Grant Giles is for me a huge advantage to have in your back pocket as an athlete. A seasoned nine year pro, a coach of several Ironman Australia age group champions, Ironman World Championship Age group champions and pro athletes that consistently rank on the podium. Even though I only had e-mail contact with him from South Africa -his support and understanding nature were a huge influence on my Ironman year, and will be felt for many years to come. I fully believe that over time he will be ranked up there with the likes of Roch Frey as one of the finest Ironman coaches out there.
Dan Edwards (South Africa)
Australian Ironman 07'
Just a bit of history for ya ….18months ago after taking 6 hours to complete the Yeppoon half , after an absence of some 10 years from serious exercise , I was put in touch with you by a colleague of mine from Tokyo ( you've gone global baby !!)
Six weeks later Port half yields a 5:45 , with no cramp or vomiting and actually enjoyed the experience.
You had me , hook , line and sinker at this stage.
At that stage I was in love with the idea of ironman , but didn't have the guts to commit to 2007 IM , but raced Huskisson as my last race of the season and did a 4:49 and I was stoked with the improvement I had made )
As you know mate I work 50-60 hours a week, so I decided if I was to get better I had to embrace the 4am wakeup to get 60-90mins in before leaving for work . I also had to embrace boring base work thru winter ( which to be honest I was a little inconsistent with )
Gold Coast yielded a 5:26 ( with bronchitis, which knocked the crap out of me ), Port half a 5:23 , still not 100% , but 22mins faster than a year before but more importantly I felt really strong at the finish . SO what did I do with this new found strength , I accepted a spot for ironman .
SO now I was faced with the reality of ironman
I thought that I'd really crank the training up from late Dec ( let me tell ya early Dec in the broking industry is debaucherous at best )
If you had asked me in Dec whether I'd be able to ride 180km in Feb , I would have had you committed .
But with your genius and a few mega litres of sweat it all started to happen . Heart rates came down , weight came off and efforts became easier ( certainly more volumous )
Huski came and a 15min quicker run bike split showed I was on the right track. A week in Port with Prowsey confirmed it . It was awesome and I left there counting down the minutes til April 1st
The thing that astounded me was that there was never really a moment when I thought that I wouldn't get the ironman done . I had 100% confidence in you and that kept me positive
The race arrives and while nervous I knew the miles had been done ( had a cold but that was just an inconvenience not a deal breaker )
Gotta say I didn't feel great on the day , but it was all I had to go with. I knew the flat spots were going to come , but I was ready for them . If I muttered the words form and positive once , I must have said them a thousand times. Even when I cramped early in the run , I didn't panic just loaded up the salt and went as fast as my calf muscles would allow. The best thing that happened was Zili getting within 400metres of me at the ferry 28K in to the run.There might have been 1600 racing but there were only two in my race. The engine felt strong and thankfully my legs let me lift the tempo a bit.
Gilesy , you managed to take a fat , old ( and ageing ) stockbroker and in 18 months get him to the ironman finish line in 11 hours 39minutes
If that doesn't make you a genius I don't know what does.
But more than that , I takeaway the knowledge that with application and positive thoughts everything is achievable. That transcends more than just swimming , cycling and running .
I could not have done it without you mate ( and Will and Prowsey ). You have given me one of the great experiences of my life . It was awesome.
Thanks again mate . Take it easy
Ps its still a ridiculous event . I mean seriously !!
Just a quick note to say thanks for your coaching and support this season. Personally I felt like I lifted to another level this year (particularly on the bike and run) with the programmes you provided me. This showed in my results throughout the season with a 1st place, three 2nds and a 5th in the 30 to 34 age group over short course to half Ironman. I have to say that I have total confidence in your coaching ability to consistently get me to the start line in the best physical condition possible.
Although I have been in the sport a long time (about 15 years) and think I know a fair bit about putting together a programme I think can honestly say that I don't think I would have gotten the results I did this season without your support.
With two Aussie Age group champions and the number of pb's and awesome first timer results at Ironman I think you could justifiably say that you would rank as one of the best coaches in the country. I have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone who are looking to do triathlon.
I look forward to getting together with you soon to plan my assault on next season and smashing all!!
Thanks for a great season
Just wanted to send a short message this morning to say a HUGE thank you for all your effort and help in preparing for this years race.
Mate judging from everyone's results you got it exactly right. I know you put heaps into it and hopefully you felt fully rewarded seeing how happy the guys were. Everyone seemed to be ahead of where they thought they would be and that’s a credit to your coaching.
Personally, I'm pretty bloody stoked because I just didn't think I'd be where I was. I waited for the flat patches all day and they just didn't eventuate. I have no regrets at all but also know I could have given a few parts of the race a fair bit more. Anyway, next time........that might be sooner than I thought being the next call up for Hawaii in my age group. We'll see, I'm not that fussed about it but will think about going if the opportunity arises.
Anyway, thanks again. It was a really special day for me and I know it was for the other guys as well. Your program worked a treat and I know I'll be having another lash.
Now the dust has settled after this years Ironman I just want to sincerely thankyou very much for all of your help and coaching this year. With your coaching programmes and advice I beat my previous best by a staggering (for me) 85 minutes, including 20 minutes off my swim, 35 minutes off my bike leg and 30 minutes off my run. Each leg an individual personal best. Due to work commitments I had to leave on Monday and didn't get chance to thankyou face to face yet Mate, I am truly grateful.
Like many other triathletes, running a business and bringing up a young family (something you are facing yourself) I know you understand the challenges of balancing my training with the other commitments. And yet having said that I have a question for you.
Two years ago I left a highly paid corporate job and set up my own Sales Training company with a view to being able to spend less time commuting which would let me train more effectively. The reason behind that was to achieve one goal and that is to compete in Hawaii. (As you are aware I even named the company KONA) That year, 2000, I finished New Zealand in 15 hours and 52 minutes and Forster 5 weeks later in 15 hours 02 minutes. Not exactly setting the world alight!! Now, with your programmes I have reduced that to 11.49, and there is still a huge amount of improvement to come. In addition, next month I go up an age group to the 45 - 49 age group so get an extra 15 minutes to qualify.
Once again Grant, thankyou very much for all of your help this year.
Because I get all emotional in person (and would want to kiss you), I do want to genuinely thank you for your coaching wisdom and confidence in getting me to the start line. As your longest standing pupil, I can honestly say that you have come a long way from your humble beginnings, to the point where I believe you really know what you are talking about,I think that the programmes show that you are incorporating the right mix. What a challenge it must be each year, taking a fat, and unfit athlete like me 3 months before a race and trying to get me ready for an Ironman. Well somehow you seem to do it, and I'll be damned if I know how. Each year the fat comes off just in time, the strength increases, and the HRs come down. I swear that most of the time as I stagger across the street in the city I feel so unathletic that I don't feel I can run 1 km let alone 42km. The programmes this year have in my view continued to improve, with a few key ingredients bringing me up to scratch just in time 1 I think the consolidated running at Lord Howe was a god send, to kick start my fitness, and help with my weight 2 The running off the bike was fantastic 3 Race pace running sped up the fitness (once I was ready to cope with it) As you know I was going to retire yet again, but when things go well on race day, it beats working any day, and while Sue gives me the support and encouragement to go to Kona why the hell not, we only live once. Anyway Gilesy thanks a lot, I couldn't have done what I've managed to do without you!
Looks like the crew is flying! There has been some great results which you should be proud of. I am looking forward to one day smashing myself with them again.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the training programs, help and guidance. I have some fantastic memories of training and competing over these last 2 years. Some highlights of my life(weirdly enough). Slapping your hand coming in for a 9:03 is seared into my mind. That was a great day. I really never really knew I could do that. Couldn't have these results without you and I am forever grateful. I will be back to tangle with that elusive 9 hr barrier again. Have I got that 3 mins in me? Have to wait and see how it goes. Anyway the ball is in your court.
Hope the Family is well and good luck with the hectic summer schedule! Hope you can still squeeze in a surf here and there. Cheers
On the training/racing front you are a fantastic coach. I have coached a little (ice hockey) and know that it is difficult to win with everyone, but you have incredibly adaptable skills to work with 'neurotic' triathletes as we change on a daily basis.
Your training guidance and words of direction/encouragement were a key in me getting through 3 Ironmans this year. I look forward to recommending you to as many Canadian triathletes as I come across.