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Interview with Charles Sultan - 3.39 - 3.09 Marathon in 6 months

Interview with Rachel Mackie - 5k, 10k, HM and Mar PBs in 2020

Interview with Rachel Wyse - 5k, 10k, HM PBs in 2020

Nicola Eastwood - Progressing from 1.51 to 1.38 in the HM

Interview With Darren King - 1st V50 at 2019 London Marathon

Interview With Darren Maddison - 4.30 to 3.13 Marathon Improvement in 2020

Alison Leatherbarrow reflects on her 3.59.59 marathon

Nicola Eastwood on the importance of S&C as part of her training

Adrian Dix

Ady Dix

Before I joined the sessions I was running well but I couldn’t train as well as I wanted due to a few niggles and troublesome hamstrings. Also I’d come to a plateau with my results so I knew if I wanted to improve further I had to do something more than just running. I’d seen the post for the MBRB sessions and thought I’d give the free session a try. After a further recommendation from a club member I decided to try a session. I was a bit apprehensive at first of what it was all about and if they would actually benefit me. After attending the first session I quickly found that this is exactly what I needed. John and Lilly certainly know their stuff and it is great to be able to pull on their experience and knowledge anytime. I have learnt so much on how to improve my technique and fitness for running. More importantly I’ve been able to train more consistently as my hamstrings feel so much stronger and no longer vulnerable. My results have improved and I feel so much stronger within my running. The atmosphere amongst the group is so friendly, who would have thought training hard could be so much fun! I’d definitely recommend giving it a try, you won’t regret it!!!

Alison Leatherbarrow

Alison Leatherbarrow

I wanted to improve time and distance but was regularly injured and unsure where to begin
Also I wasn’t sure how to find a good coach, I needed a recommendation.
The strengthening exercises I’ve been given now have prevented injuries and the plans have given me focus and confidence. Also hearing feedback is a boost to confidence. Despite health issues I have managed to beat my marathon pb significantly
Will definitely recommend it to others.

Andy Campbell Critchley

Andy Campbell-Critchley

Andy Campbell-Critchley shares his journey & amazing achievements working with our fantastic MBRB coach Tracey West…

I wasn’t 100% sure as I was injured at the time and thinking oh well I’ll get back injury free then join then I’ll get the value from the monthly amount. I wasn’t sure that I could justify the monthly amount, even though I could see there was a huge amount of value in it. John made an excellent point in that this was actually the best time to join as they would be able to help me back to full fitness and beyond. I decided then to join.

John partnered me with a coach, Tracey West. I have to admit I googled her and looked her up on power of 10 and thought wow she is one serious runner, I was over the moon at having the chance to be coached by Tracey.

So since being coached by Tracey, let me tell you that every aspect has surpassed every expectation.

First and foremost Tracey has got me running completely injury free and pain free. That is the most important thing and has meant that every time I run now I enjoy it so so much.

But to me my performance has improved stratospherically. I have racked up 2 5k PBs, the first one knocked 20 seconds off my 1 year old PB then the second one I knocked 40 seconds off that PB with a time of 18m 22s! And I know exactly how I did it, all planned out to the finest detail and executed to precision.

I’ve notched up 2 10k PBs, within 3 weeks of each other.

I’ve raced to win 6th place in a competitive trail race, just beating a very serious and well respected runner to the line in a final sprint! What a buzz that was! Tracey helped me plan for this race, do competitor analysis and decide on a race plan.

The key thing along with the excellent training plans and support is that Tracey has enabled me to really believe in the strength I have within my body and the power of my mind in believing I achieve my gaols and keep going even when its really hard. Its the combination of both that have meant I have run faster than I have ever run in my life and in ways I never thought possible.

Ashley Sanderson Snyder

Ashley Sanderson-Snyder

Ashley Sanderson-Snyder, (one of our top marathon runners) spent some time to answer a few questions on her experience of being a MBRB coached runner..

Q: Where were you at with your running before starting coaching?
A: Before John was my coach, I would say I ran for ‘fun’, I never did any serious running in school or at a club but I had potential. I’d previously run 3 London marathons at 03:43, 03:21 and 03:05.

Q. Did you have any reservations before getting started?
A: I didn’t have any reservations signing up for coaching. I was excited to see what I could do, and had butterflies thinking about it. I was excited to have a ‘coach’ – it made me believe in myself more, and it also made me work harder as I tried to improve week on week and to keep my coach happy.

Q: How has it been, what have your results looked like?
A. I really enjoyed having John as my coach and I achieved one of my big life goals of breaking 3 hours. I went from a 03:05 marathon in London, to the following year achieving a 02:59 marathon in New York (Nov 18), to then a 02:54 marathon at the California Internal Marathon (Dec 18). I also ran my first 5K, ran a half marathon coming in 2nd (Chippenham-UK), and 3rd at a New York Road Runners 10k.

