Who are you, what is your main goal and why did you decide to have a coach?
I’m Jeremy (Jez) Kirby, and I live in Worcestershire. I used to compete in triathlons as a teenager, and got back into the sport about 7 years ago after a gap of 20+ years. In 2019, with a big birthday looming the following year, I decided to have a go at qualifying for the Great Britain Age Group Team. I managed to do that, but Covid prevented me from competing in the GB kit in 2020 or 2021. Wanting to do the best I could in the European & World Championships I decided to take on a coach
What do you value about the coaching that you that you didn’t have before - and how is it going so far?
The best bit is not having to stress over training I should be doing. With limited time, how do you balance swimming, biking and running and recovery? I love being able to look at the plan to see what’s coming up over the next few days, and then to go out and do it. Training is proving to be much less stressful this way
What was the most difficult thing to get used to when you started the coaching process - and how do you feel about it now?
That hardest part was letting go, and leaving all the stress about what training I should be doing to someone else! You have to trust Ali and trust the process, and ignore all the conflicting information out there in magazines and social media articles. You also need to be less concerned with devices and data, and more focused on your level of effort
How does the coaching fit in with your lifestyle – and do you have a lot to balance in your life?
The great thing about being coached is that you tell Ali when you’re available, and what you can do, and he’ll sort the plan out for you. I tend to do a lot of my activities early in the morning, and the plan is based around the time I have. I’ve got a challenging job and three children, so it’s always a careful balance. If I can’t do a session for whatever reason, it's not a problem, and Ali makes sure you don’t beat yourself up over it
What are the main things you have learnt in you time as a coached athlete with Ali?
I’ve learned that I’m training for triathlon, and not three individual sports – there’s a big difference. Additionally, my swim has improved through coached sessions, and this was always the strongest area
Do you feel like you have developed as an athlete since starting the coaching process, if so, how?
Yes – I’m much more focused on what I can do to improve, such as following the sessions set, providing honest feedback and sticking with it. It’s about the process first, not the outcome
Why did you choose Ali to be your coach and what do you think about him?
Ali’s approachable, honest and encouraging. He gets people and the stresses of modern life, and has the ability to support you and adapt your training based on how you are feeling, both physically and mentally