Crushing Iron Triathlon Podcast

Find out why thousands of beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes are improving their training and racing with accessible, functional and genuine conversation about triathlon. An Age Group triathlete and his coach, who aren't afraid to laugh at themselves, look for smart and enjoyable solutions in a sport that's often dumb and painful. Mike Tarrolly and Robbie Bruce explore the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual side of training and racing everything from Ironman to a Sprint. on Monday and Thursday.
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Jan 26, 2017

Today we hit on a ton of topics for the beginner and intermediate triathlete with our new "Ask The Coach" segment. These are questions (or versions of) we see all over the internet. This is one of our favorite podcasts to date. Enjoy! 

  •  What is a threshold test for the bike and how does it work…why should someone do this?  Explain power meter??
  • I’m having a tough time getting back into swimming… other than prescribed workouts, what do you suggest to get back into the groove?
  • A lot of people have a hard time training for hills because of where they live….what would you recommend for both the bike and/or run?
  • How do you deal with the mental aspects on the bike and run?  Do you prepare your thought process beforehand?  
  • Regarding apparel…. what do you look for when you’re buying a new kit?
  • What about supplements… do you take them?  Why do you take the ones you do?
  • Let’s talk about dry land training for swimming….  
  • Would you compare your first Sprint to losing your virginity?
  • FB question:  Since headphones are not allowed during the race itself, I'm assuming that training without headphones would be wise. Opinions?
  • FB question: I have been training six days a week, but I want to make sure I'm training right. What training plan does everyone recommend? Even though I'm a 140.6 first timer I don't want to train as a beginner. I am ready and willing to put the time and work in, but want to make the most of my time.

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Jan 23, 2017

They say Nutrition is the 4th Discipline of triathlon, so we brought on Registered Dietician, Lizzy Miller to fill us in. There are tons of philosophies on the right ways to fuel -in and out- of the race and we're opening the dialogue.  We also discuss a body image.  More on today's podcast:

- How to get started on the right diet without blowback from your body
- How to teach your body to use fat for energy
- The easiest way to balance your diet
- How much should your meals vary?
- Anorexia and Bulimia 
- Ketosis
- In race nutrition

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Jan 21, 2017

Triathlon has changed many people's lives, including ours. Many of us can't talk about it enough and one of the tricky parts is figuring out when and how to find connection with others who understand your journey. Today we go dive into things like why, after trekking 138 miles in an Ironman and every bone in our body hurts, we can be sad the day is almost over. We also talk about training APPS like Strava and how they can make you feel like you're in a continual race.  Is that good or bad? How can we tell if triathlon is helping us grow or creating bad habits? And, of course, the quest for the ultimate high.  

Please subscribe and review on iTunes.  

Jan 19, 2017

We've committed to releasing a podcast every Monday and Thursday, but today's podcast is delayed because of a computer issue. We hope to post it later this afternoon or tonight, so keep checking back.  Thanks for all your comments on iTunes and feedback through email at  

Jan 16, 2017

Due to a huge reaction to Part 1 of How To Not Suck At Swimming, we're back with a companion piece.  Coach Robbie lives and breathes open water swimming and he's back with another round of great insight to becoming faster, stronger, and more efficient in open water.  Topics covered today are:

- Proper breathing - How and When
- Body Positioning and how to get it right
- Hand entry and exit - How and When
- How to deprogram from bad advice, including workouts that get you there
- How to structure a swim week of workouts 
- Should you join a Master's Team?
- Swimming square and why you swim crooked

Coach Robbie also has a big announcement and we'll tell you which country is second in Crushing Iron listenership.  

If you feel you're getting some good information, please subscribe and review on iTunes.

Jan 12, 2017

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Jumping into triathlon can be daunting. You have to decide which race, what do I need to buy, and most importantly, WHY you want to do triathlon.  This is for beginners and intermediate, but there are tons of little nuggets for all skill levels including how you can plan for long-term racing success and make triathlon a better sport along the way.   

Today's Topics:
- things to consider before signing up for your first race (location, brand, race management, time of year)
- what made you want to do a "triathlon" in the first place - finding your "why"
- items you HAVE to have, would be nice to have , and items that are just  because you WANT to have them
- how to set up a plan for success
- how to know if you are ready to go to the next distance 

Please subscribe and leave a comment on iTunes.

Jan 9, 2017

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Today, Coach Robbie grills Mike about what it was like to go from the couch to Ironman as a 50-year-old.  The whole process started with a 5K and ended at Ironman Wisconsin 18 months later.  They discuss the physical and mental components of changing a lifestyle in such a dramatic fashion and what was learned along the way.  Some of the topics are:

- What convinced Mike he could tackle and Ironman
- The importance of recovery as you get older
- Turning points in Mike's belief system
- How Mike went from a 42 minute Olympic swim to a 1:20 Ironman at Wisconsin
- How to virtually guarantee a solid Ironman run
- Mike's longest run ever was 14 miles
- How Coach Robbie kept him focused over a long 9-month-plan
- Overcoming mental and emotional burnout
- The mind game Mike played with himself to assure a sub-12 Ironman

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Jan 5, 2017

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Triathlon has so many products it can make your head spin.  But which are frauds and which are for real? Today we have in-depth and honest discussion on a lot triathlete's favorite gear, habits, and nutrition, including:

• Compression Socks
• Chocolate Milk
• Ice Baths
• Stretching
• Altitude Training
• Coca Cola
• Pull Buoys
• Massages
• Training Masks
• Windbreakers

Please subscribe to Crushing Iron on iTunes.

