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Bespoke Coaching

All my training plans are bespoke and created from scratch based on you. This is because I want to give you the best chance you can to train safely, stay injury free, maximise your potential and reach your goals. Why should you have to fit your life around a plan when the plan can fit around yours?

My plans are based on established methods and sound coaching principles from various experienced and successful coaches, on science, and on my own experience. I am an athlete and coach, certified by UK Athletics. In addition, my background in management consulting and particularly in leading organisations and individuals through change, is of great benefit to my clients. 

What do I offer?

  • Training for an ultra-marathon, and particularly a stage-race like the Marathon des Sables can be overwhelming and very time consuming. I help you fit the preparations around your work, life and family commitments with as little disruption as possible to your normal routines. This can greatly help reduce the stress that often results from focusing on an event like this for a prolonged period of time. Not only do you need to fit the training in, but often the more difficult part is to manage expectations and demands from people around you and get "buy-in" and support. I help with all aspects of this, not just the training plan.
  • I create a bespoke plan that takes into account your sporting history, current fitness level, previous injuries, ability and race ambitions in order to minimise risk of injury and help you enjoy consistent, effective, safe and progressive training. The incidence of injury is very low among my clients.
  • I can help you with all preparations of your race. This may include goal setting, race nutrition, clothing and equipment, mental preparation, race strategy, and guidance on acclimatisation for heat or altitude.
  • If you are training for Marathon Des Sables, my credentials speak for themselves. All my coaching clients who started the 2017 and 2018 editions finished. I know this race inside out and you will benefit from my knowledge to help you get there prepared and be the best you can be.
  • I am not a miracle worker, you may need to change some priorities when you start your coaching with me. However, we work together to make sure that your goals and the training you can commit to are a realistic match and something that works with your life as a whole.
  • If you don't need a complete plan, I am happy to offer consultations and assist you with feedback on a self-developed plan, any questions you may have on training or your upcoming race, or just some inspiration and confidence-building if you feel stuck.

About Me

I have over 20 years' experience of running, ran my first Marathon in 2002 and my first ultra-marathon in 2011. In 2015 I won the Marathon Des Sables, the Oman Desert Marathon and set mutiple course records. In 2016 I won the Big Red Run in Australia outright and in 2017 I won the Marathon Des Sables for a second time, placing 11th overall and running the fastest time ever achieved by a woman. I have also been on the podiums in the Coastal Challenge in Costa and the Everest Trail Race in Nepal. Having raced in hot deserts and high mountains I understand the demands of extreme environments and how to prepare.

I also have more than 10 years experience from Management Consulting and I hold a MSc and a postgraduate degree in Change Management. I understand what it’s like trying to balance life, training and a demanding work schedule and what it takes to make changes and stick to them. I can help you identify barriers that may be preventing you from achieving your potential and help you understand how you can re-prioritise commitments to achieve your goals. 

I am a certified Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) with UK Athletics and also a trained Sports Therapist.

My speciality is to create bespoke training plans for races such as the Marathon Des Sables, but I also coach for marathons and shorter ultra-marathons. I love working with runners of all levels as well as walkers, and my greatest inspiration is to help others achieve their dreams and goals. Read more about me on my blog: www.elisabetbarnes.com.