John Hampshire

A professional endurance coach since 2009, John Hampshire has worked with cyclists and runners from all over the world to help them achieve their goals.

Whether you are training for your first road race or want to win an off-road trail marathon Coach John Hampshire can help you reach your potential and be your best. John enjoys working with a wide range of athletes from beginners to advanced as well as professionals.


My Story

In 1986, I qualified as a Civil Engineer from Nottingham University and after taking advantage of my final summer of ‘freedom’ I managed to get a job in a small consultancy in Sheffield, near where I grew up. After a year there, I wanted to learn more about engineering and more advanced applications so I managed to get accepted as a research associate at Edinburh University and then Heriot-Watt University, working on numerical analysis of structures. After 5 years there, my funding ran out and I also wanted something more applied; I found a job in Rosyth, a little north of Edinburgh, working for a government research agency where I stayed for 14 years, still primarily working on numerical analysis and eventually becoming technology leader of one of their structures groups, as well as being deputy technical manager for the whole group. We were doing some really good work but sadly, as the company became more focused on making money and less on doing good work, I felt I had to move on. Further north, I found a job in Aberdeen, working as a freelance structural analyst on offshore structures.

Alongside all this engineering, I have always been interested in sport and obsessive about learning how to get better at it. At school, I had also spent hours in the library, learning about everything and anything that took my interest; I wasn’t really interested in fiction, although I read the odd novel. I still draw on knowledge I picked up from those school days in the library. Maybe I was a bit sad, but I liked to read, learn and understand the world around me.

I began sports as a swimmer at a young age, setting the scene and building habits of exercise and training that have continued to form a structure around which I lead my life. I then started running to develop aerobic fitness for other sports and found it suited me perfectly. Running became part of my life and I enjoyed many trips to run and race abroad as well as at home.

In the late 1990s I injured my ankle and started doing more cycling, initially to keep fit ,and then racing and training for triathlon before focusing more on cycling. I took to the sport immediately, competing and learning about the complexities of cycle racing, training and racing. Data analysis and understanding how sometimes the things that work aren’t the things that the books say should work. Over time, I learned how to manage injuries, fatigue and how to get back on track after setbacks.

While training and being friends with some great athletes, I learned what makes a great athlete great and how to develop these traits in others. I was a member of the Great Britain Cycling Team as Paralympic Handcycle coach for London 2012 where I learned more about elite sport and competition, working with the British Cycling staff including physiologists and psychologists.

More recently, I have worked with ultra-endurance cyclists such as Jenny Graham, who became the fastest female to cycle round the world in 2018. Working out how people with limited time could become successful at ultra-distance events on and off road, such as the Highland Trail 550 and Transcontinental Race has been an amazing step in my learning and coaching life that I continue with many of my current clients.

Of course, I never gave up on running and helping runners acheive their goals. The advent of running with power has been an interesting development and something new to learn. For some people I work with, it has been a revelation but for others not so good.

However, irrespective of what gadgets and data people collect, it is the trainng that gets you fit and I love the fact that everyone is different, which means I have to support everyone differently and learn what works and what doesn’t for each of my clients.

As a professional coach, I constantly look for ways to get better. Thinking laterally, I decided to look to the world of performance coaching for business and took a course in NLP, hypnosis and motivational training. I have since done further training in sports psychology and hypnosis. I now combine these skills with knowledge of physiology and training theory to provide holistic packages for success.

John’s qualifications and associations

  • Endurance coaching: British Cycling Level 2 Coach; TrainingPeaks Level 2 Accredited Coach; TrainingPeaks Power Certified Coach; British Cycling Coaching With Rollers; UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness; British Triathlon Level 1 triathlon coach.

  • Sports psychology and personal wellbeing: General qaulification in hypnotherapy practice; Clinical hypnotherapist; Certificate in sports hypnosis; Cognitive Behaviouraly Therapy; NLP master practitioner; Motivational Training.

  • Anatomy and physiology: Certificate in sports massage; Member of the SMA (formerly Sports Massage Association); Gait analysis; Biomechanics; Kenesio Taping Advanced KT3-Sport.

