Craig Lane, 38, is a triathlete and brand ambassador here at Dynamic Supplements. Here, we talked to him about his diet, training regime, and what keeps him motivated!
So how did you get into competing as a triathlete?
A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with Barrett’s disease – it’s a gastroenteritis disease which can potentially turn cancerous – so I became really aware of my health and wanted to start looking after myself more. I was always into fitness, but I wanted to step it up a gear. I started by joining the gym and adventure running but soon found it wasn’t enough – that’s when I discovered triathlon.
What is the biggest accomplishment in your sport in triathlon so far?
From a performance perspective, I guess my biggest achievements are representing Great Britain 7 times so far, coming top 20 in the world championships and top 10 in the European championships. From a personal perspective, it would be the community triathlon team I founded where we now have 85 athletes and 32 juniors which I coach and manage on a weekly basis with the team who also run it with me.
How do you set your goals?
As a performance coach, I analyse my stats on a weekly basis, so I tend to set short term goals all the time. However, over a full season or macro-cycle I plan my events a year in advance as I need to qualify the year before for the European championships, and generally 6 months for the worlds. I also complete one challenging race every year that I like to tick off my bucket race list. This year I will be competing in the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco and next year I quite fancy the Alpe d’Huez triathlon in France.
How do you stay motivated?
In hindsight, avoiding my disease turning to cancer is my biggest motivation, but to be truthful I just love training! My favourite day of the year is when the clocks change in spring as I can get out more in daylight hours and train in better weather, but to stay motivated during the cold, wet, darker months I always just imagine the person in front of me in the race is the person who is out training in the freezing, driving rain whilst I’m lay in my nice warm bed - that’s what makes me get up and go!
What inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is all the children I coach on a weekly basis. I have the privilege of working with some top level juniors that have represented Great Britain from the European championships, right up to the Youth Olympics. These kids' minds are like sponges and they are far more creative than I could ever wish to be, and if I could also inspire them from my achievements then we are all on to a winner.
What does your current training regime look like?
At the moment, I am training 7 days a week, often twice a day, where I fit in three swims, three cycles, and three runs. I also do two strength & conditioning sessions per week. The sessions are all structured around my annual training plan that has a mix of quantity and quality.
Let’s talk diet! What’s it like, generally?
My diet is 90% paleo, 10% cake – us triathletes love cake! Joking aside, I do try to follow the paleo diet the best I can. With my underlying health condition, I am very sensitive to a lot of foods so I find simple foods based around single-ingredient macro nutrients work best for me. As for the cake… well, I hardly ever drink alcohol or eat takeaways, so it’s nice to have a treat now and again!
What additional supplements do you take (and how does this benefit your training?)
I do try to fuel my sport with natural foods as much as possible, however long days in the saddle and tough training sessions do require supplementation. I tend to use paleo raw food bars on the low steady state running and cycling sessions and often complement that with an endurance-specific drink for during and after to help keep me hydrated and to better aid my recovery, ready for another day.
What do you find to be the hardest thing about the Triathlon?
I think the hardest thing is fitting the sheer amount of training around my other commitments. Funding it is also difficult, and I’m lucky that I’m supported by two fantastic sponsors. Athletics is mostly self-funded so all the help I can get goes a long way.
And what’s your favourite thing about it?
The best thing about my sport is being an inspiration for my children. My oldest daughter is a very keen swimmer and I’ve just bought her a nostalgic classic road bike from the 80’s, with full original chrome - everything that’s going to be robust enough for her to learn on!
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
The best advice I was ever given was to put my wetsuit on the right way - about 5 minutes before my very first open water triathlon started. I was stood there wondering why my wetsuit had the zip chord on the front but nobody else’s did!
Do you have a motto to live by?
Yes - never forget yesterday, but always live for today, because you never know what tomorrow will bring or what it can take away.
What advice do you have for anyone who is starting out as a Triathlete?
Well apart from putting your wetsuit on the correct way around (!), I would say the most important thing would be to find a good bunch of people to train with and support you - and most importantly, enjoy yourself!