Louisa has been a regular client of UpandRunning since she took up running a few years ago. Since then her running has gone from strength to strength and she has beaten each target she has set herself, while managing a busy job and regular travel. Here is Louisa’s UpandRunning story.

Tell us a bit about your running history

Although I’ve always liked to keep fit and exercise I never saw myself as a ‘runner’ and I didn’t particularly enjoy running that much. However, a few years ago I was entered in the Wadi Bih relay race with my work colleagues. It was incredibly tough but immensely enjoyable and gave me a great sense of achievement and the confidence that I could run longer distances.

What made you decide to run you first marathon?

From training for and successfully completing the Wadi Bih event I started getting more and more into running, mainly for fitness and recreational purposes. But then had a burning desire to set and achieve a significant life goal, so decided to enter the Dubai Marathon in 2018.

How did you end up at UpandRunning?

I was determined to perform at my best, but I was worried about the side effects of training for a marathon on my body. I had also previously suffered from a minor hamstring injury. I therefore wanted to get expert training advice and also have a general check up to ensure I was in the best possible shape. A friend had recommended UpandRunning as they had helped him with a sporting injury and he was impressed with the level of care and expertise of the team.

What was your experience of UpandRunning?

I initially had a consultation with Dr Ramzy Ross in September 2017 who spent time discussing what I was looking to achieve and ran some initial tests. But not your normal tests…these were the sort of tests you’d expect as a proper athlete!

My aim for the Dubai Marathon was to beat 3 hours 30 minutes and seeing as I’d never run this sort of distance before it was ambitious to say the least. Dr Ramzy analysed the results and conducted a thorough assessment of my fitness levels. From this he ascertained that my target time was possible, which in itself gave me a huge amount of confidence.

What type of training plan did you receive?

Dr Ramzy developed a personalised training plan that was tailored to my specific requirements, was based on the output and analysis of the tests that were conducted and was focused on the objective of running a sub 3 hour 30 minute marathon. The training plan was nothing like the ’normal’ marathon plans you see on the internet, with more shorter runs 5/6 days a week, rather than one or two longs runs a week. I have a busy job and am traveling frequently throughout the week so this type of training plan fitted in well with my schedule and meant I could do a lot of the training in the gym on a treadmill.

And how did you get on?

Having followed the plan and taking Dr Ramzy’s advice I was absolutely delighted to achieve my goal and I completed the Dubai Marathon in just under 3 hours and 30 minutes. It was a big step forward for me and since then I’ve really enjoyed my running as it’s given me something to focus on outside of work and a real sense of achievement. I recently took part in the RAK Half Marathon and decided to enter the Seoul Marathon which I completed on the 17th March.

How did the Seoul Marathon go for you?

For the Seoul marathon I set myself a target of completing the race 10 minutes faster than my previous time. Once again I paid a visit to Dr Ramzy, we discussed my target and he set me a training plan for the final 6 weeks of preparations.

Annoyingly my fitness levels were slightly worse than the previous year so the training plan had more interval and sprint training to get me back in shape fast! And it paid off once again when I managed to complete the marathon in 3 hours and 18 minutes.

What makes UpandRunning different?

When it comes to training for an event there is no one size fits all approach and everyone needs to train in a slightly different way depending on their base level of fitness, their body composition and the goals being set. This is what Dr Ramzy and UpandRunning really understand and focus on.

Any final thoughts about UpandRunning?

I’d recommend Up and Running to anyone that wants to sort any injury issues out or improve their performance. Not only do they spend the time to really understand you as an individual but they conduct the latest tests and apply robust sports science so they know what will work for you and what will deliver the best results. Their approach is completely unique to the UAE and they create a programme which will fit in with your work/life balance but will still deliver the results you are looking for. And this gives you clear rules to follow and the confidence to believe that the goals being set are achievable, which also gives a significant psychological boost.

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