Athlete Stories – Ann-Marie

Used as a “guinea pig” for his coaching diploma, Ann-Marie is a busy working mother of young children who has just embarked on her triathlon journey. This is her story so far.

I started talking to David about being coached as a confident runner happy with my pace, a complete novice on my bike and only able to do breaststroke in the pool. My goals were to maintain running speed, gain power and confidence on my bike (whist adding clipless pedals to the mix), learn front crawl and complete in standard distance tri’s. The biggest hurdle was trying to prioritise the training I needed to concentrate on around the (very) limited time I had around my 2 young children and work- but some how David managed to get the balance spot on.  Sarah assessed my swimming which left a lot of areas to be worked on in front crawl, such as sinky hips and shallow reach. David planned out lots of drills to practice which improved my stroke, built up my overall technique and led to being able to do multiple lengths with front crawl from not being able to complete a full length. Further 1:1’s with Sarah have helped the small adjustments needed to streamline the technique.

My bike training began on the turbo- being winter, David using his extensive knowledge in The Sufferfest, to set out programs in which to follow. The ramp in power I had from the training scheduled was exponential in a few short months. When spring arrived and I could start getting out on the road, David had so many tips/techniques/knowledge to take. This really built up my confidence on my bike, especially with being out on the roads. My most hated discipline soon became my most loved. David’s training included all aspects of bike skills and often included practical sessions timing myself changing a puncture and eating/drinking whist riding.  Whist the overall goal was to maintain the running pace I had, the training David set saw my 5k PB improve by over 90seconds. This was completely unexpected but a testament that the training was working with all round improvements. David didn’t just provide a plan to follow – he really taught me about triathlon as a sport and the skills needed for transitioning, so I understood the science behind the drills we worked on. His advice has been invaluable in building my confidence in all 3 disciplines and I have been so lucky to have had the chance to learn so much. He turned all my “can’t” into “can” and made me believe in myself, I am a triathlete, I can fit in training around children.