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

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“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:

To track your diet her top choice is a pen and paper.  There are many online options including and

The average athlete will lose ½ 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

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

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
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.


Swim Speed Secrets by Sheila Taormina available at or

Total Immersion available at


TT025: Heat Acclimation

“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).

TT024: First Time Ironman Experience

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.



TT023: Training Tips & Blood Monitoring

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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 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











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.

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TT022: Training Questions Answered

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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.

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TT021: Questions From a First Year Triathlete

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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?

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TT020: Interview with Coach Mat Steinmetz


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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.

Mat Steinmetz

Mat Steinmetz

In this interview we talk about his work with Craig Alexander, Liz Blatchford, Ironman strategy, crank length, cadence, and more.

Mat’s coaching website:
Mat’s February 19-24 2014 Camp in Palm Springs, California


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TT019: Andrew Starykowicz – 7:55 Ironman

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.

Andrew’s Twitter Account

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TT018: “Faster” Author Jim Gourley

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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

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