• Simon Turner Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried cycle ambassador

    Simon is a triathlete who has his sights set on his first Ironman. He talks to Sundried about his passion for triathlon.

    Have you always been into sport?

    From a very young age I have always been into various sports such as cricket, football and rugby. Cycling has always been a consistent part of my life mainly due to the fact that this was the main way you used to meet up with your friends after school and at weekends, so when I wasn’t playing a sport for a local team I completed various cycling events mainly for a hobby and continue to do so every year. Becoming older I started to move towards triathlon.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I got interested in triathlon at the point where I was getting silly knocks and niggles from other sports I was playing which was affecting my work and lifestyle so I decided that I needed a sport where I could not only use as a means for fitness but also become interested in too and being a good cyclist, I could transition with good training and understanding easily, so with that in mind I selected triathlon.

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

    I took part in the Doha sprint triathlon series, why is this my favourite? I personally believe Qatar is a growing destination for triathlon, I can see Qatar holding an Ironman event in the coming years and being involved in a sprint series surrounded by a growing excitement for the sport was fantastic also this was the race in which kick started my love for triathlon and gave me a purpose to begin the journey I am currently on, in essence it is where it all my passion started from.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest moment was completing the Humber coastal half marathon, it may only be a half marathon but at the point in my life I was doubting if taking the step towards middle distance triathlon was achievable and worth it. The week before I did a full race run and it was horrendous; I suffered physically with weather etc and mentally was all over the place with pace and I completed it around 13 minutes longer than my target goal. Fast forward a week I arrived with a different mindset and finished the day with a PB! And a new hunger for more.

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

    As a self-proclaimed beginner I believe in good preparation ensuring you have tried and tested all your nutrition and it works for you! I have used energy gels that haven’t agreed with me and it will affect your race, so don’t use race day to try anything new! I also found competing a handful of sprint triathlons useful as one they get you back in the mindset of transitioning especially after winter training and secondly a good opportunity to break in new equipment, try different things that you could bring and utilise when competing in your chosen discipline.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Injury is the biggest setback that has previously affected me, I tend to push myself from injury before I am really ready, when I was younger I got frustrated and annoyed I wasn’t/couldn’t train so the first day I felt I was recovered I got back into training only to pull, knock or tear something else again and setting me back another 6-8 weeks. The one bit of advice is don’t get frustrated and be patient with injuries and when the time is right keep things easy and don’t over load.

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

    Set yourself achievable goals. It is the simplest statement and the most common one told, but it is the truth. The reason for this is you spend so much time training before, after work in your spare time and the last thing you need is chasing an unrealistic goal and not achieving this goals then it can have negative effect on your mindset, yes even the professionals have off days we all do but constantly missing unreachable goals or targets can cause you to fall out of love with a sport that can bring so many positives to your lifestyle. Your goals not anyone else’s!

    What are your goals for 2020?

    2020 is going to be an exciting year! Training is already being conducted and heading certainly in the right direction. I am keeping an open mind on what could be possible, staying competitive is the main goal. Being in the British Army I have an aim to represent the Army at an Ironman branded event and become a regular member of that team utilising great experience and coaching to push myself forward. My main goal for 2020 is to complete Ironman 70.3 Weymouth and see where I am competitively in my age group and then use that to kick myself forward for 2021.

    Who do you take inspiration from?

    There is a lot of talent in the British Army. But one person has stood out in 2019 and that is Katrina Rye, turning pro this year and having a fantastic year gives me hope and inspiration that with correct dedication and focus you can push yourself to chase your dreams.

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

    Sundried brings good looking style to all its ranges, unfortunately looking good does nothing for your training so it is a good job that Sundried provides unmatched comfort and smart design in which other brands follow the norm, Sundried employs smart design to increase the comfort whilst maintaining the style and design that will assist you in your training.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mark Haigh Athlete Ambassador

    triathlon Ironman race Sundried athlete ambassador running

    Mark is a triathlete who is aiming for Team GB Age Group qualification. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete. 

