Back in July, we were lucky enough to have Rhian Ravenscroft, Co Founder of women's triathlon clothing brand Threo, to Mile 27 to discuss Women Embracing Competition in Endurance Sport. We caught up with Rhian this week to ask a few follow up questions about how to get into triathlon, how you can embrace competition yourself, and what inspired her to launch her own clothing brand!
If you're a triathlete or are keen to give it a go, adding a few Threo items to your wardrobe seems a pretty good option - here's the Threo website where you can order online. PLUS we have a couple of exclusive discount codes:
For £10 off any kit orders use code MILE2710
For £20 off kit orders over £100 use code MILE2720
"I am terrible at turning down a challenge so I went ahead with it. I bought a bike, cycled to work a few times, came second and was hooked!"
M27: How did you first get into triathlon?
RR: After suffering from plantar fasciitis and not being able to run for a while I had been feeling a little lost. I started a new job and a keen triathlete colleague said oh I hear you're a fast runner, I've entered you in a triathlon. I am terrible at turning down a challenge so I went ahead with it. I bought a bike, cycled to work a few times, came second and was hooked!
M27: Have you always been a natural competitor or is that something you’ve had to learn?
RR: I started racing aged 9 so it's a bit chicken and egg for me, I can't remember which came first, being competitive or loving the competition of racing. I do think some of it is inherent in me, if you spoke to my sisters they would probably tell you I was always competitive - I do remember always wanting to beat them at everything, but I also feel that many happy years involved in sport and racing has made me see the positives from a competitive side and made me embrace it even more. You can learn to be competitive in the same way you can learn a language, it's a skill which takes practise.
M27: Why do you think it’s important for people to embrace competition?
RR: Being involved in competition needn't be a frightening thing - it's an opportunity to try to be your best at something, and whatever the outcome, striving hard for something is a really rewarding feeling. We can't always win everything, however a lot of the benefits of being competitive aren't found in the winning, but in the efforts you make along the way. Sport teaches you any number of things, but the most important of all is the sense of confidence it gives you from succeeding in a challenge you have set yourself, which can be carried forward into all areas of your life.
M27: I imagine you’re friends with a lot of your fellow competitors. How do you handle that sort of relationship?
RR: A sense of humour always helps, and having confidence in your own abilities. Knowing that someone else's success doesn't detract from your own is essential as they will beat you some days.
Your competitiveness doesn't need to be directed at your team mates or fellow racers. If you are taking each task you approach and applying yourself competitively you are pushing yourself to complete it the best way you can. By doing so, and by doing so with kindness and good grace to your fellow competitors you can apply a singular outlook to a team environment. This will help you all raise your game and your standards, which benefits all of you involved.
"The women in our community are our constant inspiration and we love seeing them out there racing and training - it encourages us to keep going and keep making even more items to support them. "
M27: Do you have any advice for aspiring triathletes on how to get into the sport?
RR: 1. Just sign up to a race. Getting started is the hardest bit, sign up and think about it afterwards. This is how I have done some of my most challenging races, but those have been the races at which I have had the most fun or gained the most from, so it has always been worth it!
2. You don't need to spend loads of money to get started. You don't need a fancy expensive bike, you just need a bike. Borrow one, hire one, buy a cheap secondhand one and just enjoy it. You can also hire a wetsuit for the race.
M27: Finally, we’re big fans of your clothing brand Threo, can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the company?
RR: Laura and I are both triathletes and we love endurance sports. We felt there wasn’t a high quality kit brand out there making aspirational yet technical sportswear for women who take their challenges seriously but don’t want to compromise on style. We decided we had the years of experience in sport and we could make our dream kit. we also wanted to create a community for like-minded women across social media and at events, we felt there were lots of women like us out there but we weren't being recognised nor finding a way to connect with and inspire each other. The women in our community are our constant inspiration and we love seeing them out there racing and training - it encourages us to keep going and keep making even more items to support them.