Coach David Meade

The coach/squad

Who is David Meade & PreCompTri?

I’m a competing athlete who started doing Triathlons in 1988. I’ve raced over nearly every distance and have raced professionally in Ironman/70.3 Triathlons for 12 yrs. I’ve had 12 Top 10 overall results at Ironman and I’ve won Shepparton 70.3 5 times.
In 2014 I was the fastest age group athlete at Ironman Melbourne at 44yrs. I’m a father of 2 very active boys and I coach 2 junior AFL sides.
I’m a qualified AFL coach and work part time in The Athlete Development Program at Bendigo South East College. Essentially I oversee the fitness level of approx. 60 elite junior athletes from a variety of sports (mainly AFL, Basketball, and Soccer).
I intend to open (have been given approval by College) a high performance Triathlon program for juniors in Central Victoria.
PreCompTri has been developed to provide Triathletes with a comprehensive coaching service. PreCompTri specifically targeted specialist coaches to compliment my style and fill in some potential gaps in my knowledge. PreCompTri will be looking to further add specialist coaches to our panel to improve our service.

Where are you based?

We are based in Central Victoria however we are capable of servicing athletes anywhere.

How did you come to the sport?

I watched a friend do a Triathlon in 1987 and I was mesmerized at the fitness level of the competitors. I’d always played AFL and loved the training. I suppose I was initially just attracted to the training required to compete in Triathlons.

How did you come to coaching?

I’ve always mentored and given advice to athletes and training partners. This was just a way to formalize my coaching. I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity and over the last couple of years I’ve developed some relationships with people who will complement my style.

What type of coaching do you do? Face to face/ internet/ squad based?

PreCompTri does a little bit of each of these. However most of our coaching will be done online.

Do you have a favourite distance to coach?

Not really, I love and respect all distances. I think that is one of the great attractions to Triathlons, the dynamics are different for each distance.

Do you have a favourite discipline to coach?

No, I think it will depend on the athlete. I love the challenge of coaching athlete’s weaknesses.

What is the one thing that you think is unique your coaching or squad?

I’ve been in Triathlon for over 25 years and I’m learning all the time. PreCompTri is a panel of expert coaches who will all have some input into programs. We use a combination of coaching methods to deliver a tailored experience to the athlete, a lot of coaches would just use a single methodology. We will continue to pursue coaches to fill any gaps we identify in our coaching.

Do you think it is important for a coach to have competed at a high level in triathlon/ competed at the distances they coach?

Absolutely it helps. How many AFL or NRL Coaches haven’t played at senior level? When you have competed at any sport at a high level you learn a lot about the sport both physically and mentally. This knowledge is critical in developing programs. There are so many considerations in triathlons you really need to be coached by people with experience.

How many people do you coach ?

PreCompTri has just started but the interested has been high. We don’t intend to take on too many initially. We will always be focused on providing a good service.

Qualifications? (theoretical and/or real life experience)

PreCompTri is made up of qualified Triathlon, Swim and Athletic (running) coaches. Our coaches have had extensive experience in their chosen field.

As a coach what are your goals?

To offer a holistic service to the athlete, to provide them the tools and knowledge to have the best opportunity to achieve their goals.


How would you describe your coaching style?

Consultative, honest, and realistic.

Do you follow a general philosophy or influence, e.g. Friel, Lydiard, etc?

No one philosophy, we have a fundamental understanding of all major training concepts and believe that no one model fits everyone. Without giving insight into our actual training concepts, we essentially take into considering many factors about the athlete and use a philosophy (or a mixture) that we believe will deliver the best outcome for the athlete

What method do you use to communicate with your clients (phone, email, face to face)? How often?

A mix of all methods, we catch up once per week online to ensure the athlete is on track, and then once a month have a more comprehensive catchup (online, skype or face to face)

How do you gauge performance improvements? (Races, training, tts, power analysis)

We use a combination of races, TTs, power analysis to gauge athlete improvements. Though its dependent on the type of athlete.

Do you believe in/use gadgets (Pace watch/PM/hr monitor)?

We definitely use these as a tool to assist the athlete in pacing a workout and for post workout analysis, though we are also big believers in developing an intuition for pacing, you cannot rely on a gadget.

How much feedback do you give your athletes on workouts (Daily/weekly/as needed)?

As needed

Do you use training peaks or something similar?

Yes Training Peaks

What's your experience working with people who work extreme hours and how do you adapt their training?

An athlete that works extreme hours can be a challenge to get the right mix of training and balance the stress/workloads the body endures from working long hours. Generally an athlete who works extreme hours tend to be a highly motivated person, a lot of the time its more about getting them to hold back on the training during busy “life” periods than introducing more training load.

Do you offer advice on diet, vitamins, supplements and alternative therapies (such as chiro, accu, yoga)?

We certainly do offer nutrition and supplement advice, we ask our athletes to provide us a food diary for 1 week to get a baseline of what their diet is, and we provide suggestions on the key areas to improve their diet. Unfortunately the traditional “triathlete” diet doesn’t always equate to high performance for most athletes, an individual responds differently to certain food groups, and we look at each athlete’s individual needs.


What attributes do you think make an athlete easier to coach to their desired results?

They need to be honest and diligent. Their self-assessment needs to be accurate. They must be willing to learn and pass on their knowledge. They must not live and breathe the sport and they must have a genuine passion for the sport.

Do you specialise in or have a preference for novice athletes, seasoned athletes, etc.?

Not really, we are happy to help anyone.

Would you be honest with me in regards to my goals and aspirations?

Absolutely, being open and honest is the only real pathway develop trust and in turn long term improvements

Have you ever sacked a client who didn't follow your advice?


Have you coached mature athletes? How do you treat them differently?

A key difference for mature athletes would be their ability to recover comparing to younger athletes, and while we are an advocate for all athletes to incorporate well timed strength training into their programs, it is generally more critical for mature athletes

Do you understand the recovery needs of older athletes?

Yes, as above

What percentage of your athletes survives the training injury free?

This is hard to answer at the moment as our group has just been established, though our coaches as athletes have stayed injury free the majority of their time in the sport

Do you practice what you preach?

Yes, there is not a sessions “intent” we would prescribe that we wouldn’t complete ourselves

How do you look at intensity vs volumes?

Both, depending on the athlete, their goals, their ability, their athletic age and body composition etc. Though as the TAC advertisement says “speed kills”, if not programmed correctly.


Everyone’s idea of success is different. Tell me a couple of your success stories both as a coach and with athletes you train.

Frank Scarce is an athlete I’ve mentored for the last 10 yrs. Frank came into the sport at 45yrs with no Swimming or Cycling background. He has now won his age group at Ironman, competed at Hawaii and holds a 4hr 21min 70.3 PB (50-55 age group)

Recently I’ve undertaken an exciting role has fitness coach in the Athlete Development Program at Bendigo South East College. It’s a high performance program for junior athletes who are elite at their chosen sport. 95% of athletes in the program have shown remarkable improvement in the first 6months.Due to the success of the program the College is expanding the intake next year by 80%.


Cost and what do I get for this?

We have various offerings, check us out at http://www.precomptri.com/