May 22, 2023

Performance Testing for Triathletes

There are a number of lab-style performance tests that can give you insight into different aspects of your body and/or current fitness. Physiological testing includes VO2 max measurement, blood lactate testing, metabolic panels, and more. So what testing is worth your dollar? Will you benefit from knowing your numbers? And what can you do with the results? TriDot Coaches Jeff Raines and Chris Navin answer all of this and more! Listen to this week’s episode to find out if you would benefit from performance testing.

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TriDot Podcast .191 Performance Testing For Triathletes 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! We’ve got a great topic today. There are all sorts of locations that offer performance testing for triathletes. I’ll be asking two TriDot coaches if performance testing is worth our time and money. We’ve got a new coach on the show for this one. New to the show that is, definitely not new to triathlon coaching. It’s TriDot coach Chris Navin, from Chicago, Illinois. Chris has raced over 100 triathlons and 250 endurance races. He is a Kona finisher, a more than 38-time marathoner, he’s got over 20 Ironman finishes to his credit, ranking as high as 9th in the U.S. and 33rd in the world in his Ironman age-group rankings. Chris is a Level 2 USA Triathlon Certified Coach, and Head Endurance Coach of Four Star Endurance and a Team to End AIDS. Chris, welcome to the show! Chris Navin: Hey gang! It’s an honor to finally be on the show! Andrew: Also with us is Coach Jeff Raines. Jeff is a USA Triathlon Level 2, IRONMAN U certified coach, and TriDot Master Coach, who has a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, and was a D-1 collegiate runner. He has over sixty IRONMAN event finishes to his credit, and has coached hundreds of athletes to the IRONMAN finish line. Jeff has been training and coaching with TriDot since 2015. Hey there, Jeff! Jeff Raines: What’s up Andrew! How’s daddy life? Andrew: It’s going! 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 topic, and then wind things down with Vanessa taking over for the cooldown. Lots of good stuff, let’s get to it! Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew: There is literally an endless supply of podcasts out there in the wild. As the medium continues to grow, the joke amongst podcasters is, “Who DOESN’T have a podcast these days?” Personally, I love it. Go ahead, start a podcast, podcasting is fun! But our warmup question for today – Chris, Jeff, what is your favorite non-endurance sports-related podcast to listen to? Coach Chris? Chris: It’s a tough one, because most of the podcasts I listen to are endurance sports-related. But there’s actually a ton of them. One of my hobbies living here in Chicago is architecture, so I listen to different vlogs and blogs about architecture. I live right downtown, so that’s a big hobby of mine, like the B1M Vlog, that’s one of my favorites. Andrew: Good! See, we’re already getting a peek into your personal life, just by asking you a warmup question. Good to know that about you, and that makes sense. When I was scouting out your website, researching you for this episode, you’ve got a lot of Chicago imagery built into your website. You’re obviously proud of your roots there. TriDot has a great presence in Chicago, and actually there is a Chicago Facebook group for TriDot specifically, isn’t that right Chris? Chris: Yeah, I AM TriDot Chicago. Andrew: Yeah, so if you’re from the Chicago area and you’re listening to this, make sure you’re a part of the Chicago Metroplex area I AM TriDot Facebook group. Coach Jeff Raines, what is a non-endurance sports-related podcast that you enjoy listening to? Jeff: You know, I really enjoy the Bible Project. Man, they do a great job of providing great content, breaking down the Bible and making it fun, and they also have some video aspects to it as well for YouTube, and they just do a great job. I love it, it’s very entertaining, and that’s probably the most listened-to one outside of training and running-type of podcasts. Andrew: Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of their material on YouTube and on social media. I was unaware that they had a podcast, so that’s very cool to know. I’ll have to check that out. Jeff, as a family man with the kids, is that a resource you use with your kiddos to share some of those stories with them? Jeff: Yeah, they do a great job of breaking it down for adults to really understand some of the deep stuff. That, in turn, absolutely makes it all the better and easier as a parent to relay that down to the kiddo elementary level. Andrew: I will give a shout out, there’s several I listen to depending on the time of year. Ironically, ever since starting a podcast, I probably listen to less podcasts now than I did before having my own podcast. By the time you script a podcast, record a podcast, publish podcasts, you lose some of your personal podcast listening time. But I still have a few that I make sure I get to throughout my month, week, or year. My all-time favorite one, my personal way to stay in touch with my best friends from college, is we have a fantasy football league. Every time the NFL kicks back up, that’s the only league I do now. I’ve kind of moved on from the whole fantasy sports thing except for this one league, since it’s my way to stay in touch with my college friends. Just to make sure I’m competitive and know what I’m talking about, and that I’m consistently doing a good job in that league and not finishing last place, I have a podcast I listen to called the Fantasy Footballers. They’re just three guys, they’re very entertaining, and they just share their thoughts and insights into prepping your fantasy team for every single week, talking through which players might play really well this week based on matchups and this and that, and all that fantasy nerd-dom. Jeff: It’s a cheat sheet! You’re just getting cheats! Andrew: Yeah, honestly! Instead of doing a ton of research myself, I just listen to them. They know what they’re talking about, and then I just learn what I can learn and set my lineup, and they go dominate on Sunday. We’re curious to hear, from you our listener, what is your favorite non-endurance sports-related podcast? I pitch it that way because obviously the TriDot podcast is your favorite endurance sports-related podcast.  If it’s not, just lie to me and tell me that it is. But I’m going to throw a post out to the I AM TriDot Facebook group, asking you, from all the podcasts out there NOT endurance sports-related, what is one that you just love firing up whenever they drop an episode? Let us know in the comments on the I AM TriDot Facebook group. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… Andrew: We are thrilled to have Sailfish as the swim partner of TriDot Training. Sailfish was founded in 2007 by Jan Sibbersen, who was on the national German team, and is the fastest swimmer to ever hit the waters of Ironman. The Sailfish mission is to create premium triathlon and open water swim products, and with the Kona course record holder personally testing everything they make, you know you are getting something special when you order from Sailfish. Sailfish certainly offers swim skins, tri suits, and swim accessories, but the core of the Sailfish product line is their award-winning wetsuits, known for their outstanding flexibility, balance, buoyancy, and distinguished gliding properties in the water. Sailfish wetsuits are truly made to make you faster. That certainly has been the case for me. I’ve swum in many different brands of wetsuits over the years, and my Sailfish is the very first one that I put on, got into the water, and clocked swim splits I had no business hitting on my own. For me, it was love at first stroke. With several models and price points, there for sure will be a Sailfish wetsuit that is right for you. So head to sailfish.com to check out all the neoprene goodness, and use code SAILFISHSFC20 at checkout for 20% off your new wetsuit. There are a number of lab-style performance tests that can give a triathlete insight into different aspects of their body or their performance. Things like VO2max testing, blood lactate testing, VO2 calorie expenditure testing, and more! What is helpful, who should be doing these, where should you be getting these things done, and what do we do with the results once we get these tests? All that and more with Coach Chris and Coach Jeff. Now Chris, it’s your very first time on the show, so before I ask you about the science of performance testing, I want to ask you about you, the triathlete and the coach.  From Kona, to representing Team USA, to Zwift racing, you have loads of tri experience. From all of that, all your time on course, what is maybe your favorite memory or triathlon story to tell? Chris: That’s a tough one, because I have a lot of races I’ve done. Kona is definitely up there. I call it one of my top five favorite experiences ever. Andrew: Sure, it’s gotta be. Chris: Alcatraz was also one of my favorite ones, and Ironman New York City, when they had a one-time-only event in New York, where you swam in the Hudson. But sometimes I just like to share my first triathlon experience. Because I’m not a top athlete, I started as a back-of-the-packer. I did my first triathlon on a mountain bike, and could barely swim, so I was aqua-jogging and backstroking the swim just to get through. But since getting into metabolic testing and whatnot, obviously I’ve focused more on the performance side.  So one of my more recent favorite memories I like to share sometimes, simply because I used some metabolic testing data for it, is I tried to create my own challenge. At the Chicago Triathlon they have what’s called the Triple Challenge, where you do all three events in one weekend.  I came up with my own Quintuple Challenge, where by pacing every race perfectly, I figured out a way to do the super-sprint race on Saturday fast enough to line back up and get to join the last wave, which is on a Divvy Bikeshare – you got your bike provided by the local city bikeshare, so you don’t have to bring a second bike – so I would squeeze out two super-sprints quickly enough within the time span of the one race. Then on Sunday where they have the big race, a sprint and Olympic distance, I did the Olympic fast enough, and I had an entry with our charity team to do the sprint right afterwards, and still try to make it in time to do the very last wave of the day, and do five races in the span of what they typically only allow three for. But the year I was attempting it, they canceled the swim and turned it into a duathlon, and I missed the final wave by just a minute or two. But it’s always fun to take triathlon and try to do something fun with it and enjoy the experience. Andrew: Yeah, absolutely! So you were really going for five races, and you got four of the five. Chris: Yeah, so I completed the quadruple, which at least one other person I know of has done four of the Chicago Tri races in one weekend. But the quintuple, doing five, is a challenge that I still have out there, so I might at some point attempt it again if I can get my fitness to that point and get the logistics down to do it. Andrew: Yeah, please let us follow along if you do that. Please let us capture that journey, perhaps for our YouTube show or something. Chris, very much like Coach Jeff Raines who is also on this podcast, you’ve done studying, you’ve got your specialties.  You’re a certified coach in swim, bike, and run individually. You’ve done spin classes, you’re a TriDot Pool School coach, and most importantly for the conversation today, you specialize in metabolic testing. For that one specifically, what does a coach or a sports scientist have to do to become a metabolic performance testing specialist? Chris: It’s a tough one, there’s not a typical way necessarily. The main way that a lot of people get into metabolic testing is if you go through an exercise physiology program or exercise science. You have people that come from the university setting get into testing, but they oftentimes have the science background and education background, but not necessarily the experience or the application perspective that a lot of endurance athletes are looking for. So I would say if someone was a sports scientist, they should really focus on using the data, applying it with athletes, learning to coach, and also doing more endurance events themselves. Coaches, on the other hand, if they want to get into becoming a metabolic specialist, I really think they need to focus on what they might NOT have gotten if they don’t have that exercise science background. Just learn, educate your brain, train your brain, try to absorb as much information as you can, reach out to experts of the industry. Because a lot of it, actually for me even when I started getting into it – I really liked the science aspect of it, I had a lot of experience, but it actually took a lot of just doing testing, both on myself and other coaches and athletes. There’s definitely something to be said by the art and science of doing testing, and doing testing well. Andrew: Yeah, sure, almost like getting a bike fit. There’s numbers and geometries and angles, but then there’s the art of getting the athlete in the right position for whatever race they’re doing. Chris: Bike fit is the perfect parallel, yep. Jeff: I think a lot of exercise testing kind of starts out, like you said, in that research setting, that lab setting. They’re using the modalities of performance testing to provide data for the research that they’re partaking in. I think a lot of exercise physiologists in general start off in that realm, then those who understand the sport of triathlon or the performance side kind of veer out of that potential research setting into more of a practical or athlete-type setting, for sure. Chris: One example I use from my own background – when I have done a lot of testing, I end up getting a lot of athletes from the ultra-distance racing world, like trail running, ultra-distance marathons. But I had never done them. I knew from the numbers what should work for a fueling plan, what should work for a pacing plan, and I had done IRONMANs, but I had never done an ultramarathon other than a 50K. So we had one of our coaches, who is also a Ph.D. down in South Africa, he got us interested in doing the Two Oceans Ultramarathon, which is like a 35-mile race. I hadn’t actually trained for it, but I knew my numbers and I said, “Okay, this will be an experiment. I’m going to see if I can take what I learned in the lab and apply it, and see if it actually works.” I paced that race without walking a single step, start to finish, kept the heart rate right where I needed to, and I learned quite a bit from that type of experience. Even though I had done a lot of testing and I had a lot of race experience, I had never done this other type of race. So I think it’s always important, whether you’re a coach or a sports scientist or someone who’s just interested in getting into it, take the data and apply it. Put yourself in a field test environment to build that experience. I think that’s the key. Andrew: Well, that’s enough about Chris, I want to get into the science here today. I’ve already thrown the words “performance testing” and “metabolic testing” around quite a bit. I’m not a scientist in this area, so I’m probably using those interchangeably and I probably should not, but that’s all right. Chris and Jeff can correct me on that. So Chris, Jeff, what is this? What is metabolic testing? What tests are out there for triathletes to actually potentially do? Jeff: Metabolic testing involves evaluating a person’s metabolic rate at which they burn calories as energy