cycling triathlon triathlete racing

Scott found his passion for sport during his time in the army and now competes at a high level. He talks to Sundried about his triathlon journey.

Have you always been into sport?

I was always active as a child but never did any formal sport. I started playing football in high school and for local teams but didn’t really see myself as having any particular sporting talent until I joined the army.

When I was in the Cheshire Regiment, we would do various fitness tests and a 1.5 mile run was a weekly favourite of our superiors. I found that I was winning this week in, week out when I was in basic training. They also used to do this alongside a weighted run when I got to my battalion which I also often won.

I didn’t do much soldiering for the first year of the forces due to being in the army football team travelling around the UK. Once I left the forces, I had some time off physical activity after an intense period of soldiering for 5 years. I got bored quickly so decided to join my local running club in 2012…and it went from there!

What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

My girlfriend was part of the Team GB Age Group team so we were travelling the country and the world but I wasn’t competing. It made sense to try to get into triathlon as I had done some cycling previously too.

The challenge was swimming as I couldn’t even swim 25m freestyle without having to take a break at the start of this year. I spent every day for 3 months in the pool, and after some lengths (and shoulder niggles), I managed to get my 400m down to a respectable time as well as managing longer swims which I never saw myself doing 3 months earlier.

What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

The ITU Leeds Sprint Triathlon 2019 was great; it was the atmosphere that really made it. I’m sure the Brownlee brothers' profile in the city had a lot to do with this! Also, pretty much any fell races in my local area of the Peak District are also pretty special.

And your proudest achievement?

I’ve had various proud achievements at different stages of my time in sport. One that stands out was going sub-18 minutes for 5k then going sub-17 and being only a few seconds away from managing sub-16.

Probably the biggest couple of achievements have been running for Cheshire as well as getting selected to represent the Team GB Age Group team in duathlon in the European Championships.

Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

I wouldn’t say I’ve had any disasters but I’ve definitely bonked and ruined races down to my own strategic errors. During my first 10k in 2012, I went out too fast and bonked after about 5km!

I participated in the Zurich New Year Marathon which goes off at bang on midnight. I ran it with very little training and no marathon experience, which came back to bite me – let’s just say the last 4 miles were a struggle!

I recently participated in my first ever middle distance triathlon in Majorca, again with not the best preparation. This time though at least I did pace myself! The swim was horrendous as it was extremely choppy and I was just glad to get out. The bike went okay but the run was tough as I’d not experienced racing for 4+ hours before.

How do you overcome setbacks?

I go back to basics. Re-write a basic training plan and go back to what I find fun. I try to surround myself with others by using things like Parkrun and any races I can find to enter. This usually gives me my mojo back!

What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

I have always come from very supportive clubs in running and cycling so all the advice was pretty much there. I’m not so sure I would have changed how I did things. Probably do more strength work…which I’m still guilty of not doing enough of!

What are your goals for 2020?

My first race in 2020 is a rather big one for Team GB at the European Duathlon Championships in Punta Umbria so training on the bike and running are going to be my main focus for the first few months of the year. I may also have qualified for the Team GB Aquathlon team so I could be competing at the Europeans for them too later on in the year.

What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

The biggest draw towards Sundried for me was the very competitive prices as well as having eco-friendly ranges. I have found the Sundried Plaret men's training t-shirt to be very comfortable and great at temperature regulation. I even ran a last minute half marathon in it and at the first time of wearing it, it was very comfortable. It’s also great that it is eco-friendly and made from recycled plastic bottles!