Fitting ultra-running and coaching around family life

Posted by Karina Dav on

//Words by Michelle Maxwell// 

My big passions in life are number 1 my kids, they are my world, and increasingly their sport is taking over mine and my husband’s sport. I am really OK with that because I’m not getting any younger and my bucket list is getting shorter. We have twin boys, who are very good triathletes, especially runners and a little girl who is just dipping her toe into multisport, but also loves ballet too.

Next up, my husband. His passion is triathlon. He is also damn good at it for his age, and so you can imagine what our life involves!

The next two passions in my life are as you’d expect from the title, my running and coaching others.

I adore running, it makes me feel alive and makes me a better parent too. I love being up high, on tough technical trails, running through woods, on beaches and coast paths, but I also love road running, that feeling of running fast and pushing your body over time. I stumbled across ultra-running relatively late in life, after a classic running background of track, cross country and road running. I’m no spring chicken but can now still hold my own with the youngsters, and frequently still win long ultras and even local trail races. I mostly train in the mornings or daytime, which gives me the afternoon and evenings to coach and run the business. My husband trains in the mornings or evenings and he gets most of the weekend slots too for his big bike rides. My long runs are generally during school hours, with time to catch up on work early am, afternoons and evenings around the kids clubs.

Enso Sport Skirts. Running skirts.

I have won the Brecon Beacons Ultra, the CTS Dorset Ultra Plus, the North Downs Way 50 and the Jurassic Quarter.

Enso Sport Skirts. Running Skirts.

I have also podiumed at most other ultras I’ve competed in, coming 9that Lakeland 50 in a stacked field. My marathon PB is 2:59, but most recently 3:06, so I know I still have more to give at all events if time will allow.

Running skirt. Enso Sport Skirts


My bucket list contains a few more big events, but I’d also like to race an Ironman sometime soon, I have already raced over Standard and middle distance triathlons. I mix up my training every week, swimming and cycling each week throughout winter too. I find the variety keeps me strong, swimming especially helps my breathing being a bad asthmatic. I am a big, big believer in physical preparation, (strength and conditioning), especially for long course triathlon and ultra running. The body has to deal with incredible stresses during these events, and its all too easy to drop these sessions from a training plan when short on time.

Running skirt. Enso London

I love running skirts and when Karina sent one of her skirts I loved it immediately. Ultra running kit is so much more exciting than road racing gear. The race packs, shoes and skirts just make deciding what to wear for that run all the more fun.

Enso Sport Skirts. Running skirt. Enso Skirt.

I run a running and triathlon coaching business with my husband, we are also branching out into nutrition for long course triathlon and ultra running specifically. Coaching is our life; helping others achieve their goals is such a wonderful feeling. I love watching our athletes grow in confidence each week and feel stronger every day. Coaching has its ups and downs just like running and being there to support athletes through the rough patches is just as important to me.

I feel incredibly lucky to work doing something I love and believe in, that gives me flexibility I need for my family too !😊


Michelle Maxwell,

Michelle runs a running and triathlon coaching business in Wiltshire with her husband - Maxwell Coaching.

Find out more about the services this amazing family offers here:


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published