Strength and Conditioning for runners and triathletes 8

Another video with a special guest!  Can you believe that he helped me for free… well sort of.  Had to pay him with food.  Food is the only form of currency this guest knows.  His name is Louie!

This video is brought to you by:

Primal Sport Mud – Primal Sport Mud is a natural alternative for quick recovery. It contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, scents or stimulants – just extracts from ancient plant matter. This primal organic matter is naturally powerful: it provides a stabilized source of electrolytes and antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. This helps the human body get back into fighting shape, naturally. There’s simply nothing else like it on the market! MAVMIKE15 saves 20% on all orders!

Vibra Health Care – They manage several hospitals in various states across the country while delivering top notch patient care.



Strength and conditioning for runners and triathletes 6

First blog of the new year!  And the series continues for strength and conditioning your can do in your home with very minimal equipment.  This one uses homemade TRX bands and a swiss ball.

Vibra Healthcare – Vibra Healthcare is a private corporation and currently has multiple hospital operations and outpatient locations in eighteen states

Infinit Nutrition – create your own custom mix for race day by adjusting 10 different variables to create your own special mix that is specific to your needs. They also have stock product you can buy for before, during, and after a workout.  They also carry the only night time recovery drink loaded with tryptophan to make you sleep like a baby!

Sorry about the sound quality on this one… still learning the GoPro camera! 


strength and conditioning for triathletes and runners 4

Another core/strength routine for runners and triathletes brought to you by:

Vibra Healthcare – Vibra developments and operates freestanding Acute Medical Rehabilitation Hospitals (IRF) and Long Term Acute Care (LTAC) hospitals in markets from coast to coast, Vibra Healthcare is uniquely qualified as a leader in the field of acute rehabilitation and LTAC hospitalization.  They offer a vision of elevating patient care to ambitious new levels, of attracting the finest personnel in the field and of positioning Vibra Healthcare among the industry’s most respected organizations. Vibra Healthcare is a private corporation and currently has multiple hospital operations and outpatient locations in eighteen states

BlueSeventy – All your swimwear needs for the pool and open water.  Use coupon code MAVMIKE to save 20% on all you orders.



strength and conditioning for triathletes and runners 3

This is my 3rd video highlighting some routines for strength and conditioning for runners and triathletes that will help you race faster and prevent injury.  This video is brought to you by the following companies:

Duro-Last Roofing – A company located in Saginaw, MI that manufactures products for flat roofing.  Dedicated to being the very best in the world.  They use local contractors to install their product.  To find a contractor near you, go to www.duro-last.com

BSX Athletics – BSXinsight uses revolutionary technology that allows you to see inside your muscle, measuring your lactate threshold and generating personalized training zones. Stop trying to “feel” whether you’re pushing too hard or leaving too much in the tank and let the science of your body speak to you.  Use coupon code MAVMIKE to save $40 on the multisport unit.

Maverick Multisport – A team comprised of 6 elite athletes, a youth/junior team, and an Age Group team working to promote the sport of triathlon and companies within the sport.


Strength and conditioning for runners & triathletes 2

Another video to help get stronger core and hips/legs.  Use these videos that I’ll be uploading throughout the next few weeks and do these 2-3 times a week to prevent injury and run faster in the upcoming season.

Thanks Spalding University for coming up with this routine and Primal Sport Mud for aiding in recovery.  Go to my sponsors and scroll down to find coupon codes for Primal Sport Mud and my other sponsors as well.


Ironman Louisville 2014 Race Report

It’s not very often a professional triathlete can sleep in their own bed just 10 miles from the race venue… but Ironman Louisville allowed me to experience this luxury one last time.

The days leading up to the race were full of fun meeting sponsors, being on 3 pro panels and reuniting with Maverick Multisport teammates Clay and Molly who also drove on to race Louisville on Sunday.

Molly, me, and Clay (left to right) swimming at the most awesome pool in the country… The Lakeside Quarry. Home of the top 10 swim club, the Lakeside Seahawks.

Race day finally arrived and I was prepared to give it my all.  I had my usual breakfast before an Ironman race – oatmeal, 2 hard boiled eggs, slice of bread with peanut butter and half banana, and 2 servings of ENERGY BITS (MIKE502BITS saves you 20%).

My training leading up to the race had been great and I felt I had a shot to win the race and claim the final professional victory from Ironman Louisville.  I set my goals lofty this year and wasn’t going to let the competition intimidate me.  I lined up in the water with about 15 other professional men.  The gun went off and I took off… and found myself in a very unusual situation… ahead of the chase pack that included Chris McDonald and about 5 other guys.  I was probably just on the edge of getting any help from Guy Crawford’s draft in the swim, I did my best to stay on his feet.  However, when I lifted my head up a bit to sight, I saw him look over his shoulder while taking a breath.  He put in a surge and dropped me.  I focused on the things I’ve learned while swimming with the Lakeside Seahawks to keep my form as efficient as possible.  I knew this was crucial since I was now swimming on my own upstream with a pretty good current due to all the rain leading up to the race.  I managed to hold off the chase pack and only about a minute behind Guy Crawford when exiting the swim.  I had my best swim to date (thanks to TYR SPORT and LAKESIDE SEAHAWKS for a fantastic swim)!

I ran carefully through T1 since I knew I had just gotten over some IT band pain located in my right knee.  I felt it twinge a couple times, but nothing that slowed me down any.  I left T1 still in second place and was feeling good.

Primal Sport Mud banners in the background. Primal is a great sponsor of mine and was happy to see them getting some major attention for their great product! MAVERICKPRIMAL14 saves you 40% on your first order!

Before the race started, I had a goal wattage to average for the bike of 280 watts.  Last year, I did 258 (if I remember correctly)… so about 20 watts more.  I big jump, obviously.  But thanks to Brain Grasky for the coaching guidance and the advantage of the Q-rings from Rotor, I felt confident about the goal.  For the first 1.5 hours I averaged 300 watts, knowing that I had to stay within touch of the lead guys.  After sustaining those watts for that amount of time I decided it was time to back it down a little to leave something for the run. I completed the first lap of the bike and stopped briefly at bike special needs to get a refill on Infinit and NAPALM.  However, I was in such a rush, I forgot my flask of NAPALM in the special needs bag.  I grabbed a gel along the way at one of the aid stations to make up for some of the calories I left behind and figured it would be enough since I had more NAPALM in the last flask than what I needed (use MAVERICK to save 10% on Infinit’s products).

great shot of all my sponsors for the bike leg – Rotor bike components, Enve Composites, Vitorria Tires, Argon 18, Infinit Nutrition, Cobb Cycling, Champion System (Bottle Rocket, can’t see it between my arms, but it’s holding my bottle from the front and back)

I rolled into T2 in 6th place… and was ready to run my heart out to get as far up in placement as I could.

My wife, Leslie, made a sign for me at Ironman Louisville. A little inside joke from the previous year when I came in 6th.

I managed to hold 286 watts for the 112 miles!

I started the run with a lot of space between me and 5th place, about 5 minutes from what I was told by my dad as I passed him (see picture below).  I felt pretty smooth while finding my legs during the first mile of the run.  I waited to look at my pace until I felt like I had found a rhythm.  6:20 pace after the first 3 miles.  Right on target.  I passed the first 4 aid stations looking for things to cool me off.  No ice or cold sponges.  Seriously!?!  Is the race director trying to make a point here that the race moving to October is because a sponge manufacturing shortage?  I felt myself starting to overheat and my pace slowed dramatically.  It wasn’t until almost the 6th mile before any aid station had cold sponges… but by that time the damage had been done.  Cooling myself down would be very difficult at this point.

I passed the 5th place guy before the first turn around.  However, the runners behind us looked to be in hot pursuit.  I was convinced they were going to catch me and take me out of the money.  By mile 10 the dark thoughts started creeping into my head. “Quit now.  It’s too hot out here.  Those guys are going to catch you anyways.”  I almost listened to them.  I saw my family at the corner of  Chestnut and 3rd street.  It gave me the boost I needed.  My dad told me that 4th place was just 5 minutes ahead of me and looked to be in pretty bad shape.  With that information, the motivation to keep going was renewed.  I caught 4th place just a couple miles later.

Thanks to the companies that helped me run the marathon leg of the Ironman – Swiftwick Socks, Champion System, Infinit Nutrition, and Smith Optics.

I made it to the final turn around and could tell that unless something crazy happened in front of me, I would be placing 4th at best.  With that final turn, I knew that I only had 10K to go.  10K to go and 5th and 6th place were not far behind… and they appeared to be feeling better than me.   I began running scared.  I constantly was looking over my shoulder to see if he was gaining on me.  I couldn’t tell.  Sometimes I thought he closed the gap, other times I thought he was fading.  I made the final turn and saw the finish line.  As I entered the finisher shoot, I looked over my shoulder one last time to see where 5th place was… I didn’t see him.  With that bit of information, I scanned the crowd for my wife.  I found her on the left and stopped ever so briefly to kiss her and then made the final 100 feet to the finish line.

A PR on the toughest race conditions I’ve experienced.

Shortly after crossing the finish line my legs gave out and I was wheeled to the medical tent.  4 of the top 5 men went to the medical tent.  Thanks so much for the nurses and doctors that helped get fluids back in me and lifted all 160 lbs of dead body weight from the wheel chair to the stretcher.

My family supported me during the entire day… thanks so much!

My dad helped me walk since my right leg had completely stopped working.

A day after the race, I couldn’t walk. My wife pushed my onto the stage in a wheel chair to accept my award!


All 4 of the top men are sponsored by Cobb Cycling. Use code MAVMIKE to save 5% on your order and support Mike at the same time!

A huge shout out to all my sponsors… none of this would be possible without you.  (Thanks to Maverick Multisport for putting all these wonderful sponsors together for the team).  Thanks to Vibra Health Care for supporting me financially to chase my dreams.

An even bigger shout out to my wife who believes in me even more than I do sometimes.  Her support has been unwavering the entire time.  To my parents that supported me when I first started racing triathlons at 17 years old after an eating disorder.  To know where I was 12 to 13 years ago at 115 lbs and just under 6 foot with a 1.3% body fat is a testament to God’s goodness and how he puts us through trials and tough times to bring glory to his name.   I am truly blessed.


Primal Sport Mud and Occupational Kinetics

Getting injured is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

A week ago, I was spending some quality “framily” time in Destin, FL.  It also happened to be my last big training week in preparation for IM Louisville.  By the end of the week, my running shoes have taken their final beating.  After my last run, I felt a little soreness in my right knee.  I knew I had to change out my shoes once I got home.

On Tuesday, my coach, Brian Grasky, scheduled race simulation for me.  1 hour OWS, 50 mile at IM wattage, followed by and hour of running at IM pace.  As I started my run, the pain in my knee was back.  I cut the run short, but managed to hit my goal pace despite the pain.  I immediately went to VO2 Multisport for some new Newtons.

I gave my knee some rest and then tried a run on Wednesday. I made it 15 minutes in and the pain in my knee was so bad I knew if I kept going I would possibly put myself on the sideline for IM Louisville. I bagged the run and limped back to the car and drove home.

Once home, I put some Primal Sport Mud on my knee and applied a heating pad to it for about 20 minutes. I felt a lot better afterwards, but still had some slight pain.

The next day, I called my friend Mike, who works at Occupational Kinetics and asked if he thought an ultrasound treatment would be beneficial.  He said yes, and stated that we should do the treatment with Primal Sport Mud instead of ultrasound gel. I got the treatment Thursday evening.

The difference I felt the next morning was very significant. No pain. I gave my knee another day of rest and tried to test it out today (Saturday). 2 hrs at IM wattage then 30 minutes at IM marathon pace.  No pain during the run.

Why does Primal Sport Mud work so well? There are lots of antiflammatory properties in the product that absorbs through the skin. Additionally, Primal Sport Mud has a property called the Black Body Effect. To put it simply, that takes all the energy and pin points the energy and makes it more intense… which is why using the ultrasound with Primal Sport Mud works so well. The ultrasounds healing is intensified through the Primal Sport Mud.

This is the second time this year that Occupational Kinetics has used Primal Sport Mud on me with an ultrasound. And both times it took just one treatment to get rid of the pain.

So, if I were you, I would buy some Primal Sport Mud to always have on hand. If an injury occurs and you need ultrasound treatment to heal up faster, schedule an appointment and bring the Mud with you. It will save you time and money by decreasing the number of treatments you need.

So… big thanks to Mike with Occupational Kinetics and Primal Sport Mud for being in my corner this year and getting me healed up and ready to rock in Louisville.

MAVERICKPRIMAL14 saves you 40% on your first order.



Ironman created quite a buzz earlier this week, accidently.  An error was made on the athlete packet that people could download from the website stating the total prize purse for IM Lake Placid was $75,000, instead of the advertised $25,000.  People quickly found out about this and Ironman quickly corrected the mistake.  But when Ironman makes a mistake, you can count on @TheRealStarky to jump at the opportunity to poke some fun. And did he capitalize on this typo!!  You can read is blog here (a fair warning for those that don’t know @TheRealStarky, he speaks about issues that need to be addressed in the multisport community… however they tend to be a bit vulgar.  This one isn’t nearly as bad):


The issue here is obvious… many pros are forced into wearing multiple hats while still trying to compete in the sport.  I, for one, work a total of 4 jobs just so I can pay the bills, make it to races, and still be able to save a little bit of cash further on down the road.  I’m a nurse (RN) part-time, manage a rental property, coach 15 triathletes, and also race professionally.  This is way over 40 hours a week worth of work… and my wife and I don’t make anywhere close to the average Ironman athlete family income (last I heard the average income in a household of an Ironman athlete was about $175,000 annually).  Between coaching and training alone, I’m at about 40 hours a week.  Add in 20-25 hours a week for nursing and a couple hours for managing the rental property and I’m working 65ish hours a week and not getting any money at races… which I consistently finish in the top 10 at Ironman branded races.

