Jill Buckenham Triathlete

Competing history:

I was never sporty as a child, although I was into horse riding in my early teens. I started running regularly when I was about 40-something and did a few local races in the UK, where I lived back then, including 10k and 10 mile races plus the London marathon. In 2004 we moved to Spain (Valencia) and I continued running races in the sunshine. In 2010, I became interested in triathlon, competing in a number of sprint distance races, but I never really felt comfortable or confident on the bike and my swimming was very weak.

In 2011 we spent three months on the Canary Island of La Palma and I fell in love with mountain trail running. On our return home to Valencia I started competing in half-marathon and ultra-distance trail events and won my age category at many of the races I entered, simply because there were so few Spanish women of 55+ running up and down mountains!

In 2015, after a series of injuries (including a badly dislocated shoulder) related to my passion for long distance trail running, I took up regular swimming again and started to think about having another attempt at triathlon. I also attended one of Martin’s fantastic Swim Camps in Alicante. But fear of the bike held me back, until in 2017, I just bit the bullet, went out and bought a Liv road/tri bike, got a professional fitting and discovered I actually enjoyed riding! In September, after my last race of the trail running season, I completed my first Olympic distance tri in Valencia. I placed first in my age category and was hooked! I also did the swim section as part of a relay team with a group of running club mates in Valencia and in the London Triathlon.

 Your future goals:

  • Ironman 70.3 Marbella in April 2018
  • Ironman 140.6 Vichy in August 2018
  • To carry on into my 70s and 80s!!

Which camp(s) have you attended:

  • Swim Camp in September 2015
  • TriEscape Camp in November 2017

 What do you enjoy about our training approach:

It’s personal, individual and makes sense to me. I like the way Matt takes my age, ability and lifestyle into account and designs a plan that I can stick to, whilst also being flexible enough to allow for my unpredictable work commitments. Equally, on the flip side, the plan gives me structure as I’m notorious for biting off more than I can chew just to see if I can!

 Favourite sessions type:

I’ve been a trail runner for some years, so running – especially up hills – is something I’ll always love, but I’ve discovered a love of hill climbing on the bike too! I’m also really enjoying the pull + paddle + ankle band swim sessions, plus the way the swim is broken up into sets that make the time fly by.

 Number 1 fact learnt from our coaching:

To approach triathlon as a single discipline, not three different ones. I’m also learning to be more aware of how my body is reacting to tension and stress and the impact they can have on my performance.


This is the first time I’ve been coached and I’m very impressed with Matt’s attitude and approach. I’m excited to see what I can achieve at this time of my life!