About Peter – PB3 Head Coach

Some of Peters’ Coaching and Personal Tri Stats

Coaching:

  • Coached 12 National Champions
  • Coached Irish Ironman record holder and various age group winners
  • Numerous World and European age group champions and medalists
  • 4 top 8 placings in 70.3 races
  • 2 top 12 Ironman finishes
  • PB3 athletes won 12 National Series races in 2010 alone, and another 12 or so 2nd places

Personal:

  • Is the Irish resident Ironman record holder
  • Ironman PB: 8.52h, 2005 at the Roth Challenger
  • 12th placing at Ironman Arizona 2005 after having just cycled solo through Australia, New Zealand and Western USA
  • 11th place in Ironman Malaysia 2008, having trained in Morocco
  • Fastest splits for Ironman distance: Swim 52min, Bike 4.47h, Run 3.10h
  • PB for Olympic distance: 1.57h, done during Ironman preparation for Ironman Australia 2004, after a 170 km bike ride and 10 km cycle the day before!
  • Cycled solo around the world twice, crossing some of the most isolated areas in the world
  • First cyclist ever on the 6176m (20252 feet) high Aucanquilcha Mountain, in the Chilean Atacama Desert, apparently still one of the highest places cyclists have ever reached. Cycled solo up a dried out riverbed!
  • Rode 7500 km (150+km avg.) in less than 7 weeks with a fully loaded touring bike through the Alps, Massif Centrale and to the Pyrenees and back

Frequently Asked Questions – what people ask Peter the most!

How did you get into coaching?

I started coaching in 2005 having been asked by an athlete to help out after a bad season – two years later Katherine O’ Hara had an Amateur World Duathlon Championship title, an 11th and 12th place overall at Ironman Lanzarotte and a top 8 placing at Powerman Zofingen. Many athletes I have coached have since followed Katherine’s example.

Since one day in particular, I have felt far more satisfied helping my athletes to achieve their very best, rather than doing triathlons myself. This day was my proudest moment in the sport, where I managed to get to Km 36 at Ironman Malaysia 2006 with a fractured rib and 6 stitches in my leg, after an accident 3 days prior. I had to retire at 7th position, as I would have caused long term damage to my body had I carried on, but regardless of that I had nothing left to give! Despite not finishing, I had achieved what my triathlon quest was about: to find out where my absolute limit and pain barrier was. Achieving our absolute personal best is what makes this sport wonderful – I want to help athletes to achieve that.

What do you think are the most important aspects of coaching?

Bad coaches always seem to know everything, while good coaches have a constant thought process. One of my main coaching mantras is to always be open to learning more – I apply this to my coaching, as well as to those I coach.

The passion I have for coaching and the sport itself fuels everything I do. Following passion, knowledge is key to coaching – I’m constantly absorbing facts and anecdotal evidence as much as possible, and I undertake a lot of work in trial and error experiments. I have also had the privilege of being able to look over the shoulders of some of the best. While I believe more in the Suttonian way of coaching, I have learned a lot from Chris Jones, who is without doubt a true world class coach and one of the top managers in triathlon.

It is fair to say helping athletes to achieve a new level of success is what I enjoy most, and thrive on. Equally nothing frustrates me more when athletes don’t use their full potential. As a starting point, I have a very strong belief that no gear or scientific development will ever substitute for hard work. Passion and a feeling for your own body, mixed with a strong mind – that’s the essence of the sport which is paramount in my coaching. For example, not a single 2010 world or European female champion, in any distance, focused their training on power devices. When you look into the top athletes’ faces as they race, you see what is really needed to succeed.

What coaching style do you adopt?

I have a slightly unorthodox coaching style, so expect the unexpected. Overall I believe that you pay me for good overall decisions and new PBs rather than just a cut and paste program that may look really professional but has no value, as it doesn’t address individual issues. The way I work is time consuming as I look at body, mind and spirit as a coach, not just the body. I judge my work on two main aspects: improvement, and how I can get the athlete to improve more in the long term. I am a results driven coach, not a lifestyle feel-good factor coach.

I have experimented with many different training approaches and understand that there is no one formula to success, as many coaches may have you believe. There are always pros and cons to each system. An improvement in one aspect of training can often lead to a deterioration on the other, and what works for one need not necessarily work for the other. My role is to try to find what works best for you!

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