Best Coaches special : Michelle Dillon (GBR) on an exclusive interview.

Michelle was an elite triathlete and has won the Triathlon European Championships in 2001. She was 6th at the 2004 Athens Olympic Gamesand  she was 3rd at the 2002 Triathlon World Championships in Cancun.

Michelle was an elite runner prior to her triathlon career. Her PR for the 10km is31:40 (!!!). She has won the 220 magazine award in 2008 as the best coach of the year. She is the coach of some of the best triathletes in the world : Stuart Hayes, Will Clarke, Jodie Stimpson…For 2012 more and more elite triathletes will train under the guidance of Michell as she an exceptional coach.

Read her interview and learn what it takes in order to improve fast. We are really proud to have this exclusive interview from Michelle and when you read her interview you will also get very excited. Be patient until the 6th issue (October – November 2011) of our Greek version and the 2nd isuue of the english magazine are ready.

1994 Commonwealth Games 10,000m ( P.B is 31.40 10K)
1997, 2001 Silver, World Duathlon Championships
1999 1st, Noosa World Cup Triathlon
2000 Olympic Games Sydney
2001 Gold, European Triathlon Champs
2002 Bronze, World Triathlon Championships
2002 1st, The London Triathlon
2003 1st, British Triathlon Championships
2004 1st, Salford World Cup Triathlon
2004 6th, Olympic Games Athens (best British finisher ever at an Olympic Games – man or woman)
2005 1st, British Duathlon Championships
2005 Gold, World Duathlon Championships
2007 Silver, World Duathlon Championships
2007 1st, The London Triathlon


1. You were an international level runner before to start competing in Triarthlon events.
Yes I was running for Australia at the Commonwealth Games 10,000m in 1994 and also at the World Cross Country champs as a junior, I also competed at international relays across the world.
We have seen you in a couple of races to struggle at the swim event – remember you at the Lausanne 2000 World Cup that you were last out of the water- and then “suddenly” you made the podium at the world championships in Cancun (2002?).
Yes it took me a few years to pick up my swimming, coming from a running background and not swimming as a kid was the reason it took me a while to pick it up. I had to change my body shape and do the work in the pool in order to bring my swimming up and get me back into the race.
Could you please describe in brief what you did in order to improve as a triathlete and to have these amazing results?
I trained very hard and worked extremely hard on my swimming to bring it up to the level I got to. I sometimes swam 10km per day, it was broken into two sessions of 5km to try to bring my times down and it worked!

2. Team Dillon : What is all about? Is a triathlon team, training services company,….
Team Dillon coaching is my coaching business that I formed in 2008 after retiring from the sport due to back surgery, I wanted to give back to the sport what I had learned over the years and I love my job and what I do and its all working really well and Team Dillon is growing each year.
3. What is your main philosophy as a coach?
I work on the mental aspect with my athletes to help them believe in themselves and to try to have no fear when they race. Many athletes might have the ability but the thing that can hold them back is self belief so I work hard on this approach as well as training consistently hard, then you have the whole package!
4. What is your “competitive” advantage as a coach?
I was a World Class athlete myself and won major races and championship events in both triathlon and running. This can be a big advantage over other coaches who have never experienced that. Experience speaks for so much in anything we do in life, we always learn from others that have been there. I know I do!
5. How hard for a woman to coach/ guide male elite and age group athletes?
I find working with Male athletes or female athletes fairly similar you just have to understand what makes an athlete tick and once you have worked that out you can get the best out of them. It can come down to personality and as long as your athletes respect you they will always listen to what you have to say. That is a very important part of coach/athlete relationship.
6. Can you name and present the elite athletes that you coach ? What are their goals for 2011 and 2012?
I currently coach Stu Hayes – he hopes to make the Olympic team for 2012
I also coach Will Clarke – He has the same goal as Stu looking for an Olympic spot.
I coach Jodie Stimpson – She would like to make her first Olympic Games in London 2012.
Hollie Avil I coach and she is coming back from injury, but I believe she too will be in the running for a spot.
Kathy Tremblay – who is one of my international athletes and she is going for an Canadian Olympic Spot
I have a few other athletes which I have coming across but cannot announce them just yet.
7. As most triathletes love to read the training schedules of the elite athletes could you please give us a weekly schedule of one of the “Team Dillon” elite athlete?
Well that would be giving away our secrets! But what I can tell you is that my elite squad train up to 30km in the pool, 350km per week on the bike, and 120km per week on the run in our base months. So very long and hard training to get them ready for the season ahead.
8. Do you offer coaching services to age group athletes? How do you work with them and what do you offer them?
Yes I work with age groupers as well as my elites and I also have other coaches who work with me and Team Dillon to offer age group athletes programs online. We work with each athletes on the email and phone to individualize each program for them depending on their goals.
9. Could you please give to our readers – age groupers- some tips for a fast improvement ?
1. Never make the same mistake twice
2 Recover well after each session with the right nutrition
3. Try using salt tablets in races if you cramp often
4. Seek a coach if you feel you have no direction and need help with oyur goals see
5 .Make sure you have the right advice on equipment like bikes, bike set up, wetsuit and kit for racing as it can really make a big difference to your performance.
10. What are the most common mistakes that most age group athletes are repeating/ doing?
The most common mistakes people make is not eating or drinking enough during races, its hard to get this one right so practice in training regular and in the conditions you will be racing in so you know exactly what you should be taking in for you. Remember everyone is different so what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa!


About triathlonworld

Ο κ. Γιάννης Ψαρέλης είναι από τα ιστορικά στελέχη του Τριάθλου στη χώρα μας έχοντας παρακολουθήσει και συμμετέχει έντονά στη διοικητική ανάπτυξη του αθλήματος. Χρόνια μέλος των εθνικών ομάδων ,εκπρόσωπος των αθλητών στην τεχνική επιτροπή του αθλήματος, υπεύθυνος χάραξης των διαδρομών αγώνων της Ομοσπονδίας μεταξύ των οποίων και της Ολυμπιακής διαδρομής του 2004 στη Βουλιαγμένη,έχει διατελέσει γενικός γραμματέας της Ομοσπονδίας Τριάθλου και εκπρόσωπος αυτής στην Ελληνική Ολυμπιακή Επιτροπή. Έχει πληθώρα προπονητικών πιστοποιήσεων στα αθλήματα αντοχής από εθνικές ομοσπονδίες και συνδέσμους προπονητών. Έχει παρακολουθήσει πλήθος εκπαιδευτικών σεμιναρίων της Διεθνούς Ομοσπονδίας Τριάθλου τόσο για Διοργανωτές Αγώνων όσο και κριτές. Επίσης έχει παρακολουθήσει πολυήμερα σεμινάρια για διοργανωτές αγώνων στη Λοζάνη κάτω από την εποπτεία της ΔΟΕ. Έχει σπουδάσει Χημεία στο Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών. Έχει τους εξής πανεπιστημιακούς μεταπτυχιακούς τίτλους : Αθλητική Διοίκηση (Παν.Lyon1-Masters in Sport Organisations Management – πρόγραμμα αναγνωρισμένο από την Διεθνή Ολυμπιακή Επιτροπή), Αθλητική Διοίκηση (Παν. Leicester), Διοίκηση Επιχειρήσεων (Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών- Executive MBA), Μάρκετινγκ & Επικοινωνία (Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών -MSc in Marketing and communication with New Technologies). Προπονητής Τριάθλου Προπονητής Τριάθλου Ο κ.Γιάννης Ψαρέλης έχει διατελέσει Διοικητικός Υπεύθυνος καθώς και Υπεύθυνος Στρατηγικής & Ανάπτυξης στο Sports Excellence (πρόγραμμα που πραγματοποιείται υπό την επιστημονική επίβλεψη της Α’ Ορθοπαιδικής Κλινικής του ΕΚΠΑ, όντας εγκεκριμένο κέντρο από τον Διεθνή Σύνδεσμο Κέντρων Υψηλού Αθλητισμού) έχοντας την επιστημονική επίβλεψη μέχρι και 1800 επίλεκτων αθλητών και αθλητριών προεθνικών και εθνικών ομάδων έως 18 ετών καθώς και των μελών της Προ-Ολυμπαικής προετοιμασίας για τους ΟΑ του Τόκυο (με μνημόνιο συνεργασίας με την ΕΟΕ). Σε επίπεδο ακαδημαϊκό/ ερευνητικό με σημείο αναφοράς μεταπτυχιακές και διδακτορικές σπουδές ασχολείται κυρίως με την επίδραση των προϊόντων νεοπρενίου/ wetsuit στην κολύμβηση τριαθλητών καθώς και με την μεγιστοποίηση της απόδοσης των αθλητών στο mixed relay του Τριάθλου. Από το 1990 συμμετέχει ως εισηγητής σε πλήθος εκπαιδευτικά προγράμματα επιμόρφωσης προπονητών, καθηγητών Φυσικής Αγωγής, γονέων αλλά και αθλητών είτε αναπτύσσοντας τεχνικά θέματα που αφορούν το Τρίαθλο είτε θέματα που αφορούν την ηθική στον αθλητισμό και το αντι-ντόπινγκ. Αρθογραφεί σε πλήθος αθλητικών ιστοσελίδων και περιοδικών σε θέματα που αφορούν την προπονητική, τους κανονισμούς του Τριάθλου ή θέματα ηθικής/ κοινωνιολογίας του αθλητισμού. Ο ίδιος σε συνεργασία με αθλητικούς φορείς (Ομοσπονδίας, Σωματείων και Αθλητικών Οργανισμών των Δήμων) από το 1990 έως σήμερα έχει σχεδιάσει και διοργανώσει έχοντας την επίβλεψη πάνω από 50 αγώνων σε όλη την Ελλάδα (Αθήνα, Χανιά, Ρέθυμνο, Τρίπολη, Θεσσαλονίκη, Σέρρες, Πιερία κ.λπ.)