Thursday, 19 October 2017

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles

Peter Snell - Gold at Tokyo in 1964
'Picture yourself' - Lennon & McCartney

The success of athletes using my bespoke 12-Week Training Plans, speak for themselves. I’m seeing improvements of up to 15% in Marathon PB’s and times of 3.40 being slashed to less than 3:10 which are remarkable. In just under 12 months, following my programmes, one of my clients who was a regular 3.29 runner now runs consistently under 3hrs and recently set a PB very close to the 2.45 mark. Until being Coached, none of these people knew what they were capable of and it’s amazing just how much they’ve improved as soon as a structured training programme was set out for them to follow.

A percentage of the improvements come from the Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) that I project, especially the fact that I believe that EVERYONE can be elite and can achieve far more when pushed but also from a great deal of LSD.

No, not from ‘Lysergic Acid Diethylamide’ the psychedelic drug that in the ‘50s, officials at the CIA thought might be useful for mind control and chemical warfare… (my how times have changed) - No, from ‘Long Slow Distance’ running.

Long Slow Distance running (LSD) is the form of aerobic endurance training that I used right from the start of my own running career and has been the backbone of my coaching ethos this past 10 years.

The physiological adaptations that come from LSD training are improved blood volume, increased muscle strength, prolonged endurance and higher aerobic fitness. Ernst van Aaken, the German physician and coach, is generally recognized as the founder of the Long Slow Distance running method of endurance training but I put my own success down to hearing about the great New Zealand Coach, Arthur Lydiard, from my own coach and mentor John Martin, who famously ran his athlete Peter Snell 200 miles a week in training before tapering him down over a four-week period to Double Olympic Gold at Tokyo in 1964.

Back then, I’m not sure how many of Lydiard’s athletes would have questioned his coaching methods, I know I didn’t question John’s. I just got on with laying down the foundations of my endurance training with epic 20 mile LSD runs every Saturday and Sunday morning. It’s interesting as recently more and more people want to know ‘Why’ they are being asked to run an LSD, Interval or Speed session and how much to do of each especially by new runners or people fast-tracking their training for the Marathon des Sables.

The simple answer is 80% of your weekly mileage should be LSD, run at 75% Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

Yes, that’s right, if you are running 50 miles, 40 miles of it should be LSD. And if you are looking for faster times, it’s the easiest way to improve yet so many people run these sessions too fast to get the most out of them. The one-hour, 6-6.5 mile run that so many four-hour marathon runners like to knock out a couple of times a week, only maintains fitness and trains four-hour marathon runners to keep on running four-hour marathons or even worse, get slower.

You see it takes time. I lot of time and, in reality, to become the best version of your own elite marathon runner, it’s probably more of a three to five-year apprenticeship with LSD and it’s adaptation. It took me at least three years to understand my body, get the right mind-set and break down the barriers that limited my performances. In October 2013, I found out for myself how running 200 miles a week for four weeks ALL at LSD could make on my level of fitness as three weeks later, I ran my fastest marathon for 11 years and went on to win the MV50 category at Druid Challenge in the November.

Now, before you go smashing out a Long Slow Distance marathon a day, getting injured or losing your job as you haven’t simply got the time, what you can do is to train smarter and slower in the LSD runs you have planned over the following weekends and Wednesdays. Yes, Wednesday’s which are great for an LSD as it takes some of the mileage loading away from the weekend and is a great way to recover from a Tuesday interval session.

As a guide, LSD are typically run at an easy pace, 1-3 minutes per mile slower than your 10km pace and if you’re not sure of how to plan the next 12-Weeks of your training or if you want to carve chunks off your PB then please get in touch as I’d like to be receiving your texts on a Sunday telling me you’ve smashed your latest Personal Best.

LSD, perhaps the best NATURAL performance enhancing drug ever...

Rory Coleman rory@rorycoleman.co.uk
1,001 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

We are the Champions...


‘No time for Losers’ – Mercury

Some forty years on from the Silver Jubilee Year of 1977, and I still sing along like an excited fifteen-year old school-boy whenever I hear this timeless Queen anthem. Just how many ‘Champions’ has this song ever accompanied I wonder? Freddie certainly marked lots of celebratory moments for folk when he wrote this one. And as someone who enjoys competing, I thought it would make for a good starting point for this week’s blog as I love the feeling of being a Champion, don’t you?

