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Triathlete Training Podcast by Eric Schwartz

Triathlete Training Podcast

by Eric Schwartz

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Eric Schwartz offers triathlon training advice for athletes of all levels. Some of the smartest experts in the endurance world join the podcast for interviews. Topics include training, nutrition, equipment, hydration, weight loss, fueling, strength, and Ironman racing. Eric provides advice from his 20 year career as a top athlete and 14+ years of coaching. Triathletes, duathletes, runners, and cyclists will get smarter with each episode.


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TT087: How To Win An Age Group National Championship

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Mon, Mar 13, 2017


Alicia Caldwell has raced for 20 years and in 2016 she won her first US National Age Group title.  She's been gradually improving through the years.  In 2017 she was 19th in her age group and the next year she was 8th.  In 2012 she made the podium with a 3rd place finish at Sprint Nationals, and in 2014 she earned bronze at the World Championships in Canada. We talk about her journey in the sport and some of her habits and training methods that have allowed for continuous improvement. 

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TT86: Retired Pro Wes Hobson Covering Lots Of Things

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Sat, Feb 25, 2017


Wes Hobson was one of the top triathletes of the 1990s.  He turned pro in 1990 and retired in 2001.  In his second year as a pro he was competing with and sometimes beating the Big Four: Mark Allen, Dave Scott, Scott Molina, and Mike Pigg.  During his career he was named Triathlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee, won 35 races, and was the first American to win an ITU World Cup Triathlon.   He talked about transitioning into the sport from collegiate swimming to racing with the fastest triathletes in the world.  Along the way he dealt with chronic fatigue and enduring a nine month period in 1997 in which he could barely train.  This was preceded by an 8 week period of high volume and an absurd amount of high intensity training.   In a period of 2-3  weeks he suddenly came out of it.  He got coaching from Joe Friel and was a contender to qualify for the US Olympic team in 2000 but missed out. He retired in 2001 but since then has kept busy with many different business pursuits, including a very successful career in real estate in Boulder.  He talks about that transition and how continuously following his passion has led to success and fulfillment. Links For Boulder area real estate contact Wes at W...@RealEstateBoulder.com or RealEstateBoulder.com Wes' wife, Hayley, at HayleyHobson.com 3StepSolutions.com for small business website, contact management, and more.  

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TT085: Running & Triathlon Stories I Habits I Lessons

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Feb 08, 2017


Eric reviews his running career, including his time at Indiana University, and shares a few stories from his triathlon career.  He also talks about important habits for success and what advice he would give to himself at different stages of his career. This episode is for my two-year old daughter and my three-year old son so that when they get older they will know more about their Dada.  Hopefully at least some of my listeners will also enjoy it.  

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TT084: Swim Total Immersion Founder Terry Laughlin

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Jan 17, 2017


Terry Laughlin founded Total Immersion at age 29 while he was considering a change of career. He coached kids since age 21 but he had no experience coaching adults until he held his first camp in 1989. The camp was a success and also personally fulfilling for Terry.  A business was born. Total Immersion led to his first book, also titled Total Immersion, camps, ebooks, and a fleet of Total Immersion certified coaches around the world. We talk about his progression over the years, his favorite Olympic swimmer, Tim Ferris, his suggestions for new swimmers, his articles about financial risk, and a lot more. Subscribe via iTunes Links TotalImmersion.net Alexander Popov on Youtube Why You Should Stop Worrying About What Other People Think  

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TT083: Olympic Distance Triathlon & Half Ironman Race Review

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Dec 28, 2016


Subscribe via iTunes Jeff Pack is in his 40s and he just started competing in endurance events three years ago.  He recently completed an Olympic distance triathlon in the Galapagos Islands and he followed it up with a half ironman distance race in Paracas, Peru. Jeff is an American living in Ecuador and he trains at an elevation of 9,000 feet.  He was very well prepared for each of these races and hit his goal for each. Links http://www.runnersworld.com/heart/can-running-kill-you

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TT082: First Ironman, Husband & Wife Triathletes Balancing Triathlon & Family

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Dec 06, 2016


Subscribe via iTunes Elizabeth and Nate Sylves have been racing together as a couple for over a decade.  This year she did her first Ironman (Florida) and he did his first half ironman (North Carolina).  They combine training and racing with full time jobs while raising two young kids. They started their season with the Duathlon National Championships in Bend, Oregon in June. Then Elizabeth did the Atlantic City 70.3 and in October Nate did Ironman North Carolina 70.3 and Elizabeth planned on doing Ironman North Carolina, but due to a hurricane that was changed to a shorter race.  That change was announced a few days before the race so she immediately bought a charity slot for Ironman Florida and raced that two weeks later. In addition to working full time outside the home, Elizabeth coaches triathletes and teaches fitness classes.  Nate is a cameraman and works a non-standard schedule.  Because of their differing schedules and child care they are rarely able to train together. Elizabeth once weighed 200 pounds but made significant lifestyle changes. A few years ago she changed to a fat-adapted diet due to health issues and has stuck with it.  her diet is 60% fat.  She recently did her half-ironman while consuming just 400 calories. Have a listen and see how they make it work.

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TT081: Joe Friel & His Newly Revamped Triathlete’s Training Bible

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Nov 09, 2016


  Subscribe via iTunes Joe Friel returns to the show and discusses his revamped and just released Triathlete's Training Bible.  This is the best selling triathlon book of all time, with roughly 300,000 books sold, and instead of just updating it he started from scratch and rewrote it. We talk about the major revamps to the book. In addition to that we covered a wide range of topics.  Near the end of the interview we talked about his career as he went from teacher to running store owner to triathlon store owner to coach to author. Joe started his writing for the Fort Collins newspaper and his column ran every single week for 20 years from 1981 to 2001.  He did not like writing when he started and now he has a passion for it.  He wrote his first book, the Cyclist's Training Bible, and thought it might sell a few hundred copies total.  It sold 1000 copies the first month and 5000 copies the second month and now he's written 16 books. Joe is always a good listen so don't miss this episode.

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TT080: Dangerous Hyponatremia After a 70.3 Half Ironman

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Oct 19, 2016


Colin Pugh had a dangerous case of hyponatremia that could have resulted in death.  Hydration expert Andy Blow joins us to review his case.  In Colin's words, here is what happened: "On Aug 14th I did my first Half Ironman (Stealhead - Benton Harbor MI). I ran a pretty decent race and finished in a time of 5hrs 47 mins. After the race I was about a 3 hour drive from home in Milwaukee WI. I was over there on my own as my girlfriend was working that weekend. Based on the fact I couldn’t stand up without cramping I made the decision to hold up in a hotel for the night and make my way home on the Monday morning. I got to the hotel grabbed a shower and then started to become obsessed with the fact that I hadn't taken a pee all day and started taking on water (a lot of water!). This was quiet the mistake…….. I then remember only a few things. I remember walking across to the gas station to buy more water and being completely out of it in my mind like kind of drunk feeling. Then I went to bed and woke up at 11pm and proceeded to throw up all a lot of that water back up which wasn’t pretty. I woke up the next day feeling really rough and text my girlfriend to say I’m not driving until I get kicked out of the hotel at Noon. Then the next thing I know is I’m at the breakfast table grabbing breakfast and all packed up and I had no idea how I got there. Then the last thing I remember on Monday morning was getting on to the highway at my intersection in Michigan and then the next recollection I had was waking up in the ICU on Wednesday morning in Chicago…………. What happened? It turns out that I must have had the sub conscious thought to get to the Emergency Room. Because when I crashed my car into a truck I was only 6 blocks away from the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center in downtown Chicago. But I had managed to drive over 70 miles without remembering a thing and then passed out behind the wheel. When the cops came up on my accident they said they found me having a seizure in the driver’s seat and then proceeded to smash me out of my car and get medical help. Then I got to the ER by ambulance and my girlfriend was calling my phone. The ER doctor answers the phone and tells her what they think is going on. My girlfriend is actually a doctor herself, she completely gets what the ER doc tells her and starts freaking out and gets in the car and starts driving the 1-2 hrs down to Chicago to be with me. So what was going on? Typical human blood has 140-145 mol/liter of Sodium in it. Anything less than 120 mol/liter is classed as serve. On my first blood work when I got to the ER it was at 113 mol/liter and that’s why I kept having seizures. I had Hyponatremia where you drink too much tap water and in essence dilute your blood. I was then admitted to the ICU early Monday and over Monday/Tuesday given fluids and monitored closely until I woke up on Wednesday morning very confused. While I was out I wasn’t being very cooperative it seems……..I had to be tied down feet and hands to stop me from beating all the people up which wasn’t great for my girlfriend to see. After waking up I had no idea what year it was, what had happened, where I had raced, who the president was.......nothing…….and that was very worrying. But I quickly started to get it all back come Thursday and Friday. I was then discharged from the ICU to home on Friday. Quiet the experience that I need to get follow up appointments to completely figure out if I had a Kidney issue or if I just put myself in trouble by drinking so much water instead of something with electrolytes in it. In the meantime I’m back to work and doing fine, getting my car fixed up and taking it easy for a little while and deferring a few races that I was booked into for the rest of the season."

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TT079: Hydration With Andy Blow (You’ll Definitely Learn Something New)

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


Former elite triathlete Andy Blow struggled in hot races.  He cramped and had to figure out a solution.  He retired from triathlons in 2006 but that problem led to his post-racing career.  He is the founder of Precision Hydration and has become an expert on hydration.   In addition to endurance athletes he's worked with NBA, NFL, and professional soccer teams. Regardless of what you already know about hydration, you will learn more during this interview. Topics discussed: For most people drinking to thirst will work, but many athletes need to follow a plan to make sure they don't forget to drink.  A range of 16-28 ounces of fluid replacement per hour is adequate in most cases, but some athletes have much higher sweat rates and will require more Over-hydration before a race can negatively affect performance The sodium concentration in your sweat is relatively static over many years and many different conditions Your body reabsorbs some of the sodium lost through sweat before it reaches the skin Caffeinated drinks don't result in a net fluid loss And way more than I included here During the interview I didn't ask Andy specifically how much fluid loss is allowable for half and full Ironman distance races, so I followed up via email and this was his response: "the data I've seen suggests the fastest finishers of those kind of races can lose between 2 and 6% on average (which tallies with personal experience for me). There may be some people who suffer at that kind of level of loss, and others who can tolerate a bit more (e.g. Gebrselassie who lost 10% during some marathons) but my best guess is that around 2-6% is in the zone for most people if they start the event very well hydrated. I don't think the length of race matters so much as even in hot Olympic races people can lose considerable amounts of weight - it's more how quickly you allow the weight loss to occur (i.e. in long races you have to drink more to mitigate the fluid lossses from earlier on)." Links PrecisionHydration.com  Free online sweat test Precistion Hydration Testing Centers

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TT078: Cody Beals – Canadian Ironman 70.3 Pro

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Sep 15, 2016


Cody Beals is a third year Canadian pro specializing in the Ironman 70.3 distance.  His results this year include two victories and no worse than a 7th place finish in seven Ironman 70.3 events.  Later this month he will race the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Oklahoma. His website, codybeals.com, details his training, finances, physical challenges (low testosterone), and more. Cody is very open about his life and that makes for a good interview.    

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TT077: The Olympic Experience & Mental Toughness With Olympian Joanna Zeiger

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Aug 25, 2016


Joanna Zeiger, the 4th place finisher at the 2000 Olympics, discusses the 2016 Olympic triathlon, her Olympic experience, her extensive racing career, triathlon income, drug use, statistical consulting, and more. Joanna competed at the first ever Olympic triathlon for the USA.  Five weeks later she followed that with a 5th place finish at the Ironman Hawaii World Championships.  She's also competed in the Olympic Trials for swimming and the marathon. Her new book, The Champion Mindset, is scheduled for release in February 2017   Links Joanna-Zeiger.com RaceReadyCoaching.com The Champion MIndset  - Joanna's new book scheduled for Feb 14 2017 release

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TT076: Justin Daerr Two Years After First Ironman Win

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Aug 10, 2016


Boulder based professional triathlete Justin Daerr returns to the show two years after his firstIronman win at Ironman Boulder in 2014. Since that time he's had several top 5 Ironman finishes, including 2nd at Ironman Mount-Tremblant in 2015 and 4th at Ironman Canada in 2016. At age 35 he's started 36 Ironmans and finished 32.    

