British Paratriathlete and Paralympic gold and silver medallist, Claire Cashmore, MBE, gives us her top tips for exercising in the great outdoors

What are your top 3 tips for exercising outside and how do these change according to the weather?

Nothing beats training outdoors in the fresh air. I absolutely love the summer when you can get off your turbo or treadmill and just run or cycle for miles through the beautiful countryside. 

Firstly make sure that you cover yourself from head to toe in sun cream. Remember you can still burn, even when it's overcast! On top of the negative effects to your skin, sunburn also equals dehydration which will have a negative effect on your performance. 

If you can, try to avoid exercising in the super strong heat of the day between 11-3pm.

Make sure you stay hydrated and fuelled. The heat can make you lose your appetite but you need to make sure you are refuelling during and after exercise appropriately. On the flip side we often forget to drink when it’s cold. 

 What are your 5 must-haves for exercising in the great outdoors?

- P20 SPF50 Continuous Spray

- Pulsin bar to keep my energy high

- Bottle of water with a hydrotab (precision hydration) 

- Sunglasses 

- My phone (for when I get lost exploring!!!)

What is your favourite part of being in the British Triathlon team?

It is like being part of one big family! 

What advice would you give to anyone training for a triathlon or physical challenge?

Having recently moved to triathlon, I can definitely tell you that it comes with lots of challenges. Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and embrace the new skills and challenges that will come your way. You will get addicted very quickly. 

Can you describe your typical training routine?

This really varies each week and as I am still very new in the sport I am still building my training up. Coming from a swimming background, my body is more like a fish and not used to the impact and therefore increasing the training load gradually is key to avoiding injury.

4/5 swim sessions a week with an open water session, 3-4 bike sessions, 3 run sessions and 2 gym sessions. During the summer months I try to spend as much of my time outside as possible, therefore all my bike and run sessions will be outdoors and the one open water swim session. During the winter it largely depends on the weather conditions, obviously when it’s snowing or icy it is dangerous to be outside so you tend to spend most of your time sat on a turbo trainer (staring at 4 walls ;-) hehe.)

What key competitive events have you got coming up this year?

Hopefully I will be selected for World Championships in the Gold Coast (September)