Triathlon Coaching
I’m a complete beginner - can you help?

It doesn’t matter what speed you are and where you finish in the race. If you have a goal and would like the support and expertise of a coach then I’m here to help.

I’ve been training for years how will a coach help?

Having a coach can give you outside perspective that can be hard to see on you own. A coach can give you new and different ideas to bring some fresh challenges and excitement to your training. This often helps to increase your fitness. 

A coach can help to push you out of your comfort zone without tipping you over the edge. Most people I work with find the accountability of the coach helps them to get more training done and more effectively.

Am I too old?

I believe that you’re never too old! I work with adults of all ages all the way up to people in their 80s! I’ve taught someone in their 70s to swim front crawl for the first time and supported someone to finish their first Ironman in the 65-69 age category. All my coaching is designed to meet your specific needs whatever your age.  

You can listen to Nigel talk about racing triathlon in his 80s and read about Margaret racing her first Ironman. 

I'm training for my first Ironman - can you help?

Yes. I’ve worked with lots of people doing their first Ironman as well as people doing their 10th Ironman.

Juggling the amount of training required for finishing an Ironman around work, life and family is where a coach can really help.

Can I go to group and club sessions?

I believe that training should be fun! I think that training with other people and keeping the social side of training going is really important.

If you go to group sessions or train with a club I will work with you to include that in your plan. I’ll support you to figure out the pro’s and con’s of group sessions so you can figure out when it’s helpful and when it isn’t.

You can read more here

I work shifts and don't have a standard working week

If you work shifts, don’t work a standard pattern or have unpredictable working hours then this is where a coach can really help.

I’ll work with you to figure out what routine works for you. You can even upload your availability to Training Peaks so I don’t plan you a 4hr ride on the day you have a 12hour shift.

I’ve worked with police officers, nurses on night shifts, long haul air crew and globe trotting business people. So whatever your working pattern I can help you to fit your training in.

I'm very slow and a back of the pack athlete

It doesn’t matter what speed you are and where you finish in the race. If you have a goal and would like the support and expertise of a coach then I’m here to help.

How many sessions a week will I have to do?

We will work together to figure out what your goals are, how much training that would take, how many sessions you have time for and what would be realistic for you to manage.  Most triathletes typically train 4 to 6 sessions per week.

Do I need a power meter or heart rate monitor?

You don’t need either a power meter or a heart rate monitor. If you don’t have either I will teach you how to train with rate of perceived effort (eg how it feels) or your pace. Of course a power meter and a heart rate monitor will make your training more effective but it’s totally your choice if you want to invest.

How long do I have to commit for?

I don’t have any fixed rules about this because I only want to work with athletes who are committed and able to train.  You can cancel at any time although I  do ask for a minimum of one months notice to cancel coaching.

It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to get used to working with a coach and most people find it takes 6 to 10 weeks to see any real improvements in fitness.

A lot of my clients have big goals that they have committed to 6 or even 12 months ahead and know the value of ongoing coaching and the commitment it takes to train for a big event.

What happens if I miss a session?

If you miss a session I will be able to see this in Training Peaks. It usually helps to leave some comments about why you missed the session. This is so that I can change the programme if needed or help you to develop some strategies to deal with the challenges that got in the way. I will adjust your your next plan to take account of the missed sessions.

What if I get sick or injured?

If you get sick or injured then I’ll adjust your training to take account of this.

If say you caught Covid then you might miss 2 or 3 weeks of training and your plan will be adjusted.

If you get injured then I’ll help you to figure out why you got injured and develop a strategy for managing it alongside your health professionals.

For example if you have a running injury maybe we’ll switch to cycling and swimming or aqua jogging.

If your illness or injury is longer term then you can suspend your coaching package with a months notice.

I have an existing injury

If you have an existing injury then I’ll plan your training around this and around what training you are currently able to do. I’ll also help you to review your existing injury management strategy and look at what else you could do to help.

Do I have to use Training Peaks?

Training Peaks is a really easy to use interactive coaching tool which is designed to make it easy for a coach to share a training plan with an athlete.

It helps us to communicate with each other more easily and allows us to analyse your data and see how your training is progressing. 

A free Premium account (worth £15 a month) is included in the monthly coaching package.

