This week’s blog is our second ever guest submission. This one is from Conor Ryan. Conor, who has been working behind the scenes on the project, put his running shoes on last weekend to help Toni deliver a training session to a select few backers from our Kickstarter campaign. Here are his reflections on the day:

This weekend was the much anticipated Gold, Gold, Gold day. This gave some of our Kickstarter pledgers the chance to come and train under the tuition of one of the best coaches in the world – our very own Toni Minichiello.

It didn’t take Toni long to get into his stride. By the time I’d got down to the track from the EIS reception Toni already had everyone running up and down the track in what he called a “gentle warm-up”. I wasn’t particularly convinced as I watched our ‘lucky’ pledgers going back and forth up the track. Toni kindly stepped in to show everyone how it was done on the stretches but I noticed he didn’t join in with the rest of the warm-up!!

Toni Joins In

Toni Shows Us How It’s Done!

Once the warm-up was finished we were onto running drills with the help of Paul Ttereve, working on everyone’s running form and posture. It wasn’t long before I was transported back to some of the many videos we’ve become so familiar with seeing over the past year on coachtorio.com with shouts of,

“Stand up straight!”

“Lift that leg up!”

But this time Toni wasn’t correcting an Olympic gold medallist. He was helping our pledgers improve. What was clear throughout the day is whether or not you’re an Olympic gold medallist or you just want to run a bit faster, Toni will always be Toni and will help in any way he can, in his own unique style.

Whilst Paul took most of the group off to carry on with some sprint training, Toni took the two youngest of the group, Isobel and Millie, who both compete in athletics, for a Long Jump session. Toni was analysing everything including; run up speed, length and take off – making huge improvements for both girls.

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Keep That Leg Up

Mercifully for our pledgers they had a short break to recover and a quick bite for lunch before it was their chance to pick Toni’s brain. With nothing off limits the conversation darted from doping to national governing bodies to Olympic selection policies and much more. What the group perhaps hadn’t anticipated was that they had started Toni off on one of his favourite pass times: talking!

Toni managed to keep the group captivated all afternoon until there was just enough time left for everyone to have their books signed by the man himself and a few pictures before it was time to say our goodbyes.

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Toni Must Be Getting Used To This Now

Our lucky pledgers left with a book in their hand and a head full of knowledge from a day spent listening to some of Toni’s fascinating stories from a world that not many people ever get an insight into. We would like to thank all of our Gold pledgers for their support and coming along. We hope you all had a great day.

Conor Ryan.