The TriDot Podcast

Doing the RIGHT Training RIGHT

Episode Summary

Reaching your performance potential requires getting the most out of your limited time and energy by doing the RIGHT training RIGHT. This doesn't happen by just "working hard" and putting in "more time." There are specific things you can do to ensure your training is the best quality possible and that you complete it in the most effective way. We'll discuss tips and tricks for getting the most value out of individual sessions, prioritizing sessions when life happens and you need to adapt your plans, recognizing training objectives for different types of sessions, avoiding the pitfalls that hinder your ability to make consistent progress, and much more.

Episode Transcription

TriDot Podcast .09

Doing The RIGHT Training RIGHT

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: Welcome to the TriDot Podcast. Today is going to be a really, really good one. I'm excited to be joined by TriDot’s Founder and CEO, Jeff Booher. Jeff is the Chief Architect behind TriDot insight optimization technology that powers TriDot training. He's a multiple Ironman finisher who has coached dozens of professional triathletes and national champions as well as hundreds of age groupers to various podium and PRs since he began coaching triathlon in 2003. Jeff, thanks for joining me today. 

Jeff: Absolutely. Glad to be here, ready to roll. How are you doing today, Andrew? 

Andrew: I'm good man. I'm real good. Just had some coffee, you know feeling hyped. 

Jeff: Very good. 

Andrew: Got the personality turned on. Next up is pro triathlete, Coach Elizabeth James. Elizabeth came to the sport from a soccer background and quickly rose through the triathlon ranks using TriDot from a beginner to top age grouper and to professional triathlete status. She's a Kona and Boston Marathon qualifier who has coached triathletes with TriDot since 2014. Elizabeth, welcome to the show. 

Elizabeth: Thank you. It's always great to be here. 

Andrew: It better be. And who am I? I am your host Andrew, the average triathlete, voice of the people and captain of the middle of the pack. Like any good workout, we here at TriDot like to ease into things with a little warm up question. After that we will dive headfirst into our main set conversation, which today is all about doing the right training right. We're going to unpack that statement and I'm excited about it. Then we'll cool things down with the TriDot top 10. Recently, we pulled athletes asking what is your A race this year, and we're going to tell you the top 10 responses we received. So, lots of great stuff. Let's get to it. 

Time to warm up. Let's get moving. 

Andrew: Recently on Facebook, TriDot athlete Tracy posted this. “Last night I met my husband at the front door literally jumping up and down. I had a run workout yesterday that I thought would be impossible to hit. I thought there was no way I could hold that fast pace for so long.” So, Tracy's workout guys, just for context, it had some zone five intervals. And when she was done and she checked the results, she found that not only was she able to hold her zone five paces, but she actually had spent a considerable amount of time overachieving in zone six. Her husband asked her, “How did you make it happen?” And she said, “I started thinking that if TriDot assigned this workout to me, it thinks I can do it, so I did it.” Jeff, Elizabeth, I know you both saw this post on Facebook. What were your thoughts on hearing Tracy's statement, Elizabeth? 

Elizabeth: For me, I just couldn't stop smiling. I know that the evening that Tracy posted this, our team was messaging each other saying, “Hey, do you see this post? Like, isn't this awesome?” Coming from a career in education, it's moments like this that just reinforced my passion for helping others. My favorite moments in the classroom were always when students accomplish something that they didn't believe that they could do or they could see their progress as they were kind of striving toward a goal that they had set. And it's posts like Tracy's where she's just exclaiming that she was able to accomplish something that she previously thought impossible. In addition to the outpouring and just sincere excitement and mutual celebration from the TriDot community of athletes and coaches, that is really giving me the greatest joy. And just like I said, I couldn't stop smiling seeing that post. 

Andrew: I think people need to realize, like we see the things people post. And I mean, as a coach like there's probably no greater joy than that and seeing that an athlete had a moment of breakthrough, had that lightbulb moment, had that realization that like, oh my gosh, I can do something that I didn't think I could do. Jeff, what did you think when you saw Tracy's post? 

Jeff: Same thing. I mean, we all kind of reacted and our threads are going, overlapping each other. And we see that anyone that's been you know, in the I Am TriDot Facebook Group, they see kind of comments like that where people are celebrating each other's triumphs and successes and we see those come through quite a bit. But every once in awhile there's one where you can just feel the sense of passion and joy, this is a huge breakthrough. One of the other things you paraphrase a little bit in our comment, one of the things that she said in there in those intervals was this she ran her fastest mile that she'd ever done and she did it in the midst of a workout when she did a whole bunch of other hard efforts. 

Andrew: It wasn't even just a one mile pure effort. It was one mile within the context of a workout she got her fastest mile. 

