Before being coached by Mikael, my training was all at the same pace and I didn't see any progress. I also found it difficult to stay motivated. When Mikael started coaching me, my training plans transformed and I really started progressing. My Olympic distance times improved significantly, and my swim went from mediocre to good. If you're considering getting a coach, I highly recommend Mikael. He is a really dedicated and passionate coach, and will transform your training and triathlon progress.
Being coached by Mikael has been great! We have a good relationship and I get all the help I want. Superb flexibility to meet the changing schedules - I still don't understand how you have time to always react within 24h.
I'm in the peak fitness of my life and reached my race goal of sub-5:30 for a half Ironman easily. I would never have exercised this structured and consistent way without you. The training plan and workouts really got results. Also, knowing that you check every session in Training Peaks pushed me to do those workouts even when feeling a bit lazy...
The biggest thing that changed for me when starting being coached by Mikael was getting structure to my training program and getting more variety into my training. This allowed me to stay consistent with my training and train with purpose. If you have a goal and want to train with structure and purpose towards it, I highly recommend signing up for coaching with Mikael.
The greatest benefits of being coached by Mikael were the individual training program and the continuous communication. Through getting an individual training plan I got great insight to training and what works well to improve performance. And it was really good to get feedback on my training sessions, like not going out too hard! Thank you for your help and support and interest in my training!
The biggest benefit of coaching has been to learn about how to organise my training with different types of workouts (intervals/tempo/Z2/recovery). Last year when I was training by myself I hesitated not to go too hard, but since we've been working together I can trust that we are following guidelines that accelerate the process of improvement.
That, along with getting feedback on a daily basis has helped me become efficient with my training and improve in all three sports have improved. Noticeably on the run, I've gone from 6:15 pace zone 2 run with a cadence of 72 to 5:30 pace with a cadence of 82. And my swim pace has improved by 17 seconds per 100 m!
It would have taken me years on my own to improve like I've done and learn what I've learnt with you in 5 just months. If you want to be efficient with your training, and in the case of beginners like me, learn about the sport, you shouldn't think twice about signing up!
Mikael's coaching is top class! I achieved and exceeded my goal of completing my first Olympic Distance Triathlon thanks to the efficient training and the discipline I got from being coached and having a professional plan.
The communication was very good, and it was brilliant to get feedback on my workouts in Training Peaks. Signing up for coaching with Mikael was well worth the investment!
Mark went from struggling to see how he could even complete the Olympic distance race, let alone within the cut-off time of 4 hours, to standing on the start line confident that he had what it took and easily finish in sub-3:30 even in tropical heat that saw others drop like flies around him on the run.
My goal when signing up for coaching was to complete the Ötztal Radmarathon in an honourable fashion and I certainly achieved that goal. I value a data-driven training approach highly, and with Mikael, I got that. He provided advice and analysis using tools like Best Bike Split and WKO4, in addition to Training Peaks.
I also greatly appreciated the fact that you updated the program on short notice when there were changes in my schedule. I would highly recommend coaching with Mikael to others!
Ötztal Radmarathon is a 228 km road cycling race in the Alps with 5500 m (18 000 feet) of elevation gain. Although my main focus is on triathlon, I do also coach cycling (road and time trial), running (any distance from 5 km to ultra running), and Swimrun.
I achieved my goals and exceeded my expectations, going from a 45-minute 10k run to sub-40, and completing an Ironman 70.3 in 5:05 (with my goal being just completing it and enjoying it).
Your coaching kept me focused with well thought-out, balanced training plans. And it was great to have you hold me accountable for the training through daily check-ins on Training Peaks.
For anybody interested, I would highly recommend getting Mikael as a coach!
Being coached by Mikael was a learning process for me as a beginner. Mikael tailored my training plan after identifying my strengths and weakness which helped me trust him during the entire process. In addition, the communication was outstanding. We had great discussions all with the end goal of helping me reach my goals.
Signing up for coaching is super worth it! First, I did not have to worry about what the right training for me next week would be. Second, Mikael evaluated my daily performance in workouts to track my progress and prevent unnecessary injuries. Lastly, through the coaching process, I built the confidence needed to overcome my fears allowing me to perform immensely well in each of my events.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. You pay on a month-to-month basis, and can decide to stop coaching at anytime by giving a 14-day notice.
There are two options for how to manage payments:
1) Pay by credit card. This is the convenient option, as you can decide to set up an automatic, monthly payment. There is a small (1.5-3.0%) additional processing fee with this option.
2) Pay by bank transfer. If you are in Europe, this can be done as a simple IBAN to IBAN transfer. Outside of Europe, you can use a service like Transferwise. This is the cheapest option (generally no additional fees in Europe, and a very minimal fee using Transferwise).
You can read the Cancellation terms in full here.
In short, cancellations can be made at any time after the first 31 days of active coaching, and the notice period for cancelling your coaching is 14 days.
We cannot offer any discounts on coaching. We keep our prices down to the minimum level possible given the premium nature of how we provide our coaching services.
No. We want every athlete to get the best possible coaching, so everybody gets A+ treatment. What motivates us as coaches is to get the best out of all of our athletes, and how can we do that if we limit the service level in any way? Therefore, everybody is treated the same way and pays the same fee.
We can only speak for our services, what other coaches do and don't do isn't anything we want to comment on. We can comment on the fact that our goal is to be the best, highest quality triathlon coaching business in the world.
What we offer is a complete, premium, unconstrained coaching service where we are as committed as you to your goals, and we work very hard to help you achieve them. Additionally, we place a big emphasis on always improving our knowledge and educating ourselves. This means we spend a lot of time and money on different ways to improve our coaching, which ultimately our clients benefit from immensely.
If you are completely new to the technical aspects of e.g. swimming or cycling, then you are better off training with a local coach or club that can help you by providing in-person technique tips.
If you are motivated primarily by the social aspect of the sport or pure enjoyment of being active rather than achieving specific goals or looking to improve improve performance, then joining a local club is probably the best option for you.
Yes, you can. Our coaches (in Europe and Australia at the moment of writing) coach athletes across Australia/Asia, Europe, and North and South America without any issues.
Text-based communication (email, texts, Training Peaks comments) is of course something that is independent of time zone.
For the coaching calls, we are very flexible on our working hours to make sure that we can get in these important conversations regardless of time zone differences, and there have never been any issues with this.
This is something we can discuss on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking:
-A place to swim and some basic swim gear (your coach can make recommendations for swim tools needed)
-A bike, helmet, and bike shoes.
-A GPS-watch and heart rate monitor are highly recommended, but you can get started without them if you don't currently have them and simply purchase them as you go along (in the not-too-distant future).
First, see the question above on when it might make sense to join a local club/coach.
If you know the basics of the three disciplines (e.g. even though you may be a slow swimmer, you know how to swim) and you are motivated to achieve a goal or improve performance, then yes, you will benefit immensely.
In fact, starting with a coach right away is an incredibly smart thing to do, because even if you were to go back to being self-coached in let's say a year, then everything you will have learnt from your year with a coach stays with you, and you will be so much better equipped to self-coach effectively having had that coaching experience. You will also have a much better fitness base and triathlon proficiency, so getting a coach as a beginner is a way to truly accelerate your progress in the sport. It's the closest thing to a "shortcut" that you can get.
Yes. We qualify multiple athletes for Kona and other World Championships and major events each year and we love coaching this group of athletes as you are probably highly motivated just like us!
It's worth mentioning that all the coaches in our group are also competing at a high level themselves (from very good age-group level all the way up to professional level), which while not a prerequisite, may be an advantage when coaching advanced athletes like World Championship contenders and qualifiers.
Yes, we do. We have a few aspiring professionals in our stable of athletes already, and we are all extremely keen on helping athletes like you reach the professional level or get more competitive at it, whatever your goal may be.
It is worth mentioning that several of our coaches are themselves racing professionally (short-course and long-course) and know what it's about from a personal athletic perspective as well.
On the contrary. An unpredictable life schedule means that a ready-made training plan is not a good option for you, but our coaching is dynamic and built on a foundation of communication and flexibility, and we coach many athletes just like you.
Of course you should try to tell your coach with as much notice as possible about scheduling issues. But when things come up on short notice, just let them know and they will adjust your training as needed.
In addition, your coach will educate you on how to take your own decisions on adjustments if you need to take such decisions on the fly.
So coaching will allow you to get the most out of your training despite challenging scheduling and unpredictability.
Yes, we are. In our onboarding, we make sure we cover how any female-specific issues might or might not affect your training. We are also constantly following the developments in academia on differences, where they exist, between men and women when it comes to training, nutrition, recovery and so on.
It is important to note however, that regardless of gender, age and so on, we focus on coaching the individual. We don't believe in applying template models on any given demographic, because the variance within the demographic of females is just as great or greater than the average difference between men and women at a population-level.
So rest assured that we will give you the best coaching for you - not for the average person of your age and gender.
Yes, we are. In fact, the 50-60 age-bracket is one of our biggest, and we even have athletes in the 60-70 bracket. We do of course adapt our coaching to account for age (when it makes sense to do so), and we are constantly following the developments in academia on differences, where they exist, between older and younger athletes when it comes to training, nutrition, recovery and so on.
It is important to note however, that regardless of gender, age and so on, we focus on coaching the individual. We don't believe in applying template models on any given demographic, because the variance within any given age-bracket is just as great or greater than the average difference between different age-brackets at a population-level.
So rest assured that we will give you the best coaching for you - not for the average person of your age and gender.
If you want to think that you would not benefit from coaching, then we are not going to try to convince you otherwise.
From our perspective though, even though we are very well-educated coaches ourselves, each of us have their own coach. It is not because we think they know something we don't. It's because every person on this planet has biases (some more than others). The best way to counter the negative effects of bias is to have somebody with an outside perspective help guide us take smarter decisions.
Getting a coach doesn't have to mean giving up all influence on your own training. That's why we keep stressing that it's a relationship. As an athlete, we can make suggestions for what we think would be a good idea to do, and our coach can objectively assess the suggestion and make a positive or negative recommendation. In other words, the deeper the athlete's knowledge, the more the training planning process goes from being prescriptive to being collaborative.
If you can do two of the sports (e.g. swimming and cycling), even if not at full intensity yet, our recommendation is to start sooner rather than later.
You are going to benefit from getting coached right away by getting back to full fitness more quickly, with a reduced risk of injury setbacks, and making the most of your training in the disciplines that you can train. So if you are going to sign up for coaching, waiting doesn't make any sense.
With regard to simply poor fitness at the moment (as opposed to recovering from injury), the best cure for that poor fitness is to get a good coach as soon as possible, so please just get on board!
If you are recovering from a serious injury or illness, and your current training options are very limited (e.g. you can only swim at the moment) then it might make sense to wait a little bit until you can do slightly more (e.g. swim and bike) to get more out of the coaching.
You could, but the better option would be to start right away. We have started working with athletes as late as 2-3 weeks out from an IRONMAN, and the athletes have ended up very happy we started before, not after the race.
To be clear, we are not going to be able to do any magic to your fitness in a short time before your race. What we can do is implement small but important tweaks, help with race strategies, nutrition and hydration, tapering, and make sure you get to the startline in the right mental mindset. These add up to a potential big upside on race day.
In addition, by starting now, we ensure that after your race you and your coach already know each other and are ready to hit the ground running for your next goal. The familiarisation process has been completed.
So the recommendation to start sooner rather than later holds in this situation as well.
Before even signing up, you will have a no-obligation discovery call with the coach you are considering. Both you and your coach need to be happy to proceed. It must be a good fit from the coach's perspective too.
When you sign up, you will fill out a detailed onboarding questionnaire with information about you, your sporting background, goals, life outside of training and training constraints, and so on.
You will be added to your coach's Training Peaks account (you will be prompted to create an account if you don't have one) where your training plan will reside.
You will communicate with your coach, in onboarding coaching calls and through email/text-based communication to ensure things are going smoothly and you are both aware of each other's expectations. For example, your coach will explain to you what sort of information they expect you to provide in your post-workout comments.
Your first invoice and payment instructions will be sent the day you start the program and then on that same day each month as long as you stay coached.
We work on any and all aspects of improving triathlon performance. We're not just looking to improve your swim, bike and run in controlled test situations. We want you to race better and reach your peak performance by any (legal, of course) means possible.
This is one of our key differential points. We are not happy to just improve your swim, bike and rrun performance. We don't want to leave any stone unturned in trying to achieve your goals and potential. Our coaching is a 'Performance' service, not simply a 'Training' service.
First, you have to communicate with your coach. This includes writing post-workout comments, answering to questions your coach might have, and committing to having regular coaching calls.
Second, you have to do the work. No plan is better than its execution, and if you don't actually do the work, we might as well use a random-workout-generator rather than plan things out to the best of our abilities. It's not going to make a difference if you don't actually follow the plan.
Third, you need to be motivated. A coach can guide you, even inspire you, but lasting motivation comes from within. If you are not motivated to train and to commit to your goals, then you should not start with us.
Fourth, we expect you to take care of your health and insurances related to health and training. Taking care of your health is including, but not limited to, getting general medical check-ups on a regular basis, ensuring proper sleep and eating habits, communicating any potential health issues to your coach, and not doing anything stupid in trainin, like training through injury-like pain.
Finally, you are under no circumstances allowed to use illegal substances to get a competitive edge. You should always conduct yourself in a sportsmanlike manner to fellow athletes, event organisers and referees, volunteers and spectators. And you should respect event rules and safety guidelines, as well as general traffic rules where applicable.
To some extent, this is for you and your coach to decide together (e.g. what communication platform you prefer).
But in broad strokes, communication is unlimited. Whenever you have a question or suggestion for your coach, send them an email (or text message) and they'll answer you in a timely manner. And your coach might have questions for you (a common example is "How are you feeling?") and initiate a conversation to make sure things are going well and to get important information for planning upcoming training or making training adjustments.
A very important part of the ongoing communication are the Post-workout comments in Training Peaks. It is mandatory for you as an athlete to write comments after your workouts, because your coach needs to know how you felt in each workout. In certain cases, you may have a question relating to the workout you did, and that may start a conversation within those post-workout comments in Training Peaks. Or, your coach may have feedback on how you executed the workout, which again could start a conversation in those comments.
Finally, you will have regular (typically biweekly) coaching calls (video calls if possible, e.g. WhatsApp, Skype or similar) which allows you to really get to know each other even better and go in-depth on any topics that might be important on your agenda at the moment.
Your plan is delivered in a software called Training Peaks. You will have an account that is linked to your coach's Coach account, so they can add workouts to your calendar. Normally, your coach will plan anywhere from 1-4 weeks of training at a time for you, depending on where you are in your training. The planned training will be adjusted if needed (our coaching is dynamic, not static).
In the image below (open full-size by clicking) you can see an example of what this might look like.
First of all, your post-workout comments are more important than any other data for your coach to get a good idea of how the workout went.
Secondly, we assume you use some sort of GPS-watch to track at least your runs and rides. Your coach will tell you how you should configure this watch and your Training Peaks account so your workouts automatically get uploaded to Training Peaks. Then your coach can review and analyse every workout that you do, and see if things like pace, power and heart rate were as planned.
See screenshots below for examples (click for full size).
Generally speaking, yes you can. All doors are open, and you will discuss with your coach how best to incorporate these workouts in your training.
In some cases the coach may need to tell you that participating in a certain group workout is counterproductive for your goals.
But generally, there is a lot of flexibility to make room for group workouts, and in many cases we as coaches are very glad to see our athletes participate in them as they can have many great benefits.
Yes. With modern technology (phone cameras and apps like Hudl Technique, GoPros etc.) this is easier than ever. Just have somebody film you and your coach will thank you for getting a chance to review your technique. Your coach can also help you decide on what technology (e.g. phone or GoPro) to use and how to get the most useful footage (e.g. which angles to film from).
In a sense, yes. While you would have to go to a lab somwhere where you live (or can travel to), your coach can help you by recommending if it makes sense for you to do lab testing in the first place, by vetting the options available to you, and most importantly, by making the results actionable and using them to inform training decisions going forward.
That said, not all athletes need to do lab testing. It is up to the athlete at the end of the day. And your coach will be accomodating of this and decide on what to do isntead. Field testing is of course a decent option for most athletes, and when it comes to the bike Scientific Triathlon athletes can, if desired, benefit from doing the home-based INSCYD-testing for a heavily discounted rate.
This is bound to happen sooner or later, and is no cause for stress or panic. Simply communicate with your coach, and together you can decide if and how to adjust training.
These types of changes in our initial plans is just another good reason to work with a great coach. To have somebody help taking care of adjustments to our training plan. For self-coached athletes, these adjustments are among the top reasons for injury or non-functional overreaching, but a good coach will see to it that it doesn't happen.
Yes. At the risk of sounding repetitive, our coaching is based on great communication. If you are interested in understanding why your training is planned the way it is, or the purpose of a particular workout, just ask your coach and they will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Coaching is like the compund effect in investing - the longer you're in it, the more it keeps on giving. This is because each season you and your coach know each other better than the season before, and you have more experience and hard data together to look back on to figure out what works well for you and what doesn't. So in an ideal situation, you should find a great coach and then stay with that coach for many years (although not necessarily an entire career).
That said, as explained in "I have a race in the near future - should I wait to start with coaching?" you can start to see some immediate benefits by working with a coach within weeks. Not in fitness, but in how you do things (both training, racing, and things outside of training and racing).
In terms of fitness, although it is built over years and years rather than weeks or months, you will be able to see significant changes in 3-6 months generally. For most athletes of beginner to intermediate level, in 12 months you will be a very different athlete. For very advanced athletes, improvements are obviously smaller and more difficult to come by, but you should still be able to see improvements on these same timescales, albeit not of the same magnitude as the less advanced athletes that have more room to grow.
If you are interested in the Scientific Triathlon coaching services, want to learn more, or to set up a free, no-obligation discovery call, please send us a message and let's discuss!
Structured plan of specific duration (e.g. 16 weeks) leading up to specific goal (e.g. 70.3)
Completely individualised training plan (or series of training blocks, minimum duration 8 weeks) created by one of our expert coaches for your specific goal or goals
Completely individualised, ongoing coaching. Way more than just a training plan, this includes ongoing communication, monitoring, adjustments, all to maximise your performance.
Available as PDF-file and as Training Peaks plan
Plan delivered in Training Peaks (you can use a Free or Premium account)
Plan delivered in Training Peaks (you can use a Free or Premium account)
Different goal events or training objectives (Sprint, Olympic, Half, and Full distance, Strength Training)
Based on an in-depth questionnaire that asks about your goals, current training and training history, injury history, time constraints, current ability, and so on.
The onboarding phase includes completing an in-depth questionnaire, communicating with your coach on phone/video calls and email/text-based messaging, and day-to-day interaction and adjustments around your workouts.
Different experience levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Can be used on a block-by-block basis: e.g. if you have 32 weeks to your goal race, get a customised plan consisting of 4 x 8-week blocks. You only commit to one block at a time.
No minimum commitment time (but a 14-day notice period for cancellation of the service)
Customer support available (support does not include customisation, coaching, or consultation-like services): (email@example.com)
The coach providing the plan answers questions if something about it is unclear, and can make adjustments when it's still in "draft-mode". After you have accepted and received the plan, no further adjustments or changes are included.
Unlimited communication. Any questions, comments or suggestions, just email/text your coach. Communication also occurs around specific workouts, in Training Peaks post-workout comments. You will also have regular (typically biweekly) coaching calls.
Ongoing training monitoring, adjustments, and communication with coach are NOT included.
Ongoing training monitoring, adjustments, and communication with coach are NOT included.
Your coach monitors your training on a daily basis and makes adjustments as needed (whether identified by the coach themselves or as requested by you).
Cost: varies depending on plan and format. From 29 to 69 €, around 3-4 € per week.
Cost: 25 € per week
Cost: 250 € per month