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, from a young age. I was mainly involved in team sports, playing anything I could find time to play. I played county football and cricket from a young age and I also just enjoyed being outside and active and would try my hand at any sport.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I was watching the Brownlee brothers in the 2012 Olympics and it inspired me to get out there and try it.

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

    My favourite race to date has to be Ironman UK, this was my second ever triathlon and it was a great feeling crossing the finish line!

    And your proudest achievement?

    Completing my first Ironman triathlon (which was only my second ever triathlon) in 10 hours 34 minutes.

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

    My toughest race to date was a duathlon that was early in the year and very cold! Trying to control the bike with cold hands and putting shoes on was hard going as well as keeping myself motivated to get through and keep going.

    Another tough race was the Immortal Half at Farmoor. The swim didn’t go well after receiving an elbow to the face at the start of the race. I had to swim virtually the whole race with a cracked google which was leaking water. I gritted my teeth and had to try to master the skill of emptying one goggle at speed.

    cycling triathlon Sundried ambassador athlete

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

    Consistency is key. It doesn’t always have to be a hard workout but try to keep it consistent across a few months and you will start to see big progress.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    Team GB Age Group qualification.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    All the other triathletes out there that are training hard and pushing me to compete against them.

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

    I love the eco ranges as the environment and the future are big passions of mine. I'm really looking forward to using the warm winter training clothing this year during training.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Adam Diver Athlete Ambassador

    swimmer triathlete Sundried activewear

    Have you always been into sport?

    Sport has always played a massive part of my life. I served 27 years in the army and being part of a team has become second nature. Relying on someone to achieve your goals helps you progress physically and mentally while building confidence.

    I started swimming at the age of 6 and it still plays a big part in my life, however triathlon is now my main sport.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    I started triathlon training at a “late age” – 30ish. I was already fit from my army training so running wasn’t an issue. I have always ridden a bike leisurely so I picked up the pace and trained on my turbo every second I had; I even had a turbo set up next to my desk at work!

    Competing in army triathlons was fantastic. They were run monthly and organised perfectly, as you would expect from the army. This gave me the confidence to enter civilian competitions when I started to climb the tables. My last triathlon was a sprint triathlon where I came 10th out of 450 competitors – I trained hard with no injuries so the early mornings paid off!

    I like the buzz that you get from the other competitors. The kit people wear, the bikes and the stories at the end. Some competitors will have a great swim while some competitors will tell you the opposite. The bike section is the most unpredictable for me as you just never know; you may encounter a mechanical. The last stage, the run, is always in the back of your mind. Have you burned out? Did you give the swim and the bike too much pace?

    All three disciplines need to be practised and practised again to make sure you finish the race. Finishing is the aim and it’s always nice to get a PB.

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

    Southport 2018 GB Age Group qualifying race; I didn’t make the cut that year however I learned so much about myself, both mentally and physically. The way my training had to move up a level to compete with disciplined and committed competitors. It made me more hungry and determined to be better.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Ironman UK Bolton was pretty cool to finish. My family and friends came to watch which was fantastic, especially at the end. The training was heavy but enjoyable. I spent lots of hours in the saddle and hitting the tarmac ready for the run. The aim of the race itself was to finish and forget the time (as long as I made the cut off) which made all three disciplines fun to do.

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

    My toughest was Southport 2018 – I had a few disasters, the first being the swim. I was kicked in the face and my goggles were ripped off my face. This wouldn’t be a problem usually however the incident broke a strap so the goggles kept leaking; the swim was now even tougher than usual! After this I wanted to catch up and regain the time I had lost. This wasn’t the best tactic and the race started to fall apart. I came 11th in my age group when I was really looking at a top 4 place.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Learn from past experiences and try not to make them again. Stick to a plan and be race ready. If your training has setbacks, just do your best and come back stronger.

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

    Take things easy and enjoy races when you can. Try other sports as enjoyment; this will ease the self-induced pressure that can sneak up on you for your main sport and your A race.

    What are your goals for 2020?

    I am planning to swim the channel. I have my qualifying swim on 16th October 2019 in the Lake District. This consists of a 6-hour non-stop swim in 16 degree water. I have a kayaker with me who will monitor the swim and make sure I stick to the rules and regulations. The channel swim will hopefully be in 2020 or maybe 2021.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My mum. She has survived cancer twice and always fights back when it gets tough. I think of her when I’m struggling to pull through.

