October 4, 2021

Learning From the Pros: Things to Emulate, and Things We Shouldn’t

With more live race coverage, social media posts, and YouTube channels, you have better access to the lives and training secrets of pro triathletes than ever before. And while there are many things you can take from the tri life of the pros and apply to your own training and racing, there are other things that you shouldn’t adopt. On today’s episode, Ironman Champion Matt Bach and Pro Triathlete Elizabeth James discuss what things you should and shouldn’t emulate. Listen in as they discuss racing at the elite level and the similarities and differences for training and racing that can be applied for a triathlete at any performance level.

Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley: Welcome to the TriDot Podcast! Listen, we would love you forever if you would just take a second if you would just take a second and leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. New reviews help our show find its way to new listeners.Please and thank you. Y’all are awesome, incredible people. Fun topic today! Pro triathletes are inspiring, amazing athletes to watch and to follow and as we watch and follow their careers we can certainly learn a thing or two from them as fellow triathletes. Today we will cover all the lessons triathletes can learn from the example from the pros in our sport. Our first guest joining us today is Matt Bach. Matt is an accomplished athlete with an Ironman Maryland victory, and 77nd overall finish in Kona on his résumé. He worked on Wall Street as a trader and portfolio manager for nine years, earned his MBA from Temple University, worked at marketing at UCAN for two and a half years before coming on board to lead TriDot’s marketing efforts. Matt is a great resource for this episode because even though he never raced in the pro field himself he did qualify for his pro card on several occasions when he was competing at quite an elite level. Matt has also gotten to know many pro triathletes over his years in the sport and industry and can provide us with a window into what it is they do to be so freakin’ fast. Matt, welcome back to the show! Matt Bach: Thanks! I’m excited for this one. As an aspiring pro for several years I closely studied the pros and tried to learn as much as possible from them so I’m glad to be able to share some of that knowledge and some anecdotes. Andrew: Also joining us is pro triathlete and coach Elizabeth James. Elizabeth is a USAT Level II and Ironman U certified coach who quickly rose through the triathlon ranks using TriDot. From a beginner to top age grouper to a professional triathlete. She’s a Kona and Boston Marathon Qualifier who has coached triathletes with TriDot since 2014. Elizabeth, thanks so much for being the pro on this podcast episode. Elizabeth James: Well, thank you! I love doing these episodes and this is truly an honor for me. I’m actually recording today from Chattanooga. I didn’t have my legs under me well enough yet to make the drive back to Texas so I’m joining you from Tennessee today. Andrew: I'm Andrew the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People and Captain of the Middle of the Pack. As always we'll approach the show like any other workout. We’ll roll through our warm up question, settle in for our main set conversation, and then wind things down hearing about Ironman Chattanooga on our cool down with Elizabeth James. TriBike: Happy to have TriBike Transport partner with us on the TriDot Podcast. If you are traveling for an upcoming race, let TriBike Transport ensure that your bike gets there race-ready and stress-free. TriBike Transport is the original fully-assembled bike transport service for cyclists and triathletes. You start by using the easy online reservation form to guarantee space for your bike. Then, about one week out from the race, you will drop off your bike fully-assembled at one of their conveniently-located partner shops. Your bike will enjoy a ride in one of their smooth riding trucks all the way to the race site where you will pick it up near T1 ready to race with your bike fit position untouched. You’re free to relax and enjoy your race leaving the details to TriBike Transport. Thousands of athletes have trusted their gear to TriBike Transport and you can too. Learn how by heading to TriBikeTransport.com and as a friend of the podcast, use coupon code TRIDOT25 for $25 off your next booking That’s TriBikeTransport.com coupon code TRIDOT25 to book for your next race. Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew: Follow the triathlon pro tour for a few races and you’ll begin to notice that many of the big name pros have recurring color schemes that they use for their tri kits. Some are bright and colorful while others are sleek and subdued. Either way it can help fans spot their favorite pro on course and becomes part of their on-course brand. Elizabeth, Matt, of all the eye-catching tri kits in use today by professional triathletes, whose kit is your personal favorite? And just to help everyone out since there are so many great ones out there to choose from I’ll let each of you give a shout out to one male and one female. Elizabeth, what two pros do you want to give a shout out to here? Elizabeth: Oh gosh! Like you said, there are so many good ones to pick from. Lots of cool color combinations, lots of personality that can kind of come out in those kits as well. Andrew: Yeah. Elizabeth: I mean, he’s the greatest--Jan Frodeno has just got to be one that I’d give a nod to here. His kits are just always very sharp, professional, sleek looking. I just like the look of them. So not anything too loud, but just always very well put together. I’ve always liked that. Then on the female side I’d like to just kind of point out Emma Pallant-Browne’s and I love her blue and pink color scheme. I mean my first Ironman kits were kind of a combination of that blue, hot pink, some neon green so it reminds me of that. So I really like the colors although I would not be comfortable in the swim suit type bottom of the kit like she rocks. So the color scheme I’ll take. I’ll leave that fit for her though. Andrew: I personally, Elizabeth, would also not be comfortable wearing a bikini bottom style kit myself on race day nor would you want to see me in one. Matt Bach, who are you giving a shout out to here today? Matt: I definitely like flashy. Anybody that knows me personally knows that I like to be a little bold, a little flashy, a little stand out, wearing bow ties and things like that. But on the ladies side Daniela Ryf’s red and pink kit from Kona 2018 and I’ve got three reasons for it. First I love red, second she’s representing her home country, Switzerland, and she also looks like her nickname. Her nickname for anybody who knows is Angry Bird and with those colors on there she actually looked like an Angry Bird so I thought that was an awesome kit. Andrew: Yeah, that’s a great point. Matt: On the men's side, definitely a bold move, Kristian Blummenfelt at the Olympics. I mean you’ve got to be a bold individual to wear a totally white tri kit. I mean you’re wet the entire time and as we know, white when wet is see through. He must have known it. There’s no way he could have not known that he was putting on a white kit that was going to be see through the whole time because obviously he wouldn’t have worn those dark swim bottom looking things underneath his kit. Not a kit that I think I would ever wear no matter how bold I am, but I did appreciate how much Kristian stood out by wearing an all white kit like that. Andrew: My two picks here. My pick for the guys is Sam Long. There’s a lot of kits out there that are great and listen, I don’t think I could pull off Sam Long’s kit. For anybody who knows him he’s a top ranked male right now. He’s got a pretty much all pink and black kit. He wears the pink Vapor Flys on the run course. He runs the pink Wattie Ink socks and he just like– He pulls off that pink kit gosh darn it. His nickname’s The Big Unit. He’s got that big personality and something about it with that bright pink and black kit, it just really works and you can see him on course. Matt: Even his apparel shouts “Yo, Yo, Yo!” Andrew: Yeah, exactly!He’s got the “Yo, Yo, Yo!” You can buy a “Yo, Yo, Yo!” t-shirt. It’s a black t-shirt with the pink letters and yeah, it really works for him. He’s doing a great job in building his brand around that look. On the women’s side, Heather Jackson. Heather over the years has had some fantastic kits. Right now, this year, she’s been wearing this white Zoot kit that it’s kind of a base white. It’s got some fun pops of color on the sleeves and I don’t know. Every time I see her on course whatever kits she’s wearing she just looks great in. Hey guys! We’re going to throw this question out to you all in social media land. Make sure that you are a part of the I Am TriDot Facebook Group. We post our warm up question every single Monday when a new show releases to that group just to see what your responses are. I know y’all follow the pros. I know you have some favorite pros and we want to hear from you. What kits, what branding, what colors, whose kit are you really feeling, digging, vibing with? Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… PRECISION HYDRATION: We recently had sports scientist Andy Blow from Precision Hydration on the show and learned that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to hydration, because everyone loses a different amount of salt in their sweat. As someone who sweats a lot, I wanted to get a better understanding of how much salt I lose in my sweat, so I took their online sweat test. After taking the test, I received a personalized hydration plan, and was recommended their strongest electrolyte drink, PH 1500, which is three times stronger than most sports drinks. It's been a game changer for me, particularly in hot conditions. So if you've ever struggled with hydration issues like dehydration or cramping during those long hot sessions, it's absolutely worth checking out precisionhydration.com. You can take their free online sweat test, find out which PH strength matches how you sweat, and then get 10% off your order with the code TRIDOT10. To learn more, you can even book a free 20 minute video consultation with them to ask any questions you have about hydration and fueling, or to discuss your own strategy for an upcoming race. Again, that's precisionhydration.com, and use the coupon code TRIDOT10 to get 10% off your electrolytes and fuel. Andrew: In both the men’s and women’s field there are plenty of quality professional triathletes to watch, root for and admire. With more live race coverage, social media accounts and YouTube channels we have better access to the lives and training secrets of the pros than ever before. There are many things we can take from the tri life of the pros and apply to our own training and racing, but there are other things that we should leave to them and keep out of our own tri journey. Here to help us sort through it all is Ironman champion Matt Bach and pro triathlete Elizabeth James. So Elizabeth, let’s start here today. How does someone become a pro and stay a pro in the first place? Elizabeth: Alright, yeah. Well, each national governing body is going to have their different qualifying criteria and so I can’t really speak to what the other countries would require, but to earn your elite triathlon card in the United States there’s actually a number of different qualification standards that you can meet. So USA Triathlon outlines criteria like A, B, C, D, E, F. I mean, for real there’s that many. So there’s a few different ways that you can qualify depending on if you’re qualifying at the collegiate level, if you’re racing draft legal events, if you’re doing non-drafting shorter course or then longer events like Ironman events. So I guess instead of going through all of those here’s just a couple examples. You can earn an overall top 10 amateur at a world’s event would be one of the qualification criteria. You can get top 5 amateur at a national event or like top 3 overall amateur at a qualifying race. So to be a qualifying race that might be like an Ironman event that has a corresponding elite field offering a prize purse of a specified amount and that one is actually how I kind of came about my route to qualification. Andrew: Yeah. Elizabeth: So I figured that I would try to be top three at like a full distance Ironman and try to earn my elite card that way and then I was happily surprised when this came a little bit earlier than expected. I was the second place amateur finisher of Waco 70.3 in 2019 and since there was a pro field in Waco that year then that became a qualifying race so I could kind of meet that criteria standard there. Andrew: And I was there. Elizabeth: Yes. Andrew: And I cheered for you as you were racing so I can say I helped you become a professional triathlete via my cheers. Elizabeth: You absolutely did. Andrew: You wouldn’t have done it without me cheering for you probably twice I saw you on course. Elizabeth: Oh, I know. Hey, it takes a village. Definitely going to extend that credit your way. Yeah, so like if you meet one of those criteria or some of the others that maybe pertain to the collegiate or draft legal racing, whatever the national governing body in your country would be, then you can apply for your elite license. Then in the United States this is good for three years. Then to continue racing as an elite you have to re-qualify once every three years by finishing within 8% of the winners time at a race that offers at least a $5000 prize purse. So, I mean, there’s a couple different criteria paths that you can go about to earn your elite license and then once you have it then there are specific criteria that you also have to meet to kind of retain that license as well. Matt: I’ve got a fun fact to add on this one too. Andrew: Please do. Matt: I actually worked with USA Triathlon back in I think it was around 2015, 2014. I actually worked with some folks over there to add one of the criteria which I believe is still on there which is regarding the ranking, the USA Triathlon rankings which you can see on their site and you can look yourself up and you can see how your different performance is rated. The rankings, I don’t know if there’s a top or a bottom to it. I think the bottom is probably 0, but the top pros are something like 120 or 130 with some of the best performances. So I think they added a ranking number so if you have a performance or I think several performances, like an average for the season, that is above a certain threshold, then you can become a professional in that way as well. Andrew: So Matt, something that we mentioned in your intro today is we mentioned that you on multiple occasions had the opportunity to apply for your elite license based on some of your performances and you opted not to. Kind of walk us through like when faced with that decision, because Elizabeth you as well in Waco you were faced with the decision, okay I qualified to become a pro, I can make that splash, I can go all in or I can decline that and let it pass me by. So Matt for you, what led you to make the decision to not apply for that pro card at that time? Matt: Yeah, there’s a lot of different factors that go into it and a lot of people would think that if you’ve qualified that you should just take it. It’s a given. But for a lot of people they end up going the route of a profamature; a professional amateur. I think I’ve been called in various conversations or forms. There’s a bunch of them out there that are basically, you know have qualified and re-qualified many, many times to have a pro card, but have continually opted to not take their pro card and they compete at a very high level. They beat a lot of the pros any time that they race and then end up basically just slamming the amateur field and the age group fields over and over again. For some it’s a point of contention because it’s like, “Okay, if you’re that good you should be a pro. You should get out of the way so that I can be on the podium in the amateur races.” So some people find it to be a little bit controversial, but it’s really a choice and the choice for me at the time was, “Okay, my swim is not strong enough to be able to keep up with the lead pack or in the second pack or even a lot of the time the third pack if there’s one of those. Andrew: Wow. Matt: So it’s like okay, I mean, do I jump into the pro field? I’ll have a very different race experience if I do that or do I decide to try to improve my swim first and really my bike and my run as well so that I can really be competitive with the pro field? Because it’s a very different race experience. I was actually encouraged by a number of people that I had talked to including Sarah Piampiano, one of the female pros, when I had a conversation with her about going pro and she kind of encouraged me; she’s in the same situation where her swim is not particularly strong and she was encouraged by her coach to stay out of the pro field for a year or two while she developed her swim and then make the jump and that’s obviously worked out nicely for her. Andrew: So with more pros giving us a peek at their training on Strava, social media, YouTube, we can kind of get an idea of what the training is like for a pro, but I know that we’re not really getting the full picture based on what we see. What are the biggest differences between the training it takes to be a pro and the training we take on as amateurs? Elizabeth: I think one– well there’s a couple really interesting things here and I guess one of the things that I’d first like to point out is that my training from going from an amateur competitor to a professional competitor did not change much and that was actually something that a lot of the mentors that I had said. Like more of what you’re doing needs to stay the same than change because you are progressing well, you are training well, and just because you know, you now are competing in this different category doesn’t mean that you need to change everything. Matt: Yeah, it’s not just a magic thing where you like flip a switch and it’s like all of a sudden, “I’m a pro. I have a pro card.” So all of a sudden I’m a better athlete or I can handle ten hours more of training or anything like that. Elizabeth: Yeah. Matt: That doesn’t make any sense. You’re absolutely light. Elizabeth: I mean, I think that’s one of the things that’s really cool and I think it speaks very well to what TriDot does is that, you know, I’ve been using TriDot as a beginner triathlete and now as a professional. So what changes is, you know, a couple of the things in terms of my mental approach, the height that I place on recovery, better fueling, but in terms of the training itself, more of it has stayed the same than has changed as I’ve made this transition. But I do also want to really just kind of hone in on the recovery from the sessions and some of the pro athletes are able to train the number of hours that they do and complete all of these strenuous workouts that they do because they have the opportunity to properly recover from the training and I do think that that’s one of the biggest differences that we see from amateurs and age groupers to the professionals. You know, the pros they are really prioritizing sleep, quality nutrition, all of the recovery modalities and you know, you can’t go and put in the same number of hours at the same intensity of those top level pros are if you aren’t going to be able to back that up with the proper recovery modalities to allow for that. And honestly for most age group athletes and even some pros that are working full or part time jobs, they aren’t able to do that. They have other responsibilities. You know, you’ve got a job, family, etcetera so being able to train two to three times a day with enough recovery and proper fueling between sessions may just not be a realistic possibility. Matt: Yeah, big ditto on the recovery. Because the pros can recover more they can do and benefit more from the training that they do and while the athlete with a full time job is getting ready for work, maybe commuting and then doing something stressful for many hours the full time pro triathlete they’ve go their feet up in Normatec Boots binging on Netflix until the next session or they’re spinning their legs out or they’re getting in an easy swim which can act as great recovery, active recovery. So as I was debating turning pro in 2016 I consulted my coach on numerous occasions trying to get a grip on what it is the pros are doing that I wasn’t doing and he repeatedly kept saying, “Recover.” And it wasn’t a knock on me, it was just a fact of the situation. I was commuting three hours a day. I was working long hours as a trader on Wall Street so pro-like recovery for me just wasn’t possible. Andrew: Yeah. Matt: And the other big thing to highlight is in our lives we need to prioritize; maybe it’s family, then work, then triathlon, but for pro triathletes triathlon is their work. So it moves up just by that nature it moves up in priority and in many cases they might not have a spouse or might not have kids yet or at all so triathlon is actually the highest priority thing in their life. So we may have to shift things around in our own schedules to accommodate for our life getting in the way of the training because of the way that we’ve prioritized our lives and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a choice that we’re making and in most cases that’s the right choice, but they don’t have that. They don’t have that conflict so they can purely prioritize triathlon. Andrew: Yeah, no that’s a great point and I…to that point, I would encourage people. I mean, find some pros on social media to follow that are not the biggest names. You know, find some pros that do have a full time job or a part time job on top of their training and follow them and just kind of get a glimpse of what their experience is like. You know, Elizabeth, you’re a perfect example. You work full time with TriDot, you coach athletes on the side and you do your training. I’ve mentioned before I really enjoy following Ben and Heather Deal. They’re two pros that are married. They’re not necessarily in the money in any given race. They’re not necessarily a threat to podium at any world championship race, but they’re quality athletes, they’re great athletes, they’re strong athletes and they both have jobs. They both have lives that they have to live to support their triathlon habit and so I enjoy following some pros like that on social media because it shows you just a different side to being a pro. It shows you a different pro experience from what you see when you follow a Jan Fordino or a Ben Hoffman or a Tim O’Donnell or Daniella Ryf on Instagram. Matt: And remember too that on social media, what you see on social is usually the crazy stuff. So they’re not doing that every day. Mostly what they do is zone 2, zone 1, they’re active recovery and it’s only the real sexy stuff that shows up on Facebook that everybody wants to see. So they’re not doing that day in and day out. Andrew: Yeah, good point. Good point. So as we see professionals training, as we see kind of what they doin their regimen and Elizabeth we hear you talk about hour training with TriDot and how not much even changed. You just added in more recovery modalities, what can we learn from the pros and implement from the pros into our own training? Matt: There’s a lot to learn from the pros. Like they dedicate their lives to triathlon. They’re looking at all the minute details to get the most out of themselves and their teams, their coaches, their bike fitter, their dietitian. They find and put some things into practice before science even has the chance to validate it. So there’s a bunch of things that they’ve discovered that– you know they’re on the frontier, they’re on the front edge of that curve because they make a living doing it and this is; I mean, they’re basically obsessed with triathlon and it’s what their entire life revolves around. So we can, as amateurs, kind of leverage the fact that they are putting all this time and effort and energy into the research and into finding those little things that can help. So here’s some things that you can do to help your own performances even though we’re amateurs and they are pros. So they do overlap and there’s things that we can all do. So your bike set up, for instance, aerodynamically they’ve had the benefit of wind tunnels and Velodromes and we don’t all have that opportunity to go to those places money or time wise to figure out what tends to be the most aerodynamic, but many of them; of the things that they’ve discovered in the wind tunnel are pretty well universally accepted that we can do as well. So for instance a well fitting sleeved kit, and I’ve talked about these things on the podcast before and also in an article I wrote for USA Triathlon, but shaving your legs, aero helmets are a great bang for your buck. Your bike position bottles, you want to have a well fitting bottle between the arms or you want to have one behind the saddle, or two behind the saddle. Try to avoid having it on the down tube or on the seat post although if hydration is really important then you still might want to have those even though you’re taking a small aerodynamic penalty, it’s a very marginal difference. But just paying attention to those things, being cognizant of the fact that you’re making that deliberate trade off and other things too. If you’ve got a huge budget, you know the wheels, the bike, the waxed chain ring. All those things you can go crazy spending a lot of money and time getting all those things to make you that much– a little bit faster, but those things are things that the pros have discovered that for them it really makes sense because even though they have to spend a decent amount of money, a lot of times there’s sponsors covering it and sometimes even if they have to spend it on their own it’s a worthwhile investment because they might move up a spot or two in a race. Andrew: It might help them earn money in the long run. Matt: Exactly. Yeah. Then strength and mobility, we don’t all have the time, you know, all the time in the world like the pros do to add in strength and mobility, but at some level, in my opinion, is a necessity to get the most out of your training and stay injury free. So I’ll foam roll every day. When it comes to something like strength training, many would argue that since I may only have ten hours a week to do my training that I should just be swimming, biking and running, but I would argue that you should swim, bike and run for maybe nine hours of that week and spend on of those hours on strength training because that mix is going to be a better combination. It’s going to actually make you faster and less prone to injury. Make it a more sustainable and viable thing for you to do in a long-term fashion. Then another one which I really enjoy that pros do a great job of, but most amateurs I don’t think really take advantage of is heat adaptation. So pros use heat adaptation protocols ahead of hot races and I see no reason that an amateur couldn’t also benefit from those regardless of whether you’re just trying to finish the race or trying to podium in your age group. I won’t go into all the details on how to do a heat adaptation protocol. There’s a few different ones out there, but the general consensus is that ten days to about two weeks is about the time frame leading into the race that you should do it. So be careful about how you do it, but there are protocols where you can encourage better adaptation to the heat. Andrew: Yeah and we’ll certainly have to do a whole episode outlining those protocols, outlining those options and really teaching people how to heat adapt properly leading into a race because I mean there certainly are plenty of races on the triathlon circuit that are hot and will be hot and we need to know how to do that. But even simple things like I’ve got an hour and 50 minute long run today at the time we’re recording this podcast. You know, it’s a Wednesday and I’ve got a long run as I’m training here for Ironman Waco and instead of doing that run first thing this morning when it was 70 degrees, I’m choosing to do that run at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon when it’s going to be in the mid 80s. So not terribly hot, but warm enough to make me a little uncomfortable and a little bit closer to probably what I’ll be running in on race day. So even making simple decisions like that when appropriate can be helpful. But we’ll just circle back up Matt with some heat adaptation experts and go over that on the podcast. Elizabeth, what are a few things that you see that pros do in their training, that you do in your training, that amateur athletes like myself can benefit from? Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean everything that Matt said was great. I was trying to think of what else I could add to that. Pros eat well and they eat a lot. So I think that’s something that we can– Andrew: Nice, nice. I like it. Elizabeth: –we can adopt as well and you know, keep in mind that in amateurs, “a lot” would probably still be a lot less than a pro’s “a lot.” So you have to be smart about finding the right amount of food, the right types of food that your body would thrive on, but eating to sustain your training load is super important and this is actually something that I’ve talked with a number of my coached athletes about and something that we monitor very closely just to make sure that they are taking in enough calories to really sustain the training load especially if they are training for a longer course event and their training hours are ramping up. You know, this is something that I used to be very self conscious of. You know, I’d go out to eat with a group of girlfriends, you know, Saturday for lunch and I’m finishing off a full meal and a side and they’re sitting there asking for a to-go box for ¾ of their meal. You know, but I had just finished my four hour workout in the morning and you know, they walk the dog. And not that there’s anything wrong with that, there’s just a difference in the number of calories that we burned that morning. So you really do need to make sure that you are nourishing your body. I’ve worked with a number of different dieticians to get a better understanding of how to fuel my body, what my body needs to really be able to sustain the training and this is something the Dr. Krista Austin has talked about on some of the podcast episodes that she has done as well really highlighting the low energy availability and making sure that athletes do have the energy to train and perform well and perform their best. So yeah. Food. I definitely like to eat. I was already on my second breakfast here this morning as we were starting to record. Andrew: Yes. Elizabeth: So yeah. Andrew: Outstanding. Elizabeth: Make sure you’re fueling that well. Another thing I think to highlight here is being mentally strong. So you may not be physically capable of doing a sub four 70.3, but you are capable of being the best that you can be and getting that personal best finish time. So control what you can control, do it well. Your mental fitness is super important. This is something that I mean over the past two years I’ve been working on a lot is just making sure that my mind is super strong and can be used as an asset for me instead of kind of that enemy that’s like, “Oh, this hurts. Let's pull back.” or “I don’t know if I can do this.” Andrew: Yeah. Elizabeth: Really kind of squashing some of that self doubt. I know that Raines really always likes to talk about that grit factor and developing that grit to be able to push ourselves not only in the training, but racing. Then I think one last thing, you know. Matt had talked about just the team around a lot of the professionals. It doesn’t have to be something that you’re spending a whole bunch of money on, but just making sure that you have those people around you to support you. I just think of even like getting my doctor on board. When I go in for my annual physical, you know, we do blood work and make sure that all of that is looking good. I will see a chiropractor a number of times during the year not even necessarily as something to address an injury, but just if I can feel things getting really tight I’ll go in as a preventative measure and so having some of those professionals in your corner to make sure that you are really taking care of your body is important. Andrew: A lot of things that we can learn from the experience and the training of the pros, but there are certainly things that the pros do in their lives and their tri journeys that we shouldn’t emulate. What are some of those things that we should just kind of look at and applaud and admire, but then not do ourselves in our own training? Matt: Yeah. One thing, definitely don’t mimic their body. For the reasons we’ve discussed earlier about recovery you can’t recover like they can and you can’t hit the volume they can. I should use the word “shouldn’t” actually because you shouldn’t hit the volume that they can. A lot of people they could hit the number of miles or they could hit the number of hours that the pros do. They could go out there and do 30 some hours or whatever, but it just wouldn’t be in your best interest. Andrew: Yeah. Matt: I mean, fortunately TriDot takes into account the data from over 50,000 amateur athletes and knows the right level of training for you so that you can maximize gains. So a real life example of this point, I was trying to do 16 hours a week in 2013. I wasn’t getting faster. I was plateauing. It was frustrating. I kept trying to add more volume thinking that it was the solution, but learned that I was just doing too much given my stressful life situation to reap the benefits of the extra training that I was doing. So pro triathletes, I mean, a lot of them are doing between 20 and 30 hours a week. That’s optimal for them because their life situation is built around training and recovery, but don’t think that you need to do 20 to 30 hours of training to crush it as an amateur. I’ve heard stories of– there’s one amazing example of an amateur athlete training is Sammy Incanin who does something like eight or nine hours of training a week and for several years there he was just one of the top amateurs in all of Kona, in the world on just eight or nine hours of training a week. So you really don’t– and a good buddy of mine is doing the same thing. He qualified for Kona at Ironman Texas one year and then he raced in Kona and did really well and he was doing it all on eight to ten hours a week. Andrew: Wow. Matt: So really you don’t need that massive volume that the pros are doing. Definitely don’t try to mimic their volume unless you’re not working at all and you have the same time and you’re devoting all that time to the recovery like they are. I would also say don’t mimic their nutrition approach– Andrew: Yes. Great point. Matt: –in race because the elite triathletes they’re burning calories at a ridiculous rate. I mean a really, really rapid rate and Dr. Krista Austin could elaborate on that. But they’re expending energy at a really rapid rate. I mean they have higher FTPs, they operate at a higher percentage of their FTP than we all do so they burn more glycogen and less fat and they burn more calories in general so they need to supplement with more carbs. So many of the pros during the bike legs are taking in 300 to 400 calories an hour– Andrew: Jeez. Matt: –to be able to prevent a bonk, but we’re not expending energy at such a prodigious rate and most athletes can’t handle 300 to 400 calories an hour without having stomach problems so instead start with maybe 200 calories an hour and then dial it up or down from there depending on your own caloric needs, your own intensities. You know everybody is so different, there’s so many different factors that go into it. So you’ve got to trial and error. Andrew: Yeah. Something that I did really early; before I was on TriDot I think it was at the point in my tri journey where I had done some sprints and Olympics, I was gearing up for my first 70.3, and I saw…I don’t remember which magazine it was, but one of the triathlon magazines put out an article with Alistair Brownlee and it was detailing– it basically was Alistair Brownlee’s nutrition sponsor putting out an article through this magazine showing you what Alistair takes in at a normal 70.3. And so oh, here I am. I’m this amateur athlete. I have my first 70.3 coming up. I’ve never tried fueling myself for a 70.3 so I’m reading this article and you know, I didn’t use the same product he was using, but I was looking at it and saying, “Oh, this is really interesting. How can I take the things that I’m using, the products that I’m using, and hit kind of these same calorie goals because it works for him so this is clearly a good way to do it.” Well, I have no idea as an amateur that first of all, he’s spending hours less time on course than me, but then to your point Matt, in those hours he needs more calories per hour on the bike to just fuel the intensity he’s going at and so I’m– Mentally I did the math and long story short, I figured out I wasn’t even capable of taking in the same amount of calories he was taking in and I went away from trying to copy him thankfully. But yeah. I think a lot of us do that. We look at what a pro does and say, “Oh, well, that works for them. It must be the best way to do it.” Well, no. Your needs and their needs are completely different when it comes to nutrition. So great point there Matt. Matt: Great antidote. I hadn’t heard that story before. Andrew: I haven’t told that story before to anyone. Matt: Another one. Don’t mimic their position on the bike. They are very flexible. They can generate power in a very aggressive position and they deprioritize comfort to some degree so that they can get those extra– you know squeeze those extra handful of seconds out of the bike when they’re getting a little bit more aerodynamic. So 95+% of amateurs should be in a less aggressive position. When you’re getting fit on your bike you should make sure; I would suggest working with a professional. I think we’ve recommended this many times before, but work with a professional fitter and there’s the three things that you’re looking to optimize between and that’s comfort, aerodynamics and power and you need to make sure that you’re comfortable enough especially if you’re doing something like an Ironman or like a hilly Ironman; a long, long course like that, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable so that when you get off the bike you’re able to run well. So don’t try to mimic their position on the bike where they’ve got this back that’s parallel to the ground, they’re flat, they’re so aerodynamic. It looks so sleek. Yeah, it looks great and yes they are fast, but they are also professionals who spend tons of time in that position, tons of time working on their flexibility. Many times they’re also much younger than us; they’re in their 20s and 30s and many of us are not. So they can be in that very, very aggressive position, but for most of us it doesn’t make sense to try to be in that very aggressive position or you’ll have some pretty sad runs off the bike when your back and your whole body is just messed up because of a very, very aggressive position you dealt with over the bike course. Elizabeth: Yeah, those are really, really good points. I think one of the things that has been interesting for me in the switch from amateur racing to pro racing are the tactics of the race. So I would kind of encourage athletes, you know, don’t mimic the tactics of the pro race either. You know, if somebody is going to blow by you at mile 10 of the bike, you don’t need to cover their move and really chase after them. You know, if you’re running along somebody at mile 15, you don’t need to attack and, you know, just kind of put them behind you, make a move on them, try to drop them. You know, keep it steady. Your best race time is going to come when you’re even and steady, distributing energy along the way and this is great because it’s going to be what your RaceX plan prescribes. So you’re not necessarily needing to match the moves of the other competitors, or trying to break somebody else down. If you’re going for a Kona spot and you’re on the last couple miles of the run there may be some tactics that come in there, but for the majority of people on course you really are looking for your best finish time and racing against yourself and doing your personal best and this is something that I’ve kind of had to work on in my mindset is, okay not only am I looking to better myself, but now I’ve got to pay a little bit more attention to racing. Andrew: You’re racing people. Elizabeth: So, but yeah. For the majority of athletes, you know, I’d say don’t mimic the tactics that you may see some of the pros doing in their racing. Andrew: Yeah, especially with things like Collins Cup and the PTO events and Challenge Daytona and more Ironman events being broadcast live via Facebook and other platforms you know, we get to see those tactics and we get to hear commentators telling us about those tactics and that’s all well and good, but it’s not necessarily for us to mimic when we’re out there just trying to hit our own best personal time. Matt: It brings to mind in the Olympics, the team race. Elizabeth: Yeah. Matt: Do you guys remember that? Where, who was it? Was it Louis, Vincent Louis? Andrew: Yes, yeah. Vincent Louis. Matt: I mean that was– it makes for better TV that’s for sure because when we were watching that and he just attacked like a Tour de France rider on the bike and completely just destroyed him on the bike, opened up the gap and then on the run it was just like this battling, this attacking back and forth. I mean it definitely makes for better TV. It makes for a better thing to watch in the racing, but like you say, EJ, tactics like that you’re not going see that in the amateur racing. You shouldn’t see that in the amateur races unless in those very specific examples of battling for a podium spot, battling for an overall win or a Kona qualification spot or something like that. Andrew: And there’s not cameras following us around to amp up the pressure. Matt: We’re not making good TV. Andrew: So we do all the training to have success on race day. Elizabeth, just kind of take us for a second into the pro field. What is that like racing in the pro field? Did it feel any different to you or does it feel very much the same, you just get to start first thing in the morning? Elizabeth: You know, it does feel very different for me especially because I’m just kind of starting out. To be honest, Chattanooga was very lonely because I did not come out of the water with the swim pack. So pretty soon after we started I have been swimming my races very solo this year and then I come out and I’m kind of by myself. So like in Chattanooga I swam the majority of the swim on my own, didn’t see very many people on the bike, and then the first loop of the run was incredibly lonely. So that’s a very, very different feel for me to really just kind of be out there solo. It’s really kind of hard to get into a race mode when you’re by yourself and you have no idea where anybody else is at or kind of what paces the competitors are pushing. So right now it feels incredibly different for me. I will say though that the pro porta potties are a huge perk. I mean, not having to budget as much time pre race for the bathroom lines, that feels very different. Matt: Golden. Elizabeth: That’s a big win. Andrew: That sounds like a reason to accept your pro card Matt. You know just right there to have your own personal– Matt: Yeah. Andrew: Elizabeth, it was thrilling to track you in Chattanooga and to see you come out– knowing, okay you’re just an insanely strong runner. You’re working on your swim. To see you come out of the water where you did and to see you make a few moves on the bike in position and then you hit the run course and just it was like every so often you were just moving up a spot. Every time I opened up the app and checked to see how you were doing you had moved up a few spots and it was like, yep, she got out there on that run course and she was hunting people down because that’s the Elizabeth James way. So it was thrilling to watch you do that and I know you probably were having a good time with that. So Matt, any notes from you here Matt on what it’s like to race as a pro with all the pros that you’ve dialoged with? Matt: Yeah, just one major point is they swim fast and we’ve touched on this a little bit on several occasions now, but I’m not a particularly good swimmer, but I typically would finish in the top 5 or 10% of most amateur fields, but in most pro fields I’d be DFL. Elizabeth: I know the feeling. Andrew: Dead freaking last. We’ll go with that. Dead freaking last. DFL. Matt: You’re right, freaking. That means I’d have a lot of ground to make up on the bike and the run and likely be out of contention for the win or maybe even a podium. So as the saying goes you can’t win it in the swim, but you can lose it. Elizabeth: Yeah, exactly. Matt: So these pros, like they’re all good swimmers. They all spend a ton of time in the pool and they’re all good swimmers. Elizabeth: Let’s just say that this year it’s been very, very easy for me to locate my bike in transition and hopefully as I progress there’ll be a couple more bikes that I have to decide between which one is mine when I get there. Andrew: Yes, yes. We hope that for you. So let’s talk about racing like a pro for just a little bit. We have for a little bit now, but. I imagine that the motivations are probably different. You know, pros are racing for position. They’re racing for rankings. They’re racing for money. They’re racing for sponsorships, etcetera. There are some amateurs racing for Kona slots, podiums, pro cards. So some of that I suppose could be similar, but you know you’re trying to go fast and beat your competition. You’re racing people. Most of us are out there, just trying to do the best we can with the fitness that you have and then trying to have a good day as we make our way to the finish line. So Matt, Elizabeth, what is the race experience like for the pros and what can we learn from it? Elizabeth: For me, one of my goals going into Chattanooga was to be in the money. I wasn’t sure if that would be a realistic goal, but it was kind of an outside goal that I had and so Chattanooga paid ten deep so I was really kind of going for that top 10 finish and with each place that I moved up, I knew the paycheck was going to be a little bit bigger. Andrew: Was that in your head as you were passing girls on the run course? Matt: Cha-ching. Elizabeth: Not necessarily the money part of it, but– Andrew: Okay. Elizabeth: I was definitely checking off the placements and had an idea of where I was, but I like that little sound effect there Matt. I’ll have to remember that. Matt: I’ll follow you around on race day next time– Elizabeth: Very good. I like that. Matt: –and I’ll make one every time you pass somebody. Elizabeth: But, you know, Andrew, I think what you said about doing the best that you can with the fitness that you have is the same for everybody out there. You know, I’m always looking to just do my best and in fact on the run course on Sunday I said almost those exact words to Charles as he was out there cheering me on. I saw him near the hill right before Battery Place and I said, “I’m giving you my best.” My pace was fading. My legs were starting to cramp, but you know, I promised that morning like, I’m going to give this my best and he promised that that’s all that he expected of me. So when you mentioned, you know, most of us are out there, just trying to do our best, yeah. The pros are out there giving their best as well. Matt: I just have one thing to add. Like the fields are just so deep and competitive. So when I was thinking about going pro I spoke with Andy Potts and he emphasized that when you’re passing a pro; when you’re a pro passing a pro you’re stealing his lunch money not just his wag. It’s like wow, okay. That puts some perspective. But that taught me two things. Like, one, I better be prepared to suffer big time if I want to be successful as a pro. And two, if I remain in the amateur field and learned to suffer like a pro then I should be able to really trounce nearly all the amateurs. If you can suffer like the pros suffer and really dig that deep– To me the mental side of things is one of the biggest things. We mentioned that earlier, Elizabeth, as one of the things that we can learn from the professionals and that’s one of the things that I think separates them the most is the fact that they can suffer so– you know, go so deep into that hurt locker, that pain cave and be able to bury people because they’re just willing to suffer so much. So I figured hey, if I stay in the amateur field and I learn how to suffer like that then I should be able to do really, really well in the amateur field. Andrew: So many of us follow our favorite pros on social media and on there we see the products that they’re using and the products they are clearly sponsored by. Talk to me about pro sponsorship deals. How do these usually come to be and more importantly, if we see a pro endorsing a product does that mean it’s actually effective enough for us to give it a shot or are they just taking a paycheck and posting on the Instagram? Matt: In some cases it’s that, but the answer to your question it’s a resounding maybe. Many of the pros are authentic in their love of the gear and the products that they use, but many are not and it’s a shame, but money talks and some pros endorse things that they don’t believe in. So having been on both sides of the sponsorship arrangement I’ve come to appreciate the truly authentic endorsement. It often begins with the athlete using the product before even being sponsored or before even knowing anybody at the company. They’ll generally grow to use it, love it and then reach out to the company or maybe the company will catch wind that the athlete is using whatever it is that they’re selling and that’s how I came to UCAN in the first place. It solved my GI problems and allowed me to win Ironman Maryland in 2014 and I didn’t know anyone at the company, but after I won they caught wind of it and reached out to me. Then the next step, the athlete and the company, you know, whenever they connect many times with an athlete agent being involved, they’ll drop the terms of the agreement and it usually involves certain expectations like social media posts and maybe it’s YouTube videos. There’s a logo placement on their kit. Maybe it’s appearances at events maybe in person or virtual events. Being able to use their name and likeness in marketing materials is basically a given. The athlete agrees to talk up the product ideally in a natural way that doesn’t appear forced and it works out for both parties since the athlete makes a living, the company gets exposure, gets sales; that is of course as long as the athlete is convincing enough that their audience buys and hence being convincing is easy when you actually love it. Andrew: Yeah. Matt: Like one sign that an athlete is really using a lot of good product is if it’s showing up in their pictures and their videos even if they aren’t putting it in your face and telling you why they love it. So there is the spot where they’re doing that and they’re shoving it in your face and they’re telling it, but then there’s also kind of just that, I don’t know if you want to call it product placement; it just happens to be in the photo and it’s not forced. It’s not even intentional. It just happens to be there because they are using it and loving it. Then another thing to note is that there are a lot of things out there that really aren’t that different from what their competitors are offering. So if a pro is telling you to use a brand of bike that they’re sponsored by and you’re going to go 20 minutes faster at your next 70.3, you might want to hold off on spending the dough and do a little more research because sometimes it just doesn’t make that big of a difference no matter how many good things they say about what it is that they’re using. Andrew: Yeah. Matt: I mean, that said though, there are a bunch of things that truly do make a difference and I appreciate it when honorable pros find those things for us so that we can learn from them and then they bring some of these products into the light. I mean, this podcast, it’s not a pro athlete, but this podcast has sponsors and I’m proud of the way that you, Andrew, and the team have identified products and services that actually make a difference that we’ve actually been using and have gotten behind like TriBike Transport and UCAN and Precision Hydration and deltaG. It’s great when there’s an authentic, genuine use of it because then I think people will see it, right? We’re all– we’re human beings and we have a very good, innate sense of whether somebody is trying to blow smoke up your ass– Andrew: Our BS meters. Our BS meters are typically pretty good. Matt: Exactly. Andrew: I’m glad you’re saying this because we’ve never said it on the podcast before. I’ve never really thought to to be honest, but we don’t– Like the TriDot podcast we are not interested in just taking a company’s dollars and then talking about that company on the air. Like, we are interested in forming partnerships with companies that we believe in and having co-marketing agreements to where they market us, we market them and so everything that we read ads for on the podcast, every company that we talk up on the podcast we’re either using them ourselves individually or it’s a company that we’ve formed a partnership with because we believe in their product. We’re never going to just take somebody’s money and then talk about them because that’s not what we’re here to do. We’re here to help the average, everyday triathlete learn about the sport and we’re here to help them find products that actually work and do something. So great point there Matt that we’ve honestly never really thought of saying on the air before. Matt: Yeah, you and I Andrew are constantly like on a weekly basis talking about companies that we won’t even engage with because there just is no genuine fit there. Andrew: Yeah. Matt: So, yeah. It’s great. Then one other thing I wanted to point out on this topic with sponsorships is an anecdotal example that I’m sure many people are aware of because it’s been in New York Times articles and things, but the Nike Next%. Nike’s shoes, the carbon plated shoes. They came out and you had runners who were sponsored by another company and decided to drop the sponsorship and they were making thousands of dollars or maybe even tens of thousands or more on this contract. They decided to drop it so that they could run in the Nike Next% or whatever version it was that they were running in because they were going to perform better because it was actually that big of a difference. So they were actually paying for a pair of shoes instead of making– having free pairs of shoes plus many thousands of dollars because the product was that good and that for me was a really interesting example in marketing and in the sponsorship world, but also told me that is the highest level endorsement you could possibly give. You’re giving up thousands of dollars. You’re actually paying essentially; like giving up an opportunity cost so that you could use a certain pair of shoes. So for me it was like, “Okay if I’m going to compete at a high level it obviously makes a difference if these pros are all doing that. They wouldn’t give up all that money if it wasn’t making a difference.” So an interesting example. Andrew: Yeah, that’s a great anecdote and I think it was really just this past year, here 2021 where all of a sudden other brands have finally seemed to catch up and make carbon plated technology. I’m seeing on course a lot more– you know when I travel to races and root on our TriDot athletes I’m seeing a lot more Asics Metaracers and New Balance’s carbon plated one, the RC, whatever Addidis’s is called. You’re starting to see more of those where as in years past you would just see a lot of bright Vapor Flys out there. So we actually at some point in the future plan on doing another shoe episode. Episode #3 of the podcast was dedicated to running shoes and we want to revisit it and really just kind of talk about the super shoes and race day shoes and what options are out there. What that top technology is like. So be on the lookout for that episode here one of these days because that is such an interesting way to gain an advantage on your run. So guys, let’s close down the main set with this today. Just tons of great stuff, Elizabeth, Matt from both of you just kind of peeling back the curtain a little bit on what it’s like to be a pro, race as a pro, train as a pro, things we can learn from the pros. I appreciate all of your insight. I think people will enjoy this episode. What is the best way for us just as the people of triathlon, as amateur triathletes; what is the best way for us to support and to show our love to our favorite pros? Elizabeth: So for all the love that’s given to the pros, unfortunately there’s a lot of criticism that’s also given out. You know, since they’re in the spotlight it’s easy to get excited about them, but it’s also easy to point out when they’ve made an error or something that people feel like they could have, should have done better. I mean, I’ve personally gotten some rather hurtful messages myself and I can only imagine like the critics and the comments that the top tier professionals get. So I think it’s important to remember that, you know, the pros make mistakes too. We have bad races too. So I think let’s just go back to that nice elementary school saying and maybe this is the teacher coming out in my that says, you know, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Andrew: Which that needs to apply to social media… Elizabeth: Just in general. Andrew: …just period. Right across the board. Elizabeth: I mean everybody. Andrew: Yeah, people get on social media and it’s amazing the things that people think they have the right to say and it’s like–Anyway. Matt, any thoughts here from you on the best way to support and show love to our favorite pros. Matt: Yeah, so having been on the sponsorship side of things, help them be good athletes for their sponsors. They very much appreciate that. So if you love them, you love following them, you’re appreciating the content they’re putting out, the tips, just the personal life that you love to follow, then follow their social accounts, engage with them with likes, comments, shares. They’re measured on those things by the sponsors. So also, if you do decide to buy something because of a pro triathlete’s influence then be sure that the company knows it in one way, shape, or form. So either mention it in a review on the product or service. Make sure that you use the discount code linked to the pro if they have one, or mention their name in the “How did you hear of us?” section. So those things all add up and they help. They’re small, but they add up to help the pros work well and get the sponsorship deals. Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down. Andrew: All this talk about training and racing like a pro and 100% by coincidence, Elizabeth the weekend before we recorded this episode you raced your first full distance Ironman as a professional; Ironman Chattanooga. We referenced it a little bit earlier on the podcast, but Elizabeth I think the people of TriDot would love to hear just a little bit more about your specific race there. So I saved today’s cooldown for just a few minutes worth of a race report here. So first things first. I know you love IRONMAN Chattanooga. Tell us why you made this your first long course pro race. Elizabeth: Yeah, so everything came together for this to be my first long course race as a pro. I was actually supposed to race Challenge Roth and that was going to be my main focus for this season and that was in earlier September. But six days before I was supposed to get on a plane to Germany, Chattanooga was added as a pro field. I was actually at the gym that morning and Charles had texted me and he was like, “You’re never going to guess what they added as a pro field!” So I got home and he was like, “Chattanooga’s on the list!” and I was so excited to see that Chattanooga had a pro field, but then it was also decision time. It was like, “Man, okay.” So I was supposed to go race Challenge Roth. Can I really do Challenge Roth and then travel back from Germany and do Chattanooga. I mean I could, but how much would that impact it? So talking things over with my family, with my coach, with a couple of my training partners they were all 100% on board of like, “Yeah, you’ve got to go do it.” So I’m thrilled that it got to work out that way. I really got to return to a course that I was familiar with, an area that I knew, and really have some kind of good vibes going into race day with the last time that I was here. Andrew: So you had already raced at the 70.3 distance in the pro field. I know you were itching to get that first Ironman in. You love the Ironman distance. How were you feeling approaching the race and how was your training going? Elizabeth: Yeah, I mean I was really excited to get back into racing a 140.6 event. I just really like those longer distance events. It’s a good fit for me, but in terms of my feelings approaching the race, how training was going? This was a little interesting. With the last minute switch from Roth to Chattanooga, it made the last month of training kind of rocky. It was very challenging. You know, I was just entering my taper for Challenge Roth and then all of a sudden I was back into the longest workouts. Andrew: Yeah. Elizabeth: You know, I actually wasn’t feeling that great. I wasn’t hitting a lot of the numbers and the paces that I wanted to. I was fatigued, starting to question a little bit if that was a good idea to not race in Roth and try to hang on a little bit more. But I think this is something that other athletes can learn from as well that you do the best that you can day in, day out, and that long-term consistency is really going to pay off. So even if you’re struggling… Andrew: Yeah, that’s great. Elizabeth: …and you’re coming into the race with like, “Oh my gosh! I don’t know how this is going to go.” You know, some of my last long runs going into Chattanooga were not great. There was one that, you know, I got ten miles in and just shut it down. It was like legs aren’t there, heart rate is high, I’m just not being productive in this session anymore. And while I know that was the right choice, you know, mentally it takes a toll on you too and you’re just like– Andrew: That’s a hard choice in the moment for sure. Elizabeth: Yes! Yeah, definitely. So, you know, I wouldn’t say that things were bad, but I would say that I struggled quite a bit in that last month headed into Chattanooga, but you know, thankfully it’s not just one or two workouts that make or break it. I’ve been training consistently for the season and was able to still go in, have a good taper, be rested up and ready to go for race day. Andrew: Yeah, it reminds me of tennis, right? I mean in tennis if you play a poor point, hit a bad shot, lose a point, well guess what? I mean within 15 seconds you’re starting a new point and you’ve got to give that point total focus, total attention. You can turn it around in that point and you have to have a short memory in tennis because if one bad point gets in your head it can lead to future bad points right on the back end. I mean, if one bad training session gets into your head, it can lead to future bad training sessions and you just have to put it out of your mind which you were able to do and go into race day and do the best you can with the training produced and for you that was…all the training rocky or not, it produced a hell of a race. A big PR coming across the line in sixth place in the pro field with a 9 hour 43 minute and 17 second finish time. Tell us about your race. You know, what was your plan and how did it go out there? Elizabeth: Yeah, well I mean first, thank you. It’s been exciting for me this week just kind of reflecting a little bit on the race. You know, the race it overall went well. I’m very happy. I’m happy with the finishing time. I’m very happy with the placement. It’s kind of funny though too, because even after the race Charles was like, “How do you feel?” and I’m like, “I’m happy, but unsatisfied.” And he just, you know, like kind of nods his head like, “Yeah. I know. I know.” And so, you know, it's something where this week I’m recovering, I’m relaxing, and I’m celebrating, but come next week I’m really going to take a deeper dive into the race and some of my reflections and really sit down and address some of the areas that should have gone better. So, did have my fastest swim time, but certainly an opportunity to improve there and as I talked about, the race got a little lonely because not coming out with anybody then on the bike I wasn’t quite aware of what I needed to be doing to make up some ground, but just enjoyed the bike course. I mean, I love this course. It’s just beautiful rolling hills. One interesting thing that we had was some very dense fog that morning and so it was kind of eerie starting off. I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up a little bit more and burn that off not only for better visibility, but also to warm us up a little bit more. But, yeah, just fantastic course, great volunteers, and then, I mean, the run is a challenge, but I love the challenge of the run course here and it was something that I knew that if I could come off the bike feeling good I should be able to kind of move up a little bit in terms of placements just with a strong run. The day ended up being a little bit warmer than anticipated and so I definitely faded some on the run, but didn’t fade as much as some other competitors so was able to just try to hang on… Andrew: Yep. Elizabeth: …and stay steady and keep moving forward, dig down a little bit to get it done. Andrew: Well that’s it for today folks. I want to thank Matt Bach and Elizabeth James for helping us learn from the pros today. Shout out to Precision Hydration for partnering with us on today’s episode and head to PrecisionHydration.com to learn how you sweat and to check out their hydration and fueling options. Use the code TriDot 10 for 10% off your order. As always, if you have any triathlon question or topics you want to hear us talk about, head to TriDot.com/podcast and let us know what you’re thinking. We’ll do it all again soon. Until then, Happy Training Outro: Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to tridot.com and start your free trial today! TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.
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