Q: Would you recommend the coaching to others?
A: I most certainly would recommend the coaching to others. It provides support, encouragement and gets you results!


Chris Pepper

I initially joined the group after going along to a talk that John did locally. From joining, It became apparent that if I was serious about taking my running to the next level, then I had a lot of work to do on other fundamental areas that I had never paid much attention to before. The group sessions are the perfect environment to put this into place as you are surrounded by other like minded runners.


Gary Berzins

I was just coming back from yet another injury, I’d been on a constant cycle for yrs 3-6 months training 2-3 months injured. I had my reservation, it’s a bit far to travel so decided to just try the free 1st session then take it from there. I have been part of the group about 5 months now and feel a totally different runner I’ve not got the constant hip aches etc that I thought was just apart of being a runner. I feel so much stronger I feel confident of a pb every time I race, it’s great to be able book races in advance and not have to pull out through injury. It nice being part of a friendly like minded group. John and Lilly are really passionate about what they do and always there to help and I think it’s starting to rub off. Thanks Gary berzins


James Buchanan

I was at a good, but stagnant place with my running. I had another coach prior, and made some good steady but not outstanding progress. I decided to give the MBRB coaching a go because I had been stuck at 33mins for 10km for years. In my mind I felt like I had tried everything. I finally reached the acceptance of my own limitations. It wasn’t easy as I have quite an ego if I am honest, but I decided the only thing I haven’t tried is accepting that I don’t know everything.

I did not have any reservations about coaching. I think this is essential for success. If you have reservations you will end up with an imbalance in your coach relationship, you will do more, or do less, or something like that. For me, the key was pay the money, and because you have spent your own hard earned money, do not waste it. Do exactly as you are told.

This time last year I was running 16.44 for 5km with a PB in Feb of 15.59. Being based in Dubai, the ‘season’ starts end of Sept…still 35 degrees but by Feb it gets down to 19 degrees at 7am. Last week I ran 15.44 for 5km, so a minute quicker at the same as last year and a 15 second PB despite the hot conditions

If you are serious about getting better you cannot do it all on your own. At some point you will need help, either on sessions, recovery, strength or mental. but if you are not willing to be ‘coached’ then it doesn’t matter how much work you do.

Janet Davies

Janet Davies

I just wanted to thank MBRB for all the fantastic help, tips, drills and strengthening exercises. I was at a real low point with my running, trying hard but making no improvement and often going backwards but thanks to the brilliant MBRB classes I’m delighted to say I’ve managed to achieve a number of PBs recently. I’d recommend these fun classes to runners of all abilities. Thank you MBRB.

Jenny Thompson

Jenny Thompson

I started training with the Move Better, Run Better group when it first started in Spring 2017. A friend and I had trained with John in preparation for our first marathon in Manchester. My aim was to enjoy the marathon and get through it injury free – which I accomplished! Those initial training sessions with John made a big difference to my running – my legs seemed to move effortlessly and I felt my running style became much more fluid. After the marathon, I wanted to continue the training and the group sessions seemed like a natural progression.

Since then, I have continued to run for enjoyment. I love the social aspect of running with friends, the mental clarity from running alone and the feeling of exhilaration after a hard or long run, but I have not really had a sense of purpose or structure to my running. The Move Better, Run Better group has encouraged me to set running goals and to push out of my comfort zone.

I really enjoy the sessions – they are fun, each week is different and I can still see improvements in my balance, strength and co-ordination. The groups are friendly and it has been really inspirational to hear other’s success stories, share aches and pains and get training advice. There is such a mix of runners of all abilities and everyone is so positive of each others achievements.

Right now, I am in a good place with my running and I feel like I am reaching my full potential. I have races lined up and I would like to set 5k and 10k PB’s. The sessions have not only helped to condition and strengthen my body for running, but have been a fantastic motivational tool too.

Lisa Dickinson

Lisa Dickinson

Before I started coaching with John I had plateaued massively and was struggling to the achieve times I knew shouldn’t be a problem for me. This was partly down to injury which had stopped me training consistently and led to a huge loss of confidence in my ability.

I enquired about coaching after seeing the Facebook page but wasnot sure whether it was for me (lack of confidence!) and whether I could justify the cost but after a chat with John I felt reassured that he would help me towards my goal of a successful marathon with a tailored program to suit my lifestyle and ability.

The coaching has built my confidence and seen my speed return. Some personal difficulties have made keeping the focus a challenge but being accountable to John has made a huge difference and having that extra level of support during tricky times have seen me achieve my goal of a successful marathon with a massive PB!!!

