• David Allen - Athlete Ambassador

     

    Shop Sundried's Men's Triathlon CollectionDavid is a triathlete who has represented Great Britain in a number of competitions. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes. as far back as I remember. I seem to go in decade cycles of different sports. My first 10 years was football, 10 - 20 was Waterskiing where I competed for the British junior squad. 20 - 30 were the Snow Skiing and Windsurfing years. My 30's were spent obsessed with Tennis and in my 40's I slowed down (mainly through injury), and lived (literally) on the Golf Course. My 50's have been spent in Triathlon where I have represented GBR at age group coming 2nd at the European and 8th at the World Championships for Long (Ironman) Distance in 2019

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite race was UK Ultraman in 2019 as it was a great challenge having to swim 10km, cycle 450km and then run 85km over 3 days in Snowdonia. What made it great though was having a brilliant support group around me who didn't just make a winning team but who helped make memories that I will treasure always.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    Winning the UKUM overall by margin of just 9 secs over 3 days of racing. Something I would never have been able to do without the team.

    Start your journey today with Sundried's Active Life Collection, available in both men's and women's styles. 

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I have had plenty of things go wrong in races such as going the wrong way on bike and run courses, mechanical failure on the bike and injury, all leading to DNF's (Did Not Finish). I also got disqualified from a race I was winning due to not putting my foot on the floor when stopping at a junction on the bike. I wasn't happy!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    By smiling and putting everything in perspective. I enjoy racing and it's a hobby. It's not life and death. I actually quite like it when things don't go as planned as that makes it more of a challenge, and if there's one thing I enjoy, it's a challenge!

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    That rest is as important as training. It took several years of overtraining, getting injured and being chronically fatigued before I started to work out that I needed to rest more. It's still something I am constantly working on.

    What are your goals?

    My overall sporting goal is to be able to compete both fit and healthy. They are not the same thing and I have been very fit but pretty unhealthy in the past. Competing in long distance triathlon takes its toll so I aim to be competitive but without destroying myself in the process. My main goal for 2021 is finishing the Brutal Quin, a 6 day Triathlon event that comprises of a 20km swim, 900km bike ride and 200km run in Snowdonia this September.

    Who inspires you?

    I draw inspiration from many places but mainly through those I train with. There are some incredible athletes of all ages I am lucky enough to get to chase in the pool, on the bike and when running. It has been the hardest thing during lockdowns/restrictions to not be able to draw strength and inspiration from them and I miss the social coffee and cakes!

    Why work with Sundried?

    Having lived by, in and on the sea for most of my life I see the effect plastic, pollution and climate change has had and anything I can do to reduce its impact is important. I have been aware of Sundried for a few years due to their presence at local Triathlon events but whilst I appreciated the ecological aspect, I hadn't realised just how good the kit is until last year when I bought a t-shirt. It is my go to piece of kit for any hard training or long run as it is comfortable and highly effective in keeping me that way through the session. My training wardrobe has now been significantly reduced with just a few bits of quality Sundried kit.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • George Taplin - Athlete Ambassador

     

    Shop Sundried's Men's Swim Collection

     

    George is a triathlete and swimmer, who is passionate about reducing waste and protecting our coastlines.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Having two older sisters to try and keep up with, I soon followed their path and started competitive swimming aged 5. I was fortunate to have some success in my swimming career from a young age, achieving 6 age-group national titles and competing at the British Olympic trials in 2016. Aside from swimming I have also been a keen cyclist growing up, enjoying mountain biking in the local woods, and also having to use my bike as my main method of transport. Sport has been a key part of my childhood and I have made many friendships and positive memories no matter what the sport has been.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I completed my first triathlon just before leaving for university, it was a local race and I decided to give it a go. My performance was a long way from perfect. I had one of the slowest transition times and nearly lost a shoe; however I finished the race excited and really loved how the race switches between the three disciplines. In my second year at the University of Sheffield I signed up to the triathlon team and this is where I started to learn lots about triathlon from training with more experienced triathletes. I quickly became fully engaged in the sport.

