Dr. Harvey Gayer
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Based in Athens, Georgia, but coaching throughout the world is head coach and multiple year USAT All-American/2014 Worlds 70.3 Qualifier and 2016 Kona Ironman World Championship Qualifier, Dr. Harvey Gayer. He is a licensed psychologist specializing in clinical psychology, a USA Triathlon Level 2 Short and Long Course, and Youth & Junior certified coach, a Slowtwitch Certified Coach, a Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach, and has other certifications. He knows the psychology of athletes, weight loss, and training/racing principles very well.
Harvey and his wife, Julie, have three grown children – all current or former swimmers/runners/triathletes – and are endurance athletes themselves. Harvey is a many time Ironman finisher, a multi-Boston Marathon qualifier, and he has raced in many states, as well as England and Canada.
Also known as “Slayer” or “Don E. Watts”, Harvey is a master motivator, a psychology applied to athletes expert, a strong supporter of youth and adult athletics and a loud and proud social networker. He has coached himself, and five other qualifiers to Kona 140.6 and numerous athletes to 70.3 world championships (and Boston Marathons), as well as two Junior Elites to Nationals.
He was one of the first all3sports.com age group (AG) team members from outside of the metro ATL area several years ago and was on their AG team until 2014, then moving to ambassador for the brand as well as for Generation UCAN. He now is part owner of SlayRx and has been since 2019. His coaching expertise is with running 5k to marathon, power based training, customized hydration/fueling testing and plans, and short and long course (Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Rev3/Challenge, Setup Events, American-TTT, Georgia Multisports, etc.) triathlon coaching.
His athletes feel very strongly about him as you will read on our pages and FB forums. If you don’t believe this hardcore Ironman was once a certified couch potato, read this article from Oconee The Magazine.
Coach Slayer Pushes Past Injury to Qualify for Kona – Featured Article in Oconee Magazine Winter 2016
(aka “Slayer” and “Clyde Watts”)
- Multiple year USAT All-American
- 2014 70.3 World Championship Qualifier (Mont Tremblant)
- 2016 140.6 World Championship (Kona) Qualifier and strong finisher
- Coached himself and five others to 140.6 Kona World Championship qualifiers, and many 70.3 and BQ qualifiers
- Many time Ironman Finisher (PR 9:23) with 3 x 10 hour finishes. He has done IMAZ twice, IMFL, IMCdA, IMMD twice, finishing 2AG/14OA in 2015 IMMD, and IMWC (Kona)
- Many time Half Ironman Finisher (PR 4:26) including 1AG in Rev3 Maine 2012, 4:32 Augusta 2013, 5th AG at 2014 Panama 70.3, 4th AG at 2014 NOLA 70.3 (70.3 Worlds Qualifier where he was 17th USA finisher in AG)
- Competed in British Middle Distance National Championship 2012 (Cowman)
- Completed American TTT 2012
- Completed Mountain Mist 50k Trail Run 2012
- Numerous Clydesdale titles at regional (e.g., Augusta 70.3 x2, Rev3 70.3, Philadelphia Olympic x2) and local short (Tri the Parks Series, Georgia Multisports, Setup Events) and long course races prior to Age Group shift in 2011
- Many AG titles and Overall Masters Richard B. Russell, Olympic 2012. Won Setup Events Georgia Triathlon Series (AG 40-44) in 2012
- 17:51 5k PR
- 38:29 10k PR
- 1:27 13.1 PR
- multi-Boston Qualifier and Runner 2009 (PR 3:04)
- Formerly Obese (maximum weight of 290 lbs)
- Licensed Psychologist State of Georgia since 1997
- USAT Level 2 Short Course, Long Course, and Youth & Junior Certified, former Level 3 USACycling Coaching certification, Road Runners Club of America Coaching certification
- Slowtwitch Certified Coach
- Has worked closely with UGA’s Swimming Associat head coach, Jerry Champer, and is STGRID(TM) certified and Swim Speed Secrets certified
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“I have become both an Ironman and an Ultrarunner with Harvey as my coach. He has helped me understand training principles, nutrition, and recovery. He has also taken the time to help me balance training with a hectic work and family life.. His feedback is invaluable and I continue to learn from him. Tri Coach Georgia is a team that feels like family and even though I train with Harvey from a long-distance (I live about 8 hours away), he is the perfect mix of ever present, but not overbearing. He is an amazing coach!”
