Mike Swan

Mike Swan is the subject of this month’s Runner’s Profile. He is a seven (yes I said seven) time finisher at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii (and has won “hardware” three times for a top five performance in his age group there), a recently converted ultra runner (with a seventh place finish in the National Ultra Championships this summer), a successful physical therapist and a gifted running/triathlon coach – Mike has got it all!

Mike just opened, with co-owner Kevin Brown, Elite Performance and Rehabilitation, a physical therapy facility. Although Elite offers the full range of physical therapy services, Mike devotes a great deal of time to diagnosis, treatment and prevention of athletic injuries. From a modest start of providing schedules and coaching for a handful of local triathletes, Mike has now built his coaching business SwanSports (check out his web page at swansports.com) into a very successful enterprise. An interesting fact about Mike’s coaching is that he trains not only many of our area’s top triathletes, he also trains new runners, experienced runners trying to reach the next level and athletes with a wide range of ages and abilities.

As one who has used Mike as both a coach and physical therapist for several years, I enthusiastically recommend him. In fact, every time I have referred someone suffering from a sports-related injury to Mike (previously when he was at Precision Biomechanics and now at Elite), I get an enthusiastic thank you from that person, along with their account of how Mike addressed and ultimately helped them resolve an injury problem.

Mike is a great competitor and talented therapist and coach. Don’t let his baggy shorts and friendly demeanor fool you; this guy can run (and bike and swim and heal and coach . . . and you should see how he trains dogs).

Basic Information


Personal Information – Basic

Employment: New co-owner of Elite Performance and Rehabilitation
Physical Therapist and running/triathlon coach (swansports.com)
Family – who they are; what they do: Anne – wife of 4 years. She is a vocational advisor with Santa Barbara County Special Education.
Other Sports/Interests/Hobbies: Dog agility training with my wife.

Personal Information – Additional

My friends describe me as …: a fierce competitor with a smile.
If money were not a consideration, I would love to be a …: coach and physical therapist … really. (I also would like to spend a bit more time training.)
Goals – In the next 5 years, I hope to …: build a successful business, start a family, keep from breaking myself.

Running Highlights

Favorite Distance & PR at same: So far 50 miles – best time is 6:01.
Best Race and Why: 1996 Hawaii Ironman
2002 Avalon 50
my best times for these distances
Worst Race and Why: Probably a couple of mid-1990’s Ironmans where I essentially staggered through the run.
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 35-40
Favorite Local Race: Nine Trails – even in the rain
Running Goals (Realistic) for this year: Finisher Western States 100, top 5 in Montreal Ultra Running Grand Prix
Running Goals (Wildly Optimistic) for this year: Top 5 at Western States 100
Running Goals – (Lifetime – Before I die, I hope to: Crack 9 hours at Hawaii Ironman.

Additional Running Information

Why I Run: Santa Barbara is a perfect place to run. I love running and am a hopeless addict.
My Local Runner Hero & Why: George Harrower. He smiles always-even Pier to Peak!
Personal Training Tips: Hills!
Long shorts.
I love runners who …: are understated about their achievements.
Suggestions for local races: More trail races on our great trail system.
Suggestions for SBAA: Keep up the good work. Have a coaching system that includes development of year round programs for runners.


SBAA Member since 1998

Please follow and like us: