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Coach Michelle Barnes

Brisbane, Australia

Michelle is a 17 time Ironman Finisher and 9 time Kona Qualifier with over 40 AG podiums in all distances. She was recently the 35-39 AG Champion at Ironman Cozumel winning by more than 30 min. She was also the 2015 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.

Michelle is currently based out of Brisbane, Australia

Training Squad: Team Barnes Multisport

Please contact Michelle directly for coaching enquiries.


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!

Why do you work with Trisutto?

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.

What have you achieved in your coaching career?

In the past 20 months since coming on board with Trisutto I have achieved the following: -

7 Kona Qualifications - 10 70.3 World Champs Qualifications - 5 ITU Long Course Qualifications - 7 Ironman AG Podiums - 10 70.3 AG Podiums - 2016 Ironman Sweden F60-64 AG Champ - 2017 F30-34 Australian Long Course Champ - 2017 F40-44 Australian Long Course Runner Up - 2017 M45-49 Ironman Australia AG Champ - 2017 F40-44 Cairns 70.3 AG Champ


I am very pleased with the 1.5 years I spent training with Michelle. I recommend her for endurance training and building up your fitness for triathlon. I was lucky to receive her experience, knowledge and passion for triathlon, which gave me the possibility of growing as an athlete in 70.3 and full distance IM, finishing my most recent full in 10:02, almost two hours faster than my previous IM.

I enjoyed each session and I could feel the support, even training overseas.

Sergio Rodriguez Sanchez

August, 2022

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