Testimonials

Graham Kenward
I enjoy running but I wasn’t really going anywhere with it until I began working with Jan and signed up for the Bournemouth Marathon. As others have said here, Jan was quickly able to put together a tailor made plan that fitted around my family and work commitments, and which made the best use of the time that I had available. There was plenty of variation between each session and this helped to give me a sense of purpose about my running. Working with Jan provided all the motivation that I needed to improve.

Something that I really enjoyed was the complete freedom over where I ran and this, coupled with my new found enthusiasm, led me to discover many new trails and tracks along the way. I have many fond memories of a summer spent running along the likes of the Downs Link, Forest Way, seafront proms and the South Downs to name a few. It was all so much better than setting off on just another jog around the streets of Haywards Heath without a specific goal in mind.

I don’t run with any gadget so it’s much harder to accurately work out the pace I’m running at but Jan got me running to various levels of effort instead and this helped me think more about the work my body is doing while I run. I’m sure this was another factor in helping me improve. Jan also got me to do various events so we had some benchmark times to work with and I set new personal best times for 5K (ParkRun), 10K and Half Marathon along the way. Things didn’t go quite to plan when I got to Bournemouth though and I did have to dig in deep to get over the finish line. However, Jan had taught me to have confidence in myself and the training that I had done. To cut a long story short, she was absolutely right and I couldn’t be happier.

On a personal level, I found working with Jan was a pleasure. She was quick to provide feedback and answer any questions. Her motivational skills are second to none and I know that I couldn’t have done it without her. Thank you Jan.          October 2018

 

Lynn Warner
As a motivation challenge I signed up for a 28k run but needed guidance with a training plan . My go to was Jan who came highly recommended. Jan was a massive help to me with getting to grips with different paces and converted me to running to time opposed to miles . Training runs were always a mix of different runs , paces , distances , never boring and I enjoyed them . Jan was always at the end of phone and her advice is invaluable whether it’s running , fuelling, nutrition, motivation you can ask anything. Jan suggested I did a couple of park runs which I thoroughly enjoyed and gained even more confidence as my times improved . The 28k challenge went really well and was surprised how much I enjoyed it , Jan’s timings were spot on. When I decide on my next challenge…. Jan expect a call from me.          September 2018

 

Sharon Potter
I started working with Jan in May this year after I injured my knee on the SDW50 and had to retire at mile 35. I had been running a lot but wasn’t improving as I felt I should be. I knew I needed to change what I was dong but didn’t know how. I met Jan and explained what I wanted to do and she quickly built me a plan that fitted in around my lifestyle and other commitments. Initially I thought the paces were too quick but I soon worked my way towards them. The training hasn’t always been easy but it has certainly been manageable and although I have been pushed it has always been within my capabilities. Jan has a lot of experience of knowing what I am capable of- even when I don’t!

My running has improved enormously under Jan’s guidance and I have achieved 5k and 10k PB’s this summer despite not training for these distances.  I ran my planned race last Saturday- the Chiltern Wonderland 50 and had an amazing run. Everything went to plan. I had plenty of energy throughout and was able to run the whole race (hills allowing!) and this meant I overtook a lot of runners in the last few miles who were having to walk.  Jan’s plan worked! I could have carried on running as I still felt strong at the end.

It has been great working with Jan and she is very responsive to my texts and comments on the online plan. We have met a couple of times in person and we are now planning my 2019 adventures!!          September 2018

 

Lauren Warner
I’ve sought Jan’s advice twice now – once for the Downslink ultramarathon and more recently for the London 2 Brighton ultramarathon. Both times Jan has been flawless in her coaching ability.

Together we identified how many times a week I could commit to training balanced around my busy work life. Quickly I was able to build up my speed and endurance ahead of race day. Training was fun, never boring or repetitive, but always challenging.

During my plan Jan was quick to pick up on that fact that my tempo runs were producing slower than expected run times. She advised that I partake in a Parkrun as a way of benchmarking. This I did and it turned out I had been running my tempo runs too slow! Jan was always at the end of the phone, especially when pre-race nerves struck. She’s confident in the advice she gives, which instils a level of confidence in you as the runner. If you’re thinking of signing up to Janplan – do it now! You won’t regret it – Jan is bloody brilliant!          May 2018

 

Ruth Farnell
When I met Jan, I had run 2 marathons without any real plan and I needed some help. You can get all sorts of contradictory advice on marathon training (online and other runners) and I was running a lot of empty miles that weren’t really making me any better.  I also had no realistic idea what my different paces were . I was getting tired and disheartened.  Anyway Jan sorted all that. She made me a training plan that we update online and all I had to do was stick to it. Jan has been totally supportive, extremely responsive and immediately reworked the plan when work/illness/life got in the way.

