06 Jan Chris Fisher Testimonial
Andy recently helped me to complete my first marathon race, the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December 2016.
Previously, over the last few years I had completed 2 half marathons and a couple of 10 mile races and sporadically ran for fitness, but never trained properly and am not a member of a running club.
Initially, I thought I would just train for 3 months using free online plans and advice, but I was finding the programme stressful due to scheduling the number of runs and the number of questions I had about training and the race itself. I wasn’t finding a satisfactory answers online as everything is dependent on the individual but I had no ability to judge what was right for me.
Andy got involved when we discussed my training during a gym session at Pinnacle. He used the Vdot system to give me a target marathon time and put together a new training plan for me that suited my schedule but pushed up my weekly mileage. Although a bit daunting at first as the programme stepped up considerably on the speed work and duration, I really started to enjoy the training and the schedule became an easy routine to complete despite running 6 hours a week on top of other commitments. Any questions were answered, from which body niggles are normal and can be ignored and stretching exercises to do, to help with route planning and nutrition. I could relax and blindly follow the plan at the defined paces, all while getting regular feedback and encouragement.
I felt relaxed and confident on race day, with a clear plan and set of instructions from Andy covering all aspects of the race and preparation leading up to it. He covered everything I needed, from clothing choices,warm up routine, fluid and nutrition plan from waking up to the race end, and pace management for the different stages of the race. I cannot reiterate how confident I felt considering it was my first marathon and I was going for a reasonably ambitious time. I stuck to the plan and I completed the marathon in 3 hours 25 minutes! (Under 3 minutes outside the Vdot predicted fastest time.)
On reflection, given the amount of time and effort you put in to train for a marathon, or any running you will commit a significant amount of training time towards, it seems naive not to sign up for an individual plan and coaching from the start if available. I’m kicking myself a little given it works out at just over £3 a week and I’d like to think that if I had made a better start with training I could have been that couple of minutes quicker! I believe I would have not achieved my time, would have struggled significantly more and enjoyed it less during the actual race without the coaching I received.