Coaches Corner

Coach Profile – Jean Cox

I joined Woodbridge Shufflers in 1987 and was Secretary of the Club for 16 years and Race Director of our 10km for 10 of those years and at the same time training up to be a Coach. My Licence describes me as a Level 3 Performance and Endurance Coach and also a Child-based Speed, Jumps and Throws coach at the same level. I was of the era when Running Clubs started to change from just doing long runs to active coaching, following cycling and swimming, and fortunately was funded by Suffolk Sport. I was selected to be one of a small group of coaches under an England Athletics scheme (called Excellence in Coaching) to raise the standard of coaching in the Eastern Region. These days I coach at 3 clubs and cover beginners, juniors, seniors and disabled athletes. I also officiate for Suffolk County Athletics Association.

I feel it is important to keep up to date and regularly attend courses and workshops, as well as the British and International Coaching Conferences. I am particularly interested in Nutrition and also Psychology in sport (especially how to deal with the ups and downs – success and failure – of participation).

I have been involved with sport since childhood and previously played netball and tennis plus cycle-touring. I am now in my early 70’s and took up running in my mid-40’s. In my early 50’s I achieved my fastest performances – 42 minutes for 10km, 75 minutes for 10 miles, 1 hour 36 minutes for a half marathon and 3 hours 30 minutes in the London Marathon. I was fortunate to get into the London Marathon under a category called ‘Fast for Age’ and so ran it most years. Sixty-five seemed a good age to stop running marathons and my last was New York just before the age of 65 with a time of 4 hours 5 minutes. We all have races that don’t go according to plan and achieve the time planned, and I had my share!

These days I run shorter races, including cross country – albeit considerably slower!