17 things I’ve learnt in 2017 

‘I now no longer dream of a six pack, but of the six Marathon Major medals’


This year has been a phenomenal one for me, in every sense of the word.

I’ve become self-employed and am now a full time Personal Trainer and Running Coach, and am now following my passion and dreams of helping others become better versions of themselves.

I’ve seen my own running go from strength to strength and have hit PB after PB. I also now recognise that the margins become smaller and next year I will have to work even harder to achieve more.

My personal life has taken a few changes too and can safely say 99% of the time I am grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

With every good, also comes some lessons. And I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past 12 months.

Here I thought I would share with you 17 things I have learnt in 2017….


 1. Learn from your mistakes, turn negatives into positives.

Making mistakes shouldn’t be taken as a bad thing.

Be sure to move on, but also learn from them. Take a new lesson from each mistake you make.

I’ve made faults in my personal life, with regards to my business and also with my running. But from every situation, I try to take out the positives and not make those same mistakes again.


2. Self-belief is one of the most difficult things to crack 

Despite practicing and preaching about self-belief, it is one of the hardest things to master. I still have many moments where I don’t believe in myself. I am only human. But with every situation where I’ve prevailed, I start to believe in myself that little bit more.

On reflection, becoming self-employed, running a marathon and growing a business whilst still keeping hold of a mortgage, traveling the world and never feeling like I’m missing out, that’s pretty impressive – if I do say so myself.


3. Without mental strength you cannot achieve 

I have also learnt, that without believing in yourself, you are only setting yourself up for failure.

Self belief and mental strength are two of the most powerful and magical tools to utilise. Don’t be afraid in believing in yourself and don’t let your head rule your heart. You’re stronger and braver than you think.

When you begin to believe, the magic happens!



4. Friends and family are to be treasured

The support I’ve had this year from the ones I love has been invaluable. With setting up a business comes also a lot of sacrifices and there’s times where I’ve missed out, been too focused on work and not given my devotion and time to the ones who care the most. But I’ve learnt that without them, none of what I have now could be possible.

In 2018 I promise to keep a better work/life balance.



6. Time is valuable 

Which brings me onto the next point, time cannot be bought, time cannot be sped up or slowed down. So treasure every moment you have and spend it wisely. Do the things that make you happy and make each moment count.


7. It’s hard to switch off!

Having a business which is also a huge passion, makes it very difficult for me to sometimes switch off.

With 24/7 access to my phone and laptop, I have found out this year that I find it difficult to disconnect at points.

I’m still trying to learn the balance, but am slowly getting there. Whenever people are asked to describe me; determined, passionate and focused often gets mentioned. I care so much for my clients and the messages I portray and the advice I give through Clean Coach Katie. Being devoted is not a bad thing, but I have also recognised that I need to take time out of me.


8. You can always surprise yourself

I have days where I do not think things are possible, but down to hard work, consistency, commitment and mental toughness, I often surprise myself.

I never thought that a sub 20 minute parkrun would be possible, but I’ve managed it twice this year. Without having a coach and the support I network I do, believing in me, I wouldn’t be where I was today.

The surprises make it even more fun though along the way!

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8. Don’t only work HARD, but work SMARTER

This is in relation to both my work and training.

With work, time is limited – I have 121 PT clients, online clients, social media accounts to manage, a blog and a YouTube channel that I have loved growing. But this also means my days are very full on. I love to write lists to keep on top of things and also have to prioritise the things that are most important. If a blog post goes live tomorrow instead of today, but it means my clients get my attention first, then that’s fine. Nothing bad will happen and this is one thing I have learnt.

With training, I used to aimlessly run mile after mile with no real purpose or direction. My running has improved and evolved dramatically now I have real structure not only to my week, but each and every session. My workouts are targeted, specific and measurable and this has been the real success to my achievements this year.


9. Having goals keeps me focused

In the past I have been obsessed with the numbers on the scales or by my reflection in the mirror. But this year my focus has shifted towards achieving race goals and this has been the key to my motivation.

I now no longer dream of a six pack, but of the six Marathon Major medals.