    If you are interested in getting into Triathlon, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. We have both mens and womens options available. 

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite triathlon was the BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) Standard Distance Triathlon in 2019 at Southport. Not only did it host the English Standard Distance championships, but there was also over 230 students racing – this created an electric atmosphere with great team support. I felt strong on the swim and managed to exit the water in first position, however this was short lived as I was soon passed on the bike leg by stronger cyclists and TT bikes. Sheffield University had 20 students racing which created a strong team atmosphere, and added great value to the overall event.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    On the final weekend of July (2020) I set out to swim all the lakes in the Lake District to raise money for the clean drinking water charity Just A Drop. The swim covered 13 lakes, 3 days and 71km. I have previously only done one ultra-distance swim before so I was heading into unknown territory in my swimming ability. However with thanks to a strong support team providing plenty of snacks from the kayak, I finished the final few kilometres as the sun set on Derwent water on the 3rd day. The swim tested my psychological and physiological limits, however I managed to keep going and exceeded what I thought I was capable of. I am a strong believer that people have the capacity to exceed their perceptions of what is possible, and must believe in their own ability. 

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    When I was starting out in triathlon, during the bike leg of a race I had to bunny hop over a pothole, as I landed my seat fell out on to the pavement. The race was a super sprint so I finished the final few kilometres without a seat and had to stay out the saddle. My legs were knackered starting the run, a mistake not to be made again!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    After a setback I try to take a step back and keep things in perspective. Whilst there is a lot of pressure placed on race day to execute the race immaculately, our bodies aren’t hardwired and performance will fluctuate depending on a whole host of lifestyle and training factors. The key is to learn from the setback and move forward onto your next goal wiser.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    I would encourage anyone who is enjoying sport to try and find a local club and commit to the training programme the best they can. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by study and work and to miss out on a training session. Nevertheless I have found that during busy times in my life triathlon has been a solution for me, giving me an hour of exercise with my close friends and a release from anything else going on in your life. It can help engage you in supportive community of people that are active, and bring out some of the great social benefits of sport.

    What are your goals?

    I am hoping to podium at the European Age-group Standard championships (2021), and to qualify for the Elite Aquathlon championships (2021).

    Who inspires you?

    My Dad has had a big influence on my sport growing up. In 2009 he swum from Europe to Africa across the Straight of Gibraltar, and in 2012 he completed a charity 1000km long triathlon for Help for Heroes. I believe this has motivated me to get involved in sport and learn about my physical limits.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I am particularly excited to work with Sundried due to their investment into sustainability and zero waste. They have two clothing ranges designed from recycled materials including coffee grounds and plastic bottles. I believe this is a step that many clothing companies should adopt moving forwards, helping reduce and utilize our waste materials. Sundried are also supporting Surfers Against Sewage, a charity working on reducing coastal pollution around the UK. This is particularly motivating for me as the UK has many beaches that deserve protection, not least for future swimmers and surfers, but mostly to keep our coastal ecosystem intact and prevent further habitat degradation.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Martin Richardson - Athlete Ambassador

    Shop Sundried's Men's Running Collection

    Martin is a teacher who competes in both triathlon and running events, aiming to achieve a sub 2.25 marathon time. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have competed at National level in sport since an early age. I was a gymnast until my early teens, and then I transferred to athletics soon after. Running was my first passion, and still is. I competed in national level cross country for my school, and then in my early 20s I found marathon running, finishing my first London Marathon in 2007 (very slowly, I must add).

