Becoming a Professional Triathlete
My name is Marcus Sladden, I’m 20 years old and live in a flat with my girlfriend. When I was younger I was never into my sports and just sat at home all day lazing about.
It all started when I was about 15 years old and I was hooked on running, I used to run everyday up and down an old wooden track which was about 50m long for an hour every day.At first this was just a stress reliever because of what was happening around me at the time, but then I realised that there was a local running club, The Bungay Black Dog Running Club.Running every week with the Black Dogs I was falling more and more in love with running. At first I started off sprint training because this is where my pedigree was as my dad was a sprinter when he was in his teens.
After a year of this I turned my focus to long distance running to see what it was like.
In 2012 I also took up my first triathlon, The Waveney Triathlon, I had a cut up wetsuit for a ‘tri suit’ which I ended up taking off in transition 1 anyway, and a 1980′s bike, I came second from last.
Since then I have been hooked and have been winning my age group in nearly every race I have competed in, my most recent race I was 2nd.I’ve now got to the stage where I know that new equipment and a triathlon specific bike will allow me to achieve my dreams as everyone I compete against are all on specific triathlon equipment bikes, the bikes that my competitors use range from 3-8 thousand pound.
I’ve had many obstacles along the way with this journey ranging from depression, An achilles tear and Alopecia.
In 2014 at around Christmas time I developed Alopecia on the back of my head due to stress, I used to walk around every day wondering what people thought and I would get questions asked and would worry at what I was going to reply to them. So I ended up wearing a hat every day even on hot summer days and indoors. It still hasn’t stopped me training my ass off day in and day out.
As I’m a student studying Sport and Exercise Science at CCN and UEA I find it particualy hard to fund my life and my training at the same time.
At the moment I am in my second year of university and training very well.
I am currently coaching myself but have guidance and train with Pro Triathletes Joe Skipper and Simon Brierely, they have helped me get to where I am now. I also train with the UEA Tri club, although only being with them for a couple of weeks i’m certain they will contribute to me achieving my dream.
My current training week looks a bit like this:
Monday: Swim 4K and track running session with about 9K covered
Tuesday: Easy 5k run after uni
Wednesday: 40K easy ride and technique swim of about 2K
Thursday: 1 hour turbo consisting of threshold efforts followed by an hour’s worth of threshold running on the trails
Friday: Swim set 4K and easy 5k running
Saturday: Long run, ranging from 1 hour to 1.5 hour
Sunday: Long ride 2-3 hours.
With the money that is raised, I will be able to purchase the equipment neccesary to finish building my bike and get me the equipment and training necessary for getting into peak fitness.
I plan to qualify to represent Team GB in the European Championships in Kitzbuhel by qualifying at Worthing Triathlon in August as well as the Triathlon world championships in Mexico in which I will qualify at Dambuster Triathlon in June and with your help I can make that happen.
The money will go towards travel, a pair of wheels (For my new tri bike that came without wheels!) and general training aids.
My short term goal is to continue my training injury free throughout the winter, and enter some local races to see how my fitness is progressing.
My long term goal is to qualify for the ETU and ITU World championships in triathlon as well as qualifying for the ETU Duathlon championships by competiting in the Windsor Duathlon.
An even further long term goal is to become a pro triathlete and pursue it as my full time career, it is something I’m passionate about and I know I can do it.