This week we share an interview with Team Triumpher, Jeff Yateman. Congratulations to Jeff who qualified for the World Championships in Edmonton! We look forward to following his journey as he prepares for August 2020. Here is his story...


What is your name and what do you do for a living? 
My name is Jeffrey Yateman, and I am a student, entrepreneur & full-time insights analyst at PepsiCo. I have one year left at McMaster University, and I currently have three Startups that I operate with my business partner Rami Fahel (who is also a Team Triumph athlete) and have a full-time job in Toronto.


When did you start one-to-one coaching with Team Triumph, and were you already working out/previously coached? 
I started being coached early July 2019, I had been doing triathlons for roughly three summers. At that time, I had 8 under my belt. My workout regimen would be only about 3 or 4 workouts of each sport leading up to each race (not recommended…). At the time, it was a hobby and provided an outlet for me to be competitive and clear my mind.


What initially prompted you to seek out one-to-one coaching?
I felt as though I was not reaching my potential; I was getting decent results in my races but wanted to push myself further to see what I was capable of. Finishing a race, knowing that I did not put in the proper amount of training in, was frustrating and disappointing. I did not know how to do so properly; the only right thing to do was to reach out to a coach.


What was your goal when you originally signed up for coaching?My goal was to push myself further and to see what I was capable of achieving. I had no idea what was on the table at that time, and I was open to what Julia had in stock for me. By the end of our meeting, I was advised by Julia (based on my times and training levels) that I should attempt to qualify for the ITU Team Canada Age Group World Championships. The “WHAT?!? No..” thought is the first thing that came to mind. I had always wanted to but never imagined that I would be able to represent Canada in this sport, let alone with only 55 days of serious training.


Why was this goal important to you?
I believe that it’s essential to explore our full potential in anything we do. You don’t have to love every second of it, but if you are passionate enough, you should give it a shot. Once you give it your all, then you should decide if you love it or not; Until then it is too hard to tell. I adopt this philosophy with many things in life and thought it was relevant to my training as well.


How long had you had this goal?
Again, the goal was not specific – it was simply a desire to explore the unknown and push myself harder physically than ever before. I had it as a young runner, a swimmer in high school and now had the opportunity, to be honest with myself and push harder than I ever had. This time with the World Championships at stake, there was no walking away from the final race and brushing it off. I was all in.


Did you have any obstacles that you felt might hold you back from reaching your goal?
Doubt. Doubt, that qualifying for this race was possible. Doubt, that I had not trained enough. Doubt, that I did not have enough experience. I felt I was doing something on a completely new level and every second of my training was a challenge to force myself to believe that all of this was possible.


How did you originally hear about one-to-one coaching with Team Triumph?
I knew I needed a coach, so I set out to find one. Team Triumph was everywhere online, and several people had recommended Julia to help me on my mission.


How were you feeling about one-to-one coaching at that time you signed up?
I felt as though there was a burden lifted off my shoulders. Before coaching, I had no clue what the best training plan was, what the proper nutrition would be, how long/hard to push, how to recover properly, etc. I could now focus solely on good training, knowing that everything in the background was taken care of.


What have you liked best about working with a coach?
Accountability is a big thing; I like knowing that if I crush a new PB or have a great workout, there is back end support. Triathlons can get lonely when training – there is no team comradery and no one with you during the hard workouts. Having a coach can help with that part.


What challenges have you overcome and struggled with that kept you from progressing with your goals?
There was no end game to the training. I would do a few tri’s every summer, but it was never leading up to anything bigger. It made the sport empty, and I was losing interest. Now I am full of passion and excitement for the adventure this sport will take me on.


How did you overcome them?
Coaching gave me a clear purpose and direction. Something to strive for and something to get me out of bed in the morning. This brought back the spark and love for the sport.


What are you most proud of achieving since you started coaching?
Qualifying for the ITU World Championships. This was a big win for me and took me to the next level, the level I always wanted to achieve but did not know was possible. Lots of suffering and pain went into qualifying, and there is lots more to come, but after every hard swim, bike or run I’m proud that I pushed through and gave myself a reason to keep hustling.


Now that you have reached some of your goals has your view of yourself or training changed?
If anything, I have become more serious and involved in my workouts. Before having a coach, it was a bit of a stretch, a dream… now it’s a reality. Every meal counts, every workout counts and every recovery period counts. The pressure is on and I welcome it with open arms.


What else is different about your life since beginning one-to-one coached with Team Triumph?
Triathletes know it’s a huge time commitment to train for three disciplines. Runners tell you that you need to run 7 days a week, bikers and swimmers say the same about their sport. Where is the time? I have needed to prioritize and be more efficient with my time, and it does change how you live your life on a day to day basis. It also removed the doubt you constantly have about your workouts. Am I doing enough? Am I doing the right thing?.. etc


Where would you be if you hadn’t started your coaching with us?
Not sure, but I don’t think I would be training for the world championships, that’s for sure! I am currently training from Toronto, but with Julia’s advanced training apps and communication systems, I am still able to train just as hard here as I would in Ottawa.


What would you say to someone who is thinking about one-to-one coaching with Team Triumph?
I would suggest that each individual asks themselves why…?

Why train harder than I do now?
Why get faster and stronger?
Why is that important to me?
Why will this help me achieve a larger goal in life?


After thinking about the questions above – the answer will be clear whether one on one training is a good fit or not.

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