Coaches Corner: An interview with Mary Meyer, Seattle swim and triathlon coach (Mary Meyer Life Fitness)

Coach: Mary Meyer, Founder and Certified Coach
Mary Meyer Life Fitness | Years Coaching: 32
Focus Areas:
 pool & open water swim training (all levels), triathlon training (beginner to intermediate), weight management, Cottage Lake Tri & Tri Again triathlon races
Coaching Locations:
 Queen Anne, Madrona Park, and Magnolia (Seattle)

MMLF_logo_smToday we got the chance to interview Mary Meyer, Founder & Certified Coach of Mary Meyer Life Fitness. She gave us an in-depth look into what makes Mary Meyer Life Fitness a great swimming and triathlon program for people of all ages throughout the Greater Seattle area.

Read more about Mary Meyer Life Fitness from Mary Meyer herself below!

Can you tell us a little about your coaching program? Our mission is to guide people of all levels of fitness to develop physical and mental strength to meet goals with confidence through physical challenge in a fun and safe setting.

You will leave with insights and knowledge that will help you prepare mentally and physically for your training and events.

We offer a cool and unique ladder system for progressive fitness training. For example:

  • Mary Headshots 047a complete beginner swimmer will start in the beginner clinic, work towards the technique clinic, and eventually end up a stronger swimmer, or
  • an intermediate swimmer can come in, work up to the advanced level, and progressively become stronger and more efficient, both physically and mentally.

Our clinics are all about teaching good hard practical knowledge. If training for an event, we’re all about getting you out there to experience what you will experience in a race, so the race isn’t the first time you are getting bumped around or exhausted.

Lastly, the business of taking on a physical challenge is, in the end, really about valuing and honoring yourself. The program is designed for those who have decided to take control of their physical and mental health and attributes to help move them forward in once-unimagined ways. We believe in realistic goals that pave the way to success. That’s why we’ve created a fun program that meets each individual at a level that allows physical and mental growth that flows at a reasonable and digestible pace.


How did you get into coaching and how long have you been at it?
I’ve been coaching swimming since I was 16 years old, so 32 years. I got into it because I have been a competitive swimmer since the age of 5 and it all has happened very organically. I went from coaching swim team in high school and college to being a part of the pilot corporate fitness & wellness program at Weyerhaeuser to starting my own personal training business and becoming a certified life coach to participating in triathlons and seeing the need for open water clinics, triathlon clinics, and pool swim clinics, and then expanded into putting on two triathlons a year — Cottage Lake Tri (previously on June 15th) & Tri Again (on September 7th).

From my personal training background and experience working with Olympic hopefuls to the obese, I also started a weight management and awareness program for those that are overweight. It is a piece of the business that is outside of the swimming and triathlon training, and a hugely effective program that brings amazing results and awareness.

Where and when do you coach?
Here is information about all of my clinics, trainings, and weight management classes, and below are details about the remainder of 2013:

I coach pool swim training for all levels at Queen Anne Pool every Sunday, year-round. The training runs from 11am – 12pm and you can find more info here.

I coach triathlon and open water clinics at Madrona Park. The next clinics will be held on August 10th at 7:45am – 9:45am (triathlon) and 9:45am – 11:15am (open water).

Lastly, I coach weight management classes in Magnolia from September 3rd to November 14th on Tuesdays and Thursday from 7am – 8pm, and on Saturdays from 10am – 11am.
Note: Attendees must interview and be 30+ lbs. over ideal body weight.

_MG_2272-9Do you focus on a specific level of swimmers and triathletes?
I coach all levels for swimming, from beginner to advanced.

For triathlon training, I coach mostly beginners and intermediate for triathletes, as elites typically have a personal coach or are bringing their buddies into our program for assistance.

Our weight management classes, as mentioned, are specially for individuals who are 30+ lbs. overweight.

What makes your approach to coaching unique?
It is our believe that it is important to have a safe learning environment where you can physically challenge yourself and push past negative mind chatter.

Our purpose is to coach skills, techniques, and tips, as well as open people up to what is going on in their heads (“mind chatter”), while they are taking on a physical challenge. Experienced athletes know that all the training in the world can’t help you overcome a negative attitude and that internal distractions are as disruptive as external obstacles.

If someone was to attend a training or clinic of yours, what can they expect?
One of the best trainings you can imagine (i.e. one of the best hours of training you will find). It’s really like nothing else.

First and foremost, you will accomplish physical feats you weren’t certain possible.

_MG_0931-00Aside from understanding and improving physical attributes and techniques to increase efficiency and form, you will come out with an understanding of who you are when you train and race — mentally — and how this either holds you back or moves you forward. We train your mind to help you save energy and limit negative mind chatter, just as much as we train your physical attributes.

In your opinion, what is the best thing a runner can get from your program that they wouldn’t otherwise get? We take a bold approach to training that is very effective and conducive to easy and fast learning. The directness, while being patient, helps folks cut through the excuses and bull, and allows them to laugh at things typically seen as scary. It’s kind of a “”suck it up”-and-be-super-kind-to-yourself-while-you-are-doing-that” approach.

The number one thing I hear from folks is, “Your voice (or a MMLF coach’s voice) just kept popping into my head during the event or during training.” What we express holds a lot of power, and helps you gain confidence in yourself and what challenge you are taking on.


This approach allows us all to look at things in a humorous way, which is tough when put in a scary environment. The coaches understand that fear. They make it super-easy to learn about and overcome it, while feeling really good about yourself for conquering that fear and moving forward.

People really end up “shining from within” at their events, during training, and in other areas of life.

What are some of your personal favorite races?
The Cottage Lake Tri & Tri Again triathlon races in June and September of every year!


It’s an event that truly caters to all levels! It’s a short, very friendly, well-organized event with amazing volunteers — making it perfect for the first timer, the person that wants to get the juices going pre-season to get ready for “the year’s events”, and the friend that wants to get others involved in the sport and will have fun participating in this event while their buddy enjoys as well. And, we have two unique pieces about this event:

  • Beat Your Time Category – Participate in the June event and come back to beat your time in the September event.
  • Elite Category – To my knowledge, this is the only race in the nation where triathletes go through the event twice — swim, bike, and run, then swim, bike, and run again. Like our clinics, this really challenges your attitude and negative chatter. Since it is a shorter distance, many who enter this category go out far too fast the first round and have a tough time during the second round. It’s hard to get back in the water after the first run. You have to learn to pace yourself and mentally prepare yourself to go through it a second time. It’s an amazing category. I’ve seen a number of Ironman finishes struggle with the second round in this category — especially the swim.

Anything else you would like to share with the Gametiime community?
So much, It’s overwhelming! :)

Where can people contact you and find more info about your program?
You can find out more info about Meyer Meyer Life Fitness at our website, or contact me directly. I am available by email or phone (206-2820-3959) and I look forward to speaking with members of the Gametiime community.

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One thought on “Coaches Corner: An interview with Mary Meyer, Seattle swim and triathlon coach (Mary Meyer Life Fitness)

  1. Pingback: Ask a Coach #1 – Beth Baker, Founder and Chief Running Officer at Running Evolution | Gametiime

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