TriDot Podcast .182
New Beginnings: Tim & Rinny Fitness
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! As usual, I am the third-fittest person on the show today. The gap, though, between myself and our guests today is larger than usual. I am thrilled to have the legendary tri power couple of Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae here with us. Mirinda is originally from Australia, Tim is from Pennsylvania, and they now reside in Boulder, Colorado with Izzy and Finn rounding out the family of four. Simply put, Rinny is one of the greatest triathletes of all time, with over 50 wins at major events, a 70.3 World Championship title, three IRONMAN World Championship titles, and seven podium finishes in Kona in the span of a decade. Tim is one of the most successful American long-course triathletes. He won the ITU Long-Distance World Championship in 2009. He’s a two-time IRONMAN Champion, a nine-time IRONMAN 70.3 Champion, and a six-time Armed Forces National Champion. He has stood on the podium in Kona multiple times, and most importantly, he has been on the TriDot podcast once before, back on Episode .60. Tim, welcome back to the show! Rinny, welcome TO the show for the very first time! How are you guys?
Mirinda Carfrae: We’re doing so good, Andrew, thanks for having us!
Andrew: I’m Andrew the Average Triathlete, Voice of the People and Captain of the Middle of the Pack. As always, we’ll roll through our warmup question, settle in for our main set conversation, and then wind things down with our cooldown.
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Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving.
Andrew: For our warmup question this week, I am one hundred percent stealing this one from TriDot Ambassador Nadav from California. He posted to the TriDot group asking this: What is one unexpected song or track on your workout playlist? I thought this was a very clever question, so I decided to steal it and throw it out to you, our podcast audience. Now for him, the answer was the Pokémon theme song. That’s probably not on most people’s workout lists, but it’s on his. There were some other really great answers to his post as well. Karen said, “My playlist consists of Disney songs and songs from Mama Mia.” Desiree said, “Snoop Dogg,” but it’s probably not the Snoop Dog song you would imagine. She is going with Snoop Dogg’s “Affirmation Song for Kids”. I didn’t know he had one of those, I’ve got to go look it up and see what that’s all about, but that’s on her workout playlist. Shalyse Murphy from New Zealand said, “Baby Shark. My kids got onto my phone and managed to sneak this song onto my playlist. Whenever it comes on it makes me smile.” Great post there from her. Last one I’ll say here, athlete Rob Green said, the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, but the metal version, not the orchestra version. Very, very fun songs from our TriDot audience, now I’m curious to hear from our guests today, Tim and Rinny. Rinny, I guess I’ll throw this over to you first. What is one unexpected song on your workout playlist?
Rinny: I end up just listening to podcasts, to be honest.
Andrew: Do you? Okay!
Rinny: Yeah, I used to listen to playlists, but lately I don’t have time to listen to anything or watch TV, so we end up just watching TV and not really listening to music when we’re in the pain cave.
Timothy O’Donnell: That wasn’t a good answer at all!
Rinny: Terrible answer. What do you have that’s unexpected?
Tim: I’ve got some crazy 80’s songs on there, probably like “Karma Chameleon” or some John Denver, “Country Roads”, you’ll find that on there too.
Andrew: I’m a big fan of the song “Country Roads”, it’s a nice chill tune. I’m surprised that that is on a workout playlist. Good answer Tim, much better than Rinny, but we won’t hold that against you Rinny.
Tim: One of Finn’s favorite songs too, by the way.
Andrew: This answer for me, actually I’m sure the two of you with your kiddos are familiar with the Disney film Frozen. You’ve heard that one before a few times. I have a version of Let it Go on my workout playlist. It’s not the version from the film, I have a lot of punk rock on my playlist, so the band Newfound Glory did a cover of Let it Go, and it rolls pretty hard, it’s a pretty good one on my workout playlist. That’s this answer for me. How many times have you watched that movie with Finn and Izzy?
Tim: I don’t think Finn has seen it. Izzy loved it when she was younger. She was a huge Frozen girl.
Rinny: Yeah, and when Frozen 2 came out, she was like two years old maybe, and she sat in the cinema and watched the whole thing. She was locked in.
Andrew: Wow. The power of cinema. Well guys, we’re going to throw this question out to you, our TriDot audience. Make sure you find the post on the I AM TriDot Facebook group asking you: what is one song on your workout playlist that people would be surprised to find?
Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1…
Andrew: We have chatted about the best approaches to hydration with sports scientist Andy Blow from Precision Fuel & Hydration on Episode .101 of the podcast and many more episodes past that. We’ve learned from him that there is not a one‑size-fits-all approach to hydration, because every athlete loses a different amount of salt in their sweat. I had a sweat test with Andy and the team, and I found that I lose more than 1,200 milligrams of sodium per liter of my sweat. After taking the test I received a personalized hydration plan, and was recommended their strongest electrolyte drink, PH 1500. This is three times stronger than most sports drinks, and it has been a total game-changer for me, particularly in the Texas hot conditions that I train in. If you’ve ever struggled with hydration issues like dehydration or cramping during long, hot sessions, I highly recommend that you check out precisionfuelandhydration.com and find your nearest center for a sweat test. You can also use their Fuel and Hydration Planner to get a free personalized strategy for race day. And don’t forget, as a listener of the show you can get 10% off your first order of electrolytes by using the code TRI23 when checking out.
Separately, Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell are each IRONMAN Champions and fierce competitors. Together, they are one of the most successful and beloved tri couples to ever grace the sport. As they both write the final chapter of their legendary pro racing careers, we get to sit down and hear them reflect on what they’ve done, where they’re at, and where they’re going next. Now Tim, Rinny, I’m going to start with what I feel like is a very hard-hitting, journalistic question today. I’ve followed your work for a long time now, you guys have great content on your social media channels, particularly the Tim & Rinny Show on YouTube. I’m a big fan of the show, and I’ve noticed that it started off as the Tim & Rinny Show, and then when Izzy was born you made it the Tim & Rinny + Izzy Show. Then you had your son Finn, and Finn never got added to the title card for the Tim & Rinny + Izzy + Finn show, and I feel like my man Finn deserves to be on there! He’s getting left out! So we’re opening with this question today: when are you guys going to give Finn his due and add him to the name of your YouTube show?
Tim: Ah, second child, they never get what the first child gets. He’s got big shoes to fill, right? Izzy’s been the star of the show since she was born.
Andrew: Yeah, so true.
Tim: I think we’ll just call it the Izzy Show maybe. Also, Kenny Withrow, our camera guy, needs to edit the title for us. We don’t know how to do that.
Andrew: Tim, Rinny, I know how wildly competitive you both are. You never directly competed against each other on race day of course, but in the pain cave, or maybe just throughout the season, was there ever any sort of in‑house competitive juice between the two of you? Any notable in‑house bragging rights from your careers?
Rinny: Who says we didn’t compete on the race course? We always have wagers on the line for like, basically the gap. Yeah, there’s a standard gap between pro men and pro women, so we’ll kind of –
Tim: Oh yeah, at IRONMAN Cairns you had to drink from a shoe, remember?
Rinny: I had to drink from my own shoe, it was so gross. It was champagne at least, so that kind of killed most of the things that were maybe in my shoe. But yeah, we’re competitive in a friendly, fun way. Obviously, I’m his biggest supporter and he’s mine.
Tim: Rinny did literally beat me one year in Kona, literally ran by me.
Andrew: Literally, straight up time.
Tim: So we did actually competed against each other, I guess.
Andrew: Love to see it, love to hear it. Now, you both have done loads of interviews where you’ve been asked about your own career, your own accomplishments. Just for something a little bit different, I’m curious to hear Tim reflect on Rinny’s career, and vice versa. Tim, I’m going to start with you. When you look at Rinny’s career, what moment or accomplishments are the most notable to you, having watched it close-up first-hand?
Tim: It’s hard to look past her performances at the IRONMAN World Championship, especially from 2010 to 2016. And actually, one of the years she didn’t win was pretty amazing, the year she got second, which was 2011, to Chrissy Wellington. She ran by and I’m just like, “I’m done, I’m smoked.” And she went off and ran like a 2:52 or something, an amazing second-place performance. But just honestly, it’s the preparation that I saw for those World Championships that was awe-inspiring for me. She was just very determined and very focused, tunnel vision almost, to what she had to do. It didn’t matter if it was the best way or not, but it was her way, and it was in her mind the best way. That’s what you need to win, you’ve got to be so sure of yourself and your convictions, you just make it happen.
Andrew: Rinny, for you as you look at Tim’s career and the great things he’s accomplished, top to bottom, from start to where he’s going now, what stands out for you when you think of his career?
