We arrived in Brisbane in 2012; with me a frustrated triathlete having just turned down a Kona spot.
I was looking for a “real” Aussie coach to help me improve and do it again; lucky for me I met Mark Turner and 4 years later looking at the list below I can safely say we smashed it!
2 Kona qualifications with a sub 10 hour finish on the big island
Ironman and 70.3 podium finishes
3rd in my age group in the Australian long distance championships in 2015 and 20th in my age group at the 70.3 worlds on the Sunshine Coast in 2016
Plus PBs at Olympic, half and full iron distance
It has been a great athlete/coach partnership because of the following:
Honesty – Mark says it like it is, so if something isn’t likely to work it gets binned.
Understanding real life – Mark knows triathlon, whilst important, comes behind family and work in the list of priorities.
Flexibility – with a young family and hectic work schedule, Mark managed to find a training plan that worked
Listening – plenty of feedback both ways is essential to make the partnership work.
It is a shame to be leaving Australia and Mark’s coaching care – however I came looking for a real Aussie coach and am leaving having made a real Aussie mate!
Thanks Mate I’ve had a blast!
I joined Tri Nation Triathlon Club (my 5th club in 16 years of the sport) and went on a program with Mark Turner, May 2016 because I was ready to give up triathlon and endurance sports due to injury and confidence. I have a really busy schedule working full time as a primary school teacher, being a single dad and also working as a commentator over half the weekends of the year.
Mark Turner, the head coach has been the most understanding and patient coach instilling confidence back in myself. At the start it took six weeks until my body was able to train back to back days as I had an existing Achilles injury (I had it for 8 months prior to joining Mark).
Mark’s focus was just to get me into a routine and working off heart rate. Sounds simple but without the encouragement from Mark and the constant contact I would have given up in those early stages.
After missing a whole season due to injury I got back onto the start line in an Olympic distance race and had a ball. I have never felt so strong in a race. On the weekend I competed in my first long course triathlon since 2013. In all of my previous long course attempts I have had terrible cramping issues, dehydration, vomiting, 2x DNF’s and even lost my vision.
By trusting the race plan developed with Mark I finished 4th in my age group and felt unreal the whole race. I have never even been inside the top 10 nor competitive in a long course event and was only out there to follow a plan not actually race. Going into a race knowing your coach has your back the way I know Mark has mine means the world to me.
What I respect most about Mark is that when I had a goal to race in Ironman NZ this year we had a meeting 16 weeks out and he was honest in saying we should look to 2018 instead. I agreed as my body wasn’t ready. Every other coach I have ever had would have still pushed me to that race even with a broken and not ready body.
I recommend talking to Mark at Tri Nation if you are an athlete who is time poor and needs that support to help you meet a goal. The squad is friendly and no one has an ego. The coaching team is very professional and I love their willingness to learn and adapt to feedback.
Thank you Mark Turner and I look forward to the road to Ironman in 2018 with you as part of my crew.
I had always admired triathletes and would say that I wanted to participate in triathlon but the thought of riding a bike with such skinny tyres seemed far too scary, not to mention the fact I couldn’t swim (…I barely scrapped through my bronze medallion).
It wasn’t until I ran for a team at Mooloolaba Tri in 2015 that I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to be back there competing as an individual. At this point I was focused on running with the Melbourne marathon being the next goal…I got there and just managed a PB after nursing an injury through training and into the race. So the idea of “triathlon training” also seemed sensible to mix things up and avoid running myself into the ground.
Resorting to trusty google I searched “triathlon clubs” and found Tri Nation who offered a beginners course with the next one starting in September of that year. So I signed up and bought a bike…only a road bike, I mean I didn’t know what a TT bike was or why I would need one. The bike shop “fitted me” with my first question being “how do I clip the shoes in?”…about half-a-dozen falls from a standing start later and I think I’ve got it now!
The 6 week Tri Nation beginner’s course was such an awesome introduction to triathlon – about 12 of us, no egos, understanding and patient coaches, and then a welcoming transition into the club and squad training on completion.
It should be mentioned that this all came at a very welcomed time in my life. I had never loved living in Brisbane and only being on contract with work at the time meant I didn’t have any real ties to Brisbane and was seriously considering moving. Joining Tri Nation was essentially the reason I stayed – the most amazing triathlon family. And to also quote a fellow Tri Nation member who recently said “Tri Nation somehow have turned an individual sport in to one of the greatest Teams going around” So true!! #triathlonisateamsport
When I say I admired triathletes it was/is Ironman that I held in highest regard so I decided early on (before having done an Olympic distance or 70.3) that I was going to do Cairns Ironman. I bought flights, eventually registered and well obviously bought a (Felt) TT bike – another humorous encounter at a bike shop: me having never even heard of Felt before “ill take it”, bike shop guy “umm I think you think about it”, next morning: me “ill take it” ?
Now: love my bike, love cycling.
So from here Tri Nation head coach Mark Turner (who takes several of the squad sessions) suggested we work together. Having never had anything more than your club level basketball coach, I really had no idea what this would mean. But I can certainly tell you now.
Mark has been one of the most influential people in my life of late and needless to say I’ve never been happier. As a coach (and in a little over a year) he has taken me from a beginner triathlete to podium finishes at all Triathlon distances and an Ironman World Championship. Working around my full time work schedule that often includes weekend and on call work, insisting on some sort of a social life and forever checking in on how I’m holding up mentally and physically. In saying that it has been a balanced approach in that Mark has been very conscious of the fact I am new to the sport- Ironman specifically and no matter how much I pester him to give me more he keeps it restrained and reminds me about our long term goals. I should point out that despite the pestering, I have the utmost faith and confidence in Mark. With his guidance and belief I have come to believe that anything is possible