2 hours – that was my goal for a half marathon. I was slightly overweight at 102kg and I was tired of plodding along with mediocre 5k times for 15 years. I ran for fitness several times a week and considered myself to be healthy.

I also wanted to take on some longer distances, but just could not get up the motivation and as I got older the opportunity seemed to have passed. BUT then I decided to get professional help. I talked with Stephane and he discussed with me some things I would need to do to improve and said we could even design programs and work outs to take on longer distances. I signed up and started following weekly training programs that ran in four week cycles. The running started out easy and gradually increased in pace and distance. The results came rapidly – within months I was improving my 5km times and shedding kilo’s. The combination of speed work, hill training and longer easy runs was paying off and allowed me to complete my first half marathon and full marathon.

After completing these milestones I decided I wanted more than just to finish – I wanted better times. Stephane ramped up my training and added biking to provide opportunities to stretch out my legs. He monitored me closely and when a nagging ankle injury slowed me down he found a way to add swimming into the routine to rest the ankle but continue progress. The results speak for themselves – I now weigh 93 kilos and improved my 5 km time to below 24 minutes from 31 minutes several years earlier. And most of all I met that 2 hour goal by clocking a PB of 1:59:12 just a few weeks ago at age 47! I am running faster than I have ever run before thanks to the collaboration with a World Class coach Stephane Vander Bruggen!

Rob Woodall