Luke Pollard, 21
I currently work in the RAF. I started triathlon in 2012 after being posted to my first unit. I swam a little as a kid and ran cross country for the school but I was not massively competitive. I wanted to challenge myself further and triathlon seemed to be way to go.
After a couple of years of having some success I had hit a sort of “swimmer’s block” and couldn’t get my times down any further. Up to this point I had done all my training self-coached so not knowing where to improve my stroke or having people around to train with swimming became really tough.
A quick trawl through the internet and I found out that there was a triathlon training squad starting up in Oxfordshire lead by Annie. After contacting Annie asking for a 1 to 1 video analysis she had the camera at the ready and we found out where improvements can be made and where my stroke is working well. I also attended the squad sessions twice a week which is coached by both Annie and her partner Ali who is also a great coach!
The squad sessions were great as there were swimmers of all capabilities, either it being their first ever season looking for the finish line or elite looking for medals. Everyone at the sessions are really friendly and really give you that extra boost whilst swimming. After training with Annie for a few months I took nearly 20 seconds off my 400 meter PB! Recommend to anyone who wants to get out of the swim leg sooner!
This year I am racing in the British Super Series Triathlons where racing with elites the swim is a crucial part of the race. As well as the Age-Group European championships in Geneva I am hoping to reap the rewards from improving my swim.