Lets cut to the chase. There are many cookie cutter triathlon programs and generic online plans flooding the triathlon space. As an extension of the Cupcake Cartel brand, you can expect a very real and genuinely pleasurable coaching experience*. The Cartel was built on real people who saw value in authentic engagement. 

*(Some sessions will cause tears.)


A big part of the coach athlete relationship is communication and accountability. We need to balance the stresses of life: Family, work, mental and physical health and relationships. Sport brings us together, it shouldn't tear us apart. This is crucial and requires a high degree of understanding and flexibility. Work rosters change. Our physical and mental health can fluctuate. Stress levels rise and fall in accordance to changing life circumstances, and all of these factors affect your training and racing. Working with a coach that has an understanding of psychology and the importance of balancing all of these external factors is crucial to success and longevity in the sport, no matter what level you're at. 

We have two coaches for The Cupcake Cartel: Alise Selsmark and Justin Granger.

Alise Selsmark

Alise coached herself to a 4th place, 9:42 Pro Ironman debut at Ironman New Zealand in March 2018 while working full time and balancing training. Alise was a former National level swimmer and most of her personal records are horrendously fast so we avoid this subject at the dinner table.

There are many facets to triathlon success and we feel we understand them well. Alise is a Triathlon Australia accredited triathlon coach who is committed to continual learning and development as a coach. Alise graduated University with a Social Science degree and worked with troubled youth and families for 13 years prior to focussing on a career in triathlon. She has followed the path of newbie triathlete, to competitive age grouper and now pro athlete all while working close to full time. 

Being an athlete that currently races at the professional level, Alise has a solid understanding of the performance principals of triathlon training. Not everyone aspires to race on the Big Island or a World Championships. However, if you do, Alise will help get you there and be an invaluable member of your race performance.

Whether you're a new triathlete or a veteran of the sport, I would highly recommend chatting with Alise to see if you'd be a good fit.

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Justin granger


In July 2019 we formed an exciting partnership with a very reputable and knowledgeable second Cartel coach, welcoming Justin Granger to the Cartel coaching team. As far as coaching services go, we want to make sure that each athlete is receiving the communication and individual attention that they deserve, which is why we cap our athlete numbers. This coaching partnership presents an opportunity for those of you that are considering a personalised coaching service to progress your training and racing to the next level.

We know first hand that Justin is brilliant and really knows his stuff when it comes to training, racing and all that goes along with it. We cannot recommend him highly enough. We are super fortunate to partner with a coach of Justin’s calibre. Here are a few facts about Justin.

  • Coaching amateur and professional athletes since 2000

  • He is a former professional triathlete with 50 Iron Distance finishes

  • Has coached athletes to qualify for over 20 world championship events (including coaching his wife Belinda Granger for a large portion of her successful International career as 15x Iron distance champion).

  • Justin specialises in developing pace change, increasing strength endurance and run improvement.

Below are a few words from Justin about his training philosophy. We feel that Justin is a perfect fit for Cartel coaching. His ‘no fluff’ approach to training aligns with how Cal and Alise also coach, train and race. There are no magic wands being waved, just a smart approach, a focus on consistency, and hard work.

“Training for a triathlon takes up a large portion of time and requires the athlete to perform a calculated juggle to squeeze training in with work and family time. A training plan needs to deliver all the fitness requirements and eliminate wasted sessions or fillers, which restrict improvement and lead to a plateau in performance.

From past experience I have discovered that many age group triathletes spend all of their training sessions at the same intensity and effort. Sessions flow into one another and actually serve no other purpose than to just maintain fitness. The important measure for triathletes - aerobic threshold, stays the same when all training is performed at the same pace and the end result is no improvement and disappointment.

Every training program I have developed focuses on "pace change". Adding training sessions into a plan that force pace change is key. This method develops broader ranges throughout all of the athletes fitness zones and creates a more complete athlete that can maintain greater effort over longer durations.

Another key component to build every endurance athletes repertoire is through Strength Endurance (SE) workouts. Half distance and Full distance (IM) events require athletes to endure massive amounts of muscle fatigue over long durations. The athletes that can maintain form and pace whilst under such fatigue will always have greater success in distance events. SE training improves athletes ability to cope with muscle fatigue and ensures that one can last longer at race paced effort. Triathlon specific SE sessions are functional and time smart for the busy and time poor age group triathlete. So performing a bike workout that is SE targeted is the best way to include this type of training into our plans.

Plan structure is the final piece of the puzzle. The structure of a training plan needs to flow and be 3 sport specific (not single sport orientated). It also needs to be enjoyable and challenging whilst increasing in volume and intensity over periods or blocks. There needs to be a degree of athlete accountably added to a plan and test sessions are how we achieve this. Rest and recovery is an essential part to ensure that the best quality is reached in as many sessions as possible week after week. The amount of essential rest and recovery does vary greatly from athlete to athlete, so it is difficult to accurately establish the right requirement for everyone. My plans include rest days but i stress that every athlete needs to become very aware of their own requirements and heed warning signs well before putting themselves into a deep hole of fatigue.

Following a training plan is the most effective way to improve. A good plan will challenge and reward you at the same time. My plans are thought out and developed from my vast experience training myself and with others over the last 25 years. I hope that you enjoy training with purpose.”



  • What does it cost? The monthly cost for online coaching is AUD $230 for Cupcake Cartel team members, or the equivalent price in your currency ie: USD $165. Non team members can access our coaching services for AUD $250 monthly. There are no hidden sign up fees. What you see is what you get. Lets keep it simple and get on with getting the best out of you.

  • How does online coaching work? A weekly training plan is uploaded to our online training platform which is accessible to you for free. This is fully customised for you depending on how your week looks. Heading out of town for work? Friends visiting? Carrying an injury? Lets adapt. Theres no 16 week cookie cutter plan here. Your coach will review your training progress and provide feedback to you on a weekly basis. Communication is one of the most important pillars of a successful relationship.

  • Ongoing Support: This follows on closely from communication. Our coaches are here for you. We all need support at times. We understand that athletes have different personalities, situations and needs. Your coach needs to be checking in regularly with you: How are you feeling mentally, physically? Are you managing well?

  • Does Cal coach? Although Cal is currently not coaching, he does collaborate with Cartel coaches regarding training philosophies and ideas.

  • Do I need a power meter, GPS watch or heart rate monitor? No, but it certainly helps. On a spectrum of smoke signals to sleeping in a heart rate monitor, our coaches sit in the middle when it comes to data management and sports science metrics. This is judged on a case by case scenario. There are a lot of paralysis by analysis athletes who can't get out of their own way. Certain sessions need to be measured while others should not.

  • What are your training principals? Consistent training and commitment is what is required. We will take care of the rest. Unlike some coaches who have a theory and will make the athletes adapt, we believe every individual responds to training stimulus differently.

  • Can I access face to face coached training sessions? Face to face individualised coached sessions are available at an additional cost in Noosa, Australia. These are subject to the availability of our coaches. Contact us for more information or to make a booking.

  • What happens if I take time off from training? Our goal is to work with a healthy stable of committed athletes that want to get the best out of themselves by training consistently. If you take time off from training for less than 4 weeks, your monthly coaching fees roll over as per usual in order to reserve your spot with your coach. For extended periods of time off training (ie. longer than 4 weeks) your coaching fees can be placed on hold for one month per calendar year if you provide a minimum of one months notice. Please note that in this case, there is no guarantee that your coaching spot will be held for you if there are athletes on a wait list.