I’ll provide some support to help you understand how to use it or point you to some online user guides.

Do you coach for single discipline events?

Yes! I’ve coached people training for marathons, ultra distance running events as well as their first 5km. I’ve coached people swimming the English Channel or training for a big cycling event such as the The Marmot.

What kit do I need?

To start with you need basic training kit to get you started eg swimming trunks and goggles, a bike and a helmet and some running shoes. I’ll work with whatever kit you have and I’ll help you decide what extra kit you would benefit from and where to spend you money.

I’m training for my first sprint distance triathlon - can you help?

Brilliant! I’ll be able to help you with your training and coach you through everything to do with getting started in triathlon.

I don’t have a specific event that I’m training for yet

I’ll work with you to figure out what your goals are and which events will inspire you. You don’t have to be training for specific events but could be working towards a particular fitness target.

What happens if I have to move my training sessions to different days

We all have weeks where things don’t go according to plan. Maybe the cat was sick or perhaps it’s snowing the day you’re meant to ride outside.

If you need to move sessions around I’ll talk to you about this as part of the coaching process. 

I’ll explain to you how the coaching program works so you can understand how it impacts your program if you have to move sessions around.

You can easily swap sessions yourself in Training Peaks or get in touch with me to ask for advice about what to do.

Will each session be explained? Is there support to help me understand it?

Each session has full details with it and I try to keep it as simple as possible. I send out handouts and explanations at the start of the coaching process and I’m here to answer any questions if you don’t understand the session.

I don’t know which race to do?

I’ll help you to figure out what your goals are and then work with you to identify a race after that.

If you’re doing your first Ironman but you’re worried about the cut off times and hate swimming in the sea then a tough race such as Ironman Wales probably isn’t the answer.

Or perhaps it’s more important for you to have some family and friends with you at a race. In which case its more important to find a local race they can get to.

Whatever rocks your boat I’ll help you work out what is the right race for you.

How many races or events do I need to do?

You can do as many or as few as you like. It’s totally up to you.

I’ll help you work out what your goals are and what will help you reach those goals.

I’ll also help you to work out what’s realistic for you given your time, injuries, training history and resources so that you don’t end up doing too much but still feel excited and motivated.

How hard will my training plan be?

How hard your training plan is totally depends on your individual fitness, circumstances and goals.

I’ll work with you to work out how much training you want to do and how hard you want to push yourself.

Hopefully I’ll push you a little bit out of your comfort zone so that you make progress without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Isn’t triathlon coaching only for elite athletes?

Coaching is for all abilities. Often it’s my clients who are newer to the sport who get the most from coaching because they have more to learn.  However long you’ve been doing the sport everyone can learn something from working with a coach.

How will you monitor my progress?

I’ll monitor your progress through your training diary and data on Training Peaks.

This shows me what training you’ve done as well lots of other data such as how far, how fast and how hard you worked.

I’ll also monitor your progress through the feedback you give me on Training Peaks and the conversations that we have in your monthly emails or meetings depending on which package you’re on.

Do you still race triathlon?

Yes! In 2021 I raced all distances from sprint right the way through to Ironman. I still love training and racing and being part of the world of triathlon. This helps to keep me up today with the latest training methods, events and trends in the sport.

It also means that whatever training session I give to you I’ve always done it myself at some point in my training cycle.

How much contact will we have?

This depends on which package you’re on. If you’re on Take The Challenge Package then we’ll have monthly meetings as well as weekly feedback. If you’re on the Achieve Your Big Goal Package then feedback will be monthly via email. More info at Training Packages.

What is better about having a coach than following a plan?

The difference with a coach is that the plan is designed specifically for you, your goals and your lifestyle.

A training plan off the internet is often very generic and might not take into account that you work a shift pattern rather than a 7 day week.

A downloaded training plan also doesn’t take account of your injuries or your current fitness levels. It’s also fixed rather than responsive to your situation.

But the big difference is I’m there to give you advice, support and encouragement.

I’ll answer all your questions and help you to build your confidence as well as your fitness.

Let's Chat

Are you curious about how triathlon coaching works?

Do you want to know how I could help you?

Then book a FREE Let’s Chat for a friendly and informal conversation that could help you reach your goals.