INFRARED SPORTSWEAR, POWERED BY PROGRESS.

Liam Walker

Triathlete

In five years’ time, I will be:

An established elite athlete having gone to the half Ironman World's as a pro athlete.

Career highlights:

  • Starting the sport
  • Learning to swim
  • Representing my country

2018 Season….

  • Became the 2018 National Standard Distance Age Group Duathlon Champion
  • 5 Mile South Yorkshire Road Race League: Finished 2nd overall
  • Sheffield Half Marathon: Placed 6th (over 5,500 competitors)
  • Competed in the Elite Sprint Duathlon Championships at Bedford
  • Rockingham Standard Distance Duathlon: 2nd
  • Percy Pud 10k: 12th: (elite & national athletes were in the field)
  • EIS Run, Jump Throw Events, 3k PB - 9:16, 800m 2.11 & mile 4.43
  • 10k Running Time Trial (PB - 32.53)​​​

2019:

  • Representing Great Britain Age Group: 
  • Oulton Park Half Marathon: 3rd & a PB in 1:12:29 (through half distance in 1:11:29)
  • Scissett Sprint Triathlon: Winner
  • Dronfield 10k winner: field of over 900 competitors
  • 5th Sheffield Half Marathon: over 6,000 competitors
  • Clumber Park Standard Distance Duathlon: (GB Qualifying race). 8th and 2nd in age group, despite racing whilst ill. Tidier transitions would have meant 6th place in a very strong field including one of the UK’s very best elite athletes.
  • The Power of 5, 5k: 15:58 (PB)

What does your standard training week involve?

It depends. A long ride, a long run and a few intervals are all in the repertoire.

As work can be demanding, and due to the nature of how the body reacts, I can sometimes feel great for days and on others I feel shattered. I listen to my body and respond accordingly. Weather also plays into consideration if it is a week of rain, then why not do intervals and some S&C in the gym. You're not going to lose fitness, but have everything to gain by being adaptive.

Where is your favourite place to train?

I always enjoy going back home and cycling around the Lake District. The views there are stunning … even if you have to work hard to see them. The Peaks are something I see most days. I cannot complain

I’ll also never forget the views of Switzerland or Portugal.

What is your favourite race?

No real favourite, I guess if I get an elite entry that would become my favourite!

On the flipside, badly signposted or marshalled races irritate me, you pay good money for them and the bare minimum you expect is to know where you are going!

What are your top 3 Kymira Sport garments?
When do you use them and why?

Training Leggings


My favourite KYMIRA garment is my Training Leggings. I mainly use these during a weights session to keep my leg muscles warm and regulate my body temperature. Their comfortable and flexible fit allows maximal range of movement for lifting and the infrared technology optimises my energy expenditure during a strenuous session. I also tend to put my leggings on immediately after a race or training piece, utilising their compression component to assist with recovery and removing exercise by-products from my legs post-race. 

Infrared Ankle Socks


I always race in my KYMIRA infrared ankle socks. Partly because they have become my latest “lucky socks”, but also because I love the fit of the higher ankle and supportive arch material, meaning they don’t slide down or cause friction when I’m rowing. 

PrO2 Cycle Jersey


Another garment I really like is the PrO2 Cycle Jersey. I love to go cycling as extra cross-training and this jersey has a comfortable fit and allows you to be easily seen. The breathable fabric, alongside the infrared technology, means it’s great for warm summer rides as well as over the top of the infrared long sleeve in the winter.  

What is your favourite training accessory?

My power meter has become invaluable. I've recently done a 10km Wattbike effort and knocked 28 secs off my PB, it doesn't sound too much but it's 30 watts of power. It's taught me pacing, my power zones for quality intervals, these intervals have lead to. I’ve also never felt stronger on hours 3 & 4 of long rides. I’m not pacing really well and smashing Strava Intervals

The foam roller and massage stick are also vital.

What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?

The Powerman European Duathlon Championships in May this year. I missed out on the gold medal for my age group, not due to incorrect pacing, but incorrect fueling. This I believe has cost me a place in the elite team for the Powerman World's in September. It still hurts now. This is my dream, I wanted to be there this year.

The other, was no doubt the Long Distance World Duathlon Championships 2017 Zofingen, Switzerland. The race was nearly as long as the champs title! It was the toughest race I’ve never done and will be going back there this year.

What is the most common training mistake you see? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?

My own personal is overtraining. I have an ability to push way beyond what most people find acceptable. I can ruin myself on a HIT session, once the adrenaline is running through me, I'm in the game big time. The other side of this is when I'm tired or going mega easy, I find it difficult to believe I'm in good shape as I feel bored and flat.

I've learned to resist the extra interval and accept when I feel flat. I know with good rest and on race day that's when I feel alive.

What motivates you to train and race harder?

Goals. Crazy dreams. I partly do this sport for fun, I mean I love stepping on a bike or whatever and getting outside, but if I wasn't getting better or wanting to achieve something, I wouldn’t enjoy it half as much. I love the feeling of getting better and pushing the envelope as far as you can send it. That is a battle, it is just you against your mind, surely nothing is a pure as this?

Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:

I don't really change much. When I was overcoming injury, I tended to eat what I enjoyed. After this period, I realised I was hitting PBs whether it be running or power output on the bike. Going on a diet and dropping weight, have never lead to me becoming better, just more cranky and irritable (which isn't good when you're at work for example) and have become ill due to it multiple times. If my body craves something I give it just that otherwise I'll crave it for days (and yes this does include fruit and veg!!)

Pizza is always my go to before a big race.

I’d say don't be afraid to eat and include foods you enjoy. Psychologically you'll feel more at ease with yourself.

But similarly be honest with yourself, if you are putting on weight something is wrong!

How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?

It's tough. My social life is largely around the sport. I'm lucky to have such good friends in life who understand drinking isn't a priority and that I might look broken (although I do get the bants). My less competitive athletes around me keeps me relevant and 'rope' me into social activities.

In all seriousness, it is important to have a laugh inside and outside of the sport and you have to enjoy the process.

As I enjoy the sport so much, it is a good balance. Although it would be great not to have to work full time to pursue all the goals I have in the sport, which isn’t just medals it is inspiring people

What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful?

I don’t really use any supplement. I try and fuel through food. If I had to choose a couple of go twos it would be Fizzy Orange Lucozade

What is the best thing about being an athlete?

The adventure. You get to see a shed ton of places you wouldn't normally do (even locally). You're outdoors and your free, and you are keeping fit as a result, what could be better!?

What is the worst thing about being an athlete?

You're tired, always tired. You have to be pretty honest with what you can and cannot do

and on some days you really don't feel like interacting that much. I've learned techniques to force myself into zones.

It's also a very expensive sport and I know with more funding and freedom away from work, I truly believe I can be one of the best in the country. This is my true passion. I love the sport with every inch of me. Knowing funding can unlock so much more out of me is frustrating, as it is very hard to get the backing. a lot of time is spent looking and writing proposals. I'm truly thankful to Kymira for being part of this and I hopefully can play a part in growing the brand

This and training in the dark and cold. I hate the dark and the cold.