Crushing Iron Triathlon Podcast

An Age Group triathlete and his coach look for smart and enjoyable solutions in a sport that's often dumb and painful. Mike and Robbie explore the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual side of training and racing everything from Ironman to a Sprint. Released bi-weekly on Monday and Thursday.
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May 25, 2017

An early season race can be a great way to catapult your season, but the week after you cross the line is critical. What should you do to make sure you not only recover, but use the biggest "training day" of the year in the most effective way? Plus, we break down Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 for 5 Crushing Iron athletes and find out what they learned and need to work on as the season moves forward. 

- The 7 days after a race and what workouts you should do
- Why did your run fall apart?
- More weight training?
- Building your bike in the best smartest way
- How to train for a wetsuit race when it's hot

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May 22, 2017

The Crushing Iron War between Mike and CC is in the books. Find out who won, how it went down and what was learned from this early season 70.3. The race was under huge threat of thunderstorms and possibly having an event or two shortened or cancelled. We talk about what actually happened on race day and how the RD made their decision. Also, info on the course, the experience, and what next.

- Racing Chattanooga
- Tight hamstrings on the run
- Advantages of mountain biking
- When it might be OK to cook the bike
- Lessons learned from early season races and what to do with that information
- Shortened swim reasoning

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May 18, 2017

On a recent podcast we addressed "One-and-Done" Bucket List Ironman racers and how it impacts the sport. That was followed by an interesting discussion on our closed Facebook Group regarding "respect for the sport" and what does that mean? Today we get into that topic, plus how "respecting yourself" plays a role in triathlon. We also take a slight detour into ITU and find out why that will likely be the future for triathlon. 

- Why our conversations don't go down the combative road
- We discuss the Ironman "run" and what it means to walk most of it
- Triathlon as part of the JOURNEY
- Why ITU is the future of triathlon
- Would Ironman Races be better if there were more loops?
- Surefire way to your best Ironman
- Are you really "sponsored?"
- Respecting the Race and/or the Distance

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May 15, 2017

Race season is here and the Crushing Iron podcast dives into the PRESSURES that can surface race week, pre-race, and inside the race. Mike is living it right now and Coach Robbie walks through some solid ways to get out of your head and put it onto the course in a positive way. We're all about turning negatives into positives and helping you get the most out of your training and races. Here's how today's podcast breaks out:

- Bad workouts (how to shift these in your mind)
- Scaled back workouts (how to stay on track and not over-work)
- Phantom Injuries (go through what this means and why it's a good thing)
- Getting into a confident mindset (setting realistic goals, reaffirming you've done the work)
- How important it is to assist your body to re-build (The POINT of TAPERING)
- The fine line between being pumped and relaxed
- The subtle force that shifts your realistic race goals
- Forgetting to warm up
3. IN-RACE PRESSURES (Staying within yourself)
- How to benefit from something going wrong early… goggles… contact… 
- How to stay focused in your box
- Resisting desire to keep up with others
- How to stay in your own race

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May 11, 2017

Most of us are in triathlon because we love it, but the sport is far from perfect. In a bold attempt to save the sport from itself, Mike and Coach Robbie analyze the current state of triathlon and offer a few suggestions. Not much is off limits including: Ironman, pro triathletes, terminology, local races, and one-and-done racers.

- Ironman Race Prices
- Why isn't Ironman selling out?
- A New Plan that would would make triathletes commit to the sport
- Why your workout wasn't "epic"
- Why "Boom" has no place in our sport
- One and done bucket listers
- Triathlon "Hacks"
- Weeding through garbage triathlon information
- Why Lionel Sanders may have missed his window
- Where is the Truth in Triathlon?

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May 8, 2017

Round two of questions for Coach Robbie and it's a good one! Below are several of the questions, but there's a lot more. Coaching relationships, when do gains stop and the taper begin? How to beat racer's blues. How and when to strength train. Switching, practicing nutrition. And And last one is about swimming cramps and some great stuff comes up! 

