Tell us about your journey to fitness? Where did it all start?
My fitness journey started when I was about 16 and I went for a run with my older sister who was into triathlon. I could barely run 10 minutes without having to walk, so I set myself the challenge of running my block in one go, and from then on you couldn’t stop me. It been up and down struggling with an eating disorder as I believed skinnier meant faster, but skinnier just meant more injuries. I purely ran for about 4 years, however now I have started training in duathlon.
What are your training goals now?
My goals right now are to do some age group qualifiers in duathlon and start doing some races abroad which will be really cool! I just want to see how good I can get! Another goal I have is to break my 5k PB which hopefully with a good balance of bike, run, and strength training that will come in its own time too.
Tell us one unusual fact we wouldn’t know about you:
I used to be all things horses, I used to compete most weekends and I loved it!
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Everyone gets injuries, give them the proper time they need to heal, and you will not re-injure yourself
Do you follow a specific nutrition plan? If so, what/when do you eat?
I am a vegetarian, I eat a healthy balanced diet, and just eat when I’m hungry and make sure I re-fuel properly before, during & after hard training sessions.
What do you do to keep your clients motivated? Do you have any top tips to keep motivated?
To keep people motivated I make sure its always fun, and that they feel they are in control, when motivation is lacking, I ask them what is their reason for starting, what is their why? My top tip would be to think of where you started to where you are now, be it mentally or physically.
Talk us through your training regime.
It varies a bit but as a general…
- Monday = rest day
- Tuesday = Club training
- Wednesday = Bike & gym
- Thursday = Run
- Friday= run & bike
- Saturday= Hard bike & gym
- Sunday= Long run
How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
Constantly researching, discussions in my clubs group chat, studying for my Level 3 personal training course also helps!
What are your top 3 trainer tips?
- Listen to your body
- Run your easy runs *actually* easy
- Don’t skip the strength work or stretching
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Carrots and Hummus <3
Why work with Sundried?
I love the how you try to be sustainable in clothing where you can, its GREAT quality at a reasonable price unlike many other sporting brands out there.
Favourite fitness quote:
"The body achieves what the mind believes"
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.
Too much of anything is never a good thing, even when it comes to exercise. In the same respect that committing to a training regimen is admirable, so is knowing when your body needs a break because, inevitably, it will. However, acknowledging the signs can be difficult, especially when training seems to be going so well and you start to feel physically and mentally stronger.
This blog aims to pinpoint a few tell-tale signs that your body needs a break so that you can decipher when it might be time to slow down.
1. Training starts to feel obligatory
Exercise should not feel like a chore. If it does, it is time to take a breather and re-structure your routine with the types of physical activities that you actually enjoy.
Sometimes all you need to make your workout feel easier is the right kit. Shop Sundried's Gym Activewear today for gym wear that will support you and enhance your performance.
2. Physical and mental fatigue
Sometimes when we have a lot of motivation, we can push ourselves past a breaking point and get injured. There is a key difference between being tired and being lazy. Key signs of physical fatigue include poor sleep, an inability to concentrate, and difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks.
3. An unusual heart rate
Both an unusually low and high heart rate can be indicative of exercise burnout. If you are struggling to elevate your heart rate during training or are seeing it skyrocket with minimal effort, it is time to take a break.
4. Movement patterns and form begin to suffer
Form is an essential component of any training in order to improve performance and prevent injury. When your body is exhausted from overworking itself, your physical form will suffer. Aching joints, extreme muscle soreness, and impeded flexibility are all signs of an overworked body.
5. Altered mood which impedes on day-to-day life
Overdoing it can make you feel extremely down and result in a negative outlook on life in general. A lack of interest in food or social life is a sign that you may be exercising too much and need to take some time off until your mood improves.
6.Workouts begin to take priority
It is not necessarily a bad thing if training is a priority. However, if the thought of taking a day off leaves you with feelings on angst then it has taken an unhealthy role in your life, and you need to take a break ASAP.
It can be difficult to strike the balance between working hard and working too hard but hopefully those pointers will be able to help. The bottom line is that rest and recovery should not be feared and should regularly feature in any training regimen. You will be amazed by what a well-rested mind and body can actually achieve.
About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.
Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.
Whether you are training for a triathlon or for your next ultra-marathon, making mistakes will undoubtably impede your training progression. To train effectively, you will need to know about the most common mistakes so that you can avoid them.
1. Lack of training periodisation
In any endurance training, there needs to be an element of differentiation throughout the year. Doing a ‘bit of everything’ all year long, instead of following specific training phases, will only provide very limited benefits and fitness improvements. In triathlon, for example, the winter ‘off’ season’ should be utilised to build a solid base level of foundational fitness and strength before moving on to a more race-specific programme in the spring.
2. Training too hard, all of the time
A common mistake that individuals make is believing that a session is wasted if it isn’t hard. As a result, most of their workouts will fall into the same ‘moderately hard’ category. This type of workout should actually be avoided as it provides very little fitness return on your training investment. The ‘moderately hard’ category also results in high levels of fatigue and thus the inability to actually train hard, in a well-planned and structured way. High-intensity training like VO2 max and anaerobic capacity workouts are essential to achieve performance improvements but you will never hit these levels if you try to push every session.
By training too hard, athletes also fail to train at a lower intensity which can bring about many physiological benefits. These lower-intensity workouts can also be combined with form and drill workouts, an excellent way to maximise your time spent training by accomplishing more than one goal at a time.
3. Focusing on a ‘magic’ number
Too many times athletes focus on the number of training miles (or hours), instead of quality. This approach only results in an unhealthy addiction with exercise and copious amounts of fatiguing junk miles that have little performance benefit.
4. Unclear goals or objectives
It is important to have clear objectives and expectations, that are based on your performance metrics like heart rate, pacing and power. The more fact-based they are, the better. Once you have defined your objectives and where your fitness improvements should come from, you can then determine what training plan and structure will be required to achieve these goals and measure your progress.
5. Not considering practicalities
Once your goals and objectives are in place, you will need to temper them with a practical view; there is no point in creating a plan that is not feasible. Think about the time you have, budget, and facilities available before deciding what is achievable.
Do not let perfect get in the way of great!
6. Doing it all alone
Training is a great opportunity to engage with fellow athletes. There is something to be said about the power of working with a group or training partner to increase motivation and performance.
Athletes do not always appreciate the importance of recovery and the physiological adaptation that takes place during this time, but it is an essential component of training. Recovery weeks, rest days and taper weeks have a specific purpose and should not be ignored. Ignoring them will result in a training plateau before fitness declines.
8. Poor form
Maximum athletic performance can only be achieved when someone’s physiological efficiency and mechanical efficiency are at their best. It is important to work on your form and technique to ensure that your muscles are activating at the correct intensity, in the correct order, with the correct range of motion.
9. Not fuelling correctly
Training requires the appropriate nutrition in order to maintain performance and prevent injury. This is quite a complex component of training and requires some element of trial and error to get it 100% right. Often, much like their training, athletes will focus too much on specific nutritional practices, that have marginal gains, and neglect the fundamentals. Ultimately, no amount of beetroot juice and intermittent fasting is going to overhaul a poor diet.
Initially, focus on consuming enough calories in a well-balanced manner and taking on enough fluid and electrolytes, before progressing to a more complex outlook on sports nutrition. If you are looking to move things on to the next level, seek professional advice and avoid adopting circulating fads.
10. Taking it too seriously
Too often than not, athletes can get all-consumed with their sport and lose sight of why they started in the first place, for the enjoyment. Remember to always keep it fun.
About the author: Laura Smith is an athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.
Want more training advice from our Ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.
Czy zawsze uprawiałeś sport?
Od dziecka intensywnie inwestowałem w sport. Trenowałem judo od 5 do 12 lat i zacząłem trenować Mixed Martial Arts w wieku 15 lat aż do dziś. Przejście do biegania / jazdy na rowerze było stopniowe, ale mocno inspirowane Covid-19, jak wymagane innego gniazdka ze względu na zamknięcie siłowni.
Jakie jest Twoje najdumniejsze osiągnięcie?
Moim największym osiągnięciem w sporcie jest wygranie profesjonalnej walki w Chinach z chińskim zawodnikiem. W Chinach sędziowie mają tendencję do faworyzowania swojego lokalnego zawodnika. Udało mi się wykorzystać moje zarobki z tej walki, aby przenieść się do Europy, gdzie obecnie mieszkam.
Jak przezwyciężyć niepowodzenia?
Niepowodzenia i urazy we wszystkich dyscyplinach sportowych wymagają cierpliwości i elastyczności. Zwłaszcza, gdy biorąc pod uwagę urazy; Ważne jest, aby nie zadowolić się najszybszym rozwiązaniem, takim jak strzały kortyzonu lub operacja, jeśli można go uniknąć poprzez odpoczynek. Chociaż może to zmiażdżyć konieczności rezygnacji z nadchodzących konkurencji z powodu kontuzji, krótkoterminowe rozwiązania zwykle kończy się w wyniku długotrwałych problemów.
Jaką radę chciałbyś, abyś otrzymał przy pierwszym rozpoczęciu?
Nie martw się o krytykę innych; Jak najlepiej przez cały czas i pamiętaj, że nigdy nie jest to ludzie, którzy są lepsi od ciebie, które dają swoją krytykę.
Dlaczego warto pracować z suszem słonecznym?
Suszona jest firmą, która dba o to sportowców, a co najważniejsze dba o środowisko. Jako ludzie, najważniejsze jest to, co zostawiamy na tej Ziemi. Doceniam firmę, która bierze pod uwagę te same wartości i stosuje je do swoich praktyk biznesowych.
How did you first discover your love for yoga?
In 2000, I was diagnosed with M.E. a chronic and debilitating illness. It took many years for me to recover fully. It was an illness that left me house bound and often bed ridden.
In addition to nutritional changes (ones I still adopt to this day) Yoga played a huge part in my recovery. I found a local class and attended when I felt well enough. This weekly class gave me an insight into the importance of mindfulness and movement and what a powerful combination that can be when practised appropriately. As my health improved I became more curious about this ancient practise. I embarked on a 3 year Teacher Training Course with The British Wheel of Yoga. My passion for Yoga was ignited the moment I sat on my mat all those years ago, despite my ill health.
What sets yoga apart from other fitness disciplines?
The word “Yoga” means to unite. During a yoga class and by having a regular practise of Yoga we aim to unite both mind and body. This is achieved through posture work (asana), breathing exercises/awareness (pranayama), meditation (dharana) and relaxation techniques (yoga nidra). Yoga in essence is the ability to quieten the mind by working on all of the above principles. Unlike many other fitness disciplines, when practising Yoga, being competitive with either yourself or others is strongly discouraged.
How has yoga improved your life?
Yoga not only improved my life, I will always credit the practise for giving me my life back. Yoga allowed me to have a life. I learnt the meaning of listening to my body. I discovered tools we can use to quieten the mind. I started to understand how important the act of breathing is for our mental and physical well being. I cannot underestimate how important this practise has been in my life and continues to be. The philosophy of mindfulness that I learnt through this practise underpins everything I do both on and off the mat daily.
How often do you practise yoga?
I have a daily morning practise which includes mobility work, breathing and meditation.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying yoga for the first time?
You do not have to be flexible to practise Yoga. You just have to come on to your mat and breathe. Find a teacher you feel comfortable with and choose a practise that makes you feel good. If you don’t enjoy your first class, explore others. Find a teacher who offers you an experience you feel comfortable with. There are many different styles of Yoga. Some offer more breath work. Others will be more physical. Find a class, a style and a level that you enjoy.
If you are interested in getting into Yoga, Sundried's kit is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned athletes. Shop our Gym and Yoga Collection today.
Tell us something unusual we may not know about you.
I have an identical Twin Sister.
Do you follow a specific diet plan?
Yes. I don’t eat meat. I haven’t done so for over 20 years. I rarely eat fish. I am mainly plant based. I drink milk alternatives such as almond, oat and soya. I do enjoy a homemade cake post long cycle ride or run though, but tend to avoid sugar as much as possible. I also avoid processed food. Preferring to eat seasonally and healthily. I adopted this method of eating in order to support my recovery. For me personally, it works. I don’t advocate this specific dietry plan but I do encourage everyone to find foods that make them feel well. Foods that nourish them. And in that discovery, become more mindful of where the food comes from.
How do you keep your knowledge up to date?
I am a member of the British Wheel of Yoga. They are the UK governing body of Yoga in the UK and who I trained with. They offer fantastic training days, extra modular courses and In Service Training Days. Pre covid I have enjoyed Yoga Retreats in the UK and abroad with well known and respected Teachers in the industry. I hope that these will one day resume. Until then, it’s making the most of on line learning, reading resources and being part of the Yoga community via The British Wheel.
Why work with Sundried?
I am firm believer that how we treat the planet is equally as important as how we treat one another. At Sundried I have found a brand who shares this belief. Not only are their products built to last, they are created ethically and sustainably including a range of active wear made from 100% recycled plastic. I am also supporting a company that wants to give back to the community. This is demonstrated in the support to Water For Kids and Surfers Against Sewage. They are a brand that offers so much more than high quality, great looking clothing. And I am thrilled to be part of the team.
Favourite fitness quote?
Progress not Perfection.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.