Coach Mikael Hanson

Mikael Hanson, a USAT and USA Cycling certified coach, has worked in a head coaching capacity with institutions such as Asphalt Green and Cadence Cycling and Multisport. Mikael has been published in numerous periodicals such as Bicycling, Triathlete, and Outside magazines (and even graced the cover of Outside magazine a few years back!). Over his many years of coaching, Mikael has been fortunate to work with athletes of all ages and abilities from first timers to CEOs to even a World Champion. He currently coaches the New York University Cycling racing teams, who won their first ever conference championships in 2015. Mikael has also worked with many wonderful charities like Gilda’s Club, Chai Lifeline, Alzheimer’s, American Cancer Society, Team One Family, Sharsheret and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation to name a few.

The consummate endurance racer, Mikael competes in numerous duathlons, triathlons, bike races, running events, and even a couple cross-country ski races each year. As a nationally ranked duathlete, he represented Team USA for the 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2015 World Duathlon Championships.

Hailing from the Badger state of Wisconsin, Mikael earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business (and spent nearly 15 years working on Wall Street before going back to coaching full time!). He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

His contact info is:

training note & Training options with mikael

Buying Incremental Performance – A Look at Equipment! 

There is a reason the average age of a triathlete is in the late-30s and their median income level is in the six figures (and 15% make over $200k a year). The sports of triathlon and cycling can get prohibitively expensive when compared to other endurance sports (such as running or swimming). Carbon fiber frames and wheels, wetsuits, running and cycling shoes, biomechanical insoles, aerodynamic helmets, and race entry fees (stretching to nearly $900 for the one-time Ironman New York) can add up.   But, if you have the means, many of these items can lead to improved performance. A lighter more aero frame or wheel set, a professional bike fit, a compu-trainer for riding indoors, portable altitude tents or even performance testing can enhance your own performance. 

 Here is a quick look at some of the demographics in just the sport of Triathlon. According to a study completed by the Sports Goods Manufacturing Association (SGA) in 2010, over 1.2 million participated in at least one triathlon in 2009; an 11% increase from 2008 and over 50% increase from 2007 (so I can only guess how large the number was in 2012!). According to that same SGMA study, here is what the average Triathlete spent on their sport over the prior 12 months:

·         $2,274 spent on bikes

·         $564 spent on race fees

·         $524 spent on bike equipment

·         $370 spent on training, running and athletic footwear

·         $277 spent on nutritional supplements

 For a grand total of just over $4000 per Triathlete over the prior 12 months! 


Bicycles and equipment have certainly come a long way since my racing days back in the 80s. In the mid-80s our racing bikes were all steel from frame to stem to handlebars to wheels. If you have a bike that weighed in close to 20 pounds, that was considered light! As a budding racer coming up through the junior ranks in southern Wisconsin, I recall saving up all summer long for my first Italian racing bike – a Basso Gap set up with full pantographed Campagnolo Super Record parts. The cost of this first bike from my local racing shop, Yellow Jersey, Ltd – a mere $999.00! Today, that would not even buy me the front wheel on my racing bike.

 Fast-forward thirty some years and a 20 pound bike would either be a piece of vintage bicycle art for the wall or an entry-level tank! Carbon fiber has taken over. From the frame to the stem to the handlebars to even the wheels – everything is carbon fiber save a few nuts and bolts and the bicycle chain. The move to lighter carbon fiber means it is now commonplace for a top of the line bicycle to weigh in less than 15 pounds and run you well over $10,000 (and in some cases more than double that). For safety reasons, the professional cyclist must adhere to certain minimum weights for their race bikes. So, if you are looking to gain a few precious seconds or even minutes, consider an upgrade in your equipment.

 However, even if you have a steel or even aluminum bicycle frame, before upgrading there are several factors to consider according to Cadence Cycling and Multi-sport in Philadelphia *(taken from Cadence’s Bike Tech 101): 

  1. Frame stiffness (vertical, lateral, and torsional)
  2. Durability
  3. Rider Strengths and Objectives
  4. Custom geometry options

 How stiff your new bike frame should be is a factor of your weight, height, average ride duration and riding objectives. Looking for comfort over a 100-mile century or looking for greater acceleration in a local criterium race? As for what type of material, that again will depend on many of the same factors above with one more added in – budget.

 Back to the case of our ever-popular carbon fiber, it has many advantages. Lighter, better damping qualities, resistant to corrosion, malleable enough to offer infinite shapes and uses, and comes in several different grades which in the end will affect cost. Bicycles made with carbon fiber frames can run anywhere from $1,500 to over $20,000, however, are susceptible to cracking if crashed with little opportunity to repair (whereas by season end, my old steel frame would have a few dents here and there adding to the lore of the machine!).

 Outside of a lighter, better handling frame to help you cheat off father time, aerodynamics is another place one can invest money and be rewarded. For the time trialist or triathlete reducing one’s drag coefficient (consider this your footprint in the wind) is where the action is.

 Most studies on aerodynamics for the cyclist point out that wind resistance is the force riders must overcome (Grappe et al., 1997; Kyle and Burke, 1984). These same studies show that the body is responsible for the majority of this (close to 70 percent), with the bicycle making up the rest (30 percent). Two areas where one can make an immediate improvement in their drag are wheels and helmet.

 Aero wheels can reduce the drag of the bike by 49 grams of force (Greenwell et al., 1995) or according to studies done by aero-guru John Cobb, a full 2 to 3 minutes of improvement over a standard set of box, 2 spoke wheels over a 40km distance. However, a set of top shelf carbon aero wheels can set you back easily $2500 (for wheels from Zipp or HED) or more. A company called Lightweight makes a set than run upwards of $5000 a pair! But no need to spend that much as cheaper sets can be found for under $1000 (In addition to my two pair of Zipp carbon aero wheels, I have a set of carbon deep rim Planet X wheels, which I love and only cost me $700 for the set).

 An aero helmet can also deliver a much welcome aerodynamic advantage (without the huge hit to your wallet), but only if worn properly - that is with tall down, flat against your back verses dropping your head and having that long aerodynamic tall stick out like a shark’s fin in the wind!

At the bottom of the page is a look at other improvements one can make on their bike to help ’cheat’ the wind, which was put together by the Southern California Time Trial Series. Time savings are based on a 40km distance (standard length of an Olympic distance bicycle leg), with a rider going approximately 30mph (ya, like most of us can do that). These time advantages can be considerably less if riding under 20mph, something to consider before investing money into aerodynamic upgrades.

 Training Options: 

  • Virtual training program through Training Peaks - $50 per person for a program that will plan out your weekly workouts now until race day! 
    To set up your Training Peaks account with coach Mikael use this link: 
  • Private lesson rates are $100/session or $250/3 sessions.
  • On-site Westchester bike/run preview prior to race day:  $25/person with 10 person minimum.
  • Mini-swim clinic: 4-6 swimmers for 90mins at $50 per person
  • Discounted the price for bike fits of $199 (from $275).
  • Product Discounts: 
    • Rudy Project products: 50% discount with our discount code
    • TYR: 30% discount on TYR wetsuit
    • Contact Mikael for discount codes!