Coached Athletes Testimonials
Hello from Cumbria,
I started writing something entirely different for my testimonial, then I realised it didn’t actually convey what I was trying to say at all. So here it is, again, for the first time….
I run because it keeps me healthy, happy and sane. I like to think I’m a better human when I’ve been for a run. More aware of my surroundings, more connected to nature and more considerate because (hopefully), the run will have balanced my mental health chakras.
I know everyone will have had a lot of life experiences of very different sorts; some of my best ones have been running. Usually this experience has been on a summit that I’ve gasped to the top of, somewhere in the eclectic Lake District/Cumbria. Sometimes this has been alone and sometimes with friends.
I’ve also had some awful life experiences, and these don’t really ever go away, but I manage them through my running, or try my best to.
I contacted High Peak Training because I signed up for the Lakes in a Day Challenge, and I really wanted to make sure I was the best prepared I could be.
Because I am Type 1 Diabetic, running long distances is peppered with extra considerations around refuelling and coping with hypos; I figured if coaching could help me with the running detail, I could focus on my nutrition so that I am in as close to perfect working order as possible!
The training plan is very clear to follow and the feedback is the extra support I need; whereas before I would just have to wonder whether I was over or under-training, without a real detailed examination of what I was doing day to day. I really appreciate the considered structure, and I appreciate Kat checking in with me on how I am feeling!
I think one of the most valuable things I have learned so far is that rest and recovery are very important, and finding a slower pace for certain runs will actually aid you in the long run (no pun intended!).
Fingers crossed for good weather on 9th October for LIAD as that's the only thing i can't influence outside of my running prep now....
''2019 was my first serious year of racing in the UK & Ireland Skyrace Series as well as racing in the Lakeland 50 and Ben Nevis Ultra.
I raced well and had some good results, which were pleasing given that it was my first year and I did not really know what to expect.
At the end of the 2019 season, I decided that I wanted to take my performances to the next level. I needed to improve my training.
I had not really had a structured training programme for the 2019 season. More of a few long runs here and there, the odd interval session, some core and spin classes at the gym and strength work through squatting and dead lifting.
It was time to have a proper training structure in place through a coach. I had followed Brennan on his Instagram account and had met him a couple of times. I decided to contact him in November 2019 hoping that he would remember me.
After our initial telephone conversation, I knew that he was the kind of coach which would work best for me. He was quiet, which I liked, and our conversation was around me and not him - my racing experience, my goals, commitment levels, strengths and more importantly aspects which I felt needed improving. He listened from day one and continues to.
My training programme started in December 2019, continues to this day, and will continue for as long as I run competitively.
The programme was hard to get used to, but it helped enormously that everything was on Training Peaks. This made me accountable for each session. As there were a few weeks training on there in advance I could plan training sessions around my busy work and home life. This also helped my family. They knew what I had to do each day, especially on a weekend and family life was built around it. This meant that I was still able to do things with my family and friends.
Through the first three months of being coached I was getting fitter and my running was becoming stronger. I was in great shape and felt even better. I was thinking that this was the best decision I had made, and this was backed up with my first race of 2020 – the Gaalforce Skyrace in Ireland. This was the first race of the UK & Ireland Skyrace Series. I ran extremely strong and had a good result in terrible weather conditions. I came back home in a very happy place and determined to work harder as I liked the race outcomes.
Unfortunately, due to Covid 19 the 2020 season has not happened. However, Brennan and Kat have kept me motivated with my training and through telephone calls. I have used the time to get stronger and fitter knowing that one day races will start again.
If anyone is serious about improving their running ability whether they are a seasoned pro or someone who runs to lose a few kgs, they need to speak to Brennan or Kat and get them in their corner – you won’t be disappointed.
To conclude it has been a pleasure working with Brennan and Kat and long may it continue.''
"Since i started trail/ultra in 2017 I had always written my own running program, training block and strength sessions which at the time seemed to work but the more I ran and raced everything was just getting repetitive and mundane which in turn made training very boring. That said during that time I managed to achieve some very good results with a win in the Snowdonia Maverick Ultra and few podium finishes in the Pen Llyn Ultra 50 miler and Winter 35mile races. My final race as a self coached athlete was the 2019 Ultra Trail Snowdonia 50 which despite finishing second, i wasnt happy with my result as there were alot of things that went wrong and finishing nearly an hour behind first place prompted me to seek guidance and coaching advice.
So that is when I decided to call on the guys at High Peak Running to hopefully give me that edge to progress and also to give me a variety of structure along with feedback in my training to keep things interesting. From speaking to Brennan over the phone and giving him my goals along with family and work commitments, he came up with a programme that suited both straight away and we got to work with the Snowdon Skyline coming up in a couple of month.The build up was great with a variety of trails, hills, speed and S&C ensuring I was ready fro race day. Despite staring strong and sitting in 3rd with only 1 big climb left I took a tumble and tore the ligaments in my ankle which was no doubt a headache for any coach.
