Team Nagi Coaching Newsletter – June 2019  

Hi Guys,

It’s been a huge month of racing for the Team, our biggest yet for 2019. There are been some amazing race wins & plenty of podiums so well done to all of you that have put yourself out there and reaped the rewards of some strong consistent training since the beginning of the year.

As much as we love to celebrate success there are also athletes who haven’t found their groove just yet. This can be for any number of reasons. My best advice to these athletes is to be patient, stubborn and determined and let your race craft keep evolving from race to race…that performance will come if you keep going at it. As the legendary runner Shalane Flanagan said on social media recently:


What’s clear is racing is a complex art where so many variables have to come together on the day you want it to, rarely does that happen. In the past few weeks I’ve seen many athletes doing many great things, but I’ve also seen athletes:

  • Going the wrong way on the bike course because they were so focussed on looking at the output on their bike computer
  • Forgetting to drink on the bike which lead to bonking on the run
  • Forgetting their bike shoes on race day, not realising this until they had finished the swim
  • Mentally giving up on the rest of their race because their swim time was poor
  • Spending 8-12mins extra in transitions compared to other athletes
  • Going into a state of panic because the weather conditions were not what they wanted or expected
  • Worryingly incessantly about the ‘random variables’ that can be thrown up on race day
  • Blasting the first 20mins of the run way above race pace because they felt good, then falling apart in the second half of the run

There is no shame whatsoever in any of the above because we’ve all made similar mistakes throughout our athletic journeys. These mistakes are also made at the very highest levels of elite sport, as you will see if you read my book recommendation for this month. Mistakes are what helps make us better athletes because it exposes areas that need to be worked on. The key thing is to embrace not fear them, because this is what keeps pulling us back in for more and more. One thing is for sure is that these truly great race experiences will always be few and far between.

It’s also important to realise that the evolution of an athlete is never linear, it’s more like a roller coaster and only when you’ve experienced many lows do you understand why you had to go through them to find that high. Then it all makes sense, sometimes the most wonderful learning’s can be found in the greatest disappointments and failures.

That’s why you have to love the process, that’s a process of failing, making mistakes and having your weaknesses exposed. Ultimately you are then presented with a choice, do you let this beat you down or do you let these experiences fuel your fire to become a better athlete? The people that go furthest in this sport only see opportunity in failure and have a healthy relationship with it. They are also the ones that focus on their own evolution, their own journey and couldn’t give two hoots to what someone else is doing.

What’s also important is to define how you set your goals for each race you enter, what I really don’t like to see as a coach is athletes just purely giving me a set of times that they want to aim for. A word of advice if this is you…don’t base it solely on numbers alone there are way to many variables that can come up on race day that will have an affect on this. If you do you might already be setting yourself up for failure because you need to be responsive to conditions on the day.

Instead do a number of things when setting these goals, firstly it’s important to set an on-going dream goal of where you ultimately want to get to. It’s important to set this vision because it drives everything. Then split this dream goal into much smaller goals that will needed to be ticked off as part of following this path to your dream goal. Then ask yourself what your next race goal is and break this down into setting sub-goals for how you want to execute the following areas based on previous race experiences:

  1. Technical skills
  2. Transitions
  3. Nutrition
  4. Pacing
  5. Mental toughness
  6. Race week preparation
  7. Race day responsiveness to conditions & all the things that can wrong on the day

This way you are giving ‘bandwidth’ to how you evaluate the outcome of your race. Setting many goals not just one can highlight areas that you are actually improving and for a 3 discipline sport like triathlon there will always be many areas that need improving. It’s also the sum of these marginal gains that will also dictate your overall or number improvements.

So keep having the courage to show up even when you can’t control the variables and accept it’s all part of the process. A process that will define the character of the athlete you want to become. You’re courage & success really is determined by how vulnerable you are prepared to be and how brave you are in being prepared to fail.

Team Race News

Bintan Olympic distance

  • Vicki Hill
  • Splits: 32:49 swim / 1:11:57 bike/ 50:56 run
  • Total Time: 2:38:21
  • 1st 45-49 category / 2nd female overall

Tri Factor – Run swim Run (10.5km/2.3km/10.5km)

  • Vicki Hill
  • Splits: 50:22 run/ 41:28 swim/ 49:33 run
  • Total Time: 2:21:23
  • 1st in 45-49 category / 1st female overall

2 races and 2 wins on consecutive weekends for the ‘The Pocket Rocket’, the perfect way to kick off her Kona build up. Loving your work Vicki Hill as it was also done un-tapered and in the midst of a huge block of bike training (or torture as she likes to call it).




