Clement Cheung – Oct 31, 2016
I started taking up running to cross train for the Grouse Grind (PR 40:44) and to have an intense cardio workout during the off-season. I never considered myself a serious runner until I finished my first marathon in Portland (3:44) and then met Mike who brought my running volume and philosophies to the next level. At first I hired Mike to teach me how to stop all my downhill trail injuries but I got many bonuses along with that – a -17min improvement in my Vancouver BMO marathon (3:27) and my first 50km ultramarathon Diez Vistas around in 6:13! All in my first two months with Mike! I even almost won my age category at the 50 mile Tenderfoot race from Squamish to Whistler!
I look forward to future projects with Mike. He’s such a straightforward tell it from experience type of coach and everything he’s advised has turned out right on… I still have so much to learn. Running encompasses proper training, technique, nutrition, mental toughness, and strategy. Mike is a master of all! Mike, you’re stuck with me until I get to Boston and cross my first 100km ultramarathon finish line!
Cathie Dias – Sept. 16, 2016
I have primarily been a road runner for 10 years and gravitated to trail events about 3 years ago. I have completed two, 25 KM tail events, one, 28KM event and several shorter distances. I decided in January of 2016 to sign up for my first 50KM trail Ultra, the Finlayson/ Arms 50KM. Since I have run some of this tough terrain before during the Finlayson 28 KM, I knew this was not going to be an easy feat. I decided to hire a coach to get me there. My decision to hire Mike Suminski was the best decision I could have made.
We met and had a one-on-one first, where Mike really listened to me and asked me key critical questions about how and why I wanted to accomplish this event. He mapped out a week by week training program that gradually and progressively built up my mileage. He explained this was purposely done to slowly build my strength and endurance. I always received my training schedules well ahead of time along with additional reading material to encourage me and to keep a positive attitude. Mike accompanied me on his bike during my weekly hill workouts and professionally critiqued my running form so that I would avoid injury by using proper hill climbing and descending techniques. I felt myself getting stronger as the weeks progressed along. We also had discussions about hydration and nutrition that definitely made a difference on race day.
I completed the 50KM within the time frame I had set as my goal. Most importantly I got to the finish line feeling good and uninjured.
If you are considering hiring a coach for your next event, I highly recommend Mike Suminski. He puts 200% of positive energy into helping you. He is always upbeat and genuinely interested in helping you. He has great knowledge and experience. Whether you meet at 5:30AM or 9:00PM you get Mike at his best. An inspiration ultra runner himself, he passes on his wealth of experience to you.
Thank you Mike for all of your great coaching and support. It meant a great deal to have you there right at the finish line!
“Thanks Coach Mike, your training, determination and enthusiasm has allowed me to have a solid base for completing numerous marathons. For almost seven years I’ve used this training to obtain all my initial goals and I look forward to reaching future goals in good form.”
“Hi Mike. Thanks for your video about ankle supports, could not have come at a better time for me as I sprained my ankle pretty badly right after Kusam. Have been trying to get back running but still experiencing some pain and everyone’s telling me not to push it… Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement at Kusam.”
“The first time I met – or, more accurately, heard – Mike was during the last four kilometres of my second marathon. I was trudging up a hill, ready to quit, when I heard this incredibly loud, gravelly voice: ‘Pump your arms, your legs will follow’ The advice wasn’t for me, but I tried it and thought ‘hey, this is working.’
It wasn’t until I had run seven marathons, four of them as a run leader, that I signed on with Mike. I did so out of frustration. Although I always felt great during training, I always seemed to choke on race day, defeated by my own negativity. I would start a race with great intentions, but then the little voices in my head would take over. I could be only 10K in and would start thinking ‘I can’t do this.’ On our first run together, Mike made me look at him and say over and over ‘I am strong and powerful.’ I remember laughing and thinking ‘this is silly.’ But the phrase became one of many mantras that pushed me through what would turn out to be my fastest marathon.
