To take part in a 10k run takes strength and dedication but to run a Marathon, well that's a different ball game all together.  Recent Graduate and an avid Marathon runner himself Martin Baten trained eleven runners for the recent Dublin Marathon ensuring all runners were at their peak performance and would make it to the finishing line. Martin has always had an interest in long sports such as marathons, triathlons and adventure races and loves to motivate people.  It was through his passion for both that he set about a path of personal coaching.

"Enrolling on the Sports Therapy course at Portobello Institute was the first step for me as staying away from injuries is the key in long distance training.  If you combine the Sports Therapy course with different coaching courses, different specific literature, experience with the balls to stick your neck out, meaning carrying out some work for free then you can prepare yourself for anything and succeed in this game" says Martin.

Martin runs with St Cocas club in Kilcock and having talked about the Dublin Marathon with its fellow members slowly a demand started to grow from both novice and experienced runners for training.   So Martin set up a group and started to prepare the runners according to a proper training plan which he developed through experience, literature, research and common sense.  The group consisted of eleven Cocas members and one guest runner - five novice runners and the rest had already completed a Marathon but had never trained to this set up before.

The group already had a base fitness level so Martin designed a programme suitable for their level.  He introduced circuit training to the programme with core and low extremities, high intensity session, interval, farlek, temp and hill sessions, so lots of variety to keep it interesting. The rest of the week was filled with recovery runs or cross training, whatever the runners could do according to their ability and work schedules.

When speaking to Martin about his training style and motivational skills he said "something I picked up from Karl Gilligan who delivers the Strength & Conditioning course is to stay away from negative adaptation.  Most of the time I worked out the table the next day and mailed them over to the group to show their progression.  Over time the group got more and more motivated to go hard on these sessions.  My work was basically done by this stage.  The group got stronger by themselves, making me obsolete".

On the day of the Dublin Marathon Martin was on hand to finish his role of training for the group.  He was on his bike encouraging his runners all the way handing out bottles of water, gels, jelly babies and lots of cheering and clapping.  One of his runners said "When I was passing Martin I was waving at him to come over to me.  He started searching in his backpack and asking me what I needed.  I tired to explain that I didn't need anything out of his bag, I just needed him to run with me for a bit.  I was dying for some mental support which he gave me for roughly 800m.  Every time  I was slowing down I visualized Martin along the road running with me and driving me on.  This was the mental support I needed to get me to the fnish line".

So whats next for Martin? Will he be running any Marathons soon?   Since sustaining a hamstring injury after the Rotterdam Marathon, which is obstructing his own progression, training other runners is the closest to setting good running achievements without doing the hard work and training that he pushed his group through - Best of both worlds really.

To find out more about Martins services visit www.batensportstherapy.ie