Plus, if it’s not on the chalkboard, then it doesn’t count – OK? Goals set, #ProjectSub90 and  #LondonMarathon, I am coming for you!



10. Always continue to learn, knowledge is never wasted 

I’ve continually been learning new things this year, in order to enhance my business, expand my running knowledge and to apply to training within a gym environment. Knowledge is never wasted so don’t be scared to continually advance your skills.

 This year I’ve been very fortunate to make friends with three guys via social media:

Richard Bazeley – Baze 187

Donato – The Running Guru

Andy Raynor – The Forest of Dean Runner

These guys all have their own YouTube Channels and are very inspiring runners in their own right too. This is just one example of how to learn – learn from others, and don’t be scared of change, challenge or critique.


11. The running community is inspiring, powerful and uplifting

I train and exercise in a variety of ways. Whether that be via the gym, outdoors running on my own, via my own classes, with a running club and by attending events such as races and weekly park runs.

I feel the most at home when running with my club, the Redway Runners. These are the people that are my running family and I’ve been truly lucky to meet so many special people through this network.

Walking into a gym environment, everyone is there to do their workout and walk away – however, turning up to a parkrun or a club run, everyone is smiling, happy and approachable. These events are when I’m happiest.


12. Be yourself and no one else


 I’ve had fun this year documenting my own personal journey via Social Media and sharing with you every element of my training.

I receive the most feedback when I I keep it ‘real’. People like the fact I share my bad days, my bad runs and when I’m also experiencing severe DOMS from a brutal leg workout.

I have continued to be as transparent as possible and share with you my true thoughts, reflections and feelings. It’s not the case that people like to see me suffer, but that I am able to show a holistic approach to my life.

I now no longer compare myself to others.

I’m only striving to be the best version of myself.


13. Sharing is caring


If I’m being a negative nelly or having a bad moment, I have learnt to share this with someone.

Keeping all your thoughts locked up inside does not help, however, talking it through with someone always makes the situation seem less of a disaster than it actually is.

Friends and family will always support you and sometimes all you need is to talk to someone to put things into perspective.


14. I am no longer a ‘lazy runner’


It may be hard to believe 😉 but I was once dubbed a lazy runner.

If I’ve learnt anything this year, it’s that I am now definitely not.

My running has transformed since I have openly exposed myself to the world. Telling you all what I plan to do keeps me accountable and focused. As well as this, I now have my own coach and having someone watching every Strava split and segment really keeps you on track!

 15. Everything you see on social media isn’t as it appears

We’re all guilty of scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. and wishing we had the body of someone else, had a different lifestyle or that our home looked like theirs. But in reality, people only show you a fraction of their lives and will only show you the good stuff.

Learn to love yourself for who you are.


 16. That I’m forever running late!

Ok, so maybe I didn’t realise point 16 this year, but it’s become more apparent in 2017.

I’m constantly flying from one thing to next and always try to cram as much as possible into my days, therefore, always leaves me rushing around like a headless chicken.

I’ve even set the clock in my car to 5 minutes fast to (try) keep me ahead of schedule, but now constantly recognise I have 5 minutes extra grace and that rather than be late, I am actually on time.

Every year I tell myself that a New Year Resolution of mine is to have better time keeping, but lets be honest, there’s no point making this one again for me to only break it in the first week!

If anyone has any pointers on how to improve this, then please send them my way… thanks in advance.


17. That I am at one of the happiest stages of my life right now

At this time of year you see people saying:

‘New Year, New Me’

Can’t wait wait to see the back of this year for a fresh start!

But for me, I don’t actually want this year to end.

I’ve seen Clean Coach Katie go from strength to strength, I’ve run the London Marathon and achieved a time I am very proud of (3 hours 44 minutes to be exact), hit PB’s in every single distance, met my boyfriend and also my now best friend, been on numerous holidays, been asked to be Maid of Honour, introduced my nephew to the world watching him grow and shared many memorable times with my friends and family.

So instead of being sad that 2017 is over, I am looking forward to build upon all of these things in 2018.