This week’s Fast Friday is a little close to home, mostly because it is about one of our coaches – Devlin Eyden. But also because Devlin has managed to PB his 5k time while following one of our MAF plans, which I know many of our athletes have struggled to get to grips with. 

Now this may seem like we’re boasting about our coaching team but really the CoachParry Fast Friday’s are there for exactly that right? To celebrate athletic success within the CoachParry community! (And I do recall a previous FF about Head Coach Lindsey Parry once before) 

Many of you know Devlin, but heres a bit of background info nonetheless. Devlin does not describe himself as a runner at all! His first love is mountain biking. He has completed numerous multi-day stage mountain bike races such as Sani2C, Wines2Whales and of course the ultimate for all Mountain bike enthusiasts – The Cape Epic.

Described as the Tour de France of Mountain Biking or hors categorie (beyond categorisation) by the UCI. It’s a gruelling 8 day stage race through the Western Cape in South Africa covering more than 700kms.

BUT he has always used running to compliment his cycling and slowly but surely (much to Devlin’s dismay I’m sure) he’s slowly falling in love with running. Cross training for his cycling meant he was running once or twice a week and was able to comfortably finish a 10k. He managed to break 60 minutes for 10k for the first time after training for his first marathon in 2018. He has completed another marathon since.

Its clear he was no longer running “just for cross-training”, that’s for sure. 

The Next Challenge & COVID

Devlin then decided to enter the big one – IronMan South Africa April 2020. We all know how the story goes, this was obviously postponed (thanks COVID) to November 2020 (it was postponed again thereafter).

But, while Devlin was training for this now November 2020 IMSA, through all the challenges of lockdown, COVID, adjusted WFH schedules etc etc. he landed up getting COVID too in June 2020. While he didn’t struggle severely with COVID symptoms at the time, it really affected his training after his recovery from COVID. 

He took part in the SEMLI AWARE COVID research study to ensure that he was good to go and fit to return to training post COVID. But, even though he had the all clear for training, he found that his training was still very up and down for most of the latter part of 2020 as a result of COVID. Lots of fatigue, high heart responses and little progress and so he decided to take December 2020 off training completely. 

Bring on the MAF

From there, as we have done with many of our CoachParry athletes at this time with little to no races around, Devlin decided to start the MAF training plan on the CoachParry Training Club starting in January. 

Devlin has added two bike sessions per week to his MAF running schedule and these are done at MAF principles. (Funny how he is now using cycling to compliment his training and not the other way around, I think we have finally converted him to a runner!) 

He has also been following a comprehensive strength plan 3 times a week. It goes without fail to mention that he has been very consistent with his training since the beginning of January, but has also been extremely honest and true to the MAF principles, both of which are obvious contributors to his success. 

Making sure you do the correct strength training is important. The good news is we’ve created a free strength training plan for runners that you can download by clicking here.

But here’s the “magic”

Devlin ran a 5km time trial this week. He has never ever run sub30mins for a 5k. He smashed out a 28:45PB, dropping more than 1min20 off any of his previous best times for that distance.

This is all while doing ZERO speed/ quality / interval / high intensity running work, only MAF training principles and strength work. Well done Dev! Such a great testament as to how the MAF training can really benefit your training and performance. Looking forward to seeing how you continually go from strength to strength in the running sphere and also watching you smash IronMan SA (when it eventually does go ahead!) Proud to have you on our team!


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

Comments are closed.