Jeff: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, that was super cool for us. One of the things we do I mean, we share those often as a team, our internal you know, coaching staff and-- [We love our athletes] we do well, that's a core value of who we are, our core value number two. We are passionate about helping people improve and succeed, and that really comes through. We live it, we care personally about the individuals. When they have an accomplishment like this, it's acknowledging that willingness, as we are triathletes to really invest yourself in something that's lofty, ambitious, stretching, striving for something to better yourself as a person. So, I just think that's really cool and so we celebrated that a lot. In the same way, I think we're out there seeing when athletes struggle and stumble and question and have those moments--

Andrew: Not every workout can be the perfect workout. You don't always nail it. 

Jeff: And the one thing that I love about our community and that same Facebook group is the support of all the athletes reaching and encouraging and comments and that's just so wonderful to see those as well, they rally behind each other. So, the I Am TriDot community is just wonderful. 

Andrew: Yeah, and Tracy if you're listening, I'll tell you this, when your post went out, Jeff Booher actually sitting here with me, Founder of TriDot, he's the one who you know, we all saw it on Facebook, but he sent it around in a group email like did you guys see this post? Like, as the founder of TriDot, your words in the email were like, this might be my favorite post I've seen, which is high praise. What I loved about it was the statement she made where she said at the end, “TriDot thought I could do it and so I just did it.” And there's been several workouts that I just like her, I've looked at the workout and I'm like, oh, I don't know about this one. And you get out there and you can surprise yourself. Because it might be a surprise to Tracy that she was able to do that but TriDot wasn't surprised, that she was able to do that. 

Jeff: Right. And for me, and maybe that's one why it hit the passion, the sincerity of it, the momentous breakthrough of it, all was super special. But a lot of our coaches, I don't work with athletes directly one on one as much as I used to, at all. And so I'm in the weeds with the technology and all of this. And so that was-- So, a lot of our coaches get the kudos and the pat on the back and they get that sense of feeling, I made this personal difference in this life. And that was kind of for me just a little, I played a little part in that. And the technology and the algorithms pushed her to do something, encouraged her, gave her the confidence and the belief that she could do something that she didn't think she could. So, that was like a very personal thing that really struck a chord with me. 

Andrew: Yep. Tracy, thanks for the post. All of you out there, keep at it in your workouts and we love seeing your success. We feel like your success is our success as a group. So, keep the posts coming. 

On to the main session. Going in 3, 2, 1. 

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A training principle that has kind of organically taken shape amongst TriDot coaches is doing the right training right. When we talk about coaching athletes to succeed, we find ourselves constantly going back to that mantra. Athletes that consistently do the right training right, typically succeed in huge ways. While the ones who struggled to see performance gains usually have something in their training that they just aren't getting right. So, today, we're going to dig into doing the right training right. Jeff, why don't you kick us off by kind of explaining what we mean when we say do the right training right? 

Jeff: Okay. Well, there's a lot to unpack there. The full statement of belief is that success or training successes, specifically, your success comes from consistently doing the right training right. So, as you unpack it, there's four key words; success, consistently, and then right, and right. So, the last one’s two words, right training right. So, the first one, success is not about just finishing, improving or even PRing. All those are good things but that's not how we define success. You can do a lot of things wrong and still modestly improve. So, it's about your potential is about understanding what your performance potential is, what your improvement potential is given your commitment level and your constraints, whether it's genetics or anything else. So, what is possible for you to achieve is getting the most performance improvement out of your scarce resources, your time and energy. So, that understanding is that first crucial step. 

Andrew: So, like why is that step so crucial understanding it? 

Jeff: Well, you've got to value your time and energy for one. So, you have to have a goal, you have to care about getting the most outcome in staying injury free. So, you can't just be winging it. You have to have a goal. And there's a common saying, not just in triathlon but everywhere, ignorance is bliss. So, there's a lot of people don't know what their potential is, they don't know how effectively you can train and how quickly you can get to faster times or how much faster those times can actually be just like Tracy in the warm up. And so it's understanding that, first of all, what success is that there is this potential of improvement and there is this potential within me. And then it's reconciling that and seeing the opportunity cost associated with that. And having that visible, like, here's how much I can improve by doing the right training right, consistently and here's what the cost will be otherwise. And a lot of people don't see the potential, they just accept modest gains over time. It could be, for example, someone sets out a goal to finish an Ironman at the end of the year and they go and do that. But they could have done it an hour faster. 

Andrew: And to them, they accomplished their goal. 

Jeff: Yeah. And so wow, I’ve done more than I've ever done. 

Andrew: But accomplishing the goal doesn't mean you met your potential. 

Jeff: And that's great and it's fine but if you truly want success to achieve your best sort of push, stay injury free, it's realizing that there's this greater potential possible. The potential in you and the potential to train better. 