Reference Links from Podcast
Chocolate Milk
Ice Baths
Compression Socks

Jan 2, 2017

Mike and Robbie track their 24 hours before bed until the Ironman finish line.  These tactics apply to non-Ironman distance as well.  If you've done (or never done) there's a lot of food for thought in this episode which discusses the following:

• Night before Race Meals
• Sleep strategies
• Wake up calls
• Morning of race meals
• Last hour before the swim thoughts/nutrition
• Tactics for the Swim
• Nutrition for first 10 miles of bike
• Gastro challenges
• The biggest mistake people make on the bike
• Prepping for run while on the bike
• Nutrition/Hydration strategies for the run
• Post-race fuel
• A great way to clean your top, shorts, and shoes 

Email your questions, thoughts, topic ideas to 

Dec 29, 2016

In this episode we cover:

  • Breaking your bike into two in one day
  • Cycling workouts that are best for your run
  • Why you should pay attention to your "natural cadence" on the bike
  • The best way to attack your trainer workouts
  • The great cadence debate - high rpm or low rpm?
  • From Injury to a negative split run at Ironman Lake Placid.
  • Is your long weekend run overrated?
  • Finding that breakout moment to give you confidence.
  • Single leg drills 

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Dec 26, 2016

The documentary Minimalism fueled a lot of today's conversation on the Crushing Iron podcast.  We were curious how simplifying your training could help you be a better athlete and get more out of life along the way.  So we discussed the following:

- Decluttering your workout routine
- Running with your dog, spouse, friends more often
- Simplifying your diet for more consistent results
- How cleaning your environment reduces stress
- All time favorite personal moments in triathlon (they're not the races)
- The 80/20 rule for successful training
- 3 Keys to life according to Adam Robinson from the Tim Ferris podcast. 

Please leave a review for this podcast on iTunes. 

Dec 22, 2016

Dr. Oz would probably love this podcast.  Mike and Robbie dig into how they've changed physically, emotionally, and spiritually since they started triathlon. They talk about addiction, delusional passion, and how triathlon can be a vehicle for a better life instead of living our lives for triathlon. They explore social media's impact on the health of the sport, the high of your first race, and the lows that come from a triathlon lifestyle.  Listen to find out how you can win a free Crushing Iron t-shirt.  

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Dec 19, 2016

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As an age grouper I went from not being able to swim more than a lap to swimming a mass start at Ironman Wisconsin in 1:20.  That process took less than a year following these principles.  I followed that with a 1:06.  

Coach Robbie has a strong swim background and focuses on open water.  He's swam 53 minutes in Ironman and has a deep passion for helping his athletes be stronger, faster, and more efficient swimmers. Today he covers the following in detail:   
1.  Why drills are a waste of time. 
2.  Why building swim fitness should be powerful and purposeful. 
3.  The bigger your mesh bag, the slower you are committed to being. 
4.  The correct and most effective way to use paddles. 
5.  Why pool swimming and open water swimming are two different sports.
6.  What an expensive wetsuit really does for your swim.   
7.  The power of the Pull Buoy. 
8.  The tools you need and the tools you don't need.

Plus, why Coach Robbie thinks IRONMAN should change the swim cut off from 2:20 to 1:40. He also gives two excellent (and customizable) workouts you can start using now to be a better swimmer next season.  

Please leave a review on iTunes.  Follow Crushing Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Dec 15, 2016

Mike and Robbie review the KONA Broadcast on NBC and it opened an interesting question: Should Ironman move the World Championships out of KONA?  That conversation happens toward the end at the 25 minute mark and Mike was totally against it at first, but completely changed his tune.  We also cover:

- The Jan Frodeno/Sebastian Kienle match up.  
- Ryf and Rinny
- Men vs. Women and the future of pros at Kona
- The human interest, including the heart wrenching story of the woman burned in an ultra marathon.
- The oldest man to finish at Kona
- Advertising during the broadcast
- Why moving the World Championships off the island would be the best thing for the sport.
- Ironman World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin . . . or Chattanooga??  

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Dec 12, 2016

Does ego disrupt your balance in Training? Do holidays throw you off? When you add Ironman to the mix it's easy to lose control.  Today we look at a bunch of strategies to keep your life and training in balance with so much going on in your life. 

- How To Handle Training While Sick
- Importance of Training in the Morning
- How Family Can Make Training More Purposeful
- Why Pro Triathlete Lionel Sanders Changed His Approach 
- How Ego Can Disrupt Progress
- Why Morning Swims Are Critical
- Repetition and Frequency Are King
- The Power of Flexible Training Schedules
- Are You Forcing Training?
- Christmas Cookies

Here's a link to the Lionel Sanders blog post we referenced. 

