Nate Thomas is a New England native and began sports at an early age. His primary focus was soccer through high school and the first portion of college. During college, Nate switched to rowing, racing in the varsity 8 at Bates College. After graduation, Nate did what many college athletes do, focus less on sports and more on life, gaining a good amount of weight. After several years, Nate started back into the sports lifestyle with a focus on running. Initially, his goal was to break 2:00 in a half marathon. Fast forward a few years, and Nate purchased a basic road bike and decided to give triathlon a go in 2010. He was instantly hooked, and his competitive mindset kicked in. Over his 12 seasons of racing triathlon, Nate has raced the 70.3 World Championships five times and the 140.6 Ironman World Championships twice. He has a PR of 2:02 at the Olympic distance, 4:13 in half Ironman racing, and 9:41 at the Ironman distance. Nate has been an elementary school teacher since 2007. He is married with two young children, and Nate has the personal experience of trying to fit triathlon into the daily work and life of a busy age group triathlete.
Nate had considered becoming a coach for many years prior to starting Be Your Best Tri Coaching. Early on in his triathlon career, Nate was coached for three seasons. During that time, Nate learned a lot from the coaches he worked with. Over time, he figured out what worked best for his personal training. Nate is a Level 1 USAT Coach, and will bring his years of experience in triathlon and his attention to detail to you as an athlete. We can't all be Olympians, but, with the right approach, we can make triathlon an integral part of our lives and be our best. The training platform that Be Your Best uses is Final Surge. Final Surge links with all major devices and workouts can be done through online platforms such as Zwift. Reach out to Nate for a chat and to see if working with Be Your Best Tri Coaching is right for you!
Triathlon is a complicated sport, combining three individual sports, in addition to transitions. It can be hard to understand the relationships between workouts, gear, and everything that goes into triathlon. However, there are a few key elements that Nate considers crucial, and these are BYB's 5 Coaching Cornerstones.
1) Recovery - Adaptations to training are what lead to physical changes, and the best way to have these adaptions is through recovery. Sleep is by far the most undervalued training tool, and can be a game changer! At a bare minimum, seven hours a night is needed, with eight or more hours being optimal. When we make the easy days easy and allow the body time to recover, the harder workouts translate into larger gains. Being able to successfully attack hard workouts can lead to increased fitness, but recovery is key to maximize the adaptation.
2) Specificity of Training - Combining workouts in three different disciplines, plus adding in some strength work is tricky to balance. There are different times during the year where specific types of workouts are done to lay the foundation for a successful season. Sports specific workouts are needed to improve fitness over time. Some fitness translates across disciplines, but having a certain threshold on the bike won't often translate to running and/or swimming. You need to do consistent sports specific workouts to maximize improvement in triathlon.
3) Nutrition - Eating a well balanced diet and fueling around workouts allows our bodies to make those adaptions we want from our training. I am a big proponent of eating as few processed foods as possible and not skimping on calories. Triathlon, especially when training for long course racing, requires a lot of energy, and most of this comes from our food. It is important to be looking at upcoming sessions, and making sure we are adequately prepared for a workout. This includes pre-workout nutrition, nutrition during the workout, and post-workout nutrition, including hydration in all phases.
4) Consistency - The best way to progress in triathlon is through consistent training. To Be Your Best, there really is no off season. There may be focused areas of training during the winter months, often targeting weaker areas, but taking significant chunks of time off does not help with development in the long run. Improvement comes being consistent over weeks, months, and years.
5) Communication - A coach can prescribe workouts that an athlete completes, but feedback and dialogue are crucial to making the most from coaching. An open dialogue about how you feel on a given day, how you respond to workouts, and any life stressors are important for a coach to know. Coaching is a two way road, and it is important to have open communication to allow growth.