Once the injury had headed, Brennan put together an amazing recovery program for me ensure I didnt rush back to soon and ensure my ligaments and muscles were strong enough to endure the rigours or trail running. With his background in running and cycling he made the training really enjoyable and progressive which made the recovery process enjoyable and specific.
I managed to recovery fully and got the opportunity to test it in the first race in the 2020 UK & Ireland Skyrunning series in the Gaelforce Skyline which was extremely challenging but ultimately the ankle passed and I had a really strong performance which i fully enjoyed.
Post the race in Ireland the whole world went into Lockdown and races were being cancelled left right and centre so having a coach keep you on track during this time was extremely importance and that just what you get from the High Peaks Running team. Bespoke 1 to 1 training with constant feedback and advice when required. During this hard time Brennan managed to bang together at short notice a bespoke programme fro my ambitious Paddy Buckley Round which despite the atrocious conditions I managed to complete that to the training and support from the team.
Now we are focusing on a successful 2021 season. Anybody looking for bespoke coaching with constant support, I cannot recommend these guys enough. Hopefully they will get the whole trained athletes together for a training camp in 2021..
Oh i also manages to get a road 10km PB during this time so very transferable which shows the diversity of training provided."
"I have been working with Brennan and Kat for a year now and the support and confidence they have given me is superb.
I am tackling courses, distances and elevation that i would have thought was out of my reach
this time last year.
I am also planning things i certainly would be contemplating without their guidance.
The training plans I receive are never repetitive and they are flexible with your work and family life. I Also find with them using an online training package and that they receive yr workout data, u feel accountability.
The one 2 one support is superb and when yr injured they are there to adjust yr work load and
get you back on track.
I would and have recommended them
to everyone that i know."
"I had been training by myself for around 6 months, but found I was lacking the knowledge and consistency to really make any noticeable improvement.
I decided this had to change after struggling through my first mountain race. I realised my preparation was lacking on a number of fronts, from race strategy, pacing, diet and technique.
Shortly afterwards I started working with Brennan with the goal of completing four further races this year, ranging from technical mountain runs to longer Ultras.
From the start Brennan explained the process and laid out plans for me to follow. This took all the thinking out of running for me. I was able to stick to the plans without wondering whether I was doing too much or too little.
After monitoring my training for a few weeks he was able to adjust the pacing and plan to be more suitable to me.
As races were approaching I felt far more confident in the issues I was lacking earlier on in the year and was able to back that up feeling much better in races.
Calls regarding race prep and strategy were great confidence boosters and kept me on track.
I highly recommend working with Brennan, it has made my running far more successful, sustainable and enjoyable."
"I've been working with High Peak for about 4 months now and honestly can't recommend them enough. I've always ran, but never really with any committment or focus.
Since starting working with Brennan my running has come on leaps and bounds. The balance in the sessions is perfect, and week to week I'm feeling stronger all the time. Feel like the coaching is really personalised to fit my schedule, and the constant feedback is second to none.
Thanks guys, really looking forward to what 2021 brings."
"My name is Andy M and I currently live in Manchester, age 45 and I’m a HGV driver.
I’m a former Soldier in the British Army and have served abroad in Kosovo and Sierra Leone.
My favourite distance seems to get longer and longer, but at the moment it’s the 100 mile events as you get value for money!
I run to help de stress and simply because I love to run, especially trail/fell running. Something I’m very passionate about.
I’ve been running seriously now for over ten years, starting with road running and racing. But quickly found trail running as I’ve always had a love for the outdoors. I’ve read a few running books and eventually found books about Ultra running and so my horizons were broadened let’s say!
I would say challenges motivate me more than racing, it’s the pushing yourself further that interests me, especially in the stunning countryside like the Lakes or Snowdonia. Racing has it’s place for me as I do like to have something to build up to.
Strangely enough, one of my favourite sessions are hill reps. They’re really tough but you know there’re doing you good and I get a good buzz after doing them.
Since taking the plunge and getting some proper coaching I feel I’m definitely improving in a short space of time, the approach of incorporating gym work, stretching etc on top of proper planned sessions is just the thing I needed to hopefully get me to the next level and having someone knowledgeable doing all the planning for me, takes out all my guess work.
I’ve got a couple of big goals I’d like to achieve firstly, a good crack at the Bob Graham round and a Montane Spine race finishers medal!
I’ve completed lots of races over the years from 5 k’s to 100 mile races. My favourite ones however are the Lakeland 100, Montane Spine Challenger and Transvulcania on the island of La Palma which is a bucket list international event, a race I’ll never forget as the views were breathtaking. I would have completed that event a couple of hours quicker if I didn’t stop so often to look at the view and take loads of pictures!"