Sweaty Betty also run some good competitions and I recently entered a triathlon-themed competition on twitter. All you had to do was tweet why you wanted to win a training session with a triathlon coach - my entry was a photo collage & it won!
Sweaty Betty sent me my prize of a triathlon outfit (which so far has been great) and put me in touch with Michelle Dillon, a former Olympic triathlete & now successful coach, to arrange the coaching session.
The session was held in Bushy Park (home of the original parkrun) which is a beautiful large park in Teddington, South London. I took the day off work and had a relaxed morning pottering around Covent Garden before catching a train to Bushy.
Michelle was lovely - she immediately put me at ease and was very friendly. We started out with me running along whilst she analysed my running style. She quickly identified what was inefficient about my natural style and gave me some tips to improve. Although it felt strange to try and run in a different way, I could tell that when I was getting it, it felt smoother and actually more natural. We then did some exercises to work on firing up my glutes - they were very similar to those I do in my Pilates class so it was reassuring to have two coaches/teachers saying the same thing! We then did a training session (2x90 secs, 4x60 secs, 4x30 secs, 4x15 secs with equal recoveries) with the focus on maintaining form. It may have been just Michelle's enthusiasm but I certainly felt like I was running faster and I can't wait to practice some more. Having a one to one coaching session was a real luxury - Michelle was completely focused on me which meant I got constant encouragement and reminders about my form. I felt like I learnt loads and I ended the session feeling really motivated and inspired. Sadly Bushy Park is just too far away for me to visit regularly but if you live in South London and are looking for a coach then I can highly recommend Michelle (Team Dillon Coaching) - her style is very positive and encouraging which really worked for me.
Thanks Michelle and Sweaty Betty for a brilliant prize.