Toby Read Athlete Ambassador
Toby has always had a love of the outdoors but found a passion for triathlon after moving to the city. He talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I've skied since I was three with my family, mountain biked since I was seven with my older brother, took up running in the countryside in my teens and got into triathlon when I moved to London in my mid 20s. I've always liked sports that allow you to see and appreciate the environment you're travelling through.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
When I moved to London, not having anywhere to ride or run off-road meant taking up triathlon seemed a logical transition. I signed up to the London Triathlon with three friends, even though none of us had road bikes.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Ironman 70.3 Weymouth was an absolute gem, with the swim heading out into a beautiful sunrise and a quick, undulating bike.
And your proudest achievement?
Finishing second in my age group at my first trail marathon. Also, finishing 9th overall in a triathlon which was changed to a duathlon days before.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Ironman 70.3 Weymouth again. I did almost no run training in the months leading up to the race due to a lower back nerve impingement, giving me what felt like severe calf cramp after only 3k of running. Plodding around the three and a half laps of the promenade run was torture.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I stretch, reflect on past good times, and focus on the goals ahead. Then I stretch some more.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to endurance versus interval training.
What are your goals for 2020?
My goal is to podium at the Preseli Beast trail marathon in Wales, finish top 5 at the Hertfordshire Triathlon, and finish top 10 at The ROC triathlon. On a coaching note, I aim to develop and inspire more of our London Fields Triathlon Club athletes to be faster and stronger.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Steve Peat, world cup downhill mountain bike champion and legendary figure. He knew the balance of training hard and keeping it real. When he realised not drinking wasn't working, he picked up the Stella again and continued training. The next year he smashed it. Training is like your work/life balance, enjoy yourself. Of course the Brownlee brothers too.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
As an energy consultant by day with a strong sustainable agenda, I love the focus that Sundried has on recycled materials and the links with Surfers Against Sewerage and Water For Kids.