When he was younger, running was a means to an end; Fermin wanted to be in good enough shape to play basketball and, later, tennis.
But… He never thought of running distances beyond what he could… 45 minutes.
He thought anyone that ran more than an hour was crazy!
Meet Fermin Diez
10k was my outer limit of comprehension, and marathons were decidedly out of the realm of possibility!”
In 2019, he signed up to do something already out of his comfort zone, but it was a fund-raiser for charity: Climb to Everest Base Camp (EBC).
Located at the foot of the Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp is encircled by some of the most iconic peaks on Earth. Thousands of trekkers a year hike to Everest Base Camp and along other circuits in Nepal without ascending the peaks.
9 months before we were expected to climb, I started training up for it.”
Fermin’s training program included some running (up to 30 mins) and stair-climbing. For 7 months he kept it up and was able to do 250 flights of steps carrying a 12Kg backpack.
Singapore went into lockdown, trips were canceled, so there was no chance to go up flights of stairs in tall buildings, and the EBC trip was canceled.
The only thing left to do during the lockdown was run.”
So, he started on longer runs and joined Coach Parry under the idea that, at 60, he needed help in understanding how to approach running seriously.
To make the story short, I went from total neophyte to completing 10k, then 21k, then running my first ever race (half marathon in Greenland, which is in the ice cap, wearing spikes, at 15 below zero celsius).”
And then came the challenge from Fermin’s youngest daughter (who is 31 years younger than him)…
“Let’s run the Paris Marathon!”
Can’t say no to that father-daughter opportunity, so he said yes before he realized what he had gotten himself into!
I downloaded the below 5:30 marathon plan, consulted the forum, and heard back from Devlin that I should shoot for under 5:00, as he said I should be able to do 4:55 – I thought he was delusional! But I went ahead with his plan suggestion anyway.”
Fermin confessed that after the 30k day, he was scared… convinced, that he was not even going to make it to the end.
Then I had a 1-on-1 call with Lindsey who assured me of a few things: that it was going to hurt, that I had a good plan for the race, and that I was going to make it to the end if I followed it.”
He was determined after that… that he would at least beat the cutoff time (5:40) and was secretly hoping that he could beat 5:30.
Needless to say, Devlin and Lindsey were right. Fermin followed the training program, trusted the results, and followed his race plan.
And finished in 4:46!!!
I am now healthier, happier, and fitter than I have been in over 40 years. Perhaps ever! At 62…”
This was Fermin’s forum post after the Paris Marathon:
Thank you, Lindsey, for your great one-on-one coaching, and the rest of the Coach Parry team, for your advice and support via the forum. Thanks to you all I was encouraged to train for my first marathon, at age 62, at a sub-5-hour pace. Candidly, I wasn’t sure I could do it, even after following the training. What would it be like to go past 30kms? What happens in the last 12? What can I do to avoid the wall? With the practical advice and encouragement I received, I finished the Paris Marathon last April at 4:46!! Thank you, Lindsey, and all at Coach Parry. You’ve given me a framework and, more than that, a new fitness level. You guys are awesome!
Fermin’s Personal Bests
- His first run was at about 8:52/k.
- His first 5k was over 38 minutes.
- His first 10k took nearly an hour 20.
- And his first 21k was over 3 hours.
All of these achievements have happened over just the 1 year Fermin has been a part of the Coach Parry community.
I am now doing 5ks consistently below 30 minutes, close to one hour 10k and 2:18 for 21k. – Follow the plan and see the results!”
Biggest Contributor To Fermin’s Success
He told us that he has been running four times a week, listening to videos, and following the exercise plan…
So much so that he feels like every day he is interacting with some aspect of Coach Parry.
This has given me the discipline, structure, and encouragement. And the results are the motivation!”
Fermin is determined to do a sub 60-minute 10k and that’s what he is working on now!
And climbing Kilimanjaro at the end of this year.”
He told us he must have joined the crazies “‘coz I’m thinking next year to do another Marathon in another cool place. Any suggestions?”
Difficulties Along The Way
Fermin suffers from Morton’s Neuroma, which can be troublesome.
Morton’s Neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot.
He also didn’t know anything about running, so he had to learn from scratch everything about proper exercise, and nutrition… especially what to eat and drink during a race.
I didn’t believe I could do it, not until the last water stop at the 38k marker! Overcoming the fear was the hardest part”
Fermin says that running the half marathon on the ice in Greenland ended up being WAY HARDER than running the Marathon in Paris!
Your brain plays tricks on you on the ice, and it’s hard to get over the idea that ice is slippery (well, it is!) and that these nano spikes will hold you (they did, of course).”
Running with three layers at below zero temperatures, for a person like Fermin that lives in Singapore and trains at temperatures usually above 28 degrees Celsius and 85% humidity, made it super hard.
Fermin HIGHlY recommends it! It was a lifetime experience that he will never forget!
Wow, Fermin! We know your story is going to inspire many other runners out there. You should be very proud:)