Get to know our newest coach, Michael Miraglia!

What was your background in athletics growing up?

I was very athletic growing up. I started in middle school with almost every board sport you can think of (skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding, long boarding, etc.) Once I got to high school I started playing Rugby and continued to play throughout college. I found that I was always the most conditioned athlete on the team. Not only would I practice for 90min with the team but I always worked out on my own before each practice.

How did you get into OCR?

One of my friends from work got me into OCR. Every Monday he would talk about the race he previously did with great detail, if he had the energy. He made each race sound so demanding that only great athletes can finish the race. This definitely pushed me to get out and race with him because I had to see for myself just how grueling these races were. After a couple of times racing with my friend I noticed I was placing well among the elite athletes. Since then I have focused all of my training to OCR.

What was your first ever OCR?

My first OCR was Tuxedo Ridge Spartan Sprint back in 2011 with a friend from college. We volunteered in the morning at SpearMan and then ran the open wave in the afternoon. I ended up making the spear in that race since I was practicing all day. The part I remember most about that day is the infamous barbwire crawl up the hill. That crawl felt like a mile to me and I was not prepared for it by any means.

What’s your favorite obstacle? Least favorite obstacle?

My favorite obstacles are the bucket and sandbag carries. This is the part of the race that I live for. I run every morning with a 60-100lbs sandbag on my back for about an hour as part of my training. So whenever I come to this part in a race I know I will not be slowing down or resting.

My least favorite obstacle will always be the spear toss. It has cost me a couple of podium spots and it has turned into a complete mental obstacle for me. I practice 2x a week just to make sure my throw is consistent but when it comes to race day it is all mental.

Do you have a favorite race venue?

My favorite race venue so far has been AT&T stadium in Dallas, Texas. The stadium is absolutely massive and it makes for a slightly longer stadium race compared to the baseball fields. Rather than stair climb after stair climb, their are longer hallways and ramps that make a great opportunity to step on the gas and run faster. This was also the first time I took a podium spot for a stadium race, 2nd place a minute behind Isaiah Vidal.

>What’s one thing you think people should be doing more of in their training?

Aside from running as much as possible, people need to work on their joint mobility to refrain from injury and just move better in general. Just like running or strength training, mobility training should have the same approach (it should be done with intensity and focus, not calm and haphazardly). To put it simply – mobility training, just like any other facet of athleticism, requires quantifiable, objective measure in order to continue progressive adaptation.

You have a lot of certifications, pick one you think people would overlook and explain what you learned/why it’s so important.

One certification that I have that most will overlook is FRC Mobility Specialist. This goes with why I think joint training is so important. I see so many individuals across social media giving advise on how to help people with (insert injury here) by telling them to Foam Roll, Stretch, or use some other mobility devise. I feel like people are buying into these quick fixes that do nothing but offer a simple touch analgesic affect. It might feel better for a few minutes or perhaps an hour but makes no long term change. With FRC I simply teach athletes how to effectively use the joint range they have as well as strengthening the joint at its end range. This is great for two reasons. One, because it is essentially pre-hab (You will always regret not training the position you got injured in). And two, it helps joints function like joints (healthy joints make difficult movements easy).

What are your goals for 2017?

My main goal for 2017 is to snag a 1st place finish across each Spartan Race distance – Stadium, Sprint, Super, and Beast. Maybe even Ultra Beast if things go well.

Michael is now our obstacle strength coach for all Train with Purpose athletes. Sign up here to start working with Michael today!

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