Having only discovered a love for running three years ago, never having been fit or sporty before, I just presumed that my running would only ever reach a certain level - i.e. one of shuffling along and making-do with how my body naturally moved.
Of course, as I ran more, I did see improvement, and ran my first marathon in November 2014, completing it in 4hr 35mins. I was delighted with this, and couldn't imagine ever getting faster than that. As just a regular recreational runner, I never really felt I was the target audience for 'coaching', or worthy of that kind of attention (surely I was too average a runner for that?), however, when I signed up for the 2015 London Marathon, I booked in for an assessment and a few sessions at The Running School just to see what might happen.
Each session, I found Nick helpful, supportive and kind - always offering advice in easily-digested bites so that it felt more doable to implement.
The issues with my form and technique were clearly explained, and solutions were found to find improvement - after my first session, I was more aware of my body, how I ran, and what I could do to run better. I also noticed I was using my whole body more efficiently - my arms, my glutes, my core, and not just my quads - which meant I naturally began to pick up speed. I ended up running the London Marathon in 4hr 9 mins - shaving 26 mins off my previous time - all the while enjoying the experience, as well as feeling strong and evenly paced the entire time. Just two weeks after the marathon, I ran a half-marathon at a pace far faster than my marathon pace, and now have plans to do a sub-4hr marathon as well as really bring down my half-marathon time, too.
Of course, running isn't solely about times and pace - and the remarkable thing is that not only can I now run faster, but that this isn't at the expense of the enjoyment - my body just seems to be running far more efficiently, and I genuinely believe those sessions with Nick have played a crucial role in this dramatic improvement.
I couldn't be happier with what I've learnt at The Running School, and would recommend it to anyone, regardless of their level. If you enjoy running and want to run well (and surely that most of us, then…), it's well worth investigating.
With thanks, Amy Abrahams