• Scott Rodwell Personal Trainer & Athlete

    cycling triathlon racing

    Scott has been a personal trainer for nearly 20 years and has his sights set on competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. He talks to Sundried about life in fitness.

    Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up.

    As a self-funded, dedicated triathlete and personal trainer, I started competing in Ironman (swim 2.4m/bike 112m/run 26.2m) and Ironman 70.3 (swim 1.2m/bike 56m/run 13.3m) competitions back in 2011 and have taken part in Ironman and half Ironman competitions in my age group, throughout Europe, most years since then, improving my PB with each competition.

    This year has been somewhat challenging as most races have been deferred until 2021. With gyms closed including my own place of work, my training has had to change. However, this has not stopped me, as I am currently training for two Ironman 70.3 races in Europe next year and am currently fundraising to help with the costs via my campaign page.

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    In my youth, I enjoyed taking part in athletics, rugby, and football, playing for two Sunday league football teams. In my spare time, I ran and competed for Woodford Green AC and mountain biked around Epping Forest. I loved the freedom of cycling and exploring new places. Eventually becoming a member of the Eagle Road Cycling Club, competing in regular, 10/25/50 mile time trials, hill climb championships and the Wild Wales challenge, in the extremely hilly but beautiful Bala, North Wales.

    Whilst I enjoyed team sports, I seem to thrive under pressure when competing as an individual. I remember the feeling of exhilaration when winning a 1500m and 3000m track race on the same day.  This was probably one of the defining moments of my life, which led me down the path towards triathlon (combining a love for cycling and running) and my career as a personal trainer.

    What are your training goals now?

    My aim is to compete in 2-4 half Ironman races per year over the next three years, which will give me the best chance to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which is my ultimate goal.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn't know about you:

    I still have my first road bike, a blue and orange Condor, which I saved up for and bought 20 years ago.

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

    Set mini goals between the start of training and the race date, to gage what you need to work on to improve your performance and never give up!

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I try to eat and sleep well and have a balanced diet. I use protein shakes/bars after training, which help with muscle recovery and I use gels whilst doing long sessions (i.e. 90 mins+) of cycling/running. In addition, I use prebiotic powder before bed, to help improve quality of sleep, which is especially important when undertaking vigorous training sessions. I no longer drink alcohol and try to reduce my caffeine intake.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I like to work on all aspects of triathlon. I regularly train on my Wattbike, which is a great piece of equipment, as it gives me instant feedback and I can look at all the data after each session.

    Swimming is a bit more of a challenge, but I am lucky in that I don’t live far from the Olympic Pool at Stratford, in East London. Although this year use has been restricted. I try to run several times a week and am spoilt for choice, with plenty of parks and Epping Forest on my doorstep to provide variance in incline and views.

    In addition, I undertake regular strength training and Yoga sessions at home. I also follow a number of professional athletes and try to incorporate some of their training into my own.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    I always try to make their training sessions fun, enjoyable and progressive. I find it works best if I set some mini goals which they can achieve by a certain date. This acts as positive reinforcement and helps them to achieve their long term goals. Variety is key to ensure they don’t get bored, or lose motivation. So I try to mix it up, making sure that not all sessions are the same. In addition, it is really essential to try and instil self-belief and a positive mental attitude.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Having been a personal trainer for nearly 20 years, during that time I have undertaken a number of courses, which have helped me to add additional skills. I have quite a collection of books on fitness and nutrition and of course nowadays the internet provides an instant source of new ideas and trends, some of which I integrate into my training sessions, both personally and for my clients.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Treat every client as an individual, so get to know how to motivate them.
    2. Set them realistic and achievable goals from the outset.
    3. Encourage, encourage, encourage!

    If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    Sea bass.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I wanted to support a sustainable company who like myself, care about the environment.  I am delighted to have been chosen as one of Sundried’s Ambassadors. It is great to find a company that has managed to produce eco-friendly, yet affordable, high quality fitness clothing and I look forward to working with them to promote their brand to a wider audience.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    "Without ambition, there is no drive.”

