My experience working with Mike McKovich in a coaching relationship goes back to the spring of 2013. A local doctor, Dr. Steven Wilson, started a group called Ride Yourself Fit in 2010. This inspired me to ride with local like-minded cyclists. I was a beginner road cyclist.
This is when I met Mike. He volunteered to help work with a group of athletes including me, taking the team to a race level. Mike would take time to come out and teach us cycling techniques used in racing, and teach us nutrition and hydration. We raced many road races with the help of Mike.
This inspired me to take my love and passion to mountain biking and my new passion of road racing to ultra endurance race level. I asked Mike if he would coach me independently and teach me how to be successful for competitive cycling events. This is where our relationship began.
In 2013 Mike and I started off with two major events in the first year. Racing “The Furnace Creek 508” ultra racing event was a grueling 508-mile race in 36 hours across the hottest deserts, and racing Category #3 mountain bike racing and finishing on the podium. Together we accomplished both, successfully completing the 508 race almost seamlessly and taking first place in the overall standing for the local Southern California chapter XC Kenda Cup Series.
From 2014-2016 we were so successful I asked Mike to coach me over the next three years of competing in three Leadville trial 100 mountain bike races — one of the toughest races in the county. My times each year got better, and in the last year, I finished in the top 10% of my age group. While we were working together over the last three years racing 508 and LT100, we also raced all of the Southern California chapter XC Kenda series. I made podium all 3 years of the 508, with Mike’s coaching. I won two state championships, upgrading into category two, then one, and took several wins at the Sea Otter Classic — one of the biggest biking events in the country
In the fall of 2016 I was in Maui, and by chance there was a race called the Xterra. It was the World Championship event. This was an off-road triathlon event. I’d always dreamed of competing in a triathlon. Of course I asked if I could race and the locals laughed and said you have to earn your way in! It was now my dream to compete in that event. I called Mike from Maui and said he’s coaching me! I couldn’t sleep for nights dreaming of doing this race. Mike and I immediately started working on a game plan. He suggested I train both road and off-road triathlon events. Mike spent many hours training me. He personally took me out on several courses all over Southern California and taught me how to swim in the scary open waters. He was there the day of my first triathlon ever in my life to support me.
Fast forward to 2018. Mike had inspired me to race not only two Xterra World Championships but also Iron Man 70.3 World Championships in 2017. I have taken many first place and podiums finishes all over the country, in Olympic distance triathlons, Xterra off-road triathlons, and IronMan 70.3 events. This year we are going back to Maui to get on the podium at the Xterra World Championship. Even a bigger dream. We’ve accomplished more than I imagined, so why stop?
When I think back to where it all began and to where we are today is mind blowing. I have accomplished more than I could even have dreamed of. Mike has truly inspired me in life and helped me live my dreams and accomplish big goals. I had no idea of what having a coach really meant and how a coach really impacts your life. It’s a much bigger picture. Having a coach isn’t just about cycling faster or doing more races. Having a coach is having someone who believes in you, picks you up when you’re down, helps dust you off, and reassures you things will work out if you keep going. Having Mike as a coach has been one of the best things that has happened in my life.
Thanks to what Mike has done in my life I myself inspire to be a coach to help others reach their goals and their life’s passions.
With sincere gratitude,