Testimonials

September 2014 to December 2015 before I moved to NZ, I operated CA Swim Coaching with another coach - read the testimonials here.

Ian Richards

2016 Shakespeare Half Marathon 2:08:19
2016 Slateman Triathlon 3:38:18 (4:01:37 previous year, no coach)
2016 Swansea Triathlon 1:21:22
2016 Dambuster 2:55:56
2016 Vitruvian 05:37:57
2016 Challenge Paguera 6:38:47

I remember a comment in transition on my first ever triathlon. 'What ever you do, you must do Vitruvian'. It never left me, and I decided to do it in 2016, but I needed a coach...

I wanted to train properly and really find out what I was capable of. After a few conversations in the club (Derby Triathlon Club), Andy's name came up. I made contact and after a long conversation about various things with comments like, 'lets just say you'd be a good No.8 but you won't break any records as a runner', I decided I liked his straight talking, no nonsense approach. What I didn't realise was his ability to absorb my ramblings during the coaching calls and then respond with an easy to understand, logical approach to my concerns which I could digest and put into practice each week.

We had a 3 month trial at the end of 2015 to see if we could work together and then full steam ahead for 2016.

I wanted 2016 to be a year to remember, with the race I've always wanted to do as the cherry on the cake. My 'A' race was to be Vitruvian, but I also had others to consider like the small matter of Slateman in May and Dambuster as a sighter in June among others. Andy made sure all these were in the Plan.

For me Andy's approach was spot on. He laid out the training schedule weekly with coach calls on a Monday evening to answer any questions I had. He has knowledge and advise in abundance, even on underwear (less said about that the better). This allowed me to make decisions on every aspect of my training, but still staying within the boundaries set by Andy to get me to that end point. This also allowed me to make mistakes. There is nothing better than understanding why something didn't work, rather than taking it on blind faith. I learned a lot from Andy this year and I am sure to learn more in the future.

Each session was laid out using TrainingPeaks with methods and goals I could refer to. After each session I would make notes on how I felt, what nutrition I took and even what the weather was like to give Andy an idea how the session went.

During the run up to the first race of the season, Andy introduced me to Race Plans. 'Never heard of them' I said, but I will never approach a race without one again. They have saved me more than once this year. Race plans allow you to focus on what is important and if things change, we have plan B and plan C. I can say, without Andy's race plan approach, I would have DNF'd once this year.

With Andy's coaching skills, come race day I was ready for every eventuality, even the constant rain. Yes it didn't stop. It was a wet Vitruvian. The swim went exactly to plan. T1 was a little slow, and I didn't crash in the rain round Rutland (many did). My run was strong thanks to Andy's persistence with only the last 5k showing signs of fatigue. 

In my mind I nailed it, I still may be a better No.8, but without Andy's skill and coaching I would not have achieved my goals in 2016. (2016)


Claire Calladine
 
2016 Ironman Wales - 14:22:46

When I first met Andy, I lacked not just confidence but the will to take on a serious Triathlon challenge.

I knew I could run but I didn't think I had the talent for cycling or swimming.

I'm still not sure I have the talent for cycling or swimming but Andy convinced me that by following his plan I would improve to the level that would get me through my first Ironman.

I had done a couple of triathlons but I just wasn't able to work myself through them without over exhausting myself.

First Andy showed me that anything was possible if I just followed the plan and didn't get ahead of myself. Motivation comes in different forms, it doesn't always have to be hyper exuberant, I think Andy's skill is in recognising the need for each plan to be delivered with an individual's needs at the forefront, not just a mechanical list of targets.

Quite simply this rather ineffective runner could never have completed an Ironman without Andy. Yes I did it, but not on my own.

I'm pleased to call Andy not my trainer but my friend. (2016)

Sarah Bransby

2016 Paris Marathon - 3.42.05
2016 Outlaw Half - 5:35.31
2016 Challenge Paguera - 6:00:00
2016 10km PB - 44:01

I started working with Andy in November 2015 after already having run a few marathons and had started doing triathlons that summer. I was pleased with my previous PBs but thought that with a structured training plan I would be able to improve. Before starting Andy's training plan my training was very random with my main aim of being able to complete the required distance.