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Monica Esenwein Athlete & Coach

    Sundried athlete ambassador cycling

    Monica is a personal trainer and a triathlete. She talks to Sundried about training and motivation. 

    Please tell us about sporting events you have taken part in or have coming up. 

    I have not been able to race yet due to injury. I've done lots of training inbetween injuring my shoulder and my knee, I am set to have surgery (finally!) on my knee July 2, 2020. Hopefully, I will be up and walking the next day since the surgery is not that invasive!

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    I have been an athlete my entire life; I played softball, basketball, and soccer throughout high school and even played softball in college. I received my personal training certification in 2017 and my bachelor's in strength and conditioning in 2019.

    What are your training goals now?

    My goals are to compete in a race this year (I have looked into the virtual ones and may do that), and then to place in the Top 10.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

    I put ketchup on my boxed mac and cheese.

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

    Everything takes time; study, learn and take your time.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I do not, I try to eat as healthily as possible. I eat a variety of foods and keep track of my macros and calories.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    When it comes to my clients, I encourage them and show them that they are making progress with non-scale wins.

    Non-scale wins would be my most important tip. The scale can move in both directions for a multitude of reasons so concentrating on progress pictures, measurements, and other non-scale wins helps keep people motivated because they can see progress.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    I set up depending upon which "season" I'm in and scale it accordingly. Most days I get my swim or bike in before the rest of my day in the morning. I tend to run at night, I prefer it. I weight train 2-3 times a week depending on which season I'm in. I do 1 brick a week, usually on a Saturday when I have the most time.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    I read tons of books, talk with other trainers, and I am getting my masters degree in sports science and rehab.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Listen to your body
    2. Eat according to a plan, you'll be more successful
    3. Hire a trainer if you don't know what you're doing

    If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    Pizza, there are so many combinations and things you can do with pizza.

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

    I love the way it fits and how even when wet, I don't feel like I'm chafing. The padding for riding is enough to feel comfortable while riding but not too bulky to inhibit swimming and running.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    Make your past failures your fuel.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mark Thompson Triathlete & Personal Trainer

    personal trainer workout gym fitness triathlon

    Mark's love of sport and own successes in triathlon inspired him to become a personal trainer so he could help others. He talks to Sundried about training highs and lows.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I’ve always been passionate about sport, taking part in many team sports as a youngster and more individual events as I’ve got older.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    Triathlon offers so much more than just swimming, cycling and running; it’s putting yourself in a position where you have to keep going and knowing that somewhere deep down you have the inner strength to do that.

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

    This may sound strange, but my best race to date wasn’t one I took part in myself, but I was part of the crew who gave out the medals at the finish of the Nottingham Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon a few years ago. Seeing the faces of all those finishers and what it meant to them when they saw the medal and bottle of water I gave them stays in my mind every time I train or finish a race myself. The time doesn’t matter at that point, it’s the immense feeling of achievement and knowing how proud they and their families will be, especially when raising money for others who are less fortunate too.

    And your proudest achievement?

    It has to be completing my first ever half marathon (Great North Run) at the age of 25/26. I was a new dad at the time and couldn’t wait to get home and tell my little one all about it (just wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to drive the car home at that point).

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

    The worst race disaster was when I trained really well for the 2016 London Marathon (14 months of training) but ended up in hospital a few days before the race, minus my gall bladder, meaning I couldn’t take my place on the start line.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    By remembering there are always people in worse places and having worse setbacks than myself. A small injury or training setback is a problem, but only minor compared to others. I have my health and it’s one of the main reasons why I’m now a personal trainer.

