How to pick a triathlon coach

With summer approaching, I have officially gone ‘back on program’ with my coach Chris Hanrahan, of Performance by 3. I love this squad – amazing group of people and Chris prepared me perfectly for Ironman Cairns last year. Remember the race where I won on debut, in course record time and all my dreams came true? Well we’re going to try and top it!

With my new goal set (Ironman 70.3 Worlds in September 2016), it’s time to start getting down to business so I can qualify. The impending nuptials have changed my race schedule somewhat, but I made it very clear to my husband-to-be that at least for the next little while, training comes first. Surprisingly, convincing him was the easy part (and part of why I love him is his undying support). The hard one to convince has been silly old me! Turning back the clock on fat and lazy is harder than I thought.

This is where a coach and squad comes in. I find the motivation that comes from training in a group invaluable. It’s having someone to keep me accountable. It takes the guess work out. I don’t have to plan, just follow Training Peaks and ‘keep it green’. Chris’ philosophy is that results comes first and foremost from hard work, careful planning and commitment. We train hard so racing is easy. Which is a perfect match for my headstrong personality.


Training Peaks

Training Peaks Diary – my life planner


Unfortunately for Chris, the same traits that (used to) make me a good athlete, make me hard to train. I heard this term recently: “ASKHOLE. A person who constantly asks for your advice, yet always does the opposite of what you told them”. This is me in a nutshell. Chris is the expert, having over 12 years coaching experience and athlete performances to match. Yet I always seem to think I know best.

I’m very lucky that I’ve found not one, but TWO amazing men in my life that are willing to put up with me 😉 And what I’ve realised over the last little while is that choosing a triathlon coach is very much like choosing a husband. For better, for worse, in sickness and in health….

So whether you’re looking for a coach or a husband, I recommend you ask yourself these 3 simple questions (I’m clearly pretty happy with my selection of both husband and coach, so whether you follow this advice is up to you):

– Do I like them?

– Are we compatible? (Personality, mindset, methods of operation, etc)

– Can I trust them with my life?

But most of all, be open to feedback. These are the people who know you better than yourself.


My darling husband to be



My super forgiving Coach


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