How is it that Ironman has been around for 35ish years and the prize purse is smaller than a sport that is basically in the infant stage, such as crossfit?  I have friends that race bikes in Cat three races that make more money racing bikes as amateur than me racing triathlons professionally!  I’ve actually considered getting into bike racing next year so I can help cover my traveling expenses to triathlons.

On the flip side, Ironman has played all their cards right.  They have manipulated the market to make it so they don’t have to pay out large sums of money to the winners of Ironman races.  Why? Because bike companies, running companies, and swimming companies will pay top dollar to have a winner endorse their product.  Also, Ironman pays the athletes that have really big names “appearance fees” to just show up and do a short press conference and maybe a quick photo shoot.  I’ve heard that some of these athletes get paid $10,000 just to show up.  They don’t even have to place in the money and they are still profiting from the weekend.  Maybe Ironman should make the playing field a bit more even, by giving pros a travel stipend to get to races.  If you go over the amount, you pay the extra.  If you are frugal, and travel smart/cheap, you keep the extra money.  Hyvee Triathlon does that for all the pros that show up to their race… and at the same time, they had the highest prize purse in the triathlon world (they may not anymore… I’m not sure who does now).

Additionally, Ironman makes pros pay a pass to get into their events for the calendar year.  I believe I paid about $850 to race with Ironman this year.  In contrast, Challenge lets pros race free (I’m racing the New Albany race this weekend), and when Rev3 had pro races (very sad to see them no longer have them as I had a couple of their races on my schedule this year) they also let pros race free and did a lot to promote each athlete’s website/facebook/twitter.

I hope that @TheRealStarky and his group of people that organized this 7th place prize purse in IM Lake Placid bring some attention to the lack of money in the prize purses in the triathlon world.



Augusta 70.3 Race Report

Final races of a season always bring with them a little different emotion than the rest of the races during a season.   In one way it’s a relief to be able to not think about training for a few weeks and allow the body to fully recover, get some neglected things done around the house, and start marketing for next year to get some more sponsors.  But, on the other hand, it’s exciting to test the fitness one last time and battle it out with some of the best in the business.

And, the best in the business were at Augusta 70.3 this week.  Out of the all the starters there this weekend, about 9 of them have at least been crowned champion at one 70.3 or 140.6 distance.  I knew my chances of placing in the money were basically nonexistent.  However, a big lesson I learned this year was to only focus on what I can control.

Race morning started out very interesting.  Two people sky dived and the national anthem was played during their fall to earth.  On the closing note of the song, the guy with the American flag hit the ground.  It was absolutely amazing to see the precision of when and where they both landed.  The other thing that made race morning different was the start.  We jumped off a dock, like what you see in an ITU race.

The cannon shot and all 32 pro males jumped into the water.  I struggled finding someone’s feet to get on during the swim.  I seem to have a harder time doing this when the field is big.  Not sure why that is, but it’s just something that I’ve noticed.  I eventually found myself in the middle of hte pack of swimmers and nearly missed the exit.  The sun was low and made seeing the last buoy a bit difficult.  I exited the water and ran as fast as I could to my bike. I opted not to wear my wet suit because I like speed suits better.  I also knew I could run faster in my speed suit during the long run from the water to the bike and could probably make up more time doing that than in the water.  My plan worked.  I passed about 2 guys on the way to my bike.

The days leading up to the race I decided I wanted to push the bike harder and try to ride with some guys during the 56 mile trek around GA and SC.  I didn’t care who it was in front of me, I was going to push hard to catch them.  And that’s exactly what I did on race day.  I saw two people up ahead of me after getting out of transition and onto the main road.  I put my head down and rode hard for about 6 minutes and finally reeled them in.   As I approached them, I could tell the two people were Ryan Rau and Patrick Evoe.  Both of these guys are good cyclists, so I was curious how things would end up.  Would I crack an hour or so into the ride and fall off the pace?  For about 30 minutes, the three of us worked together.  I looked over my shoulder and noticed that Patrick had fallen off.  I told Ryan what happened the next time I passed him.  He was also surprised.  But we agreed to do our best to keep him from catching back up to us.  We picked up the effort a little and put a safe distance between Patrick and us.

