Athlete of the month: Craig Armour

Craig has been a member of GTC for four years and races in the M30-34 age group. He took part in his first triathlon in August 2015, just before joining the club. He recently qualified for ETU Malmo 2020. Craig is also one of our coaches.

A sporty background

Craig has always been keen on sports and reports that there are few that he has not tried. He says: “When I was younger my main sports were football and badminton. I moved into rugby and American football in my later teens.

“I also enjoyed swimming and running while at school, as well as some mountain biking with my friends.

“When I went to uni, I stuck with football and I continued to swim on a semi-regular basis with the swimming club, mostly for the social side of things. There was also a run here and there.”

After university, Craig moved to Aberdeen for work. He was encouraged by colleagues to take up mountain biking and before long he had bought a bike.

Then, a move back to Glasgow for a new job, saw Craig buying a road bike through the cycle-to-work scheme. Craig says: “I started commuting every day to work by bike.

“My then flat mate, John Cunningham, was quite into running and so he pushed me into running and I took to it pretty quickly.”

Swim training with friends.
Craig, centre, with tri pals.
Bike training.

Craig takes up triathlon

Craig can’t be sure what eventually led him to triathlon. He says: “I’m not really sure what came over me when I decided to try a triathlon,

“I had been cycling to work for a while and I had completed my first running event, the MoKRun 10k, a couple of months before. I just decided to put it all together and do an event, the MoK Tri (Mull of Kintyre) in Campbeltown.

“After that first triathlon, I joined GTC. I haven’t looked back.”

Craig finds it hard to pick a favourite triathlon discipline. He says: “It constantly changes but I would say on balance I enjoy the bike most. Running is my go to, however.”

He has seen improvements in all three disciplines since joining GTC, especially swimming. Craig says: “My swimming has come a long way since my first triathlon.

“My first 750m was 17 minutes and I am now consistently swimming 11:30ish for this distance as well as open water swimming, which is not something I thought I would have ever done.”

Craig’s preferred race distance is sprint although he also enjoys a standard distance event. He says: “I compare standard distance to a half-marathon run. The training doesn’t take over your life but you know you’ve worked hard at the end of it.”

Another podium, alongside GC member Alastair Young.

Wins & podiums

Craig has enjoyed some great triathlon successes and states that his favourites are his first podium at Fauldhouse Sprint 2017 and his first win at Arran 2018. “Of course, I am proud of my qualification for ETU Malmo 2020 last month, too,” he adds.

He is looking forward to representing GB and says: “A podium would be really nice at that event.” Another aspiration is to complete Ironman distance event, although he admits: “I am not sure about actually doing the distance.”

Training and friends

Craig works hard at his triathlon training and confesses that he enjoys a tough session or a race. He says: “I like to go to a dark place and I enjoy the pain. I’m a bit weird like that. My competitive side usually gets the better of me, too.

“I am also fortunate to have a great group of training buddies in Anna, Amy, Nial, Lochlan and Juliette and many others within the club, which makes it much easier to get out and do the training, as well as completing set sessions.”

Giving something back

Craig is a GTC coach and has recently completed the final weekend of his Level 2 qualification. He coaches the Sunday masters swim session and the Thursday west end run session.

He says: “I have gained so much from being part of this club and I love the mix of people and the general vibe. It really is a great club. I wanted to give something back and so I decided to become a coach.

“The best thing about coaching is seeing athletes take on board your advice and improving, I have seen some massive improvements in some of the athletes I have been coaching over the past couple of years.”

Craig with Neal Padmanabhan.

Craig’s triathlon tips

Set yourself a goal: If this is just to sign up to your first event, do it!

Get along to club sessions: Our coaches are great and training with others will push you harder than you can ever do on your own.

Have Fun! This is definitely the most important one. Triathlon is a great way to make friends and have a laugh with a good bunch of people.

And don’t forget about cake: It’s the only reason I do triathlon!

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