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Who is Chris Carmichael? What is his recovery routine?

July 15, 2022
Stacy Cason
Insight on

Chris Carmichael is a professional cyclist, cycling, triathlon, and endurance sports coach. Athletes under his tutelage reportedly won a total of 33 medals at the Olympics, World Championships, and Pan American Games.

Who is Chris Carmichael? What is his recovery routine?

Chris Carmichael is a professional cyclist and cycling, triathlon and endurance sports coach. He was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Cycling Team, the 7-Eleven Professional Cycling Team (1985-1987), and the Schwinn-Wheaties professional cycling team (1988-1989).

He started coaching with the United States Cycling Federation (now USA Cycling) in 1990, was the U.S. Men’s Road Cycling team coach for the 1992 Olympic Games and the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team Head Coach for the 1996 Olympic Games.

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Pioneer Coach Career

In 1990, Chris was a guest coach at a United States Cycling Federation Junior Development Camp. Realizing he had an aptitude for coaching, Chris made the transition to full-time coaching.

Chris believed young cyclists needed to race and live in Europe to become successful professional cyclists so, in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games, he led a group of young American cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Freddie Rodriguez, Kevin Livingston, Chann McCrae, and Bobby Julich on a campaign of racing and training in Europe.

Chris was the U.S. Men’s Road Cycling team coach for the 1992 Olympic Games. He was named the U.S. National Coaching Director and led “Project ‘96”, a multi-disciplinary effort to put the most technologically and physiologically prepared team on the start line at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Project ’96 led to major advances in aerodynamics – including the GT Superbike – as well as altitude training, heat acclimatization, and hyperoxic training. Many of the sports science advances made during Project ’96 are still in use at the elite and amateur levels of endurance sports. Chris was the Head Coach of the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team in 1996.

In 1997, he joined the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the international governing body for cycling headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, as Olympic Solidarity Coaching Instructor. He is well known for being the personal coach to cyclist Lance Armstrong - as well as George Hincapie, ice-hockey player Saku Koivu and swimmer Ed Moses.

Athletes under his tutelage have reportedly won a combined total of 33 medals at the Olympics, World Championships, and Pan American Games.

Impact at scale

Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS).

Named the US Olympic Committee’s Coach of the Year in 1999, Chris formed CTS in 2000 to make world-class coaching accessible to athletes of all ability levels.

Innovation has been a driving force throughout Chris’s career as an athlete, coach, and entrepreneur; he’s played a leading role in advancing the use of power meters, aerodynamic testing, altitude training, online coaching tools, and specific training methods for time-crunched athletes.

Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS).
Chris Carmichael is the founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems, Inc. (CTS).

Through Chris’s leadership, CTS immediately established itself as the premier destination for personal fitness, nutrition, and life coaching; a leadership position the company has held throughout its 20-year history. To ensure that CTS Athletes receive the best expertise and customer service, Chris created an unsurpassed education program that develops the highest-trained coaches in the industry.

Innovation has always been a core component of Chris’s business philosophy, and starting in 2014 CTS pursued an international expansion with training centers in Central and South America.

On the way to building a multimillion dollar coaching and multimedia business with more than 50 full-time employees, Chris also authored seven books, including the New York Times Bestseller, Chris Carmichael’s Food for Fitness (2004) and his newest titles, The Time-Crunched Cyclist (2nd Ed., 2012) and The Time-Crunched Triathlete (2010). His unique perspective on performance appears in his monthly columns in Road Bike Action (2013-present), Bicycling Magazine (’05-2010), Triathlete Magazine (2010 – 2012) and Outside Magazine (’05-’08), and the broad appeal of his message has seen him featured in Time, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business 2.0, Inc., and Forbes Small Business.

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Chris has also been very active in television, with appearances on the NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN, 60 Minutes, The Discovery Channel, ABC’s World News Tonight, and other venues. From 2001-2005, he served a daily on-air commentator for the Outdoor Life Network’s (now NBC Sports Network) Tour de France coverage.


