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Katie J Synge - A Chia Charged Triathlete

April 04, 2014

Please could you introduce yourself?

Hi all, my name is Katie Synge, I'm 21 and have just turned full time in ITU triathlon. I am based in Loughborough with the performance squad. I am very lucky to have Chia Charge on board as one of my sponsors for 2014. This is a great product with huge appeal to multiple athletes. I use Chia Charge products daily in training and racing, give them a go!

How did you get into triathlons? Swimming, riding, running.. which is your favourite?

I began horse riding aged 7, and competed in affiliated show jumping throughout my teens. I began running at 13 and progressed quickly through county, regional and national level cross country, so began to swim and shoot (pistol) in order to compete in Pony Club tetrathlon.

When I finished my GCSEs I was offered a place on the Modern Pentathlon Academy at Hartpury College so I went and studied a BTEC there instead of A levels. At 16 I was talent spotted and put onto the world class talent programme and granted lottery funding. At 17 I suffered from two stress fractures in my tibias, and after battling mentally with a lengthy recovery process - I left pentathlon and took a year off from competitive sport.

At University a friend suggested I try triathlon. So I got back in the pool and bought a road bike, the rest is history! I love the running, it's a sport I will and never have stopped doing, if I could run every day all day I probably would! It's such a stress outlet and makes me feel so healthy and energised. I love cycling as long as it's sunny! Swimming is coming together but it will never be my fave!

What do you see as your biggest achievement to date as an athlete? Do you have any personal goals you are working towards?

My biggest achievement was probably on the world class talent programme as a pentathlete. There were over 15 of us on a series of four talent camps, with only four lottery funded spots at the end of it, so it was a real privilege and proud moment to have been selected. I am now concentrating hugely on my swim - as in elite races it is so crucial so set you up well in the race. It is beginning to come together but I still have a lot of work to do. This season will be another development year, I'm still young and feel I have a lot of experience yet to gain from racing.

My goal is to race on the World Cup series in the future. This year I have obtained a European cup (next weekend) start so it's a step in the right direction!

What is a training session like for you? Where do you train?

The majority of my training is in Loughborough with my coach Gavin Smith and squad. However as I write this we are out in Portugal training! Being an athlete is a great way to travel! Last year I spent about 3 months in Lanzarote and had a trip to Majorca. Sadly the British climate doesn't always facilitate the training volume you want and it's great to get somewhere sunny! Training days vary hugely depending on the time of year and the focus for each individual athlete. Today for example, we had an aerobic 75min run at 7am, at 12 we headed to the pool for a 5km swim with threshold work, before heading out on the bike for 3 hours in the sun.

Whats the hardest thing you face in training for these races? What keeps you going?

The hardest session for me is going out on the bike when it's raining! However most of the time I love training and am pretty self motivated. A bad training set/race motivates me to work harder and correct the areas that have let me down - as do the good races! All I want to do is keep improving and try and demonstrate my potential with each race. My family, friends and supporters are the ones that really keep me going and are behind me 100% whether I've had a good race or bad! That is invaluable to me!

Can you tell us about your favourite Chia Charge products and how you will use them in your training and events?

I absolutely love the Chia Charge flapjacks! I first tried one at the Grizedale half marathon where I met Tim and the team for the first time - I had it before the race and immediately loved the product. I'm sure it contributed to taking the win! I have about 20 out with me in Portugal and take one on every ride to keep my energy levels up. I am a real fan of keeping food natural, and that's one of the greatest appeals of Chia Charge to me.

The whole Chia Charge range is great and has huge potential for the triathlon market. Natural, high energy, simple, innovative and good value for money.