Michelle Grainger has been a Coach and Personal Trainer for over 17 years. Michelle has achieved her Elite Level Coaching License with USA Cycling, the highest achievable level of coaching. Michelle also holds several Certifications in Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition and Pre and Post Natal Fitness.
Michelle graduated from the University of Florida and has continued with her education to maximize her knowledge in the fitness industry.
Tuesday June 18th, 2013I NOW HAVE A USA CYCLING CX DISCIPLINE SPECIFIC CERTIFICATION.
I know it's been a while. I just have been busy and not paying attention to getting info onto the blog. I refuse to be one of the busy people that hire someone to write on their blog and so... I plod along making the best of it and hope to do much better moving forward.
So... exciting new news!!!!! I am now Certified by USAC for a new progrm called the "Discipline Specific Certification" program.
There are three types of certification courses we can take and I choose to start with CX. Why? I raced road and mountain bikes for many many years. And although equipment and training techniques change over time I decided to pick something I knew less about and could learn more about. I plan to take the mountain bike course in the near future.
The course was taught by the very well known Peter Webber and he did an excellent job of teaching the coaches all of the new skills required to teach our clients/athletes. I loved the course and am going to have a great time passing the information along to my current CX racers and new-future clients.
Here's what USAC has to say about these new exciting programs:
"USA Cycling's mission is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition and grow competitive cycling in America. It is with this mission in mind we created our Discipline Specific Certifications. These Discipline Specific Certifications ensure coaches receive advanced training and coaching skills in cyclo-cross, track and mountain bike.
In order to attend a Discipline Specific Certification, you must be a licensed Level 3 coach or higher in good standing with USA Cycling.
Discipline Specific Certification Purpose
The purpose of the Discipline Specific Certifications is to teach coaches how to more effectively teach and coach their athletes in a specific cycling discipline. Coaches who attend these 1.5-day certifications can expect to gain valuable knowledge of specific drills and methodologies pertinent to helping their athletes achieve a higher level of success in their specific discipline. These certifications are meant to be enhancements to a coaches current USA Cycling coaching license; they do not replace licensing and are additions to your coaching credentials and specialties.
Cyclo-cross Specific Certification
During the Cyclo-cross Specific Certification, participants will learn a wide range of cyclo-cross skills and techniques to improve their coaching expertise. Topics include preparing a cyclo-cross specific training plan, equipment selection and set up, on-the-bike cyclo-cross skills and drills, bike handling in a variety of conditions, race craft, and tips to help your athletes avoid common mistakes. Whether you are coaching beginner or advanced cyclo-cross riders, this clinic will help you and your athletes achieve success.
Track Specific Certification
The purpose of the Track Specific Certification is to teach coaches how to run a safe, fun, and effective track workout, thus leading their athletes to a higher level of success on the track. Safety is the number one priority and is obtained through awareness, communication and predictability. This clinic will cover racing tactics, skill development, common terminology, general riding etiquette, as well as rider and coach responsibility.
Mountain Bike Specific Certification
The purpose of the Mountain Bike Specific Certification is to teach coaches how to teach their athletes the technical skills needed to ride and race a mountain bike. Topics include balance and movement on the bike, cornering, how to set up for switchbacks, front wheel lift, riding up and down ledges, and how to approach steep climbing and descents. In a group setting, participants will learn the techniques of not only how to ride technical sections, but how to teach others the skills needed to be safe and confident on the trail. In addition, participants will also learn and review general terminology, common problems, equipment issues, and skills specific to the various disciplines within mountain biking".
In the Fall I'll be taking another power based coaches course. I took the very first power clinic offered by USAC-way back in the early 2000s ( I think then). I use power with about half of my clients/athletes I find I can always learn more. I still believe a lot can be accomplished with heart rate/HR training but there are issues with it as we know there are things like cardiac drift and other things that alter your HR making it not as accurate as training with power/watts.
Also new is that I am now training with StagesPower meters. They are incredible! Very accurate as I have trained side by side with my PowerTap (which I've been using for about 12 years). I actually think the StagesPower is more accurate. A great way to train. More on this later. You can check the StagesPower company out at http://www.stagescycling.com/stagespower.
Ok-so now you have the newest news. More to come-like the awesome 29er Prescott that KHS sent me. It makes riding so much fun!
Have fun out ont he road, the track or the trails. I'll write again!
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 1:28 pm 0 Comments
Monday November 12th, 2012Strength Training Over 40 from Cycing to Runnng to Swimming.
|Strength Training for the Core muscle groups and more....|
|Fitness Ball Pushups.|
Now let’s get started for a better and healthier life.
Thursday November 1st, 2012Endurance Cycling and Strength Training Over 40 years old.
|Michelle demonstrates a Hamstring Exercise using a Fit Ball|
I've been a cyclist for the better part of 30 years. Road and mountain, long and short. I love it and will always try to ride for as long as I live. But... I have also been doing strength training in a gym setting for about 35 years. I love it, too and always have, even when it wasn't fashionable or considered something that cyclists should do.
|Cross Training on the Mountain BIke|
Monday October 29th, 2012In Boulder, Cycling, Yoga, and Social Media
|In Boulder riding with Steve.|
Sitting in class tonight in Boulder at the Social Media class. Good information on how to reach out from my blog site and my Tweets. I WILL try to do these much more often.
What I really wish I was doing is practicing my yoga like I did this morning, or riding with Steve in Boulder, like we did yesterday. We did a great 100KM Permanent Populaire. It's our endurance riding for the week. I was quite tired from it because we rode fairly hard after getting two flats. One each. As a cycling coach I try to practice what I preach. At least one long cycling ride each week through the Fall and Winter months.
Next ride may be a 200KM endurance ride next weekend. Maybe start in Boulder and head out toward Masonville. Who knows..... the sky.................is.... the...........
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 7:09 pm 2 Comments
Wednesday October 24th, 2012Winter Riding Tips and the Denver Post.
|Friend and client Catherine Shenk knows how to dress for a cold winter ride|
This blog comes at a really good time, for a couple of reasons and because the Front Range of Colorado is about to get a big blast of winter.First reason: I was quoted in an article today from the Colorado Denver Post titled:
"Personal Trainers in Colorado like Michelle Grainger train in cold"
|Friends ride together|
Another good tip is that you really need to dress for all different kinds of weather.
Layering your clothes and wearing the "right" cool and cold weather clothing is key to being able to stay active all Fall and Winter.
I like to wear plenty of wool clothing. I wear SmartWool socks and base layer. I find it never gets hot when I sweat or cold when it's wet. http://www.smartwool.com/.
|Dressing for a winter hike|
I also wear a wool Buff. http://www.buffwear.com/. You can take the the Buff and keep it on your head, under your helmet or bring it down to your neck for some neck and chin warmth. Either way works great!
A trick I use, and I stated in the Denver Post article, to keep your feet warm, is to wear a wool sock and place a pair of panty hose over them. This works well to keep in the heat and the wool sock keeps your feet from getting cold when they get wet from sweat. Personal trainers in Colorado like Michelle Grainger train in cold - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/outwest/ci_21830510/personal-trainers-colorado-like-michelle-grainger-train-cold#ixzz2AEqIq7S.
If it's really really cold out you can add a layer of tin foil over your cycling shoe and under your shoe cover to get an extra layer of warmth and wind protection to your feet. I've used this trick while riding a 200km ride in January when the temperature was only 17 degrees (F) for most of the day's ride. I have to admit, though, I was not the happiest of riders on this cold ride. Just too cold.
The take away of the Denver Post article and this blog post is that you should continue to work out all winter long. If you don't want to do the activities inside, go outside but bring friends with you and dress for the conditions you'll be riding, running, hiking in. And..... have fun!
