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Centre for Sports Science Support & Physiological Testing at the University of Essex

Learning swim theory with coach Dave Parry
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Dave Parry

 Dave Parry



Graham Hart

 Graham Hart



Andy Jopson

 Andy Jopson



Triathlon Coaching

“Individually-tailored coaching for endurance sports athletes looking to maximise their potential”


Preparing for an endurance sport challenge requires a consistent period of focussed and specific preparation. Only by utilising your available training time effectively can you achieve your goals. The coaching services provided by the Human Performance Unit provides the combination of coaching expertise, sports science knowledge and sports science support to ensure that you train in the most effective way, and perform to the peak of your potential.



Participating in sport is a choice that you make and it should be one that enhances your quality of life. This should be the start point when considering how best to design a training program that most suits you. Whilst goal setting is an integral part of our coaching process, we encourage athletes to focus even more on the processes that make up preparing for a race or event, and enjoying the ‘everyday’ of that process.

Our coaching service provides you with an individually tailored training program that fits with your lifestyle commitments. Succeeding in endurance sport requires consistent training over an extended period of time, and this can only be achieved if your training is sustainable in terms of lifestyle, and also in terms of the physical stress that it places upon you. A sustainable programme takes both of these factors into account so that you avoid injury and illness through overtraining and burnout due to the stress caused by trying to do more than is realistic given your family, work and other commitments.

Likewise, although there is obviously a charge for our time when coaching, we have chosen to be in this business because we are passionate about endurance sport. As such, we want to have a genuine coach-athlete relationship with every athlete, and so we restrict the number of athletes that we work with at any given time. We genuinely take an interest in you and work with you to help you achieve your goals.

The Human Performance Unit works closely with the Sports, Performance and Fatigue Research Unit at the University of Essex and integrates applied coaching with sports science testing and also expert advice from sports scientists.

How it Works

After an initial meeting to discuss your goals, available training time, lifestyle constraints and sporting and injury history we agree some outcome and process goals for the coming six months. We then provide you with a six month training and racing overview and a detailed two-week training schedule.

You are also provided with a training log to complete and return every two weeks, where you record your training and complete some information that monitors how well you are coping with the demands of your training.

You can contact us as often as you need to, within reason, particularly if you need to clarify any aspect of your training programme or if you feel particularly fatigued or unwell.

If appropriate, we schedule into your programme visits to the lab for sports science testing, the results of which can be used to both inform the most important areas of your fitness that need to be improved, and also to monitor your progress over time when you are re-tested.

Our Coaches

The Human Performance Unit endurance sport coaching is provided by our in-house coaches; Dave Parry, Simon Edwards, Graham Hart and Andy Jopson.


Dave Parry

Dave has over ten years of coaching experience in a range of sports such as swimming, triathlon, and cycling as well as fitness coaching for athletes participating in sports as diverse as football, squash and table tennis.


Part of British Triathlon’s World Class coaching team from 2001 to 2009, Dave has coached junior and senior athletes onto Great Britain elite teams at Sprint, Olympic and Long Distance, as well as many amateur athletes of all abilities. In addition, Dave is currently studying for a doctorate with particular interests in the psychology and neuroscience of emotion generation and its role in the regulation of maximal exercise and is a member of the Sports, Performance and Fatigue Research Unit at the University of Essex.

Graham Hart

Graham is a level 3 triathlon coach and a level 2 cycling coach whilst currently working towards British Cycling level 2 road racing and time trial qualifications.


He has been involved in triathlon coaching for 10 years and is a senior coach for East Essex Triathlon Club, head coach for Essex Roads Cycling Club and head coach for Eastern Region Tristar Academy which aims to identify and develop tomorrows elite athletes.


Recently he has helped create the junior section for EETC and taken a lead role in launching the ERCC’s junior club alongside being involved in the Cycle Basildon Project. In his free time he enjoys racing triathlon, time trialling and cyclo-cross.

Andy Jopson

Andy has been a competitive triathlete for over 10 years. Initially coached by dave parry for approximately 2 years.


Andy competed in the 2002 world long course championships, France. Since 2004 andy has represented the police national team, most notably at the European championships, Lausanne 2006.


More recently his attention has turned to longer distance racing, completing Vitruvian in 2008 and Roth in 2010.


Andy is currently completing his level 2 BTF qualification and is looking to 2012 for a sub 10 hour time."

To enquire about coaching services please use our enquiry form.


Becky Hewitt - Triathlete

Becky Hewitt worked with HPU coach Dave Parry in preparation for the European Triathlon Championships


Swimming coaching session

Coach Dave Parry organises swim days to help athletes improve their technique


Coaching in the Lab

Coach Graham Hart (right)
in a lab based training session


Coach Andy Jopson

Coach Andy Jopson in triathlon.



‘Since I started working with the HPU and Dave Parry more than 4 years ago I have seen dramatic performance improvements and results I didn’t imagine possible (9:29 Ironman Switzerland 2009). The combination of regular physiological testing and a realistic, structured training programme has led to significant year on year improvements across all three disciplines.'
Laurence Pidcock
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