Athletes get pro treatment from London 2012 Olympic Super Coach Darren Smith

Triathlon coaching specialist Tri Dynamic has sent in its report from the recent Triathlon Master Class with Aussie Super Coach Darren Smith, which took place in London on the weekend of 11-12 August.

Lucky participants got to spend a whole day receiving individual coaching from Darren Smith, the only coach in any sport at the London 2012 Olympics to have five of his athletes in one final for the Women’s Olympic Triathlon. In total, Darren Smith had six athletes from his world famous D-squad competing in the London 2012 Olympic triathlon events.

From his squad came Olympic Silver Medallist Lisa Norden, 4th place Sarah Groff, 11th place Anne Haug; (crash affected) Katie Roberts 22nd and Vicky Holland 26th; with Andreas Giglmayr who placed 40th in the men’s triathlon.

The D-squad split their time between Davos, Canberra and Sedona. The London 2012 Olympics meant that age group athletes had the unique opportunity of Darren being in the country to experience the type of coaching his Olympic athletes benefit from on a daily basis.

Athletes of all abilities and distances and also other coaches turned up to learn from Smith. Athletes travelled from all over the UK and from as far away as Luxembourg and even Tokyo. Conditions were perfect, with London being bathed in Olympic sunshine, as the lucky participants arrived at Hampton Pool’s beautiful outdoor 36m pool.

The day started with a classroom session and helpful practical & proactive demonstrations of correct technique from Smith, followed by the first swim session and video work. Then they were back in the classroom reviewing the footage and each person was given key points to work on before getting back in to the water to experiment and implement new skills that they learned. How to swim effectively in open water was a crucial topic that was covered, with Smith sharing some of the secrets of his athletes’ success.

After a quick bite of lunch it was over to nearby St Mary’s University College in Twickenham and the world class sports facilities there with its biomechanics lab and beautiful track for the run component of the day’s coaching. Participants were also lucky to witness some Olympic athletes who were based at St Mary’s training on the track after competing.

The afternoon began with a classroom session, with Smith explaining the key technical components and backing that up with a showcasing of key run sessions and footage of D-squad athletes in action as well as some very famous special guests who have trained with Darren Smith on camp. It was easy to see where Smith’s formidable reputation for transforming swimmers and runners has come from, with the D-squad being among the strongest runners in the female ITU circuit with all 5 girls running sub 35 minutes and Lisa Norden, Sarah Groff and Anne Haug all achieving sub 34 minute 10Ks.

Then it was out on to the beautifully maintained grass football pitch to put into practice the new skills and to experiment, all under the expert eye of Smith who actively demonstrated and led the session giving each person key take away points to work on to improve.

One of the participants commented, “I was most impressed with just how actively Darren engages with the athletes, physically leading them, moving them into the right positions and demonstrating proper technique, lying on the pool side getting drenched as we tried to apply what he was teaching us! He explains things very clearly and gets to the point. I really felt a big improvement both in my swimming and running and it felt easy!”

Tri Dynamic will be running more events with Darren Smith in the future in addition to him being the special guest on the Joe Friel Kona Quest Camp, during race week at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii this October.

Tri Dynamic Triathlon Training Camps & Workshops:

  • Pool & Open Water Swim Workshop with Dan Bullock, Edinburgh, 8-9 September
  • Kona Quest Camp with Joe Friel & Special Guest Darren Smith, Hawaii, 10-14 October
  • Tenerife Swim Faster Camp with Dan Bullock, 16-23 February 2013
  • High Attention Lanzarote Triathlon Camp with Joe Friel, 2-9 March
  • Mallorca Spring Triathlon Camp with Joe Friel, 16-23 March
  • Official Training Camp of Mallorca Olympic Distance Tri with Steve Trew & Dan Bullock, 27 April – 4 May


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