Sue O’Neil-BerestIMG_0029 (2)

I am a 47yr old mum of 1 teenage girl, sport has always been part of my life and is very much part of our family life. I swum from a young age and from there got into surf lifesaving when I was a teenager in South Africa. This progressed to triathlon when I was a student, but once I came to live in London and later Scotland I did not compete in triathlon again until my late 30’s. I got back into triathlon after several years of running 10k/half and full marathons. The spur to get back into triathlon was a great group of like minded mum’s I met at the primary school gate. We first of all joined ERC to swim and keep fit, but that soon morphed into triathlon.
I did my first half middle distance race in 2010 to celebrate my 40th. I had never cycled up an alpe before so the first 1 I needed to climb in the race was a bit of a shock to my legs and I almost gave up. Since then have competed off and on in various shorter races and several sportives, enjoying the camaraderie of our group of ladies whose number have swelled over the years.
Ironman coming to Edinburgh was the spur for me to think about doing a middle distance race once again and this time unlike last time when I muddled through the training largely by myself, I decided to get myself a coach. I had seen the benefits that a coach could bring the previous year when my husband had been training for Celtman. Coach selection was easy as I have known Linda for a number of years and so knew that her style would suit me and she comes highly recommended by my husband after she coached him to blue in the Celtman.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. I found a coach particularly valuable when I got injured. Linda kept me going, motivated and confident that despite injury I would get to that start line.
In addition to my personal coaching I also did the open water swimming course with her. Despite having some experience in open water swimming I still found it invaluable particularly on the day when weather and sea conditions were less than ideal.
Race day conditions being what they were meant a shortened swim, but months of training and concentration on technique meant I was out the water in 25 minutes oblivious to the chaos that was still unfolding in the water as a result of weather conditions. Cycle went without a hitch and then it was onto the run that was always going to be a bit of a struggle as I had not been able to run much in 6 weeks. Linda was there however to encourage and remind me to keep it slow and steady which I did and before I knew it I was at 11 miles. Finished in just over 7hrs which I was happy with. Definitely going to do it next year again, not get injured and dip under 7hrs. I hope that once again Linda will coach me.


Mingxiang Chen

Being new to triathlon, I was ambitious in wanting to complete an Ironman but was clueless on how to go about doing it. On hindsight, engaging Linda to Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 10.10.13 copycoach me was probably the best decision.

Linda has a vast experience in triathlon coaching and she was quick to profile me through her rigorous assessment form to ensure that we were setting realistic and achievable training programmes and targets. My programme was planned specifically to meet the demands of my race, which was Ironman France, Nice, that is notorious for the punishing bike segment with ascents over 2000m.

Being a poor swimmer, Linda gave me useful drills and training programmes to improve on my technique. Following her programme religiously, I saw measurable improvements in my swim times and soon gained the confidence that I was going to make the ironman swim time cut off.

In my final year of university, I had several deadlines and dissertation to submit. Linda was flexible and understanding to my academic priorities and we had several discussions on ways best to work around my schedule without compromising my academic work and training.

She is always open to training feedback and adjusted training accordingly to the feedback I gave or injuries or illness I suffered. However, she was also firm during times as she knew that I had to clock the volume of training in order to meet the race demands. After all, it was an Ironman Race.

Closing in to race day, there was an adequate taper period, I felt rested and confident in the training I’ve done throughout the winter. Linda gave me valuable race tips, with regard to administration of race, positioning of swim, transitions tricks and many more to make sure that everything would go smoothly on race day.

After 6 months of training, I completed the race in 12 hours and 46mins (with a bike crash during the bike segment), which was well within my target time. All of this would not have been possible if not for Linda’s dedicated coaching, which I am very grateful for.

Edinburgh University Triathlon Club

Age group: 25- 29

Swim: 1hr 17min

Bike: 6hr 59min

Run: 4hr  12min


Jay Lamb

What is your association with Linda McLean:web-IACE1532
She coached me for Ironman Austria 2008

Your Personal Achievements :
Completing Ironman Austria

In 2004 I was an unfit smoker, in 2008 I complete an Ironman Triathlon, Linda was involved all the way through.

Linda is an exceptional coach. She has all the technical skills and knowledge you’d expect in a top coach and a great deal more besides.

In 2008 she coached me to complete an Ironman Triathlon 2 1/2 hours faster than my target time. This was in part a result of completing the excellent training plans she provided and the assessments she undertook of my running cycling and swimming techniques. It was also the nutritional, stretching and recovery advice she provided. But mainly it was the way she supported me by understanding why I was undertaking the challenge and how to motivate me. She balances the support and challenge sides of coaching exceptionally well.web-IASA0988
So, my training was always technically correct, well targeted and balanced with my other commitments. It was peppered with catch up calls, texts and emails as well as one to one sessions.  Each training plan also came with an inspirational quote, many of which I still use.

So in short, she’s exceptional.  Although be warned, she might smack you round the head with a flip flop if you give her too much cheek.






Tracey Joyce

What is your association with Linda McLean:tracey
Linda has been supporting and advising me in my triathlon training

Your Personal Achievements:
Have completed several sprint triathlons, and long distance cycling events.  Linda is coaching me this year for my first (and possibly last) half Ironman

I think that Linda may be some sort of sorceress or magician as in only 5 weeks of following her swim training plan my endurance has built up and my times have become significantly faster, something I never thought I’d achieve. Linda has helped me gain confidence on my bike and advised me on the right equipment to use. She really knows her stuff and coaches with the right amount of patience, encouragement and just a wee bit of shouting, but only when I need it!

Her next challenge is to get me into a wetsuit and into open water!




Penny Rother

 What is your association with Linda McLean –penny-rother-349j12
Linda has been a friend for many years. She coached me in 2011(when she was working towards her level 3 coaching qualification) and we have recently rekindled our coach/athlete relationship.

Your Personal Achievements –
7 times World Age Group medallist (Standard Distance)

Personal Statement about Linda McLean –
Linda is knowledgeable and experienced coach who is able to transfer these qualities into her training programmes. My programme is tailored to my individual needs and Linda is willing to discuss aspects of my programme and alter sessions if necessary.
She has good communication skills and is prompt and timely in her delivery of the programme. We live near each other and it is easy to communicate via e mail or face to face if necessary. I especially value her technical knowledge and strength and conditioning skills.

penny-rother-3j6331My programme is challenging but achievable and I enjoy the variation and progression through the weeks.
She allows me some say in my programme and allows me to keep some of the ‘social’ sessions that contribute greatly to the enjoyment of training.
She is professional in her overall delivery and despite being a coach myself I value her input and am proud to call her ‘coach’.

British Triathlon Roll of Honour






Natalie Mine

Your Personal Achievements –natalie
Representing Scotland at Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, 3 times Scottish Sprint Triathlon Champion, Representing GBR at World Level

Personal Statement about Linda McLean –
Linda has been a great friend and triathlon mentor to me over the years that I have known her. She always has my best interest at heart and tells things like they are – even when sometimes it is not what I want to hear!

She has supported me at several different races from small local events to World Cups. One that sticks in my mind was an ITU World Cup in Hungary. Nothing was going my way, and my head wasn’t in a good place. She was there to bring me back out, give me the reality check I needed, and from the depths of despair the day before I produced one of my best results at world level to date.

Not only does Linda help me from a triathlon perspective, she has also helped me in other aspects of my life outside of sport.
She is very easy to talk to and is very honest and understanding. Plus she’s got a wicked sense of humour too!

Triathlon Scotland Profile

Natalie’s Blog

Go Scotland