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Jeff Stebar

Jeff Stebar

Peachtree City runner Jeff Stebar says, “The Running Doctor fixed me.”

He had been running for 25 years, and had trained for 3 marathons. But he had never actually run any of them. “I never got to the starting line, because I injured myself every time. Until I called Dr. Thomas,” said Jeff Stebar of Peachtree City.

Like many local runners, Jeff works and plays hard. An architect who designs university buildings, he also has five children and a “stunning wife.” With a deep commitment and involvement in his local church, Jeff runs for exercise and for enjoyment.

“I was eight weeks out from the Atlanta marathon in ’06, when I was injured. I thought, here we go again. I asked if the people at the running store knew a good running doctor. They said, ‘Yeah, we know THE Running Doctor,’” Jeff continued.

Jeff explained his first visit. “He looked at my orthotics, which were ancient. Dr. Thomas did the whole examination. And then he stripped my calves, which was just brutal. I just about wept. But two months later I ran my first marathon.”

Dr. John N. Thomas, D.C., known as The Running Doctor, works with athletes and others on muscle management and spinal alignment for peak performance. Like many others, Jeff Stebar experienced Dr. Thomas’ Muscle Stripping Protocol.

Used in conjunction with other muscle and pain management techniques, Muscle Stripping is a deep tissue technique that removes adhesions from the muscles and elongates muscle fibers. This enables runners and other athletes to get full motion and flexibility. Other benefits are increased strength, agility, speed. That equals better performance, faster recovery and prevention of further injury.

Jeff commented on his first visit, “I expected to come in and have him say take six weeks off and heal up. My surprise was, after he stripped my calves, I asked when I should start running, and he said tomorrow. I saw him six or seven times in the next eight weeks. I ran a 3:43:30 in my first marathon. It was the top 25% of my age group.”

After running his first marathon, Jeff continued to see Dr. Thomas, for years more training and several more marathons. Last year, Jeff invited Dr. Thomas to join him for the Great Wall Marathon in China.

“I’m no dummy. I do something like that, I take my doctor with me,” Jeff said.

The Great Wall Marathon in China is known as the hardest marathon in the world.

And Dr. Thomas concurred, “It was, without question, the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Jeff described it like this, “Between Mile 21 and mile 23 is the most brutal climb, 1100 vertical with switchbacks that you had to climb using your hands.”

“The literature I got from the race said not to bring your watch. They said you run it in 50% more time than you usually run. They said this is a race you finish, not a speed race. I ran it in 6 hours plus. Even the elite who won, ran it in 50% longer. The guy who won it had won the LA Marathon six weeks earlier in two hours and some change. This race he ran in 3 hours 35 minutes.”

“Any runner who’s relatively serious wants to do a marathon. Everyone respects a marathon,” said Jeff.

“I tried my first ones when I was in my mid-thirties. Typically the training builds up over 16 or twenty weeks. Your long runs are in the 20 mile range. You don’t do those every week, because it wears you out,” he explained.

“Somebody described it to me this way. Marathons have two halves. You have a 20 mile half and a six mile half. You build up the capacity to store about 20 miles worth of glycogen in your body. Glycogen is the carbohydrate, energy stuff that your body burns. You hit the wall when you run out. You can digest about 100 calories per 30-40 minutes.”

As surely as he needs racing nutrition, Jeff Stebar knows that he needs the muscle work that Dr. Thomas’ and his staff offer. Jeff gets adjustments. He’s also gotten custom orthotics from The Running Doctor that spelled the end to eight years of painful arches in his feet, or plantar fasciitis.

Now, Jeff Stebar has had three years of pain free running. “I come more for therapy than enjoyment. I’m here to make myself run better. It speeds the healing.”

Besides coming in regularly for treatment, Jeff refers more patients to The Running Doctor than any other person. “I have referred at least eight or nine people. Without fail, everyone was delighted.”

Dr. John N. Thomas, The Running Doctor, effectively treats athletes and all manner of back and neck pain. Dr. Thomas is both a runner who practices the same lifestyle that he advocates. Dr. Thomas offers spinal decompression, full body chiropractic care, muscle management, deep tissue massage, custom orthotics and other therapies and treatments. For more information or a free consultation with Dr. Thomas, call 678.705.2709.

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