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For 140 miles I wondered what in the world Jeff Cuddeback was talking about. Then, just as he said it would, with Lake Placid High School in earshot, the moment hit me. I was going to be an Ironman.

A day prior, Jeff called me as he normally does the night before a big race with a simple message: “You’re ready.” I wasn’t sure if I believed him.
I’d done all the training, PRd almost every race on the 2011 calendar (thanks to Jeff) and had enough taper energy to run wind sprints around Lake Placid while carrying my bike, but I guess there’s just something about that first Ironman that makes you wonder, “Can I actually do this?”

I think Jeff heard the hesitation in my voice when I returned with, “Jeff, I think I’ve got this.”
“Ryan, I want you to enjoy this,” Jeff said. “While you’re out there during the swim and the bike and the run, think about how cool it is that you actually get to do this. Then there’s going to come a moment when you know that you are going to finish; that you’re going to be an Ironman. And there will be nothing like it in the world.”

It was exactly what I needed to hear.
That moment came for me just after mile 25 of the marathon and Jeff Cuddeback was dead on, just as he’d been for every other aspect of my Ironman training. There was nothing like it. I finished in 12:30:17 – not terribly fast, but literally within seconds of my predicted finishing time, courtesy of a flawlessly-constructed Jeff Cuddeback race plan.
During the approach to the finish, I took one final shot of water, ditched my Hammer gel flask and lifted my sunglasses atop my head. I wanted to take it all in. I thought about everything that’d brought me to that moment - the endless training sessions, the hopes, the fears, the doubts, all the money I’d spent...
I thought about my family and how 12 of them made the trip to Lake Placid to watch my dream come true. And, perhaps most relevant for this discussion, I thought about Jeff, the man who took me under his wing and guided me through the final year of my first Ironman journey.

It cannot be understated that Jeff Cuddeback is singularly most responsible for my completion of the 2011 Lake Placid Ironman though I’m certain he would be last person to ever say that. In that regard, I hope this entry makes it to the TFT website, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeff edits it out.
After working with Jeff for an entire year, I’ve come to realize that he’s got a terrifically talented stable of athletes ranging from people just getting into the sport to folks looking to podium at Kona. I probably fall somewhere in the middle, skewing towards novice – pretty average for the 25-29 age group, I’d say.
Throughout our time together, Jeff has treated me as if I am his only athlete and as if my Lake Placid Ironman was the most important race on his calendar. That goes well beyond average treatment. I cannot thank him enough for that.
Before I officially began working with Jeff, he and I had four separate 1-hour phone conversations discussing my fitness goals and health leading into the 2011 season. It was evident then, as it continues to be now, that, simply put, Jeff Cuddeback cares about what he does.

In our initial discussions Jeff never asked me if I’d be signing up with him. He never talked pricing or tried to sell me on his philosophy. He simply answered all of my questions and kindly pointed out areas where I was perhaps a little off base with my perspective. Looking back, it was clear from those very first conversations that Jeff was prepping me for my mile-25 moment at Lake Placid.

When I decided to officially work with Jeff he continued to treat me like his only athlete. He answered phone calls, text messages, emails – all virtually instantly. He even invited me in March to train with him in Tucson, Arizona, with an extraordinarily talented group of athletes. Though it was clear after the first workout that I’d have trouble keeping up with these guys, Jeff encouraged me throughout the entire week and spent time personally working with me every single ride, run and swim session to make me a better and smarter athlete.

During our final ride, after a 300+ mile week in the saddle, our entire group raced back to our final meeting spot at a speed well past my comfort zone. As I’d done during most rides that week, I fell off the back to a pace I could keep for the 10 miles left. Jeff hung around for all 10 miles and rode my pace back into town. We talked about all I’d accomplished during the week, the gains I’d made as a triathlete, the obstacles yet to come and life in general. It was my favorite part of the entire week in Arizona and I knew that even though I didn’t belong at that camp talent-wise, I belonged there according to Jeff. That gave me a boost of confidence that ignited my Ironman training for the rest of the season.
Jeff’s training philosophy for me has been simple: train hard, train smart, stay hungry and think positive – all while having a life outside of triathlon. His highly personalized training plan for me took into account every work trip I made, every family event that fell on a would-be normal long-ride day and every planned social night I had on my calendar. Jeff even took the time to text me the night of a buddy’s bachelor party: “Water and endurolytes before bed. Be safe!”
Jeff’s website is severely lacking a complete description of his triathlon resume. What he’s outlined on this site in the “Career Highlights” section only really scratches the surface of what he’s accomplished. This is perhaps Jeff being humble to a fault. Do 10-15 minutes of research on Jeff and you’ll see that he is literally one of the best athletes this sport has ever seen.
Perhaps most importantly, Jeff is just a good guy. That was more than evident during the week I spent with him in Arizona, but has shone through during each and every conversation I’ve had with him. He’s a man who very obviously loves his family dearly and a coach who strives to see his athletes’ succeed. It goes without saying that I will continue to work with Jeff throughout my endurance sports career.   



I chose Jeff as a triathlon coach because I wanted what most people want, to get better and race faster.  In June ’08 I was also signed up to do Ironman CDA which would have been my first full Ironman.  I have done many shorter races including a handful of 70.3’s.  While building up to the Ironman I was sidelined with a fractured hip and pelvis from a bike crash.  I had to miss the Ironman and take six weeks off.  I was very bummed out and disappointed.  I recalled the day Jeff talked to me on the phone and told me not to get down on myself.  He told me to get back on the bike and swim, do whatever I could without pain.  Just get out and do something.  This is also what the Doctor advised.  Jeff also said not to give up and he encouraged me to sign up for one or two 70.3’s later in the summer which is what I did.  What Jeff did for me is just one of the many nice meaningful things he has done since I have known him for the past year.  Yes, his training plans are great and you will get faster, but I feel the most significant thing about Jeff and his coaching system is the way he treats the athlete.  I am not a professional or elite triathlete, but Jeff treats me like one in the way he interacts with me.  He always makes me feel like he has time to answer my questions or boost my confidence. 

While working with Jeff and following his plans my 70.3 swim time has dropped 6 minutes and my half marathon run time went from an average of 1:39 down to a PR of 1:27 I had at Gasparilla ’08.  With Jeff’s coaching I qualified for Clearwater 70.3 finishing 7th in my age group 35-39 at Cancun 70.3 ’08. 

I would recommend Jeff to anyone wanting to get the most out of their training and still have a life while doing it.

Lance Chambers St, Petersburg, FL



“My Journey to Fitness with Jeff Cuddeback”


At the suggestion of my friend, and not so slow Cuddeback coached triathlete John Marshall, I began working with Jeff in September 2007 for the purpose of training and hopefully completing the Disney half-marathon.  I began my journey with Jeff weighing in at 232 pounds and running my first training mile at a blazing 12:00 minute pace.  The funny thing is that I knew little about triathlon and knew even less about the admiration and respect people had for Jeff as a Coach and his success as an elite triathlete.  If I had known more about Jeff in the beginning, I may have been intimidated or better yet embarrassed to ask Jeff to coach me considering the sedentary lifestyle I had been living since graduating from college 13 years ago.  However, truth be told, after working with Jeff I realize that such thoughts are completely unwarranted.  Throughout the coaching program I came to realize that Jeff was genuinely interested in helping me achieve my best athletic performance notwithstanding my pace or finishing time.


Having Jeff as a coach, instilled me with more confidence and gave me the desire to dream a little bigger than I may have imagined on my own.  Although I began working with Jeff to just train for a half-marathon, my journey with him continued through all of 2008.  I successfully completed and competed in the following:

2 half-marathons
New York City/Nautica Triathlon
Nautica South Beach Triathlon
2 Key Biscayne Sprint Triathlons (1st and 2nd place Clydesdales 185-200)
Austin Ironman 70.3

Along the way I managed to drop 40 pounds and took 6 inches off my waist.  I am convinced that had I not met Jeff I would have finished the Disney half-marathon and called it a day.  Jeff introduced me to a mindset that I would never have considered without his coaching; “every athlete should race the race”.  Before working with Jeff I thought that the success of an event was just finishing.  I truly believe that concept of “racing” my race continues to fuel my desire to push my athletic pursuits beyond what I ever thought would have been achievable.  In addition to having the titles of Dad, Husband, Friend, etc., because of my hard work, the support of my family and friends, and the coaching by Jeff Cuddeback, I now have the great pride to consider myself in Athlete.  Not to bad for a guy looking to just survive a 13.1 mile run!  Jeff thanks for all of your sage advice!  Let’s have a great 2009!

