Athlete of the Month, May 2014 - Mike Reed

Triathlon training partners smiling at the camera
January 29, 2017

D3 Staff



Tell us about your journey into triathlon and why you decided to pursue the sport:

I started competing in Triathlons during the mid-90s. Coming from a background in team-oriented (anaerobic) sports and years of surfing, I naturally gravitated towards triathlons. Road biking was also a passion of mine at the time. However, due to knee injuries in my youth, I was hesitant to engage in excessive running for training. The Sprint distance triathlon seemed like a perfect fit for me. I believed I could excel in the ocean swim, perform well in biking, and manage the 5K run. Initially, I participated in about half a dozen triathlons and did reasonably well, although nothing extraordinary to boast about.

However, after the birth of our first son in 2000, followed by our second in 2002, life became busier, and my focus shifted away from triathlons. My wife, Chelsea, and I directed our efforts towards exposing our boys to various sports while maintaining our fitness through activities like running, surfing, and resistance training. Although our boys didn't take to organized sports, they developed a passion for running, much like my wife. Seeing their enthusiasm for running and participating in races inspired me to join them and make triathlons a family affair. As someone who doesn't do things halfway, I dove into training wholeheartedly at the beginning of 2013, participated in a Sprint triathlon that June, and haven't looked back since. I'm thoroughly enjoying the journey!

Share a bit about yourself and what drives you:

First and foremost, I consider myself a family man, dedicated to being a supportive husband and father, and serving as an inspiration to my boys. I'm also deeply passionate about caring for individuals with spinal disorders, which has been a significant focus of my professional life. At my core, I possess an insatiable drive for achievement. Setting ambitious goals and pursuing them relentlessly is integral to my identity.

What's your favorite race and why?

St. Anthony's in St. Petersburg, Florida holds a special place in my heart. It offers a fantastic location, comfortable accommodations, well-organized events, a large participant base, and various race distances suitable for the entire family. Moreover, it coincides with our wedding anniversary, making it a memorable and meaningful experience for my wife and me. We recently celebrated our 20th anniversary there, the night before the race!

After a solid workout, what's your go-to recovery meal?

A big bowl of oatmeal and Cheerios (cooked together), enhanced with Ovaltine, whey protein, peanut butter, brown sugar, and diced banana, is my ultimate recovery meal. It's not only delicious but also provides the essential nutrients and energy needed for effective recovery.

What inspired the creation of Tri4Spine?

My journey into triathlons was influenced by my own experience with a spinal injury during high school football. Although I was fortunate not to sustain spinal cord damage, the incident led me to pursue a career in physical therapy, specializing in spine care and sports medicine. Over the years, I've witnessed the transformative power of sports, particularly triathlons, in rehabilitating individuals with spinal disorders. Tri4Spine aims to empower physically challenged athletes with spinal impairments to pursue their dreams of completing a triathlon. By providing support, training, and resources, we hope to inspire others and foster greater inclusivity in the sport.

You recently underwent knee surgery. Can you tell us more about that?

About two months ago, while ramping up my training for St. Anthony's, I experienced discomfort and instability in my left knee. Ignoring the warning signs, I pushed through intense speed work, leading to a significant injury during a run. The subsequent surgery involved repairing a torn medial meniscus and addressing other knee issues. While the recovery process has been challenging, I'm grateful for the opportunity to regain full function and return stronger than before.

How are you managing your recovery?

Recovering from knee surgery hasn't been easy, but I'm approaching it with determination and positivity. Despite limitations, I've maintained a consistent regimen of core exercises and rehabilitation activities. Recently, I resumed swimming to stay active while allowing my knee to heal. Additionally, I've focused on various business projects and found solace in reading inspiring literature, such as "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall.

What races do you look forward to post-recovery?

Given the recovery timeline, I aim to return to racing around October. I'm considering participating in the HITS Triathlon in Naples, Florida, where I hope to reunite with Coach Dave and my family for another memorable experience. While I may be restricted to the Sprint distance, I'm eager to embrace the challenge and celebrate the joy of competing alongside loved ones.

If you could design a workout for Coach Dave, what would it entail?

I'd plan an easy yet extended brick workout, allowing us to train together at a comfortable pace while focusing on technique and camaraderie. Sharing the experience of training and bonding over our mutual passion for triathlons would be incredibly rewarding.

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