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  • Writer's pictureTommy Trees

Testimonial: Saara Chapman (Ultra/Marathon)

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

London Marathon 2021

Membership: 1 to 1 Online Coaching

Name: Saara Chapman

From: England, Hove

Age: 41

Goals: To improve speed generally. To achieve three big runs: Yorkshire 3 peaks, a first ultra and the London marathon all within 3 months!

Coach: Tommy Trees for 5 months between May 21st and September 21st.

My running journey began last year (March 2020) with the first UK lockdown, in time as I became fitter and experienced the benefits from weekly running, my distances naturally lengthened until my typical weekly ‘long run’ was about 30k. I sustained a set pattern for my weekly training but I found that my speed work plateaued. I had no running experience and I simply did not know if I could improve my speed or how to go about this! I knew I needed experienced help in order to progress.

Physically I felt that I was reaching a good peak and in January I decided that I needed some events to invest this energy into and so I booked:

  • (18 July) The Yorkshire 3 peaks 39 KM, 1531 meter elevation gain

  • (4th September) The Southcoast Challenge 57k, 1105 meter elevation gain

  • (3rd October) The London Marathon

These would be my first ever running events. Three major runs within three months! I knew that I needed professional help to coordinate my training for so many events. I also needed experience in order to know exactly how much to train and how to schedule the training. Avoiding injury was also a key concern to me.

Tommy helped me to accomplish and exceed in every single goal that I set out for and I owe a great deal of the success of all of these running events to Tommy. Further to this Tommy helped me achieve personal bests in every distance category: 1k, 1 mile, 5k, 10k, 21k, 42k bringing my times forward dramatically. (10k 44:37, 21k 1:37, 42k 3:33).

Goals met:

Yorkshire 3 peaks: 5hr 21 (my goal was under 7 hours)

Southcoast Challenge: Second female overall

The London marathon: 3:33 (my goal was the 3:30-3:40 mark)

The success of training with Tommy is in his nature as a coach, he gave me a great sense of confidence because of his complete belief in me and knowing my exact limitations. He always knows exactly how hard to push me on and when to drop back! Tommy made training fun and gave me a sense of ‘team’ in the otherwise lonely field of long distance running! I was also impressed that Tommy was able to keep my interval sessions fun by always alternating the sessions, intervals can be physically tough and it is a real skill to be able to keep them interesting and fun over many months.

I feel I have learnt a great deal from working with Tommy. I have a much better understanding of how to train properly and what is required to get better. I have also learnt how intricate pacing is and the importance of staying in the right training zones at the right time.

I am recommending Tommy to my friends and I sincerely hope to be able to work with Tommy again in the future. I can’t recommend Tommy enough, he will certainly help you exceed your goals.

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