My individual training plan has vastly altered my training and has made my training much more focused towards my goals for the season and individual races. Andy's approach to training has a clear goal and he has the experience to back up the planned sessions. I initially queried some of the training sessions as they were very different to what I had done previously, but with time the results of these session were clearly evident to me and my fitness levels greatly improved. Within the training plan there were different tests to keep assessing my progress and to make sure my goals were realistic but also challenging enough to allow me to progress.

The training plan has definitely improved my physical fitness and the weekly coaching call has enabled continue adaptation of the plan to my individual needs including the demands of a full time job. The results I have achieved for my 'A' races this year have been better than I ever expected and I believe this is due to Andy's training plans (2016)


Lindsey Appleby

Lindsey Appleby
2017 - The Championship - CHALLENGEFAMILY - ??
2017 - Berlin Marathon - ??
2016 - Challenge Paguera - 6:40:54

I have now complete 3 seasons with Andy and am continuing into my 4th. Last year I made massive gains in my middle distance training, completing my A race in just under the time I wanted to do. Each year Andy changes the training so I do not become stale and  I am continuing to learn. This year he has introduced a functional strength session which I have found very beneficial.  We have a weekly Skype call where we discuss how training and racing has gone that week and Andy takes on board any struggles I might have and has researched all sorts of discussions we have had that might affect my training (2016)

2015 Challenge Paguera - 6:23:16
2015 Ironman Dublin 70.3 - 5:59:15
2015 Avenger Olympic - 3:20:53
2015 Vodafone Malta Half Marathon - 1:55:36
2014 Vitruvian - 5:59:58


Having undertaken my first middle distance race the previous year using just a training plan from a magazine I decided it was time to do it properly. Andy had been recommended to me and after completing a lactate threshold test with him we discussed what my requirements, capabilities and aims were.
 

The plan Andy set for me has suited me every step of the way. It has fitted in with my hectic work schedule and worked around my capabilities. The training is 100% effective and suddenly you realise the hard work is paying off and the gains become apparent. Andy's experience and knowledge has helped me understand the importance of HR, pacing and cadence. I also learnt the importance and benefits of creating race plans.

Andy used the run/walk strategy for my run training. Having not come from any sort of running background this was my weakest discipline and I certainly didn't enjoy it but this is where I made the most improvement and biggest gains. The regular feedback I received was both constructive and informative and continually gave me areas to work on and improve.

My aim was to complete The Vitruvian in 6 hours, I came in 2 seconds under that! How's that for great training and planning. I now know how much more I am capable of and am looking forward to training with Andy next season and seeing yet more improvement (2014)


Ruth Enion

2016 Ironman Switzerland - 12:57:12

And one year on….. I am a proud owner of an Ironman medal!  I have continued to train with Andy applying the key principles of training; training with intensity.  Training for a full distance triathlon has had its challenges, mainly fitting in amount of hours of training each week along with working full time.  This has pushed me both physically and mentally at times but with Andy’s expert advice, proactive approach and ability produce a tailored training programme, I managed to follow the training plan in order to be prepared for Ironman.  Andy was able to make adjustments based on my feed back and his analysis of the data.  He always took into consideration my comments and highlighted the importance of rest and active recovery if I was feeling fatigue.  He also took into consideration ‘life factors such as family, work and the need to have some sort of flexibility at times.

