There comes a time where many of us, as runners, look at where we’ve come from, our running careers, no matter how long or short and think to ourselves, ‘That’s it. Those were the days. What’s happened to my running?’ 

We feel we’re getting slower, we’re not progressing, we’re in constant pain and quite frankly, often wonder why we still love this sport.

This week, our Coach Parry Fast Friday features one of our female athletes who hasn’t necessarily been running her whole life, but was getting to a point of despair with constant nagging pains and no improvement, no matter what she was trying.

Caron Melville

Meet Caron…

Meet Caron Melville. Caron, now 53 years old, started running 8 years ago, soon after her husband took up running the year before, thinking this would be something they could do together. She had run in her younger years as a badminton player, to keep fit but nothing since then.

Caron had run a half marathon only a year into her newfound hobby and since then, spent the last 7 years struggling to run much more than 6 or 7km, suffering from constant pain in her hips.

In February 2021, Caron listened to the Coach Parry Running Through Menopause Masterclass and realised that what she was hearing was describing her and everything she was doing wrong. 

Right from the beginning with Coach Parry, Caron signed up to run her first marathon so she had had a goal to work towards. She had a call with Shona Hendricks, the creator of the Running Through Menopause Framework, who suggested she start with a 10km program and focused strength training to allow for a structured build-up to overcome the niggling pains. 

Caron describes her initial thoughts: 

“Although I was really excited at the start having watched the introduction, I honestly didn’t know if I would or even could complete the programme and certainly did not believe the times I achieved.”

While we firmly acknowledge that people respond differently to training stimuli and some take longer than others to see improvements, Caron certainly reaped the ‘low-hanging fruits’ of recovery and strength training. 

Just 3 weeks into the program, Caron was faced with her first scheduled time trial. She ran a 27:34 5km time trial, already setting a new personal best (PB) which previously stood at 28:58. Caron was over the moon!

Then came her second time trial, 3 weeks later. Feeling confident and already feeling stronger, she ran 26:30, beating her new PB set 3 weeks earlier by just over a minute. 

Now for anyone who has been running for some time, you will know what it takes to shave almost two and a half minutes of a 5km PB in just 6 weeks. That is incredible!

Bring on the goal race…

Caron wasn’t done yet, she still had 6 weeks to go on her 10km program and when the time came to take on the 10km time trial, she was ready for it, feeling the benefits of consistent training, having only missed a few runs due to slight illness post-COVID vaccine in the entire 12-week program. 

The strength training was already paying dividends and she was almost at a point of running pain-free. A vast improvement for just 12 weeks earlier.

With a feeling of confidence and faith in what she had been doing leading up to this, Caron ran her 10km time trial. We’ll let her tell you how it went:

“My 10k PB before starting with Coach Parry was 58:59. I actually achieved 55:45 at the end of the programme which was way faster than I thought I’d ever get!

Caron Melville

I’m relatively pain-free, the occasional glute pain, but I have nothing but praise and faith as I’m achieving things I never thought I would.”

Caron Melville forum post

Caron has wanted to run a marathon since she watched the first London Marathon, “a long time ago” and never thought she would get close. Now following an RTM half marathon program, to be followed by a marathon program, Caron will attempt to run her first marathon in September 2021. We cant wait to see how it goes!

“Following the structure of the programs, the balance between the strength training and running, as well as the science behind the pace of the runs, I truly believe I’ll be able to knock the marathon off my bucket list and maybe even do more!”

Well done Caron. You really have shown incredible improvement and we can’t wait to see you ticking off your first marathon and hopefully pain-free. We’re so proud of you!

Strong female runner

Join us for a free online presentation of the…

The Running Through Menopause Masterclass

…and discover how you can run well (and faster) as you get olderwithout training more or harder than you currently are, all while avoiding injury. 

If it feels like you’re training harder than ever but not running the paces you’d like to be running or if you’re constantly tired, fatigued or running in some sort of pain, then this is specifically for you.

Save Your Seat In This Training Now…


Shona is the former Head of Sport Science at the High-Performance Centre, University of Pretoria. She returned from Madrid, Spain, in 2013 where she completed her MBA in Sport Management with Universidad Europea de Madrid (Real Madrid FC). Shona’s current work and interest lies in endurance sport (running/triathlon) conditioning and sport science working with elite ultra-endurance athletes such as Caroline Wostmann (2015 Comrades & 2Oceans winner). Aside from football strength & conditioning, Shona’s other passion and expertise lies in endurance sport (running/triathlon) as well as Women in Sport. She has competed in 4 Half IronMan distance events and three 2Oceans Ultramarathons herself. She has also worked with other elite female athletes such as London 2012 bronze medallist in canoeing, Bridgitte Hartley.

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