– 2nd in 25-29 Age Category, 5th female overall – Busselton 70.3 2016 – 4.16
– 1st in 25-29 Age Category – Ironman Western Australia 2015 – 9:53
I first met Julian 7 months ago when I undertook a swim smooth stroke analysis session with him. I was struck by his professionalism, knowledge, attention to detail and focus on the individual. It is not an overstatement to say that my swim literally improved overnight and continues to do so.
Having previously been on the lower half of the podium at Kona in 2013 I was looking for a coach who could help me take my performance up to the next level. I wanted someone who was excited by AG World Championship events and who had a proven track record in their athletes performing at this level. Julian has these attributes and we met to discuss the possibility of working together with Kona qualification and performance as our goal.
The training plans that Julian writes are very much directed at my own strengths and weaknesses, and they are enjoyable, challenging and progressive. As a coach Julian takes an interest in you both as an athlete and a person. He is very approachable and immediately responsive to any sort of issues or queries. He is a great motivator, often sees what you don’t see and can impart that to you in a constructive manner. He tops it all off with a great sense of humour, integrity and up to date knowledge. Since working together I have achieved PBs in the pool, on the bike and can’t wait to get stuck into proper tri racing in 2016.
From the first time I met Julian, I knew he was the right coach for me. It started out with a one-to-one swim analysis….he was so thorough in finding out about me, not only as an athlete, but as a person too. I really didn’t want an ‘off the shelf ’ coaching package with limited contact, where a generic spreadsheet lands in your inbox every month. With Julian it had to be a two way thing; lots of feedback from me was essential for each session to be adjusted accordingly. Distance could have been an issue as I live over 2 hours away from London. However, good communication meant this really didn’t matter at all. I also spend valuable time in London whenever possible with the fabulous Team Nagi swim squad, in addition to one-to-one coached sessions in the pool and on the running track.
When I started working with Julian, I was making the transition from age group athlete to pro. It was a steep learning curve and I was really in at the deep end, but the opportunity was there so I grabbed it. Julian guided me through the year, helping me to learn how to listen to my body, know when to take a rest day and when to push harder. In racing I became stronger and realised I could go much deeper than I ever thought I could (this is still work in progress!). At the end of last year I achieved my PB ironman time of 10 hours 10 minutes …over an hour faster than before. This really shows how effective Julian’s coaching methods are.Julian has created a wonderful Team Nagi triathlon family – and even though I don’t see the other athletes very often, there has always been a feeling of mutual support and respect – something which Julian has nurtured.
Personally, I feel like I’ve been on a journey (cliched as that may sound). I’ve learned a lot about training and racing better, but also so much about myself. Julian has a wealth of knowledge in coaching and his passion for sport and life is infectious. At the end of every conversation with him I feel inspired and confident that I’m on the right path. The journey continues ….
We have had a good year. I have learnt a lot, and been successful in the two ironman races I have done. I have enjoyed my time with Julian. He has been a great coach to me. I would not have achieved all I have without his help.
“Why did I wait so long?! I’d heard great things about Julian and Team Nagi but I dithered. Now, I regret every day lost.
Where to begin? The coach–direct, positive, hugely knowledgeable but does not bog you down with too many tips. Julian really cares about each client. The swim sessions are varied, fun (really!) and allow you to go at your pace –from sharks to minnows. The other swimmers have been very welcoming. As for results? An update will follow but I came to Julian with very little time before the age-group European Olympic Distance Tri wanting to smash it.
After 3 months my times are significantly better in all three disciplines, I’ve learned lots, my motivation has increased and I really feel I have a coach who cares and who succeeds. Easily 5 stars.”
I engaged Julian (as my first ever coach) in late 2012 to help me train for 2013 Ironman UK in the M55 AG. I had done some 70.3’s in the past but really didn’t have a clue how to train for a full IM. Right from the start it was clear that Julian’s way was very different from my “self-taught” chaos. I had to do more than just 40 lengths every now and again in the pool, and my swim speed & endurance rapidly improved. I was reprimanded several times for doing too much and/or going too hard, and even had to give up my 6-7 Chocolate hob-nobs every day with Coffee !!!
BUT it worked……I did my fastest ever 70.3 a couple of months before IM UK in Bolton, where I won my AG in 10:59:59…. There is a story behind that time which Julian will explain, as he was kindly there supporting /guiding me. I thus Qualified for Kona at my first attempt and loved the whole experience.
So in Summary : Julian was a great coach who changed my whole mind-set around training for IM. I would not have achieved what I did without his input. I am a stronger athlete now, than I was pre the IM/Julian era, and still I think hold the M55 course records for both Bolton & Wimbleball…….and I still owe him a beer !!!
