Steve Howkins Athlete Ambassador
Steve started off as a runner but soon discovered a passion for all three triathlon sports. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been into sport; football when I was younger, then I moved to rowing before finding cycling and triathlon where I have been ever since.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I was a keen runner for fitness and completed the odd race here and there. However, this lead to injury so I took the opportunity to have some adult swimming lessons to learn freestyle and keep my fitness up that way. I found myself beginning to enjoy the swimming, especially as I could see the min/100m times coming down and I got the swimming bug from there. I always used to cycle on the weekends when the weather was good so one day I thought let's put all three together and enter a triathlon!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
I think London Triathlon 2014 has to have been my favourite to date. The sheer volume of support and number of racers of all ages and abilities is something I don't think can be done at any other race.
And your proudest achievement?
Not a massive achievement but more of a personal accomplishment is open water swimming. Like many, I was worried about the reeds, smells, tastes, temperature, not being able to touch the floor or see the bottom, the list goes on. However, once I completed that first swim all those worries and fears went away and it's something I will never forget. I enjoy my open water swims now probably more than my pool sessions!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
I haven't had any disasters or technical issues so far. The closest I have come to disaster is a cow charging at me at Birmingham triathlon!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I try to focus on the positives and not dwell on what could have or should have been. I talk to my coach and get my training sorted and often enter another race for something to work towards. I have suffered with shin splints on and off for years and it does get me down, especially when my pace is picking up as well as my distance and I have to reduce the intensity and sometimes stop running altogether and let my legs recover. Having two other disciplines to work harder on is definitely an advantage of triathlon.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Get a coach and a structured training plan. I started off my own back and the difference is night and day with my results and fitness levels now to what they were a few years ago.
What are your goals for 2019?
Complete my first Ironman 70.3.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
My teammates and professionals alike. There is nothing better than thinking I could get somewhere near that level one day.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love the fact it's sustainable, reasonably priced, and good quality. My favourite kit has to be the cycling gear.