Mike Abrahams (V50 Master Athlete - 400m, 800m, 1500m)
Lisa Pettit (V35 Master Athlete - 1500m)
Darren McNeely (Senior - Marathon)
Richard Browne (V40 Master Athlete - 10K-Marathon)
James Woolfendon (Triathlete - Age 30 to 35 category)
They say there are three things that affect your performance. Talent, nutrition and training. In the talent department - I’d give myself 3/10. There's nothing you can do about it.
Nina introduced me to a dietician and that made a significant difference. But it's training that made the biggest improvement. And this is where Nina is a star. Just the right balance of hard work, rest, encouragement, empathy, persuasion and friendship. Sometimes it's even fun. She helped me realise my mad dream of running 1500m for GB in the World Masters Championships in 2007 - having never run on a track in my life before. Crossing the line having smashed my personal best - finishing 45/60 has to be one of the proudest moments of my life. I was running against guys who had been to the Olympics and world championships, real world class athletes. And since then I’ve run PBs in 5M, 5K, 3K 800m and 400m.
If you want a running coach, I'd recommend Nina. If you don't want a running coach, I'd still recommend Nina!
I’ve been training with Nina for two and a half years and she has helped me develop from a middle of the pack road runner into a master track athlete. There have been numerous benefits to being coached by her. These include having a structured, disciplined approach to training, reaching my goals, technical feedback, mentoring and lastly access to Nina’s huge experience.
There are also 2 key reasons I work with her:-
1) My running with Nina has improved beyond recognition in form and power. Too many articles, runners and coaches concentrate on getting faster and that's all. With Nina as my running coach my style improved significantly. It's about getting the most efficient and economical form I can from every stride and I've achieved this with the drills and exercises Nina has given me. My power has come from the strength work I've done with her – this is an area Nina excels in.
2) I've learnt how to race. I'd never really thought about how I race before - you just run fast. Now I'm thinking about how to run every step, when should I accelerate, how do I run that bend, how I respond if a runner tries to overtake. The results are a more confident racer and faster times; a 31 second improvement in my 1500m time in one season. And it's not just on a track that I've applied these lessons - they work just as well on the road!
In Dec 2008 I had the Fukuoka marathon in Japan as my main target for the year as well as the optimistic target of running sub 2:30. I approached Nina in May 2008 after hearing some positive feedback from other athletes. Having made some decent progress with my running I was now at a stage were I was looking at improving my running style and further improve my strength and conditioning with the aim of developing better running economy and retaining my running form in the later stages of a race when fatigue kicks in. After several weeks of technical drill sessions with Nina there was a clear improvement in my running style with a noticeable improvement in both leg turnover and leg drive. Strength and conditioning was another area I was keen on improving as with the increase in mileage that I was planning on adopting for my marathon training I needed to give myself a better opportunity to hopefully avoiding injury along the way. The strength work Nina gave me was very well structured with a clear plan of what to and when, with regular feedback and review. As the body adopted so did the training plan with an increase in the weight I could lift and progression in the difficulty of the core exercises I undertook. As the months progressed and the marathon came closer I was finding that when I ran I felt stronger than I had in the past and the higher mileage wasn't proving to be causing any concern. Race day came and everything went to plan with the end result being an 8 minute improvement and a finishing time of 2:29. I firmly believe the work I did with Nina with her background in sport and her wealth of experience from competing herself at a high level, along with her strong knowledge on strength and conditioning training had a lot to do with me finding the extra improvements I needed in my running in order for me to achieve my marathon goal. Nina's ability to demonstrate each drill clearly and when needed break it down into a step by step basis enabled me to learn the various technical drill exercises quicker than I had expected or in the case of the strength work the correct technique to focused on the desired muscle group.
Nina's comprehensive strength/conditioning programme is proving invaluable in my training. It provides the essential background work that running training alone does not give. Her strict way of demonstrating or guiding you through a lift or drill, helps in ensuring you are learning it properly. Even through a past period of injury, Nina produced a tailor-made training schedule which helped me to maintain an excellent level of fitness and develop more stability in order to reduce the chance of the same injury re-occurring.
In under 2 years Nina has transformed my Triathlon racing completely. In fact I have recently broken into the sub 2:30 category for the first time ever - meaning that her training schedule resulted in an overall reduction of 20 minutes in a race. This is thanks to her fantastic knowledge of sports training - especially pinpointing areas of weakness and by implementing a varied week by week training schedule. She is constantly in touch and offers great motivation when times get tough. I could honestly not recommend her highly enough.