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

    To train hard, but remember your life doesn’t depend on it, just enjoy it and be in the moment.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    Personally I want to keep training, stay healthy and complete my Level 4 Strength & Conditioning Certificate, but I have to be honest and say I take more pleasure these days in seeing my clients achieve their goals and helping them to achieve more than they thought they could.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I’ve taken my inspiration from a number of people over the years, but recently I have found myself completely admiring Doddie Weir, a great man on the rugby field, but an absolute GIANT in his fight against MND (Motor Neurone Disease) for himself and many others suffering from the disease.

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

    Sundried is heading in a direction many others should follow.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Bella Daniels - Personal Trainer and Athlete Ambassador

    Shop Sundried's Women's Active Life Collection

    Bella is an athlete and personal trainer, who is interested in rowing and cycling. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?

    I started rowing at the age of 9 at my local club, I became so intrigued by the sport and loved knowing that what you put in you really get out in terms of success and achievement. Since then I have rowed at my school winning a Bronze at National Schools Regatta 2017 and a Gold at the British Rowing Championships 2018. I joined Exeter University Boat Club in 2018 and won 3 BUCS (British University/College Sport) medals - Gold, Silver & Bronze. In my third and final year I have taken the role of Women's Captain, this role has helped guide my future career of becoming a Strength and Conditioning coach when I leave the University. Although I have been injured for the past year I have found a new passion within cycling which I am excited to now pursue. COVID-19 permitting I hope to be racing again this Summer in regattas such as BUCS regatta and aiming to qualify for Henley Royal Regatta.

    What are your training goals now?

    In the short term during lockdowns I aim to keep as fit as I can, mentally and physically to ensure I am in the best place once races start again.

    My long term training goals are to continue to see how far I can push myself in rowing and now in cycling whether that's medalling at national events or being selected for home countries regatta.

    Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:

    I used to do Ballroom and Latin dancing and figure skating before I started rowing.

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

    Find the passion for the sport before putting pressure to succeed. A rowing season is a marathon season not a sprint.

    Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?

    I have received nutritional advice from a nutritionist as I have been a lightweight rower, I have aimed to gain weight to maximise my potential in the weight category. However, having been in the sport so long and studying Sport & Exercise Science at University I have enough knowledge to fuel myself effectively.

    I tend to plan my meals for the next day in advance, that means I can ensure I am eating the correct food around my training to ensure the best adaptations occur.

    What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?

    During lockdown I've kept my teammates, whom I captain, motivated via my Instagram account. Here, I upload innovative training ideas which make use of all sorts of objects around the house to stimulate adaptations, to ensure strength is maintained throughout the closure of gyms.

    My top tips to stay motivated are:

    1. Listen to your body, if you need a rest day take it.
    2. Make a routine and stick to it - this really is so beneficial during lockdowns. 
    3. Keep training fun - try out new exercises, new sessions, a new sport.
    4. Train with someone - although during lockdown this is difficult to do in person, I have found that even training virtually is so beneficial and keeps me accountable.

    Kickstart your own workout routine with Sundried's Home Training Collection.

    Talk us through your training regime.

    Mondays - circuits and a high intensity session.

    Tuesday - weights and a long cardio session.

    Wednesday - either a long cardio session or rehab.

    Thursday - weights and a long cardio session.

    Friday - OFF with Pilates.

    Saturday - one/two long cardio sessions with some efforts within.

    Sunday - one/two long cardio sessions with some efforts within.

    How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?

    Within my degree I am constantly researching new and innovative training methods and principles which are scientifically reviewed. I read a whole variety of journals, articles and books as well as I am looking to complete PT courses and, in the future, become UKSCA accredited.

    What are your top 3 trainer tips?

    1. Something may work for one client but not another.
    2. Build a strong level of trust and rapport with each client.
    3. Listen to what the client likes and doesn't like - make training fun.

    If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    A Cornish pasty - it's got carbs, veg, meat and a lot of fond memories.

    Why work with Sundried?

    Since starting cycling last summer, I have always noticed cyclists wearing Sundried Kit, after researching more into the brand I absolutely love the look of the sustainable clothing and goals of the company.

    Favourite fitness quote:

    'Hard work pays off'.

    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
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