– 1st in 55-59 Age Category, Ironman UK 2013 – 10:59 ( Age Category course record )
– Ironman World Championships, Hawaii 2013 – 11:24
Through Julian’s well designed and thought-through coaching, he knocked down the barrier of disbelief I had about my Ironman ambitions. He saw what I could achieve, even if I didn’t at the time and skillfully led me to an age-group result I hadn’t thought possible.
As well as the physical aspect of Ironman coaching, Julian also locked into the psychological elements and ensured that my mind was just as ready for the race as my body was. This is a fundamental quality for endurance races and Julian kicked the chimp into touch!
Like my poor Maths teacher at school, who never gave up on drumming basic algebra into a brain that was simply not receptive to numbers, Julian doesn’t give up on the challenge of getting the best from his sporting charges. He has a gift for reading and understanding the characteristics of his clients, and putting his finger on what will be the right individual approach to get the best from them. He dedicates time to you, and he has patience in abundance.
Julian makes a point of listening and understanding, acknowledging that we are not all the same, and recognising that we all have different challenges we face in our lives. He crafts his training plans accordingly, and the rest is up to you! One of the recurring themes in discussions with him is getting you to learn about yourself, your body and to think about your training and be smart. This intelligent approach makes you realise how invested Julian is in seeing you enjoy your sport, opening your eyes, growing, improving and realising your dreams.
Julian has been a high level competitor in his sport, made the mistakes and had the successes, so the starting point is drawing on his own experiences. You can be sure he will be able to relate to, and empathise with, your individual sporting journey. He also brings an insatiable desire to learn from the wider worlds of sport, science and medicine, and apply this knowledge to his coaching , which distinguishes him from so many coaches you come across.
I have been lucky enough to have worked with Julian for ten years, and would not hesitate to recommend him to others, and have done just that on many occasions. Each year I look forward to planning that next challenge with him, and keep hoping it will be a bit like my struggles with maths, and that one day the patient coaching will finally see me put it all together on race day like I’ve imagined it in my dreams.
Julian is a special guy. He has inspired and enabled me and so many to achieve things we never thought possible. When I started with Julian I could not put my face in the water without hearing the theme tune from Jaws and hyperventilating. A lifelong fear of deep water was getting in the way of my desire to do a triathlon.
Julian’s approach is highly individual and tailored to your specific needs, strengths and life. I still can’t believe that I have represented GB at Olympic distance and Ironman 70.3. When Julian suggested the idea, I thought he was crazy! Team Nagi captures the essence of a great team: inspiration,support and friendship. All shapes, sizes, ages and abilities.
– 3rd in 35-39 Age Category Barcelona 70.3 – 2015
Our lives are touched, shaped and influenced by the people we choose to share them with. Some people briefly come in and out of our lives, other stay for longer. Sometimes when you first meet someone you have no idea what an impact they are going to have on your life and this was the case for me when I first met Julian. A middle aged women, just emerging from giving birth to 3 children, with an ambition to get fit, I was in need of some help and was recommended Julian. I had no idea what journey lay ahead.
Julian took a middle aged women who had never swum front crawl before, nor really ridden a road bike and opened the door to the world of triathlon. He took me on a journey from complete beginner to representing team GB as an age group tri-athlete at the World Championships, gaining a top 20 finish. Along the way he trained me to a sub 3.20 marathon and an epic road bike journey from the west to the East coast of the States in Race Across America. He taught me how to swim, he helped me discover how to train effectively, how to push hard, when to rest, why we need to recover, how to listen to your body. He achieved this in his wonderful way which I have tried to sum up as inspired, positive guidance.
Yes he will give you very detailed training plans on what to do day by day but these have been formulated collaboratively after he has listened to your goals and taken account of your realistic training parameters.He guided me into the world of triathlon, such a fountain of knowledge and experience, yet he always managed to make me feel that I was making my decisions rather than him telling me what to do. What I love about his coaching style is that you know you are in the hands of an expert who, if you allow yourself to be guided, will help you to make good decisions, take ownership of your goals and achieve your targets.
I have watched people of literally all abilities, ages and personalities flourish under his guidance. He makes a particular point of understanding what makes each of his athletes tick and bringing the best out of them. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Julian’s coaching to anyone serious about starting or improving at triathlon or swimming.
When I first met Julian he was “the local tri-Acton guru” that stood poolside rain, hail or shine trying to help us“ local triathletes ” improve our training in order to compete in our various triathlon events. Julian guided me from my first ever event at the London Triathlon 2009 to qualifying and competing in the World Championships in 2011, to winning the Bronze medal at the European Championships in 2012 and coming third in my age group at Ironman Mallorca in 2013.
Over this same period, as Julian’s focus and expertise in swimming has provided him with exposure to an international client base and top world class triathletes, I can safely say, he still stands poolside rain, hail or shine helping all of us achieve our goals at varying levels.