Back in the day, I loved the feeling of being a Champion and now as a Coach I get to be part of lots of other folk’s achievements, which is even better I’m finding.

You see, it’s been another winning week at Coleman Coaching, marked by some great emails and texts from excited Clients posting fresh PB’s on Sunday. Here’s one such message…

“I just went bananas, shouting, whooping and punching the air after seeing the finishing time” – Steve Howliston

His 3.09.17 PB at the MBNA Chester Marathon is over 30 minutes quicker than his best in December 2016, when we first started working together and I’m sure he’ll go sub-3 next year, no pressure there Steve…

But it’s only fair to say Steve’s PB was achieved by his pure hard work and 100% dedication to the training plan. I must say that I’ve enjoyed being part of his ‘Success Process’ and encouraging him to shape his future aspirations on answering his ‘What’s next for me?’ question.

Encouraging highly motivated successful people onto further success isn’t all that hard as they are already fully on board and eager to perform. ‘Success breeds success’- Well that’s what they say isn’t it?

However, along with the immensely positive Sunday night Emails and Texts, I also have an eye on social media and witness the ‘Facebook-Failure-Frenzy’, that accompanies every big weekend of running. I’m sure you’ve had a timeline littered with ‘DNF Posts of Woe’, from folk that simply haven’t put the time and effort needed into reach their goal. It’s frightening, especially on some of the longer more extreme events.

I mean, ‘If you’re going to take things seriously, then why bother?’

I’ve been bothered and for some time now and I’ve been genuinely scared that folk are placing themselves in a lot of danger whilst ticking off feats from their bucket-lists. My favourite and the ‘World’s Toughest Footrace’, The Marathon des Sables is now perceived as a sandy ‘London Marathon’. I’m not sure the guy I saw at one of the checkpoints this year receiving CPR would agree and it highlights the pressure that competitors place upon themselves each April in the heat of the Sahara Desert.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing as electrifying as the finish line of the MdS, achieving a Marathon or parkrun PB but they all have one thing in common and that’s you must do your ‘Running Apprenticeship’. It takes time, probably more time than you’d imagine, to get anywhere near as good as the ‘Running Heroes’ you may read about in Running Magazines or Online. I know, first-hand, having read about the amazing American Ultra-Runner Ann Trason, in Runner’s World Magazine in November 1994, her winning the Western States Endurance Race in the States got me interested in Trail-Running. And I made sure I had a few hard years of running marathons and ultras under my belt, before I knew I was ready to take on the Grand Union 145, MdS and Desert Cup in Jordan.

Back in the late-90’s there wasn’t the internet, ‘How-to-Books’, gear or technology to ‘Fast-track’ our way to running success and I had to work out my own running and training formulae to achieve Personal Bests that matched my potential and learned the hard-way how to run mega-day marathons fast, uninjured and blister-free.

Post 1,000 marathons and Guillian-Barre Syndrome the beauty of Coaching I’ve found is that you get to share that knowledge, see some of your training and racing techniques become part of Ultra-Marathon Running Folklore and revel in taking people past their wildest expectations and in some cases, go on to make then World-Class Athletes.

As Freddie says, ‘No time for Losers’ and no-one ever sets out wanting to lose -  However, you can reduce the probabilities of things going wrong and if you want to be sending good news Emails and Texts on Sundays like Steve, instead of posting ‘Facebook-Failures’, please give me a call or email me as I'd love to be part of your 'Championship'...

Happy Running Folks…

Rory Coleman - rory@rorycoleman.co.uk
1,001 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Scream if you wanna go Faster...


Lyrics:- ‘Don't let life pass you by. Jump on in, get ready to fly’… Halliwell & Nowels

Every now and again a client will go silent and drop off my radar and ‘Revert to Type’. It’s annoying for me as a coach and a real shame for them, as I truly believe that everyone who comes to see me has what it takes to achieve their goal. It's frustrating to see how quickly folk can become distracted and corrode all the initial goodwill and momentum we build up together at our first meeting. For some you see, on being released back into their own natural environment, the cracks soon start to appear and the 'Failure Process' as I call it, begins.

To understand the 'Failure Process’, why it happens and where I can help folk in the future, I thought I’d ask my Average2Awesome Facebook Group, (which is made up of current and past clients), to share their thoughts on the ‘Failure Process’ subject. I received some great feedback and that I hope you’ll also find their replies as enlightening as I did. You might even identify some of your own traits within them.

