CORE triathlon Ltd. Company No. 09717650

Tony Weeks (Coach)

Tony's sporting background consisted of running and mountain biking. Knee injuries and subsequent surgery really kickstarted his interest in cycling and swimming primarily as a means of re-hab. As fitness grew he 'learnt to run' again and the triathlon journey began with the local 7Oaks sprint triathlon.

 

Since then, whilst self coached, Tony has competed at all race distances, with multiple age group podiums/wins and top 5 placings. He has PB's of 9:31in the Iron distance and 4:20 in the half.

 

In 2015, he was the 2nd British finisher at the Ironman Frankfurt European Championships and earned a coveted slot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii (2015). He has raced in Kona twice, going under 10 hours on both occasions.

 

He currently has an Ironman Gold AWA ranking. In 2016 he represented Great Britain in the ITU Long Distance World Championships in Oklahoma, where he was the fastest GB male and won Bronze in his Age Group (10th overall age grouper). Tony has also represented GB at this distance at the World Championships every year since.

In 2017, Tony came 4th in his Age Group at IM Wales and won his 2nd slot to the IM World Champs.

 

Tony is currently a British Triathlon Federation qualified coach and the former head coach at the 7Oaks Junior Tri club.  He has been able to draw on his success as an age group triathlete when coaching others to achieve their goals and potential. Including coaching 2 further age groupers to Kona Qualification in 2018. 

 

 

Grant Baxter

An Age Grouper who got into Triathlon in 2014 as a means of finding a sporting outlet that could fit around his job. His sporting background consisted of running and soccer, of the lazy-dad variety. Repeated ankle injuries and a desire to push himself with an activity that he could continue to focus on during his extensive travels led him to triathlon. In November 2013 he bought his first racing bike. At the same time, with the coaching of Tony, he learned how to swim with his head underwater. His triathlon journey began with the local 7Oaks sprint triathlon in 2014, followed by several other local sprint races. He ended the 2014 season with the Olympic distance at Hever Castle.

 

Having seriously caught the bug, the training hours for 2015 were stepped up, including a long slow winter build period of low-heart-rate long-duration activities. The 2015 season marked the dreaded transition to the V40 category, and has included sprint, Olympic, and Half Ironman distance races. Sportives, and assorted running races also pad out the season, with the 30km lidingöloppet in Sweden marking the season end.

 

For the down season Grant will be focusing on dramatically improving his achilles heel: swimming. In 2016, an Ironman, a Half Iron, and several Olympic distances are the current plan, with a sub 40 minute 10km, and sub 90 minute half marathon additional non-triathlon targets.

Grant put in strong performance at the Marshman Half Iron Distance Triathlon in May, he finished 2nd in the mens 40-44 category with a P.B. of 5:01. In September he raced his first Ironman on the notoriously difficult Wales course, where despite illness leading up to the race week had a strong finish. 

Nicki Thompson

After having children Nicki became a keen recreational runner regularly running in local 10ks and half marathons.  She did her first sprint triathlon in Tunbridge Wells and although the run went well the swim and the bike were really challenging for her and almost put her off.  Unfortunately knee surgery in November 2012 meant that she had to consider lowering the running mileage and turn down her ballot place in the London Marathon.  The surgeon said to get a bike and the physio said don’t run more than 10k so Nicki decided to reconsider triathlon as a way of keeping fit.  As a personal trainer she is used to setting people goals and triathlon is a great way to set her own, and keep on setting them.  With Tony’s help Nicki had a promising return to sprint triathlon in 2014 with a 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd place in her age group and even making it into open water.   Having done a slightly longer charity triathlon (800m swim/32km bike/7.5km run) in July she is hoping to finish the 2015 season with her first Olympic distance.  Well it is still only a 10k run!

 

 

 

Angie Kitto

Angie has always been a keen runner, mostly running with groups of friends specifically 10k (pb 47.51) or fun runs (5k fun runs and colour runs). However most of her running was motivated by the amount of chocolate she'd eaten the previous day or was planning to eat the follow day, not at all lead by the need to push herself physically. 

Tony suggested varying the exercise program to train along side her husband who was planning on racing in his first triathlon. It seemed crazy at the time because all Angie could do was 'lady breaststroke' but with the help of Tony after just a few sessions 'proper' front crawl bilateral swimming was achieved. Later some sessions were with another lady to make it feel social and fun.

The bike was more of a challenge because other than a few family bike rides Angie hadn't been on a bike since the age of 10 when playing 'Chips' with her older brother. Tony encouraged a reluctant Angie to use cleats from the start as this has a massive advantage for the bike ride. The cleats have enable more speed for her bike leg keeping her left knee in line so she's suffered less injuries.

Her future goal will be Olympic distance triathlons and getting used to wetsuit swimming. 

Faye Weeks

The toughest of Tony’s clients, Faye is Tony’s wife and triathlon widow.  She has always enjoyed sport and the social aspect of it, predominately going to exercise classes at the gym.  Her only reason for exercising is so she can eat and drink and still have some energy to keep up with her husband, children and not put on too much weight (it's hard looking at Tony's muscles while gorging on crisps and cheese, glass of wine in hand!).

 

Faye is not like Tony, finding it hard to get out of bed and not enjoying exercising on her own.  Tony has had to adjust his style to someone who doesn't listen to him and tries to find any excuse to not do something.  So it is credit to him that Faye has completed three Sprint triathlons and was smiling all the way round.

 

Faye loves her bike and will be following a training programme over the autumn to increase her strength.  She is also hoping to master cleats to increase her power.  A slow and steady runner, Faye is focussing on increasing speed over short runs and endurance over longer runs in order to improve overall.

 

The challenge for Faye is swimming and whilst she has had a few lessons at her local gym from another coach, it is Tony with a breathing tip and relay sessions with their daughter who helped her realise she can crack this.

 

 

Val Place

Val has always been keen on sport and ran the london marathon 7 times in her 20's, gaining a pb of 3.31.

But it wasn't until she hit 40 and started doing some biathlons (breaststroke) and doing ok that she thought it was a good idea to learn to swim front crawl and buy a road bike and was encouraged by her son to take part in a triathlons. Moving on a few years and joining a local tri club val has competed in some amazing races all over the world 2011 coming 7th in her age group in the World champs in Beijing, 2012 it was New Zealand but this didn't go to plan as a Canadian crashed into her and was unable to finish the race.

But she picked herself up for the worlds in London and came a respectable 16th out of 112. 

A trip to Turkey and a Bronze medal in the European champs was a good surprise and another great trip.

Next was Estonia the 111 event   Another age group win with a new pair of trainers as a prize!

 

She was then reaching her 55th year and was being persuaded by her friends that if an ironman was in the plan then it would be a good time to do it ! So after a nice glass of wine she pressed the button - but this time not an exotic venue but Bolton uk. 

 

As a test she did Staffordshire half ironman again winning age group by 16 minutes. So after 6 months of building up the mileage and slowing down the running she tackled Ironman uk.

Standing on the start line pouring rain everything soaked and cold she wondered why she entered this!

12hours 38mins later running the red carpet with the biggest cheesy grin on her face She had done it! She also won her age group by 19 minutes and off to the amazing KONA.

 

10 weeks later Kona hot hot hot 40-45 degrees amazing day 12hours 44 12th in age group in the World!

AWA then ranked her as no 1 In the U.K.

Val Represented GB once again in Cozumel, Mexico in the ITU Olympic Distance, World Championships, where she finished 5th in her age group (she also finished 5th in the aquathlon).

Most of her training has been in the club environment with little structure - with the help of the COREtriathlon we believe Val can improve on her past successes. An age group win at Roth in 2017 and maybe bagging another Kona slot for 2018 are the main goals for her season.

 

 

Jude Hagger

Jude's first interest in triathlon was in 2014 having had 3 children and keen to get fit again. She had much interest in a variety of sport since a child. Her sporting background included mainly water skiing, school athletics, lacrosse and reaching professional level in Ballet. At 40 years old she enjoyed the buzz of her local running club but felt the need to get involved with additional sports. She was encouraged to give triathlon a go by her running club leader. Thank you Sarah:-) She remembers first buying cleats and being terrified of falling off her bike!

A local triathlon at Hever Castle late in 2013 was meant to have been her first race but a scary staph skin infection on her leg prevented her from taking part. However she watched the race and loved the buzz which made her want to enter the next possible race which was the local 7Oaks sprint triathlon the following Spring 2014.

In her first year of triathlon races, with the tremendous support from her local Triathlon Club and support from an online coach, Jude qualified at a race in Wales for the European Age Group team for Geneva 2015 at Olympic distance, followed by a qualification for the Worlds in Chicago that same year. A bit of a shocker she managed to puncture rather badly in her first Europeans race followed by an ankle injury just before her Worlds. This didn't discourage her and she then went on to qualifying for a further two European races at Olympic distance over the next two years. Her best Europeans result was at Lisbon 2016 achieving 9th in AG. 

Ready for a new challenge, Middle distance is her present favourite distance to race. With a 5th in AG at Weymouth 70.3 in 2016 and a 2nd female overall at the local Marshman middle distance race in 2017, Jude is now focusing on using Tony's expertise to further her determination to achieve top AG results at Middle distance and to training her for her first long distance race in 2018. 

 

 

Rob Barnes

Robin ‘the accidental triathlete’ Barnes joined CoreTri in 2017 after 10 years winging it, using no scientific analysis of training or structured goal-setting, favouring instead a combination of blind luck and jelly babies.  His race history is as random as his previous training programme, and went from a couple of local sprint triathlons (in an attempt to fend off middle-aged spread), straight to full Ironman (“because it sounded like a laugh, over a pint in the local”). 

 

Three IMs have been interspersed with a hotchpotch of sprints and IM 70.3s.  When ignorance and simple sugars came good, he managed a win at the Tonbridge Triathlon, podium spots and age group wins at 7Oaks and Hever, and he joined the GB age group team at the World Championships in Chicago in 2015.

 

Keen to take a more disciplined, smart-thinking and focused approach to his sporting efforts, Robin is now being coached by Tony Weeks, who brings a huge depth of knowledge and experience of triathlon, physiology and nutrition.

 

 

Matt Chipping

 

Matt's first foray into triathlon came in 2016 having left university where he had rowed to a very competitive standard. Transitioning to office life in London meant a move away from cold damp mornings on the river and the need for a new challenge.

2016 saw his first marathon and 2 middle distance triathlons, including a 3rd place at the Hever Gauntlet. 

It was only a matter of time before Matt stepped up to Iron distance racing and In 2017 he completed the UK Ultimate Distance triathlon in 9:53 before taking on a race that had captivated him since starting triathlon, Ironman Wales. 

A solid performance and a taste of the trademark Tenby atmoshpere left him hungry for more and he vowed to return to Wales in 2018 with one thing on his mind; Kona. 

Matt approached Tony in June 2018 keen to work with someone who had 'been there and done it' (2xKona Qualifier). Together they got to work on refining aspects of swim/bike/run technique and an effective strategy for the tough 25-29 Age Group. Good results followed over the summer culminating in 25th overall in Tenby and a Kona slot. 

The main goals for 2019 are the Castle Tri Series Bastion and a solid performance on the Big Island. 

As the summer of 2018 drew to a close Shaun made the decision to return to Triathlon after two years cycling specific racing. The time had come to take on the lifetime goal of a Long Course Triathlon. An experienced swimmer his major area of concern was the marathon run and nutrition which had been an issue in previous marathon events through the years. Fatefully as he was looking for a coach he heard Tony's TrainerRoad Podcast interview from Kona 2018. "I recommend anyone listen to that Podcast, it confirmed to me Tony's exceptional knowledge and SMART approach to training". 

 

Tony put together a 6 month program. Focusing on establishing base running endurance, nutritional strategy and keeping injuries at bay. He also looked to optimize Shaun's bike fit and set up. 

