Coach Darren Smith

Darren Smith is one of the world best Olympic Distance triathlon coaches. In 2012 he made history having six triathletes from six different countries make the London Olympics.

Training Cycle

Darren often runs a eight day training cycle. Developing a good routine the athlete knows works is developed three or four years prior to the athlete peaking for the Olympics.

  • Day one: Speed Day
  • Day Two: Strength Day
  • Day Three: Aerobic Day
  • Day Four: Active Recovery
  • Day Five: Speed Day
  • Day Six: Aerobic Day
  • Day Seven: Speed Day
  • Day Eight: Active Recovery

Strength Training

Darren uses a combination of gym, body weight exercises, over gearing on the bike, pool paddles and hills for strength work on athletes.

When in the gym, a focus on multi muscles and multi joint exercises with some sports specific exercises. He notes that many of his athletes don’t need the gym to go fast, they simply need to go fast however he questions their long jeopardy in the sport without gym work.

Two examples of strength sessions from Darren:

Strength Session One:

  • Kneeling push up on keiser
  • Mini ban walks
  • TRX row
  • TRX plank series with lower body drives
  • Wall angels
  • Shoulder stability planks series
  • Battling rope conditioning

Strength Session Two:

  • Running man
  • Clams with band
  • Single leg bridge
  • Side plank with rotation
  • Swiss ball
  • Side plank runner
  • Feet up clam

Balance & Proprioception

One thing Darren gets his athletes to do is before and after a hard run, stand on one foot for 60sec each leg to help improve balance.

He also has a focus on balance and movements with both eyes open and eyes shut.

Darren also likes his athletes doing their long runs on trails so the athlete’s foot/body movements changes often within the trails.

Key Performance Inhibitor

Not the normal KPIs the rest of the world is familiar with, Darren believes that most programs have inhibitors within them. Finding and working on removing any inhibitors that is holding the athlete back from performing at their potential is critical within his program. If it isn’t helping, it is gone.

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