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 9:41 am 3 Comments
Tuesday October 16th, 2012My 2012 1000km Brevet in Nova Scotia
So we begin again....
We originally had planned to head over to Scotland and participate in their new 1000km but found out the event was full within weeks of opening. Since I had a broken hip at that time, we didn't sign up. Oh well. We found a great 1000km Brevet to do in Nova Scotia. That became the goal for the season. It would also allow us part of our Randonneur 5000 . (rahn doe ner) - One of the most prestigious awards a randonneur can earn. To be one of the recipients, a randonneur must do a full series of 200, 300, 400, 600, and 1000km brevets, a Paris-Brest-Paris randonneur event, a Flèche team ride, and the remaining distances ridden on sanctioned brevets for a total of 5000 kilometers. The qualifying events must all be completed within a four-year period. You can read more about all of the awards available at http://www.rusa.org/.
http://www.rusa.org/permfaq.html. This allowed us to maintain fitness, keep the long distance fitness going and also to be a little faster, which would allow us to have more night time control sleep. Always a good thing.
We were planning for temperatures in the 60s. Nop,e we got 100 degree days. Oh well-at least we had planned for the wrst weather conditions and got sun, instead.
We had a great start time of 6 AM and that allowed for plenty of sleep before starting the 1000km Brevet. There were 5 of us at the start and we ended up staying together for the event.
Welcome to Nova Scotia. http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/default.aspx. The ride started right near our hotel in Dartmouth. The controls were in Sherbrooke, Half Island Cove, Port Hastings, Whycocomagh, St. Peters, Aulds Cove, Antigonish, Stellarton, Brookfield, and back to Dartmouth. Wonderful things to look at and keep us occupied. From rolling hills and 4-8 minute climbs, to small lobster villiages along the inlets and coves. Little towns and many little cafes to fill up on food and water.
The controls were about 100km apart. A little farther that what we are used to in the United States. Staying with the local riders proved to be prudent because we are so used to a gas station or small grocery store every 30 miles; about half the distance were were getting with the controls in Nova Scotia. Besides-it was very enjoyable to have the local company of the local riders. Very hospitable!
Steve and I had planned well for the conditions and hills of Nova Scotia. Actually they were not like the hills of Colorado, so we were prepared. Something one needs to consider when going to another country or state for a Brevet event-know your terrain.
Many of the controls (which also meant the stops for food) were at Tim Hortons. Perfect for soup, sandwiches, and other treats, and liquiq consumption.
The biggest challenge for me was the humidity (with the heat). I had decided to double up my shorts for a softer ride on the sit bones but ended up with a heat rash. No worries here-I adjusted to this by wearing only one pair of shorts for the second half of the 1000kms. No big deal. But something to keep in mind when you travel to different conditions. We often think about the terrain and the weather-but the weather can mean higher humidity and not just rain or sun.
My favorite parts of this ride were the people we rode with. The riders form the Nova Scotia. http://www.randonneurs.ns.ca/ club were so nice and helpful. The volunteers had our meals in the hotels ready when we arrived and also had our drop bags delivered into our hotel rooms.
We stayed as a group which is such a treat because often Randonneurs ride solo or get very spread out in long Brevet events.
The controls were well placed apart and came at times when we really needed to refeul and get ice (hot temps).
The scenery was fantastic and just what I would expect along coastal terrain.
We almost never saw a car and when we did they were extremely polite. Really!
It was a fantastic trip and we are well on our way for our http://www.rusa.org/award_r5000.html award which, of course is tied to the mother of all 1200km Brevet events-PBP (Paris Brest Paris) "PBP" as it is commonly called, is a grueling test of human endurance and cycling ability. Organized every four years by the host Audax Club Parisien, the Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneursis the oldest bicycling event still run on a regular basis on the open road. Beginning on the southern side of the French capital, it travels west 600 kilometers to the port city of Brest on the Atlantic Ocean and returns along the same route. http://www.rusa.org/pbp.html
Thank you to our new friends in Nova Scotia for making our stay and ride wonderful!
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 1:06 pm 0 Comments
Wednesday June 20th, 2012It's June Already!
My friend and client, Michelle Williamshttp://blogs.clarionledger.com/cycling/2012/06/20/michelle-who-or-the-beginning/ is doing such a wonderful job of writing that she has inspired me to write again. Thanks Michelle!
I'll write more about Nova Scotia later, but wanted to make a comment about the month of June.
I find for myself and also for many athletes that June is the "hump month". The month where you feel tired more easily. The month where motivation is hard to find. Then month, where the year seems really long. Not to worry. We forget that the years of training, racing, and riding, as well as, the months of the current year are all accumulative.
No worries. Take extra time off the bike and engage in other activities. Not activities that may hurt your riding-so don't take up running or water skiing, as they don't mix well with the muscles groups you've been using all season.
Take extra time with your family. Go to the movies, the park, or hang out with a friend. I bet they've missed you while you were riding every weekend. They'll be happy to reconnect with you. You'll be happy to have a diversion from your long rides and races. You'll recharge.
As you recharge, don't ignore your bike. Ride each day, or ride two days in a row with a good rest day between. Ride with friends you normally don't ride with that may not go your "normal" pace. You don't want your body to go into change of season transition mode. You want to get it refreshed along with your mental outlook towards your training.
Once you've taken several extra days off in this month of June and you feel rested-get back into your training but be mindful that it's a long season of riding and it's all accumulative.
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 8:54 am 0 Comments
Saturday March 10th, 2012Dehydration...More Salt, less Salt, Drink, Drink, Drink. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. What to eat? What to drink? When to do either or both?
You've picked out and thought about your 2012 "A" race/event. It's your most important event of the season. Will it be in Europe? Canada? South Africa? The US? Hot climate? Humid? Cold? Supported or self supported?
It's a good idea to start thinking about working on your food and fluid intake while riding or racing before you get too far into the season. Think about what foods you've already practiced taking on your training rides and shorter races/events. How can you fine tune it? How much water and electrolyte drinks do you expend or sweat out? Lots to think about and practice.
One thing that comes to mind is the question(s) about drinking while exercising... how does it affect thermoregulation?
A couple of years ago I was attending a presentation, at the Olympic Training Center, by Stacy T Sims, Phd, on Thermoregulation: Manipulation for Performance. Great presentation and an eye opener.
Dr. Sims works with individual endurance athletes to find the optimal formulae of hydration and nutrition to succeed in their sport. Currently she is a consultant for Team RadioShack and Dr. Allen Lim, individuals of TeamTibco and Webcor professional women’s cycling, Matt Dixon of PurplePatchFitness, and Craig Upton of PerformanceLabsHC. She worked with Garmin-Slipstream for the 2009 Tour de France and USACycling West Coast Development camps Exercise Physiologist and Sport Nutritionist at Stanford University) .at the Olympic Training Center.
The big take-a-way from the talk, for me, was we need to be hydrated in order to help our bodies deal with heat.
Dehydration causes: Increased strain on the heart, reduced aerobic endurance, reduced muscular endurance, reduced muscles strength, reduced fine motor sills, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, reduced mental capacity, physical exhaustion, heat stroke and coma. WOW!
A good formula to remember:
Max sweat rates can be 1.5 - 3.0 L/h but gastric emptying max rates are only 0.8 – 1.3L/h
We lose water and electrolytes through breathing, sweat, and bleeding (women). The rate of water loss is higher than the rate of solute loss. It's also good to know that on a daily basis, most of us are not hydrated enough. Only 1% or body weight loss is detrimental to exercise performance. I think I'll go get a glass of water now.
Another thing Stacy told us was that we can "train" our bodies to do better in heat. And I thought all those crazy riders training in green houses were silly. hhhmmm.
Repeated, prolonged exercising in a heated environment can cause adaptations to the heat stress placed upon the body. The thermoregulatory system can be stressed so that it adapts to the heat demand by enabling the body to eliminate excess body heat more effectively. This process is known as heat acclimatization. With this adaptation, many adjustments are made in both blood flow and sweating. The rate of sweating during activity in the heat increases with heat acclimatization, and the amount of sweat produced often increases in the most exposed areas that are most effective at dissipating body heat. We want this all to occur so that we can have a lowered skin temperature. Being hydrated helps this!
When to take on more sodium. Know your sweat rate. Get up in the morning and drink about 4 ounces of water. Wait 15 minutes and then go weigh yourself. After you do a training ride in the heat or or high volume come home and weigh yourself. If you lost weight-you lost sweat and that means you lost sodium and fluids.
When is drinking drinking too much? Hyponatremia: This is a good thing for me to know as I do not sweat very much, at all.
Hyponatremia is a condition that results in an abnormally low concentration of sodium in the blood. This can be caused by the ingestion of too little sodium or by the ingestion of so much water that the concentration of sodium is decreased. An athlete who experiences a low rate of sweating that continues to ingest large quantities of water over a several hour period of exercise is vulnerable to this injury. A very low concentration of sodium can compromise the central nervous system, thus creating a potentially life-threatening condition. Hyponatremia can be completely avoided with adequate ingestion of sodium. You have to play around with this--meaning practice. I am not a fan of the salt tablets, instead I prefer to make sure my food intake or electrolyte drinks have what I need. For this reason, I am a fan of drinking before I am thirsty (remember, many of us are already 50% dehydrated when our bodies tell us we are thirsty) about a bottle an hour on an average temperature day. More if very hot.
When it's hot it is so important that we continually replaces lost fluids by drinking enough quantities of water and take enough electrolytes to replace what we give off. (Coyle E: Fluid and carbohydrate replacement during exercise: how much and why? Sports Sci Exchange 7(50):1, 1994).
The average adult performing minimal physical activity requires a minimum of 2.5 liters of water a day. A normal sweat loss rate for a person during an hour of exercise ranges between 0.8 and 3 liters of water. (Murray R: Guidelines for fluid replacement during exercise. Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics 53(4 suppl):S17, 1996).
Ok-now that we know we want to make sure we take in an electrolyte drink while exercising longer than a couple of hours. It's not just about sodium, but this is one of the more critical electrolytes. Too, there is enough research to show that when conditions are hot, we likely cannot get enough sodium in a sports drink.
Your body knows the importance of maintaining adequate water saturation levels. If you ignore the signals of being thirsty your body water will continue to decrease, resulting in dehydration.
It is important to note that we cannot always rely on our thirst response as a signal to ingest water. If you are waiting to drink (only) when you feel thirsty, you could already have lost 50% of your water lost through sweating and evaporation. By the time you feel thirsty, dehydration is already occurring on a wide-scale level; therefore, athletes must drink water before they feel thirsty. (Newburgh LH: Physiology of heat regulation. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1949.)
Not all sports drinks are the same and you will have to try different electrolyte sports drinks to see which is best for you. I prefer Clif Bar's Clif Shot Electrolyte drink. My husband needs more salt and so he'll generally use The Clif Shot drink to start and then switch over to Gatoraide 5 hours into a long ride. You have to try different drinks to make sure which one works best for you.
Have fun-tis the season to practice, practice, practice. permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 1:41 pm 0 Comments
Thursday March 8th, 2012Denver REI Nutriton on Your Bike Talk. Last night I gave a talk with my friend and mentor, John Hughes. http://www.coach-hughes.com/ We spoke at the Denver REI store about what to eat while riding your bike 100-200 miles (me) and about how to set up your training so that you can accomplish such a long event (John).
