• Southend Triathlon 2018 Race Report

    Finisher triathlon racing Team GB athlete

    Being an ambassador for Sundried, I was excited to be able to attend and race at this event whilst helping to promote Sundried.

    I firstly thought that the organisation of the event was fantastic, with plenty of parking and facilities available for all. Transition was well organised and there was a good lay out.

    The Swim

    My wave started at 14:10 in what was a very choppy sea swim. I haven’t done much sea swimming, so I found myself having to chop my stroke somewhat in order to not get caught up in the waves. The swim course was great for spectators as it was right along the sea front and I thought the number of waves was appropriate for the number of competitors and the length of the bike course. It was disappointing to hear that my wave was the last to swim, but just proves how choppy it was. I exited the water into transition in around 12 minutes which I was happy with considering the conditions.

    triathlon sea swim open water UK Team GB

    The Bike

    The bike leg was 6 laps, which with only a 20km distance I was a bit worried that it was going to be very congested as it was also non-drafting. But it turned out to be ok and not a problem. The bike leg was a crucial test for me to see where I was at before Europeans in July and it allowed me to test my new wheels and power meter. I paced the 20k as if it was a 40k (European Standard Distance) and I was pleased with my time of 33 minutes, which would have been quicker if it wasn’t for the 12 dead turns.

    cycling triathlon time trial bike

    The Run

    Transition was smooth and onto the run course of 5km. Once again I paced as if a standard distance length and although I was off my target pace, I was happy to an extent because there was a strong headwind for half of lap around the park (of which there were 3 laps). I felt good and was pleased with my overall result, just finishing outside the Top 10 but winning my age group (20-24). I also had ‘trained through’ which means I didn’t specifically taper for this race, so I did feel fatigued somewhat at points throughout the race and having just finished exams on the Friday before I was mentally drained as well.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall very pleased with my progress and I look forward to taking my form to Tartu, Estonia in July for the European Championships. Thanks to Sundried for their on-going support and providing me with fantastic kit to help get the best out of my training.

    About the author: Austin Hall is a Team GB Age Group triathlete and Sundried ambassador.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • ITU World Triathlon Leeds 2018

    ITU World Triathlon Series Leeds

    The ITU world triathlon race series is always going to be a tough one. The series has just recently returned from Bermuda and the weather in Leeds was a very close match to there.

    The race is a standard Olympic distance which is a 1500m open water swim in Roundhay Park followed by a 40km technical bike ride and straight into a 10km hard run.

    The Swim

    The swim started very well for me, reaching the first turn buoy in fifth place in my wave. There was then a fair old mess at this point as the athletes converged from different angles into a single arrowhead to make the right turn. I gained another place here and pushed hard on the heels of the athlete in 3rd place, passing him with a few hundred meters to go on lap two.

    Leaving the lake in position three put me in a very strong position on the bike and after a slick, no-fuss transition I was off.. uphill may I add!

    The Bike

    The bike start was tough and although technical, I pushed hard and took quite a few calculated risks and they paid off. The 40km seemed to pass very quickly and I was into transition two before I knew it.

    The Run

    My Achilles heel (excuse the pun) really is the run section, so being full of energy and well hydrated and fed fresh off the bike.

    The run, I’m very pleased to say, was pretty much perfect for me, pulling out a personal best due to the crowd and the excitement of city centre racing on the world stage.

    The finish along the blue carpet was a dream and I finished with a smile and was very happy with a job well done.

    ITU World Triathlon Series Leeds finisher Sundried ambassador

    Onto the next race but I have to say I have enjoyed my recovery week after two tough races on the bounce.

    About the author: Andrew Jones is a triathlete and Sundried ambassador.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Simon Poole Athlete Ambassador

    Sundried mens trisuit running triathlete triathlon

    Simon started his sporting career in rugby but made the move to triathlon after getting a few too many concussions! He talks to Sundried about life as a triathlete and how not to do a pool-based tri.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I’ve always loved sport and played a lot of rugby growing up. Running was never top of my list as I played front row until University, but I slowly made the transition backwards and eventually away from rugby.

    What made you enter the world of triathlon?

    I was playing rugby, I had a number of concussions that meant I had to knock that on the head, and starting taking my running a bit more seriously, I was introduced to the bike and it all started from there.

    What's been your best race to date?

    My favourite race has been Clumber Park Duathlon. I was returning from an injury that took a long time to diagnose and manage and I performed much better than expected.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Being selected to race for GB in my age group.

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

    My first triathlon was a pool swim. I swam 50% with my goggles on my head, then put them on and couldn’t see a thing, I was splashing around and probably drank half the pool in panic!

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I try to maintain perspective. I believe God’s given me gifts to use for Him. when I’m out injured or face setbacks I trust that it is His plan.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish you'd received before you started competing?

