Starting the 70.3 ‘Half Ironman’ journey was not something I had fully appreciated. It’s a completely different race to Olympic distance triathlon, where hydration and nutrition become major features. Understanding what your body is capable of and what to ask of it (and when) is always at the forefront. Put simply, Terry was there for me, preparing and guiding me towards my first 70.3 race in early 2017 and we’ve since trained for and completed two more 70.3 events. In the 2017 end of season rankings, I came UK 9th and world 73rd in my age group out of a field of about 5,000 and was awarded silver medal status. This year we are training for four 70.3 events and, if I qualify, the world championships in South Africa at the end of 2018. I would not have achieved any of that without Terry. He is an inspiration.
My interest is in triathlon and ultra-running, and Terry’s impact on my performance has been massive. He spends time getting to know you as an individual and as an athlete, so that his advice and programmes are tailored not only to what you’re looking to achieve, but also to your personal strengths and weaknesses, your work and family commitments, and what it is that motivates you and helps you get the most out of yourself. He often has an uncanny knack of knowing what I can do better than I know myself! He is a real mine of information and I love the variety and fun he’s injected into my training; I’m better balanced as a result, with fewer injuries and more power. Last year, thanks to Terry, I achieved way beyond my expectations: almost an hour off my previous iron distance PB, and third place in my age group at the ETU championships!
Terry is a great coach – he takes the time and effort to get to know you and tailor your training plans to suit you and your goals whilst at the same time being challenging. Terry’s enthusiasm for exercise (and life in general!) is infectious and makes him so much fun to work with. He knows how to motivate you and get the best from you. He sometimes knows even before I do if I’m having an off-day or if there’s more in the tank to give! He’s always on hand for advice and support and checks in with you on a regular basis. Terry has become not only my coach but also a friend and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending his coaching to anyone wanting to get into or improve at triathlon.
Although generally fit, prior to September 2014 I was a complete non-runner. With Terry’s guidance, I ran my first marathon (the London Marathon) in 3:48. The following year we brought that down to 3:24. In 2017, I ran the Hampton Court Half Marathon in 1:27 and the Amsterdam Marathon in 3:22. This year I’m running the Berlin Marathon with the goal of getting closer to 3 hours. Terry has developed an on-going personalised training programme for me that sets ambitious but realistic goals. He has an infectious drive and commitment, and constantly pushes me to achieve more. He understands me as an individual, tailors my training to fit around important family and work commitments, and gives me honest and constructive feedback (no BS!). He really listens, is there for me when things get tough and has an uncanny ability to get inside my head!
I’ve worked with Terry over the last 10 years to prepare for a number of endurance cycling events, from my first Alpine challenge, the Time Megeve, which involved three mountain climbs. Terry’s tailored, specific guidance gave me the confidence to go on to do bigger things: La Marmotte – over 5000m and 170km; John O’Groats to Lands End; The Styrkeproven – 545km across Norway in a single day; and more. For each of these, Terry created a bespoke plan over a number of months that enabled me to prepare and succeed. As well as technical expertise covering strength, endurance and nutrition, the most distinctive thing about Terry is his perceptiveness. He has an uncanny ability to understand and respond to how I’m feeling and performing (even when I try to disguise it), enabling me to get the most out of every session.
I have trained with Terry for nearly 4 years. I completed my first 70.3 in 2017 – the Caiscais Portugal Half Ironman in September – and this year I plan to race in two more Half Ironman’s, in Norway and Austria. One of Terry’s real strengths is his understanding of the athlete. He can ‘read’ the individual; he knows what the individual is capable of achieving and what makes that person ‘tick’. He tailors his approach to bring out the best in you. There are numerous training plans available on the internet and in magazines but the physical and mental demands of triathlon, the challenge of fitting those demands into your lifestyle and how you respond to those demands mean that ‘one size does not fit all’. The trainer and training plan must fit the athlete. Terry’s experience as a trainer and athlete, his instincts and his understanding mark him out as an outstanding – and inspirational – trainer. The only thing he can’t do is grow tomatoes.
This year I competed in my first Ironman in France. I was pretty clueless and apprehensive in the run-up to it but Terry was with me every step of the way. From reconstructing my swim stroke and building my strength on the bike to improving my running speed and providing a training plan that was challenging yet realistic, I knew when I lined up on race day that I was ready. Most importantly, Terry gave me the confidence and belief that I could achieve my targets. Nothing was ever too much for Terry and he was totally committed to my success, always no more than a phone call away if I needed his advice or guidance. Best of all was the fun, energy and laughter Terry brought to training, turning what was months of gruelling hard work into something I’ll remember for a lifetime.