In mid 2013, I found myself in Japan and out of shape. In America I had always been in a gym or some sort of hobby/sport. In Japan, I questioned the quality of the instructors of said hobbies, and the gyms were far too expensive for my taste. I started running just to keep myself active. I hated it. I reached out to a running group for some motivation, and walked out with perhaps a bit too much. Everyone was applying for the Tokyo marathon and eventually, so did I. Unlike most people, I actually got in. Fast forward a few months into early 2014. Tokyo marathon complete, as well as Nagoya women’s marathon shortly after. I did what I set out to do, felt physically broken, and emotionally fell hard into the post marathon blues. I couldn’t train due to the physical toll on my body, so when I was ready to put my shoes on again, I felt that all the running training in my body was gone, I hated running, and I never wanted to hear the word marathon again.
Sorry for the long intro. Enter Harrisson. I found Harrisson through the running group Namban Rengo in Tokuo, and found that he was doing some personal training. Although I said (and still sometime say) I hate running, it had kept me in slim and in shape. I decided to give coach Harrisson a try. I had never thought more of running but putting one foot in front of the other. Working with Harrisson put so many more dimensions to running than I could have imagined. I didn’t realize the depth and scientific detail of what went into each stride. Even if I never rarely ever saw coach, he was always there. If I felt pains, he would sense oncoming injuries and lead me through injury preventions measures. He inquired about my diet and sleep patterns. He was not just sending me workouts once a week, but he was constantly there if I had problems or if I had questions. He made himself available, and he listened. Feedback on the week was always important to him because he would consider this in formulating the following week’s schedule. Nowadays you can find workout routines pasted all over the internet. Having a coach is different. No matter how painful the workout, once you finish, you are glad you did it. Unfortunately left to our own devices, more often than not, we don’t start let alone finish. I took a few months off from training with SaiyanFit, telling myself I would still go for some easy runs to keep me in shape. No such luck. Having someone there believing in you, and putting their time and effort into your personal advancement is unparalleled. After a long day of internally arguing with myself not wanting to run, this is what gets my running shoes on. You set goals together and he is there to hold you accountable. Whether your goal is to fit back into those jeans, or finishing an ultra marathon (if you train with SaiyanFit the former may lead to the latter, you have been forewarned) he will take you seriously, and make you take yourself seriously. It’s been over 3 years now, and I can’t recommend Harrisson and SaiyanFit enough.
Extract from Nick's Race report (Full version HERE)
[...]. The following narrative is my attempt at introducing all of the pieces of the puzzle that came together for me on Sunday June 4, 2017, allowing me to successfully complete a long-held dream; that of running the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.
In October last year, I asked Harrisson Uk to coach me and manage my training regime for 8 months until race day. Harrisson, an extraordinarily gifted man possessing no end of talents, kindly accepted. This was not just some random running guy who would e-mail weekly training schedules; this was the ‘real deal’; a fully-fledged and fully-committed coach who would manage my training, my mental and physical wellbeing and all things necessary for me to make it from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Harrisson coaches many fine athletes in Tokyo, all extremely proficient runners, and all having achieved very high levels of success. And then, as one day rolled into the next, he was my coach too. From day one, Harrisson took a genuine interest in me, my training, my work schedules; he afforded me the same time and level of intense support that he provided to all of his elite runners. No centimetre of any training run uploaded on my Strava missed his keen eye; instructions on cadence counts, scrutiny about course selection, demands for updates on my weekly weigh-in, questions on how many hours of sleep I was getting a night, how much beer was I drinking, what milk I was putting in my latte coffees, how was I feeling on recovery days. But, questions are questions and data is data; Harrisson is more than that; so much more. Out of data he collected, he looked for trends and constantly helped to provide solutions for all sorts of issues that arose during the course of my 31 weeks of training. Harrisson not only put the very first pieces of the puzzle in place, but with pin-point accuracy he added to it each and every day [ ...]by Nick Coyle