I mentioned in one of my posts about Fit Girl’s training for the marathon, how she did the majority of her cardio training on spin bikes in the gym – with the ‘my ride’ programme, more specifically, the trainer on the video – Mike Michels, was a real motivator in her training and she often came home to me saying that ‘Mikey said he was proud of the effort I put in today.’
Mike Michels does the videos for myride. Fit Girl was so chuffed with having been able to train for the marathon, with the alternative to running being her myride sessions, that after the marathon, she emailed ‘Mikey’ to thank him… and the other day, she was even more chuffed to receive a reply from him!
Mike Michels is the owner of M2 Coaching, a fitness and education company based in Los Angeles California. He provides health, fitness and sport specific coaching to general population clients, endurance athletes, college athletes and actors getting ready for the big screen.
Mike is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a USA Level 2 Triathlon coach. He also worked with Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong’s coach) as a Triathlon Gold coach. He has been an International presenter for Johnny G’s Spinning® program for 12 years and now head of training for Johnny G’s Kranking® program. He also researched and developed the educational materials utilized by the programs pertaining to Heart Rate training as well as strength and corrective exercise training. Mike has competed on a national level for over 15 years in track & field, triathlons, mountain bike races and adventure races. He has hosted an infomercial an acted as lead instructor in 7 exercise DVD’s and is currently developing all exercise prescriptions for MetabolicRx.
Here’s how it went:
I’m from Glasgow, Scotland UK, I wanted to send you an email to say a huge ‘thank you’ to you for helping me run my first ever marathon.
‘Why’ i hear you ask, well, for the past 5 years or so, I’ve had a knee injury which prevented me from running long distances. I had knee scans, MRI’s, physio for 8 months, tried and tested alot of different exercises and other therapies but I just couldn’t find the key element that worked for me to be able to run any longer than 10K distances.
In December 2014 i joined a new gym which had the ‘My Ride’ spin bikes that i had never tried before as i was always used to class based spin sessions with an instructor, but when i discovered your ‘virtual’ classes, i was amazed and loved the whole 1-2-1 experience. Each day, for months, I began to set myself different goals with you and soon realised that my glutes and quad muscles were getting much stronger which was in turn helping my knee injury.
So, with several hard-going spin sessions with you over a 3 month period, and with no major knee pain on my runs, i decided to try for my first ever half marathon in March 2015 – which i smashed! I got a time that i was extremely happy with (1:52), which gave me the urge to consider if I was able to push myself to do a ‘marathon’.
So, I set out pushing myself with more and much harder spin sessions with you and with your motivational phrases during the sessions, i found that i was getting stronger and stronger. after a while I felt ready, so I entered the ‘Baxters Loch Ness Marathon’ (Scotland) a few months ago and I continued my spin classes with you and trained hard enough that i felt keen, confident and itching to do it!
Well, i’m pleased to tell you that I completed the Loch Ness Marathon on the 27th of September 2015 and even though i was happy just to have crossed the finish line, to my surprise i was even luckier to have achieved a sub 4hr time of 3:57:57 !!
As you can imagine, i was elated with my time and i do believe that you played a huge part in helping me to achieve my goal.
You are an inspiration to me and I tell all my friends about your sessions so that i promote your excellent motivational sessions, so that you are able to help more people achieve their own challenging goals.
Many thanks again and if it is not too much trouble, could I please have a signed photograph of you so that I can place this alongside my marathon medal to remind me and others that you were my support and my personal trainer in getting me to that milestone?
Here’s what he wrote back, a lovely email with some good sound advice and a bit of motivation to boot…
Great to hear from you and to know your story!
Sorry its taken me a little bit of time to get back to you. My family has been moving homes for the last two weeks and its been crazy. Still trying to find “stuff” in all our boxes.
I’m very grateful for your kind words and to be of help to you during your journey. Wow, five years of trying to get to the point of running your first marathon, that’s awesome!! Congratulations on your achievement. I really appreciate hearing how far you’ve come to complete a goal you set out for yourself.
A lot of people don’t realize what you figured out, there are many areas of the body that need to be activated and strong to support other joints/muscles throughout. Make sure to keep riding and doing various core, hip, back and leg exercises to keep your entire running structure supported. Also, I think you can run faster on your next half-marathon (I think you’ll run a 1:45:00 or better). First thing is to check your stride rate, how many strides do you take with one leg over a minute? Go for a normal run, after about 5K start counting how many strides your right or left leg takes for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. You’re looking for at least 15 strides in 10 seconds (90 strides for 1 min). The most efficient runners keep a minimum stride rate of 90 for a single leg. Then, when you ride the bike try to keep an RPM of 90 or higher as well. This reinforces the neurological adaptation of what you’re trying to create in the body. You’ll run faster.
Good luck and keep me posted on how you are doing.
I’ll see what I can do about that request for a signed picture.
All the best,
What a nice thing to do, to reply to her, all the way from California, and continue to give good advice in his email, as well as in his pre recorded spin sessions. Fit Girl is over the moon with it.