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Dec 8, 2016

Have you been sabotaging your races?  Are you hoping to move up from 20th or 30th to the podium?  Back of the pack to mid-pack? This is the podcast for you. We look at great ways to take your training (and racing) to the next level.  In this episode you'll find out:

- How To Win A Free Coaching Consultation
- How To Prep Your Body To Start The Season
- If Your Base Training Has Plateaued 
- How to break through 15+ Slots In Your Race
- What it really takes to make an Ironman Podium
- To Prepare Your Body For the Next Phase
- If you're lost in the numbers
- To Break Race Prep Into Blocks

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  • Robbie’s Consultation
  • Friday Five
  • Email us:


Dec 2, 2016

Are you running too fast in training?  Probably!  Today Mike and Coach Robbie look at the timeless run training method of Ernst Van Aaken.  At the core of his theory is that we need to train in ways that make more efficient use of oxygen for our heart and cells.  We'll take a deep dive into the theory of running slow.  

Link to article about Ernst Van Aaken from The Science of Running

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Nov 30, 2016

The key to most things in life is learning from your mistakes and resolving them so they don't create anxiety in the future.  This is absolutely true in triathlon.  Did you have a bad swimming experience, but not address it?  Afraid of flat tires because you haven't learned to change them fast?  Afraid you might not finish your first Ironman?  Mike and Coach Robbie discuss how embracing mistakes builds confidence in yourself and your race.  

Nov 27, 2016

Is your coach listening to your needs?

In this episode, Mike and Coach Robbie talk about his Coaching Philosophy, including why it's important for a coach to really know their athlete and how motivation, creativity, and listening are huge elements for helping you reach your goals.  

They look at general theory, plus each of the individual sports: swim, bike, run.  

If you have questions, comments, or ideas for a future podcast, send them to

Be sure to follow Crushing Iron on Facebook and Twitter.  

Nov 22, 2016

How do you prepare for race pain?  

Topics include:

Preparing for the pain of an Ironman Run

A mentally daunting run workout

"Relaxing Away" the pain

De-hydration and inflammation 

Simulating the pain in workouts

Using oxygen in a more efficient way

Is it pain, or discomfort?

Send us your topics or questions: 

Be sure to follow Crushing Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and NOW ON ITUNES.  

Nov 22, 2016

The IRONMAN Wisconsin Course, from mass start, to hilly bike, to the crazy crowd support on the run.  Both Mike and Robbie raced Wisconsin this year and they talk about why it's one of their favorite races along with:

- The unparalleled crowd support
- How to handle the Mass Swim Start
- Little talked about challenges of the IMWI Swim
- Strategies for handling the Bike
- What people underestimate on the Bike Course
- The Best and Worst of the Run Course
- Why the IMWI Finish may be the best

If you have any topics you'd like Crushing Iron to discuss, email us at: 

Be sure to Follow Crushing Iron on Facebook and Twitter for all things Ironman Triathlon.  

Nov 14, 2016

Today's Crushing Iron Podcast dives into:

01:00 - Off-Season training MYTH #1 (running)
06:14 - Off-Season training MYTH #2 (swimming)
13:35 - How to not "over-think" swimming
14:12 - Off-season training MYTH #3 (cycling)
19:35 - PR your race not your workouts
23:53 - Post IRONMAN Blues
31:56 - Doing Multiple Ironman Races in One Year
39:00 - Why Qualifying for Ironman 70.3 Worlds Will Be Tougher Than Ever

*Send your questions to
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Nov 14, 2016

Check out our new Training Center, the C26 Hub in Chattanooga. 
Learn more about Custom Weekly C26 Coaching 
Get your C26 Gear


Crushing Iron Podcast #2 covers:

03:17 - The Smart Way to plan your 2017 Race Calendar
08:20 - Keeping Off Season Training Fun but Focused
13:22 - Overall Body Balance in Workouts 
15:50 - Do you want a training plan or a Coach?
19:45 - "Speeding Up" versus "Slowing Down The Least"
24:00 - Building Power to Lose Power
26:22 - Mental and Physical Hurdles of an IRONMAN Marathon
34:24 - How to Ruin Your Race
35:39 - Self Calibrating your internal Power and Pace meters

Send Questions to 

Nov 14, 2016

Check out our new Training Center, the C26 Hub in Chattanooga. 
Learn more about Custom Weekly C26 Coaching 
Get your C26 Gear


This is the first Crushing Iron podcast with Mike and Coach Robbie.  Our focus is on age group athletes that want to get better, along with get more out of the sport, including peace of mind and enjoyment.  

Today's Podcast covers:

00:00 - Setting 2017 Goals (The reality of qualifying for KONA)
07:27 - IRONMAN as a bucket list versus a path to growth
16:30 - Setting realistic goals based on race-day conditions
18:55 - New IRONMAN races and how that impacts us
24:21 - Breaking through barriers in off-season
26:25 - Why the swim is more important than most people think
38:21 - IRONMAN's shortened races dilemma

Please send any questions to 

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