Today’s #FastFriday is all about bucket list achievements and how training consistency under the guidance of an expert running coach can have a massive effect on performance. Coach Markus takes us through it all…

In 2015, after almost 30 years of very little to no exercise, Phillip Cox decided to draw up a “bucket list”. One of the items on this list was to run a marathon and the other was specifically to run the New York marathon.

The Dream

It started with walking in the morning; which increased in volume and frequency. In April 2016 he started a generic 30-week program and on 6 November 2016 he stood at the start line of the NY marathon. He finished the race in a time of 4:56:09!

Then in 2017 Phillip decided to follow the Coach Parry finisher program on the Comrades website. Phillip at that time said he “accidentally” (yeah right… haha) entered for the New York marathon again.

Not really knowing any better. Phillip did what he thought was good and ended up overdoing things a bit. Which sidelined him with ITB issues during his attempt at The Deloitte Marathon in Pretoria. To make matters worse he tried again one week later at the (very tough) 32km Sunrise Monster also in PTA.

This ended up in a completely failed attempt and Phillip walked most of the route.

Phillip took some time off to recover, and after a couple off weeks he ran his firstUltramarathonn in Irene. He ran an “unofficial” marathon PB of 4:45:56 and also made the decision to get serious and sign up for a personalized training program from Coach Parry.

This is where the magic happens….

After our initial consultation, it was clear that Phillip wanted to run a good time in NY but first had to get comrades under the belt. He completed the comrades in a good time and after sufficient time to recover, it was time for Phillip and myself to put things into place.

First thing first was to see how he was training and gauge the effectiveness thereof. What was he doing wrong, what was he doing right etc. Based on his time available for training, fitness and skill level, we drew up the best possible plan for him. With regular progress checks and monitoring we made sure we were in control of the process. What to do, at which pace and for how long. All carefully planned just for him.

After four months of hard training and precise preparation, Phillip was off to the big apple.

Time for action

On race day, it was time for Phillip to put the training to the test and even though Phillip wanted to do a sub 4hr marathon he ended up doing a 4:15:57.  With this time, he took more than 30 minutes off his “official” marathon PB which was a massive achievement. Another highlight for him was that Coach Parry himself was also there running the race with his father and so Phillip had the chance to chat to him for a while on the day.

Since then Phillip has also improved all his PB’s on various distances and continues to better himself as an athlete.


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.

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