TRI FITNESS - Latest from Russ Smith and Paul De Garis

What have I learnt from my exposure to the best in British Triathlon…?


As some of you may or may not know, Russ Smith co-owner and director of TRI Fitness has been completing his British Triathlon Level 3 Coaching Certificate at Loughborough University over the past 4 months.  With 8 months of work still to complete, he felt that it was time to share some key information with the club.  Information that at this time of year is invaluable to putting in a good performance in not just 1 or 2 races, but the whole season.  Here’s what Russ has to say so far:


“Since my Level 3 coaching certificate started in September 2013, I have had exposure to some of the best coaches and athletes in triathlon at the moment.


The course has been all about developing ourselves as coaches but most importantly developing the athletes we work with and how best we can maximise the training time we all have available with our athletes.


I have heard the same 4 key words keep cropping up after every key note session and these are  the essential ingredients of a good season:




ENVIRONMENT:  Create the right environment to train in, don’t rush your sessions.  If you are training, train with a goal in mind and focus on a goal specific to each session.  This will allow you to be in the right environment/ the right zone for your training sessions.


PLANNING:  Know why you are training, know what you are training for.  Break down your big goal into mini sub goals that will allow you to note your progress as your head through the season.  Plan your sessions out in advance so that you are not just making it up as you go along.   Ensure that the type of training you are completing is relevant to the right time of year.  i.e. do you really need to be training at race pace at this time of year when you are trying to build speed??  Having a phased specific plan in place will be gold dust to the structure of your training!


CONSISTENCY:  Think of your training as building a brick wall! Every time you complete a session including active recovery session and planned days off, give yourself a brick! How much of that wall did you build this week??


I completed 5 out of 7 last week, not bad, not brilliant, but will be aiming for at least 6 every week from now on!! And will that wall build over the next few months?? I hope so!!


Consider 3 mini walls in the big wall, so a Swim, Bike , Run wall and you can see which wall is  growing faster!! Simple but effective!


COMMUNICATION:  With your coach, your family, your training partners and yourself! Keep your family in the loop but make sure triathlon is not just becoming your whole life,  it’s been done! Keep talking to your coach, he/she will only know how to move you forward when you are honest about how you feel your training/ racing is going! How are the rest of your training buddies feeling/ training, don’t be afraid to share the information on how you are training! And talk to your self, analyse how you are doing, are you training in the right zones.  One simple question to ask yourself,  am I progressing??

Finally some key information from the best guys in the business at the moment! We had a fantastic weekend working with Ben Bright, Head Performance Coach, British Triathlon Men’s Elite Squad, his top 3 as follows: 


1)  Strength  & Conditioning is a MUST!! This doesn’t mean going to the gym and hitting the treadmill for a run set! This means getting in the gym and completing S&C training specific for Swim, Bike & Run.  This is to completed throughout the season as well.  Ideally twice a week through the off season and then down to once a week through the racing season. 


2)  Good Clean Nutrition will prevent illness, support the recovery process if you become injured and support your training plan no end!


3)  Finally and most importantly, do the basics right and as an age group athlete you are 95% of the way there! When asked what were the basics? He replied  with the following:




KNOWING HOW TO TRAIN WHEN WHICH IS VERY SIMPLE, there is no secret formula to this!


So in a nutshell, that’s it! As members of Guernsey Triathlon Club, both Russ Smith and Paul De Garis, owners of TRI Fitness and The TRI Fitness Factory are more than happy for you to pop into our new hub and sink a coffee to discuss your training plans for 2014.


Alternatively, if you want to take the pressure off yourself, and join the TRI Fitness Triathlon Training Squad, just email 


You can join the squad starting January, receive a full 7 day training plan specific to your racing calendar, be part of the 20 man squad receiving formal coaching twice a week with group rides and training at weekends.


You training plan will cover Strength & Conditioning training, coaching in all disciplines and progressive you through the season.


Triathlon coaching with TRI Fitness starts from as little as £39 per month


For more information, just visit the website or email for more information or advice.


Wishing you a Fantastic Christmas and a great 2014.


Russ Smith & Paul De Garis



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