How Daniela Witten went from the “Tallest Tortoise” to the “Tallest Gazelle” in London

How Daniela Witten went from the “Tallest Tortoise” to the “Tallest Gazelle” in London

Daniela Witten only took up running much later in life, in her late forties to be exact.

 

With tennis as her first love, she took up running in December 2016 at a Christmas Park run and said she could hardly walk the next day but was hooked from that point forward. 

 

Every year since then she has attempted a different longer distance... 

 

...She completed her first 10k in February 2017, her first half marathon in March 2018 and October 2019 her first marathon in gale-force winds and heavy rain at Beachy Head, England. 

 

In 2017, she felt like she had run some of her best times but since then her times have consistently deteriorated.

 

“I felt quite demoralised, I nicknamed myself the Tallest Tortoise in Chingford, London.

 

I received a club place for the 2020 London Marathon. I seriously thought about surrendering my entry because I felt so dissatisfied with my running. I wasn't enjoying it any more”  said Daniela

 

Fast forward to August 2020 - global pandemic has, as we all know, stopped most grouped activities and as a result, Daniela found herself running more and letting her first love of tennis take a backseat. 

 

Still feeling frustrated with her running, she came across the Faster Beyond Fifty Masterclass, it was quite a fluke as she was supposed to be out running that evening but having been soaked thoroughly from rain the day before and being quite unmotivated in her running she stayed home and watched the Masterclass.

 

“Somethings are fated”, she said to me. “It is the best thing I have ever done!” 

 

(We're hosting another Faster Beyond 50 Masterclass soon, you can find out more about it  here)

 

Since joining The Coach Parry Online Training Platform in August 2020, Daniela has gone from strength to strength dropping her 5k times from 28:42 (October) to 27:50 (Nov) to 27:34 (Dec) at the end of her 12 week Sub28min 5km training plan! 

 

She also has never run a sub 60min 10km in her life and she managed to smash this by running 58:12 most recently!

 

Charmaine Botha

 

  

Daniela has been incredibly consistent with the program both the running and the strength training and I believe this is a huge contributor to her success! 

 

Daniela says that she liked the 12-week block structure of the training program with the integrated live strength training sessions were a massive part of her success 

 

It is a fantastic platform. All the online resources are brilliant, so easy to use/access with great webcasts, videos etc.  I love the community forum everyone offering support, encouragement  and sharing their successes”

 

This is what Daniela had to say about the strength sessions: 

 

"The strength training sessions have helped me considerably.  I hadn’t done any of that type of strength training before.  Didn’t go to any gym.  I love the live sessions. Initially, the times were a bit awkward to fit around but since switching to an earlier time (even earlier with UK clocks going back an hour) the 7am sessions became so integrated into my week.

 

I love the banter being part of the "A-team".  The strength training has certainly made a big impact on my running success.

 

I have more energy in my quads/legs to push on uphill or sprint to the finish line.

 

My running gait has improved too, having a stronger pelvis complex (glutes, core, hamstring insertion) has stopped me collapsing my hip, reducing injuries like bursitis or adductor strain.

 

So yes, it has definitely helped my running.  All my running buddies have also commented that I look different, lost weight? ( I haven’t lost weight aside 2 pounds but my body shape has changed)"

 

Daniela hasn't been without her own challenges though...

Charmaine Botha

 

...She has struggled with a very painful chronic shoulder injury, which she ignored for 10 months! She has finally sought treatment so that it no longer hinders her during the strength sessions. 

 

Daniela also says that her mindset is the one thing that holds her back... 

 

“Everytime I have to “race” I berate myself: I'm too heavy, too slow etc.” She goes onto say though that the difference and a massive contributor to her success was having someone have the belief in her and her potential.

 

Recognising my potential, saying I am capable of running a sub28 5k and a sub 4hr marathon. I was astounded at first but I have since proved it is possible.

 

Every ‘race’ I have exceeded my time. Smashed it out of the ballpark and beyond.   My fastest mile is 7:40 !!  My fastest 10k 58:12;  my fastest 5k 27:34 Amazeballs!!

 

I have truly been astounded. I love it! Coach Parry has transformed me - I’m no longer the Tallest Tortoise in Chingford but now the Tallest Gazelle in Chingford”

 

Next up Daniela has dreams of a sub 2hr15 half marathon and long term goal of running a marathon “without having to walk/limp along and smash out a 4hr finishing time.” 

 

We’re so proud of you Daniela and everything you have achieved in the short time you have been part of the CoachParry Team!

 

You are well on your way to that sub 4hr marathon! 

 

We love having you a part of the team! And we can’t wait to watch you reach these goals!!

 

PS Happy Birthday for yesterday Daniela (4 February)

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