and use oxygen. There’s many ways you can break that down. RMR is probably one that many use, it’s resting metabolic rate, but it’s how much work your body does at rest. VO2max is a big one, the max volume of oxygen and anaerobic capacity. BMP, basic metabolic panel, that’s bloodwork. You can get bloodwork to see, at a baseline, what’s going on currently. One that I did a lot of extensive work on, back in graduate and post years, is body composition. There are a lot of different numbers and metrics you can gain from those. There’s very basic things to track body composition, for triathletes in particular, rather than just standing on the scale. The weight can stay the same all year, but your body will look a little bit different at different times of the season. There’s Bod Pod, where you sit in this little pod and it measures air displacement. There’s underwater or hydrostatic weighing. The DEXA scan is cool, because I knew which areas of my body had greater and/or less bone mass. I remember on one of mine, the guy in the lab said, “Jeff, don’t be a boxer.” I’m like, “Why? I’m not tough enough?” And he’s like, “No, your ribs, of all of your body, are on the lower end of normal bone density. So be careful, don’t go be a linebacker or something like that.” Little things like that are kind of cool to know. Andrew: It’s a good thing you're a runner, just an endurance athlete, who doesn’t take shots to the ribs.  Not on purpose anyway, maybe from your kids, I don’t know. Dr. Krista Austin, coming on and talking nutrition with us sometimes, has definitely referred to some of these tests, some of those are getting into body composition and nutrition.  But today we’re really focused on the performance testing that has more to do with your metabolism, the metabolic testing.  If you’re a triathlete, you might see your local bike fitter will offer metabolic testing. You might notice that your local triathlon shop or local running store might offer this. Your local coach, like Chris, might offer this kind of testing. When you see “metabolic testing”, when you see blood lactate, VO2, all these kinds of things, what does this mean? Those are the ones we’re going to really focus on today. But Jeff, thanks for that great list there, because there’s tons of tests out there that people have probably heard of. From these tests that you’ve referred to, what have you personally had done? And probably even more interesting as a coach, what testing do you like to see your coached athletes consider and pay for? Jeff: Good question.  I use a lot of these modalities to track gains and losses throughout the season, or season-to-season. I use them more as benchmarks. It’s all adaptable, it’s always, constantly changing. Your VO2max from a year ago is not the same as it is now, not even ten weeks ago. Back in grad school I used to do a lot of VO2 testing. We could do this swimming in an endless pool, so your thresholds and consumption and expenditure is a little bit different laying down swimming in the water, versus sitting on a bike or on a treadmill. We would do a lot of cool things like that. Obviously, VO2 testing in elite athletes is a big deal, trying to see that peak performance. The Texas Rangers baseball team, for example, would come into our lab, and they were required to get all sorts of this testing done. But we would track, because if you think about it, they have a very long season. Same with the NFL. We did this for the police academy as well, but they would come in and get tested two to three times a year, they have to be on point. Like we triathletes might do B and C races to work our way into peak shape for that one big A race, or that one big performance at the end of the year, but think of certain athletes like Major League Baseball players, where they have to – Andrew: When they play 4,000 games a year. Jeff: Yeah, and they have to be at 100% on day one, game one, and they have to maintain that max or that peak all year long. So we would do testing pre-, mid-, and post-season, body composition as well as performance and metabolic testing, to see how the resting metabolic rate and all these things change. But RMR is probably the biggest one. A lot of athletes want to know how much weight they could afford to lose, or, “What is my optimal race weight?” Or, “I want to lose ten pounds, how do I train vigorously and still be healthy enough?” So resting metabolic rate is something that’s really good to know, then you can compare how many calories you burn on top of that through your exercise.  If you are wanting to lose weight, you don’t want a deficit of more than a couple hundred calories per day, we want to do that safely and slowly and over time. So that’s probably one of the bigger ones that I focus on with my athletes. Andrew: From everything you just said, I just have to throw in a little TriDot partner trivia. One of our partners, Precision Fuel & Hydration, does the sweat testing for the Texas Rangers baseball team. They test a number of the pro sports teams, and that is one that they test every single year. Moving on, Jeff just identified for us a ton of different tests, and we’re going to really focus on the metabolic testing here today. Chris is our expert, he’s our spirit guide on these so to speak, because he does these with athletes every single day. I want to hear from Chris on the science behind it, I want to hear from Jeff on applying this to our athletes. So we’re going to run through that list of specifically the metabolic tests, and I want to hear what each of these is testing for, how they are conducted, and what athletes can learn from each of these tests. So first up is VO2 max testing. Chris, what is this? Chris: VO2max testing is what we call the active metabolic. Jeff did a great job explaining the resting metabolism someone might have, which is testing you when you’re lying down. The active metabolic rate test is simply looking at the same exact thing, but while you’re working out. Oftentimes I compare that to thinking about your 24 hours of the day. There’s a certain number of hours of the day that your resting metabolism is burning calories, but there’s probably at least an hour or so per day where you’re actively burning more calories. Andrew: Hopefully! Chris: Yeah, hopefully, and figuring out how many calories you’re burning is helpful. So typically, VO2max testing is done for a couple different reasons. One is to assess your VO2max, which is a number that measures the volume of oxygen that you’re consuming and that your body is using, how efficiently your body is working. It also takes into account your body mass, so it’s a great single number that can tell you if you have good body composition, and is your metabolism working well. So you get a fitness score, you also get your heart rate zones figured out.  You can figure out where your body gets anaerobic, where do you burn more fat, where do you burn more carbs. That really gives you the structure to know, “Am I training in my zones properly?” Luckily, with TriDot, TriDot automatically determines your heart rate zones off of your assessments, and then metabolic testing can look at it in more detail. So it’s a good learning experience, I always like to say. It’s typically a ramp test, so you basically get on a treadmill ideally – you could get on a bike or rowing machine, all different types of devices – and you just look at how your body’s metabolism changes as your heart rate goes up. You don’t have to do a max effort at the end. They call it VO2max testing, but sometimes they call it VO2 sub-maximal testing. You’re just gradually bringing the heart rate up.  Sometimes people learned about a similar protocol in hospital settings, when they scan your heart. My wife is a cardiac sonographer. She scans people in the hospital, and they do a ramp test, which is oftentimes done through the Bruce Protocol. I test people in more of a performance setting, but we actually use almost the identical testing protocol, it’s just a gradual ramp test.  At the hospital they stop you earlier, they predetermine when to stop you. In a fitness setting, generally speaking as long as you’re in good health, we let you go to a max effort, which for most people will end up not being at their max heart rate, but usually like 90 to 95% of your max heart rate.  That’s where we’ll end the test and figure out your true VO2max. So that gives you the metabolism for the one hour of the day you’re working out, and then if you combine that with that resting metabolic rate test, then you really have a 24-hour picture of your whole metabolism. Andrew: Chris, you mentioned it could be done on the treadmill, the bike, or on a rowing machine. Are the results different from run to bike, or is it just because of the way our body processes, regardless of the activity itself, or is it activity-dependent? Chris: It’s definitely activity-dependent. We try to have people do it in the most aerobic way possible, which is generally running, because you’re using your whole body, you’re fighting gravity, and you’re not applying a lot of resistance onto something.  So a treadmill test is the more aerobic way to do it.  It’s the most popular, and it can be done with either increasing speed or incline or both.  So you don’t actually have to run, it can be done as a walking test, which is just a steep incline. You can test cycling as well, but the problem with cycling is your upper body is mostly stationary. We do rowing as well, where you’re using your whole body, but still, because of the resistance, sometimes people will fatigue because of muscular fatigue rather than aerobic fatigue. Andrew: Now, we love our friends at Garmin. Garmin watches and devices are world-class for tracking swimming, biking, and running. But we have to poke fun a little bit about some of the resting recommendations, the sleep recommendations, the things that our Garmin claims to know about us. One of those things, my Garmin every so often will say that my VO2max has been updated. It’s changed, it’s gone up, it’s gotten better, it’s gotten worse or whatever. Chris, is that a fairly accurate number?  Or is that a ballpark, and it’s best to get this tested? Chris: I’ve tested a lot of people where we’ve compared it to their Gamins or their smart devices, and usually Garmin is within about 5%. Usually Garmin is pretty spot on, just as a fitness scoring method. But you have to keep in mind two important things. One, you want to be wearing your Garmin watch all the time. And two, you need to have enough for the watch to learn about you. If you just slap it on after a week, it probably doesn’t have enough data on you. The way Garmin determines the VO2max score depends on bike or run.  For running, they do your best 8 or 12-minute run, I believe it is. So if you’ve never done an all-out 8 or 12-minute effort like the 5K assessment we do at TriDot, it never really will know what your true VO2max score is. It will just guesstimate it off of your best run effort. So you need to have enough data, and you need to have done some hard enough efforts for it to actually be relatively accurate. Jeff: See, I’m that kind that I don’t like to wear that watch all day every day. Chris: Yeah, that’s the problem for a lot of people. Jeff: I’ll see it and I’m like, “Oh, cool, I increased.” And I’m like, “C’mon man, you’re short-changing me!  That’s bogus!” Sometimes a group of elite athletes would come into the lab and we would test them, and they would compete with each other. There’s a motivation aspect, like, “I want to get a higher VO2max than you!” “Oh, he got 81, I want 82!” Things like that. But we would say, if you’re a cyclist, then let’s use the bike. If you’re a runner, use the treadmill. In clinical settings the bike is probably a little bit more popular, just because things like the elderly and coming back from rehab, they’ll do sub-testing. Andrew: My Garmin watch right now, on the default home screen when I look down, my Garmin watch says, “VO2max 51”. Now, I have not worn my watch around the clock in years, and I haven’t done a hard run effort in years, so I know that number’s not accurate.  But that’s very interesting to hear, Chris, that if you’re doing those things, it’s actually pretty good. And if not, you should probably go to the lab and get that tested. Chris: It’s fun to see the number, but at the end of the day, the VO2max number is not necessarily something that you’re using on a daily basis to guide your training. It’s a fun way to assess your fitness, and usually that’s why we recommend coming to a lab and getting tested, because you’ll get coached to put in your best effort possible to get the score as accurate as possible. But it’s also helpful as you get older and, “Oh, I feel like my fitness is declining.” Sometimes testing and seeing that you actually still have a really high VO2 number is a great way to stay motivated. That’s why I have all of my athletes, as much as I can, test every year. Every year you get older, you’re in a new age group maybe, can you beat your younger self? Nine times out of ten, someone’s true VO2max number is really correlated more to your activity level, not your age and how you perform. It’s simply how active you are. If you stay active as you get older, you will see that VO2max number go up. Jeff: For the record, when you see or hear those numbers – for example, an average VO2 for women in their thirties to mid-forties is about 31, and for men it’s 42. What that means for that female is 31 milliliters of oxygen diffused and utilized per kilogram of body weight. You inhale oxygen, you breathe out CO2, but that number is how much oxygen is actually being diffused into the system and utilized by the body. The fitter you are, the more you can diffuse, and the more that you can utilize. So a higher milliliter volume of oxygen per kilogram of body weight is what is being utilized, and that’s the number that’s being spit out. That’s the number that’s being guesstimated by that Garmin watch and thrown out to you. Andrew: Jeff, you’re a real Bill Nye the Science Guy over there with that. Thanks for that, that was a great explanation. Moving on to the next one – Jeff, this is the one that you already talked about a little bit, but I’m curious to hear Chris dive a little bit deeper. Resting metabolic rate, RMR, what is this? Chris: The resting metabolic rate is like the VO2. The VO2 is the AMR, the active metabolic rate, and then the resting test is called the RMR. It’s looking at what your body’s metabolism is doing for the 23 hours of the day you're not working out.  Typically we use that test to evaluate someone’s diet and nutrition, especially if you’re trying to figure out, “Why am I not gaining or losing weight the way I want to? How many calories a day should I be eating? Is there something going on?” Sometimes you have stress, hormones, lack of sleep, things can affect your metabolism. On the active test, we test your performance, and typically a coach or someone will guide you on how you use this information for training.  Whereas the RMR test will be bundled with a consultation with either a nutritionist or a registered dietician ideally. An RD has a lot more experience in diagnosing conditions, so an RD would ideally take that information and give you a consultation about, “Okay, now let’s look at your diet. Should we change your macros, protein, fats, carbs? How can we use this information to guide you?” I like to use it a lot because sometimes an athlete might tell me they’re fueling properly, or they’re eating good meals, but when they do an RMR test, we see not just the calories per day, we also see where the body is oxidizing enough fat or carbs. We can tell, at rest, if your body is actually oxidizing fat or not. In some cases, if someone’s diet is bad, or they go out and party too much and drink too much alcohol, we’ll see that their fat metabolism is a little bit suppressed.  We can actually see that both in the AMR and the RMR to some degree, and that will really help us guide and coach the athlete on understanding diet and fueling as a whole. So I always like to do both tests together. In my business we call it the “metabolic 360”, it gives you the 360-degree view of your metabolism by doing both tests in one appointment. So we cover your nutrition, all of your resting metabolic needs, and your active metabolic needs. A lot of times you’ll see those same facilities offer both types of testing, but each one technically should have a consultation with an expert that might even be in a slightly different field.  On the resting side, either a nutritionist or a registered dietician expert, or on the active side, someone who is either a coach or an exercise physiologist. If someone’s looking out there to find a place to get tested, try to do it in the sport that you’re doing. I have a lot of rowers, marathon runners, and triathletes that come to me, but I’m not an expert in non-endurance sports.  So there might be other sports where you want to get tested by people in those specific fields, because in the consultation and in the review of the data, that’s what you’re actually paying for. Anyone can do the test and give you your number, but it’s really about how you use that information in a practical way. So always check to make sure you’re getting some type of consultation, and it’s not just they’ll email you a report a couple days later. Andrew: That great insight, Chris. I’m curious, for an RMR test, what does the result look like? Is it a number that is reflective of a bunch of stuff, or is there a more in-depth profile there? Chris: You get your RMR, your resting metabolic rate, which is just how many calories per day your body is consuming. Andrew: Test number three that we’re talking about – I’ve got four metabolic tests on my sheet in front of me, we’re halfway through them –number three is blood lactate testing. Chris, what is this? Chris: Blood lactate testing, we use actually in concert oftentimes with VO2 testing. Blood lactate testing can be used for a number of different reasons, but generally you’re trying to find out similar information during a VO2 or active metabolic rate test. You’re trying to figure out how to set up your heart rate zones, but you’re looking at what we call a direct measurement. When you’re doing a VO2 test, you’re looking at an indirect measurement. You’re looking at your breath coming out of your body. I use the analogy of a campfire.  If you look at a campfire and you see the smoke coming out of the fire, you can actually tell what was burning in that fire. That’s what we’re doing when we’re doing the oxygen exchange testing. When we do the lactate testing, it’s actually like sticking a probe into the fire to measure what’s going on in there, you get a more direct measurement.  That’s why it is in a lot of ways – or at least it used to be considered – the gold standard of testing, because we actually look at the lactate concentration in your blood. If that gets to a certain level, we know your performance will begin to decline. So if we prick you enough and take enough blood samples as your heart rate goes up, we can figure out at what point your body’s performance begins to decline.  Usually there’s a clearly defined inflection point which will tell us where your anaerobic threshold is. That information helps us figure out heart rate zones. But we can get the same information from just a regular VO2 test, so if you don’t want to get pricked, take little blood samples every so often, the VO2 test is less invasive. You just wear a mask and you breathe in and out. But with the lactate test, we actually take either a finger or an ear prick, and we’re taking samples every couple minutes. The protocols sometimes are different. Usually we’ll have people do a set duration effort and measure lactate at the end of that duration, then take a break and look at how much the lactate goes back down, then do another one. Sometimes we do it as just a straight ramp test. There’s different protocols for different sports, but the end goal of a basic lactate test is to just figure out your heart rate zones, figure out how to dial in your training. You can also use it in some pretty creative ways, too.  Just based on how quickly the lactate builds up, we can figure out, “Okay, if we were to optimize an interval workout for you, where should your FTP be set, and how much recovery time should we give you between the intervals?” Oftentimes we use blood lactate testing to actually guide, especially in elite cycling, “Okay, what’s their next training block going to look like?” And they’ll test every month or every two months and all throughout the year. You’ll also have field testing.  Sometimes out at the track we’ll have people do track repeats and be able to do a metabolic test out in the field, outdoors, whereas usually with the VO2 testing – there are some mobile units that we use – but generally it’s in a lab in a controlled setting.  In the ideal world as a coach, I always want to get a good baseline on my athletes from the lab tests, but I also like to see at least one or two good field tests, one in hot conditions, one in cool conditions. Lactate testing can sometimes be used to complement the metabolic test as well, but there’s a lot of ways. You see the Norwegians use it in their YouTube videos, and a lot of elite triathletes will use it. I think the Norwegians use it mostly with altitude, like if they’re training at altitude and they want to see how quickly they respond to the altitude, and they want to see how they need to adjust their zones when they go to altitude. Lactate testing is used quite a bit for altitude testing. I have a number of athletes who’ve seen all those YouTube videos, and now they want to get their own lactate meter, they want to test themselves.  But there’s a little bit of nuance, there’s a little bit of art and science to making sure you get good data from the lactate test. It’s also expensive.  People don’t realize, for each finger prick, you have to have a thing to prick your finger with, you have to have wipes and cleaning supplies, you have to have the test strips.  Every finger prick is a couple dollars, it adds up. Jeff: And the analyzer, and the biohazard bag since there’s blood involved. There’s a lot of rules. I’d love to add something. You talked about getting the data in the lab and then field testing it. It’s crucial, and we would do both. We would test elite athletes in the lab, VO2 and all the data, then we would take them immediately to the track and do an absolute all-out 400-meter dash. We would prick them before, immediately across the finish line, and ten minutes into recovery. I used it more for recovery rate, after that 52-second 400 as some of these guys ran.  Three minutes, six minutes, ten minutes, they’re done. They’re back to normal, they could do another interval. Some were still climbing ten minutes in. My thesis involved exercise performance comparing sleep deprivation to interrupted sleep. With total sleep deprivation, obviously you stay up all night, and your metabolic functioning is out of whack. But repeated bouts, like waking up the night before an event, if you just toss and turn before that Ironman and you’re like, “I can’t sleep. Should I just get up and pull the all-nighter, or should I just stay in bed and try to fight it?” Anyway, I presented it to my collegiate track coach.  I was like, “Look we would just race each other on a Tuesday, ten 400’s with 60 seconds rest.” He could go, “Oh, Raines died on the ninth one, but these other couple guys kept pushing strong. I’m taking these other guys to the meet!” Hypothetical of course – I made all the meets, thank you very much. Anyways, I always thought that was a little unfair, because some people could do repeated bouts and just crush it, some people have just one end-all-be-all super hard-core honest effort, and they’re amazing at it. I just thought it was neat how different people respond differently into the recovery category. Chris: The one thing I know a lot of people oftentimes get is the question of, “Should I do a blood lactate test, or should I do a VO2 test?” to figure out heart rate zones and things like that. That’s a very common and very valid question we get quite a bit. That’s why we even do both together sometimes. But generally speaking, if you want to understand fat and carb metabolism, that’s where you might want to focus on the active metabolic rate testing, and the lactate is just that extra test to give you that one or two percent more, or to simply confirm that direct measurement. A big difference between the testing is that with lactate testing, you’re generally only taking one data point every couple minutes – Andrew: At a very specific intensity. Chris: Yeah, and with the VO2 testing, we’re getting data every second. We’re recording data at least every 15 seconds. So for figuring out heart rate zones and inflection points – and different coaches might debate this – but the newer metabolic carts seem to give more data, and when you have more data you can dial things in typically a little bit quicker. That’s why, generally speaking, I’ll always have people do that VO2 test first.  The active and resting metabolism is a great starting point for anybody, regardless of fitness, age, gender. Then the lactate testing is when you want to start getting that one or two percent more, you want to get a little more precision with everything, and reconfirm field test data, especially in different environments. Just like the TriDot platform, we want to have assessments done pretty often, and we can do them indoors or outdoors. The more variety you get, the more data you can confirm and reconfirm how your metabolism really functions. It’s exciting stuff. Andrew: Test number four I want to talk about today, it’s the final one, is VO2 calorie expenditure testing. Chris, you have something similar you call FatMax testing. What is this? Chris: Yeah, there’s a lot of different terms for it. Sometimes you’ll hear people call it “running economy” or “cycling economy” or “running/cycling efficiency”, or “metabolic efficiency point testing”. That’s generally looking at your fat and carb metabolism. So you’re doing a VO2 test, just like you would for your heart rate zones and figuring your VO2max score, but instead of going to your actual VO2max, you stay at lower intensities, and you very gradually pick up the effort over a longer period of time, to figure out your fueling plan for an event. Generally the main goal is to figure out, “Okay, how many calories does my body burn at my goal race pace for marathons, or goal power for cycling?” We look at exactly how much your body is burning from fat, exactly how much you’re burning from carbs. Again, we can dial in the heart rate zones from that, but then we also use that to figure out how many calories per hour you need to be fueling in to optimize your performance. Especially the longer in duration you go – ultra-marathons, full Ironman-distance events – this actually becomes much more important. Sometimes the simplest way I like to explain this test is I call it the “Level 2” test. After you’ve done your baseline VO2 and you want to now get more precision with how many calories you’re burning at all the more intermediate intensities, it’s a secondary test to do. For a triathlete, oftentimes we do the VO2max test running, and then we do the economy tests as a cycling test to dial in your fueling plan on the bike. That way you have the best of both worlds. You see if your cycling metabolism is a little different, and you dial in your fueling plan on the bike, great for half to full Ironmans. Then the VO2max test gives you your heart rate zones that you’re going to use to execute on the run, so that you can set a PR and hit those target goals for your run. So they do kind of go hand-in-hand, it’s just another version of the same type of test, just done slightly different to give you more detailed precision, essentially. Andrew: So with that detailed precision, what do the results look like that is generated for the athlete? Is it really breaking down, at each of these intensities, at each of these heart rate zones, this is what your body is fueling off of? What are we seeing in the results here? Chris: Exactly how many calories your body is burning. A great example, I’ll throw one of my athletes into the fire as an example. Andrew: Go for it, do it! Chris: Jacquie Godbe, one of my top athletes over the years, she won the Age Group Worlds and is a top eSports cyclist.We’ve got local fans here in Chicago. I’ve tested her a few times, some VO2 testing, and we would look at not just her VO2max and her heart rate zones and all that, but we wanted to know, how many calories is she burning at the intensities she’s pushing, and where can she be a little bit more efficient?  So if she was doing half-Ironmans, we could figure out what race pace she needs to focus on, and how many gels per hour she should take.And if you ever watch her on the live broadcast when she was doing the eSports World Championships and whatnot, you’ll usually see her husband in the background, taking the gel packets out and giving them to her.  And you’ll see he actually rolls every ounce out of every gel packet, because they want to get that super-precise dose. They know she needs exactly one gel packet every 20 or 25 or 30 minutes, and they want to make sure they’re getting exactly what they know her body needs. It’s just that extra one or two percent. The stakes get higher the longer the distance. At Ironman races, a lot of people bonk when they hit that run. Knowing the difference between 10 or 20 calories early on the bike can be huge when you get to the run. One example, using myself again, is my first Ironman, Wisconsin. I was with another athlete, we were always neck-and-neck in races.  On the bike I passed him, and then mile three of the run he passed me, but I knew was a better runner than him. “What’s going on? He’s passing me, he’s going faster than me! This shouldn’t be happening!” I did not see him until mile 20 of the marathon, so only six miles left, but at that point he had bonked hard. Either he paced too hard, or didn’t fuel properly.  I tried to stick to my plan as best I could, and I was still running at that point. I ended up finishing an hour ahead of him, because I was running 10-minute miles, and he was walking 20-minute miles. That late in the race, those small different amounts can make a big, big difference. Sometimes people don’t realize that, and that’s why we get a lot of people interested in that type of testing, just to get that little more precision in everything you're doing. If you’re investing so much time and energy into the sport, doing one test to make yourself a smarter athlete who can execute better makes a pretty big difference. It’s usually a better investment of your money than buying a $10,000 new frame, or race wheels, or whatnot. Invest in your health, invest in your education, because that’s something you’ll use every day in training and racing. Andrew: Those are the main four categories for metabolic testing, very well broken down by Chris and Jeff, our Bill Nye the Science Guy. This is all very cool stuff, and you both really outlined for us through that conversation what these tests are, which tests we should probably start with, and which tests are more in depth if you want to go that extra mile. Very, very helpful for our athletes listening today. This is all very cool, very deep and sciencey.  