Why do I have a Personal Trainer?

Yes, that’s right. I may be a qualified personal trainer myself but I do have someone help me with my own training.  When I tell people this I get one of two responses – either a puzzled look followed by “Really? Why?” or a nod of understanding and questions about what they get me to do.

The most common response is the first one, so realising I have been baffling some people I thought I’d explain my reasons…


Rainy hill reps at dusk

Rainy hill reps at dusk

Because we have regular check-ins my training is kept on track. Adjustments to the plan can happen instantly taking into account any slight niggles, or if a session was perhaps too easy we can ramp up the effort level in future sessions.

Knowing I’m accountable for my actions means I’m much more disciplined with my training. This discipline and consistency makes it much more likely I’ll achieve my goals and be successful in the races we’ve planned in 2016.

A trainers involvement in my fitness adds a level of reporting back that just doesn’t come from training myself. If I skip a session there’s an absolute guarantee I will feel guilty. The fact I’ll have to own up to it means I am unlikely to miss a session without just cause. Cold dark mornings or torrential rain are not reasons to stay by the cosy fire when I should be doing hill reps.

Without a trainer sessions can slide, excuses made, and I won’t feel too bad as I’ll tell myself I can fit it in later…but would I?

Does all this sound familiar?


My trainer instills a sense of pride in me, they push me in sessions even when I’m out there doing them on my own because I know I’m going to write feedback for them. I want to do well, because they want me to do well. So I thrive on their dedication and commitment towards me. I want to pay back their hard work – I know the time and effort it takes to create a bespoke personalised training plan so I don’t want to be a time-waster and box ticker.


We all need to be motivated in some form. I have the desire and perhaps even a need to get out exploring the outdoors. But I want to be better at running; I’d love to feel less drained after a long run, to feel I’ve done absolutely everything to prepare. To do this takes time and energy in the months before the event. This is where having a trainer is of vital importance because they keep me on track and focused.  

After we’ve talked about the upcoming training weeks, and the final plans reach me, I’m excited. I can slot the sessions into my diary and know exactly what I need to do. It’s a much needed stimulus that will push me in areas that need to be developed.


Approaching the summit of Lose Hill on the Long Tour of Bradwell - all set to enjoy the descent into Hope

Approaching Lose Hill summit on the Long Tour of Bradwell, ready to enjoy the descent into Hope

The external stimulus of a trainer is vital for everyone, including myself, to learn new ideas. Gleaning knowledge and wisdom from their experience, and getting their outside perspective is invaluable.

My weaknesses will be found and I will be forced to improve. So yes, I will do sessions and runs that I’m not keen on, but I totally appreciate that in order to get stronger and better, they need to be done. I’m taken out of my comfort zone and at the time I probably don’t like that very much, but it’s then that I’m reminded that growth and magic is found outside of our self-preservation bubble. Then after the training, and later during an event, I know those hard sessions were preparing me well both physically and mentally.

“Your self-imposed prison. That thing called your COMFORT ZONE. Challenge it, stretch it. You will thank yourself.” Tony Curl

Chilling Out

There’s also an element of knowing when to hold back, to rest and recover properly – all vital in the overall long-term plan. With longer runs planned for 2016 the complexities of tapering are accounted for, and the development of key aspects of a long-term plan (strength, plyometrics, endurance etc) are all included at the right time. A fantastic trainer gets to know you, when you can push harder, but also appreciates when you need some time for unstructured training. They’ll remind you to book the massage and see the physio if a slight niggle arises.

Giving it your all?

If I train alone it’s all too easy to put in a hard effort but at the 85% level, where I really should be giving 110%. My trainer wants me to do well – they’ve invested time and energy in me – so I want to repay them back. Having a trainer is a win-win situation. We both get a buzz from the hard-graft sessions and the smiles at the finish line are so, so worth it.

Smiling on the finish line of my first ever marathon, the Howgills Montane Trail 26

Smiling at the finish line of my first ever marathon, the Howgills Montane Trail 26

If you’d like to join us and start a new journey through personal training please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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