Open-water coaching for triathletes

Weekend, what weekend? 😉 Today I’ve been at the fabulous setting of Dorney rowing lake to coach at The Human Race’s open-water swim seminar, sponsored by my friends at I biked there and back (about 40 miles) and now I’m enjoying a sit-down whilst I blog 🙂

Open-water coaching at Dorney lake

What a great day! About 80 new and novice triathletes, many of whom had never set so much as a toe in open water before, came along to get some experience of open-water swimming before their race days. They all attended an informative talk by the legendary Bill Black before meeting myself, Duncan Scott and former elite runner and triathlete Andrea Whitcombe at the water’s edge for some coaching.

Andrea Whitcombe and Nicola Joyce

Retired now, Andrea was ranked 6th in the world in the 2008 season. Duncan kindly introduced me to the triathletes as “Nicola, who’s crossed the English Channel twice” but somehow I think our coachees should have been more impressed by Andrea’s pedigree!

After warming our coachees up with some joint mobilisation and movements to raise the core temperature…

Open-water triathlon coaching

Open-water land based

…we took to the water, coaching on acclimatisation, sighting, turning, drafting and mass starts before a final mini race simulation (complete with run into T1).

It’s great to be back with for another season of open-water coaching. It’s truly rewarding to coach people in my first love of open-water swimming. I always think it’s a real privilege to be the person who accompanies anyone on their very first foray into open-water.

I’ll be back coaching at Dorney for an even longer day tomorrow: let’s hope it’s as sunny as it was today…because the sun certainly took the edge off the 12*C water temperatures!

7 Responses to Open-water coaching for triathletes

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicola Joyce. Nicola Joyce said: new blog post: open-water coaching for triathletes […]


  2. […] ride. Dorney rowing lake before a triathlon – the calm before the storm! Like last weekend, I was open-water swim coaching at Dorney Rowing lake. Dorney is almost exactly a 20 mile ride from my house, so I rode there and […]


  3. […] closed, again!) before getting down to biznass. I gave Jeremy the condensed version of my coaching sessions at Dorney: acclimatisation, sighting, turning, drafting and mass starts as we did one 650m loop, stopping at […]


  4. […] the hundreds of people in the other race distances on offer today). I know Dorney well from my coaching days there, and it’s just a perfect venue for triathlon. Pancake flat, fast, traffic free, great […]


  5. […] pool. The favourite open-water venue was none other than Dorney Lake, in Windsor where I’ve coached and raced in triathlons on many an […]


  6. […] picked up – brrrr!) As long-time readers of the blog will remember, a few weekends a year I coach open-water swimming (I do this for triathlon coaching company in partnership with event organisers Human […]


  7. […] a more eloquent way of putting it… “I used to compete in triathlons at amateur level), coach triathlon (the open-water swim part of it), write about triathlon (mainly for 220 Triathlon magazine and […]


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