Few things in life follow a straightforward path. The routes we take can be full of unexpected turns, challenging times and occasional new starts. This spirit of starting anew and taking up new challenges is at the heart of ZigZag Alive.
How we came about:
The company first started out as ZigZag Cycling Limited, set up by two friends: Nick Finch and Mike Porteous. We offered a range of great mountain bike experiences, including tuition and introductory skills for beginners and weekend breaks and tours. When Nick stepped down from the day to day running, the decision was made to broaden the scope of ZigZag - taking the most popular elements of the off-road cycling and offering them alongside swim, run and triathlon coaching.
With growing interest in triathlon, swim, bike and run ZigZag Alive took shape and has been growing steadily - thanks to the wonderful clients who come with their different challenges and ambitions.
ZigZag Alive is also the the home of a new resource aimed at all sports coaches coming very soon: Confidence Centred Coaching.
This seeks to put confidence at the centre of sports coaching by capturing, sharing and further extending great coaching practice.
Qualifications and experience
Mike is a qualified level 3 Triathlon England coach, the highest available qualification in triathlon coaching. He was the Head Coach at Brighton Tri Club from 2014 to 2017 - awarded England Triathlon Club of the Year 2015 - leading a team of 25 coaches. He has also been swim coach at Horsham Amphibians Triathlon Club. He is also a level 2 Swim Teacher (through Swim England, formerly the ASA: Amateur Swimming Association) and teaches children with disabilities to swim through the charity Level Water. He has also been a mountain bike leader and instructor (through the Mountain Bike Instructors’ Award Scheme).
Mike has been competing in triathlons for twenty three years, from sprints all the way up to Ironman, and has represented Great Britain in his age group. He has also taken part in XTerra and other off-road triathlons and adventure races (with his son forming team ‘Madness Runs in the Family’). He continues to be active, doing long distance events - last year competing in several big river swims and his first SwimRun event. This year he has the challenge of the Otillo Isles of Scilly SwimRun and more hairy scary big river swims.
Nick continues to be available to support mountain bike rides and offer his rich experience in long distance endurance events, such as the ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, considered to be the toughest stage race in the world.
As ZigZag Alive grows and develops we hope to recruit other like-minded coaches.
ZigZag Alive philosophy
The ZigZag Alive approach is always to start by understanding what the individual wants and their circumstances so that any advice and support can be tailored to meet their needs. Everything is rooted in a strong belief in what people can achieve with just the right degree of challenge, encouragement and care.
ZigZag Alive is based in Shoreham-by-sea and draws clients mainly from the Brighton area and from Horsham.
Our base for swimming is at Wadurs pool in Shoreham-by-sea where we hire a lane.
Rides take us out to the nearby South Downs which are criss-crossed with trails and bridle paths ideal for mountain bike rides and escaping to the hills. And the Sussex countryside offers lots of quieter lanes to practice road bike skills - and stops for coffee and cakes.
In some circumstances, coaching support can be provided more remotely to those living further afield - but on the basis of an initial face to face meeting and regular catch ups on FaceTime or by 'phone.
Registered Company No: 07780166