To me what makes Julian’s coaching unique is not just the plans and advice he provides to each individual athlete at whatever level but the fact that you are unique and he takes into account your needs and goals and recognises them. Inspired by Julian’s path into coaching triathlon and swimming and knowing that I enjoyed coaching children, Julian has as a friend and mentor given me encouragement in following my own coaching path which I also find rewarding.
The short time I have been coached by Julian so far has honestly been such an eye-opener! With Julian you are getting much more than just a triathlon coach. Words that spring to mind are; inspiration, mentor and friend. With such a wealth of knowledge and experience from his extensive years in coaching, he is always willing to think outside the box – looking at new ways to improve you as an athlete, enabling you to reach your own goals, whatever they may be.
If someone had told me this time last year that I’d be able to hold the swim, bike and run splits that I am already achieving in training now, I would quite simply have laughed in their face! And not only this, but by training over a similar number of hours each week (if not less) compared with when I was training alone.
Having a carefully structured training plan tailored around my own work and personal commitments means I now barely even need to think about what training I should be doing each day, and can still maintain the focus needed to hit each session week on week. And with such unrestricted athlete-to-coach communication (though I’m sure my constant bugging drives him a bit mad at times!), Julian can almost sense before I can when we need to schedule in some extra recovery.
Working with Julian to coach me through my triathlon endeavours has been a life altering experience. Firstly, he was instrumental in transforming my swimming from being so poor it was a barrier to participation to being the confident, strong–and reasonably fast–swimmer I’ve become. Secondly, his support, guidance and expert triathlon knowledge and experience helped steer me to the Ironman dream I’d convinced myself would only ever be a dream.
Julian works closely with his athletes to understand individual needs and tailors training plans accordingly. This facilitates a personalised program guaranteed to build fitness,strength and race day acumen in perfect time for the big event. Were it not for Julian’s consummate assistance, I wouldn’t be able to call myself an ‘Ironman’, but it is the enduring confidence and self-belief that Julian fostered in me for which I will be forever grateful.
Julian has made me fall in love with triathlon. I’d only intended to do a sprint distance as a little summer diversion but a sprinkle of his Team Nagi magic dust later and I’m training for my third full ironman. His training is structured, focused and fun. He takes the time to listen to what I want to achieve and writes a program that works around my life. I’m not in it to win anything–I just want a challenge and to finish races with a smile on my face,having been the best I can be in the time I have available. Julian gets that and he’s brilliant at reading the signs–sometimes he knows I’m ill or tired before I do.
Team Nagi is much, much more than just a program though–the community around Julian, the mutual support, the pride I take in the Team Nagi kit,the group rides, the solidarity of fellow swimmers in a lane are all are intangible benefits that have fed my love affair with the sport, fed my spirit of adventure and given me the belief that I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it. Even Ironman Wales!
Completing an Ironman was a lifetime dream but to achieve this dream,I had to overcome a truck load of challenges and some were more “fears” rather than challenges. The time was right and I eventually plucked up the courage to approach Julian for help –believe me, I needed lots of HELP!
During initial discussions I explained that one of my motivations was to raise money for a charity that was important to me and Julian’s response to that was amazing.“I’ll train you as my gift to the charity ” . As I mentioned, I needed a lot of help so this was a big call from Julian. It’s fair to say, Julian did not let me or the Charity down. An incredibly generous thing to do as I’m sure you would agree?! In 2014 Julian coached me to my first 70.3 (Wimbleball) and then 140.6 (IM Wales) which is a miracle in itself as I could barely swim 50 metres let alone 3.8K.
Over many weeks and months, many moments of doubts and hissy fits in the water, my confidence was growing and before I knew it, I was part of Team Nagi swimsquads. What a bunch they are, love em! For me, the technical knowledge, the experience, the expertise is certainly there and used on a daily basis but it’s all in the timing and delivery. It’s his understanding of the personalities, the different abilities and needs that makes him, HIM!
Julian has been my triathlon coach (and patient friend!) for more than 7 years now. I first approached him, on a whim, having never ridden a bike , or swum any distance – let alone in open water. The idea was to get fit and escape my young children every so often! With Julian’s guidance I have been encouraged to try it all, from sprints, Olympics, 70.3s, and this led to my first full Ironman last year.
“I am very lucky to have met Julian. He is one of a few remarkable people that I know ~ for countless reasons. When we met ten years ago my aim was to train once a week in the gym. Ten years later not only have I achieved things that I genuinely believed impossible but also Julian has fundamentally changed my life.
Julian has made me fitter and healthier than I ever thought I could be. But more than that, he has changed my mindset to see possibilities not limitations, opportunities not threats and to have an unshakeable determination to just do my best, whatever the circumstances.”