Alan Kleber  Miami, FL



Cole Blair 1 Cole Blair 2 Cole Blair 3

Jeff Cuddeback and I started the triathlon together, in 1983. I was a football player at the University of Central Florida and took on this "triathlon" as a whim. Five seconds after finishing the first annual Clearwater Triathlon, I retired from football and became a serious triathlete. I have always been the run through a wall pain loving type of athlete. Training with Jeff daily, I met the REAL MR. PAIN! I am a 12 time All-American triathlete and Ironman qualifier at Gulf Coast half-iron when it was top two (Jeff was first of course), or nothing. Jeff is the only amateur on my radar that I could never beat, and there is a reason. He knows how to efficiently gear up for a race, commit, and reach his goals. We all have our strengths and life paths. Jeff's is to be a successful triathlete and help others do the same. He knows what it takes and you will feel his confidence. Beyond that, Jeff is the most amicable and personable elite triathletes, and people, I have ever known. You would never know he is the MAN! Let him train and inspire you. Then have a beer with him. Both will be an experience not forgotten.

-Cole Blair


Randy Scheid 1
Randy Scheid 2

As a former collegiate rower and competitive cyclist, I know what it means to hurt. With an interest in triathlons which could be described as casual at best, I decided to try Ironman in 2002.

I knew in November of 2001 when I made this decision that this journey would require a lot of training. Given the time I would invest in the sport, I wanted to make every workout count. I contacted Jeff and based on his experience working with athletes of differing levels and commitment, not to mention his success in Hawaii, I made the choice to hire him as a coach. My personalized training schedules that Jeff provided allowed me to focus strictly on training, free of the stress and worry that comes with wondering if the program you have put together will work. Jeff also provided experienced, invaluable feedback regarding nutrition and race tactics, both of which are essential in Ironman.

While I was the one that had to get up early every morning and put the time in during those long, hot summer weekends, Jeff made sure my time out there was well spent and would prepare me for my ultimate goal: finish the Florida Ironman!

Thanks Jeff!

-Mahalo, Randy Scheid


A mutual friend introduced me to Jeff Cuddeback in 1994 and although I heard his name mentioned and saw him at some of the races, I didn’t meet him again until April 2002. I was a jogger and step aerobics freak back then, and thought the triathlon crowd were a little to extreme or just plain crazy. Down the road though, in 1998, I joined that crazy crowd and did my first sprint triathlon, I was hooked. The next couple of years, I stepped up to Olympic and Half Ironman distances. All the while wishing I had the strength and ability to do a full Ironman. 

Finally in 2001, I decided I was going to do it. It took me a full year to get up the nerve to actually click “submit payment” on the registration form for the 2002 Great Floridian. In a panic, I decided I would need some serious help as I had past health problems with allergies and chronic fatigue, not to mention the fact that I had no idea how to tackle Ironman training. With my tendency to “overdo” I knew I would need guidance. I had heard by word of mouth that Jeff was coaching and that he had helped athletes reach their optimal fitness and race performance levels. I thought he only coached the Elite athletes, so, when I heard that he was also coaching the average age grouper, I wanted in. 

I decided to re-introduce myself and ask for his help. At the next race I saw Jeff and inquired about his program and asked his opinion of my ability to complete the biggest race of my life. He was instantly supportive and calming to me. He was easy to talk to and a virtual wealth of information. He knew what he was doing and he had the credentials to back it up. I knew he was highly respected in the triathlon community. Also, I knew he had won Kona, the Nationals, the World Championships, as well as most all the races he entered. I didn’t know, however, that he was the ONLY triathlete in the history of triathlon to be a Triple Crown holder. Jeff holds several degrees to include a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Gettysburg College, a Masters of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and a Masters of Arts in Exercise Physiology from the University of Central Florida. 

