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Tue 18th Feb 2020
Simon Ward: The Support Team
Posted by: Simon Ward
Posted on: Monday 8th July 2013

Tags  Hawaii 50  |  Ironman Lanzarote  |  Kona 2014  |  Simon Ward

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The latest update on the 'Hawaii 50' project of Simon Ward looks at how he has pulled together her Support Team to, he hopes, help him make it to Kona 2014.

In part one Simon looked at what he might need to do achieve his target, and then in part two looked at the 'how' to do that with his Phase Plan. This update looks at the all of the people around him who will help him put that plan into practice. Once you've read it - you'll probably realise your own personal 'support team' is much larger than you might initially think.

The Support Team

Show me any successful person - entrepreneur, athlete, musician - and behind them you will find a support team.

In order to achieve my goal of qualifying for Hawaii next year I will have quite a large support team behind me. Don't worry I'm not about to start spending thousands of pounds on employees or having an entourage of “my people” trailing around in my wake.

These are the individuals that I will need to call on in order to be consistent with my training. This may seem excessive but if you look closely enough you'll probably find that you have a support team as well.

Partner - Before I even thought about the Hawaii 50 project I discussed it with Fiona my partner. She's  entered for Lanzarote Ironman as well so its much easier for us to schedule training. Many athletes just enter and tell their partner later. You can imagine the problems this might create. For example:

“Honey I'm on a long ride with the guys tomorrow. Can you take the kids to swimming”
“Nope' I'm having a spa day with the girls. You didn't even consider how this would affect me when you entered THAT race so don't expect my support now. You take the kids”

Stress from day one. Not good

Family - We don't have children and we don't live near my family but if we did then I'd certainly take into account how this might impact on them before taking on such an enormous challenge. As it is I'll be keeping them updated with my progress so that they feel they are part of the journey.

Work colleagues - There may be times when I need some of them to take up the slack. Although I run my own business I wont be assuming that they will be able to help out (also see later paragraph on outsourcing).

Friends - This challenge will require a lot of training and as a result I might not see my friends as much as I used to. Some of my mates are triathletes and so I'll be working out with them. For the non triathletes I'll try to keep them in the loop so that I don't lose contact. recovery weeks are also good times to meet up especially Sunday lunchtimes

Training Partners - Triathlon training can get pretty boring so these days I like to do a fair amount with mates of a similar ability. I swim with a masters group three times a week. I'll ride with the lads on Sunday (John B, Andy S, Martin, Simon B & Jez), and Fiona and I will probably do a fair bit of running together.

I'll probably do my quality running and bike sessions on my own as the targets paces/power will be very specific

Coaches - I don't have a coach as such for this challenge. However we do have some very good coaches at TTC - Lou H & B, Dave G, Jack M, Fiona, Carol - I'll be asking you all for some help at some stage We also have a couple of excellent swim coaches at Masters (Alan Hutchinson, Scott, Alan Miller) who keep me on my toes and are very quick to point out when my stroke is falling apart. There are also a couple of other people who I will ask for advice from time to time but I'll keep their names quiet for now.

Mentors - see above for sports specific stuff. I also have a couple of business mentors who have and will continue to help me improve my time management and delegation skills. This will be vital so that I can free up time to do the training (and recovery) required.

Virtual Assistant - I have recent taken on Lucy as my virtual assistant. This doesn't mean that she is some computer generated image. Lucy has her own office and we meet once every two weeks. She is now taking on a lot of my admin tasks. Basically she does the stuff I'm rubbish at and don't like doing and it frees me up to work on the major projects. I have also outsourced a lot of other work activities. It costs me £40 a month to have a phone answering service but the result is that the call is always answered professionally and we never miss anyone. Design and print is now done away from the office and Lucy takes care of all the liaison work so I just have to say yes or no and she actions everything. After years of trying to do it myself this is a revelation. If you work in a big company you may take this for granted but self employed business owners often try to do everything.

Bike Shop - Chevin Cycles in Otley ( take care of my bike servicing and they also let me have stuff at a discount. In return my blog posts go into their website and every few weeks I do a presentation at the shop, after hours which usually attracts 20-30 customers. Its good for them and its good for me

Sponsors & Partners - Triathlon is an expensive sport so I'll be continuing to seek out sponsors and partners. As well as Chevin Cycles I have managed to obtain a loan bike from Fondriest Cycles ( (more on that in a future post). We have partnered with Blue Seventy   ( for the last few years and their Helix suits are brilliant. This year Skechers ( have come on board and I'll be using their GoRun shoes. Of course I realise that sponsorship is a salary by another name and I'll have to do something in return. I don't mind that at all. So as well as the usual tweets and FB posts about their kit, look out for some more unusual activities from me.

I should also mention Tri247 at this stage. Not only are they letting me post this blog regularly but they have provided some invaluable contacts for equipment.

Ryan Bowd from IMG has also been very instrumental in directing me to potential sponsors and also suggesting ways to boost my PR

Medical team - Yes I know that everyone has a GP, but, do they understand triathlon? One of my previous GP's used to say “what do you expect, doing all of that training”. I've spent the last few years “training” my current GP to understand the demands of triathlon so now he's sympathetic to any problems I might have rather than just rolling his eyes.

And you might ask why I have a dentist on the list. Ever needed root canal surgery or had an abscess? These things are painful and can interrupt training and more importantly sleep. So they need to be treated quickly. I've also “trained” my dentist so that she understands triathlon.

My body is going to be under a lot of pressure for the next 12 months. Inevitably it will break down at some points. Every athletes should have a medical team around them who they trust and who they can call immediately. It doesn't mean that I will get an immediate appointment but it does mean I can avoid having to spend a few days asking who the best sports doctor is. That just means lost training time. So I have a list of these people already prepared...just in case.

I'll be having a full musculo-skeletal assessment every three months from the physio's at work here. The first one will identify any potential problems (tight joints, muscle imbalances etc) which might cause a problem. Future assessments will uncover how my body is reacting to the training and whether I need to work harder on certain elements. Of course for more serious problems they are also available at short notice for treatment or advice (

I'll be getting a massage every two weeks from our in-house masseur Harriet Morgan ( In between this I'll be using my foam roller most days to try and target particular tight spots.


So that's just about it. I reckon that my team amounts to about 20-30 people. Its not quite Team Sky or McLaren F1. However without them I'd almost be doomed from the start. I'll be reminding them of how much they mean to me from time to time and of course if I get to Kona then we'll have a big party to celebrate afterwards.

If you've got a moment why not write down who's in your support team. There will be more people than you think.

Next time I'll tell you all about our trip to the Pyrenees

Stay healthy & have fun,

Supported by the following brands

Hawaii Sponsors Sketchers Impact CT FondriestLe Beau VeloAMP Vekta Velosport

Simon Ward About the Author

Simon Ward is the founder of, the most experienced group of coaches in the UK. You can contact him on 08700 418131, by e-mailing or by visiting

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