Jan Lavis – Ultra Runner
After a few years of running Ultra Distances including London to Brighton then a couple of 100milers, I had the urge to get some speed back in my legs and work towards my marathon PB. I had been following Kinetic Revolution on Twitter for some time and was impressed by the training & nutrition related articles they publish. The decision therefore was easy to make when it came to choosing a coach.
I contacted Neil and he got straight back to me. He quickly came to the conclusion that endurance wasn’t my issue rather that I had neglected my speed. He then drew up a plan which was tailored to my needs, ability and goal. After the first few weeks, I took part in a 10k race and from that point, the pace of each training session was specifically based on that performance. It was completely different to what I had been doing for the last few years and made a refreshing change. My legs wondered what had hit them and I gained the confidence to run much faster. I saw numbers on my Garmin that I hadn’t seen before! I learned not to be so hung up on the long run and to concentrate more on speed. I did grumble quite a lot but I think he got used to it.
Many times work & life got in the way and Neil would adjust the schedule accordingly. He was always on hand via email, text, phone & twitter. It is so much easier having someone decide what distance and how fast you should be running on each session rather than trying to work it out myself. I’m now targeting a spring 2013 marathon for my PB attempt. It will be my 50th marathon and just a few days before my 50th birthday.
Simon B – Ironman Triathlete
I signed up for Ironman Wales at the start of the year intending to self coach with a training plan from one of Joe Friel’s books. Unfortunately I skipped some of his recommendations (run form / strength & mobility assessments) and as a result as soon as the volume began to build I blew out my Achilles.
I worked with James (also KR) to resolve the issues that led to it but unfortunately around the same time had a bike crash and then broke my toe. As a result I found myself 3 months from the race with pretty much no training in the last couple of months and with no prospect of being able to do any real run training before the event.
I was planning to pull out of the race but James suggested I talk to Neil first. Neil reckoned we could have a decent shot at it so we decided to work together and see what happened. As I had pretty much no Tri experience and the odds were stacked against us the goal was simply to make the start line injury free with the best possible chance of a finish. There was no expectation that I’d be able to run any of the marathon though in the back of my mind it was a goal to run the whole thing if at all possible.
Neil’s approach was short on gimmicks and long on hard work with a lot of sessions approaching race duration or simulating aspects of the race. This meant that as well as developing the endurance I required to complete the distance it also developed my ability to pace the race which was a lifesaver when both (!) of my HRMs failed 2 hours into the bike and MY strategy based around eating every X minutes and staying in HR zone Y was blown out of the water.
Amazingly despite the fact that I’d run less than 100 miles in the 6 months prior to the race and that the run was brutal (basically up a pretty steep hill 4k, back down it, 2k run on cobbles, repeat x 4) I managed to run the whole thing and crossed the line in a little over 15 hours. Obviously my time was nothing to write home about but given that I’d pretty much gone from scratch to finishing in 10 weeks I was very pleased at the outcome.
One thing that surprised me with Neil’s coaching was that although I had to give up a lot of control during the training phase his sessions made me much more self sufficient on race day when it really counts. I would not have had this following a train X mins at HR Y from a book plan so when my HRMs died it would probably have led to a DNF.
For anyone planning to do this type of event I would strongly encourage them to work with a coach. Things will inevitably go wrong and a good coach can navigate around that. From my experience working with Neil I recommend him very highly. I invested a lot of time and money in my goal and for a long time it was pretty much out of reach but by working with him and James we were able to turn it into a success.
Gregory Berge – Marathon Runner
I started to run with an amazing dream: to qualify for the French Olympic Marathon Team. It was amazing to run with such a goal in mind. But when I started looking for a coach. Many didn’t even answer me, which was disappointing.
But one day, I found out about Kinetic Revolution and Neil Scholes. I contacted him and he answered in less than 24 hours. I was really glad about this.
