Train better, perform better, and achieve your triathlon goals!
Whether you’re a complete beginner to triathlon, a World Championship qualifier, or a professional or aspiring professional athlete, our mission at Scientific Triathlon is to provide you with knowledge and guidance on your triathlon journey to maximise your chances of success. Whatever success means to you.
Who We Are
Mikael is the Founder and Head Coach of Scientific Triathlon, which he started as a blog in 2015. He started out as a runner, and running was also his first focus once he got into coaching. But as his Mikael shifted his own athletic focus to triathlon, his coaching focus soon followed suit.
As an engineer, Mikael always had a great interest for science and understanding the mechanisms behind endurance performance. If we understand performance at a physiological and biomechanical level, training to improve performance becomes much easier.
However, Mikael strongly believes that the science of training or coaching is only one input to coaching decision-making. The other inputs include the athlete’s feedback and experience, as well as the coach’s anecdotal knowledge and experience.
Mikael enjoys the challenge of finding the balance of getting the biggest possible return-on-investment on training time. This requires carefully considering multiple inputs including the athlete's feedback, objectively measured training response and performance, factors external to training like work and family, and using these inputs to always try to improve training planning. Never believing you have the best answer is the key to keep improving.
More than anything, Mikael emphasises the importance of coach-athlete communication. Without great communication, a coaching relationship can never be fully successful. Triathlon is about so much more than just numbers in a training log. It's also about psychology, confidence, and even productivity and time management. And it is only through ongoing, open and honest conversations between the coach and the athlete that an athlete can reach their peak performance.
Mikael is at full capacity with age-group athletes, and is currently only taking on professionals or aspiring professionals as new athletes.
- Nationality: Finland
- Languages: Swedish (native), English (fluent), Finnish (fluent), Portuguese (basic, but improving), French (basic, and deteriorating)
- Education: Master’s degree (M.Sc., Hons) in engineering (medical physics and technology), Helsinki University of Technology / Aalto University
- Coaching Certification: Finntriathlon Level II, ITCA (International Triathlon Coaching Association)
- Coaching Experience: Started coaching in 2014. Full-time coach since 2017.
- Athletic Accomplishments:
-1st place 25-29 age-group IRONMAN 70.3 Cascais 2018
-2nd place 25-29 age-group Challenge Lisbon 2019
-IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship qualifier 2019 and 2020
-8th place in Finnish Olympic Distance National Championships 2018.
-1st overall age-grouper Powerman Portugal 2020
-1st place Finnish Swimrun National Championships 2017 (with team-mate Simon Brierley)
James is a qualified British Triathlon Level 2 Coach and has been coaching for Scientific Triathlon since early 2018.
James is an elite level triathlete racing on the ITU international Circuit. As such, he has competed among the world’s best at various Elite European and World Championships as a Junior, U23 and Senior. James has had the privilege train alongside some of the world's best athletes including the 2014 Commonwealth Champion, Olympians, IRONMAN Champions and ITU World Series medallists as part of his squad based in Loughborough.
In addition, he has been coached and mentored by some of the world’s best coaches. This has given him a unique insight into what it takes to become the best and experience of the best coaching practices, which gives him a great edge as the coach of performance-driven athletes.
James also excels at coaching athletes at the very beginner level. He has helped athletes that are just starting out in the sport progress rapidly and go from the couch to complete their first races in a short amount of time.
His pragmatic approach and excellent communication and athlete-centred coaching ensure that all of his athletes are in excellent hands.
Working at the East Midlands Regional Academy (part of the British Triathlon development pathway for talented junior and youth athletes) as well as leading and assisting with sessions at the Charnwood Triathlon Club, and Loughborough Students Triathlon Club, are experiences that have helped shape James as a coach and give him valuable in-person coaching experience.
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Languages: English (native)
- Education: Bachelor degree (B.Sc., Hons) in applied sports science and management, Loughborough University
- Coaching Certification: British Triathlon Federation Level II, Swimming Teacher Level I, Leadership in Sport Qualification, Apprenticeship in sporting excellence.
Coaching Experience: Started coaching in 2013. Joined Scientific Triathlon early 2018
- Athletic Accomplishments:
-Elite level athlete, racing competitively at a world-class level on the draft-legal circuit (International Triathlon Union sanctioned races, like European Cup and World Cup races)
-2nd British Sprint Distance Championships 2018
-3rd British Sprint Duathlon Championships 2018
-1st European U23 Mixed Team Relay Championships 2017
-21st European Olympic Distance Championships 2017
Lachie is a Triathlon Australia qualified coach and has been coaching endurance sports throughout the last five years in both the personalised programming sphere as well as the group session environment.
Lachie has been racing as a professional long-course triathlete for the last six years, providing a unique opportunity to train with and race against some of the worlds best athletes across the globe. He has had multiple podiums and top 5’s throughout major events and holds bike course records at Geelong 70.3, Taupo 70.3 and Shanghai 70.3. With over 50 professional half-ironman races as well as a vast racing resume from draft-legal sprint distance to full Ironman, Lachie brings with him a large bank of experience from which to draw upon.
The coaching philosophies that Lachie brings have been shaped through working with some of the best coaches in the world who have allowed him to experience a range of coaching ideas. Lachie, first and foremost, believes that the foundation of any successful coach-athlete relationship is communication and creating an adaptable program that accounts for all the other stressors that an athlete may experience on a daily basis. Furthermore, he believes that coaching is about utilising available data in order to identify trends, measure performance and create goals but also understands that the ‘human’ element of the athlete must always be accounted for in order to ensure the program is a reflection of what is truly best for the athlete.
Lachie is passionate about coaching athletes from all backgrounds and skill levels having worked with juniors, beginners and performance driven athletes. Through his work in the squad setting, Lachie has been able to develop a diverse coaching skillset that allows him to be confident in working with athletes of all ages and skill levels. Having experienced the requirements of professional long-course racing, Lachie is also passionate about working with athletes who may be aiming to qualify for world championship events, compete at the front of their age-group or are aiming to turn professional.
Lachie also has a Bachelor of Commerce and is currently completing his Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science.
- Nationality: Australian
- Languages: English (native)
- Education: Bachelor Degree Commerce (Deakin University), currently studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (University of New England) via correspondance
- Coaching Certification: Triathlon Australia Certified Coach
- Coaching Experience: Personalised coaching with a range of athletes over the last 5 years. Coached swimming at Powerpoints Masters squad and I4 Triathlon, coached cycling at Caulfield Grammar School, coached cycling at SpinLabs (Watt Bike sessions).
- Athletic Accomplishments:
-Professional triathlete since 2013
-Bike course records – Geelong 70.3, Taupo 70.3, Shanghai 70.3
-3rd place – Challenge Shepparton 2016
-4th – Huskisson Long Course 2017
-4th – Challenge Shepparton 2018
-5th place – Challenge Asia Pacific-Champs 2017
-6th Place – Ironman Busselton 2018
-6th place – Geelong 70.3 2018
David is a driven Belgian coach and triathlete living in the south of France. With over 12 years of experience he coaches athletes of all levels to achieve their goals. As well as being on our coaching team, David is also the Customer Support Manager of Scientific Triathlon.
David has plenty of personal experience in short and long distance triathlon, and has qualified for and participated in both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. Being coached by a multiple Ironman World Championship winner Luc van Lierde for several years has given David great insights in triathlon performance and development and greatly improved his coaching skills.
Communication is key for David. This allows him to understand the athlete's individual needs and to adjust the training plans accordingly to achieve and exceed their goals.
- Nationality: Belgium (currently living in France)
- Languages: Dutch (native), English (fluent), French (fluent), German (basic)
- Education: Master’s degree in Criminology (Ghent University)
- Coaching Certification: Brevet Fédéral Triathlon 5 (FFTRI – Fédération Française Triathlon)
- Coaching Experience: Started coaching in 2014. Full-time coach since 2015.
- Athletic Accomplishments:
-262th place (next time a lot better...): IRONMAN World Championship Kona, Hawaii 2019
-15th overall, 3rd AG 35-39: National French Championships Half Distance 2019
-1st place: Olympic Distance Revel, France
-12th overall, 3rd AG 35-39: Ironman Malaysia 2018 (Qualification for IRONMAN World Championships)
-5th overall and best marathon, 3rd AG 35-39: Extreme triathlon Altriman Pyrenees, full distance (5000+ meters elevation gain bike, 800+ meters elevation gain run)
-9th overall, 2nd AG 35-39: Frenchman full distance
-Ironman 70.3 World Championships Zell am See, Austria 2015
What We Believe In
The Art of coaching
The age-old “art vs. science” debate is a false dichotomy. The best coaches in the world know they need to master both. On the art side, years of experience and experimentation, trial and error, and listening to and learning from other coaches and athletes help us recognise patterns and discover possible solutions that you just cannot learn by reading peer-reviewed research.
The Science of Coaching
That said, a very strong understanding of the science of endurance sports is required to be able to maximise the effectiveness of any training program. This goes beyond just the science of exercise physiology, but also includes sports psychology, nutrition, stress and recovery and so on. We do our best to always stay up to date on the latest science, but never losing sight of the forest for the trees. One single study doesn’t prove anything, but consensus in the scientific community tells a lot.
Insatiable hunger for learning and improving
Just like we are highly competitive and driven athletes with very ambitious goals, we are constantly trying to improve and be the best coaches we can be. This is a journey that is never-ending, but shoot for the stars and you might hit the moon. As individuals and as a team we are constantly engaging in continual self-improvement and self-education, with the goal of becoming the best triathlon coaches and coaching business in the world.
Why Scientific Triathlon Is "The Real Deal" In Triathlon Training And Performance
- Our coaching clients stay with us for the long haul - 77% of the athletes that have joined us since we started the coaching business are still with us to this day!
- Our coaching clients get results (probably a key factor for such a high retention rate…) - there are too many accomplishments to list, but we have helped multiple athletes with every imaginable goal from completing their first triathlon or first IRONMAN all the way through qualifying and racing World Championship races and getting podiums and wins in big international races like IRONMAN and Challenge races.
- 1500+ - Training plans sold
- 9.5/10 - Average customer rating of training plans
- 1.4 million - Podcast downloads for That Triathlon Show
- 600+ - 5-star ratings for That Triathlon Show
- All of our Scientific Triathlon coaches are great athletes in their own right - James is a professional ITU (short-course athlete), finishing 4th in the ETU European Cup rankings in 2019 and fighting for WTS starts; Lachie is a professional long-course athlete with multiple top-5 finishes in IRONMAN 70.3 and Challenge races, as well as three bike course records; David and Mikael are very competitive age-group athletes with multiple podiums and wins among them in IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3, Challenge, and Powerman Duathlon races.
- Us coaches are and have been coached and mentored by some of the very best coaches in the sport - David Tilbury-Davis, Alan Couzens, Paul Laursen, Luc van Lierde and others.
*Stats and facts current as of March 2020
To get a really good idea of what Scientific Triathlon is about, here are a few episodes of our podcast, That Triathlon Show, that you might want to give a listen. Download these to your podcast player app and listen on your next commute(s) and you’re almost guaranteed to be a That Triathlon Show subscriber after!
The Strong Savvy Cyclist & Triathlete Podcast
Early Days (2015)
Scientific Triathlon started in 2015 as a blog and newsletter created by founder Mikael Eriksson. Mikael was working as a product development engineer at a medical device startup in Helsinki, Finland, and started the website and newsletter for a bit of fun between work and training.
The scale of the project was small and remained small for a long time. The next milestone on the timeline was when Mikael started offering remote coaching services (he had been doing a little informal coaching for a couple of years at this point) to the website and newsletter audience in late 2016.
One of the major milestones then happened late February 2017, when the first episode of the podcast That Triathlon Show was launched. Since that date, two new episodes (for some time this was actually three new episodes) have been released every single week of the year. When writing this in March 2020, that means over three years of metronome-like content creation.
Today, That Triathlon Show is a major podcast in the triathlon space and is listened to around the globe, but the growth has always been a slow grind rather than a hockey stick exponential curve, and there’s an incredible amount of time and money as well as blood, sweat and tears that has gone into making the podcast as popular as it is. The opportunity to speak to the world’s greatest coaches, scientists, and industry experts and share them with you and the rest of our loyal audience (in many cases their appearances on That Triathlon Show have been the only trace of in-depth public interviews they have ever done) has made it all worth it!
Greener Pastures (2017)
The spring and summer of 2017 was a critical time, as Mikael was slowly but surely burning the candle at both ends. Combining his daytime job, training, and Scientific Triathlon was becoming unsustainable with a workload too big to handle. It was time to make a decision. Mikael quit his job and decided to move somewhere where training opportunities and the climate was better than Finland, the racing scene was more exciting, and cost of living more suitable for somebody with nothing but the income of a part-time coach (which will get you about a coffee, a beer, and a cheeseburger in Finland). That destination was Lisbon, Portugal. In October 2017, without ever having been to Portugal, Mikael took two suitcases and a bike bag, got on a plane, and moved the Scientific Triathlon headquarters to Lisbon, and could now focus on coaching, on growing Scientific Triathlon, and That Triathlon Show.
While not having a sustainable income for a while was a big risk, being able to coach and work on Scientific Triathlon full-time was exactly what Mikael needed to eventually make coaching and running Scientific Triathlon not just a (more than…) full-time job, but one that put food on the table and a roof over his head.
Through word of mouth and the steady growth of That Triathlon Show enough athletes joined the ranks of the Scientific Triathlon squad that Mikael eventually reached his coaching capacity. Especially considering that producing That Triathlon Show was a very substantial commitment he was determined to continue, as that was a fantastic way to give back to the triathlon community and be able to help athletes at a scale that coaching one on one did not allow for.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work! (2018+)
In April 2018, coach James Teagle joined the Scientific Triathlon coaching team. This marked the start of creating a vision and a mission for Scientific Triathlon. We want to help athletes around the world train smarter, improve their performance and achieve their triathlon goals. One person can only coach so many people, and it would be impossible to have the impact we want to have as a one-man-band. James joining was the start of building an exceptional team of coaching all sharing the same values, motivation and high level of expertise and experience so we can accomplish that mission at a larger scale.
The year and a half or so that followed can be summarised in three words: hustle, hustle, hustle.
The first order of priority has always been and always will be the individual coaching we do. But in addition to that, a massive amount of work went into continuously pushing the podcast to newer heights with a whos-who of interviewees and into creating ready-made training plans designed to give massive value in extremely affordable packages. With that mission of helping all triathletes train smarter and achieve their triathlon goals, Mikael realised that the podcast (free) and training plans (very affordable) were essential pieces in having the positive impact we want to have on the entire triathlon community, including those not ready to invest in premium coaching.
Just as Mikael and James got to the limit of their coaching capacity, Mikael and Lachie got connected, and Lachie ended up joining the coaching group in the summer of 2019. And in another highlight of 2019, David also joined the team, taking up a role as Customer Support Manager (if you buy a training plan from us and have any questions, he will be the one to help you out) and coach.
The year of 2020 therefore ended on a great upward trajectory with improved coaching capacity, better customer support for the training plans, and to add to that, That Triathlon Show broke one million total downloads in the last quarter of the year!
Now, what’s next for Scientific Triathlon, and how will we accomplish it?
We want to help triathletes of all levels around the world train more effectively and get better performance outcomes as well as enjoyment from the sport. And we will accomplish this by educating athletes through That Triathlon Show, by athletes using our ready-made training plans (perfect for those not yet ready or able to invest in coaching), and of course, by athletes working directly with our coaches. In each of these segments, we want to become the best in the world. If you like what we do, you can help us towards that goal by spreading the word to your fellow athletes.
Lastly, here are our main Principles at Scientific Triathlon, that guide us to be the best coaches we can be and help us give you the best experience you can possibly get when you interact with us at Scientific Triathlon.
Our athletes’ and customers’ success is our success.
- Work Ethic and Drive
If what we do is not important enough for us to want to spend long days and nights on it, we’re in the wrong job.
Honesty and high moral standards.
- Continual self-improvement
High performance is a journey, not a destination.
The proof is in the pudding, and we always try to improve our results further. Great isn’t good enough!
- Long-term thinking
Say ‘no thank you’ to instant gratification.
Assess a theory or belief from the results of its practical application.
- No dogma
The extreme stance is almost never the right one, and things are not black and white.
- First Principles
Break problems and solutions down into core elements known to be true.
Within reason. Occam’s razor - ‘the simplest solution (but no simpler) is most likely the right one’.
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