Riding the Trail
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Just a year after graduating with a degree in communication, Mike Schultz '01 looked around at his cubicle and paperwork and realized something was missing. His real passion lay within the trails of the mountains, training and mountain biking across the country. So he quit his corporate job, moved to Seven Springs, and started riding mountain bikes full time.
Flying down the mountains on a bike doesn’t pay the bills — at least at first it doesn’t. Making ends meet by tending bars at night, Schultz went back to school and began working on a list of certifications ranging from personal trainer to strength and conditioning specialist, and ultimately, USA Cycling certified coach. Eventually he started an athletic training business, Highland Training, that specializes in endurance sports.
"When I started my business I was a one-man show. I started with art — you have to take photos — then learned HTML to build websites, because you don’t have the money to hire someone to do it,” says Schultz.
Now he is a trainer for athletes from coast to coast and across the ocean, with just a swipe of a finger and a click of the keyboard. All day and sometimes at night, Schultz writes and modifies specific training regimens for each of the athletes he manages, tracking their development through an online database and GPS.
“GPS allows me to see where they ride as a part of the workout. It shows me their heart rate, power, distance, etc. From there I write the programs and training every night that guide the athletes following day,” says Schultz.
Schultz has now started to collaborate with Jeremiah Bishop, a celebrated mountain bike racer who has represented the USA for a multitude of competitions and was the 2014 National Ultra Endurance champion. Together they are coaching athletes hoping to race in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“The mountain biking community here is growing, and I love what I do,” says Schultz.
--- Written by Mattie D'Arcy