I am certain that this wouldn’t have happened without the coaching and the access to the strength & stretch exercise videos with Lily.

I would 100% recommend the coaching to others especially those who find themselves in a similar position to me with a lack of confidence or to anyone who has a goal they wish to achieve. Thanks to John for his unwavering support and confidence in me.

Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens

Before I discovered John at MBRB I had simply started to increase my mileage in preparation for the MCR 2018 Marathon in isolation.

I’d never run a marathon before so I just downloaded a generic training plan from the Internet and I thought I was set to go.

Having had an initial discussion with John we established my personal marathon goals, hopes and concerns and John established a training plan from my (then) starting point to where I needed to be 12 weeks later.

John carefully analysed my running experience and objectives and he used his extensive experience to reassure me that what I wanted to achieve was possible. I therefore had no reservations about signing up with him.

John’s support was invaluable as I progressed through my training plan and he reassured me when I got injured. Lilly’s stretching exercises and instructive videos were a fantastic additional source of support.

The variety in the training plan physically stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable. John also provided reassurance when self doubt set in.

Through the structured approach adopted by John I have become a much quicker runner and my stamina and endurance has improved significantly.

Any runner who is interested in improving their performance should contact John and engage his services.

Nicola Douglas

Nicola Douglas

I started running in September 2015 with a couch to 5K and at the end did my first parkrun. I loved it – the atmosphere, the support, everything and my addiction to parkrun soon grew. But after a few months I started to get a lot of pain on the side of my torso and ended up not running over the summer. I started running again November 2016 but stopped again after 6 months, this time with problems with my ankle as well as the ache down my side. Again I started running in September 2017 and it was then that I saw an ad for MBRB on Facebook. I replied YES to the free trial session and booked myself in for the following week.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be good enough for the class. I’m not a fast runner or athletic, and when I arrived everyone was talking about which marathon they were signed up for! I’d only ever done 5K! However, the class was great and although some of the exercises were a bit of a struggle because they were so new to me, I found John really encouraging and looking around the room other people were finding the exercises challenging too.

Signing up to the class was just what I needed. I’ve never experienced the pain in my torso since, and some of the exercises we do really help with the niggle I have in my ankle. My running has improved too; I feel stronger and my parkrun times have improved by about 4 minutes. And I’ve done a few 10K races. The group is very supportive and my achievements, although much slower than many, are recognised and celebrated just like those who are fast or do much greater distances. The classes are hard work but fun and I’ve made some great new friends too.

Paul Wilde

Paul Wilde

I started running for weight loss not to be a fast or a good runner, but a few years into my journey I wanted more, I wanted to start increasing my pace and become a faster runner, I needed help! but due to my work commitments I found it hard to join a running club, I did spend most Saturdays at my local parkrun, Clumber Park,
This is where I found out about the MBRB coach John Beattie an GB athlete,

Having arranged a free meeting to talk about my journey, goals and future aims, I decided to become a member of the MBRB group,
John analysed my running past and goals, aims for the future,
It was apparent from the start, running is more than just putting a pair of trainers on and running, the different running methods for body and mind conditioning didn’t mean anything to me, I can now do all of the running styles and understand the reasons behind them,
Fartlek, Intervals, Recovery runs, Progression runs, Rest days,

I can say with confidence, since being a coached runner I have improved my 5k times from 31 minutes to 26:43 minutes
10k time was over an hour, now sits at 56:30
Half marathon time smashed twice in 6 months, now 02:03:46 this is 17 minutes quicker than when I was pre coached
Then there’s the Marathon I completed on April 8th Manchester, my first marathon completed in 04:29:46 under my planned time, I’ve ran over 26 Miles where I struggled to move for 3 without resting or walking last year

You don’t need to be a good runner, a world class athlete, to be a coached runner,
It’s the desire to deliver and be accountable for completing the runs, running styles set to deliver your goals,

It’s a great feeling to have a coach with John Beatties experiences review your runs, provide feedback on the runs and discuss improvements and push you to be better than you think possible is a type of motivation that inspires you to give more and in tern delivers your personal rewards and goals,

Anyone wanting to be a better runner, have greater knowledge of running styles, deliver on there own personal goals,
Move Better, Run Better is the place to be,
Thank you John

Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown

I have always been an occasional runner but due to having no plan also saw no results then in October 2016 started parkrun and going for a run in the week, once my parkrun time started coming down I became more interested in how far I could take it. At the same time I was doing the occasional 10km race with little success and always found them a struggle. I decided I wanted to challenge myself and see how far I could take the running, I realised all the training plans on the internet were too rigid and were not about what was best for me and that’s when I decided to give coaching a go.