What I’m wondering is, is any of this overkill for the average triathlete? Is performance testing more for the pointy end of the performance spectrum, or is this helpful for triathletes of all abilities if it fits in their budget? Chris, what do you think? Chris: It’s generally for everybody. While the upper one percent can use it to get that one or two percent more in their performance and dialing things in, it’s really a good starting point. If you’ve never had a test done, it can be a very eye-opening and educational experience. Some of the biggest impacts I’ve seen from the tests that we’ve done over the years are actually with the people that just don’t know, “Why am I bonking in a race? Why am I struggling with this?” Or, “My coach tells me to do all this Zone 2 training, and I don’t understand why. I just want to run faster all the time.” Then when they start seeing their numbers, and seeing their metabolism, they can understand, “Going five to ten beats a minute easier will actually help me to start losing one to two pounds more body fat per month,” because that’s what the numbers are showing. That was an eye-opener for me when I actually did my first test. I thought I had everything dialed in, then I realized if I actually went five to ten beats a minute slower on my long runs and long bikes, I would have actually oxidized an extra five pounds of body fat.  And every pound of body fat you lose, you generally run anywhere from two to eight seconds a mile faster. So I would have been 25 seconds per mile faster on race day by training easier, not harder. So if you want that performance, it definitely matters. But if you’re struggling with weight loss especially, or pacing events trying to build endurance, getting more precision with your numbers can have a much bigger impact for the people who are at the back of the pack, who are out there all day and actually doing more work and dealing with more stress.  It’s a lot harder to get those things dialed in there than it is on the front end of the pack. I’ve had actually two or three people, who after doing metabolic tests and doing a consultation with me, were actually in tears of joy, because all of a sudden things started to click. So it really is for everybody, but it comes down to figuring out what test might make sense for you, and definitely go to the right centers to get tested. Jeff: I definitely second, they’re for everybody.You’re not too old or too out of shape or whatever to do it. Just like we alluded to earlier, you could be in your 70’s and have better VO2 scores than you were in your 40’s and stuff like that. Something that we used to measure is TTE, time to exhaustion. Typically when you do these tests, on the treadmill let’s say, the treadmill is at a constant speed.  But every two minutes, or whatever protocol you’re using, the ramp may just be going up and up until you fail, fatigue, or collapse, if you’re doing a max test. You may tie your VO2 from a year ago or earlier in the season, but you made it two minutes longer into the protocol. So you’re stronger, have more endurance, that’s a sign of strength that you’re able to hold that resistance longer and didn’t utilize as much oxygen doing so. There’s just so many cool variables that you can beat yesterday, or beat your younger self so to speak. But time to exhaustion, or how far you get into the protocol when you hit those max or sub-max numbers, is another really cool, exciting variable, something to shoot for, that keeps you motivated. Andrew: Jeff, Chris, great input from both of you. I hope people are really encouraged to jump in. And Chris, something you said earlier, people can absolutely start off with the less invasive VO2max or sub-max testing, the heart rate zone testing. They don’t have to start off with getting their finger pricked every couple seconds on a ramp test or anything wild. If they want that kind of next-level, in-depth data, they can circle back for that test later on. It’s definitely something they can slow-play over time, as your budget allows, but anybody can get started with this and learn a little bit more about what your body is doing while it’s exercising or at rest. Chris, if someone is interested in performance testing – they’ve heard you guys talk about it today and they feel like that’s a good investment for them both in time and money, etc. – if they live in Chicago it’s easy, they can go to Coach Chris and we’ll call it a day. But for athletes in other locations, how can we best find a qualified testing center? Where I live in Dallas-Fort Worth, there are a lot of people that offer this. How do you sort through a coach who maybe kind of knows what he’s doing, versus the best possible person in your area? Chris: Well, you can always just hop on a flight and come to Chicago, right? I’ve actually had people all the way from Alaska and other places fly in to do testing, so it’s not too uncommon. Some people have found testing centers in different parts of the world that are less expensive, and you can find different experts, something you can do around trips and vacations. But I always say find the experts, first and foremost. Look at either different directories, or USA Triathlon.  Start at local clubs and coaches, they’re great resources to find through word of mouth where the places are to go to get tested. There are directories, I know Fitnescity is a general one where they list a whole bunch of different places to do RMR testing, VO2 testing, body composition. DEXA is one that also has a good listing around the country. Or the direct manufacturers, I work with KORR Medical, you can go on their website and find a list of all the testing centers in the country, and you can find out which ones offer VO2, which ones offer RMR. Jeff: I’ll throw in American College of Sports Medicine. That’s what I use, a lot of their ranges, a lot of their norms, a lot of their VO2, all these numbers, they spell it out in a very simplistic way, easy to understand, just good data and good science. American College of Sports Medicine is where I get a lot of my guidelines from. Chris: I would also say, even before finding a place to go get tested, two little tips that I would make sure that everyone does first is one, make sure you have good data going in. Oftentimes these days we have a lot of athletes that use the optical heart rate monitors on the wrist. I would say make the investment first in a chest strap heart rate monitor to get good heart rate data.  You’ll not only get better data through your own training, but the info from your testing will be more accurate when you apply it as well. A good learning experience too, if anyone has a Garmin watch or fitness device – you can even do it now while you’re listening to the podcast – I always have people change the data on their watch to show not just heart rate in beats per minute, but also the rate of perceived exertion as a percentage of max heart rate. So all of a sudden your heart rate numbers get correlated to your actual rate of perceived exertion. Once you start doing that, when you do get tested and you get your heart rate zones updated, things will begin to click.  You’ll start to see your perceived exertion level as a percentage, like 80% or 90% effort, will correlate with the data that you see. When that connection starts to happen, that’s when the magic really begins. So I would say before you find a center and get tested, get good data, start learning about your heart rate, then find that expert location to get dialed in. And don’t skip your TriDot assessments.  Do those assessments, do them in different environments, indoors, outdoors. You’ll find sometimes just using the TriDot platform is actually the best way to get started, then the lab testing can be that next-level. Always start with the simplest approach, you can always grow into doing more testing down the road. Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down. Vanessa Ronksley: Well hello there everyone! I’m Vanessa, your Average Triathlete with Elite-Level Enthusiasm! I’m really looking forward to bringing you today’s Coach Cooldown Tip. Once upon a time, I had the pleasure of sharing a bus ride with Jen Reinhart, and I wished I had a notebook to write down all the pearls of wisdom that she shared. I feel grateful that this conversation today is being recorded, so that we can all revisit it many times over, which I know I will want to do on a regular basis. Jen is a full-time triathlon coach, and coaches Masters swimming at a local fitness center. She started swimming at the age of four, and swam for Purdue University for several years in college. Then in about 1984 triathlon came into her life, and since then she has completed a whopping 29 IRONMANs, and recently locked in her ticket to race in Kona for the eighth time. Jen is certified through USA Cycling, US Masters Swimming, she is a Slow-Twitch Swim and Training Peaks coach. Jen is also a USAT Level 2 Endurance Coach, she is certified through Ironman U, and is a TriDot Founding Masters Coach. Jen has coached all levels of athletes from beginners to elite age-groupers, and loves working with people who are new to the sport, all the way through to those racing Ironman distances. Welcome to the cooldown, Jen! Jen Reinhart: Thanks Vanessa, I was so excited when you asked me to be here today. I can’t wait to see what you have to ask me! Vanessa: Well, I do have a question for you to start us off. What is harder? Growing up with four older brothers, or having completed 29 IRONMANs? Jen: Definitely the IRONMANs. I was the luckiest little princess in the world, my four older brothers took such good care of me. They did make me into a tomboy, but they were always looking out for me. The IRONMANs are far worse. Vanessa: I can imagine. But I do also think that there must have been a massive element of growing up with four brothers into making you a super-competitive person, because you probably just always wanted to keep up with them and do everything that they were doing. Jen: Exactly.  It didn’t matter if it was swimming or school, getting straight A’s like they did so I could get my Cincinnati Reds tickets like they did, or playing baseball or football in the backyard with their friends, and a few of mine. I was always chasing after them, and they were very kind to allow me to do that. Vanessa: Well, kind is a very nice word for you to use. That just goes to show your amazing character. Jen: They’re great now, they love when they see on Facebook that I’m going to do another Ironman. It’s like they’re always cheering for me. It’d be really fun to have them come sometime. Vanessa: Oh, I hope that becomes a reality for you. That would be totally amazing. I’m not sure if you have heard, but I was actually convinced by three pretty inspiring TriDot athletes to do my first Ironman later this year in California. So I am really looking forward to what you have to share with us today. What nugget of wisdom do you have for us? Jen: I think this one really is important, especially for first-time IRONMANs, and that’s to focus on what you can control. I have so many great reasons this is true, from just my most recent Ironman Texas experience. The weather in Texas changes from five minutes ago to five minutes from now, and our weather forecast was all over the place the couple weeks leading up to the race. I kept telling a couple of my local athletes who were racing with me, “You guys have got to stop looking at it daily. Yes, we need to prepare. If it’s cold we need certain things to wear. If it’s not wetsuit-legal, we’ll have practice in our skins, we’ll have practice in our wetsuits. We’ll be prepared, but it’s taking too much of your attention away from some of the little things.” They were getting too worried about something that you can’t change the outcome of. We kept going back and forth with that. Then as it gets closer to race day, I get a little nervous too just like they do, and we start looking, and the wind’s one way, and then the wind’s the next way. “Okay guys, we can’t control the wind. What can we control? We can make sure that our bike is really ready to go. We can make sure that we have our nutrition plan down, it’s memorized. We know how we’re going to do it on the bike, what we’re going to grab, what we’re going to eat. Let’s work on the things, work through the race mentally, what we’re going to do, what we can control. Let’s put a few of those that we can’t control to the side.” Then they finally published the participant list, and yes I did want to get that Kona slot that you mentioned, and it’s like, “Oh gosh, this lady was in Kona last year, look at her time. This lady was there last year.” I’m going, “What am I doing? I can’t control how they’re going to race!” I’ve got to look and think about, “I’ve really prepared well. How can I have a good race, and just go out and do the best that I can that day? Stay in the moment, stay present as Coach Kurt always says, and just nail the things that I can do.” So that’s what I did. I was really lucky that I got that slot, but I kept pushing to the end, to finish the best I could on that day, given the different things that happened. Everybody always has a story about what happens in Ironman. You’re going to have a story come October. Just be mindful of trying to narrow in on what you can control, and try to let some of that outside chatter about all these different things that you don’t have any control over, let it be silenced. Vanessa: Something that you said that I love very much, is that you’re talking about all of these things pre-race, all of the mindset things that you want to have before the race in terms of what you can control regarding that race. What I find really interesting is, as soon as you start that race, everything you thought prior to that you forget about anyways. But then this tip also comes into play, and you have to constantly think about the things that you can control during the race as well. What do you think about that? Tell me what you can control during the race itself. Jen: During the race, I want to get in the line for the time trial swim start where I want to be, so I feel like I’m not having to swim through people, but I’m also not getting people that are swimming over top of me. Then I remind myself to sight, stay on course, don’t swim extra. One thing that I always do, and I recommend to my athletes – pacing in open water is so difficult, so when you find a groove, make sure that it’s the right groove. If I take 20 strokes stronger, do I still feel okay, or is it too fast? Or if I’ve found feet and it feels really good, and you start to move a little bit off those feet and you realize those feet were really good, just stay right there. I had that going up the channel at Ironman Texas. Once you hit the bike, it’s all about nutrition and pacing. Especially as a strong swimmer, I get passed by so many men out of the swim into the bike portion.  But I’ve got to not worry about anybody passing me. I’m looking at my heart rate, I’m looking at my power, I’m thinking about, “Okay, it’s 10, 15 minutes.  At 20 minutes what am I going to drink, what am I going to eat?” Just staying mindful of my plan and not about anybody else’s plan. Then you want to be quick and efficient in transition, but you don’t want to forget something. Don’t have too many options, have only what you need.  Because if there’s a whole lot of options, it’s going to take longer, and it can throw off your plan. I do all of that mental preparation beforehand so that I can control that better on race day. And yes, race morning before the gun goes off, I’ve forgotten all about that. But then as each phase of the race comes back in it’s like, “I know what I’m going to do. I’ve thought about that and I have a plan,” and you just keep going through it. 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.
Co-Hosts: Jeff Raines
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