Team Atomica Swim Club
Kelly Fitzsimmons (Jan 30th 2019) – to Coach Darian Silk
My name is Kelly Fitzsimmons, and I’m a modern pentathlete on the Canadian National team currently ranked #1 in Canada. I’ve been working with Darian since the beginning of my 2018 season. At the time, I was looking for a coach who could help me look at my overall program and planning from a physiological perspective. Pentathlon (fencing, swimming, horse jumping, running with laser shooting) is such a complex sport, my biggest struggle was planning the load of 5 sport training week to week relative to my near and long term competition goals (while mixing in full time work!). This is where Darian came in.
Darian has been able to help me plan for the big picture while staying focused on what matters day to day to make it happen. Although he was new to pentathlon, he brought experience as a physiologist and multi-sport coach to the table that could help me approach my training holistically. His natural curiosity and willingness to learn more about my goals/challenges, my sport, and the approaches of my other pentathlon coaches has ensured that the plan is highly considered and tailored to me as an individual athlete. Darian excels at building a plan that matters and cutting out the excess that doesn’t. As a result, I’ve been able to reduce stress, stay healthy/uninjured, and confidently build the plan toward some very big goals over the next season.
2 Hours Swim Clinic Participant (Dec 13th, 2018)
” I enjoyed the clinic and found the feedback very worthwhile. I was practicing this morning and my 100’s were consistently 10s faster with a more horizontal swimming position and more rotation. Thx! ”
Kathryn K (Nov 21st, 2018)
“I really like how Darian prefaced the clinic with the goal of tackling a “low hanging fruit”. It was a realistic goal and set a clear intention for the session.I appreciated that Jeremy was there to help us work on specific ways to work on the pointers that Darian gave after the video analysis. I think that there were too many people in the group, but it took a long time to go through each person’s video. If Jeremy hadn’t also been there, I would have found that there was way too much time alone rather than being watched and given specific pointers to help me out. As it was, I walked away feeling extremely motivated to work on my chronic issues with my catch. Having been given new insight into how to fix it and feeling an immediate difference in the water with some minor changes was very helpful. Even now I’m still reminded of the tips I learned that day and put them into practice regularly”.
Team Atomica: (Nov 21st, 2018) “We have changed the max number to 6 instead of 10”.
Wendy L (Oct 18th, 2018) – to Coach Ayesha Rollinson
“I just wanted to drop a quick line and say THANK YOU so much for working on my swimming with me! I greatly greatly appreciate it and look forward to improving my stroke! Also, I am very much enjoying the swim workouts so far. I was worried about the shorter practices than I am used to but these workouts are more focused and of greater quality and I always leave happy! I just wish work allowed me to make more workouts, lol! I come to what I can but not as much as I’d like. Looking forward to more swim workouts and being able to participate in social events as well! Cheers, Wendy 🙂 ”
Ryan P (Jul 13th, 2018)
“I’ve been swimming with TA for two seasons and have even dragged along some friends to join in on the fun. The Bellwoods morning crew is awesome and we all get a kick out of Coach Darian’s amusing shirts and sense of humour (it makes getting in a pool at 630am in January enjoyable)! In all seriousness, both he and Ayesha are fun coaches who push us to be better and their efforts show in our results.You guys are both a lot of fun to be around and certainly make swimming more enjoyable! If you can help a non-swimmer like me to progress, there’s no reason you can’t get anyone to be good.”
Ashleigh R (Jul 8th, 2018) – to Coach Ayesha Rollinson
“I wanted to say thank you for all the coaching and swim training over the years. I completed an 11 km open water swim yesterday, something I never imagined myself doing. I don’t think I would have signed up, let alone completed one without the confidence your swim program gave me.”
Annabelle A (Feb 14th, 2018) – on Trinity Swim
“Thank you very much for your help. I have tried 3 different swim squads here in Montreal and am still yet to find anything that compares to our Trinity Bellwoods squad!”
Michael P. (Nov 15th, 2017) – on Riverdale Saturday Swims
“Thanks for the great workout, Darian. Very thoughtful sets. Very engaging and challenging.”
Graham (Oct 13th 2017)
“It was an absolute pleasure swimming with Atomica Trinity Bellwoods. I really enjoyed our morning swims and getting to know everyone in the group. Your swims were the perfect balance between challenging but not agonizing. I was always impressed with what we accomplished in the hour and I felt like my technique continue to improve. I’ll miss those swims. Thanks again. “
Adrian E (Sep 14th 2017)
“No negative feedback at all! I loved everything about Team Atomica, but now I’m in Switzerland pursuing my Masters in Robotics (and cycling up and down mountains in my spare time)! Wonderful flexibility for lessons, great (and useful) individual advice, and a really fun group of people in general. The lessons over the past couple years have really helped me improve my technique; going from barely being able to cross a 25-meter pool, to confidently swimming 1.5 km in an Olympic Tri! Really appreciated your patience throughout the learning process.”
Eugene W (Jul 19th 2017)
(Sprinting back ground, completed 10km swim in Lake Erie, no wetsuit)
“Thanks, coach! The training has been good. My swim endurance has improved like 10x since swimming with TASC.”
J. Hall (Jun 6th 2017)
“I just wanted to say thank you. You have been so good to me from when I started and had no stamina or control…. I appreciate all of the time you have given to me to help me improve. Thank you so much!”
Michael P (May 10th 2017)
“Ayesha I wanted to let you know that I am so grateful for your coaching and athletic wisdom. I have achieved things I never dreamed were possible for me. And, I can see more to come in the future. I think you have really found your niche and so many of us benefit from it!”
Andre Yeu (Sept 28th 2016)
“Coach Ayesha and Darian, I just wanted to thank you for your coaching the last two years. Specifically, for greatly improving my freestyle technique and overall swim fitness, but also increasing my overall confidence as an athlete…”.
Joseph de la Plante (Sept 7th 2014)
“Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed being part of your swimming group, even though at times I wasn’t able to dedicate as much time as I would have hoped. As a young kid, I was never a good swimmer. Since 2011, I have gone from not being able to swim 1 lap to comfortable swimming 1k+, which is more than I ever would have hoped for 🙂 I really want to thank you for pushing and encouraging me. This was a huge accomplishment for me and something that I am very proud of”.
Scott B (Aug 21st , 2014)
Well I have to admit…the swim was the easiest part of the race! ;o) And from a guy that hated the swim part of triathlons a few years ago that’s huge! Thanks for all the coaching. A bit of a story leading up to IMMT for me…
I was packing a bag on the Tuesday evening before IMMT and apparently my back did not like how I was packing…it was the slightest movement with no real twist/heavy load but down on the floor I went! 5 days before my first Ironman and a disc in my back decides to herniate…leaving me lying on the floor, unable to stand or walk. I’ve never been so angry, upset, frustrated…emotional, in all my life! I had so many thoughts running through my head when it happened I was all over the place….I was even laughing out loud at one point. Anyway, after much uncertainty and advise from different people I decided to at least go to Tremblant and take in the atmosphere of the race and get some worth out of my condo and race package…I brought along my race stuff just in case! I was able to walk slowly on Thursday morning and by Friday it was still painful to walk and sit….but I did for the 7hour car drive. Lying in the passenger seat as still as possible. Got to Tremblant just before the check in closed and was walking a bit better by this point. Saturday I saw my coaches Chiropractor that was racing as well and he gave me some last bit of advice. I decided that a DNF was way better than a DNS and prepared to at least get in the water on Sunday morning. My mind set was that I was going to go for as long as my body (or pain threshold) could take me…without damaging myself any further. I figured the swim was going to be the easiest as there was less compression on my spine…I was super relaxed before the race and didn’t have very high expectations (from a speed perspective). I felt good in the water and basically drafted behind a guy going the whole way out and held on to a few others on the way in. After the swim was done, I was a little surprised how well I finished and moved on to thinking about the bike. It was difficult for me to get my bike socks on in transition as the cold water and cool air made for a tight back. When I got on my bike I stayed upright for a good 20km before I tried aero…and it was painful to lift a hand off the bars (having to support myself). Slowly I tried aero position more and more and also stopped at aid stations to stretch my back out. As the time went on I felt less pain in my back and was able to get into aero more and more…my body warming up as well as the air temperature. I figured after the first lap, that I would at least be able to complete the bike portion and thenI would see if I could run.
A bit of pain getting off the bike but when I got into transition I was able to actually tie my own shoes, back felt better and I set off to see how long my run would be. Thinking that even if I couldn’t run I would at least finish the race even if I walked the whole thing. I found that I could keep a slow pace with my run stride shorter than normal and I had no pain in my back. So…that’s what I did. I had a slower run than I had hoped, but for everything that had happened leading up to this race I was super happy with how it all turned out. I was just heading in to finish when I saw you on the course…so I was super pumped.
I just wanted to share my story with you as there was a lot of emotion running through me in the past week (like IM doesn’t have enough on itsown)…but you were a big influence with my training that got me to where I needed to be. So thanks again for all your coaching!
Hope to see you at the pool this fall!!
Team Atomica Run Club
TP (Sep 4th , 2014)
“I really enjoyed them (even though I was the slowest of the bunch). Unfortunately due to business travel, I missed a number of the workouts but I still found them very valuable. I liked meeting a whole bunch of new runners – great bunch of people with lots of energy and positive attitude. I am definitely hoping you continue a similar run group in the future.”
Darian Silk’s Personal Coaching
Kathy Katsiroumpas (Dec 20th 2015)
“After a year away from triathlon I was keen to get back into the sport. But with four children and having recently returned to work, I needed the support and guidance of a coach. Darian understands the constraints of my life and provides a structured plan that is flexible yet effective. His feedback is always personal, timely and informed, with no question going unanswered. I have seen growth in both my physical abilities and mental attitude towards training and competing. I am looking forward to my first Ironman next summer and have every confidence that Darian will do his utmost to make my journey to the finish line challenging yet enjoyable.”
Tara’s Personal Coaching
“Being an avid mountain biker for many years, I took up spin classes over the winter months. Most of the people at the class including instructors were triathletes, which got me into thinking I would like to try to complete an Ironman. Tara was my favorite instructor at spin class who always had a positive and encouraging personality. When I decided that I really was going to do an Ironman, I felt it made sense to enlist experienced help to guide me through the challenge, Tara was naturally my first choice to be my coach. Not previously being a runner or a swimmer, Tara guided me throughout my journey and I finished my goal of completing Lake Placid Ironman this year. It has been such an awesome journey, that I have signed up for another Ironman for next year, and continue to have Tara guide me and share my own personal journey with me.”
“Some would say that my ambitions were a little out of my league. Grudgingly, I would have had to agree. That however, was last year. After a season’s worth of training with Tara I now – to use a well worn but accurate cliché – feel that the idea of physical and psychological limits has all but disappeared. From the early days of putting together a macro plan for the overall season of training, to accommodating my ever changing weekly schedule, to micro adjustments in specific training days, she was always willing and able. Her depth of knowledge in the sport meant that whatever personal question about ability or technique I might have had, she would have an answer to. An accomplished triathlete, she has been incredible to work with and her great energy and flash dance soundtrack kept me motivated on those cold winter days when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed and on the bike.Standing at the start line.. well floating at the start line.. on the single hardest day of my athletic life this past august thinking of all the intense and satisfying work Tara had put me through, I felt ready.”
Thank you for all your help this season Tara – I’m regretting not getting out with you sooner; your style of coaching is great and works for me. I actually enjoy the run practices and notice that I am getting faster and more confident in my speed work. I see what you mean now about being patient.”
Victor Wong ( Sept 10th 2014)
Tara Norton have been my coach for almost 7 years. And I am not planning on changing any time soon. Many people often raised an eyebrow wondering why that is, and for me, it’s simple: Tara Norton is an amazing coach and person. Many of us thrive to be better athletes; we have dreams and desires to get faster, stronger, fitter, or simply healthier. These things often come without deadlines, and without guidance, we will end up having injuries from over-training (no thanks to most of our type A personalities) or simply getting nowhere. With a coach like Tara, I can actually achieve significant gains. As a coach, Tara is very reliable, very patient and understanding. It is tremendously important for me, especially since I am deaf. She is very perceptive, and a great communicator. As a result of these qualities, Tara is incredible at shaping your goals and projects for you to work towards. They are often practical and realistic steps without getting injured, which often leads to big rewards. I have been on age-group podium many times, achieved new personal bests each year, and that is something I could never imagine achieving alone. Her workout plans are very structured and tailored for you; if you are weak in some discipline, she will make sure you get better without sacrificing other qualities. In other words, she turns breakdowns into breakthroughs!
So why coach with Tara? Because as person, she is equally as incredible. Her steadfest attitude is infectious. Not only did she make a better athlete out of me in leap and bounds, she inadvertently helped me develop a mental toughness that extends above and beyond the race course. As a result, I am never more excited and focused to meet every obstacle in life.
Reading and researching on how to bring your “A game”, you can buy books and magazines for knowledge. But if you want to gain wisdom and athletism at a higher level, it takes more than just words and numbers; you take up coaching with Tara Norton!”
John M (Jul 28th 2014)
“Before the race it was my intent for it to be the only one, and to cross it off my nonexistent bucket list, but during it I think I changed my mind. A big part of that is being coached and prepared.”