Meet the Athlete……..Michael Cayton

Running has been part of my life on and off since I was 11 years old. I started to train with a structured plan when I was 17 years old and gained international vests at 3 World Youth Mountain Running Championships and represented England on the cross country.

At the age of twenty I was selected for England at the International Snowdon Race, this would be the last race I competed in, as I fell out of love with running, partly due to over training and loss of desire.

In 2015 I decided I needed to get fit and started to lose some weight and joined the Parkrun community and the running bug started to bite. I looked at old training diaries and tried to replicate this, but I was trying to do far too much too soon and kept getting injured and ill. I decided I needed to get back to basics with the aim of consistency rather than big miles, I made improvements and through hard work gained international selection at the 2019 International Snowdon race.

I love to train hard and big sessions are something I enjoy. The main reason I run is to try and push myself as much as I can to achieve my dreams to represent England and Great Britain on the mountains.

Now I am stuck in the unknown of where I am racing wise due to covid-19, however my training has been excellent and I know that I am in great shape and hungry to keep progressing.

I started to work with Sophie in October 2019 as I wanted to work with somebody with a love of hill running that matches mine and can provide me with new guidance that can take me to the next level. Being honest our relationship has brought new belief and freshness that I needed. It was refreshing to be asked what I wanted to do and what I saw as my weaknesses and what I wanted to work on; this gave me the reassurance that the training planned was individual and to help me progress and achieve my goals.

My training has been excellent with a mix of speed and hill work whilst developing other areas I had let slip over the years. Some of the sessions have been brutal, especially the hill sessions and this has made me understand just what it takes to be the best.

For me having a coach is to have someone that not only plans sessions, but is there to give you confidence, to believe in you when it gets tough, whilst creating new training sessions too that keeps the training fresh with the aim of progression.

If anybody asked me would a coach be of benefit it would be an overwhelming YES. Having sessions planned with an end goal in mind is only part of the relationship, working with somebody who shares a passion and wants you to succeed as much as you do, can only benefit you as a runner. 

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