Andy had moved to New Zealand by this time but it did not seem a barrier as we caught up weekly via skype. Andy implemented two ‘big days’ which were race simulation days.  These gave me the similar experience to race day and allowed us analyse and make adjustments to the race plan where needed.  Training was race specific to ensure I knew exactly what intensity I would race at including heart rate, power zones and pace.  We planned race day nutrition, fluid intake, transitions and ergonomics.   Despite weeks of whittling and self doubt (this is where Andy’s patience came in) by the time I got to the start line I had an unanticipated feeling of calm “I can do this”, “Im completely prepared”!  The whole day just an amazing experience and I put this down to the work we had done together to prepare.  I was spot on my predicted time for the swim and run and only 20 minutes slower on the bike which I attributed to the heat.  I couldn’t be happier with my performance and cannot thank Andy enough

2015 IM Luxembourg 70.3 - 5:38:11
2015 Vitruvian - 5:33:09

Coming from a recreational running background and wanting to follow in the footsteps of my Dad, I started competing in triathlons in 2013. I did my first Ironman 70.3 in June 2014 and found a real love for this sport. However, my actual knowledge and understanding of training and competing were still relatively basic. This was most noted in cycling. For 2015 I set the goal to compete in another Ironman 70.3 with the aim to improve on my performance while still getting enjoyment for the sport. Following many positive comments from other triathletes, I decided to ask Andy for a training programme.

A detailed questionnaire was completed with Andy to understand my experience, analyse previous performances and identify future goals. Next Andy worked out my lactate threshold to reveal my heart rate zones for both cycling and running. I had previously only estimated these and used the same ratings for both. He also identified predicted paces and perceived exertion rate. The training programme was set up using training peaks and I uploaded my set activities from my garmin. Using training peaks was simple yet effective and gave helpful data on your performance. What was very impressive was Andy’s analysis of the data. He was always able to provide feedback on many areas and noted if I had worked too hard or not hard enough. He took note of any comments made and provided advice and information. This was always extremely valuable and all of a sudden I began to develop a real understanding of the principles of training. What I really gained was an understanding of training with intensity and why this is critical in longer distance events. After all, triathlon is one sport and not just three separate ones! Andy worked to extend my base endurance and build on this fitness. Training for 2 weeks with a recovery week worked well for me and after a few months I started to see improvements in all disciplines.

Andy was able to provide structured sessions for cycling which focused not only on my endurance, but also efficiency on the bike. I began to develop my confidence and work through some of my mental blocks. Andy also completed a swim analysis and I was amazed how much could be identified on my swimming form and technique. Specific pool drill sessions were given to improve these key areas along with open water sessions. Leading up to my Ironman I completed some other races which kept me focused while allowing me to enjoy competing in the events.

Andy also encouraged me to complete a detailed race plan, something I had never done before. I usually rock up to race with the organised chaos approach! However, Andy has taught me that preparation is key, both in training and on race day. This means having a thorough understanding of how to approach the race, your intensity throughout the race, nutrition and the course.

And the result of this structured training, preparation and focus....a perfect race! I enjoyed every second of the race and felt strong all the way through. I improved my times in all three disciplines and was thrilled with the overall time. I plan to continue my training plan next year and have now entered a full Ironman, a goal that I would have never contemplated until training with Andy this year. (2015)


John McKenzie

2016 Leeds Olympic - 2:59:10
2016 Swashbuckler - 6:07:31

Andy is that missing element to my training regime. He is the person who organises and analyses what I’m doing, how it should be done and why I am doing it and keeps my goals in my sights.

I have always found Andy’s attention to detail absolutely first class and very very methodical -everything has its reason. 

Andy took me from a person who had done a bit of running, no swimming and a bit of bike work to competing and doing well in my first Ironman 70.3 through a structured training plan, motivational conversations and great feedback he is also that person in your corner when your chin drops and picks you back up and gets you going again and that is so important. 

On top of this Andy is a great bloke, easy to get on with and someone who is genuinely interested in you as a person and someone now I class as a friend, it is for this very reason that I would recommend anyone looking for a coach to work with Andy. (2016)

2015 Rubicon Middle Distance - 6:01:46
2015 IM Staffordshire 70.3 - 6:26:50

My wife initially made contact with Andy regarding coaching as she was referred to him by a mutual contact.

Being a keen runner and novice cyclist I wanted to enter into triathlon... but there was one small problem I couldn’t swim, I didn’t really know how far to push on the bike and running was non-existent off the bike, I was starting at the bottom.

I had an initial assessment with Andy where he posed the question "what do you want to achieve"? I want to do triathlon and I want to do 70.3 Ironman staffs and actually compete not just turn up.