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TT075 Training Experimentation, Ketogenic Diets & MMA Fighting

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jul 13, 2016


Hillary Spires makes her third appearance on the show to talk about her experiments with her training and diet and the much faster run times she has achieved. Her 5k time dropped from 24 minutes to 20:19 and her 10k time dropped from 47 minutes to 42:30.  She has resumed her triathlon training in prep for a half ironman.   Last fall she started training for Muay Thai, a form of MMA fighting.  She also switched to a ketogenic diet (high fat/low carbohydrate).  When she returned to running she had huge drops in her time despite very little run training and some very high intensity workouts. Hillary was on episode 55 talking about her first year of racing as she prepared for Ironman Canada, and she returned on episode 64 after she completed Ironman Canada.   Links/Show Mentions Hillary's MMA Fight Torbjorn Sindballe on low fat diets - Triathlete Training Podcast episode 14 Netflix documentary on Barkley Marathons Hillary's High Intensity Workout Incline 10 Per Hillary, level 7 is an 8:30 mile, level 9 is a 6:40 mile, level 10 is 6:00 mile, and level 11 is a 5:30 mile 90 seconds level 7 90s rest (stand on rails) 4 sets 60 seconds level 9 60 seconds rest 4 sets 30 seconds level 10 30 seconds rest 2 sets 30 seconds level 11 30 seconds rest 2 sets Hillary ran a 20:19 5k after this.  This is a very high intensity and difficult workout. Slower runners should reduce the speed and/or incline for this workout.

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TT074: Runner Preparing For First Sprint Triathlon

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jun 08, 2016


Subscribe via iTunes Kate Maas of Switzerland is an experienced runner preparing for her first sprint triathlon.  It's a 500 meter swim, 40k bike, and 5k run triathlon on June 20.  She's done several marathons and an ultra, and while she's had a desire to do a triathlon for a while, she didn't start training until she recently registered for the race. Topics discussed include: Open water swimming Intervals Pedal stroke Transitions Yoga Eric's Heart Rate Zone Summary  An illustration of force applied to pedals, from Joe Friel's Triathlete's Training Bible.

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TT073: Talking Physical Health With Chris Kelly

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, May 25, 2016


Subscribe via iTunes Chris Kelly, founder of NourishBalanceThrive.com, joins the show in a wide ranging discussion on health. Some of the topics we cover include: iron overload in men sleep cortisol levels diet      

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TT072: Triathlon 2.0: Data Driven Performance Training w/Jim Vance

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 27, 2016


Coach Jim Vance joins the podcast as a repeat guest to talk about his new book, Triathlon 2.0: Data-Driven Performance Training. Jim worked on this book for 4 years before it’s release in early 2016. It’s a detailed book for serious athletes willing to look at their training data and use it to improve.  Jim was a former professional triathlete and now, as a well known coach, he has become an expert in analyzing training data.     This book builds on concepts in Joe Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible and uses charts and graphs to show how to use and understand your data. Even if you don’t use a power meter, and most experienced athletes should, you can still learn how to use data from your GPS unit to improve your running. I feel confident in saying this will be one of the most useful books for serious triathletes.   http://www.coachvance.com/ Does Running Shorten Your Lifespan?

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TT071: Oceanside 70.3 As First Half Ironman

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 06, 2016


Weston Titus is a 6’5”, 225 pound, former basketball player who attempted his first 70.3 Half Ironman in Oceanside on April 2, 2016.  This episode includes an interview three days before the race and an interview 3 days after the race.   Part 1   He has completed five sprint triathlons but this will be his first half ironman.  He is also preparing for Ironman Arizona in November.  We covered: His transition from a more random training routine to a more structured schedule What books he used to prepare, and which single book was most useful The test workouts he used to gauge his progress His nutrition plan for the race His race goals Part 2 Weston had a successful race.  Tune in to the second half of the podcast to find out how he did it.  He consumed roughly 45-50 ounces of fluid (1.5 liters) per hour on his 3:14 bike and about 400 calories per hour during the bike.  Even accounting for his larger size (225 pounds), those are higher than normal numbers, but it was within the range of what he trained and he didn't notice any negative effects from that consumption level.  His splits are listed below:

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TT070: Mobility For Faster Performance, Alexander Technique, & Nasal Breathing w/George Dallam

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 16, 2016


George Dallam returns to discuss his latest studies.  George was a popular guest on episodes 3, 4, and 25.  This time we talk about how mobility might improve running speed.  George is doing a study on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).  FMS is a test of seven movements and a score is given based on results (a video of the seven movements is included below). George's study is testing whether increasing mobility over a period of 8 weeks might improve running speed in a one mile test.  Results from other movement studies have shown that improved mobility decreases the chance of injury in other sports. We briefly touch on the Alexander Technique. Named after Australian F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), Wikipedia describes it as a method "to avoid unnecessary muscular and mental tension during everyday activities".  Based on what little I've learned I'd describe it as a method for good posture. In my first interview with George three years ago we talked about nasal breathing.  He has completed his study and found benefits to breathing only through the nose during exercise, which include a reduced likelihood of EIB, or exercise induced asthma.  George only breathes through his nose while training and racing. George is a professor at Colorado State University in Pueblo.  He was the first USA Triathlon National Teams coach and he coached Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper. Links Alexander Technique Functional movement screen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxjKe-goqQI

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TT069: 2016 Olympic Hopeful Joe Maloy

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


Joe Maloy is currently 2nd in the point standings to qualify for the 2016 United States Men's Olympic team. There is just one more qualifying race at which to earn points and that's the ITU WTS event in Yokohama, Japan May 14. Joe, age 30, talks about his path in triathlon and his current training base in Poway, California. It's an inside look at the process and dedication required to become an Olympian.  Joe swam in college, won 2009 USAT Age Group National Championships, and continued to improve as he pursued ITU draft legal racing.  Have a listen and you'll have someone to root for in Brazil if Joe qualifies for the team. Follow Joe: Joetriathlon.com https://www.instagram.com/joemaloy/ USA Triathlon Olympic Point Totals as of February 2016:             Point available for the top 18 spots at in Yokohama (multiply points by 1.066667 for that race):

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TT068: Prison & Drugs To A 9:14 Ironman With Shane Niemeyer

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Feb 03, 2016


Shane Niemeyer's life was not headed in the right direction.  He committed crimes and used drugs and spent time in jail and prison.  He tried suicide.  While in prison he read an article about Dave Scott and triathlon became his new passion. In his first year after release he did a half ironman and a full Ironman. In 2013 he recorded his fastest ever Ironman, going 9:14 and finishing 20th and Ironman Texas. This is his story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgprFfxQHIU   http://trueambitions.com/ His book, The Hurt Artist, details his story.    

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TT067: Don’t Make The Mistakes I Made/Career Triathlon Lessons

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jan 13, 2016


Episode 67 includes a look back at the mistakes I made in my racing career.  I have mostly great memories of my racing career, but if I could have avoided the following mistakes I would have been more successful Not having an optimal peer group when I was younger Focusing on many types of racing: Ironman, duathlon, bike racing Not having a coach Poor nutrition Not having a consistent riding group in the winter Not stretching enough Not taking proper rest Not working enough on my swim Not being organized well enough I also answer a question about Ironman nutrition from a listener named Courtney.

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TT066: From Runner To Ironman Lake Placid in 12 Months

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Dec 23, 2015


Tiff Pfluger was a runner. She thought triathletes were crazy even as her husband got into the sport. She went to volunteer at race Ironman Lake Placid in 2014 and decided that maybe triathletes weren't crazy. She signed up for Ironman Lake Placid the next day and did the race one year later. This is her journey from going a collegiate running background to an Ironman finisher at age 35.

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TT065: First Year Triathlete Daniel Fisher

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Nov 24, 2015


Daniel Fisher first got the idea to do a triathlon in 2014. In 2015 he signed up, and the New Jersey AC Sprint Duathlon was his first race. He is 29 years old and he was 258 pounds when he started.  Now he is hooked.  This podcast is the journey of his first year. "I only wish I had done one sooner and had done more throughout the year."

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TT064: Ironman Canada 2015 With Hilary Spires

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Nov 05, 2015


First year triathlete Hilary Spires returns for an update on her first season. Her first triathlon was early in 2015, then she did a 70.3 on June 14, and Ironman Canada July 26.  She was very well prepared. Her original goal was to break 14 hours, then she changed it do breaking 13 hours.  It was cold at Iromman Canada and she had to wear a garbage bag early in the bike to warmup up.  She liked the first year so much that she is signed up for Ironman Canada in 2016.  Did she make her 13 hour goal?  Have a listen to find out. Check our her first appearance on the show in episode 53.

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TT063: Is Ironman Healthful & Other Triathlon Questions

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Oct 08, 2015


Age group triathlete Uri from Switzerland is the guest and he asks a wide range of questions related to triathlon.  Uri is a 40 year old triathlete in his first year of racing with plans to do his first Ironman in 2016. He asks if Ironman racing is good for you, how not to be overly competitive with friends, swim training questions, how much to rely on training data, and more. Links: Larry Creswell on long-term affects of endurance training on the heart  Atrial Fibrillation and endurance sports - One of many articles you can find on this topic. Tim Ferris interviewing Dilbert creator Scott Adams about goal setting

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TT062: Hydration & Heat Prep From a Hot Ironman Lake Placid and Mont-Tremblant

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Sep 16, 2015


Canadian Allan MacKenzie recently completed Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Mont-Tremblant in hot conditions.  We talked about that experience and his heat and hydration questions following the race.  I answer his questions from my own knowledge, but I also add George Dallam’s answers.   George, a guest on episodes 3, 4, and 25,  is a professor at Colorado State University in Pueblo.  He was the first USA Triathlon National Teams coach and he coached Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper.  His answers were originally in response to my email, and he allowed me to publish his email here. Each of Allan’s questions is listed below, and George’s answers follow. For someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to train much outdoors in high temperatures, what are the best ways to be prepared if race day ends up being really hot? Acclimate – hot tub, sauna, indoors with heater/humidifier, any stationary training as well. It is all about producing a high sweat rate. Here is the link to George’s two week hot tub protocol -http://triathletetraining.com/heat-acclimation-protocol/   How long does it take to get acclimatized/prepared to race in warmer than normal temperatures? Even one session can help and you can probably maximize over as little as 2-3 weeks with daily sessions.    Other than adding more sodium to my diet, are there other things I can do with my diet to help get better acclimatizes to the heat? I’m not an advocate of adding more sodium to the diet, just the opposite.  The currently in vogue notion that “salty sweaters” need more sodium ignores the underlying issue.  Salty sweaters are inevitably consuming more sodium than they realize so the body must constantly excrete the excess.  By reducing sodium in the diet your body will improve in its ability to preserve sodium over time..  Further by greatly increasing your sodium intake over normal in a given racing situation you probably increase the risk of heat stroke – sodium reduces our sweating capacity by holding water in the vascular and interstitial spaces.  The best approach to heat tolerance is appropriate acclimation and a low salt diet in my estimation.     What are your thoughts on using arm coolers and/or knee coolers to help to stay cool during races? Pre cooling to lower the core temperature prior to a hot race is certainly very useful.  If you can create a cooling effect on the fly that is certainly useful as well.  However, to do so means carrying extra weight in most cases in the form of a cold solution or ice.  The idea that any clothing enhances cooling in comparison to what the bare skin can accomplish during periods of heavy sweating is misleading.  See this review.  http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-200333130-00001#page-1 Some fabrics are relatively more cooling than others (cotton versus wool for instance) but all limit cooling to some degree by  inhibiting the evaporative cooling process in some manner. Maximum skin exposure provides the greatest surface area for sweating and the resulting evaporative effect created as air moves past the body.  The thought with white reflective clothing is that you might avoid radiant heat gain, however the loss in evaporative cooling potential offsets that possible effect.   Of course wearing or not wearing clothing must also be considered in the need for limiting UV exposure and for creating both aero and aquadynamics.   Consider, however that shaved body parts are often nearly as aero/aquadynamic as fabrics designed for the purpose and shaving further increases the potential for evaporative heat loss.  Basically in the heat you should wear the minimal clothing necessary or required and it should be white or light colored. Very likely your arms and legs have sufficiently keratinized  (tanned) through normal training exposure so that you shouldn’t need to cover them with clothing to prevent sun burn – doing so will reduce your evaporative cooling potential. 5.

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TT061: Journey From Beginner Triathlete to Professional

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Aug 26, 2015


Brad Williams is a first-year pro triathlete living in the UK.  He did his first triathlon in 2008 while serving in the Air Force in Korea. He was soon hooked. He hired a coach in 2011 and continued to progress with solid results. He earned his first prize money paycheck this year with a 6th place finish at Ironman UK.  This episode chronicles his journey from beginner to professional. Links: Brad's Website @BW_Tri

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TT060: Goal Setting & 10 Ironmans in 10 Days

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Jul 30, 2015


Gerry Duffy has completed 10 ironman distance triathlons in 10 days and also run 32 marathons in 32 days.  He’s also an author and public speaker.  A listener of the show recommended him as a guest and I’m thrilled we were able to connect. Before getting into endurance sports and public speaking he was a regular smoker who weighed an additional 50 pounds. He was also frightened of public speaking. We discuss his 10 ironman experience and goal setting. He recommends something that has made a huge difference in my life. GerryDuffOnline.com Gerry's Tedx Talk https://twitter.com/fearlessgoals

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TT059: Death Valley Expedition Run

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Jul 10, 2015


Will Laughlin makes his second appearance on the show and details his attempt at running across Death Valley and 180 miles in 3.5 days, which would be 1 day faster than his previous record. Several challenges came up during the journey as Will and his two running partners went for the record. Check out episode 11 if you want to hear Will's previous interview about his run across the Mojave desert.

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TT058: Questions From a Sixth Year Triathlete

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Jun 12, 2015


Age group triathlete Erin Donovan is in her sixth year of racing and is preparing for a half ironman and the New York City Triathlon, an Olympic distance race.  I answer her questions and some of the topics covered include: Following up a half with an Olympic distance triathlon a few weeks later Heart rate training Training around injury and sickness Sleep Running cadence Structuring intensity and base Strength training Run workouts    

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TT057: Ironman Pacing & Swimming With Jim Vance

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, May 20, 2015


Coach Jim Vance returns to the show to discuss the results of a published study on pacing at Ironman Hawaii.  Jim also talks about his experience and experimentation as a high school swim coach where he successfully emphasizes dryland training, technique work, and lower volume. I also talk about my experience with Altra Shoes and my recent half marathon. Links: http://www.coachvance.com/ Ironman Hawaii Pacing Study http://www.formulaendurance.org/  

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TT056: Eric’s Ironman Triathlon Experiences

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 29, 2015


This episode is all me (Eric).  I go over my lessons learned from 4 Ironmans: Ironman Hawaii in 1999, 2001, and 2003 and Ironman Wisconsin in 2004.  My times ranged from 9:19 to 10:43. I took detailed notes from a few of those races and I have current day thoughts on the mistakes I made. If you're looking for other Ironman focused episodes check out 15, 16, 31, 39, 45, 49, and 51.

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TT055: Triathlon Wisdom From Olympian Victor Plata & Bike Fitting/Aerodynamics With Retul and Specialized

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 15, 2015


Victor Plata, a 2004 triathlon Olympian for the United States, is the guest in the first half of this episode.  Victor retired in 2011 and we look back at his career, catch up with his post-triathlon life, and he provides wisdom for all triathletes. Todd Carver of Retul and Scott Holtz of Specialized are the guests for the second half of the show.  Todd, also the guest on episode 10, is an expert bike fitter and founder of the bike fitting company Retul.  Scott is a former bike fitter and works for Specialized as the head of the Specialized Bicycle Component University and Dealer Education. Specialized has been operating their own wind tunnel for a year, and we discuss some of the bike fit lessons that Scott and Todd have learned both in the tunnel and from many years of expertise in the field.  

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TT054: BestBikeSplit.com Founder Ryan Cooper

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 01, 2015


Ryan Cooper used his computer to try and predict time trial splits during the 2013 Tour de France.  His first go at it produced some very accurate results.  That project turned into a business at BestBikeSplit.com. Cyclists using a power meter can use their power meter to help predict and guide race performance.  This is cutting edge stuff that continues to evolve.  If you race with a power meter this software should help you improve your performance.

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TT053: Blood Test Results, Testosterone & First Time Triathlete

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 18, 2015


Garrett Rock On Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, and Testosterone Garrett Rock, the guest from episode 23, talks about a specific blood test result a listener sent in.  The listener's hemoglobin and hematocrit had dropped significantly in a short period of time. His training in the days leading up to test #1 was limited, and during the other tests his volume was in the 12-15 hour range.  Normal ranges for a male are 13.2-18 for hemoglobin and 38-54 for a male. These test results are lower than normal and they indicate something has gone awry.  Items to look at include red blood cell indices, potential blood loss in the GI system or from ulcers.  The results could result from a simple deficiency in iron, folate, or B12 which could either be from lack of intake or an absorption problem.  Garrett explains how he would investigate further. At the time of the interview we didn't have the results of test #4, which showed a significant improvement.   Test #1 17 Days Since Test#1 28 Days Since Test#1 34 Days Since Test#1 Hemoglobin 14 11 10.5 14.7 Hematocrit 42% 32% 31% 46% We also talked briefly about testosterone, which is usually on the lower side for both male and female triathletes. Garrett does blood testing for endurance athletes.  Check out fiftyonespeedshop.com. First Year Triathlete Hilary Spires In November Hilary signed up for her first triathlon; a 70.3 event.  Then she signed up for Ironman Canada.  She just did an Olympic distance triathlon as her first ever triathlon. To compete she had to overcome a knee injury that resulted from wearing away the cartilage in her knee.  She had micro-fracture surgery to grow it back, but the pain didn't go away until she started foam-rolling her legs.  That was only a temporary fix as the pain came back as she did more running. Based on what she heard in previous Triathlete Training podcast episodes she changed from heel striking to mid-foot striking and that immediately eliminated her knee pain and hip pain.  As a result her Ironman training is on track.  

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TT052: Ultraman Florida Triathlon Winner Billy Edwards

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 04, 2015


Billy Edwards has done many Ironmans and never finished slower than 10 hours.  He recently attempted his first ultra-distance triathlon, winning Ultraman Florida in a time of 23 hours and 17 minutes covering a span of 3 days, besting a field of 39 triathletes.   Billy tells us what went right, what went wrong, and his plans to do Ultraman Hawaii. billythekidtriathlete.com @billythekidtri

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TT051: A 9:36 Ironman Chattanooga Race Report

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Feb 18, 2015


Mikhail Ivanov moved from Russia to Colorado with his wife and 9 and 1 year old children in early 2014.  He is a 36 year old triathlete who has been racing for 4 years.  He had limited  running experience and no cycling or swimming experience before he started triathlons. It’s a small triathlon community in Russia with limited warm weather for training.  With all the indoor training time he calls himself a strong “balcony rider.”  While in Russia he was able to train for Ironman Austria in his second year of racing, finishing in a time of 10:26.  In 2014 he went 10:00 at Ironman Boulder and then, after Ironman Tahoe was cancelled just minutes before the start, he went to  Ironman Chattanooga one week later and went 9:36, earning a spot for Ironman Hawaii in 2015. During the interview we talk about his training and racing experience, things he learned at other Ironmans, and how he put it all together at Ironman Chattanooga.  His target heart rate on the bike for his last Ironman was zone 2-3 using Joe Friel heart rate zones, taking in 300 calories per hour during his 5:10 ride.  His goal during the race was ‘not to slow down at mile 18’. As a result he raced conservatively, and his last 5k of the marathon was faster than his first 5k. Mikhail uses pickle juice as a concoction to avoid side stitches during Ironmans.   When he races he takes a bottle of pickle juice with pickles in it. If you’re interested in the research on cramps and pickle juice, check out this http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/phys-ed-can-pickle-juice-stop-muscle-cramps/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 Subscribe via iTunes

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TT050: Hunter Allen On Cycling For Triathlon

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Feb 03, 2015


Hunter Allen is a pioneer in the cycling world.  He co-founded TrainingPeaks WKO+ power data analytics software and he's the founder of Peaks Coaching Group.  He's also the co-author of Training & Racing With A Power Meter and Cutting-Edge Cycling.  He raced bikes for 17 years, and including several years as a pro. Among the topics we covered: Cadence - Hunter believes 95-105 is ideal, and 90 is okay.  Pedaling at a lower cadence requires more glycogen usage compared to higher cadence.  His recommendation is also based on quadrant analysis with WKO+.  A cadence workout he uses is 10X(1 minute at high cadence followed by 1 minute at normal cadence). Base Phase Workout Structure - for an athlete in base phase, with the ability to do 3 rides per week of 1-2 hours in duration, Hunter suggests three workouts that include 'sweet spot' work, which he defines as roughly 88-93% of FTP (functional threshold power).  For example, 3-4X10 minutes in the sweet spot, or alternate 2 minutes at sweet spot with 30 seconds at 120% of FTP.  A minimum of 3-4 weeks of base training is preferable before starting this. The Wobble - a new brand of power meter is able to measure the side to side wobble of the bike frame with each pedal stroke.  Ideally, a time trialist on a flat course would not have a wobble, while a sprinter and a hill climber on a steep hill have an optimum wobble.  Too much wobble or incorrect wobble can cost as much as 15 watts. Mistakes Pro Triathletes Make- I asked Hunter what type of mistakes he has observed among pro triathletes.  He mentioned two. The first was having a cadence that was too low.  The second involved the long ride. He believes it's a mistake to do a regular long ride (4-6 hours) at only endurance page (zone 1-2).  Unless it's necessary for recovery, he prefers to add in sweet spot riding (zone 4) and something such as hill intervals within the long ride. The One Thing He Wish He Would Have Known/Done While Racing - Hire a coach. Resources  2015 Peaks Coaching Group Camps - March 15, 2015 Mallorca cycling camp and April 19 Bedford, Virginia cycling camp. @HunterPeaks Twitter Peaks Coaching Group Training and Racing With a Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan Cutting-Edge Cycling by Hunter Allen and Stephen S. Sheung ***** Subscribe via iTunes

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TT049: First time Ironman at Ironman Louisville

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jan 21, 2015


Michael Welk did his first Ironman in 2014 at Ironman Louisville at age 42. His previous experience included a couple sprint triathlons several years ago, and just one sprint triathlon in 2014 leading up to his Ironman.  We talk about his progress and experience from November 2013, when he signed up for the race, through race day. He started training in late 2013 but was not progressing as hoped, so he hired a triathlon coach.  He also hired a swim coach in March. Early in 2014 he couldn’t swim more than 25 yards at a time.  His prep included just one century ride in advance of the Ironman.  His goal was to finish in 15 hours. Also in this episode I answer a listener question on base training An update on blue light and it’s affect on sleep An update on my use of zero drop Altra running shoes Subscribe via iTunes

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TT048: Joe Friel on “Fast Over 50”, High Intensity Training, & More

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jan 07, 2015


Joe Friel Joe Friel recently released his 14th book, Fast After 50.  It's geared to all athletes training and competing after age 50.  Most, but not all, of the interview is centered around the book, but there is much in here that will apply to all triathletes.  Topics discussed include sleep, high intensity training, recovery, and items listed below.  Joe also gives some insight into his research process. Joe discusses three key factors in athletic success: aerobic capacity lactate threshold economy As athletes age, economy tends to remain stable, VO2 max suffers the greatest loss, and lactate threshold declines more slowly.  Maintaining or slowing the rate of decline in these areas should be a focus of training. Joe talks about three key factors that negatively affect aging athletes.  They are: Loss of aerobic capacity/VO2 max Loss of muscle mass Negative trend in body fat percentage Part of the performance loss of the aging athlete is a result of a reduction of high intensity training. This leads to a decline in aerobic capacity.   Joe talks about the importance of keeping this in, or safely adding it back into, your training regime. Joe generally defines high intensity as a 9 effort level on a scale of 1-10.  It must be added very slowly into a training plan to reduce the risk of injury, starting with short 15 second efforts and gradually increasing the dose.  For a more detailed recommendation refer to Joe's book. I asked for a specific example using high intensity training for a 55 year old triathlete training for an Ironman.  With a consistent and well planned training schedule, this athlete would include high intensity training throughout the plan, with a peak dose in the Base 3 period. This would be 12-16 weeks before the race.  After that it would be reduced to a maintenance level. More From Joe? I asked Joe about future projects, and he just started work on a new book that is slated to be completed in 2016.  The project is being kept under wraps, but he said "It'll be my major work of my career as far as writing books."  Bigger than The Triathlete's Training Bible? "Yeah." Links http://www.joefrielsblog.com/ @jfriel - Twitter Joe's strength plans are included in his Training Bible books, or they are available for purchase at TrainingPeaks:  Cycling Prep-Base Advanced (11 weeks), Triathlon Strength Prep-Base Advance (13 weeks) Joe previously appeared on episode 8 & 9 of the Triathlete Training Podcast Subscribe via iTunes

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TT047: A Journey With Triathlete & Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Dec 24, 2014