Andrew: So, you can do training and you can accomplish your goal or you can do the training right, the right training right [crosstalk] and really maximize-- 

Jeff: And so that benefits not just in time. So, you could take an Ironman at the end of the year, you go do a 13-hour Ironman, when it could have been a 12, you go do an 11 when it could have been in 10, or whatever that difference is. And another thing is being more efficient with your time, you're able to do it in a more sustainable way. Which means a happier family life. You can stay in the sport longer, it's not sacrificing your career, the injuries from overtraining. There's so many other things that you can do by consistently doing the right training right. And once you see and understand why that is, and how that's truly possible, then you recognize that opportunity cost that there is, here's what success can be and here is the delta between just going it alone, going with a traditional approach, non-optimized training, or just not doing the right training and not doing it right. 

Andrew: Got it said, so how did the phrase become consistently doing the right training right? 

Jeff: Well, we talked about what is the right training, that's kind of the last few words is consistently because there's no one workout that's going to make or break your training. They're all important, it’s the collective impact of all of them. You’re just like investing, it's not just one big investment. Generally, is people methodically, patiently investing wisely, consistently over a long period of time. You know, it's that same approach to training is not one workout, it’s all of the workouts being tight and right. 

Andrew: There’s no overnight in triathlon. 

Jeff: Correct. And so that consistently is a very, very important thing, it’s not perfection. So, don't worry if you have to miss something here and there and it's actually the opposite of that. Don't worry about those things, as best you can be consistent as you can. Then the last two words are the same word but it's right, it's used twice. So, once as an adjective and once as an adverb, if I'm getting my grammar right. So, it's the right training that’s-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: Your grammar is better than mine.

Jeff: That's the what, right training, that's the design, the optimization of what should you be doing. So, I know a lot of athletes who want to have a very specific plan, but it can be very specific and structured, but wrong. It’s not what created that, it’s the wrong training. So, they're not doing the right training. Even if they went and did it all right, it's not the training they should be doing. So, it’s getting the right training, that's the what. 

Andrew: So, I think a lot of people fall into that, they see various blogs out there, they see this magazine, that magazine, this YouTube channel saying, oh, I do this work, I do that workout. This professional triathlete says this is her favorite swim set and so they're doing sets that are-- [they’re good set] Yeah, they're perfectly fine sets but it’s not [for someone else] the right training for them at the right timing. 

Jeff: At the right time. Exactly. So, that's the what and then the other doing the training right and that's the how, that's the training execution. And internally in TriDot, we have the word Train X, which means training execution. 

Andrew: How well did you accomplish that actual set? 

Jeff: Correct. How did you conduct it and it can be Train X session over a week, how well did you do a week's worth of training? And it weighs and evaluates all the different complexities of that and gives you a score, 1-100. So, the one word, right, two usages, one for the how, or what training and then how you do the training. And the important thing to realize here and as we're going through this podcast, is that both TriDot, the optimization, the tool, the technology, and the athlete both have a role in both of those. So, both an athlete and the technology are responsible and they're both required to make sure that both of those happen; that you get the what right and the how right. So, the right training, so getting the right training right, right is the key.

Andrew: Did you ever consider making it consistently do the correct training correctly? 

Jeff: It just did-- It just wasn't right. 

Andrew: A little bit of a mouthful, right? Okay. So, we've covered a lot already on just the kind of how that mantra came to be. And we haven't even started on the how-tos of doing the right training right. And that's really where we want to dive in today. So, let's really start walking through, we've identified these as the six how-tos to helping athletes with this. So, how-to number one in doing the right training right is you gotta optimize your training. Talk about this one, Elizabeth? 

Elizabeth: Yep. So, we've mentioned this a little bit already that too many people are not doing the right training much less doing the right training right. And TriDot really makes this easy to do both. So, Andrew, I know as you mentioned, we're not going to go a whole lot into how TriDot optimizes training today, we can leave that for other podcasts. 

Andrew: There’s a lot of math and data and analytics in that, that we just don’t want to dive into. 

Elizabeth: Yeah, we're not going to dive down that quite today. 

Andrew: Although Jeff Booher would be more than happy to.

Elizabeth: Oh, I'm sure. Yeah. We could be here for five hours. But we'll save that for another time. But truly, if you're not optimizing your training with TriDot, then you're simply not doing the right training. So, I kind of want to refer back to what Jeff had said about success. And the right training that we're talking about here is what's going to lead to success. So, getting the maximum performance improvement out of your available time and energy. So, you can't leave your training to trial and error, to philosophy, to theory or templates. Athletes first have to decide to use the technology that's available to them in TriDot. 

Andrew: Yeah, so I know that TriDot drives all of its training intelligently using data. And it always blows my mind when I hear some of the actual numbers behind the results of TriDot training. So, when we say that the training is optimized and that it's more beneficial than a template or trial and error or different theories; Jeff, what are some of the numbers behind that? How much of a quantifiable difference does optimize training make for the athlete? 

Jeff: Oh, well, good question. Like EJay said a few minutes ago some of the how, like, the actual technologies behind that we can leave for other podcasts. And when you understand, when you get into what they are and what they do, then you like, okay, well, I totally, I get it now. That makes complete sense, I see how that's possible. But to quantify it, and it's they’re averages. We do a preseason project, annual year and one of the big benefits of that is we're able to pull in several thousand athletes to that program, and we're able to get baseline numbers for all of them. 

