I came to Steve after a long period of injury and wanted some help to achieve my long standing dream of running a sub 3.15 marathon. It was my first time using a coach so I had no idea what to expect! What I got was a month by month programme that was quite challenging but really got me training in a different way and allowed my body to reach its peak at just the right time.
Steve always gave good feedback and was very encouraging – even when I was beating myself up. We had 4 weekly catch up calls to reflect on how things were going and he was always responsive with any email exchange in between times. One of Steve’s key sessions are his form drills. It took me a while to get the hang of them but they have absolutely helped my underlying speed no end (I am not a naturally fast runner) – but I suddenly found myself smashing out great 5k times. The long Sunday runs were more structured and did have a focus on pace – these were challenging but, again, key to help me get to where I needed to be.
The outcome? I only got a marathon PB of……….3 hours and 13 minutes! Oh. And a 5k PB of 20 minutes along the way in the training cycle. They say age is just a number but the most miraculous aspect of all this? I’m 51!!! Yet Steve has now made me feel that I am capable of more.
Always patient, always positive and always constructive – Steve has helped me so much. Unfortunately he’s created a bit of a monster!!!
I first met Steve when he was pacing at Perth parkrun. He was pacing 26 minutes, and helped me get under 26 for the first time. Subsequently I followed him on twitter, and liked the grounded and no-nonsense advice he would give to runners of all abilities in the regular runchats online.
I’m not a fast runner, but I do really enjoy running, have been running since 2013, and steadily increasing the challenges from 5km to 10km, and finally to a couple of half-marathons. But this year I really wanted to do the marathon distance. It was a very personal goal of mine, and my over-riding concern was that I didn’t want any of the training, or the actual event itself to harm my love of running….I’d heard some horror stories!
I approached Steve and asked him if he’d be willing to coach me remotely, and he agreed. Right from the start, he tailored all of his coaching to my needs. He got details of when I like to run, what other exercise I do, which bits of me give up first on a long run, and a short video of me running so he could see where the habits are, and created a plan just for me. He also prepared a number of exercises for me to do to strengthen hips, and work out little niggles, these were absolutely invaluable. He checked in on me regularly to ask how I was adapting to the runs, the volume, the form drills. The form drills were the best bit, he talked me through how I should be feeling during them without worrying about pace. He built them up sensibly, meaning that by the day itself, I knew I could trust my legs to move smoothly, and in a controlled way. It also did wonders for my parkrun times, knocking 1 and a half minutes off my time for that particular version of the course at my local run!
The most important part was Steve encouraged me to get to know what my pace actually feels like, weaning me off my dependence on the garmin. His tactics for starting to build up the long runs made me excited to go out and do them, made them fun, but also made me see that the time it takes to cover certain distances can be done in a steady way.
I loved my training, and the marathon itself was a fantastic day that I’m still buzzing from and have signed up for the ballot as I want to do it all over again!