  • Other: Master of Engineering (MEng); MIMechE; chartered engineer.

People I have helped to success

Karen at the London 2012 Paralympics

Karen at the London 2012 Paralympics

Karen Darke - Paralympic Handcyclist

Karen won a Silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics and Gold in Rio 2016 as well as having many long distance cycling adventures as part of her Quest ‘79 initiative

Cycling has always been my passion, and I began in 2008 with the aim of competing in my first Paralympics - London 2012. Looking back I realise how little I knew about how to train or perform when it matters. Thanks to working with John since 2009, my sporting goals and dreams have become a reality, including two Paralympics cycling and a Commonwealth Games in triathlon, and a gold medal I hardly dared believe was possible!

John works in a structured, logical way, analysing data and creating progressive training plans. He also understands what it’s like to train and compete and juggle other commitments in life, with emotional skills and ability to tune into helping me get the best out of myself, especially when it counts.

Jenny Graham at the Brandenberg Gate, Berlin - Round the World record

Jenny Graham at the Brandenberg Gate, Berlin - Round the World record

Jenny Graham - Fastest female to cycle round the world

As well as her round the world epic, while working with John, Jenny finished equal first female in the Arizona 550 and first female in the HT550 ultra-endurance off road bikepacking events

Working with John over the past year and half has been the most incredible experience.

I met john on an Adventure Syndicate training camp at the beginning of 2017. At the time I had been pushing my miles and was curious to find out what I may be capable of, but would have probably never taken the plunge to get a coach. At the end of the camp John offered me a years free coaching. At the time I felt like Charlie from the chocolate factory when he won the golden ticket! There was no pressure from John to do anything big but I wanted to use this gift as best I could.

Soon after, the Round the World record came into my sights. John and I had been working together for 5 months when I told him my thoughts about trying to break the world record! He was super supportive and helped me map out a detailed plan so as I could test my fitness and make some realistic timings of when to set off. We decided on the following year.

Having John on board to structure a training plan and talk through logistics was invaluable to the whole trip. In fact it was a key part to the success. I had 1000's of other logistics and planning to deal with but I didn't have to worry about the fitness side of things. John would build my plan for a fortnight  at a time and I would feed back to him how I was feeling through our monthly Skype chats, Whats App messages and the TrainingPeaks calendar so that we could adjust the plan if needed.

I love working with John and im looking forward to an action packed year ahead.

Karen Tostee riding near our base in Casteil, France

Karen Tostee riding near our base in Casteil, France

Karen Tostee - Endurance cyclist

While working with John, Karen finished 3rd female 2018 TCR, 1st female 2019 Transatlantic Way, moved directly from to 2nd Cat road racer in her first season as well as some quite impressive cyclo-cross results.

I've been working with John for just over two years now. Through that time I've gone from being a pretty novice cyclist - mainly just commuting and the odd bit of touring - to racing bikes in ultra-distance bike packing races, road racing and cyclocross (and not doing too terribly either!). Through John's coaching I have seen huge improvements in my physical ability (in terms of endurance, power and skill) but also in my confidence and curiosity to try out new disciplines and to see where my best efforts can get me.

John is very perceptive and often notices things about me before I am aware of them myself, picking things up from training data, and comments I make in emails or on Training Peaks. He takes a very holistic and flexible approach, with training plans taking into consideration my strengths and weaknesses; worries; other interests, pressures and demands on my time; and where I am currently at as well as where I'd like to get to. He always wants to make sure the plan is a plan that is going to work for me at that point in time.

As well as helping make sure things are going well, John's also been amazing when things haven't been going so well. For example, when I've been injured, not well or other factors in my life have been impacting on performance or training, he's helped me think through my options for how best to deal with them and, when the time was right, helped me come back from it. 

I never thought I'd be the type of person to have a coach, thinking that was only for elite athletes, but being coached by John has been one of the best opportunities of my life in terms of sporting and personal development and I feel very lucky to have met him and have had this chance!