Andrew: And that program is how I discovered TriDot and became a TriDot athlete and for a lot of folks, that's the-- You start using it and you're like, oh, this is great, and you stick with it. 

Jeff: Yeah. And so we have some that do engage and some that don't engage for various number reasons. So, we have some that'll they'll come in, they'll get two free months training, we establish all their baseline abilities, and they enter what races. And so we're able to track those athletes and what races they said that they're going to do and see where they started, and then see where they ended up for their race later in the year. And then we can see those that opt to continue to use TriDot to optimize their training and how they do. So, from that, we're able to have a baseline group, and then a TriDot group. And we can look even drilling down on that baseline group to who did their own training, who used a template, who hired a coach and all those stats as well. But in general, averaged out across about 13,000 athletes, so these are not highlights. This is the average improvement. Doing a full, you're going to increase almost an hour more using TriDot than not. And that's not people doing a 15 hour, the average is about 12:06, 12 hours and six minutes was about the average of the ability to coming in for those athletes. And so that's huge in about 28 minutes doing a 70.3. 

Andrew: It's massive, right. 

Jeff: It’s massive and it's training less. Less training, better results, injury-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: Because it's the right training, the right training done right leads to that difference. 

Jeff: Correct. So, it's substantial and I know someone hearing this for the first time today, eyes roll, yeah, right. So, listen to those podcasts and see or try it for yourself and see. But again, we can jump past that, I guess, hopefully, quantifies a little bit about what we're talking about and the importance of just making that decision to have optimized training or not. 

Andrew: Just to make me a concrete example because again, I came in through preseason project and I was like, oh yeah, let me try this for two months and see how it is. And so for someone like me, let's say my next race after preseason project was Ironman, Texas, it wasn't but say it was, so you're comparing my results as an athlete that stuck with TriDot to an athlete that came on in the preseason project that also did Ironman, Texas and didn't stick with it and saying, okay, what was the difference between this guy that stuck with TriDot training and this guy that didn't? And so when you're giving that number, that number isn't just a handful of examples. That number is, you said 13,000 [Yes] example of data points? 

Jeff: And so, we're able to take, we normalize all that. So, we're able to take not just Ironman, Texas, but all the different races. And you look at the amount of time between when they started, do their first baseline initial assessments to that race and then we can normalize and average the improvement gain per week, and then normalize that to an average weekly improvement. And so we average that over four months, 16 weeks. So, 16 weeks average improvement and so we can look at all-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: So, a lot of confirmation that those are the numbers, that’s the improvement. 

Jeff: And all of the different races are normalized based on elevation and temperature and intensity. So, there's not these differentials by having more people race hard races or easy races. So, all of that is normalized and accounted for. 

Andrew: So, what would you say to athletes that say, I don't have enough time for structured training. This sounds great, but I just don't have the time to do it? 

Elizabeth: Well, I'm so glad that you brought this up, Andrew as this is something that I hear quite often. So, kind of first thing that I want to go back to is when they're saying I don't have enough time for structured training, we still want to differentiate here that not just structured training, but optimized training. So, you can be doing structured training, but it still might not be optimized training. But then let's also think about this, if you're racing an event then you are going to be training. You are going to be doing something to prepare yourself for that race. And then the less time that you have available to train for that event, the more important it is that the training you're doing is the right training, is the optimized training, and then that you're doing it right. 

Andrew: I mean, that makes sense to me. I value my time and I don't want to waste my own time. And when I look back on my you know triathlete career before TriDot, I was like, man, I was just doing so many just-- I thought it was fairly structured, but it was like, man, it was just so random compared to what I'm doing now. So, that makes a lot of sense. 

Jeff: A lot of things just go out, work hard. You accomplish volume and you try to say I can go - 112 mile bike, I can ride 40 now and then 60, and then 80, and you just work up to it and think I'm improving, or you just work really, really hard all the time and think you're getting fit just because you were better than you were yesterday or last week. 

Andrew: Yeah, so let's get into the second how-to, how-to number two, how to do the right training right is this, you've got to feed quality data to your training. Jeff, can you talk to me about why this is such an important how-to? 

Jeff: It's critical, but in order to optimize anything, something can't be improved if it can't be measured. And so that's the key to optimization is measuring and getting the data. So, it's just like nutrition. You've heard the saying goes, you are what you eat. If you eat junk you're not going to be healthy, you're going to have problems. Well, in data, in IT, Information Technology, there's a saying that garbage in garbage out. So, if you put garbage, it doesn't matter how good the program is or whatever it is, if you have junk data going in, you're going to have junk stuff coming out. So, realizing that and having the best data that you can going in, so anything that's provided or prescribed can only be as good as that data. So, it starts with assessments and connecting your data and so I'll go through a few of those that are really key to do. I think when we talk about this it's like, I don’t know if our listeners remember the movie, Jerry Maguire. 

Andrew: Quality Tom Cruise movie. 

Jeff: Quality Tom Cruise movie. He's talking to the athlete and the athlete’s just acting, behaving making it really hard for-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: And he's a sports agent. 

Jeff: Yeah, he's a sports agent. So, he's trying to get him this new contract with a lot of money and he's just not cooperating. He's not doing things that make him very endearing to this process. So, Jerry, Tom Cruise is pleading with him, “Help me help you.” 

Andrew: He says it over and over again. 

Jeff: “Help me help you. Like can you understand, I'm doing this for you.” 

Andrew: Is that how you feel as the brains behind TriDot to athletes? 

Jeff: Well, sometimes you want the data to be able to do it. 

Andrew: And if you give us good data, if you keep your assessments up to date, if you give us the quality power numbers and heart rate numbers, that's what helps us help the athletes.

Jeff: But they're not, even athletes that have been tracking and doing all this stuff forever, they're not really using their data for their training, and they don't understand the big difference. So, they're used to looking at it and seeing what happened yesterday and tracking and they can cite all these numbers and stats. But none of that tells them what to do tomorrow or in the future. They're still using theory, whatever they feel like tradition, trial and error. But we're actually using it and it makes a difference. So, that's so, so important. So, when an athlete just from their biographical information, what's your body composition? How long have you been doing the sport? How much adaptation has been going on? Are you a lifetime runner? Those people are going to train differently, be trained differently. So, it's - sharing to connect your devices, your training devices to TriDot. So, more is better-- 

Andrew: More data. 

Jeff: --approach, more data is better. So, don't sweat it if you don't have something, it's not possible. If you don't have it, you don't have it. But whatever you do have-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: If you don’t have it--

Jeff: --use it, connect it. [Cool, yeah.] Yeah, it's easy. A lot of the watches now, Garmin health, connect your Garmin health, that gives your sleep and your stress and your resting heart rate and a whole bunch of great data in there. So, connect that also, not just your activity, but your Garmin health. Make sure your assessments are updated. Connecting your genetics, your genome, they have discounts all the time on getting that done, especially around Christmas. You can even use your FSA and HSA, you know, use it or lose it spending from your company, you can use that to buy your kits. Not only do you see your ancestry, but you can use your genome and put that into TriDot, we’re gonna optimize it based on your genetics. So, that’s just incredibly important to include all that. 

Elizabeth: And I'm going to interject here for just a second. I think we touched on this a little bit, but it's worth going back to. As important as all of this is, we still aren't going to worry about perfection. So, I mean, even me, every personality profile that I take comes back as perfectionism as my top quality. 

Andrew: I can see that.

Elizabeth: Yeah, really? 

Andrew: As a co-worker Elizabeth James I can see that. Nobody does her right training more rightly on our staff than Elizabeth. That's why she's a pro and I'm the average triathlete. 

Elizabeth: But even with my perfectionism and as much as I would love if the data were perfect, it's just not a realistic expectation. So, it's not about perfection. I mean, the data isn't perfect, it never will be. So, provide the high quality data that you can and then TriDot is going to optimize based on that best possible available. 

Jeff: Yep, that's kind of goes back to the more data that you have that ignorance is bliss. Once you start tracking stuff, you start seeing problems with it. If you don't track it you don't see the problems with it. And so your training’s not accurate, but even in the best Garmin files they’re going to have issues with connectivity and Bluetooth and interference from your Wi-Fi and there's gonna be gaps of time. 

Andrew: And sometimes you get done and you had the heart monitor on and it just didn't-- [crosstalk] 

Jeff: Yeah, don’t sweat it. One session, that is just, it's not gonna impact the overall, it's not going to override and tank your whole training.

Andrew: Especially if you're doing it consistently. 

Jeff: Right it's about the consistency. It’s a cumulative impact of all that. And so don't throw the, it’s like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. While it's true that you are what you eat, the last thing you want to do is starve your training, starve your training from having data cuz your training effectiveness will surely die if it's not being fed with any data. So, more is better, more quality is better, but make sure you're getting whatever you can to the best of your ability as you train. 

Andrew: Got it. So, now that you're feeding the data as an athlete back into your training program and that data is good quality data, that's when TriDot can do the best job of optimizing your training and prescribing the right training. You know, TriDot at that point can really make sure that the what training that you're doing is right, yeah. Lots of what's and rights and how-tos in this episode. So, let's go on to how-to number three, the third how-to in making sure you're doing the right training right is to be intentional with each session. 

Elizabeth: Oh, gosh guys, I love this one. In my home gym, I actually have this written, be intentional as like a visual and constant reminder for me. 

Andrew: Guys, remember I was talking about Elizabeth being a perfectionist? She has a be intentional sign in her pain cave [laughs]. We all have like, you know, just our medals hanging and not Elizabeth James, a be intentional sign is on the wall. So, like what does that mean guys, does this involve stuff like what's my focus in this particular training session? Or like how do you do each session correctly? Is this where we start getting into those kinds of nitty-gritty details? 

