Live London Triathlon Training - with Ralph Hydes

See how triathlon coach Ralph Hydes advises two newbies about their build-up to the 2006 London Triathlon. And follow elite triathlete Dave Aitchison in his final weeks of preparation

Posted: 28 June 2006

If you want to get the most out of your final few weeks of triathlon training, this section is for you. With the help of the organisers of the Michelob Ultra London Triathlon, we've found three athletes of different abilities and backgrounds competing in this year's race.

To help them achieve their targets, triathlon coach Ralph Hydes will be offering them advice and tips on the Runner's World forums. (There's more about Ralph below.)

His advice to them will work for you, too - and you're welcome to join the forum thread and ask for clarification if you don't understand something Ralph says. The aim: to help people get the most out of their final few weeks of training and to arrive on race day in their best possible shape.

(Small print: Ralph may not be able to answer questions from all comers if the thread becomes busy, so please don't be upset if he can't answer something you ask.)

Follow the progress of the forum three

Barry Arnold: Age: 31
PBs: supersprint triathlon 56.35
Targets sub 2:30 Olympic triathlon 1500m, 40k, 10k), compete in an Ironman 2007
Read more
Dave Aitchison: Age: 28
PBs: Supersprint triathlon (400m, 20k, 5k): 54:33 Olympic triathlon: 1hr 59:10
Target: Olympic tri: 1hr 57 Top 30 at World Age Group Championships
Read more
Natalie Creswick: Age: 25
PBs: 10K 46.34 mins
Targets: sprint distance in 1:40
Read more

About Ralph

Ralph is a freelance personal trainer and triathlon coach. He has been involved in triathlon and duathlon for the past seven years and has competed in triathlons and duathlons both nationally and internationally. Prior to triathlon, Ralph was a keen runner and competed at all levels as a schoolboy both on the track and cross-country. Now as well as being a personal trainer Ralph trains many triathletes and has successfully helped seven novices to international age-group standard. One of his longer standing clients is Sir Rocco Forte, who has come 11th in the world triathlon championships for the Olympic distance and second for his age group in the Austria Ironman last year.

Ralph strongly believes in looking at the whole picture for each individual. He not only helps to develop their specific goals but also working with heart rate, can design training programmes to fulfil each individual’s goals whilst fitting it in with their lifestyles. Ralph also gives expert advice on equipment and nutrition.

The London Triathlon's Gold Ambassador scheme aims to recruit MD’s, CEO’s and other top businessmen and women to compete at London Triathlon. In addition to the challenge of the London Triathlon the Gold Ambassadors also pledge to raise money for the London Triathlon charities. They have Ralph as their coach and guide to help prepare them for their best performances. If you are interested in taking part in this scheme for next year, please email Ralph.

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Discuss this article

If you're racing the Michelob Ultra London Triathlon on August 5 or 6, we hope you'll enjoy this thread.

Tri coach Ralph Hydes will be steering two newcomers through their final five weeks' training right here, and a national-level triathlete will be sharing his countdown.

Please join in - feel free to ask questions or add comments, especially if you're training for the London Triathlon, too. (If it gets busy, Ralph may not be always be able to reply, as he's doing this out of goodwill.)

Here's a summary of our three hopefuls - you can find out more about them and Ralph in this article.

Barry Arnold, 31, is racing the Olympic distance at the London Triathlon, and only decided to get fit in the New Year. He started swimming in April and bought a bike at the same time. He's raced one supersprint triathon in practice (56:35) and tackles his first 10K on July 14. He'd like to race sub-2:30 at the London Tri and carry on for an Ironman in 2007. One of Barry's main questions for Ralph is how to stop training flat-out all the time; he hasn't really got the hang of structured training.

Natalie Creswick, 25, will tackle the sprint distance at the London Triathlon: her first tri. She used to row for her university, but has trained little since 2004. He current training includes a weekly running time trial with a local triathlon club, but she'd very much like Ralph to help to improve her swimming. She's also never followed a structured schedule before.

Dave Aitchison has an Olympic-distance PB of 1:59:10, and only took up triathlon in 2005. He was selected last year for the London Triathlon Academy - a grass-roots programme to encourage UK triathletes to international level - and is now coached by ex-GB Olympic triathlon team coach Bill Black. He won his age-group at the GB team qualifying race in mid-June and has just come 10th overall at the national championships. "It's all going way better than I ever dreamed this year," he says.

Welcome, all three of you - and good luck!

