2014 marks year 2 with Gary as my personal running coach. I first met Gary back in 2010 when he was the Head Coach of JackRabbit’s NYC Marathon training program. My goal back then was simple: finish the NYC Marathon with my pride intact (which I did, barely…). After the 2012 fall training season ended, I started to think about “what was next” — I wanted to “up my game”. I was no longer satisfied with simply finishing. I wanted to get faster, become more efficient and perhaps one day, qualify for Boston. And so in December of 2012, seeking a more customized approach, Gary and I started to work together one on one.
I remember that first call we had well – we talked about training history, prior injuries and my goals (short-term and long-term). Based on those data points (Gary is a very data-driven guy, something I personally appreciate…), Gary pulled together a strategy that balanced both my short term needs with my long term ones. All totaled, we spent more than an hour on the phone. I came away from our conversation excited about what lay ahead and confident that I had made the right choice.
Fast forward 2 years, 3 Marathons and 5 Half Marathons later, I am still just as confident in my decision. Since I first started training with Gary, I have shaved 45 minutes off of my marathon finish time and more than 20 minutes off of my half marathon finish time. My knowledge of nutrition, race strategy and even how to properly incorporate metabolic data into my training for more optimal results has all increased exponentially.
Gary is much more than a running coach to me. He’s a friend, a mentor and at times my psychologist. He encouraged me to BELIEVE when perhaps I didn’t as much as I should have, and as a result pushed me to achieve more than I ever thought I was capable of. If you’re looking to work with a coach who is as personally vested in your success as you are, look no further — it is with zero hesitation, a lower resting heart rate and LOTS of enthusiasm that I recommend Gary!