Testimonial – Haydn Williams

Personal Training Testimonial – Haydn Williams

The legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ follows the mountainous spine of Wales from north to south. This incredible 5-day journey is 315 kilometres long with 15,500 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain. It is the toughest 5-day mountain race in the world.

Haydn has been training with Tim for many months for this event. His testimonial fully explains why he chose to train with us:

“I first found Tim when I was looking for a physio, and after he did a good job of fixing me I decided to make use of his services as a personal trainer too. I’d entered the Dragon’s Back Race: 195 miles run over five days down the length of Wales, including ascent almost equal to Everest twice! I knew I wasn’t fit or strong enough, but didn’t have the knowledge to put together a training plan that would get me to the point where I could complete the race.

The fact that Tim is an active (and very good!) fell runner meant that he immediately understood what I needed, in a way which most “generic” physios and trainers do not. This, along with his clearly encyclopaedic knowledge, gave me confidence that my training was appropriate for my target. We looked at specific aspects of the race which were likely to be particularly punishing and often overlooked (e.g. descents), and training focussed on those weaker areas as well as general core strength to help me survive five days! As well as the physical side of things, Tim provided advice and acting as a sounding board for my preparation in relation to equipment, route choice, and general tactics for a five-day race.

One of my fears was that I wouldn’t be able to train enough because of work and other commitments, but Tim set out my training plan in a manner which meant the vast majority of it was possible. When ‘real life’ did occasionally get in the way, Tim merely re-arranged things to cope with it – the subsequent lack of feeling guilty makes life much easier and keeps you far more engaged than I feel a concrete immoveable schedule would.

The contents of my training plan was nicely varied, and didn’t just consist of running long distances six days a week. There is clearly a consideration of the peripheral aspects of running training, beyond just getting miles and miles in the legs. Not only has my performance increased massively as a result of our sessions, I’ve really enjoyed the mental process of growing to understand all of the different factors behind the simple concept of “running further”. This is only possible because Tim explains why you’re doing things, rather than just demanding that you do them!

Haydn (right) finishing the Dragon’s Back

After months of hard work, the race went exactly as planned. Only 50% of starters reach the finish, but I’m very pleased to report that I made it to the end of the 195 miles without any problems. Indeed, I even managed to go climbing and cycling within a week of finishing! I am delighted with the results – the aim was just to finish, but to do so without any of the injuries or major fatigue suffered by so many other competitors is outstanding. I have absolutely no doubt that this is due to the constructive training plan put together by Tim over the previous months, but also the encouragement that he and Lynne gave me before and during the race too. With this major goal complete, I’m now continuing to work with Tim on my next challenge – bring on the kettlebells!”

Haydn receiving the coveted Dragon trophy from race organiser, Shany Ohly.

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