Who are you, what is your main goal and why did you decide to have a coach?
Bex. My main goal is to run the London marathon - a childhood dream. I used to sit & watch with my dad every year & I said I would do it one day. Would love to get a Good For Age place. I decided to get a coach following a knee meniscus injury & surgery. I had taken a decision to change careers & it felt the right time to commit properly to my running. I had been running in the same way for years & nothing really changed - I was in a cycle of hard running when I could & then having to take a few weeks off every few months for injuries. I felt that having a plan to follow & instruction on how to improve whilst staying injury-free
What do you value about the coaching that you that you didn’t have before - and how is it going so far?
Have been working with Ali for two years now. I was heading into my first marathon & had no experience of following a structure plan. I understood the principles of planning & varying efforts but never applied it. Quickly my running improved & the ethos of the effort-based plan made sense. The pandemic halted my marathon plans for 18mths but continued to train & having the plan kept me focused whereas I think I’d have slipped without a coach. Have now run my first marathon. Learned a great deal & ready to move further on
What was the most difficult thing to get used to when you started the coaching process - and how do you feel about it now?
I think giving relevant feedback was quite tricky as sometimes struggled to ‘feel’ how it went. I still struggle at times but try to reflect on my run with honesty. I try not to consider pace & using that as a benchmark but I do at times find it harder - especially when we didn’t have races & I couldn’t gauge my own progress
How does the coaching fit in with your lifestyle – and do you have a lot to balance in your life?
Family & work is easier to manage alongside the training since I left my job just as I was starting with Ali. Having a family to support in their sporting endeavours & also being around to see them go to the school bus & be around when they’re doing homework & having some time to relax means I tend to do my workout sessions early. This does mean I am quite tired later evening but think I’ve got it balanced quite well at the moment
What are the main things you have learnt in you time as a coached athlete with Ali?
To be a bit more confident in my own performance- bit by bit I’m shedding the ‘imposter syndrome’ feeling that I shouldn’t be considering certain goals. As well as this that some days the effort will just be & other days the same effort could be flying
Do you feel like you have developed as an athlete since starting the coaching process, if so, how?
A greater understanding of building endurance fitness & I am stronger despite getting older
Why did you choose Ali to be your coach and what do you think about him?
Ali had been recommended by a friend & the approach suited my approach to the new lifestyle & work situation I found myself in. Ali is approachable yet no-nonsense - which I need! Very knowledgeable & really pleased with how he has supported me through injury over the last two months; not saying I needed to rest but introducing other aspects of fitness to keep me moving to an extent my fitness wasn’t completely lost & keeping me sane!