Barry Roubaix – Women’s Race Report

March 23rd, 2014 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Barry Roubaix has quickly become the largest gravel road race in America and it is held right here in West Michigan every March. Conditions over the past few years have ranged from 50 degrees and dry, to 19 degrees and icy. The 2014 race, held this past weekend, was somewhere in between at 33 degrees with some mud. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Your Warm Up Count

November 24th, 2013 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach
Training time is valuable and athletes want to get the most out of their workouts. This can often lead to skipped warm ups, which may be more detrimental than trading the additional 10 minutes of workout time for properly prepping the body for activity. Just 10 minutes before every workout can go a long way in helping prevent injury.
When many people think of warm up, they tend to envision a light jog or easy spin, but there are two other things that should happen before this “cardio” phase of a warm up. The first part of a warm up is designed to stimulate motor neurons, which send messages from the brain to the muscles. This is called neuromuscular activation (NMA). Several NMA exercises include balancing on one leg for several seconds in various positions, such as leg out to the front, activating the quads or leg lifted behind, engaging the glutes and hamstrings. Other examples are arm circles, calf raises and leg swings. These activities open up the brain to muscle communication that will be needed for the workout. An NMA routine does not need to be more than 5 minutes in duration.
The second part of a warm up is important for increasing blood flow and increasing range of motion. A dynamic warm up (DWU) is critical to injury prevention and should become a habit for every athlete before every training session. A DWU routine progresses from light impact exercises such as walking on heels and walking on toes, to higher intensity exercises like running high knees and power skips. The dynamic warm up should be between 5 and 10 minutes in length.
After the NMA and DWU, some athletes will still desire an additional cardio warm up. Generally, the time spent on cardio warm up can be reduced to 5 or 10 minutes following NMA and DMU, depending on the intensity of the training session to follow. Incorporating a good warm up into every workout session is an extremely valuable use of training time and should never be sacrificed due to a tight schedule. Make it a habit to complete a warm up routine before every training session.

Earn Cash for Volunteering at the MI Titanium Triathlon!!

July 25th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The directors of Michigan’s first ultra distance triathlon, the MI Titanium, are offering a $150 donation to any organization willing to provide 15-30 volunteers for an 8-hour shift on race day, August 26th. The race will host a half and full distance triathlon starting and finishing at Versluis Park in NE Grand Rapids. Athletic Mentors is a sponsor of the event knows that lots of volunteers are critical to the success of the race. So, if you know of a sports team, church group, or team of associates looking for a group outing to support healthy living, have them contact the MiTi Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa, at Volunteer orientation and training will take place on August 23rd at 6:30 pm, so no experience necessary!

Grand Rapids Triathlon Nearing Registration Cap!

May 28th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The Grand Rapids Triathlon is only in its second year and is already approaching sold out status. This weekend, the registrations tipped over the 1,000 mark on its way to a cap of 1,200. The race is less than two weeks away (June 10), but it is not too late to join in the fun. Registration prices go up after midnight this Wednesday (May 31), so if you have been thinking about racing, and have not yet registered, now is the time! Don’t miss out on another spectacular event! Go to to register. Athletic Mentors has over a half dozen of its athletes competing in the sprint, olympic and half distances and is a proud sponsor of the race!

Calling All Volunteers for the Grand Rapids Triathlon!

May 21st, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The Grand Rapids Triathlon is fast approaching, and the time remaining to register as a volunteer is running out. Athletic Mentors is a proud sponsor of the event on June 10th in Ada, Michigan, and would like to encourage anyone not participating in the race to sign up to volunteer. A race of this scale relies on hundreds of volunteers! Please consider helping out at one of Michigan’s leading triathlon events. All volunteers will be trained prior to the event so you will know exactly what to do, where to go, and what time to be there on race day. You can register to volunteer by going to and clicking on the Volunteer link in green at the top of the home page. Thanks for your help!

We Have a Winner…

March 6th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Cody Cross won the drawing for a $50 Athletic Mentors gift certificate for completing a triathlon clinic survey. Thank you to the many participants who provided feedback on our free clinics. Please remember the next clinic is this Saturday at 9am at the David D Hunting YMCA, downtown Grand Rapids. Athletic Mentors and the Grand Rapids Triathlon are bringing you a Women’s Panel Discussion. Ladies, come on down and get some valuable advice from our panel of outstanding women triathletes!

Attention Junior Triathletes! Win a coaching scholarship and compete before USAT Talent ID scouts!

March 6th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Do you know a young athlete with aspirations to become a triathlete? If so, we have some great news for you! Not only could your junior athlete win a scholarship for free triathlon coaching, but he or she can also compete in front of Olympic talent scouts right here in West Michigan.

Athletic Mentors is awarding coaching scholarships to juniors that are planning to compete in triathlon during the 2012 race season. Juniors ages 14-18 can apply for a scholarship by clicking on this link.

In addition, juniors age 15 – 19 as of December 31, 2012, can race the sprint distance at the Grand Rapids Triathlon on June 10, where Olympic development scouts will be watching. The Grand Rapids Triathlon has been selected as the only race in Michigan to be part of the USA Triathlon Talent ID Series.

So if you do know a young triathlete, please encourage him or her to take advantage of these great opportunities by submitting an application for scholarship and registering for the Grand Rapids Triathlon today!



GR Tri & MI Ti – Free Bike Clinic Video

February 12th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The Athletic Mentors team presented another round in its series of free clinics for the Grand Rapids Triathlon and Michigan Titanium this weekend. If you weren’t able to attend, a good portion of the bike clinic is available online. Click the link below to access the video.

Bike Clinic Video


Athletic Mentors On Air

January 19th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin gave us a few minutes of radio air time today to share some more information on the free triathlon clinics being offered as part of our sponsorship of the Grand Rapids Triathlon and Michigan Titanium.

Click the following link to listen to the interview and then come see us Saturday morning at the YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids starting at 9am! Morning Show Interview

If you know of anyone that may be interested in the free clinics, please send them our way!

Free Triathlon Clinics

January 9th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

As part of our sponsorship of the 2012 Grand Rapids Triathlon, Athletic Mentors is offering a number of free clinics. All clinics will lead by Athletic Mentors coaches and staff and held in the front conference room at the David D Hunting YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids. These clinics are open to the public and attendees do not need to be registered for the Grand Rapids Triathlon.

Click here to register for any of the following free clinics:


Triathlon 101 – Jan 21, 9:00am– 10:15am

For athletes new to the sport or considering getting into triathlon

Equipment, training and racing tips, nutrition, transitions and USAT rules


Swim – Technique & Training – Jan 21, 10:30am – 11:30am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Swim stroke technique discussions and training recommendations


Bike – Technique & Training – Feb 11, 9:00am – 10:15am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Cycling technique and bike fit discussions and training recommendations


Run – Technique & Training – Feb 11, 10:30am – 11:30am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Running technique discussions and training recommendations, including bricks


Women’s Panel Discussion ‚Äì Mar 10, 9:00am ‚Äì 10:15am

For all ladies, beginner to intermediate

Open question and answer format with experienced athletes and coaches


Race Day Clinic – Jun 2, 9:00am – 10:15am

For all participants of the 2012 Grand Rapids Triathlon

What to expect on race day, course details, logistics, spectator info & more