Episode 133

Sam Laidlow: Be a nice person as well as a good athlete

Sam Laidlow grew up in France to British parents. The 23-year-old did his first triathlon when he was 4 years old and grew up living and breathing the sport - his parents run a triathlon training place in the south of France. Sam has had dreams of winning Kona since he was a child and stamped his intentions with an 8th place on his Ironman World Championship debut in St George. Despite being in his early 20s, he has the maturity of someone twice his age.

You'll hear:

09:20 Sam on his Ironman World Championship debut. 'We now know that I am where I thought I was and overall it was a great experience and on one hand I was super happy with 8th place, but on the other hand, I know I could have done better, so I'm super excited. The biggest thing I took from that is that I went into it with no pressure on myself. I was in a totally different mindset and I was really relaxed.

14:40 I've had a tendency to over prepare and overthink races. It's a learning experience and it's about keeping a healthy balance. Two years ago I was obsessed by everything and it's about holding that addictive personality back. Focus on the overall balance rather than how good certain sessions are.

18:20 Learning about the importance of being a well-rounded triathlete and why that matters. I generally believe that to be good at what I do I have to be a good person. It's not about the performance itself, you have to express who you are and what your values are. It's not all about results. It's not something physical that makes you good, it's something else.

23:05 on his younger brother, Jake Laidlow and the importance of his family. And searching for himself when he was 18/19. I was always under confidence so I was always the guy trying to train a bit more. He is a good athlete himself but he does the bare minimum, so the perfect athlete would be between him and me!

28:50 On being coached by his Dad "I don't know anything else. So I can't compare it to a normal father/son relationship." But I think we both have more confidence now with the results. I started doing some coaching when I was 18. I don't really do it for a financial reason, more for myself to read up on different aspects of training.

34:50 Tips on when you're injured and feeling down. "Sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise." And in triathlon, there is usually one of the sports that you can do.

41:20 Sam hoping to have a platform to help others and those who aren't so lucky and kids who haven't had the same opportunities that Sam was fortunate to have.

43:20 Tips for parents with sporty kids! 'It needs to be their passion, try and make them enjoy it, try and see the long term goals.'

45:20 Sam talks about his struggles when he was 18/19 and how down he was. I remember having a conversation with my mum and I remember saying to her 'its not fair on you me being like this.' If I didn't have supportive parents, I wouldn't be doing this now. Although I had the perfect environment, everyone has their own problems.

47:30 Sam explains the tattoo on his back. "It's about 20 hours of work and every time you get a tattoo you can't swim for 2 weeks."

51:30 Sam on his goals for his first appearance in Kona. 'First and foremost I want to have a better race than I did in St George, whether that sees me finish 2nd or 12th, we'll see.

Find out more about this week's guests

Sam Laidlow website

Sam Laidlow Instagram

Loveswimrun Llanberis

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About the Podcast

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Inside Tri Show
Helen Murray brings you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond

About your host

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Helen Murray

Helen has been working in triathlon for a decade as an athlete, coach and broadcaster.

Helen hosts the Inside Tri Show podcast bringing you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond