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My Story and how lockdown Changed my Life for the Good

Summary of me:

Passionate runner with a sub 2:30 marathon personal best. Online coach and currently helping as many runners improve as I possibly can, along with me, on my journey forward. One year ago, I hadn’t even thought about being a running coach and it’s now become my full-time job

My story:

Wow! What a few months it has been. The world has changed and so too has mine. Let me share with you just how my life has changed for the good and how this situation has positively affected me:

Prior to Covid-19, I was a fulltime banker with a part time passion/hobby of running and running coaching. I had worked as a banker in the corporate world throughout my whole 10-year career. Had this pandemic not hit, I may still haven been in the corporate world for another 10 years. Thankfully, it’s allowed me to take a leap of faith, pursue my passion and I am now officially a full-time running coach.

I’ve always been a passionate runner, constantly looking for self-improvement, achieving personal bests and helping as many fellow runners as I can on my journey forward. One of the best feelings in the world is working harder than you ever had before, pushing boundaries you never thought you were capable of, and finally achieving that lifelong personal best that was once just a dream. I find the only thing more satisfying than this, is to help someone achieve their lifelong goals. It’s extremely rewarding and something I’m proud to say is now my fulltime job.

I initially got into running coaching by helping a fellow colleague in my previous company, who shared the same interest and love for running as I did. I worked at a bank that had many keen runners with the specific target of London marathon as their main event. Most of my colleagues within the bank knew that I was a keen runner and consistently improving year on year. A lady approached me and asked if I could help her with her training. At that stage, I had done 23 consecutive sub-3 hour marathons and had a lot more running knowledge than she did. After informing me of the current training plan that she followed, I immediately knew that she could be training a lot smarter than she was, so I quickly put together a plan for her. She insisted on paying me the same amount that she was going to spend to get an online personalized plan created for her, but there was no way I was going to charge for helping out a friend, fellow runner and work colleague.

Two months later, after following the plan strictly and not deviating from it, she ended up doing a big personal best, smashing her target, and exceeding her expectations. It was highly satisfying for me to help her improve and at that point I should have known that I was destined to be a running coach. She then told one of her friends about the plan I wrote for her and how much it helped her improved. Following this, I then created a personalized training plan for her friend. She also insisted on paying me, but once again there was no way I was going to charge for helping my friend’s friend. Just a few days later, a few of her friends got in touch me with.

At this point, things started becoming a lot busier. It didn’t feel like I was working as it was something I was hugely passionate about, but at it also became more time consuming and I was struggling to fit in time to balance all the other aspects in my life such as corporate work, training, social life and most importantly, family. Naturally, it progressed to a stage where the next obvious thing was to make it official. Runners wanted me to help them and were insisting on paying me. I also wanted to help them because I knew I could and loved seeing them improve.

Following last year’s Berlin marathon and breaking a lifelong running goal of mine, a sub 2:30 marathon (made even sweeter by missing it by 2 seconds at London marathon previously), I decided to make my running coaching official and see just where it would take me. I then registered my current business called Just A Little Bester Limited.

At the beginning, we were a very small team. Fast forward 9 months later and we’re now an established group of highly motivated runners, all looking to improve and encourage our fellow teammates to do the same. It still seems a bit surreal to me just how quickly things have moved forward and how much the Justalilbester group has grown in such a short space of time. Just a few months ago I was wearing a suit every day to work, now running kit is my new form of office clothing.

In addition to online coaching and creating personalized monthly plans for runners, I host a weekly group track/interval session at Wandsworth Common (London) on a Tuesday evening. It’s been great to see the training group increasing week on week. I think a big reason for this is that you get more than just a solid exercise session in. It’s a great vibe which really makes you feel part of the community, something I feel is more important now than ever. If you’re able to come along on a Tuesday evening, please do. Runners of all abilities are welcome and I can guarantee you, there’s nothing quite like the endorphin release you get after a higher intensity track sessions.

I now also host a weekly group run for the NHS staff, who have been absolute heroes over the past few months. It’s the best way I could say thank you, by taking them for a quick break from the intense environment they have been working in. Having previously worked in the corporate world, I know just how effective these short office runs can be, both from a physical and mental wellness point of view.

The world has drastically changed over the past few months and so too has mine. I know it is not easy and we need to stick together more than ever. Thankfully, mine has changed for the good and it has allowed me to pursue my true passion in life. Running has been my form of therapy and nothing clears my head and releases those much-needed endorphins more than a good run. It’s not easy in the beginning and isn’t always enjoyable but it’s something you will thank yourself for after. The more you get into it, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. If you need assistance with your current training or would just like some advice in general, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to help you on your journey forward.





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