She’s British but has lived in the South of France for over 20 years
Growing up quite sporty. Melanie really only started running at the age of 47 as part of a Bootcamp she signed up for to lose some weight and to get fit.
Meet Melanie Gulliver
I’d always hated running and had never run more than 500m!”
She signed up for a 10km race in three months’ time- “I always love a challenge”.
Melanie told us how that specific 10K race has to be one of the hardest races she has ever run to date… she hobbled back to the car… But THE SEED WAS SOWN!
As we like to say… the running bug got to her too😉
Three years later she ran her first marathon as a celebration of reaching 50 (“I said I would never do another marathon after that first one, but I have done another two”), and now running is part of her (triathlon) life.
Melanie says that running is still ‘hard’ but that she loves being able to head out wherever she is and check out a new route, feel her body respond to the workout, grab a coffee at the end and check out her Strava and Garmin stats.
Melanie’s Recent Achievements
Melanie recently completed her first half marathon in Nice, France.
In her forum post she said: “Boy, that was hard (the run)!”
She told us that this was a challenge because all her training until 8 weeks before had been for M distance triathlons so running a half marathon was always going to be a challenge.
This was her post on the Coach Parry community forum:
“Nice in France. On Sunday 26th June.
This was a challenge because all my training til 8 weeks ago had been for M distance triathlons so running a half marathon was always going to be a challenge. And then there was the unseasonal heatwave in France to get my head around.
And on the day an unexpected wild windy day when it came time to run.
The swim went great, and the bike route is fabulous. And then the run- my legs were struggling.. but I got it done with some walking.. in 2 hrs 29’- now I am going back to M tris! And trying to improve my run time.. “
Melanie also mentioned that she seems to be getting Personal Bests on a lot of her runs these days…. Even when she is not trying to!
My fitness in running has just improved so much over the two years I have been with Coach Parry that even easy runs can result in a Personal Best on a Strava segment.”
She thinks her favorite achievement of late has not been in running but in winning third place in a 2.5kms sea swim race in Mandelieu.
I was a competitive swimmer as a child but I haven’t won anything for swimming for a very long time, and never won a cup.”
Melanie was very happy and surprised to come in third in her age group.
What Made Melanie Join Coach Parry
She’s been a Coach Parry member for almost two years now- the first year as part of the Faster Beyond Fifty community and then for the last 9 months she’s been working one-to-one with Devlin on her triathlon goals.
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I joined Coach Parry when I was looking for a training program that was suited to older athletes and focused on a holistic training method.”
She has been part of a triathlon club and a running club in the past but their method of training was so often focused on pushing yourself hard and there were no adjustments made for different ages so she ended up injured or exhausted most of the time and she certainly wasn’t getting faster.
Biggest Contributor To Melanie’s Recent Achievement
“Recovery. Consistency. Pacing. Patience. Coaching.”
What’s Next For Melanie
Melanie told us that she still needs to work on getting her nutrition in longer triathlons nailed.
Devlin has made me understand more about race strategy and getting nutrition in before your body needs it so I need to work on that.”
In training, Melanie is working on running faster over the next few months (and hopes to make podiums in future M distance triathlons).
Having completed her first half Ironman distance she vowed never to do another one – “That run was a killer- but my head is saying what about the half Ironman in Taupo New Zealand in December! We’ll see.😉”
Struggles Along The Way
Melanie told us that she struggled more mentally than physically before the day of the half-Ironman.
I had to convince myself that it (‘it’ being the run) was achievable- even though I have run the distance before I had never run it after 90kms of cycling in a race.”
A sudden heatwave, a couple of weeks before the race, pushing temperatures to 30 degrees Celcius, played heavily on her mind too.
On the day of the race I had to deal with burning feet for the last 10kms of the bike ride, and just finding the run extremely difficult throughout!”
Putting on her running shoes after the bike section to start the half marathon not only in 28-degree weather but also with a very strong wind blowing was the HARDEST part of the whole day.
Melanie says that she would not have finished the half Ironman without Devlin’s input into her race strategy- and emphasizing the best time to eat and how to make the run ´easier’- which involved walking briskly through every feed station to save her legs so they could run more- “It just about worked!”
Well done Melanie! This is a fantastic achievement and you should be extremely proud of yourself, as we are! 🙂