Squad Athlete: Mel Knight

I started running in 2010 when my employer sponsored a half and full marathon race and looked for volunteer runners…..

…..I might have signed up just so I could get a free trip to the USA in return for a few miles of pain! I kept up running and was enjoying it, but I can’t say I was pushing myself. I did a few sprint triathlons as part of a relay team, doing either the bike or run, and it was inevitable that I would want to give it a go all by myself. The problem was my fear of water. My first Sprint was a laborious and frightening 20 minutes in the pool (yes, it took me that long to “swim” 400m!), followed by a gentle ride on my shopping bike, before I got to the run and was in familiar territory. I came last, but it didn’t bother me the slightest! 

In 2015 I told myself I would conquer my fear of water. I didn’t. In 2016 I renewed my vow and as I heard of Do3 from a couple of friends, I took the plunge and turned up poolside on 1st September 2016 for my first session. I was super nervous, I couldn’t swim a single length of front crawl and I wouldn’t put my head under water. I felt really inadequate.

What you should expect when you pay for swimming lessons is to see your water confidence and swim times improve. And both did dramatically so after I joined the Do3 Squad.

But I certainly did not expect much else. I just wanted to learn to swim. I had never been to a club, a gym, or anything like this before. It was an eye-opener. The Do3 Squad is made of an incredible bunch of people, from recreational swimmers/triathletes to elite athletes who made me feel welcome and supported right from the start. Within 6 weeks of Do3 swimming sessions I signed up for an Ironman. That moment was the catalyst which unleashed a competitive instinct I did not know I had. The Squad provided the perfect environment for me to enjoy the training and thrive to improve. Not only I became an Ironman but in the process I qualified to represent my country at the Middle Distance European Championships that same year. I had not even known these things existed. I still can’t quite believe it happened!

This year I will have the huge honour of competing for France again. I have been following the Do3 Commit programme, which is a training plan designed by Dave, and it has brought some much-needed discipline and quality into my training. In fact, I earned my first podium last weekend, something I certainly did not expect when I got up that morning. So Do3 Coaching must be doing something right.

Through Do3 coaching I have not only learned to swim, but I have discovered a passion, and met incredible people in the squad, who are now my friends. The support and encouragement, whether you’re a novice like me or a pro, is amazing. I love being part of this, pushing myself in an often painful but usually fun way.

Come and join us!