In the Long Run: A Personal Training Client Success Story
From a young age, Sydney recognized the value of a healthy lifestyle. Fast forward to today, she's now committed to an exciting journey of running marathons.
It’s 8am on the first Monday morning of Spring Break—often a time to unwind, relax and recharge. Some lucky folks are catching up on sleep, some lethargic folks are opening (and promptly closing) their window shades at the sight of rain, and the remainder of us are sipping caffeine to return to the land of the living.
However, for one local resident, words like “unwind” and “relax” are nearly foreign at this point. Around the same time some of us hit the snooze button, Sydney W. hits the ground running—literally. Every Monday morning at 8am, Sydney arrives at Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, to meet her personal trainer for another labour-intensive workout.
Though Sydney may appear a glutton for punishment on the surface, her commitment level is actually the result of some extraordinary goals that transcend general health and fitness. Sydney is actively training to compete in several major marathons.
To date, she’s qualified for the 2023 London Marathon (which takes place next month), the 2023 New York City Marathon (scheduled for this November), and the world-renowned Boston Marathon in 2024.
Pastime turned passion
From a young age, Sydney recognized the value of a healthy lifestyle. As such, she ate her greens, sought out exercise every day and procured adequate rest every night. For many years, good health was good enough; pursuing a high-level sport wasn’t really something that ever played on her consciousness. It wasn’t until a fortuitous circumstance occurred, while living in Toronto in 2016, that the door of possibility began to creak open.
Sydney decided to join a running group, merely to get some exercise and bond with like-minded people in her area. What happened next surprised her. She quickly excelled at regular, long-distance running and enjoyed the challenge that it presented. When she made the move to BC a year and a half ago, she continued running in the Lower Mainland.
At some point between catching her breath and lacing up her sneakers for her next jaunt, the idea of running marathons sparked her interest. Following some initial research, she recognized that qualifying (let alone participating) in a major marathon would be no easy feat, requiring hard work, a determined spirit and professional training. Sydney—not one to back down from a challenge—decided to jump in with both feet.
Seeking expert experience
Marathon running is largely an individual sport, and though Sydney will run her races alone, she considers the months and years of preparation—prior to stepping off any start line—a team effort.
In July 2022, Sydney began working with Ryan H., a certified personal trainer at Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre (GHAC). Utilizing the facility’s new 7,000 square foot weight room, Ryan created a highly personalized plan for Sydney that incorporated the facility’s state-of-the-art equipment to help achieve her ambitious goals within her desired time frame.
Ryan, who began working with the City of Surrey in March 2022, has always been passionate about health, fitness and overall well-being. A history of personal injuries, along with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, helped Ryan truly understand the importance of exercise in both improving and maintaining his physical and mental health.
Through his empathetic nature, Ryan helps instill a similar appreciation of wellness in his clients. Meanwhile, his practical experience helps inspire his clients to overcome their own injuries and challenges and achieve their personal and fitness-related goals.
“The guided training at GHAC has been incredibly beneficial. Ryan helped identify my weaknesses and systematically trained me to effectively distribute my energy, increase and maintain long-distance speed, run uphill and downhill and strengthen my weaker muscles—all very important attributes when preparing for a marathon.” - Sydney W.
A recipe for success
Together, Sydney’s tenacity and Ryan’s motivational influence has helped cultivate a uniquely reciprocal client-trainer relationship. Sydney leans into Ryan’s training practices, and when she obtains her goals, Ryan shares in her successes.
Reflecting upon one her greatest accomplishments to date—qualifying for the 2024 Boston Marathon—Sydney attributes her training sessions with Ryan as a key component of the admirable achievement.
“The guided training at GHAC has been incredibly beneficial. Ryan helped identify my weaknesses and systematically trained me to effectively distribute my energy, increase and maintain long-distance speed, run uphill and downhill and strengthen my weaker muscles—all very important attributes when preparing for a marathon.” Sydney said.
Eight months after meeting Ryan, Sydney adds that professional training helped strengthen her physical abilities and enhance her endurance skills within a relatively short period of time—all while avoiding the risk of injury. Full-body training exercises are imperative to a runners’ success and Sydney credits her rapid growth to a diversified training regimen that incorporates running, cross-training, muscle training and swimming. Since GHAC offers a wide range of fitness and aquatic features, Sydney’s also able to conveniently train under one roof.
The London Marathon—Sydney’s first major marathon—is mere weeks away. As she makes final preparations and squeezes in a few last training sessions with Ryan, she’s already garnered an impressive athletic résumé, regardless of her final placement in the race.
Upon completion of three major marathons, someone could easily coast off their successes. But Sydney is not someone. In fact, she’s already set her sights on competing in the 2024 Chicago Marathon, the 2024/2025 Tokyo Marathon and the 2024/2025 Berlin Marathon, with the ultimate goal of being awarded the Six Star Medal for competing in all six major marathons.
Her goal is lofty, no doubt, but she’ll continue to depend on Ryan’s specialized training to help get her to the finish line for each race. And though the outcomes of those marathons remain undecided, there’s one thing appears certain: when others run away from a challenge, Sydney runs toward it.
If you’re interested in working with a personal trainer to achieve your unique fitness goals, learn more about our personal training.