• Andrew Convery Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried athlete ambassador

    Andrew enjoys a challenge and even ran a full marathon in his back garden. He talks to Sundried about training and motivation.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I've always loved sport and pushing myself.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I love all three sports and thought it was time to level up.

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

    I haven’t completed a triathlon yet and I’m still hopeful for my first in 2020. My most memorable event would be completing my first marathon; running around a 15m circle in my back garden live on Facebook the day after VE day to raise money for the charity Mind.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Not stopping during my first half marathon.

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

    Mentally, it was the marathon in my garden. I was scared but had amazing support online.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    With some downtime, plenty of meditation, visualisation and reading, which give my mind the strength to come back stronger.

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

    Don’t worry about what event you're going for, just go for it.

    What are your goals?

    To raise awareness and money for the charity Mind, and keep trying to push to be the best I can be.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Ant Middleton, Henry Fraser, my wife, my children, my auntie, and Duncan Bannatyne.

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

    I love the kit because it's so comfortable. Choosing my favourite is a tough one between the socks and the padded coat.

    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
  • Paige Horsnell Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried activewear ambassador elite athlete

    Paige is a gifted athlete and won the first elite competition she entered. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, growing up I was into everything, but swimming was always my main sport and the one I spent most of my time doing. The Welsh and British nationals were my biggest achievement as a swimmer.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I reached the age of 21 and decided I had come to the end of my swimming career. Not wanting to give up sport altogether, I decided to enter Long Course Weekend Tenby just doing the swim and the run. Finishing 9th overall in the swim I realised I was going to be good at this and I loved it and 2 months later I entered my first triathlon winning my age group!

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

    Eton Dorney ETU qualifier, it is the best location for racing and spectating. It’s a flat fast course and draft legal making it so much fun. This was the race I first qualified in to be part of the GB age group team so will always be my favourite.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Swansea Triathlon 2019! I entered the elite category just to see how I would do racing against the best athletes and I ended up winning the race! Still gobsmacked to this day.

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

    Cardiff Sprint Triathlon ITU qualifier 2019. There were problems at the start of the race which meant last minute things had to get changed around. By the time it came to being on the bike part of the race there were over 2000 people racing on a small loop. Inexperienced people with experienced people.

    The rule is always keep left so other can pass on the right, but the inexperienced didn’t know that. As I was shouting to say I’m coming through on the right someone pulled out in front of me and I crashed straight into the back of them doing 32mph. My leg was bleeding and my ankle swollen, but I was in so much shock I got up and carried on to finish the race and still managing to qualify for the world championships.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    You can only do what you can do. Everything is there to challenge us, all I can do is think about what’s next to come, remain positive and focus on the next part of the journey. Setbacks make us stronger.

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

    Start younger! I definitely wish I’d started triathlon racing at a younger age.

    What are your goals?

    Do well at the world and European championships and hope for some more podium success.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My dad, he’s always done extremely well at every sport he’s done and I want to be just as successful as him. But the support my mother and sister continuously
    give us both is enough to inspire me alone.

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

    The quality of the kit and it’s nice to look at too which always makes kit even better! The cycling outfits are my favourite. Comfort, stylish and good value for money. What more could any athlete want?

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Stu Jones Athlete Ambassador

    ultra running fell mountain hiking exploring adventure

    Stu is an outdoors enthusiast who loves adventure. He talks to Sundried about fell running and extreme triathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always been an outdoors/active person. We had horses when I was younger and I spent a lot of time riding around the woods on my bike and making jumps. As a teenager, I spent many weekends traveling around North Wales with my parents finding new places to go mountain biking. Since then, I have had a go at loads of sports. If it gets me outside and keeping fit then I'm happy!

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I was running and cycling anyway, and decided to start swimming to improve my fitness. A lot of people from the swimming class were part of the local triathlon club, so I was intrigued to give it a go and try something new.

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

    The Slateman Legend triathlon. Swimming in the lakes and cycling and running in the mountains of Snowdonia is always special to me. So to be out doing all three with the racing atmosphere was a lot of fun.

    And your proudest achievement?

    The first fell race I did was a local one. I hadn't trained specifically for it but managed to come 3rd overall. It was a good feeling and it left me wanting to get out and do more.

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

    Halfway through the Kong Mini Mountain Marathon, which is a navigational/orienteering race. It was raining, misty and windy on the tops so I could only see a few hundred meters. I'd set a bearing for my next checkpoint. As I was running I noticed a couple of people in the distance who were going a slightly different direction. I thought maybe I was slightly off, so I followed their path.

