James has coached me since 2009, he never leaves any stone unturned and expects the athletes he works with not to either.
Gillian Sanders, Olympian
'I've been training with James since I was 15. I'm now racing as an U23 Elite'.
Rory Atkins, U23 Elite
James started coaching me as an age group athlete in 2009 while I was working full time as a lawyer. I started to make remarkable improvements under his guidance and in early 2011 we took on the mammoth task of qualifying for the London Olympics. I began training full time and between James and I, we managed to qualify me for the 2012 Olympic Games in less than 18 months. A feat that I'm certain no other athlete and coach have undertaken.
James's technical expertise is astonishing and most of my gains were made as a result of technical aspects that needed working on in swim, bike and run. We continue to strive for perfection and making me the best possible athlete I can be come the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Read Gill's story
James has been coaching me for 6 years since I started triathlon as a beginner, aged 15. Under his guidance I have continued to progress in each discipline. I started competing in local races before progressing to national standard competitions and now I race at elite level on the European Circuit.
James has a real passion and enthusiasm for coaching. He is committed to improving performance from beginner to elite level. He is innovative and unique in his approach. He also has an excellent understanding of the technical demands of each discipline. As a coach and an athlete we are always striving for improvement but we enjoy the process and have fun along the way!
I've loved working with James to address the physical, skill and mental limiters that have been between where I started and where I want to get in Ironman racing.
The physical is the sessions we do and why, the skill is stuff you can only get from a coach that's been pool and trackside for years and finally the mental approach is key to both training and racing - when the going gets tough in an Ironman.
I've learnt a huge amount in 2 years working with James both qualifying for and having a great debut Kona, and am excited about what the future has in store together.
I met James in late 2007, with one Kona (scraping a roll-down slot) and one sub-10 hour Ironman to my name, but I really didn’t believe I was capable of going much faster and was thinking of moving on to other challenges. Over the next four years under James’ coaching, I qualified for Hawaii every year (no roll downs needed), made the top 20 twice in Kona, knocked 5 minutes off my swim, 25 minutes off my bike and nearly 20 minutes off my run PBs and achieved my dream goal of completing an ironman in under 9 hours (at the age of 44). I also finished IM Lanzarote in a better time than I’d managed at IM Austria before James. James’ knowledge and expertise as a triathlon coach are a given, but what sets him apart is his ability to adapt to (and learn from) the different personalities and abilities of his athletes. He enables all his athletes to achieve beyond their previous expectations and to dream big.
Read Tim's Story
6 x 5K Run Ironman Training Week 10 – that was a tough session
Paul Burton, 2015 (9 x Ironman Finisher)
Age Grouper Testimonials
James helped me become a triathlon (age group) world champion. That's a remarkable enough (some would say miraculous) coaching achievement, but to do this with someone roughly twice as old as the others in the team is outstanding.
James creates personal and group challenges which help you be the best you can be - the rest is up to you.
I joined James' Optima set up at the end of 2013 after moving down to London. I was initially hesitant about turning up to the sessions. From the outside James' coaching group looked like a very professional outfit and I was unsure that I was the right caliber of athlete, having only done a handful of triathlons and 10k races. It became clear pretty quickly that I had made a good decision. James maintains a coaching environment in which it is an athlete's attitude rather than their ability that is the most important factor. It didn't take long under James coaching for me to start believing that it might be possible to compete at a higher level than I had considered myself capable.
Read Ollie's story
James has been my coach for 3 years and in that time all disciplines have dramatically improved, especially the swim. This is down to his extremely dedicated and hard working attitude to coaching and to the sport. James puts a huge focus not only on the hard miles but also concentrating on technique in all disciplines which I personally find very beneficial. His sense of humour brings out the best in all members of the club and he motivates us all to work hard and also have fun.
After having James as a coach for a while now there is something I have realised, if you show commitment to the sport and your training he will 100% commit to you. This is one of the most important things to me in my training environment because I know that he will support me regardless of how annoying I am or how badly things go.
With James everything is individual to each athlete. He has taken the time to study me as an athlete, find out my weaknesses, be it physical or mental and worked with me to improve them. Last year I let the stress of racing as an elite junior make me fear racing as a whole and running itself. Throughout the season he came up with tools that I could use during a race to combat the want to quit when things started to get hard. I now love racing again, which in my eyes is the only reason to do this sport.
I am now an affiliated athlete on the England talent squad which would not have been possible without James' help.