Breast Cancer Survivor Bob Thibodeau Bob changed his diet and exercise after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002.  He got into active cycling 5 years ago and had a solid cycling base.  He did his first triathlon in 2012 and in that race he swam with his head out of water the entire race.  The longest he had run consecutively before the race was one mile, and this was a 5k race. At the advice of a friend, his goal was to race to complete, not to compete.   He finished third out of eight in his age group and his triathlon career was started. In 2013 he had a full slate of racing, finishing with his ‘A’ race at Augusta 70.3, a half ironman.  After a successful season in which he finished first and second in his age group each race, he had a few hiccups in Augusta.  During the swim it took him several hundred meters before he could put his head in the water.  He finally did and came out of the water fourth in his age group.  He had a solid bike and was in good position using a power meter keeping his power around 140. His longest run going into the race was only 8 miles.  In the second half of the run his hip started bothering him so he walked most of the way in. He finished 10th of 12 in his age group with a time of 6:43 (30/2:57/3:02). He raced much less in 2014 and again ended the season with Augusta 70.3 He had a successful race, finishing third of thirteen in the 65-69 age group with a time of 6:21:27 (32/3:06/2:26). Bob follows a ketogenic diet (high fat/low carbohydrate). He started this a few years ago to reduce his cholesterol and lower his blood pressure.  That did the trick, and he was able to get off statins. His caloric intake while racing/training is very low. Based on our conversation I’d estimate it was about 25-50 calories/hour (probably closer to 25) during the 3 hour bike. His plan is to race Ironman Florida next year, as his goal is to race an Ironman by age 70. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT046: Running With Olympian Pete Pfitzinger

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Dec 09, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Olympian, Exercise Physiologist, Author & Coach Pete Pfitzinger Pete Pfitzinger joins the show for a conversation on running and his latest book, Faster Road Racing: 5k To Half Marathon. Pete lives in New Zealand and works for High Performance Sport New Zealand, which oversees Olympic sports.  Topics we discuss include: variable pace tempo runs short hill sprints strides weight training plyometrics cadence Links Faster Road Racing Facebook Page Racing Road Faster, Pete's latest book Runner's World article on 1984 Olympic Marathon Trials    

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TT045: Ironman Arizona Winner & Olympian Brent McMahon

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Nov 21, 2014


At age 34 Canadian Brent McMahon attempted his first Ironman in Arizona.  Previously, he was a 2004 and 2012 Olympian, and 2014 was going well with four Ironman 70.3 wins.  On the starting line he didn't have a time goal, nor had he even pondered a finishing time before this race. He followed a race plan crafted with Lance Watson, his coach of 20 years.  That included a caloric intake of roughly 500 calories per hour on the bike while ignoring his competitors.  When a couple contenders passed him early in the bike he started to ride with them but backed off when he realized it required a greater power output than he planned to ride. He finished the bike in third after a 4:21 split.  He ran the first half of the marathon in 1:20 and finished with a 2:43 run, giving him a 5 minute margin of victory and a 7:55 final time, the fastest Ironman debut in history. Despite competing at a level far above most triathletes, his race execution tips are golden and helpful to all triathletes. Links Brent's Twitter account @tribrentmcmahon    

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TT044: A Running Discussion You’ll Want To Hear

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Nov 12, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes This interview was one of the most intriguing I've done.  We cover basic and technical running topics in a clearly explained format.  If your first run was last week, or you are an Ironman champion,  this episode has something for you. It's also a good follow up to episode 43. Cadence, Running Form, Shoes, & Barefoot Running Dr. Thomas Hughes of Tri-Mechanics discusses his journey into the study of running form.  It all started when he decided to run barefoot one morning. Thomas turned his attention away from practicing medicine toward studying running.  Topics we discuss include: Barefoot running Changes required before increasing your cadence Running off the bike Minimalist/zero drop/big toebox shoes Run shoe cushioning Using a metronome Links http://www.trimechanics.co.uk/ @trimechanics http://www.inov-8.com http://www.vivobarefoot.com/us http://www.metronomeonline.com/    

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TT043: Tempo Runs | Zero Drop Shoes With Golden Harper Of Altra

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Oct 29, 2014


Tempo Runs Patrick Kelly submitted a question about tempo runs using the "Send Voicemail" on the right side of TriathleteTraining.com.  He was having difficulty hitting his goal tempo pace in a 10 mile run.  The run was designed to be a 2 mile warmup, 6 miles at 5:52, and a 2 mile cool down.  The basis for his run came from a Jack Daniel's article. I addressed the tempo run, the definition, and the reason he wasn't hitting his goal pace.  It lead me to create this more detailed article on the tempo run. Zero Drop Shoes UPDATE I cannot recommend Zero Drop shoes.  I had 3 pairs of the shoes and all wore through the outsole at around the 100 mile mark.  I inquired with the company. They sent me another pair to try and the same thing happened.  I notified Gold Harper two times via email of the problem on two occasions and he did not respond.  I called and emailed customer service multiple times. They were very nice and I was always told they would get back with me very soon.  Finally, 20 days after my first email with pictures (and after not returning phone calls), they gave this response without knowing anything about my gait: "If that is the case with those, it sounds like you are still heel striking. I recommend you shorten your stride or increase your cadence and that should prevent that from happening in the future." My cadence is around 90. This problem appears to be caused by the soft rubber used in the outsoles and I'm extremely disappointed in the product quality of Altra and their customer service.  I can't recommend their shoes.  xxx I recently consulted with an athlete who used Altra shoes.  As a result, I called the company to ask more questions.  The guy I reached on their support line was very helpful and knowledgable, and I followed up again, which resulted in an interview with Golden Harper, the company founder. He came up with the idea for the shoe while working in his family shoe store. He credits the use of high speed video video in 2009 in the development of his shoes.  The slow motion video helped him notice an unnatural gait caused by heavily cushioned shoes with a deep base.  Zero drop shoes was the answer to the running problems he was trying to fix. He coined the term, which means there is no drop from the heel of the shoe to the forefoot.   He discusses the benefits of zero drop shoes and their foot shaped toebox, as well as the biomechanics of a zero drop shoe compared to a traditional running shoe. It's a compelling story and I'm looking forward to trying a pair of Altras myself.  They are available in specialty running stores altrarunning.com. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT042: Augusta 70.3 Half Ironman Triathlon Part 2

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Oct 17, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes "I think the most intimidating thing about doing a half was that I would read so much and I would look at all the things I needed to know about the swim, the bike, and the run and think, 'can I really do this?  Am I putting in enough training?'" Trish Roberts Post-Race Interview The previous episode featured a pre-race interview with Trish Roberts six weeks before her first Half Ironman.  In addition to training, Trish has a full-time job in addition to being a mother and wife. On September 28, she finished Ironman 70.3 Augusta in 6:55.  Her goal was 7:30. On race day the temp was 70 degrees with high humidity.  The swim was down a river and resulted in a fast time.  She paced the bike on perceived effort with a goal of 15mpm.  She was 7 minutes faster on the second half of the bike and the effort felt comfortable throughout. Her biggest issue was discomfort with her seat, and she will be replacing that for future training.  Her goal was 250 calories per hour, and if I recall her weight is 125 pounds.  She had a mix of gel, a Honey Stinger Waffle (designed for athletic use), and Skratch drink.  Her fueling, with one exception, was planned and tested in advance of the race. She made the last minute decision to use Skratch during the race, and didn’t sip water on the ride.  This is something she will change in future races as it resulted in an intake that was too calorically dense and lacked water.  On the run she craved water only and not sports drinks.  However, she still felt good throughout the run. She plans to do Augusta 70.3 again in 2015 and she took detailed notes of her experience to better prepare for next year.  This note taking is great advice for every athlete and pays huge dividends. Her results are below. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT041: My Ninth Triathlon Is My First Half Ironman Part 1 of 2

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Oct 14, 2014


Half Ironman Questions Trish Roberts is preparing for her Ironman 70.3 in Augusta Georgia.  This interview was done 6 weeks before her race, and the next episode will be a post race interview.  She is a personal trainer and it was one of her clients that got her into the sport. She helped a client lose 100 pounds, and that client returned the favor by getting her into triathlons. Topics include: Goggle Fog Wetsuit use sleevless/sleeved How to pace the half marathon Bike comfort Hand numbness Racing with Coke Getting used to the long run Breathing to the opposite side www.wetsuitrental.com    

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TT040: Swimming For Triathlon With Olympic Swimmer/Triathlete Sheila Taormina

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Sep 30, 2014


Four-Time Olympian Sheila Taormina Sheila Taormina was an Olympian in swimming (gold, 1996), triathlon (2000 & 2004) and equestrian (2008).  She's stayed busy in retirement as a swim instructor, author, and speaker. Her latest book, Swim Speed Strokes, was recently released. She has also authored Swim Speed Secrets and Swim Speed Workouts For Swimmers And Triathletes.   This is material from her latest book, posted at SwimSpeedSecrets.com: Each of the four strokes—butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle—is represented in the photos on page 7 (below). Each photo captures the stroke during the catch phase of the pull. The arms you see in these photos are the arms of world-record holders swimming the stroke naturally. None of the photos were staged. Can you match the photo with the stroke? Take a close look and really give this some thought. (The answers are located near the bottom of this page)           http://sheilat.com - Sheila's website           Subscribe via iTunes    

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TT039: Training Progression With Ironman Boulder Champion Justin Daerr

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Sep 17, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Ironman Boulder Champion Justin Daerr It took Justin Daerr 29 attempts to win his first Ironman.  His victory came in his hometown of Boulder on August 3, 2014.  Justin's progression has been slow and steady, backed by intelligent training and planning. We talk about his progression and decisions that led him to become an Ironman champion. Justin shares lessons and tips that athletes of all levels will benefit from. Highlights of our talk: Ironman Boulder Result - 1st, 53:21 swim, 4:24 bike, 2:56 run, 8:20:26 final time Justin prefers to swim in a sleeveless wetsuit over a sleeved wetsuit, and he says swims faster, even though sleeved wetsuits are proven faster. He trains 22-25 hours/week during his bigger volume. First Ironman was 12:55 at California in 2001. He's a partner in EnduranceCorner.com He was coached early in his career by Joe Friel. His current coach is Cliff English. During an intense, race prep, 5 hour ride he takes 2000 calories, similar to a race.  His source is gels and Powerbar drink. In less intense longer rides he uses some solid food. For Ironman Boulder he took two 1200 calorie bottles on the bike.  His average intake was 533 calories/hour for the 4.5 hour ride. This is more than he would take in for a sea level race.  He believes an athlete burns a higher percentage of glycogen at altitude He was drinking to thirst during the race He will finish the season with Ironman Lake Tahoe (Sept 21) and Ironman Hawaii (October 11). http://www.justindaerr.com/ Subscribe via iTunes

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TT038: Half Ironman Triathlon Prep

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Sep 03, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Half Ironman Prep/Second Year Triathlon Training Questions Tony Ruales is a second year triathlete preparing for his first half ironman.  He asks some pertinent but unique training questions which haven't been covered on previous podcasts. Topics include: How much should and when will this race hurt Goal power on the bike How to pace the half marathon Affects of blood pressure medication on heart rate Intensity vs volume His race is the New Jersey Half Shoreman in September 2014. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT037: GI Distress I High Intensity Training I Heat Acclimation Benefits

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Aug 22, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes PhD Micah Zuhl Micah is a professor at Central Michigan University and he shares his research and experience. GI Distress & Glutamine Supplementation He has published research on GI distress during intense training.  His studies have found that doses of glutamine can help prevent leaky gut and reduce the likelihood of GI distress. The oral doses used in his study were .9g per kg of fat free mass (lean body mass) per day, spread out over three doses, for a period of 7 days.  His studies on the topic were published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Jan 15, 2014) and also Cell Stress & Chaperones (July 26, 2014). Note that their may be side effects of glutamine use. Pregnant and breast feeding women may want to avoid supplementation. WebMd list potential side effects here.  As with any supplement, take responsibility for your decisions and do proper research and consultation with your doctor in advance. High Intensity Training We also discussed the benefits of high intensity interval training. He wrote an article on the topic which is available here. Heat Acclimation Finally, we briefly discussed benefits of heat acclimation for improved performance during all conditions, not just hot conditions. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT036: Functional Strength For Triathlon With Chuck Wolf

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Aug 05, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Chuck Wolf Chuck joins the show to talk about strength and flexibility for triathletes.  Chuck is the Director of Human Motion Associates in Orlando, Florida.  He's worked with top athletes in several sports. Chuck was a speaker at one of my triathlon camps in Florida, and he's had excellent success overcoming injury issues experienced by two of my triathlete friends. His website is HumanMotionAssociates.com  Subscribe via iTunes    

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TT035: Matt Dixon & “The Well-Built Triathlete”

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Jul 22, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes "It’s a resource for athletes to become empowered to think about the way that they approach their sport and give some insight into my methodology and to steer athletes to look through the correct lens of how to approach performance and how to improve over the long term." Coach Matt Dixon Matt is a San Francisco based coach to several pros and age group athletes.  He discusses his new book, The Well-Built Triathlete.  This comprehensive book is packed full of great information for triathletes, and it's one I would recommend to any triathlete.  In the podcast interview he gives more insight into his methodology and experience. Matt's website: PurplePatchFitness.com Twitter @purplepatch   Subscribe via iTunes

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TT034: Half Ironman Pursuit Part 2

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Jul 11, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Postrace Half Ironman Interview With Rodrigo Rodrigo is back for a follow up interview after the Syracuse 70.3 Half Ironman.  Rodrigo was the guest in episode 33, an interview we did in early April, as he was preparing for this June 22, 2014 race. He finished in a time of 6:07:02. His swim time was 40 minutes, bike time  3:09, and run time 2:07.  His normal training week consisted of 3 swims, 2 bikes, and 3 runs.  In addition to training and working, he and his wife had a baby boy 3 weeks before the race. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT033: Training Questions & Half Ironman Pursuit

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Jul 08, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Half Ironman Training Questions Rodrigo Chaves is the guest for this episode and we discuss several questions based around half ironman training.  Rodrigo lives in New Jersey and 2014 is his second season of racing triathlons. He’s competed in running races for the last 4 years and he’s been swimming for 8 years. He is training for the Syracuse Half Ironman 70.3 on June 22.   Be sure to check out episode 34 for his post-race interview. Here are his questions that we discussed in the interview: General 1. What's the common volume of training for a person on their second season training for their first half? I feel like my training compared to others might have too much volume. Here's the breakdown: Mon: Morning swim, Night Bike (20 - 25 miles) Tue: Morning swim, NIght Run (35 - 45 min) Wed: Night Bike (30 - 35 miles) Thu: Morning swim, Night Run (40 - 60 min) Fri: Off Sat: Long bike ride (30 - 50 miles), Run (3 miles easy) Sun: Long run (8 - 10 miles) 3 swims, 3 bikes for 5-6 hours, 4 runs for 3 hours - 10-11 hours/week. 2. Can i get away with biking twice a week for an half Iron? If so, what should be my key workouts? 3. Swim: I used to just train straight 1 - 1.5 miles two or three times a week. This training program is now asking me to do more intervals (say warmup 300, then 8 x 100 with 15 rest, or 4 x 200 with 20 rest, kick, cool down). I feel like i'm going to lose my endurance not having the long swim in. Thoughts? 4. Big goal is Half Iron Syracuse but I have scheduled some road races in between. How good is that during training? How do you recommend approaching those weeks? I have included a half marathon in there. 5. Work / family and training balance: If there is a training in the week that you just have to miss (meetings, business dinners, family commitments things of that nature), which one is the most expendable? 6.Sleeping issues. Since i am training i find it hard to go to sleep. Any comments and advice? Nutrition 1. My diet is high on carbs. Need that for training. What's the right volume of carbs that you would recommend for someone in my situation? 2. How close to your race day nutrition should you be in training? I find it hard to get in many fluids in the bike. 3. What's cola good for? Since the interview with Andy Starykowicz [episode 19] I’ve been using it and it feels right but i don't know if it's something that I should always take. 4. Recovery: chocolate milk myth or reality? How soon after training? 5. Anything else in the bike for nutrition that I should consider? Bike Equipment 1. I Just got my first tri bike and didn't realize how much you can upgrade it. In order of importance what componentry would you upgrade? 3. Thoughts on indoors trainers? Are they effective or a waste of time/money? Could i substitute an indoor trainer with just a plain spinning bike at the gym? Race week/day 1. Thoughts on right taper for my training? 2. What are the essentials that i should have in the bike? Tube, CO2, etc? 3. Race day nutrition recommendations. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT032: Stages Cycling Power Meter & Saunas

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Jul 01, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Ben Sharp of Stages Cycling I interview Ben Sharp of Stages Cycling about the Stages Power Meter.  Ben was a coach for USA Cycling from 2007 to 2013 before joining Stages.  The Stages Power Meter runs $700-$900 plus a head unit, such as a Garmin or even an iPhone. I was an SRM user and I did this interview because I was genuinely curious about this lower cost power meter.  I came away persuaded that it is an excellent option. Ben points out some of the advantages: Lower cost Easy  assembly and setup. It can easily be switched between bikes. Simple maintenance and firmware updates Ben stated that accuracy is within 2%.  Power is measured only from the left crank. StagesCycling.com   Are Saunas The Next Big Performance Enhancing "Drug" The Five Fingers Settlement Didn't Settle the Barefoot Running Debate Subscribe via iTunes  

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TT031: A 15 Year Ironman Hawaii Qualification Story

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Jun 17, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Dan Dungan At Ironman Texas Dan Dungan started racing triathlons in 1999 with the Memphis and May. His first Ironman was in 2000.   Going into 2014 he had started 20 Ironmans, finishing 17, but had never qualified for Ironman Hawaii.  He was persistent in his training, he learned each year, and at Ironman Texas in 2014 he took another shot at qualifying. Dan and I discussed his progression over the years, the lessons learned, and his strategy for Ironman #21.  He’s consulted with Gordo Byrn for several years and continued to modify his approach. At age 57 he was racing in the 55-59 age group and the expectation, which wouldn't be confirmed until the morning after the race, was that there would be just two Ironman Hawaii spots in his age group. In his previous 3 Ironmans he had a third place and two fifth places in his age group, and the gap between his time and the time required to qualify was narrowing. As a weak swimmer he decided to do a major swim block in early 2014.  For 6 weeks he averaged 20,000 yards in the pool.  To accommodate the higher volume he wisely backed off on intensity for many of his workouts.  He also modified his nutrition plan for this race, going with less calories than normal (250 per hour on the bike). His strategy was to push the first couple hours of the bike, anticipating a tailwind. His goal was 180 watts for the early part of the race.  Coming back into the headwind he was shooting for 165-170 watts.   On this run his goal was to keep the first 3 miles easier, and then bump up the effort to little faster than his average goal pace. His planning all paid off as he finished second in his age group and earned a spot to Hawaii. He finished in 10:32:22 with splits of 1:12:46/5:18:41/3:52:03.  He was 16 minutes out of first and 17 minutes ahead of third place.

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TT030: Intensity Factor, Ironman Boulder History, More Heat Acclimation

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Mon, Jun 02, 2014


1. Vibram Five Finger Shoes 2. Intensity factor for different distances If you use a power meter and know your functional threshold power (FTP), you can use the following intensity factor guide for your racing.  An intensity factor of .70 means your should be racing at 70% of your FTP.   These numbers are taken from Joe Friel's Power Meter Handbook page 73. Ironman age group .60-.70 Ironman elite .70-.79 Half ironman age group .70-.79 Half ironman elite .80-.89 Olympic and sprint triathlon .90-1.04 3. How to train on a tight schedule. 4. Heat Acclimation From Journal of Applied Physiology in October of 2010.  Twelve trained cyclist were studied vs a control group of 8 cyclist.  They underwent VO2 max and lactate threshold tests before and after the 10 day study. The test group completed 10 cycling workouts at 40 Celsius/104 Farenheit totaling 1.5 hours. The test group trained at 13 Celsius/55 Farenheit because this is thought to be optimum for aerobic performance. After the 10 day trial trial the test group improved VO2 max by 5% in cool conditions and by 8% in hot conditions.  Time trialing performance improved by 6% in cool conditions and by 8% in hot conditions.  Power output increased by 5%.  Plasma volume increased by 6.5%.  The control group had no change in any of the measurements. The group came from the same cycling team and training. The study is listed here. A method for heat acclimation  5. Andrew Starykowicz Update Andrew is the only pro triathlete featured on the show so far. His episode, number 19, has been very popular.  You can stay updated on his racing at his website -http://www.andrewstarykowicz.com 6. History of Ironman Boulder I was unofficially the assistant race director for the first ever ironman distance race in Boulder in 2001.  It was the Zoot Sports 5430 Triathlon.  It eventually became a half ironman, was sold to Barry Siff, then purchased by Ironman, and in 2014 they recreated the Ironman. Here is an interview with the first men's winner, Dennis Meeker.  http://duathlon.com/articles/1223/ In the podcast I noted that I wasn't exactly sure of the origin of the name, other than knowing it related to an altitude.  A little research shows 5430 is listed as the official altitude of Boulder.  There are city signs in Boulder that list a different altitude.

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TT029: Aerodynamics With David Ripley & Vibram Five Finger Shoes

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, May 16, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Aerodynamics With David Ripley of Zipp In addition to working for Zipp, David is also a bike fitter and consultant for 51 Speed Shop. Topics discussed include: The Four restrictive properties working against you on the bike are: 1. Aerodynamics 2. Gravity 3. Drivetrain Friction 4. Road Friction 75-80% of aerodynamic drag comes from the body.  The wheels are the second greatest source of drag.  Components are next, and the frame is last.   Weight doesn't become a significant factor until the grade hits 6% for an extended period of time.  A good clincher and latex tube compared to a poor tire and a butyl tube can result in a 10-11 watt difference per tire.   He recommends air pressure of 100psi for a 150 pound rider on a tri bike on a smooth road.  On a rough road a slightly lower tire pressure is recommended.  Biggest bang for your buck in aerodynamics  Vibram Five Finger Shoes A 10 week study published in the July 2013 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise compared two groups of runners.  A group of 19 who slowly transitioned to the use of Vibrams over 10 weeks, and 17 who ran in conventional running shoes. Using MRIs for analysis, 10 of the 19 in the Vibram group were determined to have a foot bone injury by the end of the 10 weeks.  Only 1 of the runners in the control group had a foot bone injury at the end of the study. Runners in the control group ran an average of 30 miles in their peak week, while those in the Vibram group ran an average of 15-18 miles in their peak week. This article describes the study in a little more detail. Based on a lawsuit against Vibram settled in May 2014, Vibram Five Finger users may be entitled to a settlement that will likely be in the range of $20-$50. Details at http://www.fivefingerssettlement.com. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT028: Half Ironman Training Questions From Second Year Triathlete Shawn Deal

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 30, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Shawn Deal Half Ironman Training Questions My guest is second year triathlete Shawn Deal from Springfield Missouri. Shawn did a few triathlons and duathlons last year and this year he’s gearing up for the Kansas 70.3 Half Ironman on June 8. Shawn is finishing his Masters in Divinity on May 3. He has a triathlon on May 4 and the Olympic distance Memphis in May Triathlon on May 18.  In June he will do the Half Ironman Kansas 70.3 triathlon. Shawn is a member of the Ozark Multisport Club (http://www.go-omc.com).  In his first triathlon last year Shawn was pulled under water early in the swim and didn’t finish the race.  After the race he questioned whether to continue with the sport, but several members of his club offered support and he stuck with it.  They even offered a surprise gift to help him with his racing this year. I answer several of Shawn’s questions regarding adding run intensity, volume, race day nutrition, doing an Ironman, and more. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT027: Losing The Last 5 Pounds, Sodium, Hydration, Nutrition, Supplements, & More!

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Apr 17, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes “The best time to lose weight is in the off-season when that restriction is not going to compromise energy levels as much. However, it is feasible to lose weight in the midst of training.” Author, Athlete, & Dietitian Kim Mueller Kim is the guest for episode 27.  She is a Registered Dietitian, a board certified specialist in Sports Dietetics, owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition Coaching, co-creator of and staff nutritionist at Infinit Nutrition, author of “The Athletes Guide to Sports Supplements” (Human Kinetics, 2013), and a former All-American Triathlete.  She is currently focusing on running with a goal of  qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in LA. Kim is a big proponent of making diet the primary component to health.  We covered a wide range of topics, including weight loss, supplements, hydration, sodium intake, caloric intake, and much more. On weight loss, Kim advises her clients to use up to 500 calories of their workout expenditure to incur a deficit for healthy fat loss.  For example, if your base caloric need was 2000 calories and your burned 700 calories training, take in 2200 calories.  If you did no training on a specific day then your caloric consumption should match your baseline rate of 2000 calories. To determine your caloric needs she recommends the Harris Benedict Equation. This can be found online in many places.  Here is one option: http://www.globalrph.com/harris-benedict-equation.htm To track your diet her top choice is a pen and paper.  There are many online options including TrainingPeaks.com and MyFoodRecord.com. The average athlete will lose ? to 1 liter of fluid her hour with at least moderate exertion. Kim's sodium replacement recommendation - 500-700mg per liter of fluid (33 ounces) consumed. Kim's website is Fuel-Factor.com Subscribe via iTunes

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TT026: Training Questions – Run Intensity, Diet, Wetsuit, Crossfit, and More.

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 02, 2014


Training Questions First year triathlete Ryan Lewis joins the show to ask his training questions.  Ryan is a 30 year old triathlete with 3 months of training under his belt and he is less than a month away from his first triathlon. Topics covered include: Crossfit and triathlon at the same time Paleo diet and carb intake needed for training Open water swimming prep and drills Adding run intensity Should he get a wetsuit? Zero drop shoes Aerobars And more... It's easy to get overwhelmed with the information and equipment choices available to triathletes. Ryan wisely makes the choice to keep things simple during his first year in the sport. Basic Drills & Skills For Open Water Swimming 1. Turn around before the wall - during a segment of your workout turn around without the help of the wall, either with or without a flip turn. 2. Learn bilateral breathing - learn to breathe to the left and to the right so you can make adjustments in the open water.  If you're staring into the sunrise every time you breathe right, you'll be thankful for the ability to breathe to the left. 3. Learn to draft - if you do all of your swimming on your own you won't realize the benefits of drafting off swimmers in front of you. Just like cycling, you will save energy in the draft.  Practice swimming right behind your training partner. 4. Swim freestyle with your head out of the water for a full length.  Get used to being able to look forward while swimming. 5. Swim in the pool with your eyes close to learn which way you drift. 6. Practice open water swimming often so you feel comfortable. Books Swim Speed Secrets by Sheila Taormina available at Amazon.com or http://sheilat.com/ Total Immersion available at Amazon.com  

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TT025: Heat Acclimation

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 19, 2014


“When you think about this concept of heat acclimatization, it’s mostly about your body holding on to more water, which is mostly about sweating. Probably 90% of that is done by simply sweating a lot when you train, and what we are talking about is what can you do to get that up even a little bit higher but we are probably talking like 10 or 15% improved acclimatization.” George Dallam Episode 25 George Dallam returns to the show to talk heat acclimation, which is a means of adapting to heat in an artificial manner. If you live in a cool climate and you are preparing for a warm race methods for adapting include: 1. Wear additional clothes to induce sweating 2. Turn up the heat and use a humidifier while training indoors 3. Soaking in a hot tub at 100-105 degrees. George's protocol for hot tub use involves daily hot tub sessions in the two weeks prior to your goal race.  Start out at 15 minutes per day and gradually work up to as much as 60 minutes in the tub.  Your training volume should be dropping at the same time. The sweat lost during the hot tub session should be replaced gradually over a few hours.  Half-strength Gatorade is a good replacement drink, as is water if consumed gradually.  Drink 2 cups of fluid for every one pound lost.  Drinking too much too quickly will cause water to be eliminated from the body. George includes some bonus information at the end of the interview.  In episode 4 we discussed nasal breathing, and he is finishing up a study that indicates nasal breathing might eliminate EIB (exercise induced asthma).

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TT024: First Time Ironman Experience

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Sat, Feb 22, 2014


Susan McNamee attempted her first triathlon at age 61 in 2013 and also attempted her first Ironman that same year. This is her story. Within one year of signing up for Ironman Wisconsin Susan had to learn how to swim across the pool, and then she had to learn open water swimming. She panicked during the swim in her first couple triathlons, but finished both.  She completed a half Ironman in August in preparation for Wisconsin on September 8. Knowing she was signed up for two Ironmans in 2014 she started the day being okay if she didn't finish by the midnight cutoff.   She finished the swim in 2:19:45, just 15 seconds before the 2:20 cutoff.  To be an official finisher she had to finish by midnight.  She takes us through her race day and her attempt to finish before midnight.    

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TT023: Training Tips & Blood Monitoring

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Sun, Feb 02, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes Blood Monitoring Garret Rock joins the show.  Garret is an exercise physiology specialist and Doctor of Chiropractic and sports nutrition specialist.  He does blood testing for both age group and professional triathletes.  He has done over 800 blood tests on professional triathletes. His services are available through fiftyonespeedshop.com and he works at South Pointe Clinics in Colorado.  He charges roughly $120-$170 per analysis. During the interview he gives an example of work he has done with Liz Blatchford. Liz finished third at Ironman Hawaii in 2013.  Over the course of several weeks Liz made the following changes in her blood measurements:   Test #1 2 Weeks Later 10 Days Later 3 Weeks Later Hemoglobin 12.4 12.7 13 14.4 Hematocrit 37.7 38.2 40.2 46.6 Liz was feeling fine when she had her first blood test, but Garret noticed a folate deficiency. With his help, which included some creative smoothie recipes that included beets and other not-so-tasty ingredients, Liz was able to make significant improvements in her hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT022: Training Questions Answered

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jan 15, 2014


Subscribe via iTunes I interview Anchorage based triathlete Tim Conrad and answer his training questions.  Tim is relatively new to triathlons and is preparing for the 2014 season.  His training began while he was based in Afghanistan serving in the United States Army. Topics include: Is a low heart rate based training program useful? How many bricks are appropriate? How to prepare when the next race is 6 months away. A standard training week, and basic planning tips. When is a good time to do a first Ironman. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT021: Questions From a First Year Triathlete

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Dec 27, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Questions From a First Year Triathlete I interview first year triathlete Randy Messman and answer his training questions.  Randy was one of the show's listeners who responded to a request on the Triathlete Training Facebook page.  He is training for the TexasMan X-50 Tri in May with a distance of 1 mile swim/40 mile bike/9 mile run.  Messman became interested in triathlon after watching a Dick Hoyt video on Facebook. His questions include: How do I reduce decoupling of heart rate and pace? Randy runs at a very easy heart rate on the treadmill and finds his heart rate increases significantly yet the effort still feels easy and his pace doesn't change. How much speed should I expect to gain in my first year? How do I determine LT using a field test? Should I train in zones 4 and 5 if I'm racing for a longer event? What is the minimum number of training sessions I need each week for each event? Subscribe to podcast via iTunes

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TT020: Interview with Coach Mat Steinmetz

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Dec 12, 2013


  Subscribe via iTunes Mat Steinmetz In 2012 Inside Triathlon named him as one of triathlon's most influential people.   Boulder based coach Mat Steinmetz has worked with several top athletes as a coach, consultant, and/or bike fitter.  Those athletes include Ironman Hawaii winner Craig Alexander and Liz Blatchford. This year he performed the bike fits for the top 3 women at Ironman Hawaii. Mat got his masters degree in exercise physiology from Ball State, and in 2009 he began working for bike fit company Retul in Boulder.  He no longer works for Retul but he continues to perform bike fits and coach athletes. In this interview we talk about his work with Craig Alexander, Liz Blatchford, Ironman strategy, crank length, cadence, and more. Links Mat's coaching website: www.fiftyonespeedshop.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/matsteinmetz Mat's February 19-24 2014 Camp in Palm Springs, California   Subscribe to podcast via iTunes

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TT019: Andrew Starykowicz – 7:55 Ironman

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Nov 28, 2013


Eric: How did it feel to cross the line under 8 hours as the first American to do so in an Ironman? Andrew: “It sucks.  I lost. If you were to tell anybody that you are going to go 7:55 in an Ironman North American event, when nobody's gone faster than 7:58, it’s 3 minutes faster.  To lose was frustrating.” Eric: Would you have been happier if you went 8:01 and won? Andrew “No. It’s hard to make me happy.  I was satisfied either way. I raced the course and that day I did everything I could and got everything out of my body and did everything within my power to win the race. It just wasn’t to be.” 7:55 Ironman Andrew Starykowicz Between October 12 and November 10, American Andrew Starykowicz finished 19th at Ironman Hawaii, second at Ironman Florida (7:55), and first at the Rev 3 Half Ironman in Florida (3:47).  He was the race leader off the bike at Hawaii, he became the first American to break 8 hours in an Ironman, and his 4:02 bike split at Florida is the fastest in Ironman history. I interviewed Andrew and covered a wide range of topics, from his athletic background to his Ironman nutrition plan.  At 185 pounds, he takes in more calories per hour in an Ironman than anyone I’ve ever interviewed.  His cycling power output is off the charts, as he referenced a late season bike workout in which he did 3X40 minutes at 380 watts. Andrew is confident, bordering on cocky, and likeable.   I knew very little about him before this interview, but after talking to him for an hour it’s obvious he’s very driven and, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself rooting for him in future Ironman distance events. Links http://www.andrewstarykowicz.com/ Andrew's Twitter Account Subscribe via iTunes

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TT018: “Faster” Author Jim Gourley

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Nov 14, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Author Jim Gourley It's very possible you've never heard of Jim, but you might have read his articles in Triathlete Magazine, Inside Triathlon, or elsewhere.  He's definitely smarter than me and he's probably smarter than you.  He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.    His new book, Faster: Demystifying the Science of Triathlon Speed, covers ways to pick up free speed that aren't training based. In this episode we discuss: How to gain free speed by your choice of tires How important is your bike's weight? Does weight matter in your choice of racing flat? Is a treadmill faster or slower than road running, and why?   Jim's book covers all these topics and more.  It's definitely worth a read. It's published by Velo Press. Check out Jim's website at freetrispeed.com. Subscribe via iTunes    

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TT017: Nutrition Discussion with Bob Seebohar

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Oct 30, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Bob Seebohar I interview nutrition expert and dietician Bob Seebohar for a wide range of topics.  Bob has a wealth of experience working with triathletes, including traveling with and assisting the 2008 US Olympic triathlon team. We discuss hydration, protein intake, sodium intake, sarcopenia, saturated fat, sugar and heart disease, blood sugar, fat burning, ironman nutrition, and more.    Ironman Nutrition A segment of the podcast was devoted to Ironman nutrition. Bob thinks a well trained fat burning athlete can eat 100-200 calories/hour on the bike or even less.  Bob's caloric recommendations are on the lower end of the spectrum for Ironman fueling recommendations.  It works for athletes that are able to burn a lot of fat during the race. Bob’s sodium recommendations during an Ironman: For those with a low sodium diet - 500-800mg of sodium per hour. For those with a higher sodium diet - 800-1200mg of sodium per hour. To correctly determine your intake, look at the total mg of sodium (Na) on the label, not sodium chloride (NaCl). Drink fluids according to thirst. About Bob Website - Fuel4mance.com He is located in Denver and offers nutrition services and performance testing. His books include Nutrition Periodization for Athletes and Metabolic Efficiency Training. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT016: Ironman Hawaii Analysis With Jim Vance | Ironman Marathon Pacing

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Oct 18, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Ironman Hawaii Analysis From Jim Vance Jim brings some 2013 Ironman Hawaii run data to the show.  We talk about pacing the Ironman marathon and our belief that just about all Ironman athletes, even the pros, start the Ironman run too fast.  Jim has mile splits from the last two Ironman Hawaii’s to back it up. Jim also discusses men’s second place finisher Luke McKenzie and his drastic change from 2012 to 2013.  Luke went from a low cadence cyclist to a high cadence cyclist in just one year. Quadrant Analysis Quadrant analysis was discussed during the show.  You must use a power meter to get this data.  Here are the definitions from TrainingPeaks.com.  A link to that article is listed below. Quadrants in cycling: QI: High Force and High Cadence- An example of this would be sprinting. QII: High Force and Low Cadence- An example would be steep hill repeats, big gear intervals and a lot of Mt. Biking resides in QII as well. QIII: Low Force and Low Cadence- An example would be a recovery ride or just an easy ride around town. QIV: Low Force and High Cadence- An example would be a Criterium or fast pedaling drills. Links Jim Vance’s website - www.coachvance.com Jim on the 2012 Ironman Hawaii and cycling data from winner Pete Jacobs, Luke McKenzie, and Michael Lovato - http://www.coachvance.com/2013/05/understanding-bike-demands-of-ironman.html Quadrant Analysis Description 2013 Ironman Hawaii Results & Race Report Subscribe via iTunes

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TT015: Ironman & Long Distance Racing With Gordo Byrn

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Oct 10, 2013


  Subscribe via iTunes Eric: “What was your rationale for going so many years without being tested for VO2 Max?” Gordo: “It doesn’t matter. All you are going to do is give yourself an excuse not to try.  It does not matter.  Your genetics don’t matter. That’s completely my story.” Gordo  I interviewed Gordo Byrn, co-author of Going Long, and a seven time sub-9 hour Ironman finisher, including an 8:29 for a second place finish at Ironman Canada.  Gordo also won Ultraman in Hawaii.   Gordo went from full time finance guy to not-so-fast triathlete to the elite level by doing a LOT of work (understatement).  Gordo hasn’t raced seriously in several years, but he continues to stay fully involved as a coach (EnduranceCorner.com). Most of the interview covered Ironman distance training and racing, but much of our discussion  provides useful information for all types of racing. Here are some of the highlights. Ironman Cycling Calorie Race Requirements Race time, size, and the ability to use fat for fuel will all affect calorie requirements for an Ironman. A powermeter will show you kJs (kilojoules) produced during a ride.. As a starting point, Gordo suggests eating ? of kJ output on the bike.  For a 200 watt ride, that equates to 720 kJs and a 360 calorie requirement/hour.   Gordo ate up to 600 calories/hour.  It’s the highest he’s seen anyone pull off and equal to that of  Scott Molina and Mark Allen. Gordo’s output was 1000kJ/hour so he was at eating at 60% of workload. 1 kJ= roughly 1 calorie burned. Pacing Pacing is key to Ironman success and it’s easy to get wrong because of poor planning or because perceived effort is low despite a high workload. Extra energy put into the swim results in only a few seconds per 100 gained, but if that energy is saved it can pay big dividends later in the race.  The early part of the bike for Gordo was all about settling his heart rate and fueling. Gordo rode an Olympic distance triathlon at 160bpm. The first time he ever went sub 9 in an Ironman his HR was under 130 for a lot of the first 2 hours.  The beginning of the run should feel slow. Swim Test Using a heart rate monitor, get a feel for pacing and perceived effort in open water with 5 loops in this pattern: easy, steady, moderately hard, all out, then steady for the final loop.  Look at the pace difference between those 100s.  Many people will find the first loop is their fastest, and they will realize they have no sense of pace in open water. Train the ability to hold back on the swim.  Go to 3 stroke breathing - right/left/right breath, left/right/breath.  This will put a governor on your intake which will limit your pace. In open water with pace data you’ll see that working 20-25 bpm more intensely on the swim might buy you 1-2 seconds/100.  Compare it to running, if you can run 2-3 zones high starting in the middle of the marathon the return to your race is massive. Benchmarking your swimming http://www.endurancecorner.com/library/swimming/benchmarking_your_swimming Bike pacing Take a recent half ironman where you ran well, and take average heart rate for the bike. Use that as the heart rate ceiling for the Ironman bike. Gordo rides Olympic at 160, Half IM at 150. His Ironman heart rate cap is 150.  On flats he is usually under 140. Long Weekend Training More details from Gordo here  For a less experienced IM athlete Friday: swim Saturday: swim, 100 mile bike and 10k run - use bike data from the 100 mile bike and use it as the ceiling. If you don’t do the swim do a 120 mile bike. Sunday: easier day Monday: long run Your best performance on the longest days provides a ceiling that you shouldn’t go over on race day. On Not Testing His VO2 Max Eric: “What was your rationale for going so many years without being tested [for VO2 max]?” Gordo: “It doesn’t matter. All you are going to do is give yourself an excuse not to try.  It does not matter.  Your genetics don’t matter.

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TT014: Diet & Ironman Discussion with Torbj?rn Sindballe Plus Interbike

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Sep 25, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Torbj?rn Sindballe I interview retired Danish triathlete Torbj?rn Sindballe for episode 14.  Sindballe retired in 2009, but his accomplishments include a third place finish at Ironman Hawaii in 2007, a brief hold on the Ironman Hawaii bike course record (4:21 in 2005), and two ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship titles. In 2008 Sindballe had a subpar result at Ironman Hawaii, suffering on the run and finishing  59th with digestive problems that were likely related to his periodized eating in the week leading up to the race when he followed 5 days of high fat eating with 2 days or carb loading.  This is the same protocol he successfully used in 2007 where he finished third in Hawaii despite the fact that his run training was limited due to an injury. Sindballe experimented with the Paleo diet, high fat eating, and zero calorie training in an attempt to increase his fat burning ability, which is a valuable ability for long distance racing.  He was able to burn fat at a high rate (over 1 gram per minute at Ironman pace) and he currently recommends carefully planned zero calorie training to achieve this. He explains his protocol during the interview.  It’s most beneficial for long distance athletes, and nutrition must be carefully planned around zero calorie workouts. Zero calorie workouts are not done every day, and they are done at lower intensity. He recommends zero calories for most lower intensity workouts of less than 1.5 to 2 hours, and occasional longer zero calorie workouts.  It’s not a protocol that should be undertaken haphazardly because there is a risk of subsequent poor recovery and performance. Sindballe was a large athlete, weighing in for Ironman Hawaii at 177 pounds/80kgs and standing 6'3"/1.90 meters.  He consumed 350 calories per hour on the bike but he says if he had to do it again he would shoot for 250 calories per hour.  He talks about this at the end of the interview.  This is less than what others might recommend for an Ironman, especially for an athlete of his size. Interbike While at Interbike in Las Vegas I interviewed Eric Greig, a co-founder of TourdeGiro.com.  The site is designed to work with a CompuTrainer and allow for online racing and group rides.  You can create your own course and use one of their courses.  A free trial is available. Links Torbj?rn’sInside Triathlon article about his dietary experiments with Paleo, high fat, and zero calorie training. Paleo Diet explained by Dr. Loren Cordain - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52A3ayfxfTs

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TT013: Swim Tips From Kevin Koskella

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Sep 12, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes The guest for this episode is Kevin Koskella from Triswimcoach.com, TriSwimPro.com, and the Tri Swim Coach podcast. Kevin offers advice to swimmers of all levels during this interview. He offers 5 tips specifically for intermediate to advanced swimmers. 1. Take time to do sprints once per week For example: 8X50, the first 25 yards are all out sprint, next 25 are easy to moderate, 15-20 seconds rest. 2. Use equipment Fins - Kevins preference is the Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers.  They help with kick and ankle flexibility. Use as a tool while doing drills and some sprint sets. Paddles - Kevin likes the Finis Freestyler paddles because they teach how to pull the right way. He believes some paddles can exacerbate problems in the pull and cause shoulder issues. 3. Strength training He likes to include deckups (pull yourself out of the pool) and pushups with swimming.  It results in less yardage, but adds in strength training.  Some of these ideals are similar to Brian McKenzie of CrossFIt. He also recommends the use of elastic tubing. 4. Decrease your interval Over a given distance give yourself less rest and decrease your interval.  In a Masters swim group this might mean moving up a lane. 5. Play free golf Example workout: 6X50 with 20 to 30 seconds rest. Count your strokes and your time on each 50. Your score is the combination of your time and your strokes for each 50.  For each subsequent 50 you want to lower your score. This requires getting more efficient or doing a higher effort while maintaining good form. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT012: Dave Scott Interview

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Thu, Aug 29, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Burn More Fat? Can you teach yourself to burn fat by restricting calorie intake on the bike and eating a higher fat diet?  I discuss the topic and Torbj?rn Sindballe’s experience, as documented in his 2012 Inside Triathlon article, which you can view here.   Dave Scott I interview six time Ironman Hawaii winner Dave Scott. We cover many topics, including: His recent race at Ironman Norway 70.3 His preferred races if he chooses to do another Ironman (in Australia & German) His experience coaching Ironman Hawaii winner Chrissie Wellington His nutrition advice for an Ironman.  Dave recommends less caloric intake than most coaches  I also briefly mention Brett Sutton, the former coach of Chrissie Wellington.  Sutton has had some fantastic coaching results using his unorthodox, and difficult, coaching methods.  This Triathlete Magazine article gives a good feel for the Brett Sutton program. Click here to view. Subscribe via iTunes

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TT011: Lessons from Ultrarunner Will Laughlin

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jul 31, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes In episode 11 of the Triathlete Training Podcast I interview ultrarunner Will Laughlin In July 2013 Will Laughlin did a 300 mile run in the Mojave Desert.  Will wanted to follow the same route the Mojave Indians used to travel to the Pacific Coast.  He planned to do the run in 4 days, but he was prepared for a 6 day trip with his 4 person support team. The run started in Laughlin, Nevada but did not go as planned.  It was hotter than normal with temps reaching 116 degrees.  The team got lost, the vehicles overheated, and the sand made for worse running than expected.  Will shares the lessons learned on this expedition. Part of Will’s motive for doing this run was to raise money for food for malnourished children.  He is launching a peanut butter company called Moyo, and his products will be for sale at Moyopb.com starting in August. For every ounce of peanut butter they sell, Moyo will donate one ounce to malnourished children across the world. The journal and video entries of his run are located at http://moyopb.com/blog/mojave/ Ultrarunning Books WIll Recommends Born to Run by Christopher McDougall Running For My Life by Ray Zahab Finding Ultra by Rich Roll Subscribe via iTunes

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TT010: Bike Fit Expert Todd Carver I Cramping I VO2 Max Cycling Intervals

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Jul 17, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes In this episode Todd Carver of Retul discusses common bike fit issues and trends in bike fits and equipment.  I also discuss cramping and VO2 Max cycling intervals VO2 Max Bike Intervals A good workout for 8-10 weeks before your goal race done 2-3 times.  Long warmup, then 6-10X1 mile fast, 3-4 minute recovery.  Do this on flat ground on a course you can repeat - the recovery is a ride back to the start, so you’ll be doing the same course every time.  If your time drops by more than 6% (11 seconds at 3:00 pace, and 7 seconds at 2:00 pace), quit the workout.  It takes some pacing practice, but the main goal is to just go hard. Stick with the lower range of intervals unless you are experienced with a large base.  This is a stressful workout and a good recovery (nutrition and sleep) is imperative. Cramping The cause of cramping is difficult to pinpoint and often misunderstood in general literature.  Long and intense efforts are a common cause.  I quote this New York Times article in the podcast: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/health/nutrition/14BEST.html?_r=0 I had a segment about pickle juice alleviating cramps, but removed the segment when some articles questioned the vailidy of the research. http://trailandultrarunning.com/does-pickle-juice-prevent-or-alleviate-muscle-cramps/ Joe Friel has two good articles on cramping: http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/05/muscle-cramp-theory.html http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2010/05/muscle-cramps-and-mythology.html Todd Carver & Retul Todd Carver is the co-founder of Retul, retul.com, and he is one of the world’s leading experts in bike fitting.  Retul offers bike fits using their 3D motion capture software at their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. They also manufacture and sell bike fitting hardware and software, plus offer educational services, to nearly 500 bike fit shops across the world.   Retul has done bike fits for top teams including Garmin & Team Sky, while several other pro teams are fit via Retul equipment. When To Get a Bike Fit The biggest reason to get fit would be a problem such as knee pain or other pain/injury,  but many athletes come in to make sure they are optimized for the best bike fit.   Most Common Bike Fit Changes Raising the saddle and lowering the bars. Crank Length A shorter crank length among triathletes is a trend that started sometime around 2010. While stating that there is no solid evidence a shorter crank will be a significant benefit, Todd recommends triathletes, especially long course triathletes, use a crank length of 165mm-170mm.  There is conclusive evidence that shortening the crank length doesn’t negatively affect power, but a shorter crank can positively impact aerodynamics and comfort.   It can reduce drag because a shorter crank allows a more open hip angle at the top of the pedal stroke.  This allows a lower back position compared to a larger crank, which reduces wind resistance. Anecdotal evidence from cyclists suggest that a closed hip angle (as compared to a standard road position without aerobars) results in lower output.  Shorter cranks help alleviate this feeling. Top cycling time trialists are sticking with longer cranks. Bike Saddles Aftermarket saddles designed for triathlon are better than most OEM saddles.  For aggressive positions use an anatomical saddle that lets you roll forward such as a Bontrager Hilo or ISM Adamo. For less aggressive positions in which you are weighting the back of the saddle it’s important to get good sitbone support.  The Specialized Body Geometry saddle meets this need. Some cyclists break down one side of the saddle over the other which could lead to injury.  Replace a broken down saddle.  Make sure your saddle is straight (obvious, but not everyone has their saddle pointed straight forward). Bike Cleats High volume cyclist they should change them once per month.  Most serious triathletes should change cleats 2-3 times per year.

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TT009: Joe Friel Interview Part 2 | Swimming Death Move | Ageing | Joe’s Coaching Career

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Fri, Jul 05, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Here we go with part 2 of my interview with Joe Friel.  If you missed part 1 be sure to check out Triathlete Training episode 8. Swimming & the Death Move Ninety percent of triathletes have problems with their catch.  It’s a result of what we’ve been taught.  Joe calls the biggest mistake the death move.  This is when your elbow is below your hand and your arm is extended in front of you.   In that position there is no way to catch the water unless you are extremely talented.  A top level swimmer can go into that position and immediately correct it, but most triathletes aren’t able to do that.  The goal is to teach swimmers not to do this in the first place. Aging Performance drop is mostly linear until about age 70. At age 70 the drop in performance becomes more pronounced.  Detraining can be confused with aging. Measured performance drops in broad groups are probably heavily skewed by detraining. The subjects they are testing are training less, or not at all, when compared to younger subjects. Research tells us there is a 1% drop in VO2 max every year.  But when people train it’s only .5%. Joe’s fitness has been relatively unchanged over the last five years from age 64 to 69. Joe’s Coaching Career Joe stopped coaching individual athletes as of 2012.  I asked Joe what contribution he is most proud of, and this was his very modest response: “I don’t know if I’ve really made a contribution. I wouldn’t say anything I’m doing is new.  I think maybe the only thing I’ve brought to triathlon, perhaps, is planning training.  Not that I was the first to do it. But when I wrote the Triathlete's Training Bible I think it caused people to start thinking more about the subject of periodization.  That has grown tremendously.  That may have been my contribution.  Perhaps I introduced more athletes to the concept in triathlon.” Joe is working on a book covering aging athletes.  It’s not near completion as of June 2013.