    Eventually I got to a checkpoint, set my next bearing and ran. After 15 minutes or so I realised I had gone completely wrong. After some time figuring out roughly where I was, I ran to the top of the nearest summit to get an accurate location of where I was on the map. I set a bearing to the next checkpoint and carried on. I had wasted around 45 minutes. After the race I checked the GPS data and realised that those two people had gone to a different checkpoint than the one I thought I was going to, hence why when I set my 2nd bearing, it took me off course. Lesson learnt!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Remember to be patient and realistic. You can always build it up again. Stay inspired and learn.

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

    With training, don't do too much too soon. Warming up is very important. Stretching is important. Being injured over and over again isn't fun!

    What are your goals?

    One day, Ironman Wales and an ultra trail run.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Everyone around me who is capable and humble.

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

    I like how Sundried produce sustainable clothing which is also quality. The cycling bib shorts and jerseys are my favourite at the moment.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mark Channon Athlete Ambassador

    Ironman triathlon triathlete Sundried activewear

    Mark first got into triathlon for fun and now enjoys pushing himself in full Ironman triathlons. He talks to Sundried about his journey.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Absolutely, ever since my early days at school and playing football every break-time, through to captaining school teams, all I ever wanted to do was play sport, so much so that when I joined the Navy at 19 and became aware of becoming a Physical Training Instructor the goal was apparent. As life and age caught up with me, it's now a case of finding the time to get out when I can, but the passion and desire to continually push myself has never disappeared.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    If I'm honest, completely by accident. I had never seen myself as a triathlete and to a certain extent still don't, but I have always tried to stay fit, with running and latterly cycling and one day a friend came up with the hair-brain idea to enter Weymouth 70.3 half Ironman in 2017.

    At this point, I had only completed 2 triathlons in my life and those were simply for a laugh, so this was a big step, needless to say, I loved it, so much so, I went back in 2019 to do it again and I am now training for Ironman Portugal in November!

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

    Both of the Weymouth 70.3's were an amazing experience and huge sense of achievement, but having completed 3 London Marathons, there really is nothing quite like that atmosphere, the crowd and the whole day are electric.

    And your proudest achievement?

    At 48, I am no spring chicken, and whilst looking back the London Marathons were proud moments and likewise the two 70.3's are up there, especially as I would say I am probably fitter now than I have been for 25 years. The achievement I am most proud of was climbing Italy's highest mountain (Gran Paradiso) in 2017 to raise money for Naomi's House and Jacksplace which is a hospice that provides expert care for life-limited children and young adults. In 2017, I climbed Gran Paradiso, completed the 3 Peaks challenge and Weymouth 70.3 all for the charity, it was a big year, but hugely rewarding.

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

    It would be the kiss of death to say no disasters, although the night before my first London marathon, I had traveled up alone the day before to register, etc. and thought it would be a good idea to have an Indian takeaway the night before, needless to say by mile 10 I was not feeling too special!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I am a big advocate for mental attitude (easier said than done), but life will always through curve balls our way, we can't control that. But how we process them and approach those setbacks is what we can control, many years ago having lost my job after relocating to Australia, I read the book 'Who Moved My Cheese' by Spencer Johnson a very simple story of focusing on the negatives so much that you miss the positives.

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

    Don't get into triathlon, it's way too expensive! No seriously, you don't need to spend a fortune on all the fancy kit when you start out, make do with what you have until you really know this is for you.

    What are your goals?

    Complete IM Portugal in under 13 hours

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Back in the 80's I remember watching a documentary about a father that completed an Ironman with his disabled son, he towed him on a raft on the swim, he had an adopted bike where his son sat on the front for the bike and he pushed him in a wheelchair for the run. The pair are Dick and Rick Hoyt and as of March 2016, the Hoyts had competed in 1,130 endurance events, including 72 marathons and six Ironman triathlons and they had run the Boston Marathons 32 times. Also adding to their list of achievements, Dick and Rick biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992, completing a full 3,735 miles (6,011 km) in 45 days. Now that's an inspiration!!

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

    As a family, we are very aware of the need to adopt a more conscious approach toward saving our planet and when I found Sundried and began to understand their values around sustainability, I was sold. My favourite bit of kit has to be the Sundried Plaret t-shirt, not only comfy and great fit but made from 100% recycled bottles.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren