Check out a sampling of our athletes' amazing accomplishments
I ran my first marathon 24 years ago hoping to qualify for Boston, and had run about a dozen more since then trying to qualify. Somehow, one way or another, I always came up short. I thought I just didn't have what it takes.
Now I know I do. In fact, I kind of knew it even before the race started, because my training had been so good—although so much of it was spent in zone 2! And even with the higher than expected HR during the race, I felt I could sustain it. The crux was in starting slow—I'll admit, it was fun watching everyone pull away at the start, knowing I would pull most of them back later. But most of all, I knew I was ready and doing it right, come what may.
I haven't had many races like that, but I'm sure looking forward to the next one!
—Jim Ustasiewski, Boston Marathon Qualifier
I was so excited to tell you about my session today—still wearing swim suit as I email you!!! Something seemed to click with my stroke and kick today, and I held solid paces, but more importantly, felt so smooth and confident in the water, like I could actually be aggressive and start conquering some people in the water! Had to tell you, and am so looking forward to Saturday with you! :) Truly appreciating all you've done with me thus far, and extremely excited to keep moving forward.
I just wanted to let you know I have been working hard on everything you taught me last summer in our lessons. I still do every drill we worked on, weekly. It keeps my mind and body focused on the basics of swimming. What a difference it has made!
I raced my first Olympic tri this past Sunday in Mesa and not only did I have the best swim of my life (REALLY THE BEST!), but I was so far ahead of the rest of my age group after the swim, I was able to win first place AG and take 10th overall. My swim was 7th best overall. SHOCKING! Two hundred meters in, I knew something amazing was happening for me. I did the swim in 33:43, was completely relaxed, and felt long and smooth the entire time.
I am still on such an emotional high, it is quite unbelievable!
I went from being one of the worst swimmers overall to having the swim be a major advantage for me. Thanks to your patient, positive instruction, I feel like I can accomplish anything. You have changed my life and given me an amazing gift.
OK—I promise this is the last "love letter" I will send about my bike, but man — today on my hilly tempo ride I averaged 19.1 mph — last week was 18.8 — prior to the fit I was always around 17 to 17.5 — the route I ride is a a slow 5 mile loop with long ascents for half of it. the fit is just awesome, and I love the saddle, I can move around on it so much I never get sore, doesn't even feel hard on my sit bones. The setup is perfect.
It is my honor to write about the experiences I've had with Bill and Anne Wilson. I've been a professional athlete off and on throughout my life and never had the level of coaching I've received from Camelback Coaching. Bill has not only taught me how to train smarter, but he has taught me patience. And, an overall balance between my athletic goals, kids, work and life in general. Kind, funny and very knowledgeable about new coaching paradigms, bike fit and run analysis. Bill has taught me patience and how to perform, but smarter, without injury. I've had coaches from the Olympic Squad to anyone under the sun, and Bill has far succeeded any of them. I thank him for all the knowledge he is so eager to share with me and look forward to the years to come.
Last year, I had the privilege to work with Anne in the water, and the same feeling and results were given. Very hands on, analytical and truly cares about your success. It is immensely evident that she is doing you a service in order to help. In the water, analysis from her computer and great analogies that simply make sense.
If you're looking for two wonderful coaches, your search is simply over, these two are the best! They have made sport fun for me again and they love what they do.
Thank you Bill and Anne, you've taught me so much!
, Olympic Trialist Swimmer, Ex-Pro Triathlete, Olympic Sailor, Eco Racer and Trail Runner
Anne — I want to thank you for your help on my swimming. First and foremost, I am loving my swimming more than cycling or running, and it has become a real passion. I have your coaching to thank for it.
I did do my first Olympic Tri this past weekend, and I want to share the results with you. The event was the Spring Meadow Tri, and I did the open water 1,500 meter swim in 24:08. Last year, I did the Spring Meadow Sprint Tri, and the swim course was 800 meters (not 1,000), and I did it in 17:03. So, even if the distances weren't measured precisely either year, you can see my swim improvement. Again, it was your coaching.
I was nervous about the Olympic distance because I hadn't trained for it. I was only able, at best, to do two workouts a week in each discipline. So, I studied your blog on racing the Olympic distance and followed it precisely. It worked! I won my age group (I was also the only one in it, but I would have done well in younger groups, too).
Anyway, although I am aware of many ways to improve all of my times, I wanted you to know how much you have helped my swimming, and how much I am enjoying it. If you ever put on a swimming camp, please let me know!
Vineman full went well on Saturday. I finished the swim in 1:19 which given the odd course I was really happy about.
I just wanted to again thank you for the awesome coaching. I am clearly not even close to being as good of a swimmer as I'm capable and know after a few lessons, and a handful of drills on my own, I've got a long way to go! That being said, I raced the Marquee Half Iron in Tempe on April 15th. Clear open swim channels and completed in 48 minutes. If I double that for IM distance, plus add 5 minutes for the longer distance, my projected time would have been 1 hour 41 minutes. I finished in 1:19. That is a ridiculous improvement and it clearly was not because I upped my level of swim training. On top of that I finished Marquee and could not have swam another lap in a pool. I was toast! I finished Vineman and could have swam the entire distance again!
So the few times I was able to have you coach me truly made all the difference in the world! I'll be back in Phoenix from time to time and will try to schedule lessons with you whenever I'm in town. Thanks Anne, you Rock!
, Vineman Full finisher — 11:43
In less than 12 months Bill took me from zero triathlon experience to respectable finishes in the 2010 Beach 2 Battleship iron-distance and 2011 IM St. George triathlons. He devised a training plan that kept me injury-free and allowed me to realize significant gains on the bike and run with 6-7 workouts/week. I couldn't have pulled this off on my own with a young active family and my work schedule of 60-80 hrs/week. Bill took my limitations into consideration and helped me to work with what time I had.
Never once did he suggest that I needed to find more time in order to be successful. Bill has a superb knowledge base, great motivational skills, and listens to his athletes.
—Scott Wait, MD
Two years ago, I chose to learn how to swim. At the age of 38, I felt it was time to participate fully in more of life's adventures. There was just one major challenge to this. I had a complete fear of water. Looking back, I am convinced that only one gifted individual could help erase my fear and replace it with courage and confidence. And I am most grateful I met her.
Anne, your contribution to my life in the area of being powerful in the water has been life-changing. You have a gift that has blessed my life. Thanks to your patience, effective communication, encouragement, and confidence in me, and commitment to my goals, I have become powerful in the water. These are just a few of the results you have helped me to produce:
—swimming with confidence
—diving off the high board
—mini triathlon in Feb 2010 (250 yd swim), sprint triathlon in July 2010 (750 yd swim), Olympic triathlon in Sep 2010 (one mile ocean swim), compassion for others when they face their own fears, opportunity to inspire others.
Anne, you have done all this for me and so much more. Life is fuller and richer thanks to you.
, Founder To Be Re
Although I swam in college, and came back to Masters' swimming in my early 30's, I had found myself stagnating in terms of improvement while I watched some of my late 30/early 40-something competitors still getting faster. I knew I could get some gains by simply training more, but adding significantly more training time while working full time and raising three kids was not a realistic option. I knew I needed to swim better and smarter. I began working with Anne with an eye to completely re-building my freestyle. The early videos she took confirmed my suspicions — my stroke bore very little resemblance to the technique used by world class swimmers of the 21st century. Anne's ability to break down my stroke flaws and then provide me with drills that progressively worked those flaws out was amazing. My body position got flatter and higher in the water, my stroke count got lower, and my power increased. Over just a little over a year of working with Anne, I have dramatically improved my pool and open water times. In some events, I am now swimming, at 42, faster than I did as a Division I college swimmer!
, World-ranked masters swimmer
Anne and Bill have taken me from a local age group racer to a professional triathlete. After working with Anne on a swim technique. I come out of the water with the leaders, something I had never done before. I ran college track so I thought I knew how to train, but Anne and Bill showed me a better plan and how to get out of my medial level and into an approach which truly stepped up my performances.
, Professional Triathlete
Both Bill and Anne offer a wealth of knowledge and experience for the sport of Triathlon. I can attest to their vast awareness of implementing a training plan that has allowed me to compete as a top age group triathlete
, 9:42, Ironman Hawaii
In 2 years, from someone who could not swim or run to age group champion in IMAZ and Boise 70.3, qualified for Kona and Clearwater, enough said about the great coaching from Anne and Bill. I am not usually a listener, but could not have done it without the great coaching, encouragement and help from you both.
—Dwight Lundell MD
, 10th M65-69, IM Hawaii
Bill, I just wanted to give you a quick update on my running progress since we met back in early February.
For background, I ran the PF Changs Marathon on January 17 and the Desert Classic Marathon on January 30, then met with you on 2/2.
On Super Bowl Sunday, one week after running my second marathon of the year and 5 days after our session, I ran both the 5k and 5 mile races at PV Mall, where I knocked almost a 90 seconds off my 5k PR (finished in 23:35). Then, without completing a serious long run all month, I ran the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans on 2/28, and hit the 13.1 mile mark in a personal best 1:58 and finished the marathon in a PR 4:10 (6 minutes faster than the PR I ran at PF Changs).
So, in a nutshell, I couldn't be happier, and just wanted to thank you for your work with me. I am taking video at home on my treadmill every couple of weeks to assure myself that I am "running correctly", and am pleased to let you know I am and that, while I do have to think about it, it is quickly becoming the "norm".
Thanks again. I'll be in touch.
I love the bike fit, Bill. It helped me to a 4:50 bike split PR at IMAZ09. My body is in a very comfortable that allows me to stay aero for a long period of time without feeling cramped or sore. My pedal stroke feels very efficient maximizing my power output on every revolution.
I started going to the Camelback Coaching masters swim workouts about two years ago and have seen a real improvement in my swimming technique and times. There are newbies to elite age-groupers and the swim workouts are tailored to meet the needs of the varied skill levels at each workout. I get first-rate coaching and a group of swimmers of that I can train with regularly.
Anne and Bill at Camelback Coaching have been my knights in shining armor! When I started with them, I could run and bike ok but swimming was a great fear of mine. Anne taught me to swim and not fear the water. Bill's tremendous ability to know how I plug away in my training, and despite my lack thereof most times due to work and other commitments, has still helped me to go to a place I never thought I would go. I've completed more races than I ever dreamed of, including an Ironman (not giving up yet on more!), and have learned so much from Anne and Bill. I highly recommend Camelback Coaching — whether you are a novice or elite triathlete — because Anne and Bill will facilitate all your needs and desires to accomplish any race you want! I love them!
There i was five years ago....little talent....little experience...but the desire to try my first and probably last triathlon....with no swim stroke....no experience racing on the bike...and no desire to run very far...i completed my first race...well that was fun, let's try another....and so the typical story goes....what to do?....how to get a grip on this stuff....oh yeah, camelback coaching...i saw their name on the winodw of their storefront....bill and anne...from there came the training plan, nutritional guidance and more than needed swim lessons...but really what truly came from there was the inspiration, guidance, motivation and comraderie that has allowed me to continue on this journey in the multisport life...this weekend i will start my third ironman race....no longer the novice with all the usual anxieties, i will stand on the beach before the swim with some of the jitters but more importantly with the confidence knowing that my training has brought me to this place prepared and ready....i owe so much to camelback coaching...they have guided me from novice to ironman....a sometime difficult but always worthwhile journey that i'm so glad they were a part of....
—Jay Mellen MD
Anne is the best swim coach you could ever ask for! She is so positive and supportive and helps you lose your bad habits and learn efficient swim techniques.
Prior to lessons with Anne, I had to backstroke my first sprint-tri and would be gasping for air after 2 lengths of free-style in a pool. Then in an 18-month period after lessons, I finished several Olympic and Half-distance tri's, the Escape from Alcatraz tri, and became a 2-time Ironman finisher with a PR swim of 1:12 at IMAZ in 2008.
Bill is amazing as well. He was so attentive and encouraging with my training plan for my 2nd Ironman and helped me achieve a 13 minute PR in my marathon time. After 8 years, trying countless training plans and running 13 marathons, I FINALLY got my Boston Qualifying time at the '08 Tucson marathon of 3:45.
Thanks Anne and Bill!
I interviewed four triathlon coaches before hiring Bill and Anne Wilson. They were insightful, knowledgeable, helpful, and most important to me, the most genuine. I have not been disappointed and highly recommend Bill and Anne, regardless of whether someone is a triathlete, swimmer, or runner. They know their stuff! In the span of eight months, I went from an athletic guy, who NEVER ran at all, to completing my first marathon and finishing a half-marathon in 1:42. That would have never been possible without Camelback Coaching!
Bill, on Aug 21st you did fits on my Guru TT bike and my Felt single speed. Just want you to know what a difference it made. I especially notice it on the TT bike. It is so much more comfortable and efficient. Thanks again for making my cycling better.
Anne's style of swim instruction is so calming and comforting. She really made me feel at ease, took her time and was very patient.
Would highly recommend Camelback Coaching for swim instruction!
Camelback Coaching took me from being a non-swimmer to placing 3rd in my first triathlon in less than a year. They are the best!
Sometimes you may never realize your potential, whatever it is, unless you have someone to help you bring it out. Even though I am a certified back-of-the-packer, I have been surprised at the improvement I have made in speed and endurance by being coached by Anne and Bill.
My first triathlon was the Olympic distance race at Mountain Man, in July 2005. I was the last swimmer in the water, with a time around 57 minutes (but I didn't DNF!)...Eddie Carlin announced as I was coming out of the water that "ladies and gentlemen, this is our last swimmer, let's give him a big hand..." Thanks Eddie. Anyway, about two months later, after a few lessons with Anne, I completed another Olympic distance race, and finished the swim portion in about 35 minutes. I believe in the Total Immersion method of teaching, and I believe in Anne Wilson!
Since that time, with guidance from Bill and Anne, I've completed approximately 30 races...This includes two Arizona Ironman triathlons, in 2007 and 2008 (my third will be in November 2009), several 1/2 Ironman distance races, and numerous Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons; as well, during this time I have completed several marathons and 1/2 marathons. I've also made many new friends along the way and although I may not be the fastest, I love what I'm doing and hope to be involved in this sport (triathlon) for years to come!
Bill and Anne made it completely possible for me to complete all of the tris and marathons that I did. Without your guidance and encouragement I would have never found out that I have what it takes to be an Ironman!
I don't think I could have made it through the Ironman swim without your help. You always had time for me and were always willing (and still are!) to encourage and guide, check and help. Masters has helped a ton in the last few weeks. I am still passing your name on to people!
I contacted Anne and Bill after hearing absolutely glowing recommendations from triathletes in the Phoenix area. I join the army of people that think Anne and Bill are the best!!!! If you want numbers, Anne helped cut my swim lap time by more than 43% in less than 15 weeks by transforming my technique with a video session and tutelage during her masters swim class. Bill helped me out with my excellent bike fit, rearranging his schedule so that he could fit me in at the last minute. The Wilson team are professional, a wealth of knowledge, very patient, and inspirational.
I would not have been able to complete 3 triathlons successfully without their help. They both have the ability to make you feel so comfortable regardless of your talent level and ability and help you achieve your goals. What more can you ask for?"
Anne Wilson is a brilliant teacher. She has a great handle on the Total Immersion teaching technique. And I'll also rave about that technique of teaching. It breaks the front stroke into very small incremental steps that retrain your muscle memory into correct form in a way that makes you feel continuously successful. I had known the stroke before hand but had a lot of bad habits. Her method made a step change improvement in technique. I think she'd be able to have that impact no matter your starting level. Now back to her. She provides the perfect combination of positive and constructive comments. I chose to do the initial video and then 5 lessons with two people. I am glad I did the video because it really showed me where I was starting from and I think that helped me with body awareness and willingness to listen to constructive criticism. I also recommend two people lessons. I think she still has the bandwidth to really see you with two people, but I probably wouldn't go with more than that. I think it would slow down lessons to split her focus more than that. I don't think the students would catch on as quick with less personalized feedback. The pool is heated and outside. I'm excited to go to every lesson and I'm even happy to practice in order to be ready to move forward. She's great and so is Total Immersion style lessons.