Kev Peters - Triathlete and Beer Mile Challenger
19 July 2015: Ironman UK - Finishing Time: 12:54:57.
17 July 2016: Ironman UK - Finishing Time: 11:39:46.
What was the transformation in attaining the difference in finishing times over a year of a life involving general life, teenage children, a busy job involving worldwide last_minute.com travel and the super human power of attaining lower leg injuries from just looking at my trainers? Oh and don’t forget the breaking strain of a Kit Kat when it comes to his love of Real Ale.
Neil & Beth Scholes @ Performance Edge.
I’d known Neil and Beth for over a year, as they coached the swimming session at a local triathlon club (Wotton Triathlon Club) and I had attended a number of their running coaching sessions at Bath University, so had experienced their coaching first hand already. I must admit I wasn’t aware that Neil did on-line coaching until I went on a Performance Edge Triathlon coaching camp in Majorca that I heard him discussing it with his other athletes that were on the course.
I had entered the Ironman UK a few months previously (one of those on a whim after a few ale things) and had been relying on a training schedule I had gleaned from a book, but had found out the hard way that you can’t discuss things with a book, ask for advice or just generally whine at it when training isn’t going as planned.
I needed that human element to allow for those personal aspects of training, so with 6 weeks to go until the Ironman, I approached him about coaching me - with the dual aim of (1) finishing the event and (2) finishing ahead of a longtime friend (no love lost when those trainers go on) in the process. I could imagine Neil looking at the time left before the event and sucking in though his teeth (like a car salesman when you’ve asked him what your car is worth for a part exchange) but all he said was no problems and produced a very workable training plan that even I could follow.
Both aims were achieved and I did indeed finish and beat my old mucker!
Post Ironman, I took a month off and thought that was the end of my Ironman adventures, but kept looking and studying my times - I have to admit, even though I’d finished, I was slightly disappointed with the time and knew I could beat it and possibly complete the event in under 12 hours.
I sat down and discussed this with Neil (he even paid for the coffee :D) and instead of him splurting out his green tea and saying what I expected him to say which was ‘Kev - no way - have a chat with yourself’, calmly said ‘that’s easily achievable’ and this time, with more than 6 weeks to work with, the duly workable training programme came on-line; not only with the training but suggestions on what events to enter over the winter months to ‘keep the knife sharpened’.
Over the course of the winter months, I not only managed to reduce my half marathon time - coming first in my age group in one (with a trophy – never happened before). I could also see my times coming down as I competed in other events that I had ‘raced’ before - with the culmination of the Ironman UK event - not only did I complete the event in under 12 hours, but with 20 minutes to spare - I could have stopped for a pint of ale in one of the many pubs along the run route :D.
The beauty of Neil’s training programmes is that they are designed for the individual, very easy to follow and are quickly modified, by Neil, when training needs to take a back seat to be able to fit in around that thing called life that seems to get in the way of training every now and again. Neil is always on hand to discuss anything via any means (phone, text, E-mail, Twitter, face-to-face) - from injuries to nutrition - even giving advice on what bike to use for an event (TT or road). His support and enthusiasm for his athletes is unbridled even travelling the length and breadth of the country to give his support - I heard a ‘Go on Kev’ in Neil’s dulcet tones above the throng of other voices along the bike route on the Ironman - which brought a smile to my face and I’m sure some more vigor in my legs.
What next - UK Ironman 2017 in under 11 hours??? NEIL, NEIL - Where’s he gone…………..