Rinny: I think, for me, Tim has just been meticulous in everything he does. He will leave no stone unturned. He wasn’t a good runner at all, even when I first met him he was still really learning how to run well, and he has turned in some of the fastest run splits as he’s moved along. Obviously he came from a swim background, generally swimmers struggle to run, runners struggle to swim. That’s me, I never got to swim well. But he actually figured out a way to be able to run with the best of the world, and obviously his consistency through the latter part of his career – 2019 was second place in Kona to Jan Frodeno, second in the world to the GOAT, fastest American ever in Kona. Just incredible, and it’s because of his work ethic, his belief obviously. I think that goes without saying, you have to one hundred percent believe in what you’re doing, then just working on every single weakness and not letting it go until it’s perfected. That’s what I admire with his preparation.
Andrew: We are not breaking any news today, but Rinny by now your retirement announcement has made the rounds, and most of the triathlon world I think is aware that you’re hanging up the racing shoes for good. What made this the right time to make that decision?
Rinny: I think it’s been coming. In 2020 I was actually planning to do Kona, and then Tim and I were going to try for a second child. Then obviously Covid came and everything got canceled, so our plans to try for our second got moved up. I thought, “That’s fine, we’ll have another baby and then I’ll bounce back in and do Kona whenever it comes back, 2021 or 2022.” Then Finn arrived, and my motivation just wasn’t there as much anymore. I just wanted to be present. Having Isabelle already, and she’s 3½, how quickly those young first years went, I just wanted to be present and in the moment. Then I was like, “Well, let’s just move down the road in triathlon.” I got my motivation back and wanted to race, and raced obviously through until last year. But then last year, again I’m like, “I don’t have the capacity in me that I had before.” Triathlon is not everything to me, and it has to be everything to you to win on the biggest stage, which is obviously what drove me to try and be the best athlete in the world, to try to be the best I could ever be. That drive wasn’t there anymore. So when that wasn’t there, I was kind of just going through the motions, and found myself wanting more and more to spend more time with the kids and be more present with the children. If you’re training for IRONMAN, you’re really a shell of a human outside of all the training you’re doing, at our level anyway, to race the best in the world. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore at the end of the day. It was just evident. I mean, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy racing last year, I really did. I had some really fun races, really enjoyed getting out there, but I know what it takes and what I have to do to keep that sort of performance up, or go better, which is really as I said what drives me in the first place, and I’m just not willing to do that anymore, not willing to sacrifice any of my mommy time.
Tim: Yeah, it’s a hard decision, when you get faced with having to go out for a six‑hour ride and your kids just want to hang out with you.
Rinny: Yeah, it’s like every single day I’d get up to go training, “Mommy, don’t go! Mommy, no!” They’re crying, and you’re like, “I don’t want to go. I want to stay.” After Isabelle, with one, I still had the motivation, I still felt that I could achieve better than I had before. But once I had Finn, it sort of took the wind out my sails in a good way, it just softened me a little bit, and I felt like I lost my killer instinct, and just want to spend time with the littles.
Andrew: It’s such an interesting concept, and I would definitely want to have one or both of you on the show again, just to unpack being a triathlete and being a parent a little bit more. We do have an episode or two out there about balancing your life with triathlon training, and TriDot is certainly something that is designed to help you do that. But to hear it from the top level, to know that where you were in your career, you were facing that divide of, “Oh man, I need to go train, I want to go train, but I want to be a mom.” I think a lot of your middle-of-the-pack, Average Joe triathletes are facing that every single day in their training plan. We’ll definitely have to circle back and unpack a little bit more on that. I want to talk a little bit more about retirement in the pro field. It’s an interesting concept across all sports really, because there’s no one right way to end a triathlon career, especially a championship-caliber career. What has it been like for both of you, to look at the endgame of your life, to write the final chapters and figure out when is that right moment to call it? Rinny, you’ve announced your retirement. Tim, you’re still racing, but you’re getting there. Is this something that fellow pros talk to each other about? What is that like, sitting in your shoes?
Tim: Death, taxes, and retiring from professional sport, they’re all inevitable. You know, it’s funny, Rinny and I were talking about this the other day, it seems like a lot of the men just don’t make announcements. They just kind of fade away –
Rinny: They just fade into the distance.
Tim: – and the women are very intentional, they have that cathartic moment and they have some closure. The men are like, “You know what, I’m not going to retire. If I want to I can probably hop in and win a race again in a couple years or whatever.” They want to almost leave that door open for their ego maybe, I don’t know. It’s been interesting to see the difference in some ways.
