I've always considered myself a capable runner with plenty of potential. Unfortunately I've always been indisciplined at training. All my previous running had been unstructured, single paced runs as and when the mood struck me. Frequency of training only increasing as the proximity to a race day loomed large.
Earlier this year after gaining a place at the Berlin marathon I spoke to Justin about my running. We discussed my past experiences and hopes for the forthcoming race and the all important PB. Justin advised how changes to the way in which I was training would produce the results I hoped for. In fact, actually having a training plan would be a solid first step!
Each week Justin tailored my training plan to fit around my life. I found that the variety in the training helped where previously my enthusiasm would have waned. A major benefit for me was having a structure to my training and someone to support along the way. Interval and progression runs were enjoyable as I experienced the speed and endurance benefits of the varied sessions. Good communication meant each week's training plan was set at a level that pushed me and never felt too much.
Justin's enthusiasm and encouragement is a great motivator. His personal attention and understanding of your requirements will produce great results. I completed Berlin in 3h24m, smashing my PB of 3h41m.
- Steve Cross
Sarah got a PB at the 2015 London Marathon. Read all about it here.
"After several years of running fairly regularly but always at the same slow pace, I had no idea how to improve my speed and endurance. To be honest I wasn't even sure if it was possible, I'm certainly not a 'natural' runner but enjoyed the experience of running and thought taking a more structured approach was worth a try.
In the summer of 2014, I spoke to Justin and after an initial discussion around my current running, my other commitments and my running goals, he developed a tailored training plan for me. Each week I received a varied running plan which ranged from shorter interval sessions to progression runs. Trying to run negative splits was a completely new concept for me but within weeks my times were improving and it wasn't long before rest days became my least favourite days of the week!
Following a few months of training, my average pace dropped from nearly 10 minute miles to running sub-9 minute miles relatively comfortably. It is now strange running at my old pace during warm ups/downs and thinking that that used to be as fast as I could go!
I'm super pleased with my progress and most importantly perhaps, now enjoy running more than ever before. Excitingly, I have a place in the London Marathon for April 2015 (my first marathon!) and will definitely be incorporating everything I have learnt so far into my training for what will be my biggest challenge yet. There is no doubt that Justin's infectious passion and expertise has been game-changing for my running and I look forward to many, many more happy miles to come."
- Esther Carter
Just after I’d recovered from a broken wrist, I set myself the rather audacious goal of running the Ealing Half Marathon in four weeks’ time. Justin suggested we think about how much time I could commit to training runs, and what time I was looking to achieve. The last time I’d run a half marathon, I finished in 2 hours 13 minutes, so I wanted to try and get under the elusive 2-hour mark.
We agreed that I’d do four sessions per week, and rather than providing distances to run, Justin recommended setting times. For example, I would run 30 mins at a comfortable pace. This worked really well for me, as I'm not one for planning in advance, so the idea of trying to figure out a specified route completely puts me off.
After each session, I would feedback how I felt on the run and Justin would tailor the following weeks run to suit my progress. I never felt the need to lie or exaggerate how well I was doing with plan, but it was also nice to have someone checking in to make sure I was doing it!
Race day was a challenge. It was an unusually hot September day but Justin and I ran the course together and he gave me encouragement the whole way, even when I wanted to give up. Having just missed my target of sub-2 hours, the competitive side of me instantly signed up to another half marathon two weeks later. With some rest and a little more training, I achieved my goal! I had come such a long way, and I can guarantee it wouldn't have happened without Justin’s training plan but most of all the honest support and encouragement he gave.
Having a running coach is such a valuable experience if you want to get out of the same old training runs and really improve your performance.
- Hollie McLellan