Andy operates flexible training packages to suit my needs and also budget and I chose as little or more involvement as I felt I needed, I wanted the most involvement as I could especially in the early days. We went into the assessment and Andy set my thresholds and devised a plan for me to achieve my personal goals. We covered everything from Kit needed (with my budget in mind) to what it was actually like competing and with the aid of Training Peaks (this is a great tool) a daily, weekly and monthly plan was put into action which involved Swimming, Bike and Run. I uploaded my sessions with comments which Andy encourages, as training is as much about how you feel as to what you are doing. Andy gives regular feedback and encouragement which is great and just what is needed. With regular tweaking to the plan and with the aid of training peaks you can see where you have been and where you are now and the results for me were staggering. What I found fantastic is that it is not just the case of "here is your plan now get on with it" Andy showed me how to plan by giving me insight and the template of how to plan for a race and getting me thinking on how to achieve as opposed to just doing it. The tools were shown how to analyse and look at my training and it made me think for myself on what I was doing.

With a good base fitness worked on it was time to put my training into action, Andy advised and suggested a series of Triathlons on my way to the 70.3 and I was chomping at the bit to get these done, all that work, planning and training paid off a real team effort, it has been that way ever since.

Andy is a great coach and a very knowledgeable guy who still competes in triathlons himself and as I like to say "lives in the real world” he understands that we all have busy lives with family and work and Andy works with you on your plans in order for you to get the most out of training in the time you have available.

It has been a fantastic journey and one which I am sill on.........Thanks Andy (2015)





Gareth Spencer

2015 IM Wales - 14:57:15

I met Andy when he guided our four day cycle ride to Paris and he immediately struck me as a knowledgeable and down to earth guy.  I continuously picked his brain for advice and guidance and he was very happy to oblige.  Not only does he “have the T-shirt” having accomplished various endurance sport challenges himself, but he knows the science and processes behind getting the best results and knows how to put these across to any individual - first timer, or experienced athlete - in just the right manner.

Despite employing Andy’s services at a very late juncture in my own Ironman journey, he was able to use previous data and specific tests to analyse my performance from distance, using online (Training Peaks) software. The improvements he brought to my training were quite simply incredible - I learned so much about using Heart Rate zones and how to recover correctly, not to mention ameliorating my techniques and getting faster!

In short, Andy is an extremely knowledgeable and personable coach who invests personally in his athletes and takes great pride in seeing them achieve their goals. From personal experience, no matter what you think you know, or how well you think you are doing, Andy can add a huge amount to your training and I would absolutely urge you to speak with him about your own goals to find out exactly how he can assist.”

It has been a fantastic journey and one which I am sill on.........Thanks Andy (2015)


Andy Townsend

2015 Outlaw - 10:56:12

Having entered the Outlaw last year having flirted with the idea of doing an ironman race for a few years I eventually plucked up the courage and entered it. I wouldn't describe myself as a novice but I am far from being any good and am certainly not the fastest and have trained for the last 3 years for a few middle distance, Olympic and sprint triathlons without any structure or science but had plenty of motivation.

When the realisation hit me once I had entered that I had to do some serious training if I was going to have half a chance of completing the race there was only one real option for me and that was to get some coaching. Having being recommended by other members of the triathlon club that Andy was very good and would work with me and take into account my busy work / family life to structure a training programme that allows me to function without the training completely knackering me out was very appealing.

I have to admit I am not the easiest person to train and up until now the intensity and structure of a training session would normally depend how my day at work went or in some cases I ignore what people tell me and do what I want anyway! Over the weeks and months Andy’s training and coaching tips eventually worked and I found that my fitness and speed increased considerably by doing exactly what he told me to do.

He is very analytical and taught me the science behind heart rates zones, cadence and the benefits of good nutrition. During the rough sessions where things didn't go to plan he gave me the assurance that I was moving in the right direction and just move onto the next session without worrying whilst helpfully pointing out my training errors. This was encouraging and motivating as self-doubt sometimes struck when the realisation of the distance of the race reminded itself once in a while.