Rinny: Yeah, I don’t know that there’s a right way to do it. I certainly feel really happy with my decision, to close that book. But yeah, there are athletes out there like Crowie [Craig Alexander] for example, he kind of never really retired, but he is retired. He kept racing, and raced well, through his mid‑40s. And you can do that. Meredith Kessler, another great example. She’s a few years older than me, mid‑40’s I would guess, and coming back after a second child wants to win an IRONMAN. That’s fantastic, if you have the drive and the support. If that’s something that you deep-down want to achieve, then go ahead and do it. But I think for me, I’ve had such a fairy-tale career, I just look back like, “This was amazing”. I could keep racing, but I value time with my kids more, and it couldn’t be better than it already has been. I feel like, for me, it feels really good to be done.
Tim: It can also be very dependent on the athlete’s situation, on why they have to retire. If you’re injured, or injury-prone throughout your career, and have milestones that you never achieved that you still think you’re able to achieve and now for some reason can’t, it’s probably a lot harder. It’s been awesome watching Rinny, because we’ve seen a lot of our friends retire from the sport, and it’s often very challenging. But Rinny’s taken it in such stride, and with joy. That’s because I think, number one, we’ve never defined ourselves completely by just our results, and I think that’s really important. We find there is so much more to life than what place you finished at a triathlon race, that’s for sure. I also see really similar transition experiences from the men and women in the military. It’s a hard transition. You do something for 20 years or a big part of your life, and then you don’t necessarily have an easy way to transition to something else. It can be hard, but like I said, Rinny has been amazing at it, and we’re both also here for each other if we need to as transitions happen, which is important.
Rinny: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: On the day of your announcement, the triathlon world definitely honored you all over social media. On Instagram in particular, Rinny, I noticed you were sharing tons of great Instagram posts and stories with different people reflecting on the impact that your career had on them. What emotions did you feel, seeing all those great tributes to your career?
Rinny: Well initially, in our YouTube video we shared a couple of nice messages from people throughout my career, like from my first wetsuit and shoe sponsor in Zoot, Brian Enge, to Cannondale, Bill Riddell, and the more long-term sponsors. It was just really nice to hear and see those faces. Also Jim Felt – Papa Jim, I love that guy – he was my sponsor for a long time. Then obviously a lot of fellow professional athletes reached out. I think initially when I saw it with the YouTube show, I was fine, but then when I actually announced and then watched the people giving me lovely messages, that made me well up a little bit. You kind of forget all the people you’ve made friends with, or raced against. Like competitors, I had Daniela Ryf reaching out and thanking me for helping her. I’m like, “I don’t know if you needed me, you’re a phenomenal athlete.” But you know, it’s just nice to hear from the other athletes, competitors as well. On the race field, some of them I wasn’t really friends with, we never really got close because we were always competitors and just didn’t have that relationship. But after sport, it’s kind of nice to hear from people and share war stories. I’m sure we’ll be sharing them for many years to come.
Andrew: For sure, and Tim’s tribute to your career, that was making the rounds of social media, was definitely shared internally on the TriDot staff chats. People really appreciated what Tim had to say about you and your career, just lovely, lovely stuff. Everybody loves the two of you. Now, I do want to take a moment today in this episode and just say a quick thanks to the both of you. We were supposed to do this interview on March 9, 2023, but my wife and I ended up in the hospital that week, and our beautiful baby daughter was born on March 9. The moment she was born was actually one hour and nine minutes before our interview was supposed to begin, so obviously we had to reschedule, and you both were so gracious about it. I am the only guy that I know who was reading an email from three-time IRONMAN World Champion Mirinda Carfrae, wishing his family well as he was heading into the C‑section room at the hospital. I don’t know too many people that can say that on the day their child was born. So I know your children and your family are very, very important to you both. How has having Izzy and Finn around impacted the later stages of your careers?
Tim: Rewind back to 2017 when we had Izzy, and I looked back at the following race season in 2018, I think it really just invigorated both of us for the sport and the love of the sport. We had been grinding for a long time, and your priorities change over the years. When you’re young, you’re just trying to make a name, and then you’re trying to win races, and then you’re trying to get paid, and then life happens and you have a mortgage, and diapers, and your priorities shift. Then we had Isabelle, and it was like, “This is awesome, we get to share this together as a family. We get to go on the road, we get to set an example for our little child in having that focus in life and goals.” 2018 was one of my favorite race seasons.
Rinny: We traveled so much. We were in South America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Hawaii, Australia twice, Poland –
Andrew: Everywhere! Yeah!
Rinny: – with an almost-one-year-old. Yeah, she came with us everywhere we went. But for me, I think by 2017 I was tired mentally. We were really ready for a family, actually. I think I was ready in 2015, and then I got knocked off my bike a couple days before Kona, then I didn’t finish the race and I’m like, “Well, I’m not gonna –
Andrew: That can’t be the last one, yeah!
Tim: That was a conversation we had, actually.
Rinny: We actually had that. I was like, “No, I’m going to push forward and have a great result in Kona.” Then in 2016 I got second to Daniela, then we basically got pregnant two months later, and Isabelle was born in August. So having that time off in that downtime to be like, “Okay, 2.0!” I just had more energy, and I had the tiniest little cheerleader in the world on the finish line waiting for me to get done, and there’s no better motivation than that in the world. That was pretty amazing. And 2019, obviously, we both raced very well. I was on track to go really well in Kona, and then unfortunately broke my arm five weeks before the race, but Tim got second in the world. Yeah, it was like a new start for us almost.
Tim: It was like a whole new career.
Rinny: Yeah, it was like all the dynamics, everything changes, motivation is as strong as ever. Before, when we were racing for ourselves, we had kind of made it in the sport by 2016. I’d already won three times, Tim on the podium, and then having Isabelle, “Okay, now we have a child, and we have all the motivation for being a good role model and showing her what we can do.” Yeah, it was fantastic.
Tim: And then Finn came along in 2020, and it’s been chaos ever since.
Andrew: Just following the family on Instagram, it seems like he adds the life to the party for sure.
Tim: He is, he’s an amazing little guy. He’s a little terror sometimes, in a good way. But yeah, actually the last year was definitely a challenge with two kids and both of us racing. For me, training this year right now, the edge has been reduced a little bit in terms of –
Rinny: Not to mention he had a heart attack eight weeks after Finn was born.
Tim: Oh yeah, skipped through that.
Andrew: That did happen!
Rinny: Yeah, a lot of crazy stuff in 2021. But I feel like everything’s kind of returning to homeostasis for Tim, for his racing. Yeah, we’re moving on to next chapters.
Tim: 2023 for me is just a chance to really enjoy racing again, and almost do it for myself. Last year was hard with the comeback from the heart attack and everything. It was just mentally and emotionally draining, and just getting to the finish line in Kona was like closing that chapter. It’s like, “Okay, I did it, I got back, let’s put that behind us.” When I made a decision to keep racing for 2023 it was like, “I’m going to keep racing because I think I have more performance in me, and I want to do what I’m made of and enjoy it.”
Andrew: Well, we will be rooting for you, that’s for sure. Earlier in the show I asked both of you what you thought the biggest accomplishment was when you look at each other’s careers. For me as a fan, Rinny the way you were able to come back from giving birth to Izzy and place fifth in Kona, and Tim the way you’ve been able to come back from the heart attack and get back to racing at a competitive level, all while balancing family, to me that’s just the biggest accomplishment and the biggest deal, when I look at the two of you as an inspiration. Kudos to both of you on that. Now, as we slide into talking about your next chapter, what’s next for Tim and Rinny, I would try to be cute and ask a clever question that prompts you to reveal to us what’s in store next for Tim and Rinny. But in this case, it’s kind of included in our episode title. Your next chapter, your new beginning, is the launch of “Tim & Rinny Fitness”. What is the vision here, what do you hope to deliver for Tim and Rinny athletes?
Rinny: We really hope to just build a community of like-minded people who use triathlon as a vehicle to just be healthier. I feel like everybody just wants to feel good, and I think in the age‑group community, people have lives, they have jobs, they have family, they have children. It’s not all about triathlon, and we love that because our lives aren’t all about triathlon either. After having a 20‑plus-year career in the sport, we’re excited to share our knowledge with the general triathlon public and try and help people on the way to their goals and dreams.
Tim: Yeah, and do so with an occasional glass of red wine.
Andrew: You can have your wine and still do your training, and still be a successful triathlete, that’s for sure. Obviously at TriDot, we’re very excited for Tim & Rinny Fitness to be powered by TriDot. As you were planning this next chapter in coaching, what led you to choose TriDot, and how are you leveraging our technology into your coaching?
