Category Archives: Podcast

TT087: How To Win An Age Group National Championship

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.

Alicia Caldwell

We talk about her journey in the sport and some of her habits and training methods that have allowed for continuous improvement. 

TT86: Retired Pro Wes Hobson Covering Lots Of Things

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.  Wes Hobson

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.


For Boulder area real estate contact Wes at or

Wes’ wife, Hayley, at for small business website, contact management, and more.


TT085: Running & Triathlon Stories I Habits I Lessons

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.15 Years of Training Logs

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.  

TT084: Swim Total Immersion Founder Terry Laughlin

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.Terry Laughlin

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.

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Alexander Popov on Youtube
Why You Should Stop Worrying About What Other People Think


TT083: Olympic Distance Triathlon & Half Ironman Race Review

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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.


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

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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.

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


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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.Triathlete's Training Bible

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.

TT080: Dangerous Hyponatremia After a 70.3 Half Ironman

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.”

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

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 Andy Blow Transalpineendurance 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).”


Free online sweat test

Precistion Hydration Testing Centers

TT078: Cody Beals – Canadian Ironman 70.3 Pro

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 Cody BealsOklahoma.

His website,, details his training, finances, physical challenges (low testosterone), and more. Cody is very open about his life and that makes for a good interview.