Ask Coach Introducing Mark Yeoman


ASK COACH, INTRODUCING MARK YEOMAN

With the triathlon season about to kick off, we have linked up with Mark Yeoman, British Triathlon Coach and founder of Viceroys Triathlon club and mySMARTcoach.  Mark has represented Great Britain for the past 6 years and has won many races over all distances from sprint to Olympic. Whether you are looking to complete your first triathlon, overcome your apprehension of the open water or are looking for those marginal gains to help you get to the next level, Mark is here to help you all.


Mark, How Did You Get into Triathlon?

I have always had a passion for sport. As I grew up I played a lot of team sports and was fortunate enough to play for Harlequins and Richmond whilst at University. After a series of injuries, I needed a way to keep kit and release my energy stores. Living near Richmond Park, I was ideally placed to start running, so road running became my next focus. I completed four London Marathons with a PB of 3.03 – yes I know… oh so close. Around 2006 some friends were talking about taking part in some triathlons and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

My first season was very modest with the occasional session here and there, no formal structure or coaching but I had some strong results. So I decided to train over the follow winter and see what I could do. As my training improved, so did my performances to the point where I was winning my age group and somehow after an uncharacteristic panic attack in cold water, I qualified for the World Championships in Vancouver, Canada.

 

I was completely unaware that you could represent your country in triathlon. I was close to representing England for rugby and that always haunted me, but representing Great Britain killed those demons. Ever since then I have been able to pull on the GBR tri suit with pride. From that point onwards I’ve worked to the best of my potential and been fortunate enough to have won many races over the years based on a strong swim; bike combination. I love running don’t get me wrong, but I’m no whippet.

Why Did You Decide to Set Up Your Own Club and Become a Coach?

Viceroys was set up originally by a group of likeminded people in 2006 looking to train together and share their stories along the way. At the end of the first year through lack of direction the club faded away.

As my own personal results progressed over the next couple of years so did the questions from friends or people around me. So with that in mind I decided to restart Viceroys and provide people with a club to join to be proud of but wasn’t intimidating to join in. Clubs can put people off with the over competitive nature of a few, however Viceroys was designed to be warm and friendly and if you wanted to attend all the sessions to improve you could or if you simply wanted to meet up for a coffee and cake ride or chat down the lake after your swim then you could do that too. Zero stress.

 

Being a passionate PE teacher, coaching was a simple extension to what I was doing and I greatly enjoyed group coaching and tailor making specific, individual coaching programmes and helping people achieve their goals. I have around 30 – 40 athletes on my programme who are looking to either complete their first triathlon through to those wanting to improve or gain selection to represent their country.

 

Getting guidance through 1-2-1 sessions down at the lake for example or a training program is key to achieving those goals. It’s like having someone with you all the time and many of my athletes with call me or drop me an email about a forthcoming session, race or kit advice. Knowledge is about it being passed on and as a coach and experienced triathlete I see this as one of my key roles.

 

 

What Would you Say Have Been Your Best Achievements to Date?

Personally or as a coach? Well personally I’ve been fortunate enough to win a number of races. I’m not the fastest of runners, but can swim and bike well, so if I ever win it would be because I’ve turned myself inside out over the first two disciplines to give myself sometime to play with on the run. Winning the Olympic distance race at Windsor and then winning the sprint distance the following year would be up there. I’ve come 6th overall at two world championships having been in a medal position on the run. One day, one day.

 

As a coach I have no achievements, they all come from my athlete’s achievements and their own hard work. I simply show them the way and give them the confidence both mentally and physically to achieve their goals. Of course they will hate me at times when they are completing a nasty bike session, but it’s all money in the bank in terms of training. Every week someone will email or call to say how they did in a race and I’m always smiling for the rest of the day. 2015 was however a good year as I helped get 21 athletes selected for either the European or World Triathlon Championships.

 

 

Thanks Mark. Over the rest of the year Mark will be providing us with regular blogs to help you have the best season ever. If you have a question for Mark, tweet them to @CycleSurgery and we will regularly answer them in our ‘Ask Coach’ blog series.