About half way through the bike ride we caught two more cyclists, and could see a group of 4 up ahead.  We slowly reeled them in and caught them with about 5 miles to go until T2.  My legs were screaming.  I looked down at my watts just because I was curious about what I had sustained.  My watch showed about 290 watts!  Upon reaching T2, about 5 us all rolled in within 20 seconds of each other.  I was now on to what I consider my strongest leg of the race.  However, with the previous 5 weeks being very busy with IM Louisville, a a 50-mile trail run, and now a 70.3, I was a little concerned how my legs would hang on.

The run started out very well.  The first 6 miles ranged between 5:45 and 6:00/mile.  Then the mile splits began creeping up:  6:10, 6:15, 6:30, etc.  I knew I was loosing it.  I did a quick check of my nutrition throughout the day.  It was spot on.  Hydration was good since I had peed once already, and my electrolyte intake was adequate.  I came to the realization that I simply had taxed my body too much in the last 5 weeks.  I crossed the finish line with a respectable time still, but not as good as it could have been.

After the race, my friend, Ryan Rau and I talked a bit.  He congratulated me and told me he was surprised to see that I hung on as long as I did with all the tough racing I’ve done in the last 5 weeks.

Would things have been different if I didn’t run that 50 miler a few weeks ago?  I believe they would have, but I have no regrets.  I’m happy that I chose to spend the weekend with a good friend of mine, Chris, to run the trails in Hell, Michigan.  It was something I’ve never done before.  Life is about experiencing things and trying new things.

With the triathlon season officially over for me, I’m looking forward to being somewhat lazy this week.  It brings a bitter sweet feeling.  This is the first year that I can remember not being both ready physically and mentally to call it quits.  I know my body needs a break, but my mind wants to keep going.  I think that is a good sign.  It means that I’m having fun and reaching goals.

Thanks for following my progress this year… it has been a great season.  God has blessed me tremendously!


Steelhead 70.3 Race Report

I admit it… I made a rookie mistake.

Michigan summers are very unique.  Or should I say “cool” or “unpredictable”?  And Lake Michigan is even more unpredictable.  Race morning was in the upper 50’s and water temps were in the mid 60’s.  The day before, the water was about 10 degrees colder.  But the one thing that should always be predictable is how the morning prep goes before a race.

I woke up later than I should have, rode my bike the 2 miles to transition, and then ate breakfast.  BIG MISTAKE.  I should have left the house the time I woke up and ate breakfast as the house.  This would have  given me more time to digest my food and get down to the swim start to warm up before the race.  Instead, I ate breakfast about 45 minutes before race start and didn’t get a warm up swim in due to the nearly 2 mile walk from my spot in transition to the swim start.


The waves were a bit unforgiving.  I’m guessing some were about 3 feet.  Also, instead of swimming with the current, as the race director promised we would, we swam against the current.  Swim times were slow across the board, mine was about 5 minutes slower than normal.  I exited the water where I normally do… right behind Ryan Rau.  Running through the sand to transition I notice my stomach felt full and my breakfast was still sitting somewhere in there while being tossed around by the waves.

I hopped on my bike and onto the Blue Star Highway to begin the 56 mile journey.  My stomach still felt full.  I became nauseated and wasn’t able to stick to my normal nutrition plan.  My power was lacking and every time I took a gel (which I spaced out more than normal for this distance trying to relieve the nausea) my stomach wanted to burp it back up.  Finally around mile 35, my stomach emptied.  The nausea went away and I was able to race the last 20 miles of the bike leg.  However, at this point I knew it was too late to salvage the race.  I decided to focus on the future run leg, the only thing I could control at this point, and try to run 6 minute miles or faster.

I got off the bike and felt great right away.  I passed a couple guys in transition, and one before hitting the first mile marker.  With the exception of the first mile, which included a steep hill, my first nine miles were all between 5:50 and 6:00/mile.  I was slowly catching some of the pro field.  However, the lack of calories on the bike caught up to me by about mile 10.  I started slowing down and only managed about 6:20 for the last 3 to 4 miles.  This allowed some of the guys to pass me in the final miles.


I crossed the finish line disappointed with the day.  I shot myself in the foot from the time I woke up in the morning and couldn’t do anything to fix it from there.  However, that being said, I doubt even if I was on top of my game that I would have placed in the money.  There were lots of fast people in Benton Harbor on Sunday getting last minute points for worlds and getting in a final tune up before going to Vegas in September.


Next up, I’m looking at my hometown for the Louisville Ironman.  I feel much better this year going into the race.  As long as I don’t get sick like I did last year just before the race, I think I’ll have a good race and have some hometown support to help!