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

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 Joanna Zeigerthat 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



The Champion MIndset  – Joanna’s new book scheduled for Feb 14 2017 release

TT076: Justin Daerr Two Years After First Ironman Win

Boulder based professional triathlete Justin Daerr returns to the show two years after his firstProfessional Triathlete Justin DaerrIronman 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.



TT075 Training Experimentation, Ketogenic Diets & MMA Fighting

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.  Hillary Spires Muay Thai

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.

TT074: Runner Preparing For First Sprint Triathlon

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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.

From "Triathlete's Training Bible"

TT073: Talking Physical Health With Chris Kelly

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Chris Kelly, founder of, 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
  • Chris Kelly




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

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.    Triathlon 2.0

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.

Does Running Shorten Your Lifespan?

TT071: Oceanside 70.3 As First Half Ironman

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:

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

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.


Alexander Technique

Functional movement screen

TT069: 2016 Olympic Hopeful Joe Maloy

Joe Maloy

Joe Running Toward Victory @ 2016 Tritonman Triathlon

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:

USA Triathlon Olympic Point Totals as of February 2016:

US Triathlon Olympic Qualifying







Point available for the top 18 spots at in Yokohama (multiply points by 1.066667 for that race):

Points for Final Olympic Triathlon Qualifier

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

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.

His book, The Hurt Artist, details his story.