Being able to contact her and discuss issues with a friendly expert has been fantastic. Within less than 4 months I have knocked significant time off my marathon and half marathon times which is great and I am getting fitter and stronger whilst my training feels easy and fairly under control. I am definitely sticking with Jan in the future.       April 2018

 

Helen Pratt
As I had signed up for the 2018 Brighton marathon I decided I needed to do it properly and not just do ‘sketchy’ training. Jan had already given me a plan to get me through the Downslink Ultra which I managed to finish within cut off.  I decided to ask her to continue her plan for Brighton. All I wanted to do was to do it comfortably get just under 5 hours. The plan was great and easy to follow. It gave me a purpose to my runs rather than just ‘run’. It gave me discipline to making me go out to train rather than find an excuse not to.

It has made me think about different paces. Starting easy then taking things faster  but always bringing it back down again. The training was varied. Sometimes shorter in time and sometimes longer but never a mile after mile slog, week after week. The individual plans mean Jan can work around life style and work load and there is a degree of flexibility. Gradually my times in park runs and the half marathons this year have got faster. Each time my plan was tweaked giving me slightly faster paces to work to. Jan gives great advice on nutrition, fuelling and hydration too.

Race day arrived. All the numbers were saying I should be aiming around 4hours 30. Jan suggested I ran close to the 4.30 pacer. I struggled with this, but I had learned to trust the plan and tried my hardest to believe it. The result was 4hours 35mins. A 10 minute PB. My last pb was 5 years ago and in 31 marathons, this was the only one I have ever completely run. No stopping and no walking. I ran the whole way. The Jan plan definitely works.          April 2018

 

Steve Roberts
I was lucky enough to get a late place for 2017 London Marathon. I was really excited about this but also a little worried as I only 9 weeks to the race. My running fitness was pretty good but I had no training plan for a road marathon. Jan Lavis has helped me with some coaching before, returning to running following a back operation a couple of years ago. Jan has particular experience around marathon training as she is a multiple marathon runner herself. I knew she would be able to help me to get to the start line at London.

Jan met with me & discussed the beginnings of a plan. We discussed my existing training & some recent race results. Jan used these details to build me a plan based on specific paces for different distances. Her focus on my paces & her accuracy in forecasting paces I could run at for 5k, 10k, half marathon & ultimately at marathon distance was phenomenal.  Jan helped me to build all my training using the pace information & we agreed a fairly condensed but very achievable plan that I could work around my work & home life.

Jan kept in very regular contact with me across the 8 weeks training plan she devised & frequently evaluated & amended my plan as I progressed. Jan also helped me to look at my nutrition & hydration needs whilst training & racing. I was able to complete my training plan & also raced at a number of events in the build-up to the marathon. Jan’s support & advice gave me great confidence & I really enjoyed the structured programme & getting some unexpectedly good results at a number of races.

On 23rd April I ran London Marathon. My target was to run under 4 hours & I managed this with a minute to spare. I was over the moon & am so grateful to Jan for her brilliant support, which undoubtedly enabled me to have a great run & to get the time I wanted & had properly trained for. One of the great things is that I have learnt so much & can take this forward to help me in my future running & racing.          April 2018

 

Clare Kenward
After setting myself a goal of running a marathon I signed up for the New York Marathon 2016.

I sought Jan’s advice on how best to approach my training. Together we identified how many times a week I could commit to training balanced around my full time shift pattern and family commitments. Jan noted previous running history including parkrun times and a recent half marathon. This personalised approach really helped as generic plans tend to dictate a long run every Sunday which was not achievable for me. In fact Jan does not consider a long weekly run necessary.

With a 26 week lead in time until the big day Jan set to work drip feeding the interactive plan to me in two week chunks. This worked fantastically for me as had I looked forward too far I might have freaked out at what was coming! Also, I could feed back on each session so the plan could be adapted to suit my needs.

Every mile I ran had a purpose, at times some looked beyond my ability but Jan assured me that the calculations and formulas that she was using were well researched and that the science said they were entirely achievable targets. She was right, I even set a 10k pb. My confidence grew and grew. As the day approached I was really nervous but knew that I was well prepared, Jan had instilled so much confidence in me.

Working with structured training has been a pleasure, I have not only completed a marathon but beyond my own expectations (although to be fair Jan did tell me that it was more than achievable) I completed my first marathon in sub 4 hours. On the journey I have learnt so much about running and my own potential. I’m looking forward to using this knowledge in my future training.          September 2016

 

Jason Thackeray
I contacted Jan on recommendation as I was running the 2016 Brighton Marathon. It was my first marathon and, originally I just wanted to get round, ideally in under four and a half hours.

Jan created a plan that fitted exactly round a busy work life and my two young kids and tailored my plan so that I quickly but safely built up speed and endurance. I was also entered in the Brighton Half and this was taken in to account.