Jeff: It is. It's more than just understanding the purpose, we’ll give you some details. So, you want to understand the session and what it's supposed to be. And sometimes especially new to different, new to the sport and you haven't done things, you don't know swim terms, so it's looking some of those up. Sometimes you're there and you can't look it up, just do the best you can. Again, it's not any one session. Figure it out after the session. Next time that session comes up you'll know, learn and move on. So, don't get hung up on perfection, but it's the consistency. 

Andrew: Yeah, when I started the swim clock is what really like it was like do such and such on 2:40. I was like, “Whoa, what does that mean?” Like-- [crosstalk]

Jeff: Yes, the intervals. So, there's a great resource for Train X, that's our training execution. So, if you go to TriDot.com/TrainX, it talks about the Train X and what it is, training execution, the Train X session scores. And so that's what we'll focus on a little bit today. They also score Train X scores a week and a multi-week. So you can kind of look at how you've done executing your training over-- [crosstalk] 

Andrew: Over time, how consistent have you been. 

Jeff: Over time and that goes to the consistency. Exactly, right. And then we can track consistent training with the outcomes, those who weren't consistent, what outcomes did they have? Those who were consistent, what outcomes did they have? 

Andrew: And those that were consistent, you found are? 

Jeff: Better, as you'd expect. 

Andrew: Go figure

Jeff: So, then we can optimize further. So, on the training session scores, they look at it multiple factors throughout which is the session objectives, the training intensities, the intervals, the rest durations, many, many other things and they score on a one to 100 score. So, again, it's not about the grade itself, the grade is helpful and it's user-facing so the athletes can see that it's not, we don't use the actual score and optimization. All the data that formulates that score is used in the optimization. It’s much, much more granular, but this gives the athletes one specific number to look at. And, again, is not perfection, things can happen for a multitude of different reasons. You can get scores, sometimes the data is not there, we have sets where you're on and off the bike, and the data doesn't exist for that, it’s changing from power to you know, you're doing-- 

Andrew: And I've seen athletes like oh, my Train X score wasn’t 100 on this [crosstalk]

Jeff: Yeah and it's not true. I mean, because we’re type A, I get it completely. But think about like a kid if you think back to when you were a kid, and you were in a class, would you rather get an A on an easy test where you didn't learn anything in that class? Or would you rather get a B or C on something that really challenged you and taught you something that's going to change the rest of your life? 

Andrew: The A is [crosstalk] more affirming so I’m gonna-- No, I hear what you’re saying

Jeff: But there's that maturity. At first you may, yeah, easy A. As a child, you're going to say one thing, but as you grew up like the teachers that you remember the most were not the easy teachers that gave the high grades necessarily, they're the ones that challenged you. And so have that mature mindset-- [crosstalk]

Andrew: The college courses I remember that I hold on two were the ones where I really dug in and learned. It’s not necessarily the extracurriculars I took for the easy A. Yeah. 

Jeff: Right. And so it's the same way here with those scores. So, understand, it's the fitness, it’s the training. And if you did that to the best of your ability, mission accomplished. Then use that score for what it's worth. You'll notice the scores do get better and is a skill to start learning and pacing yourself better so that you don't blow up at the end or have too much left or overshoot it, you know, all of that. 

Andrew: So, Jeff, can you kind of just give us the tangible, maybe some tips for how to execute our sessions right, how to do the right training right in each session? 

Jeff: Absolutely. So, the score, the beautiful thing about the score, Train X score is that it’s directly aligned with, you know, increasing that score is directly aligned with your training effectiveness. So, the same things that drive that score up are the same things that will make you do the training better or when you do the training better, the score goes up. So, they're a high correlation other than when there's instances where the data doesn't exist or it’s more of an anomaly. So, the first thing and the most important thing is to make sure that you understand and know what your training intensities are. So, keeping in mind that we environment normalize those intensities. Because if you're going out to do a quality session of intervals a 10 seconds fast or slower is a big deal. So, we environment normalize. If you're working out inside on a treadmill or smart trainer it’s very different than working outside and 80 degrees or running in the morning when it's in the 50s compared to high humidity outside in the 80s. And so make sure that it's in the right, those settings are correct. It automatically picks those up when you look at your-- [crosstalk] 

Andrew: Like last night, all of us TriDot staff together for some items this weekend and John Mayfield and myself went for a run with Elizabeth James and we all had a zone two run prescribed for the week. But John and I had to exit zone two and climb into zone three to keep up with Elizabeth during her zone two. So, we knew what our zone was going in the session and we cheated a little bit in going above it.

Jeff: Yeah. And I'd say that's fine. You guys don't get to train together and that's the important part. You're sacrificing fitness, it would have been better to stay in your zone two, but you made a-- [crosstalk] 

Andrew: Thanks, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Sorry, I-- 

Jeff: --a conscious value decision [crosstalk] that I would rather run with my friends, my workers for this one session and that's fine. I mean do that. That's the right choice. 

