Coaching - testimonials

Stuart Graham

I started working with Daniel about two years ago with the goal of completing my first marathon. Having already been a runner for a few years, I had found it difficult to transition to longer distances and setup training programs which effectively build the different running systems required to run a good marathon. I had also struggled to create fuelling and nutrition plans that worked for me.

Daniel has helped take my running to the next level by applying a thorough training methodology to develop programs tailored to my specific needs, carefully considering my ability, race goals and available time. Each training block and each individual session has a clear purpose and goal. Importantly, Daniel has helped me understand the rationale and logic behind each session so that it is always very clear what we are trying to achieve, how it fits into the broader plan and how I am progressing. Crucially, since every runner responds slightly differently to various forms of training, Daniel has put considerable time into monitoring progress and understanding what works best for me and used this to further customise and adjust our plans to get the best results. Daniel has also helped me to understand the broader elements of running that support a training program, including nutrition, fuelling, injury prevention, recovery and gear.

In the two years working with Daniel I have completed five marathons as well as setting new PBs across 5km, 10km and 21km distances. Having helped me realise what I am capable of, Daniel is now helping me prepare for my first ultra-marathon.

Update 08.10.2019

I have really enjoyed working with Stuart. He was very open and willing to listen to my suggestions and he diligently followed the training plans right from the start. He quickly adapted to different types of training and we learnt what works well for him and what elements of training to repeat. He works hard and has made fantastic progress through his consistent and dedicated approach.

The key challenge of training for Stuart has been managing his weekly training schedule to fit effectively with his work schedule. We've tried a number of different approaches and finally settled on two methods that work well for him. The first is that his training is heavily weighted towards long runs on the weekend. While this is not always ideal, we've found that Stuart can handle the acute load and it has allowed him to achieve a higher weekly mileage than he would otherwise. The other approachis a training "skeleton" that lists the weekly sessions and gives Stuart the freedom to fit them into his week however he can. This way there is no pressure to hit certain sessions on specific days and Stuart can find the optimal balance that works for him each week.

Stuart has run good PBs over multiple distances and has made great progress in the marathon. I have no doubt he will achieve his goals in the marathon and in moving to ultra-marathons. It is a pleasure to be a part of his journey.

Update 30.12.2019

At the end-of-year running club dinner in Johannesburg, Stuart was awarded the "Most Improved" runner from the club. This is a fantastic achievement and a well earned award. This is a reflection on the jumps in PBs that Stuart made in his half-marathon performances this year. He has improved a lot and has set a solid basis with which to start his attack on the full marathon distance. Well done, Stuart!

Mark Kooijman

In 2019, after a decade long very ad-hoc run training, I suffered a lot from injuries and extreme bouts of gouty arthritis. As I love running and wanted to continue, I decided to hire a professional coach to support and guide me. And I could not have found a better coach than Daniel Rowland. He built for me an excellent program which included, aside from a very sensible running build up program: stretching, warm-ups, cool downs, cross training, weight and flexibility exercises. This all paired with advice on travel, equipment, nutrition, tapers etc. It was fantastic! I have been running injury free and just finished the Baikal Ice Marathon and I am now on my way to complete a 50 mile ultra.

Although you can probably search for all the training information in bits and pieces in books and on-line, it's so nice to have a dedicated, humorous and enthusiastic coach whom you can ask anything and who really tailor-makes a program for you. 100% total and utter value for money!

Update 18.03.2020

It has been fantastic to work with Mark. He came to me with a wealth of endurance training and racing experience, but with some issues and a lack of consistency in his training. He was completely open and willing to following the training and approach I suggested. He has a strong personality and a lot of drive and determination so I know it was a big leap of faith for him to approach me and then to listen to and comply with the training I prescribed.

Mark has made significant progress and has put in some great training that brought him to the point where he could complete an very challenging winter marathon. He has had some difficult training periods and injuries and we had to adjust his training to a very low intensity approach at first, but the patience he showed and the positivity to continue made a world of difference. I look forward to working towards his big goals in 2020.

Roberto Rivola

Daniel and I share several passions and interests: running in the mountains and in the deserts, proper nutrition, accurate gear choice, appropriate mental attitude, scientific research in various fields. We decided to work together to share our experiences and thoughts in order to help me take the next step in progression in ultra-marathon competitions. After few months I can already say that I have seen the benefit of Daniel's knowledge, his accurate approach and planning, as well as his sensibility and flexibility. I feel very confident with the way Daniel has planned my training and already note good progress.

Update 14.04.2020

Roberto and I started to work together with his first goal being the Marathon des Sables in 2020. Roberto trained diligently, offered good suggestions and additions to his training, and I believe he was in excellent shape to take on this race. However, with the change in race date to September, we have pivoted and adjusted his training into a maintenance mode and focusing on trail races in the Swiss Alps over the summer. There's lots more to come from Roberto and I'm looking forward to seeing him achieve his best in his goal races.

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