From the beginning of my Ironman training, to the finish line, Jeff was there for me. I felt completely comfortable in calling him with any question or concern, no matter how silly I thought it might be. He was a voice of reason and a great source of strength for me. Working with Jeff has been like being a part of a team, a winning team. He was on my side and was so positive, that in no time he had me believing in myself, and that I would finish that race in excellent shape to boot. His program challenged me and made me stronger. I felt like I was his only client. Jeff broke down each workout specifically and simply, so that I understood what each was for and what to go for during that workout. He taught me about nutrition and that works in training and in a race. He boosted my spirits when I felt discouraged, and he charged me up before races during training. He was with me from beginning to end, and trust me; I heard his voice in my head quite a bit that day, especially during the run. He was waiting at the finish line for me with a big proud smile that I will never forget. He told me that I was an Ironwoman now. I think he was as happy as I was that I had finished strong. His genuine caring attitude and personality makes him a winner in more than just triathlon racing. Jeff Cuddeback is brilliant, innovative, and one of the best coaches around. 

-Gail Lenz
Great Floridian Ironman Finisher
40-44 age group


Being coached by Jeff Cuddeback is by far the best thing that has happened to me in triathlon since I started racing in 1999! I met Jeff at St. Anthony’s (2002) and knew immediately I wanted to work with him. I knew this because when we met I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma and experiencing a lot of difficulty. This did not detour Jeff from helping me. He was just as determined as me, if not more, for me to race successfully. Jeff’s legendary record as a triathlete and his knowledge of the sport make him an incredible coach. However, I feel it is his support and dedication to me (and each of the triathletes he coaches) that sets him far apart from other coaches! 

-Koren Kuna
3rd Place Great Clermont
30-34 age group


I've been involved in the sport of Triathlon for roughly 5 years. For the first 3 years I put together training programs based on what I read or heard in conversation. My results were okay and improvements came slowly. I hooked up with Jeff in the spring of 2001. 

We worked together for 5 months prior to competing in my first Ironman. From the weekly training programs to nutrition education it worked out great. Having a written program removes all of the guess work and lets you focus on the training sessions. Improvements came quickly in all 3 disciplines. After a very successful Ironman experience I have continued to use Jeff as a coach and advisor. I would highly recommend Jeff's services to anyone looking for a better triathlon experience. 

-Scott Hero 
Age group 40-44


As a long, long time reasonably successful triathlete (Hawaii 1985 and a bunch of age group wins over the years) I found myself not-so-much slowing down relative to my competition as stuck about one slot short of qualifying again for Hawaii. At age 61 it seemed strange to think about a coach but I had heard about Jeff and his training methods and was interested. Jeff is obviously a superb athlete but that alone does not make a coach and it was his other qualifications that made me decide to sign up with him.

We started a training program after several discussions about goals and capabilities that was much different than my previous training schedules which I thought had worked well in the past. I have been amazed at the results. I have felt better than ever before and have had a great year:

Tri-America Clermont – Age Group 1st

Gulf Coast Triathlon (1/2 Ironman) – Age Group 1st

Ironman USA Lake Placid – Age Group 5th (A better race than that sounds)

Ironman Florida – Age Group 2nd and a Hawaii slot – Ironman Personal Best by 17 minutes.

This was more that just feeling good. This was the result of Jeff’s personally tailored coaching. A personal best at age 61 is a tribute to Jeff’s ability as a coach to allow the best an athlete has to come out. Looking forward now to Hawaii 2005.

-Jim Copeland
Jensen Beach, Florida

Jim Copeland_1.jpg      Jim Copeland_2.jpg 



I have been racing triathlon for more than half my life. Back then I was knocking heads with the big four of the sport, Molina, Tinley, Scott, and Allen. Other than those four I was one of the first ones in the sport to beat any one of them. I don’t mention this to toot my own horn but rather to show that and old dog like me who thinks he knows a thing or too about training, can still benefit from a knowledgeable coach. I found such a person in Jeff Cuddeback. I remember Jeff from the early days of racing and we often competed with each other. In the past, I have wasted my time and energy in over-training, nutritional mistakes, and peaking, etc. Now, I have complete confidence that Jeff will allow me to reach my highest potential in the most direct route.

After a serious bike crash with a fracture, my running was severely limited. Jeff was able to personally tailor a progressive schedule that would gradually bring me back to a competitive level; the result of which I qualified for Hawaii Ironman 2005. I know of no one else who accurately understands the limitations and strengths of each individual athlete and can then tailor a program to maximize his performance.

