I'm Craig, and I am the current lead coach in Dumfries & Galloway Triathlon Club, and I find that many people have this preconceived notion that in order to be a triathlete, or to take part in any multi-sport event you have to be super fit, and spend a fortune on high end kit. This is the story of how I came into triathlon, and how anyone of any ability can take part in triathlon.
I was a fairly sedate person, my job involves sitting at a desk, and I had very experience in exercising at all. So, in 2009, the Run4Health was introduced in Dumfries, and I saw this as a challenge. To run 5km, I set myself a target of 30 mins. And with a lot of hard work and effort I ran my first 5km and finished in just over 30 mins.
For the next 3 years I continued to try and train and my focus was on getting better at running 5k, and I did improve but due to the fact I was training myself my motivation began to wane and my times really never got much better. And in early 2012 I read an article in the local paper saying that a new club was in the early stages of being formed and that a meeting would be held to discuss the creation of the club that is now Dumfries & Galloway Triathlon Club.
After a very successful meeting the club creation progressed, and I took the decision to enter my first triathlon in August of 2012, a pool based triathlon held in Carlisle. This would give me around 4 months to get to a stage where I could swim 500m, cycle 20km and run 5km.
I decided that I should start swimming, and I thought (quite mistakenly) that I was a relatively competent swimmer. I decided that swimming was the first thing I needed to get better at, as I knew I could go on a bike, and I knew I could run 5km. So I bravely ventured into the pool and started swimming my first length. I made it to the other end of the pool, gasping for air and thinking...... what ever made me think that this was a good plan.
However, with the creation of the club which I joined at the first opportunity I gained access to the knowledge of an experienced coach. They took me through some swimming drills, and gave me things to work on and from being a person who struggled to swim 25m I continued to progress, initially up to 50m, then 100m and the distances kept on growing, until eventually I was able to swim 500m without stopping.
But as well as the swimming I learned more about running technique and cycling, and my overall fitness continued to increase at a rate which I never thought was possible. Fitness was the biggest issue in terms of the bike and the run, however, with coaching and encouragement from other more experienced athletes I continued to develop. And the day of the race came, and nervously I stepped up to the start and began the first triathlon of my life..... and I finished, and the elation I experienced at finishing was enormous.
Now I could have left it there, having achieved my goal of completing a triathlon, but with the sense of achievement and camraderie within the club I continued to develop. I trained more, I sought out new challenges, moved from the comfort of the pool out into open water triathlons. I built up distances and became a more adept athlete, taking part in ever increasing numbers of Sprint distance, Standard Distance and even Half Iron Distance Triathlons
Somewhere along the journey I decided to become a coach. This was in part due to the fact that I felt that I could develop my own training by increasing my knowledge, but also I felt that I could use my experience of going from being a complete novice to help others who were in the same situation. I initially became a Level 1 assistant coach, but soon took the opportunity to progress to being a Level 2 coach which would give me the ability to develop and lead my own training plans, and following the departure of our former Lead Coach I became head coach in early 2017.
The main point is no matter your level of experience, whether you are a complete novice, or an experienced athlete we can help you to develop you as an athlete to help you achieve your aims.
Those aims can be as simple as completing a triathlon (which was my aim when I started in triathlon some 6 years ago), or moving up through the events, or focusing on increasing performance.
Our doors are always open.
Lead Coach Dumfries & Galloway Triathlon Club
We call ourselves Dumfries & Galloway Triathlon Club, however, we are a Multi-Sport Club which is based around Triathlon.
Multi-Sport events are now growing in popularity providing a new challenge for people who have grown tired of being a single sport athlete.
We offer training in Swimming, Cycling and Running which allows our members to take part in events which are any combination of these events. More events are being introduced each year combining two or three of these events.
There are Aquabike events (Swim/Cycle), Aquathlons (Swim/Run), Duathlons (Run/Cycle/Run) and of course Triathlons (Swim/Cycle/Run). These events can be road or off road events, and to cater for all abilities there are a number of different distances from novice/super sprint events all the way up to the Ironman Triathlons.
If you are an experienced athlete, or a complete novice, we can help you through your journey into the Multi-Sport arena. We are a friendly club with experienced coaches and members with a vast range of experience who can help you along this journey.
As club secretary I have been approached by the law firm cycle law Scotland and given some information packs and car stickers to support them in their latest campaign.
They are trying to bring together cyclists and motorists by advertising the fact that most cyclists also own and drive cars. The ‘I ride too’ car sticker is supposed to be a demonstration of friendship and respect, as well as a reassurance of your consideration to fellow cyclists out there. More information can be found here: