Having “the plan” was without doubt the major positive. Even with a basic level of fitness knowledge already and with standard plans available on the internet, I felt like this was truly personalised and tailored to my own life, goals and historical body performance. The variation in runs made it much more interesting and totally changed the way I approach training. On every run, even when painfully slow, I felt like it was building towards the bigger goal. Constant feedback and amendments meant I could train flexibly and without worry that I was “off plan”.
I met my milestone (running the Virgin London Marathon in sub 3h 50) and crucially, I never doubted it, unlike some others around me. Adherence to a plan that had been specifically prepared to deliver my milestone whilst accounting for my ( initially poor) fitness levels gave me huge confidence and belief. On a bad day Marathon training can be a lonely, thankless individual task. Steve’s support, encouragement and expertise changed the experience from a solitary and individual effort to something more akin to a team effort, which was incredibly motivating.
Steve helped me reach a long standing goal of a sub 3 hour marathon, with 5 minutes to spare, at the Brighton Marathon! It helped having someone like Steve who could tailor a training program specifically for me, it allowed me to focus more on the running with the knowledge that I had a well thought out plan.
Throughout the 18 week period, we kept in touch face to face and through email. Steve always got back to me in full if I had any questions or concerns – his advice, particularly when I picked up minor niggles along the way helped get me to the start line injury free and ready to race.
Generally, Steve’s positive outlook and personal running experience was a source of motivation – much needed during a long training period.
As a strongly independent person, it has not always come easy to accept help of others. Joining a running club and more recently being coached has made me realise that sometimes to improve, it helps to work with others. Sometimes you need a bit of extra input to help change a behaviour and unlock potential.
Since training for this marathon, I have also started to reflect more on the rest of my life and it has left me wanting to achieve more from work.