I thought I’d quickly write up something about one of my longest standing clients whose achievements I find quite inspirational. This was spurred on by going for a track workout with him, and being left for dead when I encouraged him to run at his best pace and not mine! (See pic below).
I started training him at 41, when like most men who have recently hit 40, he felt that something needed to change in his life or else the middle aged spread was going to grow! We started out with some basic gym training, allowing him to get used to exercising regularly and feeling connected with his body again. Soon enough, weight was lost and goals were met, but something was missing. This isn’t uncommon; reaching weight based goals can sometimes be somewhat underwhelming, so I always encourage clients to have a secondary ‘performance based’ goal. In Martin’s case, developing fitness around running was very appealing so I suggested entering an organised race to provide some context to his training. The most he had previously ‘jogged’ was 5 miles, so we set the bar slightly higher with a 10 miler.
That race was the 2008 Cabbage Patch 10 miler, which he completed in 1:19:07…
To quote martin; “After that race, I felt like I nearly died!”
Since then, he has completed 47 other races, including smashing that original PB in 2011 at the same race with a 1:06 as well as 17 half marathons, 11 full marathons and a 50km ultra marathon. I think if I’d suggested this to him back in 2008 he’d have laughed in my face!
To date, he has run 48 races, covering 722 miles competitively. Here are some of his achievements:
After his first half marathon in 2009 (South Coast Half – 1:42:04), he said the thought of turning around and going again was inconceivable! Since then, 16 more half marathons have been run, with his PB currently at 1:30:29. To add to that, 11 full marathons have been run with a best time set at London 2016 of 3:17:34 which gets him a free place at next years race as a ‘good for age’ competitor, for the second year running. His first marathon was in 2010, which he ran in a respectable 3:43:53. That first marathon provided plenty of inspiration, as he was impressed by the number of 60 and 70 year olds who finished ahead of him! The 10 marathons since then have taken him to Stockholm, London, Brighton, Manchester and Beachy Head (a hill based marathon!), including competitive marathons on consecutive weekends last year.
This year, Martin is signed up to run 14 races (3 x 10 km, 2 x 10 mile, 4 x half marathon, 1 x 20 mile, 4 x marathon) and next year a 50 mile ultra marathon will be tackled!
So, the point of this post is that it is never too late to start on YOUR fitness journey and achieve some wonderful things. Well done Martin, I am very proud of your achievements….here you are two days before you turned 52, leaving me for dead at the track!!