Individual Coaching Testimonials

“I have been training with Gareth for just under a year now. When I first approached him to coach, I was struggling to get some structure and focus in my training and felt at a loss of what I really needed to do to achieve my goals and push to that next level I wanted. Gareth has delivered a solid structure with focus to my training plan, with adaptation to suit circumstances. I have found he has been innovative with training sessions and with solutions to issues I have come across with my training. We have been able to work together on a number of areas to improve on technique in the areas I was weak in and also identify an approach to tackle events I have highlighted I would like to participate in.

Ultimately without him I would not have reached my goals and have had the confidence to push them even further next year. Most of all it has been fun to train.” Andy Donnelly 

"Around 14 months ago, I didn't like putting my face in the water, or going in the deep end never mind a length of front crawl. I joined the group coaching sessions which helped me overcome my fears and I started to learn how to front crawl, but I didn't enjoy swimming, because I felt I couldn't do it and felt frustrated with my own lack of progress so I'd avoid going and skip sessions.

I managed to get through my first triathlon season, doing a variety of pool, open water, and even a sea swim race, but my finish time was always hampered by a poor start with the swim. 

I knew if I was to improve next year, and complete my first half outlaw distance in a respectable time I would need to do something about it and approached Gareth.

We talked through my goals and discussed what was needed (the technique being the main focus) and agreed an initial twelve week plan.

I've got to admit at week 3 I was thinking it was pointless and I was wasting Gareth's time – I was certainly still not 'enjoying' swimming, but we kept going and with the three personalised swim plans a week and regular catch ups, and motivational chats and texts in between, I changed my training week around to accommodate and 'made' myself go swimming regularly and I started to realise it didn't feel so bad, in fact I think I was starting to enjoy it and I didn't need to 'make' myself swim, which is a major improvement itself!

With the regular technique based drills and review sessions with Gareth, I've learned to recognise when my stroke is not right or slipping back in to old habits and can now self correct. 

A long way to go, but have come such a long way already, and I'm confident in the knowledge, with Gareth's coaching and support I am going to have a great Half Outlaw race and some brilliant PBs for my 2017 season." Debb Howcroft

Swim Coaching Testimonials

“After your advice about my stroke last week I swam 400m in training today 35 seconds faster than I have ever done the distance – even racing sprint. I won national age group title for standard distance last year, but the woman who came second exited the water six minutes before me. Thank you loads. You've given me the confidence to think I can get a much better swim time.” Trish Mellor

“Hi Gareth, just wanted to tell you that I went swimming this morning to practice what you suggested on Thursday. I'm totally ecstatic! I think part of it was technique and part in my head! Many thanks for your help and looking forwards to Thursday again.” Kathy Clark

“This morning I did a 400m time trial. Late last year I posted a 6.55. Today I managed a 6.32! To say I’m happy with that would be an understatement. Massive thanks has to go to Gareth Allen and Zoe Smith for all their coaching.” Simon Moffat

“Thanks Gareth, have to say you have taught me so much in the last 6 months and, on the plus side, I'm still really enjoying it and can see there's still loads of areas I can work and improve on.” Karen Bates

Lucy Burn

“I am buzzing. I said I wanted a swim of 35 minutes in the Outlaw Half today… my actual swim time was 33.56!!! I am over the moon. Thank you so much for all your coaching. You guys are amazing!” Lucy Burn

Group Training Testimonials

“There was a great mix of practical and theory, ample opportunity to practice the skills and support offered in a way where you felt safe to try something new without fear of ridicule! I've gained so much confidence during these sessions, it's been so much fun too. You're a good un.” Sarah Hennessy

“It really was a worthwhile series to be involved in. It was a good mix of theory and practical. You kept us thinking and moving.” Rachel Lodge

“It was marvellous Gareth – lots of learning and you made it fun too. Thank you so much.” Fiona Fylan

Coaching sessions with Gareth and Zoe are always delivered in a meaningful, challenging and a safe way. Their professionalism and personalities make their sessions non-threatening and fun. I look forward to their sessions as I have no doubt they have improved my skills and techniques as a person finding their way around triathlon.” Martin Brown

“Great sessions. Very helpful, so big shout out to Gareth!” Hollie Latham

Camp Woburn Testimonials

“I have had an absolute blast this weekend. I had no idea what to expect at Camp Woburn but what I have achieved personally over the past two days goes far beyond anything I ever thought possible. Thanks Gareth and Zoe for your patience and expert tutelage. Thanks to Pam for the amazing food fuel, and to all the other participants, what a laugh we had. Would I do it all again? Without a doubt, yes.” Karen Bates

“Had an amazing weekend at Camp Woburn up in the North Yorkshire Moors. Gareth had planned an action packed weekend which pushed each of us whilst ensuring we never felt out of our depth. Both he and Zoe did a great job coaching us through the various conditioning, running, cycling and swimming sets, encouraging us to push hard with their usual patience and sense of fun. The theory sessions were also a great opportunity to think through our goals for the coming year and think about the emotional and mindful approaches to triathlon training.

The cottage was absolutely beautiful and we were spoilt rotten by Pam who always had tasty lunches and filling dinners waiting for us when we came in from our exertions – the delicious smells of her cooking was such a lovely welcome back after a hard session.

I really feel like I’ve pushed myself to my limits this weekend, but alongside all the aching muscles and heavy legs has been an abundance of laughs with the lovely lot who were fellow guinea pigs in this first Camp Woburn experience.

If you ever get the opportunity to take part in Camp Woburn, then take the opportunity with open arms. You’ll love it.” Sarah Hennessy

“Had a great weekend at Camp Woburn. Thanks Gareth for a very well organised swim, bike and run with savage hills and of course the trail run which, for me, was the icing on the cake. Thanks Pam for being mother and feeding us top nosh. Thanks Zoe for the one to one swim coaching. That helped a lot, and last thanks to everyone for support on the training and having the craic on the down time.” John Hennessy

“If you ever get a chance to go to Camp Woburn, I can’t recommend it enough. We have had an amazing weekend exercising, cycling up lots of hills, running up lots of hills, swimming and fell running, after which we were fed top notch food and drink with great company. Thank you, Gareth, Zoe and Pam. Not stopped laughing all weekend.” Bev Dumont

Public Speaking Testimonials

"I first heard Gareth speak at the Health Libraries Group conference in September 2016. His talk was one of the highlights of the conference for me. When we wanted a speaker for our NHS Library Study Day he was suggested by a member of the organising committee who had also heard him speak and we were all thrilled when he was able to attend.

From the point of view of someone organising an event it makes your life so much easier if the person coming to speak is responsive to your communications, undertakes to gain an understanding of the audience and works with you, all of which Gareth did.  Most importantly he is a wonderful, engaging and authentic speaker.  He spoke to us about the links between mental health and exercise. His talk was quite hard hitting in places as he openly shares his own experiences of depression and those of some of the individuals he has worked with. These stories brought home to all of us that mental illness really is something that can happen to any of us at any time. He makes it clear that he is not advocating forcing people into anything and that exercise on its own will not cure people. Rather he demonstrates the role exercise can play in helping some people with certain illnesses work towards recovery when used alongside other treatments and interventions.

I hope that I get the opportunity to work with Gareth again. I have no hesitation in recommending him to other event organisers who want a speaker who will connect with their audience and leave them feeling both thoughtful and inspired." Gil Young

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