Cath Macneil was the GTC AGM 2019 raffle winner. She won a month of free training sessions.
The free training throughout February came at a great time for Cath. She says: “As it happens, my training plan for the Berlin half marathon on April 6 started on January 14, so free training meant I had no excuse for not trying.
“In total, I attended four running sessions, three at Huntershill and one at Bellahouston, as well as four swimming sessions, one at Maryhill and the others at Scotstoun, in the first three weeks before jetting off to the club training week at Playitas.
“I also joined in the spin classes on a Wednesday at Glasgow Caledonian Uni. These were the only sessions I paid for in February because the money goes directly to the uni. They are still very good value.”
Swim session benefits
Cath found she enjoyed the swimming sessions at Scotstoun. She says: “The time of the session meant my dinner could settled prior to the swim.
“I also discovered that even in the development lane the distance we cover in the pool is meaningful.
“I believe we had a different coach each time but the sessions build on each other and each has a theme. Dougie and Nial focused on sculling, which in turn allowed Lochlan to focus on the catch.
“I think I learned a bit, although I think it’s difficult to teach an old dog! However, my right elbow was certainly higher on the final week than on the first.
“I may have been faster too, however, everyone else in the lane is also getting faster, so the effort is neutralised.”
Cath has seen a build-up of benefits thanks to GTC running sessions. She says: “The track sessions are great and I know I am getting faster as various sections are timed. The track is in good condition and puts an extra spring in your step.
“Vicky usually takes this session and again there is a theme, building up, week-on-week to improve different aspects on the run. We all have things that need to improve, despite some being faster than others.
“The team spirit at the Monday night sessions is second to none and the fact that you can’t get lost or left behind is brilliant.”
Cath’s final free February session was at Bellahouston, coached by Sean. She says: “He was focusing on hills, which I had started practising on my own.
“The difference between going to the sessions and running on your own is marked. On my own, I ran up and down a fairly tall hill close to the house five times and within half an hour I was back home with my breath back.
“With the club, the session is an hour and you can stop if you want but you don’t want to. You want to prove you are as good as everyone else.
“The hill was not as tall as the one at home, but I ran faster and for longer and I really felt it the next morning. Typically, you don’t realise you are slacking when training on your own, but you do when you train with others and it is only by going hard that you get better.”
Cath concludes: “Stronger and tougher – that’s what winning the raffle has meant to me. I hope I can show at the Bishopbriggs triathlon that the club’s investment has been worthwhile.”