As many of you are aware my biggest passion is my coaching. Having being coached by Jimmy Hedley arguably one of the best endurance coaches in the world based in the North East of England where I grew up and trained with Steve Cram the former world 1500m Gold Medallist and world record holder for 1500m, 2000m and the Mile as well as European 800m silver medalist and World Cup 800m Winner, David Sharpe I felt it would be unfair not to pass forward all of the things I learned from training with world class athletes and a world class coach.
As an athlete the biggest achievement for me was not what I actually produced on the track but rather it was away from it where I was carving out a career within the sport in my early twenties building a successful retail business as well as working for some of the biggest brands within the sport. I started with Nike before moving onto Polar Heart rate monitors working as their training and education manager where I was responsible for working with Premier league and Championship football teams and other professional sports such as rugby, tennis and UK athletics.
On the track I earned junior international honours over 800m/1500m and as a senior athlete gaining small team international representation for England and GB I was fortunate enough to compete at the Bislett Games in Oslo as well as Gateshead International televised events including the Elmsley Carr Mile.
I first started coaching in 2010 with an athlete called Shaun Moralee from Durham City Harriers who had been constantly plagued by injuries and was simply running at a club level standard and had missed a complete season of track running through serious calf problems.
Initially we felt it best to recondition his body with a S&C programme done by circuit training and a simple weights routine at the university gym and just getting him to run easy for a while off road in the beautiful trails in the woods near Maiden Castle, County Durham to rebuild his aerobic base.
Once he had enough base work behind him we began workouts on the grass, mainly aerobic and occasionally adding some anaerobic repetitions when he showed no signs of calf problems. The improvements in his fitness soon came as after starting the outdoor season with the North Eastern County Championships with a respectable 3.56 - 1500m race in May, albeit he still hadn't trained on the track at that point, roll forward another 5/6 weeks and he then smashed his PB with a 3.41.2 1500m result!
Following this as well as improving again to 3.40 he went on to gain international honours and win the 1500m at the prestigious Cork City Games international.
After being unemployed for a number of years I received a job offer from Timex which resulted in a relocation for myself in the Midlands and sadly had to part coaching with a Shaun as I felt he would need someone local to help with his progression. I 2012 I joined the local athletics club in Loughborough, Charnwood AC and started working with young athletes and joined forces with Alison Wyeth and soon enough we had a great group of endurance athletes both male and female and the results they achieved were amazing winning medal after medal both as individuals and as teams in National competitions on the track, roads as well as cross country.
Following a real deterioration in my health (diagnosed with ulcerative Colitis in 2014) I finally had to hang up my stopwatch in 2018 and focus on my health after a 3 week period in hospital forced me to look after myself a lot more. I took this time to spend time relaxing and travelling and step back from working 7 days a week to part time work and give my mind as well as my body a chance to get stronger again.
After the summer of 2019 and my health improving vastly it was by a chance conversation with an athlete from Nottingham called Samantha Harrison who was pretty new to the sport of running and had recently joined her local athletics club and mixing her own ideas with some of the club coaches. Samantha had ran a very respectable 36.47 for 10k and a pretty decent 85 min half marathon, not bad for someone who had been running less than a year at that point so it was pretty evident with the right guidance and some structure she could improve so once we started working together and put this in place. Gradually over the the time and some key performance indicators from certain sessions I was super confident she would run not only for England within 12 months but also make the team for GB over the half marathon at the World Championships which she did with ease and now boasts an all time Half Marathon ranking time of 69.48 and a 32.08 10k as well as a rather impressive 2.32 Marathon.
I’ve spent many years improving my running and training knowledge and continue to learn through various athletes and coaches I speak with regularly. I feel I can share this wealth of knowledge with you to help you achieve your own health & fitness related goals be it your first 800m or a marathon.