We were asked to speak by our local cycling club, Rocky Mountain Cycling http://www.rmccrides.com/. This cycling club is a premier road bicycling club for Colorado and the Denver/Boulder Front Range, offering a full range of rides for active, enthusiastic cyclists of intermediate and advanced levels and interests. A great bunch of people and riders. It is also where we do our randonnuering rides, http://www.rmccrides.com/brevets.htm. You know, those silly rides I do that are distances from 100km to 1200km.
Back to the talk. If you go to John's website http://www.coach-hughes.com/ you can see what he went over about training and riding in an event around 100 miles to 200 miles. He's a fantastic coach and has been a friend and mentor of mine for about 15 or so years.
I'll post my presentation at my "Articles" area on my website. Check it out.
Hope to give more talks soon as we get into the riding season. Too, I'll post photos when I get them loaded onto the computer. permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 8:53 am 0 Comments
Thursday February 9th, 2012Another Atttempt to blog in.
It's been just over 2.5 years since I was hit by the truck while riding my bike. So much has happened in the way of health issues since and because of that one horrible second in time. One second in time can change every single thing you know about your life and yourself. Or everything that you built your life to be. All changed in a single second. A split of a second.
"They" say once you go through a life and death trauma you are never the same again. Oh, "they" were so very correct. You are not only changed physically but also emotionally and mentally. Just never really the same. You still try to be who you were but underneath you know, in your soul, in your heart, that you are different. I am the same but I am different. I almost went and got a tattoo saying this. But, even I realize that getting a tattoo right now would be a little unwise.
Don't get me wrong. I still love my life, the people in it, my business, my clients, athletes, etc... All of this is what keeps me going. That and hope.
Someone asked me how I have been continuing on so well with all that has happened. I said "hope". It is hope that keeps me going. Hope that I will be able to do all that I want to do. That I will look at this past 2.5 years and know I got through it and will have become a better person-not better because I had so much trauma but better because I will be able to help others and be a more knowledgeable person.
I wasn't able to go to Paris (Paris-Brest-Paris) in August. I broke my hip in July. About 5 weeks before we were to leave. I was riding to work, down a canyon road, took a turn, hit several patches of gravel, and just flipped my bike. It was one of the hardest things to go through. After going through so many surgeries to fix the truck accident injuries, getting cancer, having almost lost out house in the big Four Mile Fires, and making it through soooooo much, it was almost the hardest thing to go through.
I had come so far to make Paris a reality. My way of beating the truck accident. So close and so far-all at once. Talk about sitting in your own crappy mess and not really knowing how to get out of it.
Paris was my goal, the goal that drove me through all of the surgeries. The goal to keep moving forward. I wasn't even sure if I could ride that far. Riding is quite painful now. Not like it used to be. Riding before was only painful if I wanted it to be. If I wanted to do a Brevet really fast-well then, it could be painful. But, sitting on my bike all day riding was not really painful. After the accident-riding became a challenge. A big challenge. Hard on my back, my wrists, knees, all of the things that got injured. But still I looked forward and moved forward becasue that was my goal. Even if I didn't know I cold ride 1200km, at least I was going to try. This was my challenge. My challenge because I really truly had no idea if I could do it. But to try was to have hope and to have hope was to win over the accident. .....and then, I broke my hip. It nearly shattered me.
I've healed the hip but the accident injuries still remain more of a challenge than I would like. They are a constant reminder of who I was and they remind me of what was, what my goals were and what I had made my life to be. Perhaps it is a reminder that I had, without knowing it, built my life up around the future. Not really living in the present. I'm not sure. I cannot go back in time, to know what I thought, because I had no idea I would be where I am now.
I believe the challenge of life it to have goals, big goals, but to live each day in the present.
I still want to go to Paris. To do Paris Brest Paris and do well. What ever "well" is. It used to be to ride it fast and with ease. Now it will be a challenge to get to it and to complete it. Kind of like getting to, through, and past the accident.
Goals are good. Goals are future. But goals can also be the perfect place in time, that is now. permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 10:34 am 0 Comments