Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach

Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach


Kind of crazy to be racing in January - in the middle of base phase. 😳 But after no races in 2020 (COVID) and just two early races in 2021 (injury), it was so nice to get back on the race course. With wind-chill temps of 24’F (is this Florida?), the race director cancelled the swim and turned the race into a duathlon (run-bike-run). Brushed off a lot of rust today and had lots of opportunities for learning. Yay! Came away with an age-group win. 😊 Big thanks to my hubby for always being there, and to my coaches, Jim Vance and Jeff Troesch, who constantly teach, push, encourage and support. Blessed. Grateful.
Playing around after a solid swim session, and … another LIFETIME PR! 😱 This one for 100 meters. Love how Jim Vance has taken away the pressure to perform that I wrote about in “The Athlete Inside” and built my confidence in the swim. Too bad pushing off the bottom is not legal in butterfly! 🤪 Life is good! Blessed!
Loved hearing my coaches, Bobby McGee and Jim Vance, chat about how they collaborate in the coaching of Ben Kanute, Grace Walthers, and a couple of age-groupers (me!). I have always believed in the creative power of collaborative thought. Jim and Bobby point out that to do so successfully, it takes self confidence, low egos, a love for learning, mutual respect, and a desire to put the outcome (speed) above oneself. Lots of lessons in this chat! 😊

Gentle exploratory run workout this morning where the effort was quite even and a little up tempo from what I have been doing. Felt great! Got to do some fast lengths in the pool this afternoon too! Coming back! 😊

Pretty easy to do six-week-PR’s in Today’s Plan, (the training platform used by my tri coach, Jim Vance) when all your runs until today for the last two months have been easy, but I’ll take all 57 of them! 🤣😂🤣
Yaaaay!!! 🎉🎉🎉 My sports doc (who has been part of my journey since the beginning) said my clavicle looks great! Couldn’t wait to get in the pool and swim with TWO arms! Was a million times faster than I thought I’d be! 🏊‍♀️💨 Evidently, eight weeks of dog paddle paid dividends! 😁 Ready to go, Coach Jim Vance !! 😊😊😊 Blessed!
Then and now!
THEN - Doing Bobby McGee’s Dynamic Mobility Drills in the hospital - before knowing that I had a concussion and broken clavicle, and before deciding to end my triathlon season early.
NOW - Taking some much needed time off. Lots of Hallmark movies (no guns or gore!) and Splendor games with my hubby / best friend.
GRATEFUL - For the support of my coaches - Bobby McGee’s, Jim Vance’s, and Jeff Troesch’s - as I take time to refresh. One day better every day! Blessed! 😊
Bobby McGee keeps a low profile in Boulder while coaching the fastest runners and triathletes in the world. Despite a busy schedule, as many of his athletes are prepping for Olympic trials, Bobby is also coaching Sue Reynolds as she preps for World Triathlon Bermuda.

We got a rare opportunity to chat with both Sue and Bobby about their coach/athlete relationship, what each learns from the other, and how Bobby facilitates athletic performance in Olympians and age-groupers alike. Listen at https://bit.ly/3bcZ0nF

Shout outs! This App Saves Lives Venga CBD UCAN Ironman 70.3 St George Lionel Sanders-Professional Triathlete samgolong Daniela Ryf Skye Moench Barb Lindquist Buddy Rudy von Berg Paula Findlay Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach
Stryd and Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach will come together next week to deliver a free webinar on Running with Power, and its application in endurance coaching. The webinar will provide coaches with world-leading information and access to this cutting edge technology at a discounted rate, which has been negotiated by Triathlon Victoria for Triathlon Australia members.
🌐 Register: https://bit.ly/35v1ucS
📖 Read more: https://bit.ly/2WGsTVx
Today’s featured Endurance Exchange coaching track presenter: Jim Vance! Don't forget today is the last day to register without the price increase on Jan 2nd and earn 15 CEU's!

Jim will speak on “Junior Elite Race Demands & Development Strategies” on Sat. Jan. 25th from 2:30-3:30 PM. Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach

This session reviews the key demands of youth elite and junior elite racing throughout the development pipeline, including mental and emotional components associated with coaching this population. Coaches working with other populations will also gain strong development skills applicable to all ages and a strong foundational understanding of draft-legal racing.

Jim is an elite endurance sports coach, author and sport technology and training consultant based in San Diego. He is the personal coach of 2016 U.S. Olympic triathlete Ben Kanute, guiding him to three wins at Escape from Alcatraz, multiple IRONMAN 70.3 victories, a second- and a fourth-place finish at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, a top-seven ITU World Triathlon Series finish and multiple ITU World Mixed Relay Series medals. Vance is also the head coach for Formula Endurance, a USA Triathlon high performance team focused on developing top junior triathletes as part of the Olympic pipeline. Vance has coached elite national champions, youth and junior elite All-Americans, world championship podium performers, countless IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers, and has been a training consultant for U.S. Olympians. He has written two books: Triathlon 2.0 and Run with Power, and co-edited Triathlon Science with best-selling endurance training author Joe Friel.

Early this morning, 10 youth athletes were at the starting line of an open-water swim triathlon as part of our Youth Paratriathlon Camp. For most, it was their first triathlon ever.

Leading up to today, they had 2 full days of instruction and coaching from elite coaches Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach, Carlos Moleda and Alan Voisard. We're proud to say all 10 athletes crossed the finish line smiling!

A special thanks to every volunteer and supporter for making this camp possible 🙏

📸 Rich Cruse Photography
Today kicks off the Youth Paratriathlon Camp! For the next 3 days, these 10 campers from all over the world are going to be learning how to improve their swim, bike, run from elite coaches. Let's do this! 🏊‍♀️ 🚴 🏃‍♀️

Alan Voisard Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach Carlos Moleda
Three days of swimming, biking, running, and their biggest takeaway? Camaraderie and friendship 🙌

Eleven paratriathletes from around the U.S, Mexico, and England came to our headquarters in San Diego for our Adult Paratriathlon Camp this past weekend. While here, they learned from top coaches, Carlos Moleda, Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach and Alan Voisard. Besides improving their skills and technique, they're leaving with friends for life 😁

Thank you to our amazing volunteers, coaches, and supporters for making this camp possible! 🙏

📸 Rich Cruse Photography

Francisco Postlethwaite Muñoz
Chele Teabout
Sammi Tucker - Resilience Expert, Author, & Paralympic Archer
Christina Easler
Maikol Monsalve
Molly Lethert
Ryen Reed

Coach to US Olympian and 70.3 World Championship Silver Medalist, Ben Kanute


Failure is a great opportunity. Doubt brings nothing.


Quote from the book, “The Tough Stuff”, by . So many armchair QB’s, who just study leadership and coaching, but never have to make the hard decisions with athletes, connect with the athletes to get them to believe in the process, and get the results to prove it. And here’s a little secret, even when successful coaches get it right, we all know when we got it wrong. It haunts us. So much of coaching is more than writing a workout. And it’s damn hard, the higher you go.

Photos from Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach's post 11/13/2021

The best part of this letter was when my 9 year old read it aloud, then ran across the room to give me a hug. Thank you to the USOPC for that moment especially.


It’s time. You’ve been quietly questioning yourself in your conscious mind, and in your subconscious. You can feel it, that little bit of self sabotage you do, that you blow off as harmless. But you likely do it more often than you’re really comfortable with.

The things you delay, the truths you don’t want to address. The fears you have. You’ve been grasping for confidence, but the truth is your confidence will never arrive if you don’t take the reins and build it yourself.

The world is an amazing place, that gives you so many opportunities in your life everyday. It’s time to stop passing those opportunities off to others. It’s time to stop relinquishing control of your fate to randomness and those who don’t have to live with your choices.

