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. Two coaches, 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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Now displaying: 2017
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

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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! 

Mar 2, 2017

Today's is hardcore and honest dialogue between about why Mike and Robbie REALLY got into triathlon.  The guys talk about the low points, how triathlon drove them, eventually backfired and how they turned it all around . . . sort of.  This is also a bit of a test to see if we can get some emails.  We want your stories, ideas, and questions at .... if we don't get 10 emails by Monday, the podcasts will be Mike and Robbie talking about their dogs until we do.  Thanks for being a part of the community!  

Quick talk about Kim Chambers - Marathon Swimmer with the sharks

The Boys Open Up 

How triathlon has helped with:

- Depression 
- Addiction 
- Purpose
- Competitive fuel 


Feb 27, 2017

"Swimming is good for your bike and your run.  Cycling is good for swimming and running.  Running is good for running." - Coach Robbie

Today, we look at the benefits of the cross train on all disciplines, along with other random triathlon insights.  We talk about the Crushing Iron documentary, which is in the works again, along with why focusing on one sport could be a huge advantage in the long run.  

Today's Topics:

- Crushing Iron: The Documentary
- Why swimming is so good for your run
- Running may be King, but it's the most likely to make you a pauper
- Focusing on one discipline for a year
- When to schedule your half marathon prep race
- How and why recovery swims and rides work
- Finding rhythm in your training
- How to make friends at the race expo

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Feb 23, 2017

The pre-race taper is one of the most confusing parts of triathlon.  A lot of us make the mistake of calling it "rest" but it really should be a strategic one, two, or three week approach to fine tuning your muscles and mind.  Today, we go deep into tapering philosophy to give you some good food for thought based on your fitness level, PLUS, tell you about the new Crushing Iron Training Plans and how you can get a 30% discount.  

- How long should your taper be for a Sprint, Olympic, Half, or Full?
- How long should your workouts be during race week
- How to handle the day before the race
- Why your fitness level should determine "how" you taper
- Why losing intensity during your taper is a huge mistake
- Why you should never say "I'm training through my 'B' race"

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Feb 20, 2017


Seems like it's that time of the year when everybody's getting sick or worn down from an early season surge and change in the weather. Today we look at when it's okay to push through and when (and how) you should reel it in. There's also a lot in here on how to get over the hump when you're not feeling like doing a workout. But there's much more, including: 

- The mental and emotional sides of being sick and/or worn down
- Planning Swim, Bike, Run as one Race vs. 3 sports
- Building a “different” kind of confidence
- When to trash today’s workout
- When Zone One Is Your Best Friend
- Aligning patience with pure motives
- Do what’s going to make you feel the best
- How to motivate when you’re not feeling it

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Feb 16, 2017

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If you're looking for passion about triathlon, look no further than Stephen Del Monte, Race Director for Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City and several others events on the south Jersey Shore. He's all about customer service and goes out of his way to make sure every athlete succeeds.  He has tons of videos where he personally guides you how to sight the swims and what to watch for as potential problems on the bike and run.  He's a great storyteller and explains how he went from a teacher to a race announcer to a race director, along with:

- The secrets to producing a great race
- The one thing that pisses off triathletes most
- He addresses the Ironman critics and explains why WTC is the best event company in the world
- He explains how the Ironman relationship works with local race directors  
- Why many triathletes are intimidated by Ironman Branded Races and why they shouldn’t be
- What he thinks is the best Half
- The ONE THING Race Directors cannot get away with
- Your number one concern as an athlete entering any race.  
- Why Ironman gets so many volunteers
- How he deals with weather cancellations and shortened courses
- How Ironman is putting pressure on grass roots races and why that’s a good thing

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Feb 13, 2017

Did you spend more money on your helmet than your bike fit?  That could be problem number one, especially considering a bad bike fit can not only hurt your ride, it can destroy your run.  It's easy to get sidetracked by the glitzy temptations of cycling gear, but there are many better options for your time and money. Today we discuss a smart and well-rounded approach to being a better cyclist. How To Not Suck At Cycling discusses:  

- Choosing the right bike
- What results you need from a bike fit
- Solid Baselines for your training 
- Understanding Zones 1-5
- Why you're likely making a common training Zone Mistake
- Training with RPE, HR, and Power Meters
- Picking the right helmet
- Buying a suit
- Hydration set up
- Race Wheels 

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