European Triathlon Champs (Weert)

  • Helen Burton 
  • Splits: 31:45 swim / 1:20:21 bike/ 1:02:04 run
  • Total Time: 3:02:22
  • 4th place 65-69 category

A special performance from a special lady at the European triathlon Champs in Weert. Helen proved to be one of the stars on our recent training camp in Lanzarote where she showed how tough and resilient she is. The fact that only a week later she managed to finish 4th place racing for Team GB is nothing short of an outstanding achievement.


Windsor Olympic distance

We had a big team contingent racing at Windsor they certainly didn’t disappoint, that camp Lanzarote fitness is really starting to shine through. Huge congrats to all that raced and put in such great performances and very special shout out to the podium boys! Terrific racing.

  • Jeremy Cole
  • Splits: 23:54 swim / 1:13:39 bike/ 45:12 run
  • Total Time: 2:30:23
  • 1st place / 60-64 category
  • Ian Leslie 
  • Splits: 30:02 swim / 1:12:53 bike/ 44:47 run
  • Total Time: 2:35:23
  • 2nd place / 60-64 category


  • Toby Dean 
  • Splits: 22:50 swim / 1:04:10 bike/ 42:29 run
  • Total Time: 2:15:56
  • 2nd place / 10th male overall / 45-49 category


  • Chris O’Neill
  • Splits: 27:58 swim / 1:10:18 bike/ 50:12 run
  • Total Time: 2:39:00
  • 50-54 category


  • David Magyar
  • Splits: 30:25 swim / 1:20:27 bike/ 47:31 run
  • Total Time: 2:46:51
  • 55-59 category


  • Connie Tram
  • Splits: 36:05 swim / 1:25:52 bike/ 54:49 run
  • Total Time: 3:08:31
  • 35-39 category



Banana-man Triathlon (800m /32km /7.5km)

  • Simon Evans
  • Splits: 9:03 swim / 49:55 bike/ 32:21 run
  • Total Time: 1:33:49
  • 1st in 45-49 category / 1st male overall

Huge congrats to Si for rolling back the years with this brilliant performance after being out of racing for so many years. 2 kids later and he’s still winning and looking in the best shape of his life, bravo!


Hercules Middle Distance

  • Simon North 
  • Splits: 48:51 swim / 3:39:25 bike/ 1:26:06 run
  • Total Time:
  • 1st in 60-64 category

Simon’s first race of the season and his first age group win, great work Mr North. That amazing consistency you’ve shown this year is starting to pay off.

Jersey Triathlon (Olympic)

  • Louise Bracken-Smith
  • Splits: 29:31 swim / 1:12:36 bike/ 48:21 run
  • Total Time: 2:31:49
  • 3rd place / 45-49 category

Another 3 rd. place for Lou in what was yet again extremely tough conditions to race in, these extreme weather systems seem to be following our athletes this year! But she battled on through to set herself up to race for Jersey at The Island Games next weekend.

Staffs UK 70.3 

If ever there was a race where 3 athletes will have learned so much it was this one. Murphy’s law states, ” If anything can go wrong, it will…and probably at the time you least want it to”. This was certainly the case for our boys up there is Staffordshire. But the important thing is they all managed to battle on through to the finish and will be better athletes for these experiences.

  • Steve Drew
  • Splits: 42:32 swim/ 2:42:02 bike/ 1:45:02 run
  • Total Time: 5:22:55
  • 50-54 category
  • JJ
  • Splits: 32:04 swim / 2:46:19 bike/ 2:10:19 run
  • Total Time: 5:36:04
  • 45-49 category
  • Stefano Lolli
  • Splits: 39:51 swim / 3:02:45 bike/ 1:55:16 run
  • Total Time: 5:52:00
  • 45-49 category

Yorkshireman Middle Distance

  • JJ
  • Splits: 32:11 swim / 2:35:22 bike/ 1:48:30 run
  • Total Time: 5:01:31
  • 4th in 45-49 category

After a few mistakes at Staffs 70.3 this month so this is what you call bouncing back in great style! Huge congrats JJ on righting some of those wrongs, with a bit of pace tweaking in the next race you’ll be closer than ever to achieving that optional performance. He even looks happier in the photos!



Triathlon Du Troyes (France)

  • Remi Fackeure 
  • Splits: 44:21 swim / 2:22:34 bike/ 1:42:40 run
  • Total Time: 4:50:44
  • 40-44 category

A first racing from our man in France and a terrific start to the race season as he builds towards Challenge Almere later this year.


Cardiff Triathlon (Sprint GB qualifier)

Huge shout out the Cardiff 3 who all put in amazing performances in my home town race. All 3 have now guaranteed their slots to race for Team GB at the World Champs in Edmonton next year. Fantastic work guys and just reward for the hard work you put in day in and day out.

  • Toby Dean 
  • Splits: 12:10 swim / 31:13 bike/ 19:26 run
  • Total Time: 1:04:47
  • 5th in 45-49 category
  • Louise Hutchinson  
  • Splits: 15:04 swim / 37:13 bike/ 22:45 run
  • Total Time: 1:17:32
  • 3rd 60-64 category
  • Robert Hutchinson  
  • Splits:  swim 13:31 / 35:02 bike/ 22:39 run
  • Total Time: 1:13:37
  • 3rd in 60-64 category


Cardiff Triathlon (Olympic)

  • Mark Richards  
  • Splits: 31:45 swim / 53:37 bike/ 47:01 run
  • Total Time: 2:16:58
  • 45-49 category

The Property Sprint Triathlon 

  • Toby Dean 
  • Splits: 12:00 swim / 32:45 bike/ 21:59 run
  • Total Time: 1:08:53
  • 2nd in 45-49 category

That’s 4 races in 4 weekends including 2 podiums and first time qualification to race for Team GB, now that’s what I call a breakthrough year. Couldn’t feel prouder to see such an amazing improvements for a guy who has given so much to his training these past 9 months. From the depths of despair with an on-going back issue to being able to turn this on it’s head and put in lifetime best performances is nothing short of inspirational. We salute you Toby (Zoolander) Dean!


Ironman France

  • Rod Hamilton
  • Splits: 1:04:28 swim / 5:45:47 bike/ 3:04:38 run
  • Total Time: 10:07:35
  • 50-54 category

The weather Gods haven’t smiled on too many of our athletes this year and France was to prove no different. With temperatures hitting 31 degrees on race day the French authorities took the most bizarre decision to reduce the bike to 150km and the run to 30k. Rod took this in his stride and put in a gutsy performance on race day to complete the race in such tough conditions. Great work Rod.



Ironman Norway

  • Steve Drew
  • Splits: 1:21:56 swim / 5:39:22 bike/ 3:56:06 run
  • Total Time: 11:09:42
  • 50-54 category

If it was hot in France then it could only be described at the opposite at Ironman Norway! With wind, rain, thunder & lightening from the moment the race began it topped out at 14 degrees. This was a race that proved to be a test of mental toughness just to finish the race. Huge congrats to the big man for battling through when he was slightly hypothermic by the time he’d got onto the run. But he managed to battle his Demons and complete the race in a fantastic 11th position. You will be all the more stronger for this experience.


Chtriman Middle Distance (France)

  • Remi Fackeure
  • Splits: 30:44 swim / 2:32:18 bike/ 1:34:49 run
  • Total Time: 4:41:00
  • 40-44 category

Another solid performance from Remi who also had to manage to the hot conditions well on race day. To be able to put in such a strong run at the end just shows how good his race management was early on, something which is crucial to be able to do well in heat.


Cholmondeley Triathlon

  • Alex Tanti
  • Splits: 24:50 swim / 1:22:29 bike/ 55:02 run
  • Total Time: 2:46:07
  • 35-39 category

It’s been a while for AT racing wise due to injury and a hectic work schedule but he kicked off his season in style as he heads towards Ironman Korea later this year.

Leeds Triathlon

  • Ed Seaton
  • Splits: 27:01 swim / 1:11:29 bike/ 47:23 run
  • Total Time: 2:34:57
  • 45-49 category

Great to See Dr Ed back out there racing again, the first race for quite sometime and a good solid performance to boot. Hope it’s the start of a big comeback…

Book Recommendation

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 15.54.39

26 Marathons

I absolutely loved reading this book recently. The reason being it was just so refreshing to hear if one of the greatest elite athletes of our time talking about his many successes & failures but doing doing it in such a way in that he takes you through these experiences from one race to another. 26 of them in fact because this is the number of marathons he ran as an elite marathon runner during his entire career. This included winning Olympic silver for Team USA, the Boston marathon and the New York marathon.

The humility he shows combined with an ongoing passion to become a better runner is also incredibly refreshing. Here was a man that took no saw no shame in making mistakes or failing, in fact he relished the challenge because he understood it would make him better. What you can also clearly see is that the pro’s still make the same mistakes as you do as age groupers. Pacing issues, poor nutrition, poor race preparation, poor race execution it’s all there for you to see …it’s just done at a much higher level.

This humble amazing man really does stand head and shoulders above many in our ego driven world.

Team Nagi Athlete Interview – Simon North

Simon North Roth

Name: Simon North

Age: 60

Star sign:

Pisces not that being a water sign helps me glide effortlessly through the water, but at least I have a love of swimming in the pool, lake, sea and rivers.

Years in triathlon:  

7, fell into it after switching from mountain bike racing into off-road duathlon. Apart from finishing a couple of ironman races I qualified for the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii in 2014 and finished in the top 20 in my age group.


Semi-retired, work as a media officer Mandala Theatre Company and Euton Daley MBE (poet). My professional life has turned full circle after starting out in the 1980s as a newspaper journalist with a love of the arts. Shame about the 30 years I spent working in motorsport in between!

In another life you would have been a..?  

Photographer/artist – my dad was a professional snapper and his father an artist so it runs in the family I suppose.

Who is your athletic alter ego? 

Probably Glenn Hoddle as I’m devout Spurs fan and currently enjoying the club’s best time since the 1960s.

Favourite training session: 

Pace play swim intervals, although I always start too fast!

Least favourite training session:  

2 hours of the turbo trainer. In the words of Villanelle BORING!

Favourite training track (music!):  

The Less I Know the Better by Tame Impala, although lately I’ve been listening to podcasts on the turbo ie The Guardian’s excellent Today in Focus, Radio 4’s The Verb (poetry) or the wonderful Earth Ancients all about lost civilizations and what pyramids are really built for…

Favourite book: 

Anything by Phillip K Dick ie Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep. I do read a lot of sci-fi particularly time travel related: I must be yearning to be a younger faster version of myself.

Favourite training venue/location:  

Wycombe Lido/Denham Water Ski Lake but I probably enjoy a sea swim more than anything.

Favourite race experience: 

19th in 55-60 age group Xterra World Championships 2014

Favourite mantra:

Fast feet, fast feet (running!), seems to work when you’re flagging. I always go back to body scanning when I’m running and trying to keep my head and heart up.

If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why?  

Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso & David Bowie

Training hours per week:  

 15 or so.

What are your training & race goals for 2019? 

To finish IM Kalmar run with good form and limited pain. I’m no longer bothered about times or the result as much as how I feel during a race. I love it when I’m in the flow and feeling great whilst racing as it’s no longer an ego trip for me.

Team Nagi out & about


Getting ready for the weekly kitchen clean? Not on your nelly, this is Connie style Ironman prep to keep Rod cool on the run course at a blistering Ironman France.

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Getting Vicki’s Kona position well and truly dialled at The Boardman Centre wind tunnel. One of these helmets stood head and should above the rest in terms of watts saving (nearly 6 in fact compared to her original one)…..answers on a postcard.


Team Nagi or The Dream Boys ? I think I might have broken a few of them in this swim session!


Huge congrats to Helen Kemmit, Louise & Robert Hutchinson who all completed the Jubilee 10km swim.

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It was an amazing weekend of endurance action in France for the Chamonix 3 last week. In absolutely brutal near 40 degree conditions Jim Butler managed to complete the Marathon Du Mont Blanc in just over 7 hours. Jo Turner also managed to complete the vertical kilometre and the mountainous half marathon the following day with Philippa Markou following suit completing the vertical and the 10k. Amazing stuff guys in those conditions and on that terrain!


France’s answer to John Travolta!  Remi Fackeure striking a pose at the top of the legendary Mont Ventoux. Sock game also looking STRONG.


Too much sun…Rod getting Ironman France confused with his birthday/Christmas last weekend!


They say that all Frenchmen are romantic…even with their bikes. Here’s our Remi showing his bike some cleaning love just ahead of his race.


Loaded and ready to go! Thumbs up from Rod at IM France.