I was initially nervous about following a training plan as have an unpredictable work schedule but actually it’s worked perfectly as it allows me to be flexible but also keeps my focus.

Coaching has dramatically changed my running, I have much more confidence in my own abilities and my times have come down massively, only 6 months ago I could just about do 10k under an hour and am now at 53.13. My 5k time is now 25.16 and it wasn’t that long ago that I was pleased to be under 30min.

Coaching has been much more than just about getting faster, it has helped my confidence and given me a focus to keep going and gets me out the door on the rainy days. For whatever reason you want to improve your running, coaching is a great way to do it, and I highly recommend it.

Stephen Bowler

Stephen Bowler

I joined the MB-RB in May 2017. The driver for me was to understand by body better and how to get the most out of my running. I had done some basic development my running over the previous 3 years from when I first started but without much in the way of clear direction. I had also developed some niggling issues such as stiff aching Achilles when I got up every morning and did very little if any warm up before running.

The challenge for this type of venture is getting the reputation for delivering a high quality experience when the results may not be immediate and demonstrating good value for money. Like most people this is the reservation I had when signing up for something that isn’t ‘mainstream’. Happily I can confirm it was a good choice and the reservation was unfounded.

In terms of results my running definitely improved over the summer months in 2017 and the aching Achilles is a thing of the past. But wider than that I have gained from the social aspect of the group and enjoy the positive and supportive nature of our mini community. In particular my current injury which is preventing from running has not prevented me from attending on a Wednesday night and enjoying the camaraderie and support of the Group. I also believe this regular coaching session will stand me in good stead for getting quickly back to my best once i’m over the injury.
I would happily recommend runners to this group and do when discussing my running progress over the last few years with anyone who will listen.

Stephen Tomlinson

Stephen Tomlinson (Tomo)

Well I started running in Feb 2017 I was challenged by friends to run the Lincoln 10k, after the 10k I decided to continue running so I joined a running club then I saw a post from John on Facebook about the group so I thought I’d give it a try.

I signed up after a good \ friendly taster session and have been going for over a year now.

I have learnt so much from the group like warm up drills. I have been 98% injury free since I joined the group.

I love doing a sport which I keep getting better at through hard work and good advice.

I said I’d never run a half marathon , and if it wasn’t for the group I don’t think I would of attempted it.

I have had lots of encouragement and advice from JB & Lilly and the group and I’ve done 5 so far this year and on Sunday I ran the Robin Hood Half Marathon in just under 2 hours.

I’ve also done around 40 x 10k and 76 parkruns during my running journey so far.

I’ve also met some great friends at the group.

Thank you to JB & Lilly and all the great people I have met during my running journey so far

Ashley Crow

Ashley Crow

Ashley Crow – (MBRB member for Autumn 2018 / Winter 2019) shares his experiences of being part of the group sessions..

1) What made you come along to a session?

  1. AC) I’d initially heard about the sessions through a friend at my running club. I was (and still am) at a point with my running where I realised that if I wanted to continue to improve then I would need to work on other areas such as my strength and conditioning rather than purely just running. Like every other runner I have had my fair share of injuries and knew from speaking with others and reading up on the subject that this would certainly help to prevent any further injuries. Also the fact that the sessions are primarily aimed at runners was something that I felt was quite unique.

2) Did you have any reservations before committing?

  1. AC) I did have some reservations before first turning up as I had never been to this type of session before and was unsure of what to expect. I didn’t know if I would enjoy it, whether it would be beneficial and if it would compliment my training.

3) How did you find it, what were the results?

  1. AC) I have to say that a lot of the exercises were quite alien to me at first but as the weeks passed by (and through a lot of guidance) I started to improve. Having a group where you can learn from others and see the improvements they also make and alongside the expertise that John and Lilly provided meant that you knew you were in safe hands. I’ve not had an injury since!

4) Would you recommend to others?

  1. AC) I would certainly recommend this to anyone who (as I stated before) is interested in looking to reduce the chance of injury, whilst improving their strength and conditioning which in turn will lead to improvements in their running. The only reason I stopped going was because I have moved further away!

Ryan Poingdestre

Ryan Poingdestre

I started working with John because I had some running challenges and targets I wanted to complete so wanted a coach to guide me to ensure I’m on the correct route and not falling into an over-training trap. Everything was clearly laid out in our initial chat before coming on board as an athlete so that John knew my goals. I love the fact that training sessions are always clear and I get brilliant feedback from Skype video and training peaks every week. Although I feel like the best is still to come, my PB’s before starting and since working with John are:

5k – 17.30 to 16.45

10k – 35.30 to 34.08

HM – 78.20 to 75.40

Ryan Poingdestre

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