Fran Gonzalez, 57: Ultra Runner & Health Coach Extraordinaire

Fran Gonzalez, at 57 years old, defies the conventional boundaries of age and athleticism as an accomplished ultra-runner, having conquered 65 races across 18 countries. Beyond her remarkable feats in the realm of endurance sports, Fran also holds expertise as a health coach with a specialization in menopause and nutrition certification. Her multifaceted journey is a testament to the indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication that propels individuals to transcend limitations and inspire others through their extraordinary achievements.

What is your name?

Fran Gonzalez

How old are you? And how old do you feel?

I’m 57. I feel young. Age is just a number; my spirit has lots of energy.

What age did you start your fitness journey? Or has it always been a part of your life?

I’ve played and participated in many different sports throughout my life. It has always been a part of my life, but my running journey started 12 years ago when I was 45.

You look incredibly youthful! What is your skincare routine? 

Thank you. I think that the secret is living a healthy lifestyle: I sleep 7-8 hours, I practice sport every day, eat a healthy diet, I don’t drink alcohol, and never smoke. Besides that, I never use makeup, and I always clean my face before bed. I use vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum, anti-spot cream, and sunscreen every day.

What has been the biggest change in your life since you started?

The biggest change since I started running was that at 50, I quit my job of 15 years as a school principal to follow my dream to travel and run races around the world.

What is a key factor in aging gracefully that you believe many people make a mistake not doing more of?

I think that we need to change the term “age gracefully” to “age strong”. We need to understand that our muscles are the passport for a healthier life as we get older. We need to lift weights and make some changes in our diet to have a better quality of life and increase our health span.

Fran Gonzalez

What is an example of a challenge that you have had to face due to age, and how do you respond to it being a health coach?

Having double achilles surgery and not being able to run properly for more than a year. I learned to be patient and train within the restrictions I faced. I never stopped training but I changed the types of exercises to adapt to my circumstances.

What did you think of your current age when you were younger? Did you think you would be as athletic as you are?

I thought 57 was really old. However, I now realize how young we still are in our 50s and beyond (if we look after our physical and mental health). I am stronger now than I’ve ever been as I know how important it is to remain active in mid-life and beyond.

You are an active runner, what are some brands that you love whether it’s for your shoes or athletic gear?

I love using Leki poles for long ultra races. I like various models of shoes like Hoka, Norda, and North Face. For activewear, I love Lululemon clothing and Salomon.

Is there something that you would like to try to learn how to do now?

I like to study, and over the last few years, I´ve learned more about nutrition and menopause issues facing women. I want to help more women to be healthier during and after menopause.

What is the goal for this 2024?

To create a coaching website for women struggling with health/menopause issues. And to return to full-time ultra running after my Achilles surgery.

How do you maintain your fitness routine during winter seasons or illness?

I train all year long for my physical and mental health as being healthy is a way of life. When I´m sick, I always rest and take time to recover before I resume any kind of training.

Do you have any advice you would like to give to someone who wants to get into fitness in their 50+ years, and is afraid they are past the point of starting?

First of all, it’s never too late to start. Start where you are and do what you can based on your level of fitness. Be consistent and remember real health and fitness should be a lifelong process, so don’t try to rush or push yourself too hard; there are no shortcuts.

Most importantly don’t compare yourself to others, we all progress at different rates, focus on what you have to do today, and just do that.

Fran Gonzalez’s compelling narrative serves as a source of inspiration for individuals across the globe, showcasing the immense potential for personal growth and accomplishment regardless of age. Her unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and her holistic approach to health and wellness exemplify a lifestyle that transcends limitations.

For a deeper insight into Fran’s journey and to stay updated on her adventures, nutritional insights, and coaching tips, follow her on Instagram @fragibar.

Join our community of like-minded individuals who aspire to lead fulfilling lives through fitness, nutrition, and unwavering determination by signing up here. As we absorb the remarkable story of Fran Gonzalez, let us draw inspiration from her resilience and fearlessness, propelling us to pursue our own aspirations with unwavering tenacity.

Follow Fran on Instagram and embark on a journey of empowerment, wellness, and boundless determination!

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