Aspire (formerly Blu Smooth Coaching) began when Kevin Richards, former Springbok swimmer and triathlete and a professional triathlete for many years, returned to PE from the UK and started coaching a Masters swim group.
Dr Sally Waterworth joined him a couple of years later when the squad grew too large for one person to manage. Although highly successful in getting people through Ironman 70.3 swim, they saw many people who had put in the hours of training go on to miss bike or run cut-offs.
With a background in Sports Science and having progressed from complete beginner to Ironman finisher herself and having learned a lot along the way, Sally and Kevin recognised that beginner triathletes needed more than just swim coaching. Meeting to discuss the idea of offering triathlon coaching, they realised they shared the same beliefs about training with Sally providing the academic evidence to support the principles that Kevin had figured out over many years of trial and error.
We have grown our coaching team with the inclusion of Bruce and Tracey Campbell, both bringing extensive knowledge and experience in a multitude of sport disciplines. We now aim to offer coaching for an even greater variety of sports as well as individual sport specialization. within these various disciplines, such as mountain biking, trail running, paddling, open water swimming, surfing and adventure racing.
Moving from PDF’s to Training Peaks and continually looking for ways to up our game, we have nonetheless stayed true to our core values of providing quality but affordable training. Our group plan is fundamental to this. We believe that beginner athletes don’t need anything different from each other, and selling a standard rather than a personalised program allows us to keep the cost down. We have ample face to face contact to assess how people are coping with the program and don’t limit contact via WhatsApp or email. For those who need or want a little more, also we offer individual coaching.
Building on the principle of the Friday sea swims where no-one gets left behind, we do the same for our weekend cycles. Having a designated backmarker means that the fear of not being able to keep up with the group is eliminated, allowing our clients to concentrate on mastering the skill of learning to ride a bike. For those that can ride, we use workshops to teach the principles of cycling (including puncture changing prior to every big race ) as well as having our coaches on the road with them to advise on cadence, gearing and position among other things.
To date, we have approaching 200 Ironman 70.3 finishes and over 50 Ironman finishes with a few podiums scattered into the mix. Central to our success is understanding that life isn’t all about Triathlon and helping our clients find the balance between training, work, family and life in general. We focus on forming healthy habits so that triathlon becomes a sustainable and healthy way of life.