Head Coach of Intelligent Triathlon Training, and coach to triathletes ranging from successful age groupers to an ITU World Champion and an Olympian.
Let’s Start With The Sporty Stuff:
I have been involved in competitive sport all my life, however at the age of 11, cycling become my passion.
The next 15 years saw me race at international level in track cycling (before the UK became good at it, unfortunately), and then pursue a career in mountain biking.
However despite my best efforts I had to acknowledge that I was not good enough to become a pro and decided to return to education.
Having graduated with a BSc and MSc in Sport and Exercise Science, I continued my ‘career’ in elite sport, however this time on the side of the support staff. I was fortunate enough to work with the UK national Olympic sailing programme after the Sydney Olympics as a physiologist, before moving to work with the Olympic Triathlon programme in 2002 (where I still work today).
Since 2002 I have been working with coaches who have helped to develop some of the best UK triathlon talent.
Over the past 9 years I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge about the sport of triathlon. In that time I have been to two Olympic Games and many Triathlon World Championships and World Cup races around the world.
I moved from being a physiologist into coaching, to coach some of the brightest British stars of the future in drafting triathlon, which have included Matt Sharp, 2011 U23 World Champion, Lucy Hall, 2012 Olympian and Adam Bowden, top 12 in the world in 2014.
In 2014, I left British Triathlon to become an independent coach, working with age groupers and professional triathletes from Olympic up to Ironman distance.
One of the great things about being an independent coach and working with these athletes is their enthusiasm and passion about training and the sport in general, something that can sometimes get lost in the Federation systems.
Having started out as a sports scientist it soon became evident that my passion and qualities were more suitable for coaching, as I enjoyed the engagement with athletes and setting out and completing a journey with them – as a sports scientist you only fulfil parts of that.
My key attributes are my knowledge of triathlon and the science underpinning successful training; I am committed and leave no stone unturned in helping the athletes I coach achieve their goals.
My coaching philosophy has evolved over the years. Initially I was your typical new sports science graduate: ‘it’s all about the science’. As I have gained experience my approach has developed to use a greater blend of science, common sense and psychology.
I believe that coaching is not about theoretical models or training philosophies, it is about working with the person you have in front of you to help THEM achieve their potential and aims. This means taking many different approaches, and using some of those models, but blending them to fit the person in front of me.
I look after the business side of Intelligent Triathlon Training. So if you choose to be coached by us, I’ll be the one looking after the admin and getting you on our books, and making sure Mark keeps on track with everything!
I also run the website itself, and contributed to much of the physiology content of the site, along with the strength & conditioning section.
Experience and Qualifications….
For over 10 years I’ve been guiding and advising triathletes of all levels (beginners to elite) on how to train better to perform better.
I am a BASES accredited physiologist with a degree and master’s in Sports Science and Exercise Physiology.
I’ve worked with many triathletes, from beginner triathletes just starting out with sprint triathlons, to keen Ironmen, to the mad few doing crazy (but admirable) things for charity such as an Ironman the length and breadth of Britain.
What I Do Now…
I help them improve their training by carrying out fitness testing and then giving them advice about how to tailor their training to achieve their goals. Most of the triathletes I work with fall into one of two categories:
1) Keen and experienced triathletes who have been training for some time.
They usually have lots of questions because they’ve so interested, or they have read so many varying things about training that they’re just not sure what is correct. A lot of them just need a bit of guidance to get the most out of their training and how to tailor it to their needs.
2) Fairly new triathletes.
These guys also usually have lots of questions! Often they have been doing training that their friends do, or training that a magazine or clubmates told them to do. They are sometimes experienced runners or cyclists who have turned to triathlon and need advice about the new discipline or how to train for three disciplines rather than just one.
I answer their questions and help them understand how their body responds to training and racing and give them guidance and direction to help them train effectively.
These athletes then go away confident they understand what training is best for them to be doing, why they are doing they training they are and also how to progress this training over time.
Why Listen To Me?
The experience that I have built up and the number and range of triathletes that I have worked with over the years means that I think I can explain pretty much any scientific triathlon training-related principle in a way that even the least scientific person can understand!
And Last But Most Certainly Not Least…The Sporty Bit
Away from work I am a keen runner and unlike Mark I’m a bit addicted to training and get twitchy (bad-tempered says Mark) if anything stops me training. I’ve also gotten into cycling as a resulted of a running injury, and do conditioning/weights sessions three times a week.
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