As a coach its great to get positive feedback,  I coached Lianna for Transvulcania Ultra last month. I’ll let Lianna take up the story…

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…nine months ago I signed up for a truly inspirational but brutal race – the Transvulcania on La Palma in the Canaries – it covers 73km with 4200m ascent on volcanic sand and pebbles. It’s rough underfoot, reaches altitude and on race day it tends to be as hot as Satan’s underpants. It was going to be a challenge even if training went perfectly to plan. Predictably though, that didn’t happen and I found myself dealing with a long string of minor injuries that limited me to a weekly slow 30min jog – not the kind of training that was going to get me to La Palma! After working with Marcus and others at the APC, the injuries cleared, leaving me ready to start training but with my dream race only 13 weeks away. I thought it was an impossible task and was ready to claim on the insurance and throw another race entry away due to injury. Instead though, I turned to Marcus for help and it was the best (running) decision I ever made!

With his knowledge of sports injury, endurance and coaching, I asked Marcus to do everything he could to get me to the start line, but not allow my injuries to flare up again. He had to walk a very fine line between enough training and too much training, but walk it he did! He’s taught me loads about endurance running, heart rate training, how to plan a schedule, and how to roll with the punches when training doesn’t go 100% to plan. I’ve stayed injury free because I now listen to and understand what my body is saying, rather than stubbornly ignore it as I would have done in the days BC (before coaching.)

I was nervous about hiring a coach – I’m firmly average rather than elite and my enthusiasm far outstrips my ability. I worried that I just wasn’t good enough to be a ‘coached’ runner, but Marcus was kind, supportive, responsive and totally committed to my goals. I needn’t have worried.

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I ran the Transvulcania last weekend, finished it, got the medal and found it so steady that it’s only  now dawning on me how much fitness I’ve gained from such a short training spell. One week on from the race and I’m back running again. I have fewer injuries, more confidence, more fitness and more ability than I’ve had in years.

Pretty soon I expect I’ll sign up for another totally improbable race that is far too long/difficult/arduous for me, just so that I can justify working with Marcus again 🙂

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