“Here I was from NC going to the tricoachga Augusta 70.3 camp in 2013. I met Harvey and rode in his bike group. They were the nicest group of people. I decided to contact him about coaching and it was nothing but great the whole time. Very encouraging and wise! My first ironman (Choo 2014) ranks up in the top 3 best things I’ve ever done and my coach and that team was a major reason for the fantastic experience. He had me at hello…just kidding…he had me very prepared. Thanks again Slayer!”
“I just want to say a special thanks to Coach Slayer and Julie Fretwell Gayer. My first ironman would have most likely been a casualty of my errors and poor planning. But Slayer and Julie really made the day a great experience. Slayer not only coached me on the course, but Julie and him made sure my kids got to see me throughout the race. Truly meaningful.
I know Slayer has had many mentors, friends, coaches and training that positioned him to be a great, caring and competent coach. He also had some great role models to follow on how to make a team a family. But it is the extra effort he puts in and the support of his lovely wife and kids that have made him such an important person in my life.
Once again, thanks to Slayer and Julie for all you did.”
“You are a great coach, Harvey, and I’m so grateful for your guidance. I didn’t know what I didn’t know what I needed to know. With my past races, my basic training didn’t warrant good results, I was frustrated with overreaching and slowly realized I needed a lot more substance. I’m on a more realistic path now, Thanks, Harvey!”
“Coach Slayer is an amazing coach, motivator and mentor. He takes the time to get to know each of his athletes and their goals and tailors training plans to take many factors into consideration. He communicates with his athletes regularly and instills in each of us the concept of consistency and accountability which enables us to meet and in most cases exceed our personal goals.
I assure you there are not a lot coaches out there that would be willing to work with a 69 year old woman competing in her first Ironman. I will be forever grateful to Coach Slayer for his advice, support and encouragement during my year of IM training!”
“I am thankful to Coach Slayer for keeping me on track to get back to a level to get it done with only a handful of weeks to do it. I’m thankful to all of the TriCoachGeorgia team and family. We are a very mixed bunch, with very different beliefs and lives, but when it comes to the sport of Triathlon, and the support and encouragement we provide each other, we are one in the same, and that’s what really matters.”
“I’m glad I ran this 13.1. It was a confidence booster. I ran strong and knew I could keep the pace for all 13.1…Coach Slayer helped more than the miles run in training because he said he knew I could and I believed in him! Thank you Coach for all you have done to get me to this point in fitness, and in confidence. Merci beaucoup, mille fois!”
“Thank you to my coach Slayer from TriCoachGeorgia – his support and coaching is outstanding! This amazing Ironman Lake Placid result would not be possible either without all of the TCGA team support and advice either. Time to take all that in and prepare for my next races coming up. See ya on the next race course!”
“We all have bad days in our lives, sometimes it’s just plain terrible and life sometimes sucks and we don’t understand it. Today was a good one. It was one you just want to relive just a little more. Had a good race at 2018 Augusta 70.3 (one of the biggest in the world ) against a very tuff (sic.) field. Made the podium. This comes as a result of hiring Coach Slayer and TriCoachGeorgia. I worked for almost 7 years and I only placed only one time at Ironman. Now I’m 2 for 2. And you don’t have to live in Georgia to hire them, they’ll coach you where you’re at. You don’t have to be doing Ironman ether. If you want them to help you finish anything from a 5k run, a10k, marathon, sprint triathlon, or go to the Ironman World Championship, or just to get FIT, they will. Very Proud to be a part of this group. Nothing better than to get the right help at the right time. I’m going on the porch now and listen to some McCreery’s Five More Minutes.”
“I was overweight and out of shape when I approached Coach Slayer about helping me finish a half ironman race in Augusta, GA. That was in December 2012. As I reflect on my training and racing, it is hard for me to believe what I have been able to accomplish with Coach Slayer’s coaching. I have completed two half ironman races, one full ironman and several sprint and Olympic distance races. I have set new personal records in a 5K, 10K and half marathon too. Coach Slayer knows how to push me to new limits and provides support along the way. He asks questions about how my body feels and discusses my training and racing with me. I know I could not have done what I have without his support. Also, he coaches my two children as part of the TriKidsGeorgia team. They have made dramatic improvements with his leadership. My family and I are very lucky to have him as our coach and friend. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to change their life.”
“My All Time PR was actually in a training run at 2:07, in a race I think it is closer to 2:20 so today was a sizable PR. I ran the first 7.5 thinking I was in the 2hr pace group at the turn I saw the pacer was actually holding the 2:05 sign but couldn’t make it up. I could have easily made it if I was in the right group. This is the first 13.1 I did not walk or cramp at all.
“Two years ago I had a decision to make. Stay with a coach I felt was demeaning and self absorbed or change things. I talked it over and interviewed several coaches. I chose Coach Slayer and since, I’ve become a better athlete, husband, stepfather and human being. I became a coach and started a business. I took on more work challenges. More training challenges. More weather and environmental challenges. All the time Slayer has been there with support and counsel. The results speak for themselves of what a great team can accomplish.”
“This was my post following camp 1 year ago. I don’t need to add anything in regards to how awesome everything was!!! The words I said last year still apply. What I do need to add is that at camp last yr I met this dude who called him self “Pop” at the time. His name may have changed multiple times over the past year but he is still the same crazy, motivated, slow talkin, southern-soundin, lardass, badass, guy from Jersey who made an impression on me!! He goes by the name of Gotsum Watts now and he is my coach and the entire TriCoachGa team are now my extended family!!! I swam 3.4 miles this year and am preparing for my first 100 mile ride this wkend. I have grown by leaps and bounds since last yrs camp and unfortunately can’t race aWWWWgusta this year because it’s too close to IMLOU where I WILL BE thanks to the support of TCGA and TriAugusta!!!!! #TCGAgustacamp #rocks!”
“Thank you for being the best coach (and half-ass Sherpa) for my first Ironman. I probably don’t show it as much as most, but I enjoyed the whole IMCHOO weekend no matter how brutal it got. It helped tremendously having you, Coach TaxSlayer, and the other members of the team around for advice and anxiety relief (without being on top of me all the time). I’m pleased with my IMCHOO, and proud to one of your athletes.”
“I had known Coach Slayer for 4 or 5 years and always counted on him for good info via social media, blogs, camps etc. and even though I wasn’t one of his athletes we talked now and then through private messaging and phone calls. I quickly learned he is a great person as well as great coach. He is passionate about the sport as well as about the people. So when I decided to make a change in how I trained for triathlon he was the top of my list to contact.
We started mid-season which is not ideal but quickly got down to business. He changed my training, raised the bar and kept me sane all at the same time. He is not only a great coach technically, he is great on the personal side as well. He totally gets it!!
I had set some pretty big goals and he was all in but helped me manage expectations. After several months of training together I had my first race, an Olympic, and PR’d by like 20 minutes. Up next was Augusta 70.3 where I was looking for a strong race too. The conditions got brutally hot but he coached me through it and to my highest AG finish ever in an Ironman branded race. Then we set the sights on IMNC 70.3 and I was in a position for another great race. Again the weather soured and got super windy which impacted the swim and bike big time. He again had coached me through it and I finished with another increase in my AG finish thus capping off a great first year. Thank you for being a great coach, role model, friend and person.”
“In less than 3 months with coach Don E. Watts, I beat my half marathon time by 18 minutes (and off the bike!) and increased my bike FTP by almost 12%. Amazing results thanks to Coach Slayer working me smarter (and a bit harder on the run). IRONMAN Santa Rosa here we come!”
“Have sat on this a couple days… Wanted to be certain I knew what I wanted to say.
First, ‘thank you’! I know that Silver AWA status (and even the whole program) is somewhat contrived, but I think it means something. Back when we started 6 months ago, I knew I was on track for Bronze but that if I made it to the Silver level this year, it would be a strong indicator of your coaching’s value. So this achievement (along with all the others) completely validates your coaching and TCGA.
As a list of what you’ve helped me do:
-Silver AWA in the 70.3 category (and Bronze in the Overall Category)
-a PR in literally every single race I’ve done as your athlete (2x HIMs, 1x IM, 1x 10k)
-overall best health of my life (down 18 pounds and blood pressure lower than it’s ever been [I’ve been hypertensive for 12+ years — probably a combination of hereditary health and work stress since it was first diagnosed in Iraq when I was 26])
I’m very optimistic about the opportunities in 2021 and glad that I’m a part of the team!”