Fitting Together the Triathlon Jigsaw Pieces

We’re kick-starting a new feature on Tribal Triathlete. Everyone loves a good case study so we want to showcase our wonderful members – their triumphs, their trials and their all-round terrific-ness…

To get the ball rolling, let’s start with Tribal founder Paul.


Paul Roberts is 35, founder of Tribal MSP and a health and endurance performance coach.

When did you become interested in triathlon?

Having stopped playing football in 2003, I first got the bug for triathlons in 2004. I was on holiday in India and dreaming of what I wanted to do next year. Completing my first triathlon the following year became one of the best things I did that year.

If you lived in my area in 2004, it was unusual for your first event not to be at Dorney Lake with Human Race. I then went on to London later in the year, I was hooked.

What’s been your favourite personal performance to date?

Having had a few years without any competition because of family and business circumstances, I came back to triathlons in 2014. My first event back was St Polten 70.3 in Austria. I missed my target time by seven minutes, but the exhilaration and satisfaction of getting involved once again in this great sport more than compensated.

It’s a great event- a two-lake swim, 1 loop bike on great roads and scenery and a run that loops through the centre of town. St Polten should be on your list.

What’s your favourite part of the triathlon?

My favourite part of triathlon has to be the jigsaw of making it all work – making the most of your available time to attempt to get on top of three disciplines can be frustrating at times but also hugely rewarding. I find my greatest return on time investment always comes when I focus on skill first.

… and the least?

At around 95kg (209lbs), I have a love-hate relationship with running. It’s an area of my performance that requires development and it’s going to take a little longer before I master this one.

Detail your training regime for us:

As I’m lucky enough to work in an environment I can also train in, I tend to split my training. At the moment, three days I’ll swim early and run later in the day, on two other days I’ll bike and strength train leaving two clear days of recovery where I prioritise family.

What do you eat to support your goals?

I haven’t always followed the same approach as I currently do. As a competitive footballer, unfortunately I failed to optimise performance through my lifestyle practices.

It was post-football career and indeed post my health and fitness degree, finished in 2002 that I began to understand what really makes a healthful diet. It’s been a journey of exploration testing and enlightenment. I now follow a Paleo nutrition template – high quality, nutrient-dense and seasonal fare that leaves me energetic, lean and thriving.

When is your next event?

Over the winter I plan to take part in my local park run, obstacle course racing, and a few trail runs. Next triathlon season I’ll be taking part in the Sprint World Championship Qualifiers and looking for a late season 70.3 to build on the 2014 return.

Do you have any advice you would pass on to other Tribal athletes?

Absolutely, there isn’t a member in the community without time pressure on their lives. If you haven’t already done so, identify your areas for greatest potential growth and become focused on changing that into an area that you master through the off-season. It’ll have a profound effect on your next year.

Oh, and start practicing the principles of ‘The Indestructible Triathlete’, the new strength offering in the members area.

Great to meet you… Paul

Paul Roberts