Natalya Coyle

Representing Ireland in the Modern Pentathlon, read all about the latest addition to Team Kinetica: Natalya Coyle.


Natalya Coyle




County Meath, Ireland.


Modern Pentathlete

About the Modern Pentathlete:

The Modern Pentathlon consists of 5 sports: Fencing, Swimming, Show Jumping, Shooting and Running:

1. Fencing: Round Robin format meaning everybody places each other once. Each match lasts up to 1 minute  with whoever scoring the first hit winning the game.

2. Swimming: 200 metre freestyle. As quick as you can with any stroke you like.

3. Show Jumping: Involves riding a horse over 12-15 obstacles. Each competitor is drawn with a horse previously unknown to the rider 20 minutes before the start of the event.

4/5. Running/Shooting: Running 3 kilometres, athletes must stop 3 times to shoot five electronic targets. Only after having hit 5 targets with an unlimited number of shots OR after a time of 1 minute 10 seconds can the competitor begin the next leg of their run.


History of the Modern Pentathlon:

As the story goes, a young French officer in Napoleon’s army was sent on an unfamiliar horse to deliver a message into hostile territory. He was first greeted by an enemy soldier with his sword drawn. The two dueled. The French officer won the duel and continued on his horse until it was shot out from under him. He fired a shot with his pistol and killed the enemy but his horse didn’t make it. He swam across a river and ran the rest of the way to deliver his message. 

Did you know?

The Modern Pentathlon was first held at the 1912 Olympics in Sweden but only appeared for the first time for women in the Sydney Olympics 2000.


Kinetica Sports 1/6/2016 Modern Pentathlon athlete Natalya Coyle Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie


How did you get into the Modern Pentathlon Natalya?

“I took part in running, swimming, shooting and horse riding when I was younger and wanted to take it a bit further. When I was older I decided I would and so took up fencing.”

Training Goals:

“The goal of most athletes is to stay illness and injury free. The best thing in sport, I think, for any athlete is to stay continuously training. Continuously ticking over week after week because eventually the gains will come, it might take a little bit of time but if you’re interrupting that with illness and injury then you’ll never see the gains in the long run, so you kind of just have to make sure that you remain training and as much as possible- injury and illness free.”

Typical morning:

“I get up at different times depending on whether I’ve an early morning swim or run. If I’m running first I try get up and give myself enough time to have a good breakfast and make sure it”s fully digested before I go. I’ll always try and get a nap in during the day to basically help recovery. I’ll have food before and after. Margins are so small with elite athletes so you have to make sure you get in the best recovery after each session.”

Importance of food with your training:

“I need a lot of food. I’m not a picky eater. I’ll eat anything and it’s also about the quickness, so I need to make sure I get everything in straight after sessions. I need to make sure I’m fuelling my body immediately after a session or even during. Nutrition is really important for anyone doing sport, not just athletes. You’ll see massive benefits when you get your nutrition right.”

Tips for recovery:

“Always prepare. Prepare everything in advance and make sure you bring something with you for the half hour after your sessions, whether that be a protein shake or just something to drink, it’s vital to replace your lost fluids. Also if your session is quite long make sure you’re having something in the middle of it, to avoid fatigue towards the end.”

Do you like what you do?

“I just love it. I love training and competing. I love representing my country, and I think I’m lucky that everyday I get up I get to do a job that I lov, and I know not a lot of people can’t say that. I love seeing the gains you can make in training. One week you could lift a certain weight or swim a certain time, but the next week you might swim better, you might swim worse, but eventually you’ll swim better. I love the feeling of getting better and when you hit the competition stage you know you’re the best that you can be.”


Kinetica Sports 1/6/2016 Modern Pentathlon athlete Natalya Coyle Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The Modern Pentathlon takes place on 19th – 20th August. Kinetica Sports are happy to be fuelling Natalya Coyle on her journey.

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