BtM – Running & breath
I have run on and off all of my life – inspired by Zola Budd barefoot as a child (leading to me winning my school sports 1500m race) until the present day, running is something that is essential to me.
Over the last 3 years I have re-engaged in my running. Self coached I have reduced my marathon time from 3:25 at Berlin in 2018 to 2:56 in the London virtual marathon in 2020 – this as a 47 year old. I have dropped my 5k time down to 17:29 (including winning Parkrun), 10k to 36:36, all of which are running at a national age graded level, something that I could never of dreamed of 3 years ago. Integral to this has been the use of breath work to support structured running plans.
There is a huge gap in coaching runners how breath can and does make a difference to their performance. There is coaching on biomechanics, technique, nutrition, slow, easy, interval, tempo, speed, threshold, equipment, hills, strength and conditioning yet the breath is overlooked. When your breathing is done, you are done, so why not train to reduce fatigue and support better breathing. Running is absolutely dependent on oxygen, how effectively you can get it into your body, process it and let your body use it. As a coach I fill that gap in providing detailed structured training programs, with a focus on breathing protocols to improve your running and performance.
Better breathing = Better running.
As a coach we would have an initial meeting, where we can discuss the questionnaire I will send you to fill in and gives us the opportunity to understand what your goals are and how I can help you meet them. If possible I will film you run and then break down your strengths and areas for improvement that will help feed into your training plan.
I will provide monthly training blocks to help me adjust and respond as your training progresses. As a teacher with 10 years of experience I will use this to help develop you as effectively as possible. Within your training will be suggestions not just for running sessions, but also strength & conditioning work, pre and post work out prep and most importantly breathing exercises to make you a better runner.
I’ll be on hand via email / text to give you feedback on how a session has gone.
Join the closed Strava community group to see what the other BtM runners are up to.
Contact me to set up a meeting and fill in the initial questionnaire outlining your running history and goals.
For the initial meeting I charge £70. (this usually takes around 90 minutes)
Monthly subscription to BtM £70 – less than the price of a daily cup of coffee.
Further to this if you require 1:1 in person training sessions, this something I’m happy to do (and is a lot of fun). Cost will depend on time needed and what is required.
My running beliefs that underpin this (and not necessarily in an order of importance)
- Posture, form, technique, good mechanics = drills to improve
- Finish a session stronger than you started. Training is to tune up not tire out.
- Every run should have a purpose or intention.
- Finish your session, consider what happened, learn from what happened, adapt and move on to what comes next.
- Always train for speed – whatever the distance. It reinforces good form. Neurologically it challenges you to use as much as possible.
- Easy days – easy, recovery is key, rest, sleep.
- Breathwork – Use it mindfully, suit the way you breathe to the task at hand. Nasal for easy, unless talking. Breath holds to warm up, slow breathing to cool down.
- What you put in you get out – food, time, rest.
- Pace, pace, pace = focus and patience. You won’t finish better by going too fast too soon.
- Enjoy, relax and smile. Running is the gift of freedom.
- The most important person is you – input can help, but how you use it is what makes the difference. You drive the changes that you experience.
Breath for health and wellbeing
Stretching from someone who wants to use breathwork to help maintain good health, to deepen focus, calm the mind, to those who suffer from anxiety, nerves, distress or feel they have come up against a brick wall with all the other health practitioners that they have visited.
Whichever end of the spectrum you fall under I can guide you through breathing protocols and practices that will help improve your health, sense of calm, sense of focus and general well being.
With longer term health conditions breathwork, when safely taught and sensibly applied can help alleviate a whole raft of uncomfortable and painful conditions.
Contact me for a questionnaire to fill out and we can start working together. I am happy to have a brief (up to 30 minutes) conversation to ascertain if this is something for you, for free.
If you then decide to go forwards the initial session will be around 90 minutes and cost £70.
Ongoing cost will be £70 for a 1:1 breathing session (this usually an hour) with follow up homework provided.
For block bookings I would look at a discount on the amount of sessions booked.
Breath for children.
Specifically focused on helping children using their breathing to: help with asthma, anxiety, stress, focus and sleep. Introducing calming breath-work strategies that children can learn and use for themselves. My experience as a primary school teacher has seen this be really effective in supporting children self regulate.
As someone who does ultra running, I am unfortunately not good at managing my breath running, in the gym or in day to day life.
With an existing coach and training programme, Kevin designed opportunities to improving my breath within my existing programme, to complement it. The key for me was fitting it in with my programme, and life, without the feeling of adding another thing in a busy agenda to focus on.
With a mix of in person and virtual conversations, he created an approach and adapted as we went, working out what worked and what would be even more helpful for me as an individual and my goals.
For me, as someone who struggles with intentional breath, I found most useful the intentional recovery breathing in sprint sessions, the recovery stretching breathing and for the slower runs, focused breathwork.
Kevin is kind, curious, stretching and uses gentle nudges to ensure that you stay on track. Explaining as you go the “why”, which was important for me. He was a pleasure to work with in something that was very new to me and being able to integrate into what I did day to day, was really important.
I’m very much enjoying working with Kevin to reach my London Marathon goals. Not only does Kevin provide me with a completely tailored plan, he explains why he has structured the plan the way he has and the benefits of doing so in an accessible fashion. If I ever require any clarification or have any queries, Kevin has always been on hand to assist.
In a short space of time working with Kevin, I have learned a lot on a number of topics whether that be breathing, injury prevention, mental resilience techniques, strength etc – this gives you an indication of the broad, deep knowledge that Kevin has in his repertoire.
Most importantly, I am noticing significant improvement in my performance and I’m very confident I will meet my goals under Kevin’s guidance. Kevin’s positive demeanour and expertise only strengthens this belief. I would highly recommend working with Kevin.
Before we officially started working together, I was nursing a knee injury. Kevin kindly provided a complementary training plan and advice to get me back up to speed – which was an incredibly kind gesture!
Kevin has been a brilliant running coach for me. He is absolutely obsessed about movement and is passionate about seeing people reach their potential. Kevin has given me the confidence to be bolder in my running goals and is able to see the bigger picture of what I can achieve. Kevin’s approach is bespoke where he spends a great deal of time understanding the strength and weaknesses of his athletes. He uses this to create plans which are flexible and finds the sweet spot between progression and recovery. A real strength of Kevin’s is his ability to listen to his athletes and tweak plans based on changing goals or circumstance. He is always seeking to learn more about you as an athlete and is always keen to improve his coaching. He is very dedicated to his athletes and invests a lot of time analysing their runs and advising on next steps. Kevin does this by thinking carefully about training in a holistic manner. He trains you to improve speed, endurance, mental strength, breathing and S&C. Most of all Kevin is approachable, friendly and down to earth – he has been a great coach but also friend.
I really enjoy working with Kevin. He is creating an individually tailored program to help me reach my goal of competing in the Manaslu trail race this November. The program is focussed on building strength over time and on increasing my running endurance. Instructions and training plan are well thought through and presented, exactly what I need to build my fitness and keep motivated.
I think I would say your main attributes are a huge enthusiasm, tempered with a rational, calm and professional approach based on extensive knowledge base.
You are also a very good listener and provide level headed sound advice particularly if things are not going to plan. But also good at pushing when things are going well.