- What is proper etiquette when switching coaches, especially when you're great friends?
- Tips for overcoming post-race blues?
- At what point prior to a race, are you just not going to get any stronger/faster, point of diminishing returns?
- Strength training: when and how much ok?
- Practicing nutrition? Yikes.
- How to reduce/minimize feet and leg cramps on the swim.
- Plus several more that relate to these and some from Mike

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May 4, 2017

Today we talk about real strategies you can use to get mentally tougher. In the spirit of complete transparency, we used the bullet points from this article from to outline our discussion. And in the spirit of double transparency, we didn't read the article, just the 9 points and went from there. We also talk about 11 Ways to Get to Kona (per WTC) Here's the outline:

From the Article: 9 Tools For Building Mental Toughness

Make The Commitment
Build Confidence with difficult workouts 
Know the purpose of each workout
Make the race a research project
Perform pre-race simulations 
Focus on what can be controlled
Don’t race unprepared 
When Racing, think through the tough patches
Conduct a thorough post-race analysis

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May 1, 2017

negative split or the action of negative splitting is a racing strategy that involves completing the second half of a race faster than the first half. It is defined by the intentional setting of a slower initial pace, followed by either a gradual or sudden increase of speed towards the end of a race.

Everyone says they want Negative Split, but most of us fail. Today we talk about why that happens, and what you can do to pull it off more consistently. Also, WHY it's so important that you DO Negative Split your races. From Swim, to Bike, to Run, the negative split strategy is always a winning move. Don't let someone else dictate what your race and season look like. Commit to the MINDSET of NEGATIVE SPLIT RACING.

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Apr 27, 2017

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We all think we have race week planned perfectly until it shows up. Today we walk through how much you should swim, bike, run and when. We also talk about nutrition, including when and how much water and electrolytes you should be consuming race week. There's also great information on how to accurately predict your race time, along with some more DON'T DOs regarding Open Water Swim Training. 

- Race week Volume for Swim, Bike, and Run
- The keys of a good taper week
- Electrolyte and water consumption
- What to do the day before the race
- Why swimming on race week is so important
- Why cycling and swimming during race week are different than running
- What percentages you should use to predict your race time
- A surefire and easy way to detect whether you're training too hard for your shape
- How to get a good feel for the water

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Apr 24, 2017

One day three kids from Knoxville (including the winner of Ironman Florida) decided they wanted to start a 10K swim race. These kinds of things don't just happen and today they joined the podcast to tell us all about the race and why it's different than any other stand alone swim race in the US. Also, Jack McAfee, Winner of Ironman Florida tells us what it's like to have an Ironman fall apart, then win one only 5 weeks later. 

- Starting a New Race From Scratch
- Pitfalls, Joys, Permits, etc.
- Overcoming Bike Troubles And Running Mad
- What it's like to WIN Ironman Florida
- What it's like to trip over the tape when you WIN Ironman Florida
- Swim The Suck 
- Crossing Hells Mouth (Open Water Swim Documentary)
- Swim prep for open water
- Olympic 10K Swim Recap

Follow this New Race Bridges to Bluffs Open Water Swim on Facebook
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Apr 20, 2017

Seems like it can go from cold to scorching hot in a couple of weeks these days and that can reek havoc on your training. It takes time to acclimate to heat and not taking it into account is a big mistake. It's that seasonal transition and now's the time to talk about it. We also get into racing in the heat.  

- Quickly acclimating yourself to the heat
- Heart rate and what changes
- Why people bonk in Boston
- Why running with the wind can be dangerous
- Why you need to fuel more in hot weather
- How to adapt quickly
- Strategies for racing in heat
- Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

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Apr 17, 2017

This is a great podcast on how to break down your races and use them in the right ways to become faster and a better triathlete. We share when it's good to take risks in races. What is the biggest mistake you can make in a race and how to avoid it. Robbie unveils his "3 R's" strategy for attacking your race season. We also tell you when is a good time to race without looking at your data on the course. 

- Getting your mind in race form
- How to handle your A, B, and C races
- Applying Coach Robbie’s “Three R’s” to your season
- How Reality Checks improve your performance
- Taking what you learn from one race to the next
- When and how to be more risky in your races
- Don’t build in excuses
- A race is a race, not a workout
- One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a race
- When to race with no data. Can you do it??
- Why you shouldn’t ride a race course too often
- How a Crushing Iron listener cut 20 seconds off her hundred yard swim time
- Upcoming Race Calendar Insight and races to follow 
- Season Pass for live ITU Triathlon
- A hot Ironman 70.3 to keep an eye on

Here's the link to watch ITU races all season. 