Sean, RW
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:02

'scuse me Mr Fishpoo -

how old's this whizzy chap Dave, then?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:06

Sign Barry up for Austria.....

most important question though is...

Will they be wearing pirate kit in the race?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:09

he's a youthful 28...
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:10


I was hoping there would be at least one of them in the most heavily subscribed age group...

Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:11

Dave currently traings 9 times per week....Think some of the IM peeps could learn from that!

Barry - Needs a new swim set 15X 100 - yawn.

All look pretty fit though, so no possible DNFs unless there's a mechanical issue.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:13

I s'pose might have been more interesting from the existing RW tri'ers perspective if one of them had been someone who actually posts on here but I am sure we wish them well.

And very good pb from someone who only started in 2005.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:19

So who can lend them pirate kit?

RW Dan obviously.
We need two more sets. Yellow is the only colour to be seen in ;~)
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 10:21

my kit would be too big for those skinny whippets..........

hey Pishfool - choose proper age-groupers - those in the 50+'s harder as you get older and we need more exposure....................

and - don't forget the Clydesdales.........

in fact what about a write up on the M50-54 Clydesale over 220lb category............

Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:04

Hmmmm who on Earth would fit that category?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:06


Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:08

Me in 29 years
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:08

more to the point, who in that category would fit in an average sized lake?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:11


[throws Gumps a calculator........]
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:11

gook luck RW peeps.
can we get JJ on the team next year?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:16

Do you think they've been warned to leave it at least 60 posts before trying to write anything sensible?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:16

I reckon so

although they must be used to having the piss ripped out of any article they write now..............

especially ones about triathlon in this month's RW - hot on the heels of one a few months ago...........

"Dear RW

It has come to my attention that you have started including articles on this new fangled sport called Triathlon in you esteemed running magazine. Please desist or I shall be forced to buy Running Weakly.


Angry "sponsor me to walk a marathon" of Tunbridge Wells"
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:22

I am also not sure these people are fully representative of the triathlon community which is a shame. It's a very inclusive sport but focussing on people within a small age band and all at relatively high levels of performance already is bound to put some people off. I sincerely hope it does not.

I would be interested to hear more about the selection process and whther they were clients of the trainer already?

Anyway it's good to see RW going a bit Tri, but it should also reflect it's readership.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:22

<settles down on the sofa with a beer, waiting to find out how to reduce his oly time from 2:57 to 1:57>
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:36

What about picking someone without a 6 pack! Or is the primary selector photographic asthetics?

I to would like to see someone that actually posts and is known on the forum selected for one of these marathon or tri improvement programmes. Somone thats a bit more beginner than the '3' elites chosen for the tri training article.

Whatever my thoughts I do wish the 3 of them all the best and will follow their training with a keen interest.

Oh and im doing London Olympic Tri so wo-betide any of them that get beaten by a lard assed chain smoker ;o)
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:37

no chance of that then Barley eh??
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:38

Is that "beaten by" or "beaten up by"? I hear it gets pretty rough in the swim.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:42

I thought you gave up smokin Barley?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 13:57

naw, he gave up giving up but just didn't publise it. I'm soooo disappointed and his ass will be well kicked and his fags confiscated in Frankfurt!
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 14:11


I read the 'only decided to get fit in the New Year' and thought I'd be clicking to see a lard-arse but I was sorely disappointed to find someone who has an athletic background.
So no one I can compare myself to :o(
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 14:27

Bring on the lard-asses Spanna & Firestar for RW Ironman training with coach Gordo & Barley thread 2007.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:27

Florida here we cum
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:28

lard asses?

or 'ard lasses?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:28

I say - that was really rather good.
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:28

or 'ard lasses with lard asses?

sorry thats hello
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:29

I prefer the 'ard lasses, but I think everyone knows that's just not true...
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:31

Its quite definately not true (17 posts till we have to be sensible?..... nah)
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 15:34

It would be nice to see an article on someone who is crap for a change. Make me feel less alone ;o)
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:10

me me me !!!!!
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:11

Are the people going to post on here or are they out rraining......

which incidentally is where barley should be
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:13

I *hope* they're going to post on here soon... Meanwhile, watch this space for some more forumite-focussed coaching ideas
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:33

Hurrah! I vote for following two female in their quest to conquer the ripples.

Rutland Ripples at the Vitruvian that is
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:40

you best not be talking about me and Spanna again ;o)
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:45

Why not?
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:48

cause we are the shy retiring type couldn't you tell? Actually, I'd quite like to be famous.

[[stands a bit taller and sticks chest out]]
Posted: 04/07/2006 at 19:49

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