Triathlons aren’t all just swimming, cycling, and running. From blackouts to ice baths, Sam Mileham tells Sundried what it takes to represent Great Britain as an age group triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, from a young age I always did some sort of sport whether it was football, swimming, or running; I always enjoyed getting involved in sport.
What made you decide to enter a triathlon?
I can’t actually remember what made me get into triathlon but I know my first race was when I was 9. I’m pretty sure my dad had started doing them around the same time and he suggested I try one. I gave it a try and have not stopped since!
What’s been your best race to date?
That’s a tough one…I think my best result would have to be 10th at the 2016 European Triathlon Championships. I didn't have the best winter's preparation so it really set my season up well and it was also one of my main goals for the year to finish in the top 10 in Europe, so to achieve that was a brilliant start to the year.
And your proudest achievement?
I think this has to be being shortlisted two years running for 220 magazine's ‘Young Triathlete of the Year’. In 2016 I can remember how shocked I was to see myself on the list and when I saw my name on the list this year I was equally amazed and very proud to have been on that list.
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
My toughest race was definitely in close contention for my best race but it did contain a slight disaster. Mexico, Cozumel, 38C, 2016 World Championships, I was in 9th place with 500m to go. Then I blacked out, I remember being on the floor and then in the ice bath. I managed to get myself across the line in what ended up being 35th place but I don't remember the final 500m at all. It was a great race, a tough race, with a small disaster at the end!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Thinking about it no one has ever asked me this before. For now I would say that the answer is in the question before. If I get injured, or ill, or have a few bad training sessions, I just think of what I am capable of before disaster struck. I know the performance and the times are in me so I always remember that and what I want to go and do at this year's World Championships: to finish in the top 10 without collapsing!
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
Simply, trust the process.
It’s a long winter. You can have so many ups and downs but trust it will work and you will enter summer in the best shape possible.
What are your goals for 2017?
I have a few goals for this year for sure. First would be to achieve a medal at the European Aquathlon Championships, then finish in the top 5 at the European Triathlon Championships and Top 10 at the World Championships. I will also compete in the British Junior Elite Super Series so I’m hoping for a really good ranking at the end of the year as it is my last year as a junior. My final goal is to do my best in my A-Levels!
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take a lot of inspiration from all the people around me. I train with many different groups of people of all abilities who all have different stories to tell. How they've got to where they are, how they currently train, what they plan to do, and all of them inspire me to do my best and to keep chasing my goals. All of them train the hardest they can to get to where they want to be and being around them makes me want to do exactly the same.
What do you like about Sundried and what's your favourite bit of our kit?
It is rare to see a brand push so much about how their kit is made and that is what sets Sundried apart. Everything they do has the smallest carbon footprint. From the design to the manufacture, distribution, use, and disposal. You could say triathlon is a low carbon sport, so why not wear low carbon clothing.
Who doesn’t like a good T-shirt, more importantly, a stylish, comfortable t-shirt? I really like the Olperer Men's Training T-Shirt - it ticks all the boxes for me!