I’m far from an elite runner but striving to be more competitive at the front end and always looking for areas to improve.
I’ve always had an active lifestyle and, after years of boxing and strength sports, I was looking for something less punishing.
My fiancée was training for the Great North Run in 2013 and my running journey started when I decided to join her.
It was all new to me and although I found it hard sticking to the training plan (we even had to train on honeymoon!) I really enjoyed the sense of achievement in completing the race in about 2 hours.
Training for that first race gave me the running bug and I haven’t looked back!
I’ve completed lots of races since I started running, from my running club’s annual 5-miler (the George Ogle Race) to the Spine Challenger 108 mile race.
Whilst my own running plans lean more towards ultra-distances, I still enjoy running shorter and mid-distance races as each provides its own challenges.
I joined Derwent Valley Running Club in 2014 to help me train for Venice Marathon.
Running with a group and taking part in coach-led sessions really helped to develop my running and instil a bit of discipline in my training.
However, I was still using the running club sessions as part of generic training plans I’d found in books, or on the internet.
I found that they worked OK, but often didn’t fit around my lifestyle and I didn’t know how to change them around to suit me.
In 2017 I qualified as a UKA registered coach. At about this time I’d signed up with my own running coach (Kim Cavill) and was starting to see some big improvements, and I was keen to use what I’d learned while qualifying to help my athletes to make similar progress.
As a coach I get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the progression of club members and my own private clients.
For me, coaching is not all about getting elite athletes to run world-beating times. It’s about helping all kinds of runners to get the best out of themselves – I work with a diverse group of athletes whose training goals cover distances from 3 miles to ultramarathons.
I still remember the sense of achievement I had the first time I ran 5 miles in training. I was just as proud as when I finished any ultramarathon, and rightly so – on both occasions I’d achieved something that I had never done before.
I get to know all of my athletes and consider their other commitments, work schedules, running history and more importantly realistic time available for their training. Together we agree training goals and I’m able to produce a personalised plan for each person – much better than a generic training plan from the internet.
It is my firm belief that everyone can improve their running, and that everyone’s goals are equally important. Helping my athletes to unlock their own potential is one of the best feelings in the world and I get immense satisfaction from it.
As I’ve said, my athletes have lots of different goals. Here’s some of what they’re achieving with my help:
G- Achieved 10k PB and now consistently running under 1 hour for 10k, and training further and faster than she ever thought possible. About to tackle her first fell race – the 20-mile Chevy Chase across the Cheviot hills in Northumberland.
A- After a successful run at the London Marathon, training paid off to see this athlete finish 6th female in The Wall 69-mile ultramarathon and beating her own aspirational time by 90 minutes.
K- A tailored plan to fit around shift work, combined with commitment to training, knocked 40 minutes off this athlete’s marathon PB taking it down to 4.47.
P- Providing structured support to this runner has given 1st place in High Fells of Hedgehope, 2nd in both the Hardmoors 55 and the Pieces of 8 Half marathon.
P- This athlete hadn’t even run a marathon before the start of 2018 but his training and hard work were recently rewarded with a podium finish at St Cuthbert’s Way 45-mile ultramarathon.
C- We’re working to transfer this athlete’s considerable cycling prowess to the running arena in preparation for the Snowdon marathon.
My race results
Sandstone way 70 mile Ultra, 1st place and course record.
Sandstone Way 50 mile Ultra 2nd place
Montane Spine Challenger 2019 108 mile ultra 8th place.
St Cuthberts Way 100k Ultra 9th place.
Montane Cheviot Goat 55 mile ultra 12th place
Hardmoors 110 mile Ultra 12th place.
Hardmoors 30 mile Ultra 9th place.
Northumberland coastal Ultra 5th place.
Hardmoors 110 Relay (I ran 61 miles) 1st place.
Hardmoors 60 Relay (with other Team Marchant athletes) 1st place
Fellsman 2018 – finisher