime to my first triathlon!
What are your goals?
My goals now are to improve my fitness, keep a good mix with the strength training to enable me to be stronger all round and as soon as events are open again to get back to seeing what I can do. I have some trail runs booked in so far so hopefully they take place. My ultimate goal for the next year or so is a 70.3 and then I will go from there. I work in nutrition so a focus on my nutrition for performance and recovery is a focus on mine too.
Who inspires you?
Kate Zaferes and Jessica Learmonth.
Why work with Sundried?
I got introduced to Sundried a while ago through a lovely couple who come to my class, I love the quality of the clothing and style and their ethos is fantastic and is something which is extremely important to me. I love that they are so passionate about the environment and that they have an EcoTech® collection which is made from 100% recycled materials. The clothing is so comfortable and durable at really good prices.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.