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TT008: Joe Friel Interview Part 1 Talking Paleo, Consistency, & Intensity

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Mon, Jun 17, 2013


Subscribe via iTunes Big Show!  Episode 8 includes part 1 of an interview with Joe Friel. Joe is a long-time and well known coach.  His long list of books includes The Triathlete's Training Bible and he is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com.   We discuss the paleo diet, the importance of training consistency, the key to periodization, and zone 3 training. Before the interview I explain functional threshold power (FTP) and intensity factor (IF), two important concepts covered in the interview. Subscribe to the Triathlete Training podcast by searching Triathlete Training in iTunes. Functional Threshold Power (FTP) Defined as the power you could hold for 60 minutes in a race. To test in training do a 30 minute test on a day preceded by 1-3 easier days.  This will approximate your FTP because your output in training will normally be lower because motivation is lower than in a race. Here is a link to an article I wrote about determining heart rate and power zones. Intensity Factor (IF) Intensity Factor, also known as IF, is determined from your FTP. It’s a ratio of your output in a given workout to your FTP.  For example, if your FTP was 200 watts, and you did an interval at 160 watts, this would be an IF of .80 or 80%.  IF only describes the intensity of a workout or an interval.  Duration does not factor into the calculation (there are additional metrics that factor both intensity and duration). From Joe Friel’s Power Meter Handbook, here are some IF guidelines at different distances.  The numbers below apply to age group athletes.  Elite athletes will race at a higher IF. Ironman: .60 to .70 Half Ironman: .70 to .79 Olympic triathlons, standard distance duathlons, and sprint races:  .90 to 1.04 Joe Friel Interview Paleo Diet Joe introduced the paleo diet to triathlon.  He became of aware of the paleo diet concepts in 1995 when he met Dr. Loren Cordain. Joe tried it and found that it worked.  He now talks about foods we should and should not be eating.  He no longer labels it as the paleo diet because people have such strong reactions to diet labels.   Dr. Loren Cordain wrote a book called The Paleo Diet.  In 2005, Joe and Dr. Cordain wrote The Paleo Diet For Athletes. Here is Dr. Cordain explaining the Paleo Diet in a 51 minute YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52A3ayfxfTs Joe’s thoughts on diet changed recently when he read a piece by Tim Noakes. Joe has been experimenting with less sugar/fruit and more fats, such as olive oil, eggs, avocado, and coconut.  He avoids man made fats. Training Consistency Joe has been looking at Chronic Training Load (CTL), a measurement available within the software at TrainingPeaks.com.  When people miss a workout they get a 2% drop in fitness, as measured by CTL, which is a measurement of fitness.  The takeaway is that missing a workout is a big deal for  fitness. For an athlete that trains over 10 hours/week, they get back the lost 2% at the rate of .3% per hour of training.  If you miss one hour of training, it requires 6 hours of training to get back the fitness, as measured by CTL.   The most important part of training is consistency.  It’s more important than hard workouts and and miles. Key To Periodization The closer an athlete gets to their peak race, the more like the race their training must become.  The harder those workouts become, the easier the easy workouts must become.   Here are examples of specific workouts, based on that premise: Ironman athlete 2 weeks before the race Three hour bike ride.  2 hours at race intensity in zone 3/70% intensity factor (IF) on route similar to the Ironman course.   Ironman athlete 5 weeks before the race Anticipated 5-5.5 bike split: 5-6 hour ride with 4 hours at race intensity (70% IF). Anticipated 6-8 hour bike split: 6 hour ride at 65% IF. As anticipated bike split goes up, IF should decrease in the workout.   Triathlon or duathlon with 80 minute bike split,

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TT007: An Interview with Michael Folan of Infinit Nutrition and a Brief Discussion of Training Intensity

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Sun, Jun 09, 2013


Episode 7 of the Triathlete Training podcast features an interview with Michael Folan of Infinit Nutrition (InfintitNutrition.us). Infinit offers custom made sports drinks which allow you to adjust the level of sweetness, sodium, protein, caffeine, calories, and electrolyte blend in your drink (see the image below). Athletes from all types of endurance sports use Infinit, and Michael tells us that several Indy 500 drivers and the US Military use Infinit. Infinit is also starting to create special blends for cancer patients. We cover several areas of race day nutrition. Michael believes that women need about 350 mgs of sodium for long distance racing, while men need about 400 mg. This is in addition to potassium, magnesiun, and calcium. If you’re going to use protein in your drinks (more helpful for longer distance racing than short distance racing) Infinit recommends a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 12-1 of 15-1. A higher mix of protein might be less tolerable for digestion. A big benefit or protein in longer distance racing is that it will keep you from getting hungry. Michael recommends 2 calories per pound of lean body weight on the bike during an Ironman. For a 160 pound male with 10% body fat (144 pounds lean body weight), that equates to 320 calories per hour. Some people do better with more calories. He suggest sticking with 80% of that number on the run. Before the interview starts I give a brief discussion of how much intensity you should include in your training.

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TT006: Consider Racing the World Championships & How to Bike Faster by Reducing Friction

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, May 28, 2013


In episode 6 of the Triathlete Training Podcast I talk about how it might be much easier to qualify for the World Championships than you realize, and I talk to Jason Smith at Friction-Facts.com about ways to reduce friction on the bike and gain free speed. World Championships If you haven’t race in ITU World Championships in either triathlon or duathlon, I strongly suggest you consider it.  If you’re not a competitive triathlete, give duathlon a try.  It’s much easier to qualify for the World Championships.  In some cases, all you need to do is show up to a qualifying race and finish. If you don’t live in the United States, contact your national federation to get the qualifying standards.  For US athletes, qualify for the 2014 Duathlon World Championships in Spain by racing at the Duathlon National Championships in Tucson, Arizona. The top 18 finishers in each age group, rolling down to 20th place,  for both the sprint and standard distance race qualify for Team USA. Triathletes can qualify for the 2014 World Championships at the National Championships in Milwaukee in August. Team USA qualification standards are here: http://www.usatriathlon.org/audience/team-usa/qualification-2013.aspx   If you need help training for a duathlon check out these training plans: Duathlon Training Plans NEW Advanced 10k/40k/5k NEW Advanced 5k/20k/2.5k  Base Training Plan Beginner 5k/30k/5k Intermediate 5k/30k/5k Beginner 10k/60k/10k Intermediate 10k/60k/10k Intermediate 10k/40k/5k   Jason Smith of Friction-Facts.com Jason set up a lab to test friction on different bicycle parts.  On a flat course with no wind at 250 watts, roughly 70% of your energy is used to overcome wind resistance.  Most of the remaining energy is used to overcome rolling resistance on each tire (20%), and about 10% of your energy is used to overcome friction on the moving parts on your bike - the chain, the pedals, the pulleys, etc.  (These are very rough numbers.) The easiest way to reduce friction and gain time is by racing with a clean chain and using the best lube on your chain.  In a test done for Velo News, the Rock-n-Roll Gold Chain Lube and the Rock-n-Roll Absolute Dry performed the best, and they were almost 5 watts better than the worst testing lubes.  For an athlete putting out 250 watts on a flat course at 25mph, 5 watts of time is worth about 27 seconds over 40k.  Knowing this, I’d make sure I was using one of the best performing lubes.  And I’d make sure I was cleaning my chain before every race. You can make bike speed/watt/time calculations at http://bikecalculator.com/ At Friction-Facts.com Jason offers 5 test results for free, and another 5 test results for just $10.  I highly recommend checking out the reports.

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Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 5 with Triathlon Science Editor Jim Vance

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Apr 24, 2013


Episode 5 includes an interview with Jim Vance, the co-author, along with Joe Friel, of the new book Triathlon Science.  Triathlon Science is a training reference book for all triathletes and duathletes who are serious about their training.  The book was written by 20+ authors, and Vance talks about what he learned as a coach through his involvement in the book.

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Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 4 with George Dallam Part 2: Pose Method, Nasal Breathing

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 20, 2013


Episode 4 features part two of my interview with George Dallam. The two main topics are nasal breathing and Pose Method.  George did one of the first studies on the Pose Method at the US Olympic Training Center, and his views differ from those of previous guest Stephen McGregor. It's George's belief that nasal breathing is better than mouth breathing for several reasons.  These include reduced likelihood of getting sick, less chance of exercise induced asthma, and your body will extract oxygen better.  He has only done preliminary research in this area, but he thinks it's possible you may be able to do more work with less energy use while nasal breathing.  But if you want to give it a shot your body will take time to adapt. Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 4  

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Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 3 with George Dallam Part 1: Functional Weight Training

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Wed, Mar 20, 2013


In episode 3 I interview George Dallam.  George is a professor at Colorado State University in Pueblo.  He was the first USA Triathlon National Teams coach, and he coached Olympic triathlete Hunter Kemper. We spend most of this interview discussing weight training.  If you don't already have an updated weight training program, his views will make you re-think what you are currently doing. Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 3

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Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 2 with Stephen McGregor Part 2: Pose Method, Running Form, Running Drills

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Mar 19, 2013


In this episode I spend a lot less time talking about myself and more time talking to Stephen McGregor in part 2 of our interview. He gives his opinion of running form drills and the Pose Method.  He also discusses vertical oscillations, optimal cadence for runners and cyclists (if there is such a thing), why a Garmin GPS unit isn't accurate on a track, and he gives a couple of his favorite cycling workouts.  It all sounds very geeky but Stephen explains it in a way that is very interesting and easy to understand, so be a geek and take a listen! Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 2

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Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 1: A Podcast Introduction by Eric Schwartz and Stephen McGregor Part 1 On Running Economy

Author: Eric Schwartz: Triathlon Training Insights Author: &Author: Expert Guests. For Athletes of All Levels
Tue, Mar 19, 2013


In the very first episode of the Triathlete Training podcast I give some background on myself in addition to part 1 of my interview with Stephen McGregor. My name is Eric Schwartz and I currently coach triathletes, duathletes, runners and cyclists.  In addition, I've been operating Duathlon.com since 1998.  Duathlon.com is a source for triathlon & duathlon news and results, as well as training advice.  Previously, I ran track and cross-country and Indiana University, lived in Boulder as a full-time professional, won the Duathlon National Championships in 2004, and finished 8th at Ironman Wisconsin that same year.  I've been coaching since 2000 and was a member of Joe Friel's Ultrafit coaching group until it disbanded. And that's enough about me.  This is the quote that made me want to talk to my next guest: "Specifically, Steve's analysis will lead him to conclude that in the last 10 minutes of the race [Ironman Hawaii 1989] Dave Scott fights as hard against total physical exhaustion as any athlete ever has for as long as human beings have raced." That's from Iron War, Matt Fitzgerald's book about Dave Scott & Mark Allen.  The analysis is from Stephen McGregor, a professor at Eastern Michigan and a former professional cyclist.  Few people have done more research on running economy than Stephen. In our interview we talk about that quote,  plus control entropy and what it takes to become a more economical runner. Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 1 Here is a quote/discussion with Stephen taken from the podcast and also from Iron War, with a little bit of paraphrasing: "The greatest source of energy waste in running is the breaking that occurs when the foot makes contact with the ground.  But It is also somewhat necessary... to push yourself off and propel yourself.  Good runners minimize that.  The trick is minimizing it to maintain speed. Eric:  What can an average runner do to minimize the braking and improve form? “With recreational runners they probably run comfortably too much and there is also an old view in training that there is a speed that is no man's land which is too fast or not fast enough. And that’s what a lot of recreational runners do. They probably run fast enough to feel like they are getting a good workout but not fast enough to actually training themselves to be a better runner. So one thing that a lot of runners could do is run faster. Do more speedwork.  That means that you actually have to cut back on the overall speed so you don’t dig yourself a hole and don’t get injured, and that probably means slowing down at the same time.  Running faster to train the body to run more economically.  As a result when you run faster, when you are doing more intense training, that means you have to back off a lot of other days and run slower. And so, coming up with that polarized approach, which a lot of people probably don’t do. I think a lot of people run hard enough to feel like they are getting a workout in, but not hard enough to learn how to run faster." Triathlete Training Podcast Episode 1

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