In the first email I wrote him, I told him about my dream. He didn’t give any comment anything about it but accepted to coach me, which to me meant “Man, that’s crazy and I don’t know about your skills but…let’s give it a shot!”. I really appreciated this.
I have high expectations of myself and of course didn’t expect less from my coach. Honestly, he delivered. The coaching fees are about 150 euros a month something like that but if someone told me that the price of my ambition/drive/perfectionism is 150 euros, I would run away and scream “ARE YOU CRAZY OUT OF YOUR MIND it’s worth millions”. Well, to have access’ to Neil’s, 150 euros is the cost and believe me: it is cheap compared to what he gives you.
I am broke and have tons of debts but I never ever, a single time, regretted that 150 euros monthly investment. NE-VER.
I think Neil is the first person I ever said “You exceed my expectations” to, in my life. Yes, I agree this means that I am partially crazy inside of me! But this also means that Neil is great at what he does.
I wrote him countless emails, about anything (running, strengthening, state of mind, diet, lifestyle…) and at anytime (weekdays or weekend, 9am, 11pm) but he would always answer in less than 24.
OK enough for the attitude, the spirit and the professionalism. He communicates well and he’s devoted, OK. But what about the training plan, the improvement and all? Because that’s the most important, right? Well, in 3 months, he took me from “I haven’t been running for 10 years because of injuries but I want to give my all to become an olympic champion in 2020” to “I am as fast as I was 10 years ago. My body fat is down to 9%. I don’t know what I will achieve with running but this is going to be more amazing than any of my dreams”.
He is a great coach and to me he is even a bit of a father-figure (I can’t say “HE IS” otherwise everybody will cry, it’s going to be awkward!
If you’re looking for a coach, well stop. Take that stupid credit card out and become the runner you want to become.
Kerry Reed – Marathon des Sables Finisher
Last year I was very new to ultra running, having previously only run 10km races. On a whim in August 2011 I decided to apply for the Marathon Des Sables for 2012 and miraculously got in! I quickly started on a routine of picking up my mileage and coaching myself with the help of a few podcasts. I was doing really well, until I got to a point when my performance started to drop off. I was hugely underestimating my nutritional needs and this had a crippling effect on my running performance. With this loss of performance I lost confidence in my ability.
It was at this point that a friend of mine recommended Neil to me. It was obvious that I was doing all that I could but what I needed was perspective. Someone who could take a holistic view of every aspect of my running and navigate me though in order for me to stand on the start line feeling confident that I had done all I could to achieve my aims in the race. Neil was readily available on the phone, by text and on email. He supported me with nutritional plans and a weekly running program. We discussed these together and I felt my confidence growing. Sadly, through injury I had to stop my running 4 weeks prior to the event but he was on hand to calm my nerves and gave me confidence that I would succeed regardless of this set back. I am pleased to say that the race was an unbelievably positive experience, I loved almost every second of it and I am delighted I came 257 out of a field of over 900! I really owe Neil thanks for taking my hand and helping me thought those difficult weeks and for building my confidence back up when I was starting to wobble!
I am indebted to Neil for metaphorically coming on the journey with me; I would not have made it without him!
Nick McCarthy – Ironman Triathlete
“Having done triathlon for a few years working my way up through the distances I decided it was time to sign up for Ironman. With my entry fee paid I had 6 months before the event and needed some structure and expert advice. A friend recommended Neil Scholes as someone who could get me to the start line in the best shape to get me round so I made contact and from our first phone call I knew Neil understood my limits and was going to tailor a schedule to work with my strengths and weaknesses, building at the right tempo for me.
“Above all it made me accountable to a plan that I trusted, all I needed to do was complete my sessions and I could feel my fitness changing and confidence rising. Neil was always ready to listen to any concerns and adapt the schedule and on the day I couldn’t wait to race. Thank you Neil, it was a team effort and I’m not sure I could have managed without him. Looking forward to IM Zurich in 2013 now and have asked Neil to coach me towards this new goal.”
