Athlete : Alexandros Oikonomou - Greece


It’s been one and a half Years that I have been training and coached by Phil and the differences with my previous training results is more than obvious.

As a professional in athletic sciences (I am a P.E. teacher at a Senior High school and swimming coach), I used to train myself at a regular basis with consistency, especially during the last years mostly in aerobic sports such as swimming and running. Six months before I met Phil, I had made the decision to be involved in Triathlon, beginning from the Olympic 51.50, since I was already familiar with running and swimming distances. However, biking was totally unknown to me. 

At the beginning, a whole month was spent on reading a lot of articles, books, magazines and browsing on the net, in order to have a clear idea of the sport. Secondly I had to spend a considerable amount of money for the bike itself and the bike gear, in order to be appropriately equipped. Finally, when the time for triathlon training had come, I was confused. Did I need three coaches-one for each sport, including a coordinator as well, or none at all, or only a bike coach, , since I am a qualified swimming coach and familiar with the long runs. I made the wrong decision to start training myself, searching and asking for bike workout instructions. I realised my mistake only after my first race at the Olympic distance. Although I was generally fit, open water had nothing to do with the classic pool swim, my biking was a disaster and my run was just decent. I had to find a coach.

Via the ‘’coach match’’ application of Ironman official website, I was perfectly fitted with Coach Phil Jarvis. Since then the whole story took a turn for the better. From the beginning Phil managed to fix a training plan which was functional for me in two ways: firstly it was totally structured and adjustable to my lifestyle and secondly it was as specific as could be according to my weaknesses and my strength. The technique adjustments were made step by step. The training load and intensity were intelligently applied, so that critical adaptations to take place, without an accumulation of fatigue or an occurrence of injury. Race planning and workouts in all three disciplines and in strength sessions were implemented through the Training Peaks application. After three months I can assure that my swimming has become more efficient and my running is more effective, but the biggest change has occurred in cycling, where I feel stronger than ever. Phil, as a bike expert, has upgraded my power and my aerobic capacity in biking. Except the numbers and the training data which have all clearly improved, Phil is always ready to get in touch, ready to discuss my workout’s feedback, ready to respond to my questions or my worries about anything in the sport. Phil proved to be an encouraging, patient, positive and optimistic coach and mostly motivational for such a demanding activity as triathlon.

Now, I’m looking forward to race at my second Olympic triathlon, more prepared and equipped than ever, having nothing to worry about, since my coach does half the job for me.

I am convinced that a great journey with Coach Phil Jarvis has begun which seems to be long, full of new higher goals and achievements.