This week’s Fast Friday is a fantastic example of how running slower to run faster really does pay off.

Meet Javier

Javier Montano is a 50-year-old runner and back in 1986, he held the school record for the 3km and 5km.

He was born in Bolivia and is now living in one of the countries that many of the best marathon runners in the world call home, Nairobi, Kenya.

During university, he dedicated himself to mountain biking and qualified for two World Cups in Vail Colorado (1994) and the Black Forest in Germany (1995).

These sadly marked the end of his competitive sporting years.

Javier Montano

21 Years Later…

In 2016 Javier got back into running, inspired by his wife’s dedication when she started a couch to 5km program with some friends.

The fact is that I was inspired by her and her determination to do it, and then I started to run to join her… and the rest is history.”

Too Much, Too Fast, Too Soon

When I started running, I started with all possible mistakes, I got a program from the internet for a 10k and a half marathon… I did too much, too fast and too soon, resulting in all possible injuries.”

That’s when all Javier’s problems started to arise, he ended up with injuries in his ankles, calves, hamstrings, and plantar fasciitis… the list goes on.

The MAF Method

In late 2018 he read about the MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function)  method and started his journey

This is the journey that lead him to Coach Parry, through our youtube videos: How to run faster… by slowing down.

Javier really liked this approach and joined the Coach Parry team in March 2019. 

We asked him what his biggest contributor to his success was

No secret there…  I think the biggest contributor has been following a well-structured plan that is individually tailored by professionals to my level and goals, and of course, following the plan and doing the hours/miles.”

Javier Montano at Sani Pass

In addition to that, when I mention following the plan, that requires leaving the ego behind and trusting the process….”

Javier Believes:

Results will follow… being faster times, longer distances or whatever the goal is.

And a very important point for the ego… Easy means EASY!

Future Goals

Javier’s next goal is to qualify for the UTMB in Chamonix, France in the next 2-3 years.

For him, this means doing a few 100k +ultra runs to gain experience, visit new places and meet new people on the way. 

He also aims to break the 3h30 barrier for the full marathon and wouldn’t mind a 3h15.

“By just taking your time and allowing the training to do its thing, the results will come. One just needs to be patient!”

Another Injury

In July 2018 Javier had a hip sprain injury from kite surfing which chased him for a very long time.

He hopes those days are behind him and that his rehab and physio help with the healing process, although he can still feel it from time to time. 

Javier Running

It’s very important to Javier that he has a balance between his professional work, his family life as well as his running.

With all the uncertainty that has come with COVID and all the cancellations & postponement of races… To Javier, it was about maintaining the commitment to prepare and have the base ready for something.

In his case, it was the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg which luckily took place while other races were being canceled.

On The Road To UTD

Javier managed to break 20 minutes for 5K with 19.42 (previous PB was over 23mins) and broke 3h40 for the full marathon with a previous PB of 3h59.

Javier absolutely loves visiting South Africa and says he really hopes to run the Two Oceans Ultra, Ultra-Trail Cape Town, and of course The Comrades marathon.


Well done Javier! We can’t wait to see you competing in South Africa again!


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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