Rich Shirley – Ironman Triathlete
“During my first year in Triathlon I raced well, and set myself out some serious goals to achieve in the future. However my training was sporadic and lacked focus so I was unlikely to achieve these easily… Until I took Neil on as my coach! Since then I now have bespoke training programmes, not one size fits all packages, and am working towards completion of Ironman UK this summer.
Thanks to Neil’s structured approach focussing on things that actually make a difference, my swimming has come on in leaps and bounds. I couldn’t swim crawl 12 months ago and I can now swim 400m in 7:50. My biking is coming on incredibly well, and I can feel an improvement on almost every ride. My running is beyond recognition and is as good as it’s ever been in my short time as a runner and Triathlete.
Without question paying for Neil to be my coach is the best decision I’ve made to date for progressing my Triathlon. If it wasn’t for this I wouldn’t be going into 2012 hoping to make massive steps forward and smashing PB’s across the board!”
Katy Cruickshank – Triathlete
“After signing up for my first triathlon on a complete whim, I started to get into the sport in a big way. I’m lucky enough to have found the fantastic Neil Scholes as my coach. Within a few short weeks my swimming dramatically improved.
He suggests small, simple changes that make a massive difference to performance and the way he explains them makes perfect sense; making you think ‘why didn’t I think of that?’! He always explains clearly why each suggestion will help.”
Simon B – Ironman Triathlete
I signed up for Ironman Wales at the beginning of the year and decided to follow one of Joe Friel’s training plans to prepare.
In addition to the prescribed training sessions Joe has other recommendations to support the training.
In the low volume prep phase a key component of this is a series of biomechanical tests to ensure correct form so the body does not break down with large volume. Included in this is a consultation with a running coach to check form and with a physio to check strength/mobility imbalances.
Despite persistent lower leg pain for the last couple of years and the odd minor calf tear I decided to skip this. Unsurprisingly as volume began to build I blew out my Achilles.
Physio and doctor focused on healing and strengthening the Achilles but I figured the problem was elsewhere which led me to James. In our first session (and before he even saw me run) James identified a load of strength/mobility imbalances and gave me a program to resolve. This was aimed at fixing my running but also cured 15 years of chronic back pain.
After a few weeks doing these I was cleared to resume running and James worked on fixing my technique which was a mess as I was running with the wrong muscles.
Due to the injury and the long period of time I had to avoid running to allow the tendon to heal I ran less than 100 miles in training for the IM. Despite this and a brutal marathon (basically up a pretty steep hill 4k, back down it, 2k run on cobbles, repeat x 4) I managed to run the whole thing with no lower leg pain either during the event or in the days that followed.
James knowledge of all things running is first class. However for me it’s his knowledge beyond that in many other fields (e.g. physiotherapy) and his ability to communicate so clearly that makes him such a fantastic coach.
I would recommend any runner to work with James. Obviously it is a no brainer for anyone suffering from an “overuse” injury however anyone embarking on a big ramp up in their volume would be foolish to skip having their form assessed as I did. I think that working with James to fix the underlying issues has cost me about 10% of the physio fees that I’ve incurred in parallel which could easily have been avoided – not to mention 5 months lost run training in the build up to my goal event.
I am also sure that the return on investment for any Triathlete working with him simply to improve speed would be many many times that seen from buying all the fancy aero equipment for the bike that is so fashionable in our sport…
Bee Engler – Marathon Runner
“James came highly recommended by one of my multiple-marathon runner friends, after the first training session with James I could see why.
I immediately found James to be super professional, organised, profoundly knowledgeable and perceptive. He also went out of his way to give me additional advice when needed.
It’s thanks to James that I finally managed to get back to a marathon start line without injury, feeling fit and strong.
I strongly recommend anyone with niggly injuries (or without) to work with James, even if simply to attain a more ergonomic running style (and enjoyment!).”
Mark Muttai – Commonwealth Games 400m Champion 2010
“Neil, Thanks for your kind support. Your help was truly appreciated. Your feedback on my running was very accurate, and I have never seen myself run so closely.”
Dan Moll – Ironman Triathlete
“Yet again, as with swimming, using video analysis to get a reality check on what you feel versus what’s ACTUALLY happening is invaluable!”
Dr. Tamsin Lewis – Professional Triathlete
“This will make you a stronger, more efficient runner. Fact.”
via Twitter (@SportieDoc)
Pete Eggleston – Triathlete
“I’ve just finished a course of sessions using the Kinetic Revolution Method and have found it fantastic. I picked up an achilles injury earlier in the year, and stupidly ran the London marathon with it, making it much worse unsurprisingly! Anyway, it screwed up the first half of my tri season and I was gutted. Went along to see James to see if I could get to the root cause and prevent these sort of the setbacks in the future.
The video analysis of my running gait was illuminating to say the least – picked up loads of stuff to work on to make my running more efficient.
Over the ensuing sessions we’ve worked on ingraining better technique, and done some fairly hard sessions in the process! I’ve really enjoyed it and my running is coming along again now – not quite where I was last year but making good progress. Highly recommended!”
Matt Layton – Ironman Athlete
“After a season blighted by a recurring calf injury I went to James with the hope of not only improving speed but also being able to train consistently and stay injury free. From the initial consultation James was able to identify and, using computer analysis and demonstrations, very clearly explain faults in my gait which could cause injury.
After four sessions using the Kinetic Revolution Method, I am already running without a hint of my calf injury. As a direct result I’ve improved my Olympic Triathlon 10k time by minutes.
I now look forward to applying my new, more economic run form for the remainder of the season to Ironman distance.”
“Thanks to the technique work we did last season, I managed to cut my Ironman marathon time from 4:04 to 3:47, not record breaking stuff but a huge personal improvement! Thank you once again.”
Tony Poole – Triathlete
“The video feedback is unbelievable.
So many flaws were pinpointed and explanations given that it leaves you feeling as though you could actually become a decent runner. I for one reckon it’s a worthwhile investment for anybody that is serious about improving their running.”
Alistair MacArthur – Marathon Runner & Triathlete
“Coming off the end of an intense year of training and racing I was suddenly struck with debilitating ITB pain. I couldn’t run for more than a few minutes before it would flare up. Anecdotal advice seemed to focus on treating the flare-ups, but I was becoming frustrated with not being able to run any distance.
A colleague recommended the Kinetic Revolution Method. After an initial consultation using video playback, James explained how my running technique was causing the knee pain. There were two parts to the cure. Firstly, strengthening of the glutes and hamstrings to stabilize the knee. Secondly, to change my running style to remedy the cause of the ITB tension.
The subsequent sessions were structured to ensure the glutes and hamstrings were sufficiently activated and then treadmill drills to re-enforce technique. After only 4 sessions – plus a fair amount of “homework”, I was able to run the Paris Marathon. I’m over-joyed to be able to distance run again.”
Victoria Navarro Virgos – Triathlete
“I have been running for many years and never had any specific problems. However, I decided to take my training more seriously to make the most of it now that I am preparing for triathlons. I decided to try a free session and, after the session, I thought it may be very useful to take a few more to improve my running technique, so I decided to go for a block of sessions.
In the beginning it felt tiring, as you try to teach your body to run in a way it is not used to, but after just 5 sessions I have seen (and felt) an incredible improvement: not only do I feel more comfortable when running, but I also feel I can run faster. Of course the results only come with self-discipline – I have had to practice on my own after each session, following the exercises provided and practicing the tips and techniques learned during each session.
The results speak for themselves: In my last 10km race I dropped 8 minutes from my average time (my average was always 1 hour, and I completed the 10km race in 52 minutes) and on my last triathlon I ran the 7.5km course in just 38 minutes (when I would usually run that distance in about 45 minutes).”
Liz Bright – Marathon Runner
“I first went to see James in May with undiagnosed, recurring knee pain as I thought that correction of my technique may correct the pain. James’s experience enabled him to identify the problem areas yet also recognize when it was important to refer me to a specialist physio, a reflection also of his honesty.