Andrew: But that's the example and how knowing your zone is important.

Jeff: Yeah, you know what they are, you’re conscious of what they are and you make-- And so again, you're making a deliberate conscious decision.

Andrew: You’re not going out for a run, you’re going out for a mindful run.

Jeff: Yeah, and imagine being ignorant, not knowing what they are. You run that pace and then you do that routinely and repeatedly, then that's where you run into problems. Most people do that, most people train too hard on the easy days and then too easy on the hard days. So, knowing what your targets are and nailing them as best you can. When it comes to quality sessions, that's where you have any intensity prescribed above zone two. So, it's a very intentional, the effort or the intent there and the prioritization should be on completing all of that intensity over just doing the duration of the workout. So, if you have an hour that includes all this intensity in the middle, the hour is not as important by far compared to getting all those sets in. So, get the sets in, that's the main thing. 

Andrew: Like my run tonight is supposed to be an hour and five minutes with 32 minutes with some fartlek intervals. And so getting those 32 minutes that intensity-- [crosstalk]

Jeff: That's the main thing, correct. And so your training scores weighted appropriately and adequately. So, if you get the 20, the hour and five but not the intensity it’s gonna be a lower score than if you got the intensity but not the hour five, and so make those smart decisions. So, if you're working on another workout that say it’s not a recovery session for a bike run, the preferred metric to look at would be power or pace. So, you're doing again, a quality session, go for power pace, not heart rate, don't go off a heart rate. All right. We're looking at the external indicator and metric for measuring your output. 

Andrew: So, how can we as an athlete know when a session on our training plan is supposed to be for recovery and not to build power or something? 

Jeff: So, a couple ways, one is it'll show you the primary zone if all the work is in zone two, it might say recovery run, easy run, easy ride, whatever. Anything like that, that says either in the title, the description, or if it says all zone two, or if in the breakdown of time in zone says all zone two, nothing in 3, 4, 5. 

Andrew: And so that's the recovery session instead of quality session.

Jeff: Correct. So, if you have a recovery, so what you do in recovery session, is you're not going by pace because external doesn't matter. You're recovering, it's about what's happening inside. And so on the recovery sessions, you're using heart rate as a preferred metric. So, gauge heart rate, don't go above that certain top of zone two heart rate, because the external doesn't matter, the internal is what we're going for. 

Andrew: So, when John and I left our zone to heart rate last night, our bodies were no longer in active recovery, like Elizabeth’s was. 

Jeff: Exactly, right. So, there's a big difference between that internal and external measures of exertion. So, when you're looking at these different intensities and the different types of sessions, always make sure that you're focused on the right metric and then don't even worry about the other one. So, focus on the right one and don't even be worried about the wrong one.

Andrew: You’re focused on heart rate, stay focused on heart rate, don't worry about your pace. If you're focused on hitting paces and intensities, don't worry about your heart rate. 

Jeff: Exactly. And over time, your pace will be able to hold a faster pace at a lower heart rate, but that's not the objective of that one session. That's overtime metrics. So, look at that metric over time, don't worry about the pace today, look at that pace difference per that heart rate in two, three months. So, another thing that you look out for the scores is whenever you have a smart trainer and you're dialing in your power exactly, obviously, those scores are gonna be very high because it's forcing you to do exactly the right workout. 

Andrew: I get hundreds every time on Zwift. 

Jeff: It's great, it’s a great tool, it’s a great way to do it. Another thing is always do the warm ups. So, this is a tip, it's incredibly valuable to have that muscle activation, you're turning on, you're switching on your muscles. So, those warm ups are specific. You do them multiple times, multiple zone four efforts, threshold efforts on the bike or strides or whatever drills that you're doing on bike, run swim. Those are incredibly important because they're activating, turning on those muscles. 

Andrew: And so really doing your warm up is part of doing the right training, right? 

Jeff: It is, absolutely. Because otherwise, you're going to habituate. You're not going to use those muscle groups and you're going to use other muscles to compensate for those, it's going to lead to the habituation of poor form over time that leads to injury. So, it's very critical, but sometimes, if there truly isn't enough time to do that, just do whatever warm up you can and then do the main set. So, the main set is the fitness. So, if you have an above zone two work out, you need to get that fitness done. So, do what activation you can, get the fitness portion of that.

Andrew: Get a warm up in even if it's abbreviated.

Jeff: Yeah, even if it’s abbreviated get that done, but get the main set done. And once in a while that's not as harmful as repeated doing that. And so if there's really not enough time, just focus on that. So, always focus no matter what you're doing on good form and forming good habits both physically and mentally. 

Andrew: So, what's an example of a mental habit? 

