THE COACH

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RUNNING IS IN MY DNA

Hello. I can say I’ve been a runner since I was 15 years old but I know running was in my DNA from the beginning. Running has always defined me and my professional career along this winding road of life leading me to where I am now. Even before I began competing in high school cross country and track, I was running summer road races seeking trophies and trying to beat my best times. After high school, I continued to develop as a runner while competing four years in both cross country and track & field at a small NCAA DIII college in Iowa. After college, I continued to explore my running abilities racing often in local road races from 5k’s to the Half Marathons before making the leap to the marathon distance. In 1996 I ran my first marathon at the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota. It was then, after finishing my first 26.2 miles, that I knew I was hooked for good and that marathon training and racing had become part of my identity. The Marathon was always in my blood.

HISTORY WITH THE BOSTON MARATHON®

I ran my first Boston Marathon® in 2001 and I fell in love with the city and the Patriots' Day race. Later in the summer, I packed my bags, uprooted myself from my home state of Iowa and moved to New England settling in Newton, Massachusetts. I lived just a mile from the famous Johnny Kelley statue on the corner of Walnut St. and Commonwealth Ave. My daily training runs were up and down the Newton Hills as I caught the fever for the Boston Marathon®. I joined the B.A.A. Running Club and ran my second Boston Marathon® with the unicorn team and I have never looked back. Starting in 2013, I joined the Boston Athletic Association staff as the coach for the Women’s Racing Team and later taking on the coaching role for the B.A.A. Running Club and also the B.A.A. Men’s Racing Team. The B.A.A. Running Club became my extended family and continues to be a source of daily inspiration and life-long friendships.

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COLLEGE COACHING

In the fall of 2017, I started working for Lasell University as the Head Coach for the Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs. Lasell is a small NCAA DIII college nestled in the Hills of Newton, MA and just past Mile 17 on the Boston Marathon® course. Lasell was the perfect fit for me to develop the program and stay connected to my New England roots in Newton. At Lasell, I have the opportunity to coach athletes of all levels and events including sprinters, jumpers, throwers, mid-distance and distance. Working with young athletes with developing abilities and a range of talent continues to educate and challenge me as I help them explore their potential as student-athletes and look to break through barriers they never thought possible.

ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD

In 2017, as a seasoned Master athlete, I looked at new ways to continue to enjoy my running, to break from years of a regular training routine and to find new race competitions that take me out of my comfort zone. I started with a challenge of running the USATF New England Mountain Running Series and the goal of conquering the Mount Washington Road Race. As a self-proclaimed poor uphill runner, I knew this goal of running seven mountain races in a summer would push me out of my comfort zone and it did! For the first time in many years, the pre-race butterflies erupted again before each race as I entered an unknown experience with that fear of failure. At the end of the summer, I had accomplished my goal of being competitive, finishing the mountain race series and I became a better runner on hilly courses simply by changing my goals and my regular training routine. In the same year, I returned to the trails and grass to compete for the first time at the USATF Club X-C Nationals where I once again felt the love for the sport after many years of racing on the roads. My next goal is to return to the track and the Mile.

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MY PHILOSOPHY

Train smart, race smarter. My coaching philosophy is simply to provide sound coaching advice and training programs to help athletes of any age, gender and all abilities realize their potential and reach for their personal bests by training smart and racing smarter. To take some wise advice from a coaching mentor, I look at every runner as an athlete and each athlete as an experiment of ONE. Everyone has unique physical and mental attributes as an athlete and no single training program fits all runner’s needs. As a coach, it is a goal of mine to recognize the strengths and weaknesses and to discover the talents, ability and the personal drive within each athlete to help them reach their potential through smart training programs and smart racing advice.

Coaching Education

  • USA Track & Field Level 1 Certification

  • Track & Field Academy Sprint, Relay and Hurdles course

  • Track & Field Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach course

  • USATF Cross Country Specialist course

Coaching Experience

  • 35+ years of running and competitive racing

  • 20+ consecutive Boston Marathons® as a qualifier

  • B.A.A. Running Club and Racing Team Coach

  • Collegiate Head Coach for X-C and Track & Field

  • Coached athletes to qualify for:

• 2020 USATF Indoor National T&F Championships

• 2020 USA Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon

• Hundreds of Boston Marathon® Age Group Qualifiers

Personal Bests

  • Mile - 4:27

  • 5,000 meters - 15:32

  • 10,000 meters - 32:03

  • Half Marathon - 1:11:01

  • Marathon - 2:30:38

ENDORSEMENT

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From 2013 to 2017 I had the pleasure of working on a daily basis with Michael McGrane as a fellow coach for the Boston Athletic Association. During that time I watched him grow from a great runner in his own right to an excellent coach and leader for our team. Michael has mentored numerous athletes to personal bests in event distances ranging from the 1 mile to the marathon. His knowledge of the sport continues to grow and his dedication to his athletes is unending. He has coached both men & women to US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying times and countless others to their dream of competing in the Boston Marathon. He is also an astute college coach and he continues to hone his craft each and every day. I would highly recommend him as a personal coach for any runner that is looking to get better or to simply enjoy more out of their daily running. Michael is here to help others learn more about the sport and to foster their growth no matter what their prior experience may be. I can’t wait to see how many more lives he touches with his coaching gifts.

