Sharks Don't Swim Backwards

Sharks Don't Swim Backwards

The desire to improve and progress is a characteristic that separates those who succeed - and those that are happy to settle. Some of us are content just competing - and some aren't satisfied unless they're smashing the goals they set themselves. The latter takes sheer will, a steely determination - and the adoption of a training regime that makes most of us shudder...

Meet Daniel Lannigan, an athlete who doesn't 'settle'. He's someone who constantly strives to move forward and better himself, on and off the track. We wanted to find out when this drive and desire to succeed was cultivated and how he fuels it.  


Daniel planing


Hi, I am Daniel Lanigan a triathlete and here’s a little bit about me and how I got started in this crazy, brutal multi sport.

From the age of 8 years old (now 37) I've been a very active person. Firstly getting into boxing where I became national champion multiple times, aswell as boxing for GB and England all over the world. Winning Junior Commonwealth gold and then eventually turning pro before a freak accident ended my career early.

Boxing wasn’t the only sport, I also played football at a high standard playing for my beloved Manchester City! 
Daniel on track

After a few years of not doing much I decided to get back into running and entered two marathons (Manchester and Belfast). After running a 3:24 and 3:19 on very little training, I was already looking for my next challenge.

With a few suggestions I settled on triathlon, and against the will of a few people who said “don’t” they became the reason why I DID!

Daniel run

The problem was, I couldn’t swim and didn’t own a bike.

Whilst on holiday I searched triathlon coaches and decided on Tony Cullen of Tri Central. After meeting Tony he made it clear he could get me into a good enough condition to get me through a triathlon. In 2019 I completed my first one finishing 9th overall. That year I completed 4 more, 70.3 finishing top 10 overall in all of them.

Daniel finish line

Onto 2020, well what can I say. For some a disaster, for me... well I managed to race Ultimate Olympic getting my first podium where then I drove to Estonia only to finish 3rd overall and 2nd in my age group and qualifying the the world championships in Utah. All in just 18 months of starting.

The secret... there isn’t one! Training comes easy to me, motivation, like anyone else it comes and goes, but I find setting small achievable goals works best for me. It gives me a belief that I’m improving.

Consistency is absolute key in training and in life. If you are consistent in anything you do you will improve and reach your goals.

Them sessions you don’t feel like doing are the ones that count. its a mind game, the only sessions you regret are the ones you didn’t even attempt.

Daniel Podium

People often ask me how I fit it in with working all over the country in our hospitals. My answer is, it’s all down to being organised and planning ahead. It’s not about not having the time, it’s about making the time. With the right mindset and people around you, anything is possible.

Set goals, hit them, make new ones and smash them.

Sharks don’t swim backwards.


Thanks to Daniel for this personal account. He can be followed on Instagram here


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