Aged 35-39 (F)
"Nick Smith coaches triathlon. Many people won't realize that. Nick is not someone who volunteers opinions on what others in the sport should be doing, but if you seek his advice you immediately become aware that he has an abundance of triathlon knowledge. There are two types of experts in all fields; those who assemble qualifications and badges, and those who develop their expertise through experience. Nick is in the latter category; having gathered a wealth of experience from participating in triathlon since it arrived in this country over 20 years ago. As for the three components of the sport: he can draw on his early sporting life experience as an accomplished runner (30 minutes for 10k !); he is an avid cycling fan, and he remains a successful age group cyclist (and a closet bike mechanic !). Nick has now been a fixture as Somerset RC Tri pool side coach for several years."
"Nick's approach to coaching is not based on the manuals. The second thing that he will do (having identified your objectives) is find out about your available free time and lifestyle in order to devise a realistic training plan which maximises training opportunities without disruption to the rest of your life. In my case the plan was formulated to help progress for half ironman distance in a three month period but at the same time avoiding injury and illness. Support was ongoing, even if 'Plan A' came off the rails, due to unavoidable life events (work !). Follow-up observations and feedback by e-mail or in scheduled discussions were always constructive and realistic. Being advised when to take it easy, which does not come naturally when training time is limited, proved to be as important as the advice on more intensive training sessions.
Overall I found that Nick, through his thorough understanding of the swim, the bike and the run, was able to advise comprehensively on all three disciplines individually, and well as how to link them together to progress in triathlon."