Sara's Personal Story
As an experienced, self-motivated runner, I didn’t think I needed a coach. I’ve been running competitively since age 11, although my successes were typically separated by periods of time off with injuries, my entire collegiate running career was an injury-streak, and by my 30s I had just "accepted" that I was an injury-prone runner. In fact, I connected with Dr. Reed initially for ART for a foot issue.
Around the time I started those treatments with Dr. Reed, I’d been considering training for a sub-3:00 marathon. I worried I’d get hurt in the process, so I hadn’t been racing longer than the half marathon distance (even though the full marathon was and is still my favorite distance!). I decided to try working with Dr. Reed to see if he could keep me healthy any better than I could keep myself. I’ll admit, I wasn’t optimistic; after all, my college coach couldn’t do it even when my body was 18 years old. I am also a major control freak, so it took me quite a while to get comfortable with not making my own training schedule, but soon I began to see the benefits.
Through Dr. Reed’s coaching, I improved PRs that I thought were near my limits. I improved my marathon PR from 3:03:47 to 2:49:20, and my half marathon best from 1:27:08 to 1:22:37. My improvements literally took me to a new level, as the female elite qualifying times in many races are a sub-3:00 full and a sub-1:25 half; times I did not have prior to working with Dr. Reed. I also ran PRs in the 10K and 15K distances training with him (hoping to add 5K to this list soon!). Even better, I ran all of these races 100% healthy. I’ve never needed to see Dr. Reed for ART while using his training schedules; however, when I tried to run a different schedule between training blocks with him, I was back to being his patient with an injury – and I’m not crazy enough to try that again, so I’m planning on working with him to chase my next big dreams.
I’m not someone who needs to be held accountable or motivated to train (even though it’s nice to have a cheerleader along the way); I’m someone who needs to be held back from over-training and cautioned to stop trying to add on. I think many categories of runners can benefit from having a coach (e.g., new runners, runners who need accountability, runners trying a new distance or time goal, etc.), but Type A runners like me might need one even more!