Coach Profile: Gary Barnes
Gary has over twenty years of experience in triathlon and has been learning and applying Brett Sutton’s methods since 2008. He has been coaching and mentoring a limited number of athletes for the past six years. Gary has co-hosted multiple Trisutto training camps with Michelle Barnes in Scottsdale, Vernon, Canmore and Edmonton. As a Mechanical Engineer by trade, Gary has over 15 years of experience in problem solving. He understands that no two athletes are the same and enjoys the challenge of determining the best mix of training and techniques required for each individual athlete. He has a very good understanding of the numbers, but at the same time knows how important it is to be able to train by feel and learn to know your body.
Description of Gary Barnes
I began my sporting life in Australia at the young age of five, starting with soccer and swimming. Later I practiced Taekwondo and played Australian Rules Football. During high school I always performed well at swimming, athletics and cross country running events. At the age of 16 I was asked to participate in a nine day/1500 km cycling event from Brisbane to Townsville. I loved the idea of the challenge and after buying a bike and training for 6 months, I found that I had some talent on the bike and a love of time trialing. I completed the event with four other people and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the other participants competed in triathlons at the time and invited me to try one. I finished on the podium for my age group in my first race and was hooked! One year later I competed in my first Half Ironman at the age of 18, placing 3rd in the under 20 age group as the youngest competitor in the race. Since then I’ve competed in over 30 half iron distance triathlons and 10 Ironman triathlons, including two world championships. I’ve raced in Australia, Canada, USA and South America.
In 2008 I decided to get serious and hire a top level coach. As Brett Sutton only worked with professional athletes at the time, I chose to work with Brett’s business partner, the late Marc Becker who had spent more years on deck with Brett than anyone. Marc only coached five athletes, all at a premium level of coaching. I always had an interest in coaching and Marc spent a lot of time teaching me the methods developed by Brett. After starting with Marc, I had immediate results in all three disciplines, finishing on the podium in the majority of races I entered and taking 30 min off my half iron distance time in only 6 months. I saw others achieve the same improvements and I knew it was no coincidence. Brett’s methods were simple, logical and they worked! After the passing of Marc, I continued to work with and learn from other coaches who were personally trained by Brett, including five-time Ironman Champion Rebecca Preston. In 2012 I began coaching and mentoring a limited number of athletes using Brett's Methods with much success. After meeting Brett in 2015, he personally asked me to become a trisutto coach. It was an honor to come on board.
What have you achieved in your coaching career?
During the past five years I have coached and mentored athletes to the following results: - 5 x Kona Qualifications, including a 7th place AG finish - 6 x Ironman AG podiums (2 x 1st Place) - Multiple Ironman 70.3 AG podiums