Terrence Mahon

adidas Endurance Coach

Founder and Head Coach - Golden Coast Track Club

Former Head Coach - Boston Athletics Association High Performance Team

TESTIMONIALS

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"My personal journey with confidence as a runner has been a long one, and Coach Michael played an enormous role in helping me achieve goals I never thought were possible for myself. When he first encouraged me to take a shot at the 2020 Olympic Trials, I was highly doubtful that I was capable enough to drop 10 minutes from my marathon time to get the standard. But he was steadfast and unwavering in his support for me giving me workouts that built not only my strength as a runner but my confidence. My first shot at the standard was at the Cape Cod Marathon. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and I ended up finishing a minute short of the standard. After such a huge marathon buildup and then letdown, I was unsure if I wanted to take another shot at the time. But Michael believed that I could do it, even with a quick turnaround (October to January). As soon as I committed to the race, he got me into the Athletic Development section right up front and sent me a detailed racing plan not just for Houston, but for the Olympic Trials Marathon. I knew more than ever in that moment how much confidence he had that I could do this. And I did. But I could not have done it without him. Coach Michael is a truly dedicated, enthusiastic, smart, and empathetic coach. I give him my highest recommendation!"  

- Hannah R.

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"Every improvement I have ever made as a runner can be credited to Coach Michael. From the detail that goes into his structured track workouts, to the general well-wishes before a big race, Coach Michael has fueled my gains as a runner. He has helped make hard things achievable.

 

I wandered into the sport not knowing what to expect of myself, and throughout six years of ’sticking with it’, Mike has helped me find consistency in road races around the city and marathons around the world. One of the best qualities of Coach Michael is his ability to listen to your goals, your approach, and your current level of fitness, and then output a plan or a specific workout that will push you just enough.

 

Going into a race, I feel my most confident after I’ve had a chance to connect with Mike on my race plan, and to use him as a sounding board for whatever crazy thoughts I may have in mind. He provides well built feedback and insights to help me build my race goals, and race-day plans. His voice and guidance echos in my brain while I am racing and I feel an extra level of confidence having tapped into his expertise."

- T.K.
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I’ve been an athlete of Coach Michael’s for about a year and a half. He started coaching me a month after I graduated college in May of 2018 for my debut marathon. My goal was to qualify for the Olympic Trials Marathon, and Coach Michael was fully equipped to help me achieve that goal. Although I suffered a nagging injury that kept me out for a few months, Coach Michael treated me with respect and made me feel just as important as I was when I was healthy and competing. His training plans are well-thought out and structured, but he also allows room for the athlete to adjust as needed, based on how they are feeling. This kind of coaching is extremely important in training where the body takes such a toll from the high mileage and intensity. Coach Michael is extremely supportive, always willing to jump on a phone call to talk about anything you are concerned with. Michael offers incredible insight from his years of experience which was key to helping me qualify for the Olympic Trials, and his positive attitude allows me to continue to grow as a happy and healthy runner!

- Michaela H.

Coach Michael’s training allows me to pursue big goals while also balancing a busy life. When I was training for my first marathon, I followed the plan he had created and met my goal of qualifying for the Marathon Olympic Trials. Without worrying about hitting a weekly mileage number, I found that I was doing all the right training and workouts but having so much fun during the process. It is so refreshing to have Michael as my coach!

- Allie H.
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"Over the past 4 years Michael coached me to PRs in every distance from the half mile to half marathon. His consistency and level-headedness enables long-term growth and this year Michael led me to my first USATF championship qualification in the indoor 1k. Every year Michael provided personalized training plans and coaching allowing the team and myself to experience success across a large range of events in track, cross country, and the roads."

- Connor R.

"I started working with a Michael at a point in my running career where my racing performances and motivation had plateaued after many years of focused training. The tailored marathon training plans, personalized racing guidance, and care Michael provided me leading up to the 2015 Chicago Marathon prepared me for a breakthrough performance where I ran a four-minute personal best. In that race and in others leading up to it with Michael in my corner, I always felt confident in the work I had put in and felt prepared to race smart and hard. Michael’s coaching undoubtably fueled further progress in my running career, including qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon."

- Lauren P.
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