Thanks to Kathy Parker-Jones, I am an Ironman finisher! Kathy took me from competing in sprint and olympic distance triathlons to finishing my first Ironman, 2014 Ironman Louisville.
I have been training with Kathy for two years now and I am still amazed with how much she gives of herself to her athletes to assure we have success in competing and finishing our races. Kathy is personable, reliable, extremely enthusiastic but more importantly very knowledgeable in all aspects of triathlon training: Swimming, biking & running.
Before I started training with Kathy I struggled to swim a quarter mile in sprint triathlons. She gave me the training and confidence to finally achieve the 2.4 mile swim needed for the first leg of an Ironman. Kathy truly cares about her athletes and goes above and beyond for them. I owe a lot of gratitude to Kathy for all she has done for me.
Whether you are looking to improve your swim to competing in your first sprint triathlon to training for an Ironman distance race and everything in between I highly recommend Kathy. Kathy is always there for you when you need her. She will come up with a training plan for you, bring you along and build your confidence so you are more than ready come race day!
Finished Buck creek Tri!:) whew— so glad i finished and mostly felt super awesome entire event!! Felt the best during the swim-(surprisingly!) i stayed calm and just kept swimming – really surprised myself. The bike was challenging- especially with rain right before start. And an entire huge section of chip & seal road- which i just stayed in my comfort zone until that road was done. Run was great downhill start- but by now super hot n humid with blaring sun. Kept hydrated and felt i finished strong with the conditions— and with a smile best part. Definitely felt blessed today and thank you for a great training plan – got me thru the event perfectly!!
Kathy has been my coach for the last 6 months and it has been an absolutely fantastic experience. Having never completed a triathlon before, Kathy helped me to complete my first Olympic Triathlon in April, followed by my first half-ironman in Florida in May (with a sub 5 hour time and P8 in my age group [45-49]).
We have been working closely together to try to get as close as possible to my main goal of the year (qualifying for Kona at Ironman Cozumel in December), and thanks to Kathy I slowly start believing that I may actually have a chance to do it – if not this year, then hopefully the year after. But it is not just the training, it is the encouragement and support, the flexibility in adjusting the schedule, especially to fit around my busy work schedule as a physician, and most importantly the help and advice in training in a way to avoid any injuries. I always had IT band problems when trying to start a running program, but since working with Kathy and following her recommendations, everything has been fine despite training effectively (dare to say hard). Kathy is great in responding to any questions, whether it is race preparation, equipment, or bike setup.
As I’m winding down from Sunday, I just wanted to take some time to thank you. I honestly am so grateful that I decided to volunteer for the half marathon aid station with COTT last year when I met Ken, who introduced me to you. I know that I would not have made it to that finish line without working with you. You truly go beyond just being a coach. You eased all of our worries the days leading up to the race and took the time to coordinate an amazing weekend for all of us. One I will never, ever forget. Any time I had doubts these last several months you were there to reassure me and talk me off that ledge of “I can’t do this”. I’m also so glad you recommended going to training camp because it was true what Andrew said, race day it was much easier. I knew the course and I knew what to expect.
Thank you everything this last year. I’m proud to say that I’m part of Balanced Tri. Having you put that medal around my neck at the finish line was one of the best feelings in the world.
Hey Ya, Coach!
I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done for me the last year. I started running last January with the hopes of someday breaking a 2 hour half marathon. I never thought it would happen this year. I’ve been thinking about what the difference was and I have to say it has been your coaching and BTT. Thank you for pushing me and making me get better so I can do more than I ever imagined I could do. Everyday you are helping my dreams come true. I was wrong today when I said I broke my half p.r. by 8 minutes. I just checked and guess what? I broke my p.r. by 15 minutes!!!!! Thank you so much for everything. I owe it all to you….
Today I celebrate but there are much bigger hills to come. I am so excited for the road ahead. Celebrate today, back to work tomorrow!!!!!
IM Lousiville went really well. I was slow (14.5 hrs) but never hit a wall and felt great at the finish. I even got up the next morning and ran 12 miles with my wife for her long run marathon training. The swim was great, thanks to you! I swam steady, focused on not crossing my arm over centerline, and kept my fingers close together (rather than spread, as was my habit.) All your advice really helped. I finished the swim feeling as if it was a 200m warm up. And you were right — the best feeling was when I crossed the finish line and heard “Nathan Akamine, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” Thanks again for all your help.