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    In 2010 I bought a decent road bike and soon realised I would then be able to give triathlons a go. I signed up to the London Triathlon and was hooked straight away. In my mid teens I was also an avid swimmer, so triathlons felt natural to me. Although I definitely needed to work on my cycling.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favorite race so far has been the Chester Deva Triathlon qualifier that allowed me to get selected for the Team GB Age Group team. That course is a fantastic race, and the crowds/support is always superb and uplifting.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I have two proudest achievements. One is being selected for the Team GB Age-Group team, the other is winning the Hever Castle Half Marathon in 2019. It is a hilly, trail course, but also really scenic too, especially the finish line that is right next to the castle.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    In 2018 I raced the Copenhagen Ironman. I went into the race in (what I thought was) the best shape of my life. However, I had developed Coeliacs disease, which is an allergic reaction to wheat, barley and rye in your stomach, and so for several months I had not been getting the right vitamins and nutrients from my food. I felt extremely tired but I thought it was simply all the training I was doing. I got off the bike in just over 6 hours total, and headed into the marathon hoping to clock a 3 hour 15 min run time, which would bring me across the finish line in 9hr 45 mins. But after 4 miles I could hardly move. I had the fitness, but my entire body felt heavy. I dragged myself across the finish in a disappointing 11 hours. Six weeks later, still feeling exhausted but now showing other symptoms, I had a blood test which confirmed I had Coeliacs disease. During the ironman race I was severely anaemic, but I didn't know it. I was lucky to have been able to finish. I'm now on a gluten free, vegan diet, and in far better shape than I've ever been in.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Setbacks are part of the process. Recently I raced a half marathon, aiming for a 72 min finish time, but the wind was not in my favour and I lost two gels on the course so my energy levels were depleted by mile 11. I crossed the 10 mile marker in 56 mins, which felt fantastic, but I knew I was way off my target finish time. In the moment you feel very low, but I'm always able to take some positives from every race, even if things don't always end the way I'd planned. Sometimes you have to be aware that you can't perform at your highest level every day. Listen to your body, work hard, rest hard, and take things one day at a time. If you have a training plan then trust the process and you'll be sure to see improvements along the way.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    I'd tell myself to be patient, and to stick to the training plan, and always remind myself that running is the thing that nobody is asking me to do. The only person in the way of me achieving my goals, is me. So get up, get out, and get after it.

    What are your goals?

    I'd like to race on the elite stage. I'm currently in a process of transitioning to faster marathon and ultra race times. I'm reading more, researching more, and planning strategically, in order to run faster and be more competitive. My marathon goal is to run a sub 2.25 marathon time. Personal running goals for me are divided into a few categories. Long term: To enjoy running as part of a healthy, adventurous lifestyle, for as long as I can, and continue to promote the benefits of running in terms of mental health. Short term: Currently, they are training focussed and involve building up strength and fitness, with the aim to establish myself as a competitive long distance runner at the next given opportunity.

    Who inspires you?

    I am a teacher, so everyday I am inspired by the younger generations I teach, and their resilience in the current world we live in. In terms of running I look up to Tom Evans (ultra runner), Kevin Seaward (marathon runner), Carla Molinaro (endurance runner), and Lee Grantham. I reached out to Lee earlier this year and he was kind enough to arrange a Zoom chat with me about inspiring younger generations to get into running. He's awesome, and has a crazy dedication to his running.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Sustainability is very important to me. Also, at the heart of my running philosophy is the connection between physical and mental health. Sundried has always placed the running community and the runner, no matter the level you are running at (be it elite, Parkrun, club level, jogger) at the very centre of their brand message. It's a brand for every runner, which to me is something I truly identify with. Running is a personal journey for every individual, and a brand that encompasses this is one I like to associate myself with.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Jonty Bayliss - Athlete Ambassador

    Jonty is a triathlete who is passionate about making his sport ecofriendly and suistanable. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    No, I grew up playing basketball until the age of 18 and then diversified across rowing, hockey and dodgeball throughout my university years, before really discovering triathlon in 2015 and throwing myself into it. The last few years I have become really focused on it and I enjoy the intensity of the training.

    How did you first get into triathlon?

    I had two friends who were interested in it. One friend had already started competing and another asked if I would do a sprint triathlon with them. I agreed, had an interesting first race where it took me 3 minutes in transition to get a top on and got to the end of the race absolutely spent. I never thought that after this I would then be able to compete in anything further than sprint, so as I find myself often doing, I challenged myself to the 70.3 race down in Exmoor and the rest as they say, is history.

    What has been your favourite race to date and why?

    Outlaw Half Nottingham in 2018 has been my favourite race to date, as the weather was outstanding, the race organisers even had to panic buy 10,000 sponges a few days before because it was that warm. I had a great race day and it was also the first race my daughter was in attendance (not that she had much idea what was going on at 4 months old). I also got a personal best on the day at middle distance.

    What is your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement is the discipline that I have developed through training for triathlon. I have found that this discipline has then carried throughout the rest of my lifestyle as you have to be disciplined in all areas to make time for your training. Having a full time job, a family and a hobby like triathlon can be a difficult balance and sacrifices have to be made. I have found that with 6am workouts (sometimes even 5am), two a day workouts, that you can sacrifice less out of basic discipline to your training plan and to your timings. 

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    Yes, like a lot of triathletes I have had many, from dropping bottles mid bike course, falling over while taking my wetsuit off, and swimming in the wrong direction. The stand out one though, is on the first triathlon I did. I had no race belt so had my number stuck to a cycling top which it then took me over three minutes in transition to get on, admittedly a steward then helped me out.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Early on setbacks would really knock me and take me a while to get over. However now I find I am more resilient and this has been built up through the training process. I am very good at immediately reframing a setback and seeing it as another learning to go through to get to my end result.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    Consistency is key. This is something I have really taken to in the past 18 months. Early on I would train for my 'A' race then take 2 months off after, then coming into the next season I would be starting 100 steps back from where I was rather than 2 steps back.

    What are your goals?

    In the next 2 years I want to break into the GB Age Group squad for middle distance triathlon. 

    Who inspires you?

    I draw inspiration from all over the place. I am still a huge basketball fan and athletes such as Micheal Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant are huge inspirations. Not so much what they achieved on the court but what they achieved off the court through their consistent hard work they would put in when no one was watching. Triathlon wise I look at people such as Lucy Gossage, Lionel Sanders and of course the great Jan Frodeno.

    Why work with Sundried?

    One of the biggest draws for me is sustainability, to be able to partner with Sundried where it is one of their top priorities is a real privilege. In a world of fast fashion it is great to be able to work with a brand who are conscious about making apparel which is built to last and even more so made out of recycled material. If we all work together to make a difference then we can have a huge impact on the world. Read more about Sundried's story here.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app. 

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Pablo Marcos Ironman Triathlete

    Pablo marcos Ironman Triathlete Sundried

    Pablo has had his heart set on competing in the Ironman World Championships since he was a child. (A dream which has now come true.) He talks to Sundried about how his hard work and determination and making his dream come true.

    Have you always been into sport?

    As far as I know yes! I remember my granddad bought me a football even before I was born and ever since my life has been linked to sport in one way or another. Football, basketball, tennis, surfing, snowboarding, rugby, ice hockey, triathlon… My parents are still mad at me for having so much equipment at theirs! I just love it too much and I don’t understand life without practising some sort of sport every single day of my life. Whether it is just 20 minutes or 12 hours, it’s a must in my daily life. 

    What made you decide to enter triathlon?

    I remember I watched a video about the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii when I was probably about 10 or 11 years old and thought one day I’d be there. For many years I just forgot it but when I was finishing university in the UK at 21 and had to go back to sunny Spain it came back to my mind. One day, I saw an article about Ironman races in the UK and thought, why not giving it a go? I won’t be able to play ice hockey back at home so I may try a triathlon and see how it is and whether I enjoy it. From the very first day, I fell in love with the sport and going to the Ironman World Championships went from being just a childhood dream to a real objective.

