The Thrive Team

Matt Edwards

Head Coach

An Ironman Certified and British Triathlon Certified coach. Matt has been racing triathlon since 2000 and has completed 8 Ironman races to date with a best time of 10:56. Read more about Matt below.

Clare Thomas

Swim Coach

Experienced ASA qualified swim coach, triathlete and ex-club swimmer. Clare is available for 1-2-1 swim coaching sessions.

Lee Wilkinson

Sports Therapist & Strength and conditioning coach

Lee is an experienced sports therapist having worked with many runners in the Cheshire area. He has an Advanced Level 5 Diploma in Clinical Sports Therapy and Remedial Therapy qualification. Lee is also passionate about fell and trail running and ultra marathons.

Mark Harrison

Bike fitter

Mark has a love of all things bike coupled with many years of experience. He is also the owner of One More Bicycle, a shop in rural Cheshire.

A very BIG thank you for all your time, advice and support over the last 6 months. You have been amazing. I feel race ready and that's all down to you!!!

Matt's background

I had little idea what I was letting myself in for when I entered my first triathlon: a sprint race in Cheshire in the summer of 2000. I didn't expect to fall in love with the sport that day, but I did. When I first discovered Ironman in Nice on the south coast of France in 2005 I knew that I had found my passion. That race didn’t go particularly well, it was a very hot day (40+ degrees up in the hills) and I had something of a nutritional nightmare. I was seriously dehydrated after the race, fainted and spent the night in hospital but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the challenge that Ironman presented: I was hooked.

Returning to the Ironman distance at IMUK in Sherborne in 2006, I had a much better race and scored a reasonably high age-group finish and realised that, with some application and hard work, I might have a chance of qualifying for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii and that became my dream. Sadly that dream came to an abrupt end when, the following year, a truck ploughed into the back of my car at 56mph while I was sat in a queue waiting to exit the M6 motorway.

Lucky to survive, I almost lost my right arm. Thankfully surgeons managed to save my arm but nerve damage was such that my right hand no longer worked. Recovery from that and several other injuries, not to mention the difficulty I experienced coming to terms with the fact that I was now disabled, kept me out of the sport that I loved for 2 years.

The Kona dream may have been crushed but my passion for the sport survived. My comeback to Ironman was at the inaugural IM Wales on 11 September 2011: 4 years to the day since the truck hit my car. That was an epic race for a whole host of reasons. My wife, who had been in the car with me 4 years previously and was herself very seriously hurt and lucky to survive, was there on the Tenby seafront to see me cross the finish line. It wasn’t a fast race and it had been challenging, but I had made it. Crossing that line was an emotional moment!

I have now completed a total of 8 Ironman races - 3 before the accident and 5 after having just completed Challenge Roth in 2019.

I am now in a position to share my passion for the sport of triathlon in general, and Ironman specifically, with others through the medium of coaching. In addition to being an Ironman Certified Coach I am also a L1 British Triathlon Federation coach. I have a wealth of experience built over almost 2 decades in the sport. What makes me different from most coaches is that I know what it takes to comes back from a near fatal accident and to thrive once more within the sport.

Throughout my time in the sport I have worked full time and had a busy family and social life. I know how it is for age-group triathletes; I know what it takes to integrate the sport successfully into a busy life.

Coaching style

I'm happy to work with novices and experienced athletes alike. My style may differ depending on your level of experience and the extent to which you are comfortable engaging with the coaching process. Wherever possible though I prefer coaching to be a consultative rather than prescriptive process and I am keen to engage the athlete as much as possible in that process.

Regardless of your experience level my coaching process always starts with you the athlete, your hopes and dreams and, most importantly, the landscape of your life outside the sport. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your non-sporting lifestyle - family, friends, work - before I can think about weaving the training into that tapestry. Simply plonking a training schedule on top of an already busy life without giving thought to its integration is unsustainable and likely to lead to a loss of performance in some aspect of your life.

I have been active in the sport for so long because it has a positive impact on my life as a whole; I have learnt many lessons that have proved valuable in my wider life. That is my overriding hope for the athletes that I coach. Success in our sport can help us to thrive in our lives outside the sport.

In the context of an athlete with heavy commitments outside the sport I am a believer in quality over quantity. That shouldn't be seen as a shortcut to success, because it isn't easy, but I think it is realistic. Alongside that focus on quality work there has to be an equivalent focus on recovery, and yes, I have made the mistake of paying insufficient attention to recovery in my personal journey!

Get in touch

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07917 365960

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