We are delighted to introduce YouCanCoaching athlete Nick Booth who has been working with us over the last 2 seasons. He tells us a bit about himself as a triathlete and also shares his 10 Top Tips for making life as a triathlete a little easier.

Tell us about yourself as a Triathlete

I was heading towards 50 and I felt I needed a life challenge primarily to push myself to try and achieve something so big I would have to go through a real life style and mind set change in order to achieve it.

When I first heard of Ironman I did not believe it possible and so I thought it would be fun to have a go and see how far I got with it.

I have always ran but when I did my first sprint tri in Duston in 2015 (and went the wrong way on the bike!), I was hooked.  I found I loved the challenge of combining three disciplines one after another.

Ten Top Tips

  1. Family and guilt: I am self-employed and still struggle with this one regarding my diary management and my choices. My tips really are to make peace with the fact you are saying yes to something which means you are saying no to something else. Also to be really pro-active in communication of your weekly plans with family members.
  2. Time  Management: Don’t forget to ring fence family time and also be realistic with your planned sessions but also where possible especially at weekends get them done early doors.
  3. 2. Get Organised with your kit and have it ready to go, so you don’t waste 3 hours looking for your lucky socks
  4. Injury:  If you get injured don’t fight it. Get good advice, rest and stretch but do not stress too much about it.  With triathlon there is usually something else you can practice if part of you is injured.
  5. Injury prevention: stretch stretch and stretch! Get a good physio and regular massage.
  6. Fear: Before Barcelona I was pretty scared that I would tap out half way round.  But I found my methodology during my training worked also on the day itself.  My training method was to set the goal but not focus on that (be aware of it – that is all) and then focus on the steps. My mantra was to focus on the daily training session and ensuring I did the best job of that and therefore trusting the process to get me there (and trusting totally my coach Penny).  If I did look at the goal as some giant mountain to climb I would freeze. So I quickly learned not to do that. I adopted the same mentality on race day. Focus on the swim in chunks and the same for the bike and the run.
  7. Cost: It does not have to be expensive but I did waste a fair bit of money on kit I don’t really need. So I would have a think first before you buy that titanium bottle holder @ £75 (I didn’t!!)
  8. Boredom: I have fell in love with training peaks data, Strava has become an addiction and I just love desert island discs.  All of which helped pre, post and during long runs and rides
  9. Achievement: I often felt I was not getting any better,  so good conversations around this with your coach is a great way to realise how far you have come and how well you are doing. Learn not to be shy about your achievements.
  10. Get Help: Get a good coach (worth their weight in gold)

What motivates you?

What motivates me the most is constant improvement, complete immersion in the moment and pushing my boundaries – and of course Penny Wilkin

What is your proudest Triathlon related achievement

Crossing the line of the Barcelona IM 2017 and swimming 5k for the first time especially as I couldn’t really swim 2 years ago.

What are you currently training for?

Majorca 70.3 in May and Ironman Barcelona in October 2018

What are your favourite training sessions and why?

Cliff lakes OW swimming – so incredibly liberating and peaceful (and I could not really swim 2 years ago).

I also love the freedom of the bike on a calm summers day riding at speed (not that fast really) down a beautiful country lane three hours into a great ride with the Smiths playing in my headphones

What are your least favourite training sessions and any tips for getting through them?

Bike turbo sessions. I use Zwift, music and Netflix and I still really hate them!!!! So any tips would be gratefully received. I plan to go to some spin classes next year as well.

How have you grown as an athlete in the last few years?

I now respect the sport more than ever and has taught me that our bodies are amazing and can achieve incredible things if handled well. I have also grown in terms of asking advice of others (something I was not very good at). I have become more humble and am in awe of many other athletes in terms of their mindsets and physical abilities

How has coaching helped you reach your goals?

Absolutely essential and I simply would never have achieved my Ironman without Coach Penny.  Without her it just would never have happened. She has tough love, patience, honesty, motivational, very knowledgeable, empathy, trust in you being there.

What are your future ambitions and dream goals

Sub 13st and a sub 12hr IM (both I think are pretty impossible – lol see my earlier note regarding setting an impossible goal!)

Get in touch let us know if you have any training tips you’d add to Nicks list. If you’d like to feature in our next profile or write a guest blog then get in touch. Be sure to say hi to Nick when you next see him at Cliff Lakes or out on the road and of course Best of Luck with your training.