About Us

The Running Academy brings you a team of qualified experts to help support you with achieving your running goals. Our approach is to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to personalise your training and become your own coach.


Our Team

Sarah Wightman - Lead Coach & Tutor, & Founder of The Running Academy

Sarah is a UKA qualified running coach and experienced endurance athlete. She is an accomplished marathon runner, who has competed in the UK national marathon championships in London three times (a member of teams achieving 4th in 2013 and 5th place in 2017). She recently won the V40 category at the Birmingham Marathon 2017, and placed 3rd V40 in the Great North Run. She was Cambridgeshire County Road Running champion in 2013, and was part of the gold-winning half marathon team in the UK national championships in the same year.

She is a writer and journalist for The Flying Runner, publishing articles on all aspects of endurance running and performance.

Sarah coaches at Cambridge & Coleridge AC, one of the largest athletics clubs in the UK.

She is also Chair of the Greater Cambridge Athletics Network.

"I've learnt so much from coaching myself to improve from 4:23 in my first marathon, to a 3:02 PB. I'm working hard towards sub-3. I've run a 1:25 half marathon, and 38:26 10k. But I'm not a top elite athlete, and I understand the challenges of juggling work and a busy family life with training. As a coach, I love helping other runners discover how they can push their own limits and reach for their potential, beyond their expectations."

 


Lin Skinner - Running Academy Fitness Coach

Lin is a qualified in Personal Fitness instructor, with experience leading bootcamps and circuits classes, and is also a UKA-qualified Run Leader and Coaching Assistant.

Lin has competed in a huge variety of sports from athletics to gymnastics to slalom racing to rugby, and won the gold at the London Triathlon Super Sprint distance in 2015 and 2017.

She brings a depth of expertise in physical strength and conditioning to The Running Academy.

"I've had so much pleasure from participating and competing in different sports, from my weekly parkrun to triathlon competition. It's great to be sharing that through coaching, and helping runners to understand how to get stronger for better performance."

 


Our Expert Advisory Panel

Dr Dan Gordon – Exercise Physiology & Marathon Pacing

Dr Dan Gordon is Principal Lecturer in Exercise Physiology at Anglia Ruskin University. Dan is a former Paralympic athlete and cyclist, still holding a track cycling world record; he has acted as consultant physiologist to the UKA Paralympic team, and consultant sports scientist to a variety of national-level squads. We have collaborated with Dr Gordon over the past three years into studying marathon pacing in a large cohort of runners.

Dr Justin Roberts – Nutrition
Dr Justin Roberts is a senior lecturer and researcher with The Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences at ARU. He is a Registered Nutritional Therapist as well as an accredited Sport and Exercise Physiologist and Chartered Scientist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and a Member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

With over 20 years’ experience in sport and exercise physiology and nutrition, Justin has worked at various institutions including the British Olympic Medical Centre (London). He specialises in performance and functional nutrition with a central aim of exploring dietary and supplementation strategies to support performance, recovery and health-related adaptations to exercise.

Luke Bowman – Physiotherapy
Luke Bowman (BSc Hons Physiotherapy, HCPC and CSP registered) is the owner and lead clinician at Reform Physiotherapy. Luke has a wealth of experience in musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. In addition to his work at Reform Physiotherapy, he works at the University of Cambridge with a wide range of collegiate athletes and the up and coming elite in sports including rowing, cycling, running, rugby, football, swimming, golf, athletics and basketball. Luke has a special interest in the area of gait analysis and lower limb biomechanics helping to give an extremely varied approach to symptom management, addressing the underlying causes of pain and dysfunction.

David Harrison – Performance Psychology
David Harrison has worked as a performance psychologist for over 12 years with elite athletes and teams, across a range of sports. He is a PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University looking at psychological resilience in extreme endurance events, and runs a performance consultancy called Pinnacle Performance.

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