Sharn Bowley - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I have always been very active and took part in most sports at school. I played football to a decent standard and I was a county standard hurdler at school. Working in London limited what I could do for a while, I did play squash for a few years but it was not until I started working locally and started cycling to work that I got into triathlon about 6 years ago.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I am fortunate enough to cycle about 16k each way to work, this really helped with my fitness and losing a bit of weight. A friend suggested I take part in a local triathlon; I needed a challenge so I joined a local club and the rest is history. I was told I would get hooked, and I am. It is not just the racing element I enjoy but also the training and seeing gradual improvements over time.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
I completed the Outlaw full distance triathlon this year and it has been my favourite, and hardest, race to date. It was family friendly, a fantastic atmosphere, brilliant support and a wonderful experience, not sure if I would do it again though! I was lucky enough to have my family watch me, they also manned a feed station on the run so they were able to pass me my refreshments!
What is your proudest achievement?
Completing the Outlaw! When I first got into triathlon I wanted to do an Ironman/Full distance tri, to be honest I never thought I would be able to do one, but I have. It is a commitment training for a full distance triathlon and I was lucky to have a very supportive wife and family, the training was not too intrusive but if you want to participate in such a race you need to fully commit. I felt I did myself justice on the day and it is by far my proudest achievement in Triathlon.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Yes! In my second year of competing I tried something I did not practice in my race. I had tied my tri shoes to my bike with elastic bands thinking I could just do it, I proceeded to make a pigs ear of it and fell off. My race only got better when 3 miles into the bike I got a puncture and had to walk back to transition. I wanted to complete the run and injured my calf in the process!
How do you overcome setbacks?
Just put it down to experience, learn from it and try and be positive. It would be easy to dwell on the setbacks but sometimes these things happen. Saying that, I did see a couple of people not able to complete the Outlaw due to mechanical issues with their bikes (It was a real fear for me going into the race) and that would have been heart breaking after all the training they would have put in.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Listen to your body, do not push yourself in case you make a niggle a longer-term problem. It's very easy to think it will be okay when in fact pushing on can make things a lot worse. Also, you don't have to have all the latest gadgets and gizmos. Triathlon can be an expensive sport but focus on your training and technique and that will more than make up for any lack of high tech gear or equipment.
What are your goals?
After completing the Outlaw my aim is to do sprint triathlons with my son next year. Longer term I think I would like to do 70.3 races. I have enjoyed the endurance training and I would like to return to longer / endurance races. I have completed 5km swims so maybe 10km swims and a marathon in the future. As full for another full distance tri...? I don't think so but I have heard about the Tenby long course weekend so that could be an option.
Who inspires you?
My 17-year-old son is also a triathlete and I really enjoy watching him compete. He is a talented triathlete with real potential and I have really enjoyed watching grow into the sport. I like the fact I can now go and race with him as well, something I aim to do more of next season. Plus, he also keeps me on my toes!
Why work with Sundried?
I think it is important to have links with a company that has good ethics and eco credentials as well as high quality products. The environment is on everyone's agenda and to be linked with Sundried and wear their clothing which is kind to the environment is a really important factor for me. I only wear Sundried products when I train and race such is the quality and affordability.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.