I am both a multiple Ironman race finisher (UK & Switzerland) but I have also completed the Ironman University coaching course. The Ironman qualification followed a very detailed training course, with a strong base in the science of endurance sport and gives me access to a huge library of resources, built up over 40 years of experience and written by some of the greatest endurance coaches in the world. Whilst I am happy to coach anyone who has a love of swim, bike and run over whatever distance or format, my specialism is with the longer events and in particular Ironman & Ironman 70.3.
Ironman 70.3 – Also known as middle distance or half-iron, this is a 1900m swim, 90km bike ride and a half marathon (21.1km) to finish (or 1.2miles, 56 miles and 13.1 miles which gives a total of 70.3 miles). A pro racer such as Alistair Brownlee will finish in under 4 hours but most athletes will be between 5 & 7 hours – a long day out
Ironman – also known as full distance, this is a 3800m swim, 180km on the bike and a full 42.2km marathon (or 2.4 miles, 112 miles and 26.2 miles = 140.6 miles). This total distance is equivalent of London to Sheffield or Liverpool to Dublin, a mind boggling distance. The world championship will be won in a time of around 8 hours but most people will take between 12 & 17 hours and every finisher is an incredible effort.
To successfully complete a race of this distance is a major achievement that takes a minimum of 6 months hard work and some careful planning. To be able to compete at the highest level requires years of training and racing to develop the engine and skills required. Although an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 is an extremely tough challenge, it is possible for a large number of people with the right training, if the will power, determination and desire is there.
This is where an experienced coach comes in – to guide in race selection, to develop a long term, endurance based training plan, to pass on a 101 tips and tricks, to be there during the tough times and to celebrate with you in the good times. Endurance training is as much about developing mental strength as it is physical strength. I started my Ironman journey in 2014 and have completed two Ironman races (UK & Switzerland) and numerous half-iron distance races. The half distance is my strongest and where I do the bulk of my racing but there is a call, an attraction to full Ironman that is hard to ignore. Before I finally hang up my running shoes, there are many more Ironman races I want to race.
I am an Ironman University alumnus, a British Triathlon Level 2 coach and a Training Peaks Level 2 coach. Each of these is a different type of training which leads to a balanced coaching style and experienced. British Triathlon is very concerned with the art of coaching and being a great coach. Ironman University is targeted at the more scientific side of endurance training and Training Peaks qualifications are the more practical side, the admin work that keeps everything else moving forward. Together, they cover every aspect of endurance triathlon coaching. I also live close to the Ironman UK bike course and regularly ride the route in the hills around Bolton. If you are thinking of racing Ironman UK, I have the local knowledge that might make the difference.
If you are interested in racing at Ironman or Ironman 70.3 distance races, get in touch for a no obligation chat to see if this is the right path for you. Even if the race is a long way off, early planning and thought can make a difference.