Without question having worked with Andy for nearly 8 months I am stronger, faster and a far more knowledgeable triathlete than before. I would certainly not hesitate to recommend him and will definitely be using his services for my next big race! (2015)



James Brady

2015 Outlaw - 
12:50.06

It's fair to say that training for an Iron distance triathlon with a busy family and work life is difficult enough without having to worry about the planning and science involved!! Fortunately for me, Andy is not only an all round credible athlete who practices what he preaches, but his knowledge and passion is unquestionable.

Andy's planning and approach is entirely personal and most definitely not a one glove fits all service. He is approachable, non-judgemental and flexible. He literally considers every aspect of your training; planning, monitoring, and assessing. That said, in order to gain the benefit of Andy's experience, you have to be 'coachable', listen to what he says and the progress will be evident.

Most importantly, especially when training for an Iron distance event and things aren't going right, when I had a bad session,was tired or just generally going through some dark times, Andy's support and reassurance kept me going.

Without a doubt I am fitter, stronger and more knowledgeable. That said, I would definitely use Andy to coach me again, even if it is from the other side of the world!!!. (2015)


Elisa Zamora

2016 Challenge Paguera - ???
2015 Challenge Paguera - 7:23:18
2015 Avenger Olympic - 3:30:09
2014 Outlaw Half - 6:18:00
2014 Marathon- IM Barcelona Relay - 4:23:57

I first tried my hand at triathlon in September 2012 as a complete novice to running, swimming and cycling, and in fact competitive sport. I was hooked and entered an Olympic distance open water triathlon the following year.

My training in my first full season was scattergun and without clear goals. My approach to racing was equally scattergun, I didn’t prioritise any of my races and my training wasn’t targeted at anything in particular other than making sure I could swim/bike/run the required distances. And once I’d done my Olympic triathlon I signed up for a middle distance with 4 weeks to go, mainly to see if I could complete it.

I learnt a lot that first season.  First revelation: my cycling was my weakest link by far. My cadence was way too low, gear selection was awful and confidence on a bike was somewhat lacking. My inefficient cycling meant I was finishing behind athletes with slower swim and run times, and I was almost dead when it came to the run.Second revelation: I hadn’t a clue about nutrition and planning when to eat in an endurance race. My first attempt at a middle distance was not too bad for a complete novice, but I felt dreadful towards the end of the bike section and could barely turn the pedals. Third revelation: I actually quite liked running. I had improved since I started though I had no benchmark. I found it hard to pace myself and quite often set off too hard at the start.

And my swimming, which was far from perfect, was not the limiting factor.

I wanted to attempt another middle distance triathlon and also a marathon, but wanted a more structured and disciplined approach. I searched the internet for information on training plans, but got overwhelmed. Also, I wasn’t sure how much of it applied to me as I was keen to address my specific weaknesses.

Andy talked me through the various packages on offer and we both agreed a coaching package that suited my limited experience. I was happy to motivate myself through the training. I just needed some guidance on what to do and how to do it. And a bit of reassurance that I was on the right track didn’t go amiss.

For me this has been much better value, and much more appropriate, than a personal trainer. Andy tells me what I need to read, what I need to plan and uses Training Peaks to schedule my training. I have to read the material myself, develop my own race plans, think about my motivation and prioritise accordingly, and make sure I do my training properly. I also keep my training diary up to date as this can give Andy clues into how I was feeling at the time and can give us an indication of the effectiveness of the plan. I have developed my own nutrition strategy for each race with Andy’s advice and insights. Andy keeps an eye out to sure I’m on track but I still have to do it myself, which is vital to develop mental stamina required for endurance races.

My plan this year focused heavily on the cycling and running. Andy incorporated my learning points from the previous season into the plan for my A races. The plan was more intense for the middle distance triathlon then a bit more relaxed for the marathon. Using a HRM was a new thing for me, but the initial testing and subsequent workout analysis helped me understand myself better. Since then I have learnt to recognise the cues which tell me which HR zone I’m working in without having to rely on my Garmin. A lot of things fell into place when Andy pointed out a few errors I’d been making in my training the previous year. I think the biggest surprise of all was the emphasis on the easy weeks and rest days, it is so tempting to double up on sessions if you miss one. The coaching has helped me prioritise my other races so that they were part of the plan for the A races.