  • 2013-2014 National Spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure
  • 2014 American Diabetes Association Celebrity Cabinet
  • 2011-2014 USA Pro Cycling Challenge – Local Organizing Committee Chair for Colorado Springs (COS hosted stages in 2011, 2012, and 2014)
  • 2009 Kennedy Laureate Award, John F. Kennedy University
  • 2004 USA Cycling Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2004 Colorado Entrepreneur of the Year, Celebrate Technology
  • 2003 US Bicycling Hall of Fame Inductee
  • 2000 Outside Magazine “Ultimate Coach” Award
  • 1999 US Olympic Committee “Coach of the Year”
  • 1999 USA Cycling “Coach of the Year”
  • 1999 VeloNews “Coach of the Year”
  • 1992, 1996 Olympic Coach, Cycling
  • 1986 First American Team in the Tour de France, 7-Eleven
  • 1984 Olympic Team Member, Cycling


  • Larissa Connors – 2017 Leadville 100 MTB Champion
  • Alison Tetrick – 2017 Dirty Kanza 200 Champion
  • Kaci Lickteig – 2016 Western States Endurance Run Champion, 2016 Ultrarunner of the Year
  • Mara Abbott -2016 US Olympian, 2010 & 2013 Giro Rosa Champion
  • Greg Daniel – 2016 US Pro Road Race Champion, Trek-Segafredo Pro Cycling Team
  • Katerina Nash – 3-time Olympian, 2017 Cyclocross World Championship – Bronze medalist
  • Rebecca Rusch – 7x World Champion, 4x Leadville 100 Champion, 3x Dirty Kanza 200 Champion
  • Craig Alexander – 2008, 2009 Ironman World Champion
  • Dean Karnazes – Iconic ultrarunner, author of “Ultramarathon Man”
  • Lance Armstrong – World Champion, US Pro Road Race Champion, 4x Olympian
  • George Hincapie – 5x Olympian, 3x US Pro Road Race Champion
  • Normann Stadler – 2004, 2006 Ironman World Champion
  • Carl Edwards – NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver
  • Ryan Trebon – 2-time US National Cyclocross Champion
  • Max Papis – NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, 24 Hours of Daytona Champion


  • The Time Crunched Cyclist, 3rd Edition: Fit, Fast, and Powerful in 6 Hours a Week (Velopress 2017)
  • The Time Crunched Triathlete: Race-Winning Fitness in 8 Hours a Week (Velopress, 2010)
  • Five Essentials for a Winning Life: The Nutrition, Fitness, and Life Plan for Discovering the Champion Within (Rodale, 2006)
  • The Carmichael Training Systems Cyclist’s Training Diary (Penguin Putnam, 2005)
  • Chris Carmichael’s Fitness Cookbook (Penguin Putnam, 2005)
  • Chris Carmichael’s Food for Fitness: Eat Right to Train Right (Penguin Putnam, 2004) Reached #6 on the New York Times Best Seller List in 2004.
  • The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, and Start Winning with the World’s Top Cycling Coach (Penguin Putnam, 2003)
  • The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride (Rodale, 2000; revised 2006)


  • Microsoft
  • General Electric
  • Nike
  • Carnegie Science Center
  • UBS Financial
  • AMD
  • Boston Scientific
  • Dow Corning
  • The American College of Sport Medicine
  • Yale University
  • The Tony Robbins Group
  • Autoliv
  • UK World Class Coaching Conference
  • Global Coaching Conference for the US Olympic Committee

About the author

Stacy Cason

During 15 years in the healthcare industry, Stacy Cason witnessed the devastating effects of chronic pain and opioid abuse. Long been fascinated by the phenomenal benefits of plant medicine. Stacy founded Planetarie in 2018. Following extensive research and development, Planetarie created a proprietary water-extraction technology that leaves full-spectrum cannabinoids in their most potent, natural state. Stacy is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully exited from commercial real estate, crypto, and other businesses. She is an Ironman, an investor, a speaker, and has been an active philanthropist for many years. Stacy is a Harvard and DU graduate living in Denver most of the year.

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