It was early in the 2013 season when Jamie approached RunUrban for 1:1 running coaching. At this stage, Jamie did not have a training group and felt his running club Serpentine RC could provide the coaching and expertise he needs. His goal for the 2013 season was to get better at running and progress to the next level. In order to achieve that, Jamie needed a guidance and a strategy for improving his running.

Working with Coach Urban

During the last couple of years Jamie managed to build a good foundation (aka ‘endurance base’) and increased his training intensity carefully over time. However, despite training hard Jamie quickly hit a plateau and was not sure how to progress to the next level.

Coach Urban reviewed Jamie’s previous training plan, the quality sessions and analysed the type of training Jamie has been doing over the last couple of months. While Jamie had a good aerobic foundation and reasonable speed, Coach Urban felt that better integration of general and developmental exercises with running specific training was required to give Jamie the muscular strength to sustain a higher pace. Going forward, both agreed a more sustainable race schedule and took a broader perspective of what areas of development Jamie needs to improve his running. Next, Coach Urban designed an individualised, tailored training programme which addresses the Jamie’s need.



Jamie running Cross Country

I have the dedication, motivation, belief and the time to train hard and run many miles, and this has taken me so far. What a good coach can offer me is an understanding of my goals, the knowledge and experience to assist in achieving those goals, creating a ‘roadmap’ to work towards, and a reflection/feedback process to analyse my training and races. I believe in this calendar year I have made the biggest progress in my club over middle and long distance races, which has been recognised by fellow club mates too. I believe it is down to… 1) having a coach 2) listening and following the coach’s instructions through. I believe if I continue with this approach I will eventually be running as fast as the fastest runners in my running club!”, says Jamie.

Jamie has had a good season so far and demonstrated good progress. He has been very dedicated and focussed when it comes to training. Jamie’s knowledge about running has increased a lot since he started to work with Coach Urban. This enables Jamie to make better decisions, which leads to better performances.  Jamie is very effective in training, it is not that he needs a big group around him to push him in workouts. Jamie has a lot of intrinsic motivation and has the ability to concentrate well in key quality sessions. Looking back, at the beginning of the year, after a heavy cross country season with many races, it was a challenge to refocus his mind and make the transition from winter to spring and adjust to shorter track races.

After the first attempts on the track in April, we sit down and agreed a couple of changes to Jamie’s training and race schedule. In the end it worked out well and Jamie managed to set PBs in all events from the 1 mile to the 10k. In terms of peaking, I am very pleased that Jamie had a consistent build up and maintained peak performance over many weeks and performed well when it mattered.

Jamie’s Season highlights


2012 2013 Change
1 Mile 4.59.5 4:47.4 4.2%
3,000m 9:55.5 9:23.0 5.4%
5k Road 17:07 16:29 3.7%
10k Road 35:09 34:14 2.6%

I have known Jamie for 3 years and I was always aware of his endurance background and aerobic strength. However, while still new to competing on the track, Jamie has developed good speed this season. This is a very encouraging sign, which will translate into better performance for the 5k and 10k in the long-term. From a coaching perspective it has been great working with Jamie. What is good about Jamie is that he can execute a training programme very well. We set the schedule in such a way that it blends nicely with his work and social life. Regular communication and updates from Jamie are very important to me. It allows me to respond quickly to changing circumstances and realign the training volumes and intensities. It is very important to me to involve Jamie and all of the decision-making. This is less about my reluctance to make decision, rather to teach what to look out for and how to make good decisions about training in general to enable Jamie to tackle similar situations in the future with little support. This has approach has worked really well and I am very pleased about that.“, says Coach Urban

Jamie running on the track

Jamie running on the track


What’s next?

It’s hard to say. On a positive note, there has been some useful learnings for me too, which will feed into the training for the next couple of months. I feel, so far, Jamie has developed a good foundation, though at the same time we have only started and scratched on the surface a bit. Building on this year’s progress, I belief that Jamie can go further. I do not see any limitations at this stage and in his key events Jamie will continue to improve.”, says Coach Urban.