I have learnt to approach training and racing differently. I have also learnt to listen to those niggles and understand when it isn’t cheating to miss a session. But most importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed my two main races of the season. My target times at the start of the season were more guesses and wishful thinking, but I entered both races knowing that there were things I could control and things I couldn’t control, and so long as I stuck to my plan I would do the best I could have done on the day. My first marathon really was my first marathon, I’d not run the distance beforehand but I had no doubt that I would finish thanks to my training.

Once I have decided what I’m targeting next year I will definitely get Andy to coach me again! (2014)



Rupert Parkin

2016 BRAT Standard - ???
2016 Windsor Triathlon - ???
2015 Castle Howard Standard Triathlon - 3:23:54
2014 Castle Howard Standard Triathlon - 3:25:35
2013 People's Olympic Triathlon - 2:38:10
2013 Warwickshire Sprint Triathlon - 1:15:56


After coming from a team sport background and dabbling in a marathon, half-marathon and a few 10kms and sprint triathlons I really missed the structured training and struggled with my motivation.

My training tended to comprise of a few concentrated weeks before an event and relying on a basic underlying fitness to drag myself around the course. In my mind training harder and faster was the way to progress and I would often burnout just before an event. On the converse, with no clear programme or structure, in the important early months of training I would miss days and even weeks of important base training. A last minute panic would lead to cramming and over training when I really should be tapering.

On race day I would have not plan other than to beat a particular arbitrary time this would lead to peaking too soon, finding it difficult and not actually enjoying the event I had spent so much time training for!!

A lack of motivation would also mean that I found it difficult to carry on my training after an event which meant I essentially had to start all over again from scratch for the next event.

Having Andy as a coach changed all of these fundamental errors and with the right guidance and explanation it became easy to change the bad habits and also to understand why those changes were necessary and how they would improve my performance.

The motivation came from having a clear and concise training plan which could be “ticked off” as each session was completed and the real drive came from seeing the improved times as the weeks and months passed. The Training Peaks software has been a fantastic tool to aid in the understanding of my training data and the daily email never lets me forget a session.

Andy tries to keep the plans varied and fun and it is essential to having a plan that is realistic and fits around your life, which is particularly important for motivation and for hitting your goals. My plan also includes incorporating other non triathlon specific activities such as the Tour of Wessex, Park Run, Half Marathons and 10kms which all really helps to give waypoints and mini goals to keep the season interesting. Most importantly Andy is always on hand if you need a chat or do not fully understand a programmed session.

My real fear was swimming and I would invariably train hard on the bike and running to the detriment of the swim…which was not great come race day. With some encouragement and focused training sessions (and video analysis) swimming has now become one of my favourite disciplines and I have conquered that fear.

All of the benefits of the coaching programme have been compounded with the birth of my baby girl a year ago and Andy has really help make my training fit in with my real life. It has been tough, but after a bit of battling, with Andy there as support, it has finally clicked and I am now back hitting my sessions and looking forward to a very productive off season ready for next year with an excellent base fitness.

I could not recommend Andy more highly – the coaching has changed my life and made triathlons a real hobby, rather than something I just dabbled (and failed) in once in a while. (2014)


Simon Rolfs

2015 Virgin London Marathon - 3:09:25
2013 IM Mallorca 70.3 - 5:14:11
2012 Challenge Barcelona - 11:36:02
2012 Bala Middle Distance - 5:07:32



I have worked with Andy on 3 occasions now and have been thoroughly impressed with his eye for detail and technical knowledge. On each occasion the coaching he provided me with was based on specific tests and analyses that identified the key areas on which I needed to work.

I felt that he really developed an understanding of me as an athlete and worked with me to develop plans that fitted in with my work and personal life, whilst pushing me to train harder and smarter than ever before.