So, here's what I asked...

What is it that makes you ‘Fail’? ‘Fail’ to lose weight? ‘Fail’ to stop drinking alcohol? ‘Fail’ to stop smoking? ‘Fail’ to stop taking recreational drugs? ‘Fail’ to finish a race? I want to know what makes you take your ‘Foot off the Gas?

The Facebook Group lit up with replies and I also received lengthy private emails which fell into the following themes.

Peer Pressure - ‘I think because most of my friend’s drink, so I go along too’…

I know how hard it can be standing out from the crowd, especially if everyone else is happily getting slowly hammered and you’re not. Having been in that situation many times myself in my previous life, where I was probably one of the worst culprits in egging folk on to have just one more for the road before leaving the pub, I found changing my ‘Peer Group’ helped change my drinking habits no-end. The strength I found in liberating myself from the all the other ‘Weak Willed’ folk, I’d surrounded myself with, was overwhelming and after a while I found I didn’t miss any of them at all. You see, I’d found the person I’d been missing in my life for so many years - myself.

Previous Life Experience - ‘A long standing family problem was the root of my problem. I was so consumed by anger, trying to fix an unfixable problem’…

Yep shit happens and things outside of our control not only challenge us physically but can have a lasting effect on our mental state. I’ve yet to meet anyone that hasn’t been affected by one kind of life-crisis or another. Last year, I was angry when I was struck down with Guillian-Barre Syndrome but eventually I found the acceptance of my predicament gave me an inner calm where I could reassess things and avoid the dreaded ‘Why me?’ which would’ve impose suffocating limits on my own future expectations and goals. If anything, I felt even more determined to get better and have never used my ‘Previous Life Experience’ as an excuse.

Confidence – ‘With me it's simply a lack of self-belief’…

Sometimes, I don’t believe that the goal-setter shares my belief in their ability. I’ve always had a clear picture of finishing whatever I’d set out to complete. A 100% ‘Starter Completer’ if ever there was one. Being honest with yourself and with others is so important in this game. Don’t ask me to run a ‘2-hour-marathon’ or ‘Swim the Channel’ as it’s never going to happen but as a Coach I’d never ask anyone to try anything they’re simply not capable of completing.

Commitment - ‘I do enjoy the excitement that going on a ‘Crazy Night can bring’…

‘Crazy Nights’ are a thing of the past if you are taking on the ‘World’s Toughest Footrace’ or reaching out for a new PB I’d say. They are definitely out if you are going alcohol-free or desperately trying to lose weight as ‘Crazy Nights’ destroy days or even weeks of hard work and abstinence. It’s funny how ‘Crazy Nights’ follow periods of ‘Great Sobriety’ in some cases and it’s interesting how success in our culture attaches drinking ‘Champagne’ to anything from the birth of a child to running 1,000 marathons.

All or Nothing – ‘I describe my training state to people as either ‘On’ or ‘Off’ as there is little balance’…

Is training really that ‘Black or White?’ Do you really need to a goal? Or is it just another great excuse? A good simple set of basic life-rules to keep you on the ‘Straight-and-Narrow should be enough, shouldn’t they?’ Training should really be a 365-day, year-long process allowing for peaks rather than time-outs, massive troughs and periods of inactivity in my book. So many people use events as a reason to force themselves into activity in a hope just to complete an extreme marathon-goal rather than compete in it. Nearly everyone I coach for MdS has a ‘Race-Finish’ as their primary goal, very few I meet ever commit to a ‘Top 100’ or an even bolder ‘Top 50’ goal.

Time – ‘I simply just don’t have the time’…

Sadly, this is the tipping point for many and the biggest catalyst for the ‘Failure Process’ of all, especially if you follow Malcolm Gladwell’s rule where he states that you need to have invested at least 10,000 hours in a subject to become an expert. (That’s 3 hrs a day, every day for just over 9 years to save you working it out). I’ve achieved some major successes and I’ve certainly clocked the 10,000 in running and being alcohol and cigarette-free of which I’m exceptionally proud. I only wish I’d clocked the same amount of time learning a musical instrument as I’ll always be a ‘Guitar Hero’ in my own mind.

I suppose with hindsight, we can all say we wished we’d stuck at things and not given up so easily when things got tough. For the people who replied to my original question, they were all guilty of doing just that. However, unlike my dream of playing guitar to a packed crowd at Wembley which I know I’ll never do, they can start training towards their goal all over again, only this time with the dedication, single-mindedness, drive, determination, endurance and durability that it takes to become your own ‘Champion of Champions’ and achieve their elusive ‘Personal Bests’ that will satisfy their thirst for success and mark their time on the planet.

‘Dream and Dream Big’, I say… Train and train hard. Live the dream and ‘Scream if you wanna go faster’ and when you do I’ll be screaming with you. Just contact me if you'd like my help in making a 'Success out of your Failures'.

Rory Coleman - rory@rorycoleman.co.uk
1,001 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Crisis, What Crisis?

‘Crisis? What Crisis?’ was an LP released in 1975 by the Rock Band, Supertramp (a very under-rated Group IMO) and it’s a great album, with a title I’ve always loved. Sadly, Supertramp are no more but the album remains as a record of their existence – I’ve always thought it should have been called ‘Crisis? What-Mid-Life Crisis?’ as it would then have been a perfect anthem not only for myself, but for many of the folk that enter my world.

Speaking as the original ‘Mid-Life-Crisis’ Man – my first one (and I’ve had a few) was way back in 1993 at the relatively early age of 31. It proved to be more than a mega-kick up the backside and became a completely life-changing process. You can read about it in detail in my book if you want to know the full story...

Anyway, now I’m 55, I can safely say that as I passed my 40th and 50th Birthday’s, I went through a similar process and although it shaped my future, at the time it got me looking at life in the rear-view mirror, reflecting.

Leading up to any BIG Birthday, especially your 40th, it’s virtually impossible not to look back on the 20 years’ since you were 20. A mere click of the fingers most will agree and it’s a regular topic of my working day, as I meet lots of 40-ish folk in ‘Mid-Life-Crisis’ mode hoping that running the ‘Marathon des Sables’ will help them discover who they really are, and what the world around them is really all about. I know how that feels and luckily it worked for me in 1999, for the better I believe.

It does for lots of the folk I coach but with varying degrees of sustainability I hasten to add. You see, at the time, it’s amazing to see the transformation that the desert brings about in folks. However watching the steady ‘return to type’ as the extreme experience and goodwill is erased once everyday reality is again normality, is a shame. 

A real shame it’s not an everlasting change, that’s how I see it. 

It’s a weird process to experience and on my return from the 1999 MdS, I had what I now call ‘Post Traumatic Race Disorder’. If you are a recent MdS Vet, you’ll know what I mean - We just kept those kinda feelings to ourselves back then and just ‘Toughened up Buttercup’ and soldiered on. Broadcasting one’s inner-feelings and weaknesses and on a Social Media Soapbox, well that would have been HUGE ‘NO-NO’. 

Showing signs of weakness - Well that's weak.

Yet in the years since and I’ve broadcasted a lot about my own feelings and thoughts especially in the lead up to my 1000thMarathon this Sunday at the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham. And just like my 31st, 40th and 50th Birthdays it’s of course had me looking at the past 23 years’ in my rear-view mirror. For sure it will be a day of celebration as I’ll be running this marathon surrounded by my family and my friends but it will also be a day of closure – the completion of an ethereal 1000-Piece Marathon Jigsaw.
“What will you do when you reach the magic 1000?” That’s the question that everyone’s been asking me and my reply has been a very simple, “Well I’m going to carry on, as this is what I do and it’s what makes me – ME.” To be honest, I’m not sure what I’m meant to say about it but that’s the best I can offer so far, it's just another marathon isn't it? In reality, I’m past the 1000 and on with other life-aspirations and life-goals. Being stuck on 976 for so long last year was a real killer.

Hopefully on reading this, and if you know me well, you’ll get that… 

You’ll get me, where I’m coming from and understand where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing all these years running 29,267.1 miles in marathon bite-sized chunks. Not necessarily physically but mentally. Someone recently described me as Durable and Enduring – it’s a fair assumption of my character and as I pass this marathon milestone, I think it’s important to convey what I’ve learned about myself over the years of running 26.2 miles or more every 8.35 days.