    What’s been your best race to date?

    I think I’ve had many good races over the last few years. I remember my first and so far only Ironman race I finished feeling super strong and felt I had a lot left in the tank. Also, the ETU European Duathlon Championships where I went from getting very bad results the year before to achieving a super solid performance and a 6th place in my age group.

    However, if I have to choose only one, it has to be the Marlow Classic Half Ironman this year. I had a really bad chest infection that put me in bed for 2 weeks just a month before race day. I had been training super consistently until that time of the season and that illness was a tough setback. To make it worse, I suffered a back injury the week before the race so I wasn’t sure I'd even be able to start the race until the day before. My goal of going for a PB, targeting similar split times to what I want to achieve in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September, and maybe a podium place had to disappear from my mind. I was quite gutted, but then I remembered that at the end of the day, I am (we all are) super lucky for being on that start line. So I just changed my mindset for the race from competing to enjoying it and seeing what happens. I’m very competitive so I still tried to stick to my initial racing plan, but no stress if it didn’t go well. 

    Long story short, I ended up coming 3rd in my age-group and 4th overall, only 12 seconds behind third place.

    And your proudest achievement?

    It has to be finishing an Ironman race. Not for the sake of finishing it, which is of itself a massive achievement, but the fact of doing it whilst I had a part-time job and was doing my Masters in Oceanography which I completed with distinction. I decided to sign up for the race just a few days before starting my Masters in September and took on the challenge of training seriously 2-3 hours a day as well as doing everything else. It was a really tough year but I did enjoy it all the way to crossing the finish line and proved to myself what I was capable of. 

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

    Absolutely! Doing things right is cool and we all love it, but focusing on the bad points of a race is what makes you a better athlete. I always analyse my races, especially the tough ones. 

    Last year I qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Weymouth. Everything was going to plan until I started running. I started too fast and I was racing for a podium place so we were all running way too fast. I think the 4 of us knew that pace was more appropriate to a 10k but we were all in at that time and we were enjoying it. In my case, I lasted 7k and then I had to run and walk the rest of the half marathon. I really considered giving up and call it a DNF race but my mind switched off and I kept running. I finished in 14th place in the end.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Don’t take anything too serious and make sure that you love what you are doing. Being super competitive and being hungry is a good thing to a certain level. I am very ambitious indeed but luckily I keep in mind the reason why I do what I do and why I love it so much. Make sure that the reason why you are doing something is the right one and that if nobody was to see you, you would still do it the same way.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    My season is about to finish on September 10th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and I’m going all-out to push myself and see where I am at this point of my short triathlon career. 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My favourite athlete has always been Michael Phelps. He went through the greatest up and downs and always had the determination to get back on track and do the right thing. In triathlon, Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington are definitely my favourite athletes for their journeys. Everyone who likes triathlon and Ironman distance should read and watch their books and documentaries. And obviously, I also look at Jan Frodeno as the alien who is destroying everything we thought was a limit in the long distance sport. I also think that all of them are amazing role models out of the sport. 

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

    The first thing I liked about Sundried when I heard about the brand was its recycled fabrics. Coming from a biology and oceanography background, I know quite a lot about the CO2 footprint and impacts of this compound in the ocean and the atmosphere. I always like looking at small details, and the ethos of this brand caught my attention from the very first moment. Nowadays you can find endless brands in the market with the latest technology so what makes them different are little details such as the ethical ethos or donations to charity from every purchase. Also, they have all the information perfectly explained on their website, which to me as a customer, shows that they know exactly what they are doing as a brand. 

    My favourite bit of kit is by far the Sundried Grande Casse Hoodie! It does not only look amazing with a great fit but also is super comfortable to use when practising sport or after. I love having it in my bag regardless the weather and put it on as soon as I finish training. Warm and cosy despite not being like a proper jacket. I have also used it at the gym and training outdoors a couple of times and felt great, not too warm, not too cold, just perfect. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren