Mike, The purpose of this letter is to express my belief and satisfaction with Echelon Sports and the training methods endorsed. I have been racing triathlons for 9 years when I came to Echelon Sports. I own a business, I'm married, and have 2 kids, so training hours are limited, and must therefore be very efficient. After this many years of competition, I thought I knew the proper training regiment in order to race competitively.
My training routine was what I considered to be the norm in the sport after getting to know many of my triathlete competitors. This primarily consisted of training all 3 sports at least 2 -3 times per week, with no rhyme or reason as to how hard, or how fast I should train. I trained 7 days a week with no rest days or easy days. Its sounds ludicrous, but its all I knew.The first thing Mike did was to test my Lactic Acid Threshold (LT) on the bike and run. This would give him the details of my fitness, in order for him to design a work out routine to improve my performance. My results from the first LT test were about what I expected. My LT was at 172 bpm and I could hold it for 20-25 minutes.
At the time, I did not know I could improve and train my LT to perform at a higher hear rate, nor sustain and perform at LT for a longer period of time, and therefore improve my results.Mike designed a training routine encompassing all 3 sports. I learned how to train efficiently, I had days that required very hard, and very specific training goals, other days with medium goals, and lastly, days that were easy, or completely off. I found it difficult to adjust to medium days or easy days, but I put my faith in Mike and his program. After 10 weeks, I re-tested my LT on the bike and run. The results were amazing. My body had learned to perform at an LT rate that was up 4-5 bpm higher (from 172 bpm to 176-177HR). What's more amazing is that I was able to perform and sustain a workout at the 176-177 bpm over 1 hour.My results at races reflected the ability to sustain the LT for longer periods of time.
I was able to postpone the point in a race were I normally felt fatigue, which allowed me to race harder longer. I thank Michael Carter, and Echelon Sports for teaching me the proper training techniques to reach new heights in triathlon competition. I strongly endorse and encourage anyone seeking to learn proper training, or elevate his/her performance to call Echelon Sports.
President, American Seasonings
When I started out looking for a cycling coach I wanted someone who could mentor me as I progressed in the sport. I wanted someone who not only had a successful career as a racer but who was also proven as a coach. After meeting Mike and listening to his approach to the sport and coaching I knew I had found the right guy. I started working with Mike over three years ago and have continued to make improvements as my training evolves, taking me to the next level every season. Mike can see what type of rider you can progress to be. Just as I expect a lot from him, he expects a lot from me, pushing me to my limits while giving me the means to surpass them. I am looking forward to many more seasons working with the best in the business.
32 Years Old
Catagory 3 Road Racer
The coaching I have received from Echelon Sports Performance has increased my training quality, and thus my physical performance, immeasurably. Since the time I started working with Mike I have progressed though the ranks of cycling, won and placed in several National Championship events, and raced some of the best races in Europe, including World Championships, with top level teams including the National Team. Perhaps what is more significant about these achievements is that many of them came though a prolonged knee injury. Mike's deep knowledge of sports physiology combined with his experience as an elite athlete himself allowed him to not only give me the best training program possible to maintain and rebuild fitness during and after my injury, but also to give me the support and advice I needed to get through various difficult times associated with the injury. Having this combination of knowledge and experience provides an excellent resource for any of Mike's athletes, and yields benefits that many other coaches cannot. I would recommend Mike to any endurance athlete looking to maximize their performance.
US National World Championship Team Member (2004,2003)
I started working with Mike Carter late in 2003 after a very disappointing Junior Nationals. He worked with me closely throughout the winter, building my strength - both physically and mentally. During the winter of 2003, I began to learn that while I had trained hard, I had not trained very smart. The next year (2004) I earned a top 10 at the Jr. National Championships and a top 15 in a Jr. World Cup race and upgraded to a cat. 2. As Mike and I got to know each other better the next off-season, he was able to help me with more aspects of my racing. Not only was he training me physically, his coaching my mental side started to pay dividends. This past season I won several races, including the Overall Jr. World Championship Selection Series, a goal I set last winter and which Mike scheduled my year around accomplishing. Throughout my racing career Mike has helped me with many issues other than just the actual training. He has returned my calls and emails from many different countries and time zones. He has been through everything, all of the Grand Tours, college, and he has a family. His training camps will totally transform your riding. Mike not only understands cycling but also the other important things in life.
U23 National Team, 2005
I have now been with Mike Carter for over two years and I wish to express my deepest thanks to Mike. Over this last year, I have continued to progress very much. This year I was selected as one of seven 15/16 year olds to spend five weeks racing Belgium with the USA Cycling Development Team where I continued to develop the skills that Mike has given me. Most recently, I raced in the Tour De Scottsdale (Arizona). Out of 549 men, I placed 13th overall and received the winner’s jersey for 1st place in the U23 category. Thank you Mike, I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.