I finished the marathon in 4.00.05 just five seconds off sub four for my first ever go. During training I also broke my 5K PB and ran 1 hour 46 for the Brighton Half, faster than I ever thought I’d go. What’s more training has been fun, interactive and challenging. You definitely need a #janplan if you’re considering a long distance race.
April 2016

 

Sharona Harrington
Downslink Ultra 38 Miles – I started 2014 with a series of injuries which wasn’t great so I decided to take up a #Janplan by Jan Lavis.  Jan started by asking how many times a week I wanted to run and how much cross training I do, what my marathon PB and 5k times were. On coming back from injury, I was running too fast, too soon and Jan’s advice was to slow down and build a good base fitness with no speed. This meant Just 30 minutes,  3 times a week to start. I stayed injury free and as the weeks followed, Jan introduced some more distance, speed, fartlek, pick-ups, tempo runs and increased strides.

Jan offered advise all the way through the plan, on training, fuelling, kit and events leading up to the main day and also adapted my plan according to progress and feedback.

The plan worked really we’ll for me and fitted around my lifestyle. Having the plan took the worry out of the race and enabled me to focus on training.  This was my first ultra and I was confident that I would complete it with the training I had done. I managed to complete the Downslink Ultra 38miles in just under 6 hours and was the 3rd lady home. I was made up with the result. I am now looking forward to starting a new  plan for a PB at the Brighton Marathon in 2015.

 

Hannah Brett
I signed up for the Brighton Marathon 2014 with no real clue on how I’d actually be able to run 26.2 miles. I knew marathon training consisted of long runs increasing in mileage but that’s about it! Without my #Janplan I’d have been lost and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to say that I not only completed my first marathon in a respectable time but I actually ran every one of those 26 miles.

Jan created a unique plan to suit me. It took into account how much time I could feasibly dedicate to training, my fitness levels and included enough variety for me not to get bored or disinterested. Obviously training for my first marathon became a huge focus in my life, my thanks to my #Janplan it didn’t take over my life. I was able to enjoy the training and enjoy the event. For me, that’s the key – because my #Janplan was realistic, it was sustainable. The plan slotted into my life so easily and got me the results I wanted, that I reached the end of my plan wanting another one.

The best part of the #Janplan is Jan herself. Jan wants to see you achieve your goals and wants you to enjoy getting there. Her endless patience and motivation really drove to me to keep training and keep focused, not just for myself but to make her proud on race day too. I’m massively grateful for all Jan’s help and support. I definitely wouldn’t keep seeing improvement beyond that first marathon and be getting more and more new PBs without her. Thanks, Jan! Bring on the next #Janplan…

 

Carrie Kwasniewski
Absolutely loved the #Janplan. Tailor made to fit around my shifts my plan got me ready for a marathon in just nine weeks. The variety of runs spiced up my training, stopping me from getting bored. With expert advice on hand to answer any questions, offer advice and encouragement I was running faster, harder and stronger than ever before. So much so I hit a PB for my half marathon in training. As I got faster it was easy for the #Janplan to be adapted and tweaked to keep pushing me. It was great to have a group of like-minded people to talk to about training runs, experiences and tips. As race day approached #Janplan offered help with nutrition and tapering. If you want an easy to follow, no nonsense training plan then this is for you.

 

Nick Dawson
Initially, I was training for Brighton Marathon 2014 which would have been my 3rd marathon.  However, due to a little over excitement I found I’d also entered the Steyning Stinger Marathon which was 5 weeks beforehand, so I felt I needed a bit of advice on the how to get the best out of both of them.

The #Janplan was to run 4 days a week.  Weds night was club night, so there would be some kind of effort there, and two other runs in the week would either be tempo, fartlek or interval work. The time spent on the effort, built up gradually over the 12 weeks I had before Brighton. At weekends my “long” run would be two weeks of a moderate distance at a steady pace, and the third weekend was a long run. I really noticed a difference in my stamina and speed the more of the fast sessions I did. I found that I was also spending less time pounding the pavements during the week but reaping the benefits.  It made me push myself harder on runs where I would not have dreamed of doing that in the past, as I knew they were short bursts, which were manageable.  I think it really helped me to have the coaching aspect of using the plan, as I would update it after my runs and Jan would give me feedback, and tweak things where she saw fit. It also helps having someone to answer to!

 

Emma Buckland
I love running but felt that I wasn’t running to my full potential and wanted to know whether I could be a better runner, so asked Jan to produce a plan to take me up to Edinburgh Marathon 2015. My running buddy, Liz and I were running three times a week and I managed one more session on my own. I was really concerned, as a mother of two young boys and working almost full time, that I wouldn’t have time to take on a #janplan and that I wouldn’t improve, but the plan Jan produced was tailored to fit around my life. What Jan did, was tell me that it wasn’t about running every hour in the day, but that there would be no more “empty miles” and she was absolutely right. Each run had a purpose whether it was speed work, hills or an easy long trail run.

Jan produces intelligent plans that she tweaks continually depending on how you’re running. She gave me the tools I needed, including the confidence, to run faster and stronger and as a result I achieved a PB at Edinburgh.

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