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Apr 13, 2017

Matt Fitzgerald has written nearly 30 books about fitness and nutrition for endurance athletes. He's currently in the middle of running 8 marathons in 8 weeks to fuel his new book "Life is a Marathon." He's the author of "The Endurance Diet," "Iron War," "80/20 Running," "Racing Weight" and one of our favorites, "50/50" about Dean Karnazes' amazing feat of 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. He talks about all of that and so much more, including:

  • How does Matt feel about paleo, low-carb, vegan diets, bullet proof coffee?
  • What diet you SHOULD follow for the best success
  • Why he’s in the middle of 8 marathons in 8 weeks
  • Boston Marathon
  • What drives him as a nutrition and endurance writer
  • The way to successful Recovery
  • What it’s like working with Dean Karnazes and the Iron Cowboy
  • Is there pressure being a “nutritional expert?”
  • What part does the mind play on new diets?
  • The safest and most effective way for endurance athletes to eat
  • How important are foam rollers and ice baths?
  • Exploring his upcoming book “Life is a Marathon” and why it’s so important to him.
  • Why he used to think of himself as a coward
  • How Bi-Polar disorder has touched his life in a major way
  • Running and Depression
  • Running to connect with others if you’re an introvert
  • The Charles Bukowski connection
  • How he got his start as a comedic poet

Learn more about Matt by following "Life is a Marathon" on Facebook
Matt on Twitter: 
His Website is

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Apr 10, 2017

Ross Kaffenberger lives in Northern Virginia, enters the ever competitive 40-44 age group this year and is doing Ironman Wisconsin. But the "why" behind his next big race is the real story. 

We all have challenges, but we don't know many people who have gone through anything like this. He opens up about how triathlon may have saved his sanity and kept him from falling into depression. 

Ross is an incredibly mindful person and shares a ton of insight on how he's kept moving forward after his life was flipped upside down. He has some great posts on his blog, Out and Back, which you can find here. Follow Ross on Twitter @rossta

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Apr 6, 2017

It's been said that talent is 20% of the equation in life. What about the rest? How are you handling the rest of the 80% that makes the difference in triathlon, or life? Today, Mike and Robbie look at successful strategies and habits they've used in training and racing. 

- Visualizing success
- The secret to not stopping 
- The dream is dependent on the dreamer
- Projecting positive energy
- How to believe you can do something
- The power of preparing to fail
- Changing your perspective on monotony
- How to not lose sight of opportunity
- Finding and using race energy correctly
- Absorbing the moment as it comes 
- Fighting resistance that doesn't need to be there

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Apr 3, 2017

This topic is right in Coach Robbie's wheelhouse and Mike is a great Guinea Pig due to his long history of open water swim anxiety. This podcast is loaded with gems on how to be a better open water swimmer. Included:

• Pre-race rituals including a great way to prep for cold water
• Getting mentally stronger
• Wet suit chest pressures
• Controlling your heart rate
• Dealing with contact
• The importance of warm ups
• How to not worry about what’s under the water
• Training for congestion
• Why stroke turnover is king
• Positioning for a floating start
• How to train harder than the race
• How to use a sandy beach to make you stronger

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Mar 30, 2017

In order to train hard, you have to adapt and recover even harder.  Or . . . you'll stay the same. Same athlete. Same issues. Same speed. Discipline takes focus, energy, and dedication.  Your lifecycle as a triathlete doesn't end on the day of your A Race.  It lasts as long as you want . . . until you quit.  Recovery is the most underrated aspect of training and life.  Today we hit all these topics and more.  

• Nailing your training starts with nailing your recovery. 
• Adjusting your recovery cycle to your body and lifestyle
• Reigning in a high-octane
• Why (and how) your coach should adjust to you 
• What are the best signs that you’re overtraining?
• How coffee affects your recovery
• Mentally and emotionally guiding your recovery
• What cravings for sugar, caffeine, and pizza really mean
• How being tired and being tempted work together 
• The most underrated recovery tools on the market
• Why mental stress = physical stress 
• How your fascia can affect your brain
• A surefire way to remain the same speed
• The magic of active recovery

Be sure to check out our awesome training plans here 
We have 13 training plans for everything from Olympic to Full Ironman, plus, Swimming and a few custom designed for certain races.
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Mar 27, 2017

I (Mike) asked coach Robbie a question two days after Wisconsin lost to Florida on a last second shot in March Madness: How can I still be so bummed out? Robbie said it's all about emotional investment, how much effort have you put into "your team" or in the case of most of this podcast "your race."  

