Meet Our Team WellChild Running Coaches

Posted on the 23rd October 2019

This year the Team WellChild have the fantastic support of two running coaches; James and Catherine. They have put together a 16 week training plan our London Marathon runners.  Find out more about James and Catherine below and get a preview of their advice on what to focus before a marathon training programme properly gets under way.



I began my running career as a child, leading to county cross country and 800m for Gloucestershire as a teenager.

After a ten year hiatus and with two young children I started running again. I completed several 10k races and half marathons, before taking the plunge to run my first ever marathon. Securing a guaranteed entry with a good-for-age half marathon time, I ran the New York marathon on my 30th birthday, which was an amazing experience! Since then I have run many marathons including Brighton, Edinburgh and London, several off road and ultra marathons and about 40 half marathons.

Founding a women’s running group ten years ago was so successful and rewarding that I decided to retrain as a UK Athletics Running coach and gain a level 3 advanced personal trainer qualification. I now coach two running clubs, a teens running group, a junior school cross country team (at the school I ran for all those years ago); I’m head of land training for an Aquatics Club, runs several fitness classes and have a wide range of personal training clients, of which many need specific strength and conditioning work for running. Along with James I recently coached the Cheltenham half marathon team for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court, helping over 60 runners enjoy a successful run raising an incredible £50,000!



After 15 years as a player and coach, my rugby days were ended by injury. After a long period of rehabilitation my physio suggested I go for a run. I remember that first time vividly, 800 metres of hell, I’ll tell you about it sometime! But it left me curious, how could people do this for mile after mile, hour after hour? My research started that day and nine years later I am a coach with UK Athletics and also a tutor, sharing my knowledge and experience with future coaches and run leaders while still learning more every day.

I’m pleased to say my own running improved from that first attempt, to the point that I’ve now completed several marathons, including London for WellChild in 2011, a multi-day ultra run as well as countless shorter races. More importantly I have coached everyone from beginners to podium chasers and helped runners achieve what they once thought impossible.

I love sharing the science of running and helping athletes understand what we do and why we do it (and yes, if you are running the London Marathon you ARE an athlete). I want you to understand the process of training, to see how what we do benefits us and moves us towards our goals and to give you the foundation for a long and illustrious running career beyond April.  I’m excited to help you all on your journey to The Mall.

James and Catherine have put together a 16 week programme to start in November 2019. The programme is designed to help Team WellChild Marathon Runners be as ready as they can be for their epic challenge in 2020.

“In the meantime, if you’re new to running, focus on being able to run 10k by the start of the training programme. If you are a more experienced runner, aim to be running 10 miles by the 29th. We will have two programmes with a first long run based on your experience level”.


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