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 August 12th, 2014USAC Mountain Bike Certification Distinction and a busy summer, indeed!
2014 started a little slowly for Steve (husband) and me. We still had a lot of flood repair proects to do after the 2013 flooding. We started the new year being very grateful that we were alive and that our pets were all doing OK and they, too, made it through the flooding and mudslide. Still, riding a bike seemed miles or months away for us. I'm happy to say we have still been able to do our jobs, fix the home/property and get back into some mountain biking and road riding, specifically some randonneuring. We still have plans to make it to the 2015 PBP http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2.php?lang=en&cat=accueil&page=edito
Yes, it certainly has been a busy summer and most of my athletes are now in full swing of their summer cycling and racing goals. As I write this, one of my athletes from Canada is racing in the Breck Epic 6 day MTB Stage race http://breckepic.com/about-the-race/ and is on the third stage of the race. Another athlete just finished The Leadville Trail 100. http://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/mtb/leadvilletrail100mtb/. Yes, a great summer for mountain biking!
Not to leave out my road athletes. I've had two athletes do Iron Man races this year. One athlete raced in the http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-placid.aspx#axzz3A8G1U768 and another in the first ever (and biggest ever IM) in Boulder Colorado. http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/boulder.aspx#axzz3A8G1U768.
Next on the summer list of rides is the http://www.hauteroutepyrenees.org/. Brendan from the Channel Islands and will be doing one last big push and then a taper leading into the end of August. Big goals means big fun and challenges.
One of my accomplishments this year was taking a second USAC distinction certification course. It was great fun taking this coaches course from Peter Webber. I now hole two USAC Certification Distinctions. One in CX and the other in mountain biking. It wasn't enough that I raced professionally for over 10 years on the mountain bike. It really helps to take skills clinics to brush up on new information or techniques and skills to pass on to my athletes.
That's all for now. I'm off to look up some race results and give some more tips to my clients and athletes. Thanks for reading.
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Wednesday August 6th, 2014Leaville Traill 100 Mountain Bike race. August 9th 2014.
The FIRST Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race.
Once upon a time ... my good friend Lorraine Forcina called me up and told me about this cool 100 mile mountain bike race. The only other race we knew of, like this one was up in Oregon. Of course we would go to Leadville. We never knew then, that this race would become the race of all races to define ultra distance mountain bike racing.
It was the most amazing race I had ever done. It defined my career and moved me on to all sorts of ultra distance mountain bike events and races. Moving my goals higher and higher to set records on the sister 100 mile races, The Vail 100 and The Beaver Creek 100. From there my goals moved on to The Cape Epic Stage race and 24 hour racing with podium finishes around the world. Yes, the throw back days of The Leadille Trail 100 were the days I remember as the start of a fantastic mountain bike career. Thank you Ken, you changed my life in so many ways and I am so proud to have been a part of the early days. You are my kind of people!
A little Ken history as told on Wikipedia:
'Race co-founder Kenneth Chlouber, an avid marathon runner, conceived of the race as a way to make Leadville famous and bring visitors during a period of economic downturn. When he told the local hospital administrator about his idea he was told, "You're crazy! You'll kill someone!" Chlouber responded, "Well, then we will be famous, won't we?" '
Back in those days I was coaching and racing as an Elitie and soon to be professional mountain bike racer. The Leadville Trail 100 taught me a lot and it helped me coach many great athletes to bigger and badder goals and races. Including myself.
As I would still coach someone today, being on the course as much as possible is key-knowing your course and planning. All summer long I/we went up and trained on the course. First doing sections of 25 and 35 miles at a time. Then about 4-6 weeks out we would do half of the course. Then, I would stay at altitude a lot for the last 3 weeks. I live and sleep at 7,000 feet but I have asthma and the Leadville course is/was very hard for me. I needed to train like I was going to climb a mountain. I was climbing a mountain! So that's how I trained.
A lot has changed and the promoters and qualifiers are different too. But, the race is still the best in the world and the toughest for many. It takes dedication, determination and a good attitude (at altitude) to get through it.
If you're racing in it this coming Saturday, good luck. You've done your homework and now it's the week to rest, do some intervals (short and sweet). Get yourself mentally prepared. Mental preparedness is at least 50% of the battle. Good luck out there and remember Ken's famous words. "You're better then you think you are, you can do more than you think you can". Ken those words are coming in pretty handy these days. Thank you!
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Thursday July 31st, 2014
A great mid to late summer tip:
Competition mental preparation are critical factors related to success in races and in life, in general.
My client/athlete, Clare Zecher finished the Lake Placid IM last weekend and found herself in a predicament. Not only did the officials have to "dump" the second swim lap and T1, Clare had a major wheel mechanical on ther first bike loop.
Most racers would have been out of the running (no pun intended) and given up. A dream lost after so many months of preparation. Not for Clare. She had a mental plan ready and she transferred what she was intending to use for/on the race to the attention needed to stay calm why neutral support helped her with her mechanical. Staying calm allowed her to use up some nervous energy when finally getting back onto the bike and make up some precious time. By the time Clare got into the run, she was calm and back on track and stayed in the moment. Clare did a PR on her run and came in under 12 hours. Way to go Clare!
Alicia also has a plan to stay focused while racing this weekend in Boulder.
Here's how to stay focused.
Use this great tip for your Boulder IM race (this weekend) http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/boulder.aspx#axzz393YxExfJ
or use this tip for getting through another racing event, a tough day, or use this tip/technique for . It's a good lesson to "live in the moment". My best races and training events are where I practiced staying in the present moment. It's also called "The Zone" or some call it "The Flow". Try it.
(1) Use the time leading up to your race day having a well developed competitive routine. These few days are not just for physical recovery. It's about a mental plan, too.
(2) Have before hand and say positive affirmations all the way up to the start of the race.
(3) Practicing and thinking about these mental preparedness techniques will allow you to get into that state of mind quickly, while otherwise you may expend precious energy being nervous.
(4) Bring yourself back into the moment when you find your mind drifting during your race/event. Use a practiced key word that will allow you to pay attention to what you are doing in that very moment. Be in each and every moment. I use the work "go".
Good luck everyone. Be mindful of each and every moment.
And a big good luck to Alicia and good work Clare.
permalink posted by Michelle Grainger @ 10:20 am 0 Comments
Wednesday February 19th, 2014My Sister Lynne needs help and support. She was diagnosed with ALS.
This has been a very hard thing for Lynne and for our family. It's been a challenge to say the least. We hope to get enough funding to go out of the country for stem cell therapy, which has the best chance to stop the symptoms and reverse the ALS. I know-some people will say we are chasing dreams. But we have researched a lot and because Lynne also had cancer last year she can no longer be considered for clinical trials.
Lynne is the best part of me. She is funny, smart, imaginative, innovative, creative and more...
She has been working at throwing her whole life's savings at treatments, therapies, alternative and more. She has done all of this on her own and with support of friends and family. I can't imagine what it's like to lose everything you worked your whole life for. But we are hopeful and she courageous and doing everything all the docs know to help with this.
Now... we are starting a fund raising campaign. See link below for her new blog page.
Thank you-and I know this comes on the heel of so many wonderful friends and people helping Steve and I through the September flooding in Colorado. When it rains it pours. Did I really just say that? I did. And once again... it's pouring on us and we can use some more help.
Thank you to everyone for reading. I think this site may be about life and trying to ride and family and friends and........ you name it, I guess I'll try to write it.
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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!
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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!
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