- How do we rebound from a race that didn't go how we planned?
- Why we set ourselves up to fail
- Why bad or great days can throw you off
- The best way to predict your next race result  
- Life stress and physical stress hit you the same
- How to find the lesson in failure

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Mar 23, 2017
Steve Magness is the head coach for the University of Houston cross country team.  He also coaches several professional runners, such as Jackie Areson, Sara Hall, and Tommy Schmitz. He's been called "The Mad Scientist of Running" by for his intense love of digging into physiology and psychology.  It took about one minute for him to warm up and dive deep into his unique and exciting theories that go far deeper than just running.  He talks about a winner's mentality and how so much of endurance starts above the shoulders.  His new book Peak Performance will be out soon and if it's anything like this interview, it should be a best seller. At one point he said, "I have a theory for everything," and that's the truth.  Enjoy.    

In today's podcast: 
- Accepting anxiety in order to boost performance
- How and why training gets overcomplicated 
- Why he think a lot of us would be better off leaving our Garmin's at home 
- Why coaching is usually more mental and emotional than physical
- Why we sometimes perform best when we feel bad
- Our bodies survival skills at work when we race our best 
- The breakdown on Steve's new book "Peak Performance" 
- We ask about the differences between his college and professional athletes
- Biggest differences between coaching women and men
- The best piece of advice Steve's ever gotten from a coach
- His take on the Sub 2 Marathon Hour Project
- His favorite runner of all time
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Mar 20, 2017

When family, work, injury, or another setback gets in the way, how do you adapt, adjust and keep a positive mindset on the big picture of a long season?  Mike is training for Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga and has been traveling two weeks with very little training.  Today, Coach Robbie gets him back on track two months from the race.  

- Getting your legs back fast after a short layoff
- Why you may not be as out of shape as you think you are
- Releasing the wound up tightness
- Ramp up test to see where you're at after a layoff
- Why a two week training absence may be the best thing for your race
- Drinking too much coffee and how it really affects you
- How to understand your expectations vs. adjusting your goals
- Why being undertrained is far better than being overtrained
- Why you should never do a long brick run
- How to avoid deep fatigue that you might not recognize
- How to stay mentally fresh 

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Mar 16, 2017

Believe that running slow in training can make you faster?  Today, Coach Robbie shows you the evidence.  He spent 10 Weeks keeping it under control and knocked over 1:30 off his 5K time with a lower heart rate.  It's all here... in an abbreviated version of How Not To Suck at Running.  This cast is a little shorter, so we'll give you a bonus cast soon.  Thanks for listening.  

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Mar 13, 2017

Most of us know about the foam roller, but what's the right way to use it?  How else can we help keep your muscles from getting sore and injured?  Is it good or bad for triathletes to lift weights?  Should you go heavy, or keep it light with a lot of reps?  We also talk about how to handle semi-bonks within your race and why it's so important to train for them before hand.  Lots of viable/useable stuff in today's podcast.  

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Mar 9, 2017

Most of us has had at least a mild panic attack in the open water, but it doesn't have to be that way.  Nor do you have to fear turns and other riders on the bike course.  Today we talk about ways to get by the tension that holds you back.  We also talk about how to craft a routine that builds confidence and appreciate your gains. And finally, how to grow when critics beat you down.  

- Ways to beat open water swim anxiety and panic
- Bike handling techniques to make you more comfortable
- Where to look and what to think about while cycling
- Patterns that will make you more confident
- How to not let others get you down
- How to get a DISCOUNT on our TRAINING PLANS 

Crushing Iron Training Plans on Training Peaks 

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Mar 7, 2017

As much as everyone seemed to love the Dog Cast, we are excited to be back to normal programming.  Today's show is powered by listener email, which is definitely the right direction.  Lots of good questions and we unleash nuggets in and around each of the topics, including:  

- Preparing for multi-day events like Triple-T and stage races
- Adult Tri Camps
- How to not suck at Cycling and Running 
- Injury work-a-rounds in each discipline
- Training for a wetsuit race
- Future Crushing Iron Training weekend camp
- Crushing Iron athletes that had great weekend races
- The future of Dog Casts

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Mar 6, 2017

Hopefully this will be the first and last Crushing Iron Dog Cast, but that's up to you!  Last week we asked for 10 emails at ... and got pretty close, but didn't quite make it.  We're looking for your input, stories, ideas, and inspiration.  We're 33 podcasts in and want to build an interactive community on some level. So please spread the word and get involved.  In the meantime, enjoy how raising a dog relates and inspires triathlon! 

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