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

    I like wearing the Olperer t-shirt to relax in – maybe my day off. The tri kit is my favourite.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mark Clements Athlete Ambassador

    Ironman Exmoor 70.3 triathlon running athlete

    Mark enjoys training as part of his lifestyle and now has the big goal of completing a full Ironman. He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always enjoyed sport from a very early age and would say I was pretty much an all-rounder. I love being active and I am always willing to try something different and give it a go. 

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    My local town holds an annual event and I had always wanted to see what it took to complete a triathlon.  I love all three disciplines so it made sense that I gave it a shot.  Since then I have been hooked.

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

    My favourite race has to be Ironman Exmoor 70.3 in 2016.  This event has since been renamed the immortal!  It is without doubt the hardest race I have ever completed.  The cycle route felt like it was all up hills and the run was a three lap cross country run with each lap starting with a huge climb.   It took  all my willpower and mental strength to keep going.

    Ironman finish line Exmoor 70.3 triathlon

    Favourite motivational fitness quote?

    Train hard, race easy!

    And your proudest achievement?

    I ran the London Marathon.  I had never run much more than 10k back then so it was a big jump for me.  I made a plan and set myself a goal to finish in under 4 hours.  I was finishing work at 7pm some nights and getting home to run 2 or 3 hours in the dark!  I completed the marathon in 3 hours 30 minutes exactly.   My new goal is to run a sub-3 hour marathon which I am working on.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    Try not to beat yourself up.  I recently suffered shin splints and was told not to run for at least a month! This was extremely hard for me since I love to run.  It's my natural "drug" that makes me instantly feel happier and alleviates any stress from work.  I am addicted to the endorphins that can kick in during or after a workout or both.   I was strict on myself and did everything I was told and now I am back running faster than ever. 

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

    Make sure you take rest days!  I have always struggled with this and feel guilty if I don’t train each day.   I feel if I’m not training then I am not getting better but you need to rest for your body to adapt and improve.   I now have a certified coach who keeps me in line and makes sure I take enough rest and tells me off when I decide to carry on running after a workout.  It’s so easy to over-train which will only have a negative impact on all the hard work.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    My ultimate goal is to complete my first Ironman 140.6.  I have signed up to Ironman Nice, France on June 30th 2019. 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    There is no one person in particular but anyone who is prepared to push their boundaries and be disciplined and dedicated to a dream or goal.   

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

    I love the fact that Sundried has created fashionable products with things such as recycled coffee or plastic bottles.  They have a true ethos behind the brand and really help the environment and support charities.  I feel more brands should take a leaf out of their book.   My favourite product would have to be the men's trisuit!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Sam Morrow Athlete Ambassador

    running triathlete duathlon competing Sundried ambassador

    Sam fits training for the Team GB Age Group team around her busy life. She talks to Sundried about being a triathlete with a young family.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have been involved in sport since the age of 8 competing in school cross country events.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?

    My partner started competing in cycling events and triathlons and bought me a road bike and as I've always been a runner, it went from there. I loved the atmosphere on race day when I went to watch him compete.

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

    My favourite race was my first duathlon in Oulton Park in 2016 as I found out I had qualified to represent the Team GB Age Group team in Spain for the European Duathlon Championships.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement in sport was representing the Team GB Age Group team in the European Duathlon Championships.

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

    Although not a race disaster, the European Duathlon Championships was the toughest race I have done to date. It was a tough, hilly course and the weather wasn't very kind to us that day. Although I didn't come away with the result I wanted, it made me all the more hungry to go for it again.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    I decided to take a year out from training and competing in 2018. I moved house, got married and I am studying for a sport massage therapy qualification as well as looking after my 2 young children. I am going to use the rest of the year to get a good training plan in place and build back up in order to have a great racing season in 2019.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Any parent who finds the time to train/compete whilst working and bringing up children. It's not easy but so worth it.

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

    It's ethically produced and I love the design of the kit; it looks stylish and is so comfortable to wear.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren