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

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“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:

Twitter @purplepatch


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TT034: Half Ironman Pursuit Part 2

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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.Rodrigo Finishing Syracuse 70.3

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TT033: Training Questions & Half Ironman Pursuit

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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.  Rodrigo at Syracuse 70.3

Be sure to check out episode 34 for his post-race interview.

Here are his questions that we discussed in the interview:


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: Continue reading

TT032: Stages Cycling Power Meter & Saunas

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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.  

Are Saunas The Next Big Performance Enhancing “Drug”

The Five Fingers Settlement Didn’t Settle the Barefoot Running Debate

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TT031: A 15 Year Ironman Hawaii Qualification Story

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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

He did it!

He did it!

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.

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

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. Continue reading

Heat Acclimation Protocol

Suggested Heat Acclimation Protocol

I created this protocol based on an interview I did with George Dallam in episode 25.

Methods For Heat Acclimation

1. Wear additional clothing to cause additional sweating during training.

2. Turn up the heat and use a humidifier while training indoors.

3. Soak in a hot tub at 100-105 degrees.

Hot Tub Protocol 

For Peak Races

In the two weeks before your peak race progressively increase hot tub time to a maximum of 1 hour, or 50% of your expected race time.  For races Continue reading

TT029: Aerodynamics With David Ripley & Vibram Five Finger Shoes

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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

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

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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 (  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.

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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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