16 Years Old
Multiple Arizona State Champion
Catagory 3 Road Racer
I had worked out for 4 years and was not getting results that I wanted. I started by testing with Echelon Sports Performance in March of 2005. Based on the results of my assessment, Echelon prescribed a program to follow for cardio and core work. I realized I wasn’t pushing myself enough with my old program and wasn’t working up to my potential. After 2 months of the cardio program I then received a weight-training program. Nanci demonstrated on how to perform the exercises based on the results that I wanted to see. After a lot of hard work I have brought down my body fat from 17% to 14% and am seeing a cut in my arm muscles that I thought I could never achieve. They really helped me and at age 42 I thought it was too late! Echelon Sports Performance really knows how to treat you as an individual by constructing a program that is right for your lifestyle and body type. I think they are great!
What a great experience I had working with you, Nanci and Echelon Sports Performance. My objective was to lose some weight and gain knowledge about how to workout in the gym. I’ve always been in sports, so I didn’t know what to do to get into shape. I received your name from a mutual friend - you came highly recommended. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought I would give it a try. I don’t regret a moment of my decision. After my first appointment I felt very comfortable that you knew exactly what you were doing. I loved the print out that we go home with, so you can actually look at where you stand on paper. The first program you put me on was hard, but doable!! Each program kept getting easier and easier, especially the more results I saw. By the second program the weight just started melting off. It just amazes me how you knew exactly what to do to get my body to react. It took a lot of self discipline to stick to the program, but I knew I would have to answer to you!!! I liked the fact that you kept in touch with me via email. I really enjoyed the Fun in the Sun program (Outdoor Fitness Classes). It was fun to get outside and work directly with you and the other woman going through the same thing. It was nice to be able to have an option to do something different. I can’t express enough how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with you. I would recommend you to anyone who has enough will to make themselves better! The things you can do for people are absolutely priceless. Thanks for helping me find the new me!!!
28 Years Old
I have never considered myself a climber, in fact I always avoided races or group training rides that involved heavy climbing. I hated getting dropped- and never seeing the pack again. In the winter of 2005-2006, I started training with Mike Carter, with my primary season goal being the 130 km Nove Colli race, (nine mountains) in mid-May, one of the largest granfondos (Italian for “long rides”) in Italy. Given my history as a poor climber, I was skeptical about my chances of doing well. But, under Mikes’ steady guidance, he taught me to climb like never before, in fact started to love mountainous, climbing routes.
In the Nove Colli, I was seeded toward the back of the 10,000-rider race. From the opening gun, I started rapidly gaining time. In fact, where I gained most of the time on the other riders was during the climbs. I would routinely pass as many as 500 other riders on each climb. Incredibly, I was moving so fast up the mountains, and the road was so clogged with riders, that I would often have to ride on the gravel shoulder in order to pass! I finished 1,600th out of 10,000 and enjoyed the best 4 hours that I’ve ever had on a bike. In 2007 I’m training for the Maratona de les Dolomites, another granfondo with even longer and harder climbs.
"Novi Colli" Veteran
In Memoriam Dong Ngo - The Dongman! 1955 - 2006
I walked into the Denver Spoke for the first time in 1983 and was in awe of all the high end frames, the posters of the Tour De France and Giro D’Italia that hung on the walls. Dong Ngo had just started working there and I remember the first time I met him he seemed very quiet and almost timid. My guess is his timid demeanor was a result of the fact that he was in a new environment and was still gaining a sense for the nature of things down at the Spoke which had earned a reputation as being one of the most successful bicycle shops in the country. I knew that Dong raced but never knew just how good he was. I found out later that he was a very good sprinter, very smart and crafty – which completely fits Dong – smart and crafty!
That next year (1984) I rode in the Giro. That same summer I went back into the Spoke and Dong instantly recognized me and knew that I had just finished the Giro as the youngest American, which he was impressed by that. From that day on, he ALWAYS took care of me! Dong was quiet and reserved back in those early days I think mostly because he was new to the Denver Spoke and because he was from South Vietnam. Living in a foreign country is tough (I know!) and coming from Vietnam in the late 1970’s where a less than popular war was just fought – and lost – by the USA, had to be tough. Dong flew helicopters in the war and would tell me stories about his harrowing experiences and laugh hysterically about literally flying in the face of danger and defying death. His childhood was a rough one too. His accent was so thick that sometimes I would wonder what in the world Dong just told me! Both Dong’s childhood and military experiences taught him how to be a survivor – tough and with a ton of street smarts.
Through the years our relationship developed into one where I felt he was more like a big brother to me. I say that because no matter what I needed, no matter what team I rode for, even if it was on a team that was sponsored by a different shop, he took care of me – he believed in me. I know he would speak highly of me to others and I was both motivated by what Dong would say about me but I also have to admit, a little embarrassed! Dong motivated me to be the best I could be. Dong’s passion for everything he ever did was infectious. His rough tough street-smart exterior belied his soft heart that was not very far beneath that gruff exterior. If you met him for the first time he would act tough and even a bit distant, but as the relationship developed everyone who knew him would agree that Dong would end up doing everything and anything for you. For 23 years, Dong did that for me. He looked after me, he believed in me and he played a huge role in my cycling career.
I will never forget the “Dongman!”
2009 “Radwelt” World Champion - Road and Hill Climb!