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Michelle Barnes

Michelle Barnes is a 13 time Ironman Finisher and 7 time Kona Qualifier with over 30 AG podiums in all distances. She was recently the 35-39 AG Champion at Ironman Australia, where she had the fastest overall female marathon, including the pros. Michelle understands the challenge of training at a competitive level and need for balance while holding down a full time job.

I’ve been using and learning coaching methods since 2009, when I first met my husband Gary Barnes. Gary was coached by the late Mark Becker, someone who had spent more years as a coach with Brett than anyone at the time. After Kona in 2010 I applied for the Elite Development program with Team TBB and worked with 5 x Ironman Champion Rebecca Preston, along with direct email contact with Brett. That year my racing improved by leaps & bounds. When Beck retired from coaching, I continued to work with TeamTBB coaches and have since incorporated training methodologies with my own athletes and had tremendous success.

Michelle Barnes

Michelle Barnes Coach


 I  grew up competing in swimming until the age of 12 and also found myself doing well in track and cross country, often placing 1st or 2nd in local school events but never winning in larger regional events. I set the record for the 800m in junior high school but it was broken a few years later. I’ve always loved the outdoors and skiing, having lived most of her life near the mountains, first in Colorado, then in Calgary for 25 years. After finishing my Science Degree in Human Movement, I started working in the fitness industry where I spent the next 10 years doing fitness consulting, managing a gym, teaching aerobics, spin classes, treadmill classes and designing programs for individuals.

It was during my first few years that a friend told my I should do a sprint triathlon. I ended up winning the race and was hooked! That summer I entered as many Olympic distance races as I could find, but found myself getting slower near the end of the season. So I hired a coach in preparation for my first Half Ironman. That same year I was asked if I wanted to do an Ironman. Why not!? And I haven’t looked back since. Since then I’ve qualified for Kona in all but two Ironman races, and gone on to work with the best coaches in the sport, including Brett Sutton, Rebecca Preston and Scott DeFilippis.

I’ve always been very consistent with my training despite managing a full-time workload. And at the same time I was running indoor spin classes and long turbo sessions on Saturdays to help Canadians keep their long rides up through the winter, with no intentions of coaching (I already had a very busy schedule!) I ended up with a squad of 9 athletes in a very short time period. One of my athletes was 50 pounds overweight and was born in jail with Fetal Alcohol syndrome. I introduced her to Ironman to help get her off drugs, bad food and help build her confidence! At the same time I coached a below the knee amputee and an ex-Paralympic medalist in skiing to two Ironman finishes. That same year I coached a young girl to multiple podiums in her first ever 1/2 marathon & Olympic distance triathlons. I’m very proud to say that every athlete I coached got to the start line of an Ironman injury free and finished.

As for my coaching style, I’ve always wanted to know “why” I was doing certain sessions and the order in which the sessions were arranged. As a coach I now have a very good understanding of how different people need different types of coaching. Some need more mental training, some do well on 12 hours per week and some need 25+. I’m absolutely thrilled to come on board with to help aspiring triathletes be the BEST THEY CAN BE!

Years in Triathlon

Iron Distance Races

Kona Qualifications

AG Podiums - All distances

Michelle did an excellent job of communicating the Trisutto principles backed by both the results of many athletes that have improved by using them, and her own observations on how much she has improved. The concepts are much more specific and simple than any that I had used previously, and they were communicated very effectively. In my opinion Michelle is a very good coach!

Gord Clayholt

Michelle is my online coach so having face time with her was such a treat.  She is an incredible coach and really cares about all her athletes and our success.  I can not say enough great things about her and I absolutely feel it’s a privilege to be in her squad and part of Trisutto. Michelle has taken me from a broken, burnt out athlete to a healthy happy one!

Melonie MacDonald

Michelle is an amazing coach, and it was fantastic to see her coaching in action. Michelle has this very authentic and wholeness about her that pulls you in and you want to learn from her and listen. Michelle is an amazing coach, and it was fantastic to see her coaching in action. She has this very authentic and wholeness about her that pulls you in and you want to learn from her and listen.

Sarah Van Tine

Michelle Barnes Triathlon Highlights: (Age Group)

Michelle has never considered herself a “natural” athlete, just a natural workhorse! Here are some of her accomplishments as an age-group athlete who knows exactly what it’s like to hold down a full-time job while balancing a  training schedule:

  • 1st Ironman Australia 2015
  • 1st Tweed Coast Enduro 2015
  • 7th Hawaii Ironman World Championships
  • 2014 2nd Challenge Gold Coast 2014
  • 2nd Ironman New Zealand 2014
  • 4th Sunshine Coast 70.3
  • 4th Ironman Australia 2013
  • 1st Kingscliffe Triathlon
  • 19th Hawaii Ironman World Championsips 2011
  • 1st Banff Triathlon (1st Amateur)
  • 2nd Calgary 70.3 2011
  • 2nd Ironman St. George 2011
  • 19th Hawaii Ironman World Championships 2010
  • 1st Calgary 70.3 2010 (1st Amateur)
  • 2nd Ironman South Africa 2010
  • 43rd Hawaii Ironman World Championships 2009
  • 1st Calgary 70.3 2009
  • 5th Ironman Canada 2009
  • 2nd Ironman Brazil 2009
  • 5th Ironman Canada 2008

A shout out!

This blog is a little different and more for our Trisutto family. We all take pride in the results of our individual athletes, as we are all training with programs that have been adapted from our champions, we can all feel connected in a small way to their great...

Skip your way indoors to a faster run!

In our last blog we discussed how using the treadmill and turbo could enhance your triathlon. Within our own coaching group we have extended that to commercial swim benches, home made remedies, and swim stretch...

What’s an Off-season?

The off-season can mean different things for different athletes. It can be used as a complete mental and physical break for those athletes recovering after a long season. It can also be an opportunity to hone in and improve a single discipline, or the chance to build...


Contact Michelle

If you are interested in training with Michelle, feel free to contact us at anytime via the Live Chat button (envelope bottom right).