The positive messages came frequently. Mike’s weekly schedule would not only tell me what to run, but would be accompanied by inspirational anecdotes and sayings, the things I needed to overcome my self-defeating doubts. Gradually I grew to believe in his methods, and took the messages to heart; I trained hard mile-wise, but even more so mentally.
When race day came, I followed his step-by-step game plan, checking my pace time to try and stay on the script we’d set up. I won’t say there weren’t moments when doubt crept in, but when they did I was able to banish the voices. When I rounded the final corner and was heading down the last 500 metres I looked up at the clock and almost stopped in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it! I took 25 minutes off my last marathon and beat my three-year-old best time in the process.”
David Chauvin, age 59
“I have been running for approximately 7 years and I have run a number of marathons. My best time was 3:48. I came to Mike after the Detroit Marathon (3:58) because I wanted to know if I had reached a maximum plateau or if I could learn to find more room for improvement. We targeted the Napa Valley Marathon and trained for 3 months together. Mike suggested changes to my form and later he suggested a new shoe choice. He patiently reinforced the improvements and I could feel a difference in my endurance and strength. I arrived at the Napa Valley marathon start line with my normal pre race nerves but I also carried a new confidence. The result (3:38) is even better than I had targeted. Mike has given me some lasting changes to keep me running well for years to come.”
Dr. Alan Cook, age 53
“I had been running for 6 or 7 years in 2003 and had run 3 or 4 marathons all between 3:55 and 4:05 but really wanted to make my Boston qualifying time. I signed up with Mike and started a running program which emphasized slower trail running for endurance. Within 10 weeks I noticed two benefits; I actually enjoyed and looked forward to the longer runs and, remained injury free throughout the marathon preparation. On October 10th I noted the third benefit; a smooth 3:32 Boston qualifier!!”
“I started training with Mike Suminski 6 months prior to my 250KM run across the Sahara desert. I was unsure of how to train for this type of event when I met Mike by chance. He interviewed me to get a sense of what I wanted from myself as a runner and from him as a trainer. He took his time in listening and I thought he truly understood the magnitude of what I was doing. He developed a custom training plan for me that would prepare me for the multi-day event and told me about the things to come. What was even more valuable then the training schedule was Mike’s pearls of wisdom. We would run together once a week and during this time Mike would critique and correct my form, advise me on nutrition, and most importantly give me mental tools and techniques to take my running beyond just a physical endeavor. We discussed self-talk, motivation, mental imagery, and focusing. I completed the event successfully but more importantly I was healthy and injury free. There were many fellow athletes that were injured, perhaps permanently but due to Mike’s coaching I didn’t even have sore muscles to deal with. Thanks Mike for all your help and support! You’re the best!”
Linda Tyrrel, age 54
“I have been running since 1995. I have done 30 odd half marathons, 5 marathons. I needed something different in my training to stay interested. New techniques, new runs, new faces, etc. Mike Suminski offered all of these and more, his friendship. I had in 2006 a best race time in the Royal Victoria Marathon and in 2007 a best race time in the First Half marathon in Vancouver. Now I am going to do an Ultra 50KM in May. Thank you Mike for your guidance and enthusiasm to keep me motivated.”
“A few years ago I decided to challenge myself by running the Elk/Beaver 50 mile ultra-marathon event. I knew that I also wanted to finish the event feeling great and so I looked for a coach that would help me accomplish the goals I had set out for myself. The first person that came to mind was Mike Suminski. Coach Mike had just previously finished his Leadville 100 mile event and I had the privilege of ‘watching’ him while he was training for the Leadville challenge. I knew that Mike’s experience in ultra distance running, along with is attention to mental focus would help me in my journey.
While training for the 50-miler, Coach Mike provided me with a week to week training program, met with me weekly to discuss my progress, provide insights into mental focus, and discuss any concerns that I might have. I totally enjoyed my training experience. I looked forward to my long runs and hillwork and never felt fatigued or drained by the training load. I feel that I really learned how to focus mentally on the task I had set for myself. I felt strong and in control, both mentally and physically. Under Coach Mike’s guidance, not only did I complete my 50 mile event, I also became the Canadian Women’s Champion for that particular distance in 2005!!”