The BIG thing is I’ve learned is an inner calm and self-acceptance, especially following last year’s Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome escapade and I am fully aware that my running has been the most self-indulgent thing I could have possibly have done, in fact it’s been extremely self-indulgent and in some areas of my life, I’ve paid dearly. However, for it to be my therapy, it was the only way I could see of getting me through. I simply just wouldn’t still be here and it wouldn’t have been such a successful form of self-management and self-development if I hadn’t been so black or white without a single shade of grey (let alone 50 of them!) about the way I've conducted myself.

You see, when I left most of my life behind to sort out the mess I’d made and started running, folk thought I’d flipped. They did for a long time but as I started to succeed, made my mark, complete bigger challenges and stuck to my new life-resolutions folk noticed. It was such a liberating and positive experience. Projecting that positivity to others, has proven to be the real bonus and an unforeseen gift from my marathon experiences, especially from the mega-day pilgrimages. I now use this as the main theme in my daily Coaching Practice. Thank heavens for the internet as I now have a steady stream of daily emails and Facebook messages from folk wanting to know how to go about going through the same process of change and take the same radical paths I chose to take. It’s humbling that folk invite me into their inner worlds and let me help them regain control again. I love fixing people - being broken myself many times really helps.

It’s weird to have ended up being a teacher as I’d never set out to be one, or run a marathon, let alone 1000 of them. All I knew was that I needed to change and the moment I ran those first few steps, I knew I’d found my therapy and my salvation. It’s something I’ll consider over the last few miles on Sunday as I reflect on the journey so far and will again no doubt in five-years-time when I’m 60 and ready for another ‘Crisis? What-Mid-Life Crisis?’ and take time out again to write to you about my experience all over again. So beware.

The Marathon count isn’t the important thing here, it’s been about me being happy with me and that’s what counts. Any achievement along the way has just a bonus and a bi-product of running 26.2 miles or more 999 times, so I’ve been lucky there too.

Changing and taking the plunge? 

Well, it’s not scary. It's not. I found it to be an exhilarating, mind expanding journey that I can whole-heartedly recommend. "It’s always better to regret something you’ve done rather than something you haven’t", it’s one of my favourite mottoes and I’ve quoted it to many clients and to myself a thousand times over.

So, if you are teetering on the edge of the ‘Precipice of Change’, as I was all those marathons ago - pick a date, set yourself a goal (even one of jogging just 100 steps) and see where it takes you. You never know where it might lead, which is the exciting part and if you need some help to release you from your current nightmare or in need of a push to achieve a personal goal, PB or life-dream, then I’m your man.

Happy days...

Rory Coleman
999 Marathons - 244 Ultras - 14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
1  Hell of a Journey
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Stepnell are Awesome - It’s Official

#A2A Stepnell before their London Challenge
Our Average2Awesome Programme is now in its eighth generation and has once again proved its worth with its latest set of candidates from Stepnell Ltd, a building and construction company whose head office is in Rugby.

I met Joint Managing Director, Tom Wakeford, whilst running the 2017 Marathon des Sables. We ran the marathon stage together and shared our thoughts on business, health and well-being in the workplace, staff development and the process of adapting to change.

Stepnell is a company in the process of change, so Tom decided to test out our A2A Programme on 12 members of staff based in and around their Rugby office. Following an inspirational talk in June, 12 candidates were chosen from across the business, none of whom were dedicated keep-fit fanatics or marathon runners. They were just people keen to see if they could achieve more with their time and gain from being coached by someone from outside the business in an area where their comfort-zone would be severely tested.

Since the talk they have attended a number of sessions - at the gym learning the most efficient way to train, at a running store getting fitted properly for training shoes and up and down a hill being pushed in an interval training session. In three months they have clocked a cumulative total of six million steps and lost over 80kg. They have vowed to continue with their new daily fitness routine and insure a return on the investment the business has made putting them through the A2A Programme.


The visual difference is clear to see and we are planning some continued evaluation over the next few months to see the fruition of the 'Anything is Possible' approach we've projected into the group these past few months.


We've learned a lot too, and as we head into the ninth generation of A2A, this time with Stepnell's Poole office, we will again be searching for 12 people who want to be more dynamic in the workplace and lead a healthier, happier and more rewarding life both in and out of work.

Average2Awesome does all of that and more, and based on the feedback we've received again this time around our A2A Programme is going from strength to strength. It might work for you and your team at the company where you work too, so please drop me an email so we can evaluate your needs and make you Awesome.

Rory Coleman - 999 Marathons - 244 Ultras
14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales.

Marathon des Sables - Six Months to go, Countdown

Over the years, the Marathon des Sables has become a clear ‘must-do event’ on many people’s bucket list since its first edition, way back in 1986. Since then nearly 20,000 people have discovered the limits of ‘Human Endurance’ during the World’s Toughest Footrace in the Western Sahara, myself included.

Even though I’ve run the MdS fourteen times, more than any other UK competitor, I was a comparatively a late starter to the 150-mile multi-day, multi-staged event - my first MdS was in fact the 14th Edition of the race in 1999. I was however an established marathon and ultra-marathon runner by then and the 45-mile ‘long-day’ that year was actually my 29th Ultra and 152nd lifetime Marathon.
The 22nd MdS in 2007 - My 4th MdS
To enter the race, you simply rang the UK MdS agent at the time and paid over the phone by card – I won’t depress you with how cheap it was and you received a nice glossy folder which had a simple A4 document inside that listed the compulsory equipment, highlighted using P20 sun-cream and some advice on undertaking long treks in training as good foot preparation accompanied in trainers two-sizes too big to avoid the dreaded blisters.

You see, back then there was no internet, reference books, blogs and or anyone to contact that had completed the race. I went into the race blind but luckily, I went my fitness levels were at an all-time peak. I carried far too much gear though and my pack weighed at least 11kgs. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the whole ‘MdS Experience’ and there is something to be said for making do with whatever you take with you. I can only liken it to going to climb Mount Everest, without any previous climbing experience and buying all of the essential gear you’ll need from your local Outdoors Outlet.

For the record, if I were going to attempt to summit Everest, I’d first speak to a good friend of mine who did just that last year to get a flavour of what he went through, but then I’d be contact with Kenton Cool, (Mr Everest) who’s been there twelve times and has never failed, as he's the REAL Everest Expert.

His lifetime expertise would play a vital part in anyone’s preparation, especially if they were trying to fast-track their progress from an enthusiastic beginner to extreme adventurer. The MdS is no different and has claimed two lives during its 32-year history and for safety and race enjoyments sake, it’s only sensible to take on board advice from someone that’s already paid the price emotionally and physically for what you are undertaking.

My biggest piece of advice to anyone attempting the MdS is to remember that it’s NOT a marathon or even an ULTRA-marathon. It’s a self-sufficiency race. Race Director Patrick Bauer, will tell you that many times during the eleven days you’ll spend in the desert amongst a lot of other things. Most folk that sign up are quite capable of running a sub-30 minute parkrun, a sub-two-hour-half or even a sub-four-hour-marathon yet it’s surprising just how many struggle with coming to terms with the investment that’s needed not in monetary terms but in TIME to get ready for a week in the sand.

The races wicked twist is that as your fatigue and blisters grow, so do the daily distances. It’s taken me years to find a tried and tested way of reducing the amount of foot trauma and I’ve been blister-free since 2008 myself.

There’s no magic potion, lotion or voodoo that will stop blisters, they’re caused by a combination of shoes, socks and gaiters, heat, friction, moisture as well as too much time spent on your feet completing each stage. It’s interesting that every kilo carried on the marathon stage for instance, adds roughly 25 minutes to your average road-marathon time and running a marathon in the sand will take around 40,000 steps rather than 65,000 if it’s walked. Getting fit and fast has always been one of my key points in preparing people for the race.

The attraction of the Marathon des Sables is simple. It’s you versus yourself in one of the most beautiful, yet hostile places on earth. It will take some competitors well past their limits and some of the distress I witness each year could be easily avoided with better preparation.
The 26th MdS in 2011 - My 8th MdS

Well, that’s where I come in and I’ve coached well over 1000 people get the coveted MdS Medal and tick off another item off their ‘Bucket-List’. If you are still wondering how you are going to prepare yourself for the race, there’s still 200 days to get yourself in the best possible shape. There’s also a complete spectrum of conflicting online opinions, kit advice and blogs to sift through and blow significant amounts of hard earned cash discovering what’s already been discovered and been already race-tested.

Going to the MdS, knowing you’ve prepared as best as you possibly can, makes for a much better race experience and will put your families mind at rest whilst you are taking part.

If you don't know where to start, please call me on 07866 477051 so I can share all my MdS experience with you and help make your whole MdS a lot more enjoyable.

Rory Coleman - 999 Marathons - 244 Ultras
14 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records
Location: Cardiff, Wales.