Mark Tickner

Mark Tickner

Richmond, Virginia

USAC Level 
3 Coach
Spinning Master Instructor
SPINPower Master Instructor
British Triathlon Federation Level 1 Coach
British Amateur Swimming Association Instructor
PCG Elite Coach
Coaching Focus: Triathlon, Ironman, Road Cycling, Time Trials, Running


After leaving high school I worked as a graphic designer for fifteen months, but I was seeking something more with my life. I'd raced for my school and county (state) level as a junior in rugby, athletics (specializing in 1500/mile, triple jump), and cricket. I joined the British Army and the Parachute Regiment Special Forces and earned the much-coveted red beret and wings. 

After three years I left the Army to pursue a leisure career and worked my way through health and fitness/sports facilities as a swimming instructor, personal trainer, and general manager. It was during these years working in the fitness industry that I played competitive water polo in the highest league in the UK, swam for a top-level swimming team, ran national standard cross country, and commuted to/from work by bike. This prompted a natural progression into triathlon in 1990 as I focused solely on trying to become the best triathlete I could. 

In my first race I finished about 150th out of 300 athletes, and in the first three years I became better and better by training consistently for triathlon every day. I started winning local and placing in the top 30 at national championship races.

After five years of training myself, I hired three well-known coaches in the UK and USA over a twelve-year period and went on to win local and national races, qualify for European and World short course and long course championships, and started travelling around the world to race whilst still working full time.

In 1999 I started my own endurance sports coaching company and also fitness tested over 500 athletes with blood lactate, power, heart rate, and metabolic analysis. As an athlete I started to focus more and more on racing long-distance triathlons. It was after this focus toward the half Ironman and Ironman distance that I found my niche and finished fastest overall British finisher at the 2014 World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii, and fifth in my age group at the inaugural 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida in 2007 (after leading off the bike).

I was the technical director/head coach for Horsham Amphibians Triathlon Club in the UK for 20 years, coaching athletes from 14-80+ years of age at all levels from the complete novice to the elite/professional athlete. I am a Spinning® and SPINPower® Master Instructor, through which I teach others to become qualified Spinning® Instructors. I also coach instructors in furthering their education by presenting continuing education workshops, lectures, and master classes, and by presenting at national and international fitness events around the world. My largest Spinning® class was over 500 people in the Netherlands!

Coaching philosophy

Having been racing competitively since I was 15 years old winning high school cross country races, starting triathlon races in 1990, and coaching endurance sports full time since 1999, I have trained with and coached with all the latest coaching techniques and periodization program philosophies both for myself and the athletes I coach. I realize that everyone is unique and individual, and each athlete needs a different focus from even a like-minded and similarly able athlete. With this in mind I might try one approach of periodized training methodology with one athlete and another method with another athlete. Each program is unique and individual to each athlete, based around the athlete's individual strengths and limiters/weaknesses. 

The athlete and coach relationship is unique; both learn something about each other. I have certainly learnt more from my athletes than any textbook, training manual, or book can teach me, and I am always striving to realize my own potential as an athlete and coach, as well as that of others I coach. All I ask from my athletes is time, consistency, and that they are honest in themselves and with their family and lifestyle. The best athletes have a nice balance in all aspects of their lives, which is the key to improving your performance. Consistent consistency is my motto! 

Notable achievements
    • 25+ overall triathlon and duathlon wins
    • 50+ top 3 placings
    • 100m freestyle: 57:07 sec
    • 200m 1 min 59 sec
    • 400m 4:48 min
    • 1.5k 19:10 min
    • 1.9k 24:30 min
    • 3.8k 53:35 min
    • 10 mile 20:55
    • 25 mile 52:35
    • 56 miles/90k 2:10 hr
    • 112 miles 4:54 hr
    • 1500m 4:04 min
    • 1 mile  4:24 min
    • 5km 16:05 min
    • 10k 33:03 min
    • Half Marathon 1:12 hr
    • Marathon  2:38 hr
    • Ultra Trail Marathon (55km)  4:45 min
    • Sprint (750, 20k, 5k) 51:30 min
    • Olympic (1.5k, 40k, 10k) 1:52 hr
    • Half Ironman (1.9, 90k, 21k) 4:12 hr
    • Ironman (3.8k, 180k, 42.2k) 9:18 hr

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