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A 70.3 World Championship Playbook

  • By Julia Polloreno
  • Published Sep 6, 2013
  • Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen


We tapped three of the top coaches in the sport, who are all bringing contender-level talent to this year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 8, to talk about what it takes to be successful on the Vegas course and offer rare insight into how they prep their athletes for podium success at the half-iron distance.

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Triathlete magazine.

The Coaches

Cliff English
The Tucson-based coach of 15-plus years brings perhaps the strongest contingent to Vegas this year, with Tim O’Donnell, Heather Jackson, T.J. Tollakson and Matty Reed—all top contenders for the half-Ironman world title.

Matt Dixon
Coach to some of the sport’s top names—Linsey Corbin, Meredith Kessler, Chris Lieto and Jesse Thomas—Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness is known for his progressive, holistic approach to training and for coining enough new training-related phrases to form a “Dixon-ary” (Monkey’s Knuckle: the last interval of the main set). Two athletes from his squad to watch in Vegas: Emma-Kate Lidbury and Sarah Piampiano.

Lance Watson
Head coach of LifeSport Coaching, Watson has guided numerous athletes to world championships, Ironman wins and Olympic gold with Simon Whitfield. Two of Watson’s athletes, fellow Canadians Brent McMahon, ITU star and winner of this year’s Ironman 70.3 St. George, and 70.3 specialist Magali Tisseyre, have sights set on the Vegas titles.

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Julia Polloreno

Julia Polloreno

As Editor-in-Chief of Triathlete magazine, Polloreno oversees the monthly magazine’s content and production. A Stanford University graduate with an award-winning track record in publishing, Polloreno is a two-time Ironman finisher and has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

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