HFE is one of the UK’s leading providers of personal trainer courses and other popular qualifications including sports massage, yoga and Pilates. Every month on their award-winning blog, they talk to a prominent figure in health, sport and fitness as part of their Industry Influencers series.
Considering July is all about Ironman, it made sense to talk to Tri-Rivington UK founder and incredibly experienced head coach Ray McGloin. The interview itself covered a wide-range of topics that aspiring and current triathletes and Ironman competitors will find highly interesting. For a start, Ray spoke about his inspirations for setting up Tri-Rivi and why he personally thinks it’s been a success so far:
“When I received my Level 2 coaching award, I coached at a local club for a couple of years. It was a local running club that I was a member of and they wanted to branch out to triathlons. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience and towards the end of that second year of coaching, I began to do weekend coaching at a local sports centre for those who were preparing for Ironman or triathlon events.
After doing a few of these, it dawned on me that it could possibly work if I set up a club. I wasn’t sure but I wanted an outlet for my philosophy of having fun and being the “best you can”, as well as making sure you’re well informed about how to tackle each of the three disciplines without getting injured.”
“The success of Tri-Rivington is not so much down to me or the other coaches but because we seem to have attracted people who don’t have egos, thankfully. We have people who are GB qualifiers, others who have just started their journey and struggling to get used to the open water, those struggling to get up to 13 mph on the bike, a range of ability levels and areas of development.
What I like about our culture, as I said earlier, is that our mortgage doesn’t depend on it. We all have friends, families and social lives outside of the club. We have to build our training around that and not become too obsessive.
I always give our members an acid test and it’s this: You’re about to leave your house for training and your best friend in the world, who you’ve not seen in years turns up; do you ignore them and go training or invite them for a drink? If it’s answer A then you’ve got a problem, answer B and your head’s screwed on.”
He also offered some invaluable advice for beginners:
“Ideally, you should find a triathlon club that suits you. It’s similar to when you’re hunting for a house; when you find the right one, you just know. Same with a club. A good club, like ourselves, won’t charge for someone to just come and try it out… Choose your club carefully, make sure the coaches are correctly qualified. If you can’t find a club nearby then get a friend to join you when out training, specifically with the cycling – I always advise people to do this anyway… Find someone who has similar commitments and training goals as you.”
The full interview can be read on HFE’s blog.