Take the reins. It’s time.


We are witnessing a truly remarkable moment in sports history, where fans are finally seeing the true mental toll of sport, the pressure, the media spotlight, & its intersection with mental health, maturity, (both mental and emotional), and confidence. The most talented, greatest in her sport, is facing her greatest opponent ever, her own mindset.

Let me start by saying I am thankful I don’t have a billion + people watching & criticizing my every parenting move or every time I needed a moment to step away from my kids as a parent, because of the stress I sometimes feel. (If you’re a parent, you know the feeling.) It becomes overwhelming at times, especially when it matters so much to you.

I’m not afraid to admit that I have been off and on in therapy for many years now. Every time I begin to think I don’t need it, I see what a huge help it is. The fact it seems profound to share this here, (even to me), probably shows how much the stigma needs to change. What else in our world could be so helpful, but we are afraid to admit we use it?

I’ve posted a lot about the importance of confidence on the start line. I’m known as “the data coach”, but data is just a tool to make sure the athlete is prepared on the start line to mentally handle & seize the opportunity. It doesn’t matter how talented you are physically, if you aren’t prepared when the moment comes. Incredible talent is not unbeatable. You don’t have to be the most talented! No one argues that Biles is the best in her sport. Chinks in your mental armor get exposed the higher the goals.

I can’t tell you how many athletes I have seen who had all the physical tools of the best in their sport, but mentally couldn’t accomplish much. Just ask any coach who has been around awhile.

I’m very impressed how this young lady can take inventory of the situation, acknowledge the issue, and press the pause button. She still manages to say the right things, not break down emotionally, and is trying to get back on track. We could all learn a lot from this young lady.

America loves a comeback story. Me too.

Photos from Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach's post 07/22/2021

1 year working with
1 U23 National Championship

Her 4 years at a Big 10 running program:
2 stress fractures
1 full fracture
1 tear of her plantar fascia

She told me excitedly recently, "I'm approaching 1 year of no injuries!" I replied, "Great, that's how it's supposed to be if you want to be successful in this sport". But her surprise was not unique, as most athletes think injuries are inevitable, especially at the highest level, or as the goal level increases. They aren't. Sure, a crash, or something acute outside of training can happen. But if you're continuously injured in training and missing races, parts of the season, or many training sessions, then it's your approach to training that simply needs to change. It's likely too aggressive, even if you see benefits early from it. You can handle high load in doses, but continuous high load leads to injuries. Take your time with load, be patient, and you'll be amazed at what that will do for you. If you aren’t disciplined enough to do that yourself, then find a coach who is. But beware of the coach with high injury rates.

Photos #1-3: .world

Photos from Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach's post 07/19/2021

One thing I’ve learned about sport from elite triathlon, is winning is very hard, and winning consistently is extremely hard. So it’s important to pause and enjoy it when you do win. Congrats to U23 National Champion for executing a winning race, not just this past weekend, but day-in, day out. One year after we started our journey together, we celebrate her first victory, and major title. Next comes the U23 Worlds, in Edmonton, 🇨🇦. Massive thank you to and for filling in the gaps of my coaching approach, and being amazing team players to help make this happen. Grace has been such a pleasure to coach, as her attitude, desire to learn, and intrinsic motivation are world class. Excited for the possibility of celebrating more wins with this team!


St George 70.3 was a disappointment, and it was my fault. Coaching an athlete like brings with it incredible challenges, which I wake up everyday excited about. Balancing 70.3 with Olympic aspirations and the Mixed Relay, is the most unique challenge there is in this sport. The sport keeps changing; new competitors, new races, new courses, new schedules, and new goals, it is both exciting and a lot to manage. We embrace it! When an athlete like Ben does everything I ask of him in training and preparation, it is the coach who must take responsibility for the performance. I screwed it up. All we can do is come to a consensus on where we are, where the mistakes were made, and what the next steps are to return to form. Congrats to , and on the podium. On to Yokohama. 📸:

Photos from Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach's post 03/13/2021

A very solid 3rd place for at . After Daytona, we adapted our approach, brought in and continued on a long term trajectory of run development with the help of . Miami was the first race Ben has come back on the run, and it shows we’re making progress, not just for middle distance, but also in our quest for the and the Mixed Relay. Racing is great to see again, and seeing the plan working with a podium performance with 2 of the best guys in the world is even better. 📸:

Photos from Jim Vance - Elite Triathlon Coach's post 03/13/2021

A very solid 3rd place for at . After Daytona, we adapted our approach, brought in and continued on a long term trajectory of run development with the help of . Miami was the first race Ben has come back on the run, and it shows we’re making progress, not just for middle distance, but also in our quest for the and the Mixed Relay. Racing is great to see again, and seeing the plan working with a podium performance with 2 of the best guys in the world is even better. 📸:

Timeline Photos 06/12/2020

52 years later & many Americans are still upset more about the message, than the fact little has changed.

Timeline Photos 06/02/2020



Working with Triathlon Victoria in Australia to help athletes and coaches use running power.

Timeline Photos 02/11/2020

As a coach of an elite triathlete, trying to make the 2020 Olympics, I need to speak out. I am dumbfounded by the extremely poor list of race opportunities & scheduling set by in the build up to Tokyo. We have a new event at the Olympics, the Mixed Relay, & in the prior 9 months before selections & end of the qualification period for all countries, we have exactly 1 Mixed Relay/Super-Sprint World Cup or WTS level opportunity to help athletes prepare, & help selectors with their decisions. That is Abu Dhabi Mixed Relay.

Chengdu MR won't allow most countries into the race, as it's for those not already qualified, & the individual race this year is a sprint. And w/ the Coronavirus, who knows if Chengdu will
still even happen, or if nations will allow or bother to send many of their athletes. That would be 2 canceled WC's. ITU has done a disservice to its federations in not offering a slate of diverse race opportunities to help nations better select their teams in the months that matter most, those closest to the games & still within the qualification period.

The madness of putting 3 World Cups on consecutive weekends, from AUS>USA>NZL with all three being sprints, is another mess within this mess of scheduling issues. All these World Cups & WTS races & they're all the same? WHY? The sport is changing! Race plans should too!

The needs of athletes, selectors, HP staff & coaches aren't being met w/ race opportunities reflective of the changing needs. Now when we get to Tokyo, we have the individual races scheduled before the Mixed Relay, which is creating another mess in plans for nations. Many nations may not even start, or will have their athletes DNF early, just to preserve them for the relay. Now the integrity of the individual race will likely be tarnished. Do better ! Your sport needs it from you. 📸:

Timeline Photos 02/02/2020

It’s extremely exciting to have top coaches and teams in cycling, triathlon and running see what an amazing tool is, and jump on board with us! This week we welcomed the team, and its coach to the system. Dan is the personal coach of World Champions this past October, & .anne.haug, on top of all his success with the cycling team. When I first came on board with the Today’s Plan platform, I saw what they were doing, and it was groundbreaking! They have continued to grow it to even new and higher levels. It honestly is to the point where those not on the platform are at a disadvantage to those who are. It’s why and I jumped on board early, and our results continue to show what that advantage can do.

Timeline Photos 11/13/2019

“You don’t have to be sick to get better.”
- Unknown

I see many athletes work extremely hard, but for some reason don’t expect to get better. They make excuses for their lack of progress, and then toe the start line with a mentality that is not ready race, because they haven’t gained confidence from an expectation and confirmation of improvement. Suddenly when athletes are sick, expectations to get better are innate. Injuries can be another hurdle athletes don’t expect to get better from. Stop keeping yourself from improving. Put in the work, look for improvement. If you’re not seeing it, time to change things. That change may mean dramatically changing your approach. Are you prepared for that? Or would you rather continue to not improve? You should ask the same of coaches.

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