 

A PB at 70.3 Barcelona indicated that Shaun was on track as he took on Ironman Copenhagen in August 2019. Tony put together a detailed race plan and Shaun crossed the line in 9.55 hours, the pointy end of the field in his first Long Course Race.

Shaun Terry

As the summer of 2018 drew to a close Shaun made the decision to return to Triathlon after two years cycling specific racing. The time had come to take on the lifetime goal of a Long Course Triathlon. An experienced swimmer his major area of concern was the marathon run and nutrition which had been an issue in previous marathon events through the years. Fatefully as he was looking for a coach he heard Tony's TrainerRoad Podcast interview from Kona 2018. "I recommend anyone listen to that Podcast, it confirmed to me Tony's exceptional knowledge and SMART approach to training". 

 

Tony put together a 6 month program. Focusing on establishing base running endurance, nutritional strategy and keeping injuries at bay. He also looked to optimize Shaun's bike fit and set up. 

 

A PB at 70.3 Barcelona indicated that Shaun was on track as he took on Ironman Copenhagen in August 2019. Tony put together a detailed race plan and Shaun crossed the line in 9.55 hours, the pointy end of the field in his first Long Course Race.

Pip Whitby

Having grown up as a sporty kid mainly into games based activities lacrosse and netball being my main choices I feel like I caught the triathlon bug later in life. After a dabble with the sport back in 2004 with the London Triathlon I developed a pretty good habit of one or two races a year before injury took me out for a while. One too many ankle sprains gave me the incentive to give up playing competitive netball realising that a less twisty activity might keep me injury free.

I enjoyed racing at sprint distance for a few years and had some good results whilst also entering a few half marathons along the way. I vowed never to race longer than this – why would you want to?! Eventually I wondered how good I could be if I had a more structured (and probably harder) training programme to follow, this is where Tony came in. I bit the bullet and entered a half distance in the Cotswolds for August 2018 and Tony was responsible for all of the training in between. After some time I learnt to enjoy being on the turbo trainer and spent many more hours in the pool than I had before but I was super glad of this when race day came and I recorded a time of 5:35hrs. It turned out that this was enough to qualify me for the Aquabike World Championships the following May out in Pontevedra. Huge excitement followed and a fancy GB trisuit was purchased. My training wasn’t perfect with some time out following a head injury but I raced and I think I did well!

Fast forward to August where I travelled with Guy (husband) to Copenhagen for my first and his 6th Ironman distance race. It was great to be racing together again and he helped to keep me calm. My race prep from Tony was spot on, I felt fit and ready to go physically, if not rather nervous. I was so happy with all my times and I crossed the line for my first Ironman in 11:30 hrs.

All I have to do next is work out which race I’m aiming for next year, I’m not very decisive, it might take a while..……

Guy Whitby

"It was probably somewhere between watching the third and fourth bag of saline dripping into my arms after Ironman Frankfurt 2017 that I decided my approach to training could be better.

I wasn’t really sure how to change things, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to stick with racing Ironman but if I was going continue to make large time investments in the sport then I needed a new approach. Personally it was daunting approaching a high performance coaching group, especially when I reflected on my current ability but in reality with the supportive and friendly culture within the team there should never have been a concern.

Over my first two years with CORE I have learned an incredible amount about periodised training for endurance events, preparing for racing and how to implement the hundreds of elements on race day, I have seen dramatic improvements in my race performance too. Initially when I first jumped into this sport I was a ‘completer’, I probably considered myself as a 'one and done’ athlete for Ironman but since my time with CORE my ambition and goals have completely changed and definitely more than ‘just don’t end up in intensive care again’… Now the front of the field looks a lot closer!

The CORE training programme has cut out all of the junk miles from my training so every session provides benefit, I am confident that my fatigue and fitness are being monitored so that my short term activities don’t negatively impact my long term goals. I love the quality above volume philosophy that CORE brings, which for me has made it easier to totally immerse myself and commit to the sport - to jump in knowing that you aren’t committing yourself to 20+ hour weeks is a relief

I’m excited about the next year and know exactly where I need to improve, this I know will be incorporated into my plan and I know I will have the knowledge and support from the CORE team to work towards my goals."

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