Tim: Well, we knew we wanted to build our community, get into coaching, and have it be a positive part of triathlon. It’s a sport we love, and we still want to be part of it, and we needed to find the right partner to do that. We really took it seriously trying to find the right company to align with, and when we started talking with the team at TriDot, and Jeff [Booher], we really realized our goals were quite aligned. A healthy approach to triathlon, balance, training, life.
Rinny: Really, the great thing about TriDot obviously is the artificial intelligence and the algorithm that makes everything so specific and so targeted. There’s not any rubbish training or rubbish miles.
Andrew: Yeah, because who has time for that?
Rinny: You don’t have to be doing crazy, crazy miles, even training 25 to 30 hours a week. Obviously there’s times that you need to be on the bike for extended periods of times, and running longer distances, but it’s not every single week, and I just love that it’s so catered to every single athlete. You put in all your biometric data, we track your power and heart rate, everything is so specific. I just think that’s the key to getting the best performance out of the athlete.
Tim: So many athletes – professionals and age‑groupers – are overtrained, and they go into their race, particularly full IRONMANs, and they have lackluster performances. Because when the gun goes off you have to be ready to dig, you have to be focused for the entirety of the long-course race, and that gets really hard when you’ve gone to the well too many times in training, or when you’ve just overdone it with your work, life, and training balance. We say this all the time, fitness doesn’t equal performance. It's not about being as fit as possible to perform. It’s about doing the right training, that’s why we brought in TriDot. You can find the right training and time balance, not spending 25 hours a week training when you’re working a full-time job and you’ve got a couple kids, or whatever your situation is. Then bringing in all the other aspects of racing, the little intangibles that we hope to bring to our community, that’s how you perform.
Rinny: Yeah, I think having a good race in an IRONMAN or even a 70.3, there’s a lot of pieces of the puzzle that have to fit perfectly to have that great race. It’s not just all about the training, it’s just all about being fit on race day as Tim mentions. There’s nutrition, there’s the mental game. You need to be mentally ready. Obviously gear selection and that, but having the TriDot platform allows us to dig into those things. I think a lot of coaches are just stuck in the numbers, stuck in the programs, and it’s impossible if you’re a professional coach with 15 to 20 athletes to be able to do all that and then all the ancillary bits and pieces. It allows us to have time to do that.
Tim: I always go back to my race in Kona in 2019. I broke my foot seven or eight weeks out from the race, so I couldn’t run. I was running on an AlterG for a little bit, but it wasn’t until a week out from the race that I ran on the ground with unassisted weight bearing for the first time. But not only did I have my best performance, I had my fastest run ever in Hawaii. It just comes down to, “Oh man, you really can overtrain.” It really is a thing. You think you’re super fit, but if you’re not fresh on race day, it doesn’t matter.
Rinny: Yeah, even professionals.
Andrew: We always preach that. If you just train with TriDot, that is great. If you can have TriDot plus a coach, that is the perfect scenario. What’s really cool for our TriDot athletes is, that coach can be Mirinda Carfrae, and soon enough probably Tim O’Donnell as well. We’re excited to have you guys in the family. But before we call it a day, for our athletes listening who are maybe interested in joining the Tim & Rinny Fitness family, how can they find more information, and how can they get connected to you?
Tim: We just want to let you know, go to timandrinny.com, that’s where you can find more information. We have several different packages we’re offering. That’s one thing we’re really excited about, that with the TriDot platform we can offer coaching and community options for a whole different range of prices to make it more accessible to everybody. That’s what we want, we want to build a really big group of athletes that just love the sport, love life, love their family, and want to have a good time.
Andrew: I know the announcement has gone out that you’re coaching, and you’re already starting to hear from athletes that are interested, but I do want to point out, Rinny, that your very first TriDot coached athlete is a member of the TriDot staff, he’s our very own Billy Borne from Colleyville, Texas. When Billy found out, “Man, I have the opportunity to be coached by Rinny,” he immediately jumped into that. I know he’s enjoying working with you, talking with you, training under your guidance and tutelage. Billy actually just had his very first sprint triathlon of the season under your guidance and coaching. So Rinny, I’m curious to hear how is my man Billy doing in his training?
Rinny: Billy’s been doing great, it’s really been fun to oversee his plan and coach him a little bit. He’s really a pretty good athlete actually, a very strong athlete. The cool thing with Billy is that he’s brand-new to triathlon, so his improvements are massive. Every time we do an assessment, there’s big jumps. So yeah, he just did a sprint race on the weekend. He had fun with it, and that was my main goal for him, to have a good time. It might be his second triathlon ever, and he was in transition, got his phone out, and was taking pictures of friends. So maybe not the best time he could have achieved, but I could care less, just as long as he was having a good time. Obviously everybody’s goal is different. Billy’s going to be way different to an athlete that’s getting ready for Kona, or an athlete that’s maybe doing 70.3 Worlds or something like that. But yeah, I really enjoyed guiding him on that journey.
Andrew: I’m glad you point out that he is a newer triathlete. I know you’re enjoying working with him as you just said, and he’s enjoying working with you. I think for your Average Joe triathlete – your day‑to-day triathlete at home, plugging away, doing your training – when you hear that through TriDot you have the opportunity to be coached by Mark Allen, Mirinda Carfrae, Tim O’Donnell, there’s this thing in your head that, “Oh man, I am not good enough, strong enough, fast enough to be merit being coached by these all‑time greats.” But I know just from talking to you guys that that doesn’t seem to be true. You seem to be very open to coaching athletes of all sorts of abilities and backgrounds and fitness levels. So for our audience listening today who is like, “Man, do I want to be coached by Rinny? That would be super dope!” For a Tim & Rinny Fitness athlete, what are you two looking for?
Rinny: We hope to be able to cater to all different levels. I don’t think we’re really focused on the professional range, we’re more into amateurs –
Rinny: – yeah, lifestyle athletes who, as I said, use triathlon as a vehicle to be healthy. They have families, children, jobs, they want to feel good and enjoy the multisport community. So from the newbie beginner, to – I spoke to an athlete yesterday who’s been racing 25 years and just qualified for Kona, and it’ll actually be her 25th IRONMAN race. But she’s never I think properly been coached, so it’ll be really fun to see how much I can help her along. She’s obviously been in the sport for a long time, but I think I can really help her have a great experience in Kona. That’s all she wants, she wants to feel good, have a great race, and that’s really the people we’re hoping to work with.
Tim: And it’s exciting, because with TriDot we’ve been able to offer a range of packages for people to come into our world, ranging from, “I want Rinny, I want everything she’s got,” to just, “Hey, I just want to be a part of the community, and I want an awesome training plan that’s tailored to me and my races.” That’s our introductory level, we call it “Tim & Rinny’s World”, and I think it’s really unique, because it does offer a tailored training program, and access to community for a really reasonable price. I think that’s hard to find these days.
Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down.
Vanessa Ronksley: It’s cooldown time everyone, and I’m Vanessa, your Average Triathlete with Elite-Level Enthusiasm! Our tip today is from a top‑notch person who grew up on a cherry ranch in California, and is over-the-top inspirational. Alex is the President and CEO of Hamlow Servant Leadership, which provides healthcare companies with coaching, systems, and development plans. He is also President and CEO of the Candi Hamlow Memorial Foundation, which launched in 2022 after his wife’s passing from cancer. On the triathlon side of things, Alex has been involved in the sport for 37 years, and he has completed over a 150 triathlons, and more than 20 ultramarathons. He has sat on the top of the 70.3 age‑group podium, he is a seven-times USAT National Championship Age Group Qualifier, a 70.3 Age Group Qualifier, 30‑plus 70.3 finisher, three-time 140.6 finisher, and many ultramarathon top‑three age‑group finishes. Whoa, that was a lot! Alex has been a triathlon coach since 2011, and started coaching with TriDot in 2022. Alex likes working with slow or fast intermediate and experienced athletes, experienced single-sport cyclists, and runners looking to get into triathlon. And I can only imagine, with all his racing and coaching experience, he knows a thing or two about nutrition and hydration for endurance sports. Welcome to the cooldown, Alex!
Alex Hamlow: Hey Vanessa! Thanks for having me, I’m excited to be here!
Vanessa: Awesome! Well, something that most people don’t know about you is that you are a licensed minister or pastor, and you have officiated your father-in-law’s funeral, and also three of your nieces’ and nephew’s marriages. To me, this seems like you are extremely devoted to your family, and have many life experiences that have led you to this place today.
Alex: Yeah, that’s very true. Getting to be a licensed minister was not an objective of mine. In fact, I had been involved in supporting others and serving others in my community, both in charity and in church, etcetera. But when my oldest nephew was looking to get married, he was not affiliated with a particular church and he was asking, “What should I do?” Although I’d been serving, it inspired me to actually become licensed as a pastor, strictly because I wanted to be able to honor and marry them. That’s led to now marrying two other nieces, and although funerals are never a great thing, it was truly a privilege to be able to officiate at my father-in-law’s funeral when he passed. It’s been a wonderful thing, and I’ve actually had requests to minister at weddings of my nieces’ and nephew’s friends, so more to come I’m sure.
Vanessa: That just gives me shivers, because it’s so amazing. You must do such a wonderful job at all of those events, and I’m sure your entire family appreciates that very much. So what tip do you have for us today?
Alex: This tip is regarding nutrition, specifically race day nutrition and the part that many people forget about, which is transitions. Race-day nutrition is extremely important to practice of course, especially the old adage that you don’t ever want to try something brand-new on race day. Like the day before at the expo and they have some new product everybody says is the best in the world and you’ve never tried it. Not a good idea to bring that into your race plan. You need to be able to have practiced the nutrition you’re going to use on race day, and very importantly you need to think about it in terms of each segment of the race, not just generally. Many people plan, “This is the products I’m going to use,” or “I’m going to use certain on‑course nutrition, etc.” But what they don’t think about is the great opportunity to actually use transition to ingest nutrition or grab special things that you might need. Having it in your transition plan is a huge bonus to either get a few extra calories, catch up for something you might be a little bit behind on or need to make up on, because of something that might have occurred and went sideways on your bike, for example. Most people don’t plan for this. Many times on race-day execution planning, they will go out and do – as you know from TriDot, you’ll have race rehearsals that include a bike and then an off‑the-bike run – people will practice that, but they won’t necessarily practice the idea of, “I’m going to do my nutrition on the bike like race day.” Then they think about, “Okay, I’ll do the run one,” but what are you going to in transition? What are you going to take in transition to help support your run and actually close out your bike? Do you have a plan for anything specific that you might want to put in the transition area just in case you lose something on the bike? I personally coached athletes, and been myself in a situation where I lost a bit of nutrition on the bike for whatever reason. I’ve had a bottle blow out of my cage and not realized it, and here I am toward the end of the bike without what I need, and it was vital for my plan. How am I going to deal with that? Well, in transition, you put a bit of nutrition in to make up for whatever might be necessary for you as you get off the bike, before you get onto the run. Also, make sure you have what you need for the run separated in your transition, so that you can actually grab it quickly, it’s integrated for what you need going forward. Just a simple tip, but it’s something that’s super valuable. Last thing on this is that if you have a salt-water swim, it’s really good to make sure you have a bit of extra water and something to clear your palate if you swallow saltwater in the swim. Don’t neglect thinking about that as well, just have something you know is going to be palatable to clean out your palate if happen to swallow a bunch of saltwater in a saltwater swim. So in Transition 1 you want to have something to clean that up, a little extra water, and in Transition 2 you want to have extra nutrition that you might have missed on the end of the bike, and also make sure you have what you need for the run separated so you are ready to go. Take those things out of your mind, get them planned in advance, and practice them.
Vanessa: That is a phenomenal set of tips that you gave there. You gave more than one, which I thank you greatly from the bottom of my heart. I especially appreciate the saltwater taste in your mouth, because I’ve been having a lot more experience swimming in the ocean over here, and that is definitely a taste that you might not want to have. Some people really like it, but other people don’t like that feeling, so having some water is a great idea. The other thing I think is really fabulous is planning for the event that you might lose your nutrition on the bike for whatever reason, because that is definitely a story that we’ve all heard time and time again. That’s a wonderful way to mitigate the potential loss of your nutrition.
Alex: Absolutely, yeah, and it’s something most people don’t think about, and then it happens to them and they go, “Oh, I wish I would’ve.” Well, plan for it every time, and you never have to worry.
Vanessa: Yeah, that’s awesome, and to minimize the amount of stress you’re going to put on yourself. Knowing that you have this backup plan is going to reduce your anxiety and stress when you’re transitioning from one sport to another. That’s great, thank you so much for joining us. Those were great tips, and it’s great to have you on the show!
Alex: Thanks Vanessa, I really appreciate it, I look forward to speaking with you soon!
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