Athlete : Andrew Turnball - UK


So, zero to hero in one year. First start with buying an entry ticket to Ironman Austria with no previous triathlon experience and give yourself a year to learn everything before you get there…sounds straight forward, it is, and with a lot of time, pain, family upset, injury, guess work research, reading, guess work, usual job commitments oh and did I mention time, if you are committed you may get there and do it, and yes it may be the most rewarding thing you have ever done, but will you look forward to the next and the next,  with all the health benefits, personal goaLs, achievements, travel opportunities etc.…probably NOT!!


Or at least that is how I felt before someone suggested taking the thinking, learning, planning and time management part away. This is where I was introduced to Phil and has without a doubt changed everything. It turned that first year on its head. He has explained everything required and been honest from the outset, In return I have been honest with him(with regard to how much time I can achieve realistically and my goals both short and long term) but at the same time LIFE does get in the way which he understands and is compassionate towards (he has a life himself!!).The fact is Phil takes all the other things that make achieving your goals out of the equation, he plans my program, he manages my events leading up to it, he explains why I am doing it, he breaks it down to the basics, he sets me targets, and not ridiculous ones I am never going to achieve, so in the background he builds a mental resilience into your program to make you a stronger person, and shows me through the testing process (which is fantastic!!) how I am developing as an athlete, and yes I do use that word athlete now as I feel that way due to the way I train under a coach, but most important to me is all at the same time balancing my day to day personal life with it…how…the thought is removed all I have to do is follow what he gives me to do which is STRUCTURED-around my lifestyle, TIMELY-within my restraints and SIMPLE TO FOLLOW-so I am not confused, he has already done the hard work and continues to do it now, typing this I know in 2 hours I am at the pool, I knew that 3 days ago, I knew what set I was doing and how long it should take and why I was doing it.


I can only say that for the past three months I have trained with/under Phil and I have changed, and not just a little, I’m fitter and stronger and I know it and I can go and prove it any day of the week but at the same time I’m not fatigued, I feel mentally stronger as the training is structured and forecasted and achievable based on FACT of what my body can do at any particular time, I’ve lost fat and not weight and I understand more about my body, my training and what I am doing now and where I am going to that I could have even conceived a year ago.


One regret…hindsight is a great thing, I tipped up for Austria full IM, in as good a shape as I thought I was in, hammered myself around the unknown in 12 hours and 6 minutes, If I did that course again right now, off season I would be faster, and that would be down to Phil and the way in which he delivers a training package, not just a programme, you can get that anywhere off the internet. I go to Nice in June and I already know I have finished the course and I know I will be in the best possible shape I can be, but I don’t have to worry about that Phil does, all I have to do is turn up on the start line and do it!

Captain Andrew Turnball (Parachute Regiment)