Apr 05, 2017
Athlete Spotlight: Ashley Maxwell
No matter what level of experience or skill you have in your favorite sport, it can be hard to believe you might be ready for a professional coach. That word professional can be intimidating, but you don’t need to be a pro athlete to get pro advice. Meet SoS Athlete, Ashley. We sat down with her to find out why she sought out a coach and what her experience has been like working with Science of Speed’s team.
SoS: What was your athletic life like before you had a coach?
Ashley: I grew up playing soccer from the age of 5, I ran cross country in middle school, and I danced in high school. When I got to college, I focused more on school but would play a pick-up game of soccer every now and then but no running and no dancing. I felt pretty proficient in soccer, but when I decided to start running again, I sort of made it up as I went. If and when I felt like running, I did, and when I felt like racing, I did. It wasn’t until I realized how much I loved and missed running (which was about six months after I started running again) that I decided to be more serious about it and enlist the help of a coach.
SoS: What was the initial goal or motivation to seek out a coach?
Ashley: My initial goal was to complete the Tallahassee Marathon and I knew I was going to need some professional guidance to achieve that. I actually attended a lecture about training for marathons at Capital City Runners one night when Brady was there and I didn’t look anywhere else! In fact, I believe I emailed him just a few days later and thus began my relationship with Science of Speed.
SoS: When you found SoS, what stood out to you?
Ashley: What stood out was the apparent dedication to the community. I thought it was great that the owner himself showed up to help with the lecture. It also really impressed me that Brady called me within a couple days of emailing him to actually have a verbal conversation about goals and where I was at in my running career to help me decide on the right coaching service.
SoS: Describe your coach and your relationship with them.
Ashley: Alex is always there to help me. We connect at least once a week to talk about how the week was, where I’m having concerns, where I’m excelling, and where I need improvement. We have a great relationship and I feel I can really trust him and his advice with not only running, but with nutrition and recovery as well. I like that he takes the time out of his busy schedule to accommodate my busy schedule. I work nights and sometimes have to arrange phone calls at odd hours and he’s never had a problem with that. He will talk to me until I feel I’ve said and asked everything I need to.
SoS: What's been the biggest difference in your day-to-day training?
Ashley: The biggest difference is probably that I run more days of the week. I’ve also made major adjustments to how I recover after long runs and my diet as well.
SoS: What's been the biggest change you've seen in your body?
Ashley: The biggest change I’ve noticed is the strength I have in my legs and arms. I actually have visible muscles in both legs and arms which is really nice since summer is coming up!
SoS: What's been the biggest change you've noticed mentally?
Ashley: Mentally, I’m much less stressed and have way less anxiety. I’m a lot more confident in competition and have actually become quite competitive.
SoS: What goals has coaching helped you achieve -- or even helped you alter?
Ashley: Coaching has helped me be realistic about my goals. I got injured in November after running a half marathon for the first time. Alex really helped me maintain my endurance in a low impact way and altered my marathon goals to accommodate the delay in my training.
SoS: What's your upcoming goal and how will your coach help you get there?
Ashley: My upcoming goal is a marathon at the end of April. He’s really helped me recover post Tallahassee half marathon and I’m feeling confident going forward with training. He posts my training schedule in training peaks and is 100% understanding if there is a day when I just can’t muster up the energy to run. He always tells me to listen to my body and I’ve been trying harder to do that.
SoS: When people say, "Do I really need a coach?" what would your answer be?
Ashley: If you are really serious about and really love the sport you’re considering getting a coach in, then yes absolutely. I never would have been able to reach the level of athleticism I’m currently at without Alex and Science of Speed.
Ready to start your journey as an SoS Athlete like Ashley? Contact us today.