• Beginner Triathlon Advice

    Triathlon is a complex sport and there's a lot to get your head around. Sundried is here to explain the jargon and help you on your way to your first race.

    Beginner Triathlon Guide

    Sundried has written a guide for beginner triathletes so that you can understand everything that it entails. From distances to jargon, this handy guide has everything you need to know. You can find the Sundried triathlon guide here.

    What do I wear for a triathlon?

    Triathlon gear is very specific and you will need to buy some items you don't already own. Most people already have a pair of running trainers and leggings. But you'll need a tri suit and other accessories. Check out our guide on triathlon gear for the full list of things you'll need for your race.

    Triathlon Race Day Checklist

    If you forget something important, you won't be able to race! So it's important to have a comprehensive checklist of everything you'll need for the day. Have a read of Sundried's triathlon race day checklist so that you can see what kit you'll need for your first triathlon and be sure that you've got everything for the big day!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Monster Middle Triathlon 2017

    Sundried ambassador Luke Elgar gives us a race report of his performance at the Monster Middle Distance Triathlon.

    My year started well with personal bests.

    However, after getting injured I became downhearted. It didn’t take long to dawn on me that my inability to put in some meaningful running miles meant it was going to be another year before I took the step up to middle distance triathlon. Fortunately, the standard distance still had places and I was able to change my entry. I knew that I had the base fitness to run 10k off the bike without having to train that distance in the build up and there I rediscovered my love for participating in this amazing sport rather than putting pressure on results and times!

    Adding to the excitement is being part of JBR Tri club. A small but growing and incredibly friendly club, they take on events with a real team spirit whether you only joined yesterday or are one of the founding members. We travelled to Cambridgeshire the day before the race and a hearty meal and few laughs set the tone for the evening and forthcoming race day.

    Ely is a small, stunning Cambridgeshire town with a busy canal running by the cathedral packed with pubs, restaurants and art galleries either side of the water making a great race setting. 

    The Swim

    The water tasted a bit like diesel which wasn't too pleasant, but it felt more mild once in. This ended some pre-race concerns as it was a freezing late summer morning. A narrow funnel for the many competitors made for an exciting swim with sighting made less important as I could gauge distance from how many metres I was from the parked canal boats. The banks nearer transition were crammed with spectators as were the foot bridges meaning I could hear the supporters with every turn of the head.

    Out to the buoy and back again I was sure that I was going well enough, knowing that a top 15 swim would put me well in contention when I came into my comfort zone on the bike. Into T1 and unfortunately this event has a rough swim exit due to the hidden rocks which are near impossible to avoid meaning some pain in the toes once the race adrenaline eases.

    The Bike

    Into the bike and the course immediately felt fast. Flat and quiet roads meant for some mean racing! A slight incline out of town on the main drag worked the quads however once into the country my Garmin was giving me a smile. One section along the far end of the course is very bumpy and the road poorly kept however the main road back to Ely offered a kind tail wind and slight decline meaning for over a mile many of us were sitting relatively comfortably above 30mph. With the cathedral drawing closer, so was transition meaning that my racing was nearly done!

    The Run

    Something inside was telling me that maybe without training I could, by some miracle, run a PB off the bike, but reality soon kicked in and I was way off the pace! So I switched off and just tried to enjoy the fact I was racing again and embracing the support from fellow club members at the side of the road. Unfortunately for me, reality had another kick for me when my quads cramped up in a big way 5km in. So after a short walk and a stretch I got going again and 4 laps of a scenic course through the cathedral grounds were soon done.

    The Finish

    Time to re-hydrate and refuel with a beer and a burger and cheer on my club comrades. One last pleasant twist to my race day was being joined by a friend I made riding to Paris as part of an event organised by Great Ormond Street hospital. He had just enjoyed a long ride and happened to live close by so was equally eager to re-hydrate and watch the race draw to a close.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer
  • Couch To Triathlon (13) - Looking Ahead To 2018

    Race season really is over for 2017

    I completed my last race for the year at the weekend, which was the Windsor Duathlon at Dorney Lake and it was a fantastic race for me (you can read more about it here.) I went on holiday for 2 weeks at the beginning of November and did zero training while I was away. I also wasn't able to eat well as we were in Egypt which meant I had the dreaded holiday tummy most of the time! As such, when I got home and went for my first run back after holiday, I was horrified at how difficult it was! It's pretty unreal how much fitness you can lose in a relatively short space of time, but having the race in a few days I knew I had to just dig deep and get the training done. I got back to training on the Monday and had the race that Saturday so I trained hard to get my fitness back up. Thankfully, on the day, I performed better than I expected and was really happy with my result.

    This was my second duathlon (my first being Bowood House in October which you can read about here) and I chose to do the sprint distance which is a 5k run - 20k bike - 5k run. At Bowood, I did the super-sprint distance so I decided to up the ante and go for a slightly longer distance. I've found that I really enjoy doing duathlon so I'll be sure to do some more next autumn and winter after my main races of the year.

    Racing in 2018

    With my heart set on an Ironman (!) in 2019, I am planning out my races for 2018. The biggest event for me will be Paris Marathon in April. I have never run a marathon before and in fact I never thought I'd be able to run one full stop. I'm not naturally good at running at all and I've always been very slow. Most people's 5k pace is what I consider a full pelt sprint! Therefore, running a marathon will be a huge accomplishment for me and I am taking my training very seriously. I've entered the Thorpe Park half marathon in February and the Lydd 20 Mile in March as preparation for the marathon. The farthest I've run to date is 13.1 miles (I've done 2 half marathons) so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when I start running longer distances! I've also entered the London Triathlon which is in August so I'll be keeping up my triathlon training too. I'll be doing Hanningfield Triathlon in May as my first ever triathlon and a stepping stone for London. I'm really excited for all these races, especially as each one will be a big achievement for me. 

    I think the most important thing is to stay realistic and remember where I started. I read a lot about people who turned up at their first ever triathlon with no experience and ended up placing 2nd or 3rd in their age group. For me, just trying not to come last is the main goal! I have to keep reminding myself that everyone has different abilities and that just taking part at all is something to be really proud of. I've had a great year this year which the London To Southend Bike Ride, Bearbrook 10k, Garmin Ride Out, Kent Coastal Half Marathon, Bowood House Duathlon, and Windsor Duathlon. I've entered into new territory with both my running and cycling, and putting them together into multi-sport! I've learnt to swim front crawl and by next year I'll be doing a triathlon. That's pretty good going if you ask me.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • David Dew Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    David got the triathlon bug after running a half marathon with a friend and hasn't looked back since. He talks to Sundried about life as an age grouper.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I played rugby through school for a local club and my county, but have only been into endurance sports since university.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I actually owe this to a friend of mine who persuaded me to sign up for a half marathon with him. I’d love to say I was instantly hooked but my parents still quote me as saying “As soon as this is over I’m never running another step!” Training with friends was great fun but I struggled to run on my own after playing team sports for so long.

    I can’t remember why, but not long after the half marathon I signed up for a sprint tri and that’s where the enjoyment really started for me. Strangely, running is now my favourite discipline.

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

    Chateau de Chantilly from the Castle Triathlon Series 2017 was my first year racing there and it was awesome. Fast bike course and then a nice flat run on gravel paths, all in about as spectacular a setting as you can imagine. It’s a beautiful part of the world and the roads are so smooth (once you’re over the exciting gravel section out of transition) that you can’t help but feel good on the bike.

    And your proudest achievement?

    I remember feeling so proud to have qualified for the GB age group team for the first time I managed it. More recently I’m really proud of my 4th place in the first Castle Series Race of 2017 in Lough Cutra.

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

    My last age group event was at the world championships in Cozumel. I was in pretty good shape going into it; I had a decent swim and the bike was going well too. I’m not really sure what happened, it was a bit of a blur but I managed to go over the handlebars and flip my bike into the ditch on the side of the road and ended up with pretty heavy road rash all up my hip and back. Luckily it was near some of the race officials so they helped me get my bike working again and I managed to finish. The run was pretty ugly because my back completely locked up after the crash but I’m still proud to have finished!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I’ve struggled with this in the past, but I try to look for positives in any setback. It may take a little time but usually in the first couple of days after a disappointing race I start to pick apart the result and look for positives. Injuries are difficult, but you can usually come back stronger. With my recent running injuries I have been spending a lot more time in the pool and I’m really starting to benefit from that!

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

    Look after your body. I’ve had a couple of difficult years with injury, and got to the point this year where I picked up a couple of DNFs because of it. There are so many aspects to Triathlon but there are a lot of very knowledgeable people out there, so find a good coach (private or in a club) that can keep you as injury free as possible while having fun!

    I’m certain the best thing I’ve ever done for my performance is finding a strength and conditioning coach to work with going into 2018. I’m already feeling stronger and I’m confident that I’ll be a lot more injury resistant going forward.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    Initially my goal is to get my running fitness back but my main focus is definitely on the Castle Triathlon Series. I race at standard distance and really hope to get a podium or two this year. It’ll be tough as there are a lot of very fast guys out there but you have to set goals that stretch you.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I take inspiration from athletes across a lot of sports, I think it’s their work ethic and positive attitude that I find inspiring. You can easily find those qualities in other jobs and I think it’s also important to take inspiration from people outside of sport too.

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

    Sundried’s ethics are what drew me to the company, and the kit looks great too! My favourite bits of kit are the t-shirts, and the Albaron training top is great as a base layer now it’s getting colder again.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Megan Powell Team GB Age Group Triathlete

    Megan was inspired to get into triathlon by her mum who is an Age Group triathlete. She talks to Sundried about following in her mum's footsteps.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes definitely! When growing up, it was the norm for my family to spend the weekend out exercising or playing sport. I used to do a lot more team sports when I was younger such as netball, rugby, cricket and hockey with a little bit of running and swimming on the side to keep myself fit. I wanted to give every sport a go! The only ones I haven't quite mastered are gymnastics and horse riding.. but I'm not too sad about that!

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    Having watched my mum (also an age-group triathlete) compete and have great success for years, I was always tempted to give tri a go. However, I didn't have the confidence to do so or a road bike. I asked for a bike for my 21st birthday and it all took off from there!

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

    I did a small duathlon at the Olympic park last March on a weekday evening for a bit of fun and training. However, I ended up finding myself in second place, seconds behind first for the majority of the race. On the bike leg, my boyfriend kept shouting my splits at me each lap and I was gaining more and more time on the girl in front. I caught her in T2 and ended up leading the race for the last run- going on to take my first overall win! I absolutely loved the chase and my very first overall win was something special.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Winning my qualifier for the Sprint Duathlon European Championships 2018 and getting the chance to represent team GB! I didn't expect to win my age-group at all, perhaps scrape a qualification place.

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

    At Eton Dorney Super Sprint in May, I was leading the race the whole way but got a horrendous stitch and stomach cramp as soon as I started the run. I didn't want to stop as I was still leading but I was in so much pain- it was the hardest 5k I have ever run!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I like to try and take a positive from every situation, even if it's overwhelmingly negative. For example, if I were injured, I would look upon it as having the chance to spend some more time studying (I am a medical student), resting and planning for when I was to be training again. Everything in life happens for a reason and so you just have to make the most of every hurdle thrown at you.

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

    Ignore everyone else who is there and focus on your own race. It's very easy to psych yourself out before you've even started!

    What are your goals for 2018?

    Qualify for the World Sprint Duathlon Champs and see how it goes from there... Also I really want to work on my swimming and bring it up to the level of my cycling and running.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My mother! She has managed to juggle three kids, four cats, a job and training twice a day for years and I still don't know how she does it!  I also think Lucy Charles is pretty amazing. Although I have no intention on doing Ironman anytime soon, she has made such an impact on that world at such a young age, it's pretty inspiring!

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

    I love the charity involvement with Water for Kids that Sundried has. In the UK, we all take safe drinking water for granted and I think that combining charity support with the sale of Sundried clothes is an amazing thing to do.

    I love the Sundried Ruinette Capris, they are SO comfortable, extremely flattering and perfect for when you can't decide what the weather is going to do.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren