Coach Don Larkin


Coach Don Larkin

I work with you to give you a better quality of life. I believe in making your training a fun thing, rather than a chore, and in providing practical education and tools for day-to-day life that ensure your long term success.

Because everyone is unique, I believe your nutrition and training program should be, too. I take a custom approach to every one of my clients. Everything we do together takes your individuality into consideration. Whether you need a push from behind, a pull from ahead, or someone to walk beside you on your individual journey, I’ll give it to you.

My Personal Coaching Philosophy
“A well-balanced life is necessary to achieve our full potential and satisfaction.”

My training philosophy is very similar to Coach Suzanne’s.  I base your plan on an evaluation of your health and injury history, current fitness, strengths/weaknesses, previous training, future goals, and available training time. Then we work together to select the races or events that are most important to you, as well as races that can serve as stepping stones on the path to achieving your ultimate goals.

DonSwimCoachingWe’ll take your other obligations into account, such as work and family, and decide how much time you are able to devote to training and then maximize that time. Unless you are a professional athlete, you likely compete because it provides a better overall quality of life.  When training infringes on your other obligations, it can negatively affect your quality of life.  I help you maintain that balance by designing training schedules that fit your life, not the other way around.

I don’t subscribe to a set training periodization model.  Instead, I tailor your plan to your needs.  This could mean a traditional training structure with lower intensity and higher volume during base training followed by lower volume and higher intensity as your race date nears, reverse periodization with higher intensity and decreasing volume, or even a hybrid structure that changes as you grow as an athlete.

Regardless of what structure we determine is best for you, I don’t provide static training plans.  Instead, I provide dynamic plans and adjust them based on your execution and your body’s response.

USA Triathlon Level 1

Coaching Logo

NSCA Certified Personal Trainer


TRX Certified


Racing Experience:

  • USA Triathlon Nationals (13)
  • Hempfield Sprint, PA (08, 09, 10, 11, 12)
  • Got The Nerve Sprint, PA (08, 09, 10, 11, 12)
  • Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon Olympic (08, 09, 10)
  • Catfish Sprint, PA (08)
  • Southern Branch YMCA Sprint, PA (08, 09, 11)
  • Mountaineer Half, WV (09)
  • Musselman Half, NY (10, 11)
  • Keystone State Sprint (10)
  • Ironman Florida (10)
  • Black Bear Olympic, PA (11)
  • Boiling Springs Sprint, PA (11)
  • Savageman Half, MD (11)

Favorite Race Experience:

I have several experiences that tie as my favorite:

  • Being at the finish line to see my 15-year-old son complete his first sprint.
  • Crossing the finish line at Ironman Florida in 2010, when I realized a dream I’d had as a teenager watching the TV specials of some of the earliest Ironman races from Hawaii.
  • The run at Savageman in 2011.  I came out of T2, and realized that my legs still felt good even after that brutal bike course.  In the end, I was able to hold a steady pace throughout the run, turning in nearly even splits for the two loops, and finishing my 2nd fastest half iron run split ever.


Despite a history of youth and high school athletics, a desire to tackle the sport of triathlon since I was a teenager, and active involvement in alpine skiing, volleyball, and strength training my entire adult life, I didn’t race my first triathlon until the age of 37.

I was instantly hooked and completed five races in my first year, two of them with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program.  Over the next four years, I volunteered as a mentor for Team in Training’s Central PA Triathlon Team and completed approximately 25 more triathlons of every standard distance.  During this time, I was fortunate to be mentored by two coaches who were accomplished endurance athletes with a couple hundred finishes behind them, including multiple Ironman races, European mountain bike races, the Boston Marathon, and numerous podiums.

In 2010, I began volunteering as an assistant coach for my son’s high school swim team.  Here I built on my experience as a high school swimmer by asking endless questions of the head coach.

After spending the first 21 years of my professional life in the world of construction management, it was time for a career change in 2010. I turned to my long time hobby of sports and fitness for my new career path.  In late 2010, I became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Strength & Conditioning Association.  I soon found that the coaching style of management I’d employed during my first career was an asset in my new one.

At the encouragement of Team in Training’s coaches, I decided to add multi-sport coaching to the services I offered, and became a certified Level 1 Coach through USA Triathlon in the fall of 2011.

Freestyle Swimmer Struggling to Breath

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