I would recommend Andy highly to anyone, whether you're new to triathlon as I was when I first started working with him, or looking to push on to the next level as a triathlete or a runner as I have during recent years. His thoroughness and attention to detail really are second to none and not only will you benefit from his coaching but learn a great deal about how to coach yourself. (2015)


Paul Cunningham

2015 Plan for Outlaw Half - unable to race
2013 Outlaw Half - 5:07:57

I met Andy through the local Triathlon club when I was completely fresh to the sport. I reached out for Andy’s support as my first undertaking in to Triathlon has hilly middle distance and very daunting. Andy quickly pointed out that logging miles on the bike and run and lengths in the pool might get me to the finish line but would stop someway short in achieving my goals. We jointly developed a plan that fitted around my busy work and family schedule that focused on developing my limiters.

Andy’s approach is twofold:

1) Overall holistic view that enables a plan and environment that fits with the athlete and their existing commitments and future aims.

2) Detailed analysis and feedback in anything that can be measured or recorded as well all things subjective.

For me the biggest benefit I get in working with Andy is the motivation he provides in his own unique style and I am by no means an easily coached guy! It not only gets me off the sofa when it’s dark, cold and windy but it keeps me on track to the agreed plan.

Andy has to take credit for the development I’ve seen in race results…… Thanks Andy!




Mark Dodes

2013 Outlaw - 12:18:59

I started off wanting a challenge I'd done a few in the past and needed a focus, I came upon triathlons. Like most I joined a club and began at the very basic end of getting through a short sprint race. I loved it, had the bug and wanted bigger and better things, the sprint wasn't enough, it then moved up to Olympic distance, again love it but wasn't enough, then to half Ironman and finishing with full Ironman. All training (if you can call it that) was done without any supervision apart from club sessions on my own and what I thought to be correct. Essentially my thought process was the more the better, well I could not have been further from the truth. I completed my first Ironman in Bolton but crawled across the line having enjoyed the experience but was desperate to do better. The next was the “Outlaw”. It’s at this point I approached Andy at the club for some advice on how to "Win an Ironman", his response and the sad truth was you won't!! But what he could do was train me to become a better athlete and to hopefully achieve my goals. This is where our process began.

The start was a very basic a kit check and summary of what you’ll need, moving on to strengths, weaknesses and personal and achievable goals. As you can imagine all anyone wants is to be fast and to win, sadly these were not on the list. We had objectives to focus on, look at the small picture and the big picture opens up. I did struggle to get my head around these to begin with but with Andy’s help all became clear.

The training was fun, concise and focussed, I really did enjoy every minute of it. Through the highs and the lows Andy was there to guide me through. Sometimes all you need is a confidence booster and that’s what he provided, other times you need a good talking to and that what he provides and more importantly you need the confidence that what your doing is right and your making progress and he’s always there for that. In my second Ironman I achieved what I set out to do and took an hour and a half off my previous time.

All in all Andy trained me for a number of years and I achieved all that I set out to do and more. Without a doubt he’s a knowledgeable, focussed and fantastic trainer. You’ll go a long way with this guy. (2016)


Mark Gardner

2012 Challenge Barcelona - 10:28:01

It was clear that following my self-compiled personal training strategy (for achieving a sub-11hr ironman time) would have left me woefully short of cycling strength and endurance. Having consulted with Andy on my aims, objectives, strengths and – most importantly – weaknesses, that we had to start at basic level with bike endurance and use this as my main focus of all three disciplines.

I was guilty of planning what I thought was right, which in fact related to what I liked doing. Having completed numerous tests with Andy we agreed on a 6-month that would hone my endurance and allow me to rely on my running strength in the marathon stage of the race.

The result was a 10.28h time that over-achieved on what the plan identified (10.35h). I took 39 minutes off my PB and completed the race energised having followed a meticulous plan and strategy. Most importantly was remaining calm when enduring a mechanical, something that we had rehearsed in resort prior to the start by memorising the bike assistance zones on the route.

All in all, an excellent service by Andy that was meticulous from start to finish. (2012)