Coach Profile: Alicja Medak
Alicja Medak has successfully combined a career in banking with training & competing in triathlons for more than 13 years. As a coach, she is uniquely placed to understand the demands of a busy lifestyle while applying Trisutto.com
training principles to athletes with limited amounts of time to train. Her story could be an inspiration to many. She learnt to swim at the age of 33 only as she was eager to join her husband also competing in triathlon races. With her persistence and determination, only a few year later, Alicja qualify for Ironman World Championship in Hawaii for the first time.
Alicja lives in London and speaks Polish and English.
Background of Alicja Medak
I grew up in Communist Poland when basic sport equipment was sought after. However, sport was always at the core of my school time. I training and competed in athletics, cross-country running and team sports. This always provided an extra challenge, courage, drive and gave me motivation to excel in whatever I did.
This dedication and passion for sport has followed me through my entire life.
At university I studied Banking and Finance, then moved to career in Banking, firstly in Warsaw (Poland), then in London (United Kingdom) while running became only a way to stay fit and healthy.
13 years ago I decided to give triathlon a go as my husband (Coach Rafal) got into a mutisport training after his injury stopped him from running for a while.
Long story short, I learnt to swim and started to compete in short distance triathlons in the UK and I liked the challenge. My husband started coaching me and only in my 3rd year of training I competed the 1st Ironman. This is when I realised that I LOVE triathlon and the longer the better. I enjoy to challenge myself in a long day. It was clear that practicing sport, especially running, in my youth gave me a solid base that I could build on.
The curiosity of my athletic abilities were growing and I wanted to see what’s my best in triathlon. My husband and I came across Brett Sutton school very early and have been following ‚The Doc’ achievements for a while then.
We sign up for coaching with one of the coaches from Brett Sutton school and for the first time we were properly coached. From the very beginning it was clear the approach worked! Within 6 months I had an improvement of more than 30 minutes in Ironman 70.3 China, winning my AG and qualified for the World Championships. Then I raced IM UK and to my surprise I came 3rd my my AG and qualified for Ironman World Championships in Hawaii!
Every good coach learns from her/his mistakes and experiences. With such improvement early on I made the mistake of thinking that as the training methods were so simple, if I introduced more ‘science’ into my training, I would improve even more. Instead of improving I went backwards. My biggest weapon - a usually very strong run became similar to the average in my Age Group and I lost strength on the bike.
After a few relatively average races I quickly realised need to get back to the ‘old’ path and started reapplying the approach I learned indirectly from the 'Doc' (Brett Sutton). A few months later I qualified for Kona for the 4th time. With time and training, I grew confident enough in my experience to be able to identify training mistakes and common errors in my own training.
From here, I also started helping other athletes (who were struggling through the same processes I had learned myself) with first advising and then helping in putting together training programmes, whether it was triathlon, duathlon or running.
In 2014 we signed up for a Trisutto.com
training camp was an obvious next step, the objective to learn more from the Head Coach himself. The camp lead into personal coaching by Brett for me and my husband. A couple of years later I realised that the learning process I’ve gone through was immense and I got to know a lot about how to be a good coach. I enjoyed it. Encouraged by others, and Brett himself, I started spending more time learning from Brett on the deck and my husband. Early 2018 I competed Trisutto Coaching Certification.
Coaching is an art more then the science. Good coach has a unique personal skill set to allow successful coach-athlete relationship.
There are very good coaches who never were at the top of their sport who may have struggled and had to work hard to achieve their goals, who needed to figure out what works for them and understand why. There are even a few coaches who never competed in the sport in which they created world champions. The best coaches need a strong personality to be able to motivate their athletes and effectively communicate with them. A good coach also needs to act in a psychologist role - carefully observing their athletes to understand the way they think, behave and are motivated.
Having gone through the process myself while juggling busy banking career and I’m able to help other athletes to short cut their route to achieve their goald and explore their athletic abilities taking into account specific limitations of busy livestyle.
I look forward to helping you achieve your personal bests!
What have you achieved in your coaching career?
Significant improvements for all my athletes reflected in the results. My individual focus on each athlete allows them to improve quickly and reach their potential in the sport
Why do you work with Trisutto?
I have natural empathy with age group athletes trying to balance the demands of our sport into a hectic work lifestyle. Since August 2014 I’ve attended multiple training camps with Brett Sutton in St. Moritz, Gran Canaria and Poland, carefully studying the Trisutto.com
approach. I focus my coaching athletes leading busy lifestyle, Polish and English speaking athletes.