• 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
  • Ironman Training – Top Advice From A Certified Ironman Coach

    Sundried Ironman triathlon training coach advice

    Swim 2.4 Miles. Bike 112 Miles. Run 26.2 Miles. Time allowed 16 hours.

    The journey to become an Ironman is long and arduous and starts for many different reasons and from many different levels of ability and experience. The goal to ‘compete or complete’ an Ironman is what makes it such a difficult and unique challenge but can ultimately lead to the most amazing achievement of an athlete’s life. The road is long and is littered with obstacles that can, without preparation and a strong mind, derail the process at any given time.

    If you want to hear those immortal words at the end of a gruelling 140.6 miles – ’You are an Ironman’ – then the 5 pillars of Ironman training may just help you achieve that goal.

    I will be the first to admit that these are not always easy to adhere to and it is easy to make mistakes in race preparations. Normally, either over training or under training are the biggest downfalls. Over training is easy to slip into when the body is feeling good and fast progress seems achievable if you just push harder, longer, faster. Wrong! It can take a strong, fit athlete 3-4 months to prepare for an Ironman and it can take a year or longer if you are starting from a different base point.

    Under training often results from a busy lifestyle, lack of conditioning and rest, injuries, and poor nutrition plus sometimes simply a lack of commitment. Commitment is something I have never lacked but pushing too hard too soon has often caused me to reassess my training. Remember, you need to know where you are now (Point A) to understand where you want to get to (Point B) and the time in which you have to do so. The base training phase of any Ironman program creates the platform for any athlete to build a solid training foundation.

    Ironman training is all-consuming and selfish. It affects family life, social activities, diet, sleep, wallet contents and stress levels. You will need support, understanding family and friends and a whole lot of determination. On the flip side, you will never feel more invincible, strong, fast, healthy, focused or proud.

    The 5 Pillars of Ironman Training

    Balance

    Ironman triathlon is a sport in itself, not a combination of swim, bike, and run. We balance our strengths and energies, our weaknesses and abilities to train and race holistically. Ironman does not allow a strong swimmer to be out of the water first and stay there if their bike and run don’t match their initial speed. Balance is critical.

    Consistency

    Triathlon training is a juggling act. Family, work, training schedules, rest and recovery, house admin, shopping... the list goes on. Where do we find the time? This becomes a skill in itself. 5am runs, 45-minute core sessions during lunch, late night swims when the kids are in bed.

    Personally, I do 50 squats every time I clean my teeth, 50 calf raises when I’m showering, stretch while watching TV, and I always take the stairs. This way, you can maximise your activity levels even if you have a busy lifestyle. 

    Endurance

    What is endurance? The ability to last. The ability to sustain long periods of physical activity at any given level of exertion.This all comes from a properly organised and planned training program. Ultimately, if you can sustain, you will succeed!

    Adaptability

    Probably the most important pillar. Training plans allow structure but what if they can’t be adhered to? Illness, injury, family holidays, work. We have to be able to overcome and adapt. If you have a niggling injury that prevents you running, can you increase your swim and bike sessions? Adaptation and an intuitive flexibility is the key to prevent burnout and injury. Listen to your body, no one knows it better than you do!

    Recovery

    Successful training incorporates a spectrum of intensity, from full throttle workouts to rest and recovery. It’s the valleys that make the peaks possible and both are essential to real consistent progress. Proper rest allows the body to grow and develop. Don’t forget that professional athletes train really hard but they also rest for the remainder of the day. Their food is prepared for them and all they do is get ready for the next training day. We don’t have that luxury so when you get a chance to rest, take it!

    Prepare well, stay consistent, balance your training and life, be adaptable and don’t forget that recovery is as important as training itself.

    See you at the start line.

    About the author: Mick Cronin is an Ironman Certified Coach.

    Posted by Guest Account
  • Triathletes Tell Us What They Wish They'd Known Before Getting Into Triathlon

    triathlon beginner advice

    Triathlon is a complex sport and takes a lot of research, effort, and knowledge for those just getting started. We talk to professional triathletes and GB Age-Groupers about what they wish they'd known before they started out. 

    Paul Suett - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    I wish I had known how to properly pace a race rather than going out as fast as I can for as long as I can. I seem to have got the grips of it now though.... well, most of the time!

    Alice Tourell North - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    I wish I’d known how completely obsessed I would become with it! I did two races as a total beginner then went to my first Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Canada and was instantly hooked. It’s the most competitive hobby I’ve ever had but I wouldn’t change a thing - my husband may disagree with this though as all his holidays, including our honeymoon, now include a triathlon!

    Dominic Garnham - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    1. Quality training over quantity. Train smarter, not more.

    2. Build up training slowly to prevent injury.

    3. Just have fun! if you're not a professional triathlete, you don’t get paid to do this.

    Megan Powell - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    I wish I'd realised how different the run at the end of a triathlon feels!

    Melissa Hinojosa - Mexican Triathlete

    1. How addictive it is

    2. How expensive it can be to gear up (especially bike-wise)

    3. When travelling to compete, your luggage will multiply and flying with your bike can be challenging/uncomfortable.

    Ian Dodds - Amateur Triathlete

    That silly 'kicking my bum with my heels' thing at the start of the run is actually super helpful and worth looking a bit ridiculous.

    Ali Trauttmansdorff - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    That lots of people start to think you are either nuts or superhuman or both, but really you are just someone with resilience and motivation who is willing to feel challenged and push the limits for a few hours.

    Sophie Kennedy - Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    1. I wish I knew how much I would love races! I certainly would have enjoyed doing them earlier in life, but didn't enter until my boyfriend suggested I should.

    2. Don't be put off by the price, have a look around at different events and locations as prices can differ quite a lot. Also they are worth every penny anyway!

    3. In terms of the triathlon itself: My first one I'd never swum in open water before so I zig-zagged my way round the lake. It's definitely worth looking into spotting techniques and practising beforehand. Your cadence on the bike and the run can massively help with the weird legs feeling from bike to run.

    Read more: Beginner Triathlon Advice

    Read more: Beginners Triathlon Guide

    Read more: How To Start Exercising As A Complete Beginner

    Posted by Alexandra Parren