Tom Parsons - Athlete Ambassador
Have you always been into sport?
I have always been sporty and played rugby from the age of 9 until I went to university. Once I was at university I started running more which is when I got in to triathlon.
How did you first get into triathlon?
I have always done a bit of running and swimming and when I went to university I got in to cycling so it was a natural step to try triathlon. One of my friends suggested I try a triathlon and found us a race, to which gave us 3 weeks to prepare. I absolutely loved the buzz of racing so as soon as I got back from the race I started looking for the next one.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race to date has been the European Championship in Lisbon in 2016. It was the first time I’d qualified for GB and I loved the experience of being part of that team. The run didn’t go quite to plan but overall I was pleased with my performance and it was a brilliant place to race. The finish line was in an arena too which is quite unique and it made for an amazing atmosphere as you came across the line.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement to date is qualifying for the World Championships. Putting on the GB kit is always a very proud moment and to be able to do that at a world championships is something very special.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
I have been lucky to avoid any serious disasters, but there are a couple that stick in my mind. At my first European Qualifier race in Stockport I was on the waters edge listening to the race briefing when I realised that I’d left my timing chip in the car and had to get the person who had come with me to run down the road to find it and bring it back before the race started. Now I always go through a mental checklist before the race.
The second incident was in Lisbon, I’m not sure if it was because of nutrition or the water from the swim but I was feeling rough and halfway around the run I ended up being sick in to a bush. Felt so much better after. I plan my nutrition much more now.
How do you overcome setbacks?
When faced with a setback I normally try and take a step back and access it, try and work out what I can do different or better. If you don’t win, you learn.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Find what works for you. There are loads of different training theories and plans but everyone is different so try different theories and find what works best for you. Also, use a variety of different sessions. When I first started I ran loads of 5km specific sessions to increase my 5km time, but throwing in longer distance sessions not only help keep things fresh but helped with my speed too.
What are your goals?
My main goal for 2021 is to prepare and go in to the World Championship in the best possible condition. Along side that, I have a goal to qualify for the World and/or European championships for 2022. I would also like to run a sub 1:30 half marathon this year.
Who inspires you?
One of the first people who inspired me towards endurance sports was Bradley Wiggins. I really like his story but above all I love his and team sky’s attitude towards marginal gains and making all the little things count.
The Brownlee brothers were also an inspiration as they really brought triathlon in to the mainstream and I like the way Alister is now competing in Olympic and long distance.
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried and I both started our journey in triathlon at a similar time and I have always seen their kit at races, their rise in popularity and loved the look of it. I love the fact the kit looks amazing while being affordable and eco-friendly.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.