    Listen to your body not numbers! I find it easy to get carried away by numbers on a page, I need to listen to my body more, especially when it comes to resting.

    What are your goals for 2018?

    To be competitive at the European Championships.

    Who do you take inspiration from?

    I’ve been inspired to play sport with every ounce of of my ability mainly by an organisation called Christians in Sport, I’m easily inspired by seeing others competing well, but Eric Liddell.

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

    I like the ethical ethos, it’s unusual in sportswear. The mens trisuit is great, sturdy and comfy!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Triathlete's Kettlebell Workout

    kettlebell strength workout triathletes

    Are you bored of your usual workouts? Have your improvements in your triathlon times started to slow down? Try using kettlebells in your training regime.

    Kettlebells are great for combining strength training and aerobic conditioning. No other piece of equipment offers the flexibility and functionality of a kettlebell. You can use kettlebells in anaerobic and aerobic training depending on the weight you use. Both forms of fitness are very important for anyone competing in triathlon and improving both will help get your triathlon times down.

    press ups kettlebells strength workout triathlon

    All of the movements in the three triathlon events are done in the sagittal plane, which is a movement in which we’re moving front to back. Think running, cycling or press ups. Therefore, most people concentrate on training in the same way. Kettlebells provide a dynamic workout that can correct imbalances, increase coordination, and add strength all at the same time. Kettlebell workouts also increase hip flexor and hamstring mobility. Triathletes are notorious for tightness in these areas.

    Different kettlebell moves can be put together to make fantastic conditioning and strengthening workouts. These complexes are great if you don’t have a lot of time. They keep the whole body under tension for extended periods giving muscles plenty of time under tension.

    Kettlebell Workout For Triathletes

    Turkish Getup

    Lie on the ground with a kettlebell in your right hand. Right knee is bent. Push down with your other elbow and the foot of your bent leg. Come up onto a bent arm. Then move to a straight arm, kneeling position and finally push up to a standing position. Keep an eye on the kettlebell all the time. Abs and glutes need to be fired up all the time. Reverse the steps until you’re back on the floor. This really is a full body exercise. It builds strength, helps with mobility and increases coordination and balance.

    Turkish get up kettlebell exercise

    Kettlebell Swing

    With a kettlebell just in front of you, hinge at the hips and reach down for the handle. Keep your back neutral. No flexed spine. Hike the kettlebell back towards your bum. Powerfully extend the hips bringing the kettlebell up to chest height. At the top position, your quads, glutes and abs should be fired up and rock hard. Allow the kettlebell to drop and wait as long as you dare to hinge back down. This will keep the bell nice and high near your hips. If the bell is too low,around your hips, you’ll be leaking power and putting extra strain on your back. This builds strong lower body muscles essential for running and cycling.

    kettlebell swing how to exercise

    Clean and Press

    Get down into the same as if you were doing to do the swings above. This time as you extend at the hips, keep your hand close to your body as if you were going to zip up your jumper. Guide the kettlebell into the rack position with abs, glutes and quads tight. Keeping that position, push the kettlebell straight above your head. Don’t lean back, think about using the tension in your whole body to do the move. Return to the rack and then spill the kettlebell forward back between your legs and to the floor. Repeat on the other side. Working unilaterally helps iron out any imbalances in your body. Three simple moves with massive benefits. Simple, not easy. Good luck!

    About the author: Thomas Hill is a Scarborough-based personal trainer who believes strongly in self-discipline and owning your own achievements. His main training goal is to be strong and able for the rest of his life.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Joan Capdevila Athlete Ambassador

    Triathlete bike riding

    From racing disasters to proudest achievements, triathlete Joan tells us about life in the fast lane.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, since I was four years old. First playing tennis until I got into triathlon.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon? 

    I did it because I was good at duathlon, especially long distance duathlon. For that reason, I tried triathlon.

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

    I think the most beautiful race I've done so far has been Ironman Lanzarote 2011. It was the first time I qualified for Ironman Hawaii. I suffered but I saw that I could do well in long distance racing.

    And your proudest achievement?

    My proudest achievement was coming third in my age group at Ironman Wales in 2017. 

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

    I think the biggest and worst disaster was at Ironman Hawaii in 2011. I didn't have a bike so I had to rent one and didn't have time to test it out first or have a bike fit. My back was so sore after the bike I wasn't sure I'd even be able to run and my toes kept going numb!

    How do you overcome setbacks? 

    I just remember why I'm doing this and remember to enjoy myself.

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

    The main thing is to have fun.

    What are your goals for 2018? 

    My goals for 2018 are to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa and the Ironman Champs in Kona.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My mother, who once told me I could achieve anything I put my mind to, and my wife, who supports me in everything I do.

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

    One of the things I like most about Sundried is that they use recycled materials in their sports clothes and for me, that is a respect towards the athlete and also towards the environment.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren