Have you always been into sport?
I have ridden horses from such a young age I don't really remember not being able to ride. Running became part of my life at about 23 when I needed to get fitter for race riding as an amateur jockey. I decided that I actually really liked running, not only for the physical fitness but also for the sense of freedom it gave me. What a luxury it is to be able to just go off & run for hours. Triathlon is new to me as of last year so I would say I have always been sporty but not necessarily always into sport exactly.
How did you first get into triathlon?
As a runner I did the standard, distances right up to the marathon, I would be what you would call a solid runner but nothing exceptional. So a lot of people around me said I should have a go at triathlon, as my solid running efforts would stand me in good stead. This was about 5 years ago that a few people planted the seed of triathlon, finally after I realised all these people couldn't be wrong this year I decided it would be the year to give it a go. I had got brave & got back into cycling over lockdown when the roads where quiet. I learnt to swim at the end of 2019 luckily, I took myself to my local leisure centre & had about 2 months of lessons. I've still got an awful lot to improve on but I'm proud of myself for ticking my first ever triathlon, which was a standard distance, off along with a 70.3, being only my second ever triathlon.
What has been your favourite race to date and why?
I would say I have two that I can't choose between, my first marathon (Brighton Marathon) & my first 70.3 (Outlaw Holkham). Both are special because they are firsts & there is something simply magical about the feeling you get when you complete something you really weren't sure you could actually do. Before Holkham I remember saying to my partner "I'm not even sure if I can finish this, there is so much that can go wrong". Not only did I finish but I outdid my time by 30mins and enjoyed every minute of it and yes I did cry when I finished both events, very happy tears.
What is your proudest achievement?
Learning to swim as an adult. I had managed to just learn not to drown at school when we did swimming lessons & then never swam again since then. Deciding at 31 to book myself in for lessons & push myself out of my comfort zone is one of the best things I ever did and I'm very proud of myself.
Have you ever had any racing disasters?
Oh yes, my second every marathon I was on for a very impressive PB when my race nutrition decided it wasn't going to agree with me. I proceeded to vomit my way round the last 10k and have since worked very very hard on building a race nutrition plan my body came cope with. I don't ever wish to relive that again.
How do you overcome setbacks?
I broke my ankle race riding back in August 2015 this was by far my biggest ever set back, I found that dealing with this taught me how to approach any future set backs. Acceptance is the first stage, the faster you do this the quicker you will be back. You can't begin moving forward until you really accept where you are to then know where you need to get to. Once you accept you can then make a plan, to get you back to where you want to be. I found documenting this helped me stay accountable to a plan, then remember to not forget how hard it was when you couldn't do what you love and don't take it for granted.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?
Enjoy the process as much as the outcome. I went through a phase of hating running because my outcomes weren't what I wanted. I'd forgotten that actually just getting out there & enjoying the freedom that training gives you is more than just focusing on results of races.
What are your goals?
My goal is to complete my first 140.6 long course triathlon in 2022 & to make sure I enjoy every step of the journey that has already started.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration is Gwen Jorgensen, I've always loved watching her perform she's an amazing athlete & comes across as such a kind person. Watching her win at Rio was a delight, being a hot favourite to win can be overwhelming & she handled it so well. I didn't think I could find her anymore inspiring until she went & changed her whole life to pursue running. That is incredibly brave, to step away from what everyone thinks you should do & go with what makes you happy.
Why work with Sundried?
Sundried products are practical, they do what they should do. They fit well they're comfortable, have pockets where you want them and they look pretty doing their job. The icing on the cake with Sundried is knowing that you're doing your bit for the planet because they are ethical and sustainable. It's everything in the world we live in today you want from your choice of sports brand.
To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.