So you’ve bitten the bullet and signed up for a triathlon or ironman and you want to do the best of your ability, make the most of your training time and be in the best shape possible at the start line.

Perhaps you are trying a new distance, want to reduce the likelihood of injuries or achieve a new PB? Maybe it’s time to consider triathlon coaching.

What is a triathlon coach?

A triathlon coach is a multi-sport coach that has experience coaching all elements of any triathlon (or ironman) event; swimming, cycling and running.

Your coach will work with you every step of the way, creating custom and constantly evolving training plans that work to balance out your weaknesses, rather than a generic training plan you might download from the internet.

How important is a triathlon coach?

Whether it be a testing triathlon or an even more testing ironman consisting of an iron-distance 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run (yes, that’s a marathon!) in under 17 hours, some guidance is going to be key. Your triathlon personal trainer will tailor your training schedule and guide you through, creating training plans to build up your fitness and stamina as well as offering advice on what to eat alongside your training.

Having a coach can be an important part of helping you stay focused and consistent to achieve your goals, whilst still fitting around your life and current fitness levels or any specific goal through their understanding and planning. 

The guidance of a triathlon personal trainer is even more important should it be your first triathlon or your first ironman. Having professional guidance may be the difference between you crossing the finish line as a triumphant triathlete or not.

Can I not just train with my triathlon friends or at training camps?

In short, yes, you could just train with your triathlete pals but everyone is individual and to see improvements you may not always want to work on the same thing as your friends during your sessions.

A training camp will give you a super high-intensity shot of triathlon training but these can be pricey and involve you taking time off work to complete them. The sessions may also not be tailored to you as a 1-1 approach due to the number of athletes these camps attract.

What will a training plan involve?

Cyclist competing in a triathlon

One-on-one coaching will allow your training programme to be completely customised to you and your needs as an individual athlete.

There will be a mix of gym-based workouts and outdoor sessions, including open-water swims to tackle, gradually building up your fitness and stamina. Sessions can vary from one week to the next and your plan should change monthly as your race nears. This allows for training peaks (when you are carrying out your highest training volume) as well as a taper off towards race day to help your body rest and build up energy stores to get you through the race itself.

Some coaching plans also include a diet plan so that you can fuel your body efficiently as you train. Other training plans only include workout plans but any good triathlon coach will be able to advise you on what to eat in the run-up to your race.

How to select a great triathlon coach

Runner competing in a triathlon

There are around 1500 registered triathlon coaches in the UK. With so many coaches around it is important to select a good coach that has experience with triathlon training and the demands on the body of a triathlon or ironman so they can create a plan that meets your needs.

Their coaching approach

A good coach will check in with you regularly to check your progress and be willing to discuss your programme and approach and whether it is working for you to help you achieve success when it comes to race day.

Good coaching also helps you to celebrate your achievement milestones as well as helping you to evaluate your racing and find ways to always keep improving throughout the process no matter your goal.

Coaches certification

British triathlon coaching is helping to ensure Britain remains a leading nation when it comes to the triathlon. You may want to check whether your coach is a certified British triathlon coach or Ironman certified coach for added peace of mind.

Experience vs training

Yes, you want to make sure your coach is adequately qualified to give you advice but don’t lose sight of the importance of experience. Make sure you find someone who has the experience and a good track record with training triathletes and knows the strains of a multi-sport race.

Should you use your local coach?

If you are completing your first ironman or triathlon then it might be particularly useful to use a good local coach who you can meet and train with in person, this can help you keep the race in focus and keep you motivated.

However, if you are an athlete with plenty of racing experience, you may want to search further afield for coaches who are a better fit for you, perhaps one that specialises in the sport that you need the most help to improve or one that can help you improve throughout the training season.

There is certainly a lot to bear in mind when finding the perfect triathlon coach.

Why choose Mike Redshaw as your personal triathlon coach?

Mike Redshaw triathlon coach

Mike Redshaw is not only a certified British triathlon coach but a physiotherapist and personal trainer with lots of experience assisting both amateurs and athletes in endurance sports (including plenty of triathletes). Mike helps all of his clients reach their own elite and gain resilience as well as efficiency through his training plans, supporting you through your triathlon journey.

By using his knowledge of biomechanics as a physiotherapist, Mike is even able to tailor training programmes to individual weaknesses or pre-existing injuries and can supplement your plan with additional physiotherapy advice to help prevent injury or what to do should an injury occur during training.

What do the Mike Redshaw triathlon training programmes include?

Mike Redshaw Physiotherapy offers four types of one-to-one coached training programmes that include tri coaching, all to suit a variety of budgets and support all your coaching needs. These are available from Mike’s Crafthole studio near Torpoint or delivered remotely online.

Aluminium coached training programme

The aluminium programme includes the following for £70 per month for 10 months:

  • Working with your own coach/trainer
  • Personalised training schedule delivered every 4 weeks
  • Specific training sessions tailored to your ability, goals and available time
  • 1 x 15-30 minutes phone call every 4 weeks with your coach/trainer
  • Email access – response weekly from your coach as required
  • Free initial consultation with your coach/trainer

Titanium coached training programme

The titanium programme includes the following for £100 per month for 10 months:

  • Working with your own coach/trainer
  • Personalised training program delivered every 4 weeks
  • Specific training sessions tailored to your ability, goals and available time
  • 2 x 15-30 minute phone calls every 4 weeks with your coach/trainer or 1 x 1 hour physio or personal training session per month online or face-to-face
  • Email access – response within 48 hours
  • Free initial consultation with your coach/trainer

Carbon coached training programme

The carbon coached training programme includes the following for £135 per month for 10 months:

  • Working with your own coach/trainer
  • Personalised training program delivered every 4 weeks
  • Specific training sessions tailored to your ability, goals and available time
  • 4 x 15-30 minute phone calls per 4 weeks at times agreed between athlete and coach/trainer or 2 x 1 hour physio or personal training sessions per month online or face-to-face
  • Unlimited email access – response within 24 hours
  • Free initial consultation with your coach/trainer

Carbon Pro coached training programme

The carbon pro coached training programme includes the following for £220 per month for 10 months:

  • Working with your own coach/trainer
  • Personalised training program delivered every 4 weeks
  • Specific training sessions tailored to your ability, goals and available time
  • Phone calls with your coach/trainer as required OR 4 x 1 hour physio or personal training sessions per month online or face-to-face
  • Unlimited email access – same day response
  • Free initial consultation with your coach/trainer

Please do not hesitate to contact Mike for all your triathlon and ironman coaching needs, or to see if Mike is the triathlon coach for you or if you have any questions about the coaching programmes on offer. Or book online now.