Case Studies

ITRI Coaching

Ross Partridge

Having been a competent and competitive runner since my childhood. I lost a bet with a friend in 2018 to compete in a triathlon…the rest is history.
A while later, Phil’s name was given to me on very good recommendation as I searched for some structure as to how to train for cycling and swimming.

The best part of 4 years later we are continuing to develop the once bet into an enjoyable dedication to the sport of triathlon. Phil’s excellent coaching has now successfully led me to 2 x IRONMAN finishes, 7 x 70.3’s, GBR Age-Group qualification and marathon good-for-age qualification. Phil has also helped me surpass all previous personal bests in running and enjoy great results and performances in a mass of other events.

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Training plans are well structured but also find the right balance of fun and freedom. We all have ‘normal lives’ to manage and that’s never forgotten. My enjoyment for sport is at an all-time high and thanks for that needs to go to Phil.

It has been great to learn new skills from triathlon to not only exercise the body but the mind also, thus making for a fitter and healthier lifestyle overall. The path continues to positively progress and I am looking forward to another season ahead (2023) and seeing what targets we can set and hopefully achieve under Phil’s guidance and coaching.

ITRI Coaching

Tony Humberstone

In 2014 I got bored of playing golf after being obsessed by the game for 15 years. I was also overweight and was not feeling good about my health or how I looked. I started running and doing some PT and some of the guys I train with do triathlon, so I thought I would give it a go. I did a few duathlons and runs but no triathlons for the first few years. My first one was Majorca iron man 70.3 in 2017 and I absolutely loved it even though I was nervous stood on the beach looking out to sea thinking that buoy looks a long way out! I managed to get around in something like 6 hours 20 after having serious cramps on the run due to lack of salts so very poor planning and lack of experience.

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At this point I decided I wanted to take it a bit more serious as I enjoyed it a lot even though I’m never going to be a world beater. I love the sport as it keeps you fit and healthy and motivated to have a goal and focus out of work life.

I met Phil through a friend and instantly liked him and his very professional approach to the sport. I now have a weekly plan which works well for me as he always asks me what I have going on at work and in my personal life and we try and fit everything in around that. He also helps plan the forthcoming events and makes sure the plan is focused around the diary. Phil has also helped me prepare my diet better (even though I’m not the best at sticking to it) and try to have a better organised meal plan to prepare for upcoming events.

I have around 7-8 races in the diary this year including two 70.3’s and a few Olympic tri’s which I find great as they are quick and don’t take up all day and you can do more of them more frequently.

I would highly recommend using Phil for a tri plan and also personal training as he’s a great guy and knows his stuff!

Maybe a full iron man may be the next challenge in 2019?

ITRI Coaching

Dom Short

After a few years of running marathons and competing in OCR I signed up for Ironman Barcelona 2017. Having never completed a triathlon I contacted Phil for some professional training as I found the online training guides difficult to understand.

I contacted Phil and he got straight back to me. We met up and tailored an 8 month plan that fitted around my goal, busy lifestyle of family and running a business. After the first few weeks, I took part in my first sprint triathlon and from that point, the pace of each training session was specifically based on that performance. It was completely different to what I had been doing for the last few years and made a refreshing change. My body wondered what had hit it and I gained the confidence to compete in Olympic and middle distance triathlons as well as many running, cycling and swimming events. I saw numbers on my Garmin that I hadn’t seen before!

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I learned not to be so hung up on the completion times and focus on threshold tests, strength and conditioning, nutrition and sleep. There were days I couldn’t train through tiredness and I learnt to listen to my body.

Many times work & life got in the way and Phil would adjust the schedule accordingly. He was always on hand via email, text & phone. It is so much easier having someone decide what distance and how fast you should be training on each session rather than trying to work it out myself.

I completed my ironman in Barcelona with a faster time than expected and still had some left in the tank.

I said this was the first and last but never say never, I am planning on many Olympic and 70.3 for 2018 and full distance again for 2019 and I’ll continue with Phil as I need that push and to focus on some PB’s.

ITRI Coaching

Toby Woodfine

End of 2015 my first born was due. To give myself a focus outside of the family that wasn’t alcohol related I deicide to enter the 2016 Lanzarote full ironman as you do! Having booked it I went about looking for a person who could take an average man and make him physically fit enough to tackle what seems an impossible challenge to so many. This person was in the guise of Phil from I Tri triathlon coaching. From the moment i met Phil he always made feel like I could do the challenge ahead and took time to listen to my background and understand my reasons for the challenge a head. This personal touch made a relative novice to triathlons feel secure in what they where facing. So it was soon time to knuckle down and listen to the very experienced and knowledgeable phil and what he had in store for me.

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The training program phil built for me was tailored around my personal circumstance and how much i commit to but always managing my expectations that there was a high level of commitment for a full ironman. Using the latest technology on smart phones i was able to log in and view the week ahead.The bite size chunks and training notes gave me a perfect amount to focus on each day. The regular one to one coaching sessions on core strength and technic where amazing and i really believe where the backbone to a good race and my body being able to sustain such endurance.

Phil is a first class Tri coach with a vast amount of knowledge and experience and really can provide any athlete at any level the full training package. I still see phil regularly and have just entered the Tenby 2018 full ironman so he must be doing something right!

ITRI Coaching

Steve Hutt

I am probably best to start by explaining my journey. Two years ago I had a BMI rating of obese and I didn’t like what I saw in photos. I got worn out playing with the kids! So, I decided to start swimming to lose weight and I joined the swimmers of a local triathlon club – just for the swimming mind!

I did this for a number of weeks and got to know a few other members that swam in the slow lane with me. One morning I was asked to help out at a local triathlon event and, knowing nothing about triathlons, I agreed with some trepidation. On the morning I arrived early, feeling nervous, as I had no idea what to expect. I took up my post and shouted encouragement to the competitors. What struck me with the event was the inclusive nature – they weren’t all elite athletes and you could see the sense of achievement from everyone finishing. I was hooked…!

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I joined a Couch To 5k Group, bought a second hand bike and entered a Sprint distance race for the following season (2015). I worked through the winter and in May 2015 completed my first race. That year I did two more races. By now I was properly hooked on the sense of achievement and the weight loss that I was seeing too. In the close season of 2015 I joined a local gym and met Phil who ran the Triathlon Club within. We discussed a more structured plan and approach to my training, however, I thought this was for the more elite athletes and really not something I would benefit from.

As my fitness developed at the Triathlon Club sessions, I re-evaluated my goals for 2016 and I decided to enter a local middle distance 70.3 race. At this point decided it would be a good idea to employ some help and I had no hesitation in turning to Phil. My goal at this time was to just get round and complete the race. Since then, I can only describe the support I have received from Phil as “truly exceptional”.

Phil structured a programme around my fitness levels and the Goal. I sent him Heart Rate fitness data from fitness tests he asked me to conduct and he worked out training zones for me to work at. Previously, I had grabbed training sessions where I could and went as hard as I could – every session! Phil, however, was starting to ask me to train the majority of the time at lower intensities. This took some time to adjust to and was something of a leap of faith. I questioned the benefit of only training at higher intensities once or twice a week, however, on reflection, I was wearing myself out with what I was previously doing and having an expert to guide me has been a revelation!

Phil sets my training plan around my lifestyle. I tell him when I am busy at work or have family commitments and he works out the plan around this. He is always mindful of building in recovery time from the higher intensity sessions, meaning I can go at them harder on those days; knowing that the lower intensity sessions will allow me to recover fully and re-charge the batteries. It’s been great to have the plan set out – all I have to do is look at the week ahead and do what I have been set out. The sessions are always well structured and there is clear guidance of what I need to do or how I need to do it. I then send the data back to Phil and he reviews my progress.

I have also found Phil to be really caring. He really cares about my progress, well-being and achievements. He wished me well on race day and went out of his way to re-enforce my confidence.

So, this is all very well – but what about results? If you pay for a coach you want results…

Since working with Phil I’ve lost a further 2 stone (4 ½ in total), admittedly my diet has changed a great deal too, however, I decided if I was going to put the effort into my training I should ensure I fuelled that training as best I could. Most importantly, I completed my first 70.3 in 6 hours – beating my revised goal of 6:30 by some margin!

I feel fitter, stronger and healthier and have now decided to enter the full 140.6 Ironman Weymouth – something I never thought I would have the confidence to attempt. With Phil as my coach though, I am confident that at least the plan will be effective and that all I have to do is follow the Plan!

If you feel, like I did, that you are not at a level to employ a coach, reconsider! Your efforts are worthy of the extra support that Phil can bring, whatever your goals might be. The structure, discipline and support he provides will, I am sure, transform your performances and achievements. Moreover, if you’re as lucky as I’ve been, it will transform your life too!

ITRI Coaching

Suzanne Gray

I have been coached by Phil for nearly 18 months and have achieved all my goals with his help and expertise. I can’t speak highly enough of his skill, dedication and professionalism. Phil not only provides excellent coaching on the physical aspect but also gives nutritional advice and gets to know you as a person so he can taylor your plan specifically for your individual needs. This includes physical, psychological and emotional support…all of which are sometimes necessary in achieving whatever goals you may have.

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I ran my first marathon and then went on to complete a full ironman under Phil’s guidance and what’s more I achieved a time I thought I could only dream of so was totally overwhelmed by what I had accomplished. I managed to overcome many obstacles in achieving the ironman…one of the main ones being open water sea swimming. I went from being rescued from a lake with serious breathing issues resulting in a dnf…to swimming 3.8k in the sea with a pb quicker than in the pool! Despite having the hardest year of my life due to personal reasons, training with Phil for the Ironman certainly proved to me I was strong physically and mentally. Phil believed in me 100% and gave me all the advice and help I needed to enable me to fulfil my goals. I would recommend Phil 100% to anyone and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole Ironman experience from start to finish.

ITRI Coaching

Nathan Nicholson

I’ve been working with Phil on my individual training program for approaching 4 years now and Phil has been ever-present throughout.

Through failures and successes Phil has been there and I know he has shared every moment. We work together to fit my training in around a young family and a demanding job that involves a lot of time away from home.

It isn’t always the easiest thing to do but if you put in the time and effort not just in the training but in providing Phil with the insights he needs to your life he will help you get to where you want to be.

Achieving results in Triathlons and in particular the longer distances involves a training program that works for you and isn’t just the same as the guy next door. Working with Phil you will get the chance to help him tailor your program to suit you and deliver the results you want and Phil will be there every step of the way to encourage, inform and when needed tell it as it is!

ITRI Coaching

Gemma Goodson

I have always wanted to complete a triathlon but I hadn’t ever ridden a road bike and it was 20 years since I had been in a pool.

Then in March 2015 I suffered a fall from my horse and broke my back. Laying in hospital, with little movement and feeling in my left leg I was terrified. I knew my journey to full recovery would be a long one so I took the crazy decision to book myself in for a ironman 70.3 in June 2016. Just 14 months later!

Phil had a huge undertaking on his hands, I spent the first 7 months of my recovery in a spinal brace and he worked closely with my physio, ensuring that all my one to one sessions with him were strengthening me without causing further damage. Phil has an amazing knowledge of the way bodies should move and he notices any weakness or tightness.

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He encouraged me throughout, there were times when I was so frustrated and angry and other times when I doubted myself and cried. He never made me feel like I couldn’t reach my goal, even when I couldn’t lift a 1kg weight.

Over the months of working closely with Phil and my physio I regained some feeling, movement and strength in my left leg. I did many one to one sessions getting my confidence and skills on the road bike and phil even ran my first 1km with me after the accident. If I was sore or in pain, I was able to call Phil, and he would amend my weeks training according.

I am proud to say that not only did I finish Ironman Mont Tremblant in June 2016 but I did so in an amazing time of 6h 12, and of course he was the first to know!

I couldn’t have achieved my goal without Phil’s help and encouragement. The one to one sessions ensured I was working correctly whilst the online coaching plan gave me daily sessions which worked around my life and my injury. I cannot recommend Phil highly enough.

ITRI Coaching

Matt Cawthra

I’d had Ironman as a bucket list task for as long as I could remember, but always thought it would be an event that I would never be able to tackle. The sheer size of it was so daunting that I always put it off.

The pandemic had meant I now worked from home, and I had used the extra time to get back into my running. I’d ticked off a decent marathon time and decided to use this momentum of fitness along with the extra time I now had to finally take on the 140.6.

I had barely swum in a pool before, let alone in open water. I’d never cycled further than 30 miles, let alone gone anywhere near 100 miles. I could run, but a ran like a cocky runner, not a long-distance triathlete.

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I worked with a different coach for a month or two, but with 7 months before my Ironman, I felt terribly unprepared and still found the prospect of the event very daunting.

I decided to switch coach and found Phil. It took less than an hour of chatting to feel at ease about the event. Phil broke everything down, made everything sound so much easier, and got me excited about training again.

With Zwift and Garmin, every session I had was already loaded. The less time I spend thinking about a training session the better, and the more chance I’ll do it properly, so having everything set out like this was perfect.

Sessions were great, often good fun (yes, really) and very rewarding. My fitness shot up, I felt like I could run, cycle or swim for days.

Fortnightly calls kept everything grounded but kept confidence high. I always felt like I knew exactly what I was doing and why.

Covid ruined my chances of Ironman Finland, so I had to switch event and compete in Ripon with Yorkshire hills replacing gentle undulation. This meant my goal of sub 12 wasn’t realistic, but I will be back with Phil next year to get ready for the deferred Finland event and a crack at sub 12.

I couldn’t recommend Phil highly enough, especially for someone new to triathlon who wants that helping hand.


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