As I really enjoyed the rehab sessions in the gym, I decided to continue training with James, working towards my goal of first marathon in October. James devised me a sensible and achievable schedule, and along with track sessions and much encouragement I achieved my aim by completing the Snowdonia Marathon on Oct 30th.
I think it is great credit to James that not only did I reach my goal but more importantly that I ran without pain on race day and have had no pain since. I am extremely glad that I listened to his sometimes cautious yet extremely informed advice.”
Jane Walsh – Marathon Runner
“I’ve been working with James for the past 8 weeks or so now. After the first session, I already began to see an improvement in my running performance.
After 8 weeks, I’m running more strongly and confidently and feel very motivated.
Importantly, it is the first time I’ve been able to run upwards of 10 miles comfortably, without my old achilles injury recurring, for the past two years.
I’m aiming to run a sub 3.30 marathon in October this year, but key milestones in my training are 10 mile and half marathon races. I’ve just completed a Battersea Park 10 mile race, achieving a PB and a trophy for 6th woman to finish.”
“I ran Venice in 3:26:46 and am really pleased. I certainly couldn’t have done it without your help.”
Martin White – Distance Runner
“I am now able to run without discomfort and have started to see significant improvements in my race performances, knocking over a minute off my 5KM and running sub 20 minutes for the first time. I would happily recommend the Kinetic Revolution Method to anyone looking to overcome an injury or improve running performance. First Class service.”
Jen Aslin – Ironman Athlete
“Even after the very first session with James, I felt I was making improvements to my running style. His method of coaching means that you learn very quickly any changes that need to be made, and can see and feel the results from very early on.
The filming also helps to see instantly the points that James makes. With his knowledge of the biomechanics of running, and injury rehabilitation, I really feel I have learnt a lot and now have a more efficient running style which I can build on, after only 3 sessions.”
Michael Holden, Head Coach, Thames Turbo Triathlon Club
“This is an ideal opportunity for people who think they should run faster but don’t know what’s holding them back. Once you’re captured on video, you can see all the imperfections in the running gait, muscle balance, strike pattern, length of stride, everything! It allows you to see where major improvements can be made.“
Teemu Lehto, Kona Finisher 2009
“Kinetic Revolution’s running technique video analysis workshop in the Esport Center was a great service. This was the first time I was able to clearly see my own running technique. James easily discovered the main challenges held within my current technique and I agreed 100% – seeing is believing. I received some great advice and drills to practice from James. I’d recommend Kinetic Revolution’s running technique video analysis for everyone who wants to improve their running performance and reduce risk of injury.”
Sami Mäki-Petäys, Triathlete
“Great running video analysis workshop on Saturday morning. I was trying to implement some of the techniques already in the “Helsinki City Run” Half Marathon that afternoon. I beat my target time by three minutes, and believe that a big part of that came from the focus on my running technique. Thanks!”
Kristy Bewley, Triathlete
“As a triathlete I’ve been to a number of swim technique workshops and improved hugely through such expert coaching and video feedback. It made sense to me that the same would be possible with my running. I wasn’t wrong…
Seeing my running style in slow motion was a harsh reality! However, it allowed me to appreciate where and how I needed to improve. Practicing the techniques James taught me in response to my personal “video nasty” has enabled me to crack the 40min mark over 10k for the first time.”
Tony Moye, Triathlete
“Given the money I’ve spent on new trainers, and osteopathy in the last 18 months, the workshop at Mile End last month has to be the best investment I’ve made in my running in a long time. I’ve been practicing the drills and exercises and have had no further knee pain episodes. Thanks!”
Andrew Huntsman, Triathlete
“I wasn’t sure how much personal attention I’d be getting in a group with nine other fellow runners with their own problems, the coaches did a great job of getting to the bottom of everybody’s problems and helping them to run better. A good day’s running.”