-Rob Roller



As an officer in the post 9/11 military, we're overseas often and only have a few shots to get in peak shape for our "A" races.  I had a few months of stability (no deployments) and came up with a goal to improve my ironman time by a full 1.5hrs.  Most people thought it was too high of a goal.  After a long discussion with Jeff, I found he was the only individual out there, besides myself, that believed it was indeed possible.  He quickly devised a plan to get us there and I jumped into it with all my energy.  Although he coaches the entire spectrum of athletes from elite to age grouper, I felt that I always ranked at the top of his priority list.  In just three months of working with Jeff, I dropped my 1/2 marathon PR down to 1:19, attained a personal best 10K of 34:20, popped of a 2:10 olympic distance race and got my Ironman PR down to 10:54.
The best part of the entire experience however, was the fact that I didn't reach my goal of going "sub-10hr" in the Ironman.  Despite personal frustration, Jeff showed me exactly why I came up short and pointed me towards the direction of improvement.  Without his guidance, I would've likely thrown in the towel and fallen back into my sub-par training habits.  Instead, I'm more motivated than ever and am anxious for each and every race to demonstrate my new-found talents.
Thanks for your guidance Jeff-

-Jesse Peterson
Captain, USAF
Special Operations
Weather Team 


Pam Kalliotestimonial_1sm.jpg     Pam Kalliotestimonial_2sm.jpg

I started training with Jeff in February of 2005 after being referred to him by a fellow triathlete. I called to talk to Jeff and see what his philosophy was. I was so impressed by his questions, comments and ability to communicate, that I “signed on” with Jeff immediately. It was one of the best decisions of my triathlon career.

Jeff worked with me on goal setting, nutrition, mental toughness, strength training, training schedules and race “savvy”. On several occasions I was able to train with him for individual pointers. He is “always” available by phone or email for any questions, or in case you need some support pre or post race, or just for general training issues and questions. With Jeff’s training I improved in ALL 3 disciplines! He helped me work on my weakest events, made me stronger mentally and physically, and kept encouraging me to have the mental toughness to train to race and win.

Jeff provides the most “complete” coaching experience you will ever find. He is Very Positive and supportive and his mental attitude is infectious. You feel like you could conquer the world when you hang up the phone from just talking to him. He is very professional and extremely knowledgeable about all areas of the sport. What makes Jeff stand out among his peers is his knowledge and experience along with a unique ability to “communicate” and listen to his athletes. He not only “knows” what will work – he can “teach” you how to reach your own goals – no matter what level or age you are. Wherever you are in the sport – Jeff Can take you to the next level!! I have a family and work full time. With Jeff’s approach to quality workouts vs. quantity, I was able to train for 2 Ironmans the same year and still balance my other responsibilities. I had several PR’s in my first year of Jeff’s coaching, but the best was my Ironman Florida PR of 50 minutes!! I would not have believed that it was possible to improve that much in less than 1 year’s time due to coaching.

Jeff really loves helping people attain their goals – and it shows. When you’re talking with him he makes you feel like you are the only person he has – and that he has all the time in the world to help you over your real or “imagined” hurdles. My family could not be at Ironman Florida in 2005. Jeff was there at the finish line for me….I had the race of my career with a PR by 50 minutes…and yet had not qualified for Kona. Jeff made me feel like I was still a “winner” as he looked me in the eye and said, “I’m Proud of you”. When a coach does that – you will find you can train harder and can try harder than you ever thought you could. If you want to race your best, find balance in your life, and really learn to appreciate those around you, you need Jeff as your coach. Not only am I a stronger triathlete – I am a more rounded person thanks to him…

My first year with Jeff was my best year ever in triathlon.

Ralphs ½ IM 12th age group
St Anthonys 6th age group
IM Arizona 6th age group
Madera Beach Sprint 2nd age group
Clermont Sprint 1st age group
Clermont Sprint 1st age group
Mad Beach Sprint 2nd age group
Duke Liver ½ IM 1st age group
IM Florida 6th age group PR by 50 minutes

-Pam Kallio




Randy Scheid
"...Jeff made sure my time out there was well spent ..."