I finished the marathon in in 5:23:19 on Sunday, 13 minutes under my target finish time. Thank you so much for all your support and help getting me to the start line! Oh, and.....I didn't have ANY pain in my shins at all during the marathon or after.
I started training for the 2013 London Marathon in November last year. I gradually built up my training, as I suffer from shin splints and wanted to be careful not to trigger them, unfortunately by January my shin splints returned with a vengeance and I thought I would have to miss out on the marathon. A friend recommended some personal training sessions with Mark, to help improve my fitness and work on the problem areas, namely my terrible shins! The first session I had with Mark, I had a thorough fitness analysis, and Mark checked my gait, hip alignment, and checked my feet and ankles for stability, mobility and flexibility, to check for the possible root causes of my shin splints. Mark did some mobilising exercises and released the tendon underneath my foot to help with my mobility. This made a big difference to my running technique and made running much more comfortable from the offset. In my second session Mark gave me a set of 4 very simple, easy to do mobility and stretching exercises to do every day to help strengthen and mobilise my calves, ankles, feet and hips to help prevent my shin splints. These were easy to remember, and took minutes to do, so were easy to keep up. At each subsequent session we reviewed the progress of my shin recovery, and altered exercises according to how my shins were reacting to the treatment. I found my running improved and my shin splints were becoming less frequent. By the time the marathon came round and I had had a few more sessions targeting mobility and flexibility in my lower legs, and also my hip flexors as I had a bit of a niggle. My sessions with Mark gave me confidence that my shin splints weren't going to flair up, and I successfully completed the marathon with no shin pain at all!
For the past few years I had been seeing a number of physiotherapists and a chiropractor for a number of problems. During this time I had put on a lot of weight. I had been advised by my physiotherapist to start exercising at least two to three times a week, with an overall goal to lose weight and strengthen my body.
Having Mark as my trainer makes my hours my exercise more efficient. I don't have to worry about which exercises I will be doing, how many sets or reps, or whether I am doing the exercises correctly. I have the full attention of an expert (Mark) and my fitness programme is customised for my injuries and health concerns. I look forward to seeing Mark each week, and he is always at the end of the phone/email to answer any questions I may have.
Within the past 6 weeks I have lost 12 lbs and my body strength has really improved. I can fit into clothes I haven't worn for ages! He really has helped me to boost my confidence and self-esteem, as well as help me improve my body strength, with my injuries I have sustained in previous years. I couldn't imagine coming to the gym without Mark by my side to give me that 'extra helping hand'.
I first met Mark over the summer when I felt like I needed to build my self esteem, tone and trim up. I have used personal trainers in the past, but for a variety of reasons was not happy with the results and felt like they did not have enough knowledge to be able to adapt to my personal body type, lifestyle and general fitness levels. Mark is a true professional, he is knowledgeable, encouraging and overall really supportive rather than an aggressive, steroid driven trainer.
I have seen excellent results not only by losing the inches but by feeling tighter, toned and generally much more positive about my body. He had interesting circuits (no 2 workouts were ever the same) that were suitable to do at home, he designed a workout plan for me to do at home (in between seeing him) and managed my diet using a very easy to use app. The overall level of support and encouragement exceeded my expectations and even though I ached for a couple of days after each session, I also really looked forward to our workouts.
I highly recommend Mark to anyone, no matter your level of fitness or impediments.
Honestly you're a miracle worker and I'm so unbelievably grateful. Hip in general hasn't hurt for months, but last week was the real test. I went to Glastonbury, where I usually end up taking copious amounts of ibruprofen to get through all the walking in bad shoes (wellies are not meant to do that many miles) but this time I was totally fine! Walked 115 miles in 9 days, no complaints. After 10 years of being in pain, a box of chocolates is the least I could do; you deserve a medal!