Jeff: There's a lot of mental toughness, sometimes it's just pushing through when you're racing hard or you're training hard sets it can be you can drawback on those memories of those times that you're really pushing yourself in a race when the race gets hard and you're pushing yourself. I think a positive mental attitude for a lot of athletes when you're starting, you go, you get this thought of I have to do this training. Oh, it's gonna be hard. And just to remember, and I've said this before on the podcast, triathlon is not for sissies. This is a hard sport and it involves work. We get to do this. When you wake up and you have a hard challenging set in front of you and it's going to be a lot of work-- [crosstalk] 

Andrew: Relish the challenge. 

Jeff: Exactly. You get to do that. So, keeping like this is a privilege, I'm healthy, I'm here doing a sport that I love. And so keeping that mindset, those things that you do during every training session and they affect the way that you perform. And your numbers are going to reflect it, your training effectiveness, it all starts with what's in your head when you start off. 

Andrew: I feel like we're only on how-to number three but I feel like we've covered like 15 how-to at this point.

Jeff: I like the analogy, you're unlocking your potential. Okay. So, each of these how-tos represents one key to unlocking one component of that potential. And so for every key, for every person, it's a different lock. And so all the little teeth that come off that key are going to be slightly different for different people, different things that I've said are going to resonate differently. Some people have all the bells and whistles, their equipment, but there's is the mental, the self-discipline, the who knows what. Some other people are just understanding, so it's educating what is and why does this matter. Other people, it's upgrading equipment, making choices not spending it on one thing, their limited resources spending it on something else. Some people it's making the value judgment, do I run with friends on this day or not run with friends this day, what is that trade off? So, those keys and the teeth on the keys are different from each person. And there's a bunch of them to consider and that's one thing that you learn over time through education, through podcasts. 

Andrew: If this podcast is a key, and how-tos on this podcast are little notches in the key, [crosstalk] this episode, it's much less like a modern car key and much more like an ancient cryptic Egypt mummy movie tomb key. I'll tell you that much. So, moving on to how-to number four, although it feels like how-to number 44. Let's dive into this. The how-to have using the resources that are available to you. 

Elizabeth: Yeah, so not only does TriDot provide athletes with the right optimized training to maximize their personal success, but we provide resources to help you properly execute those sessions as well. I have the pleasure to lead some of our athlete orientation sessions each week, where I'll connect with the athletes that are getting started or are interested in starting their TriDot training. And the feedback that our team has gotten from those sessions is incredibly positive. Athletes often leave those calls and those orientation sessions saying that they feel equipped with the resources to carry out their prescribed training sessions. And then they also know where to go should additional questions arise along the way. So, I want to take just a few moments here to talk about some of those resources that are available. First and foremost, this probably goes back to my background in education again. I frequently tell athletes to just stop and ask directions. We've been emphasizing the importance of consistently doing the right training right. So, if you as an athlete just aren't sure how to do the session in the correct way, then ask. 

Andrew: And we see this in our athletes, we see when athletes first come on. I mean they'll on the I am TriDot Facebook Group or to the support portion of the website, they'll have a bunch of questions. And then as they slowly start figuring it out, those questions become less and less and less, but it's good that they have that understanding because they stopped to ask the questions. 

Elizabeth: Oh, yeah, yeah. And that's what we as a TriDot team, our fantastic coaches, the community of athletes that you mentioned as a whole, that's what we're here for. So, I mean, that group that you mentioned, and we said it again, on the warm up is a fantastic resource. And all of our athletes have the ability to discuss their training questions with thousands of others. So, our coaches are also in that group chiming in to respond with questions about session, execution. And then for those that are interested in working directly with a coach, that subscription option is available as well. In addition to our online community, we also have a full time support team that is available to assist our athletes. And then even beyond the real life, real time human assistance, athletes have access to a bunch of resources on their athlete dashboard. So, within each workout session and I know we just briefly touched on this earlier in the podcast too, there are some session notes that detail how to carry out a prescribed workout session. 

Andrew: Yeah, I didn't-- it's funny, I didn't even realize that when I first came to TriDot. I would look at just real quickly what the session was and I would okay, cool. I got it, got it in my head. And then I was on TriDot for months before I actually realized oh, TriDot gives me specific notes, specific instructions for, I think there was a bike workout where I was supposed to hold a certain power at a certain cadence and I had not been doing that all along. I had just been like, for my zone four and five stuff on the bike, I was just holding a really high cadence to help me through those sessions. And it really helped me start building up some leg strength when I did what the session notes told me to do, right. So, I totally like that. That's such a great resource that's there and seeing that TriDot knows that, hey, when you look at this session, there's a certain way you need to execute it. And any specific notes that you're supposed to do are there for you on the session.

Elizabeth: So, Andrew, I'm guessing you did not take advantage of one of those orientation sessions? 

Andrew: What's great is I did not. I did not. I came on through the preseason project and I skipped my orientation call that was offered to me. And I just, I didn't ask for directions, I just started. I was like, I'm a millennial, I'll figure this platform out really easily. And yeah, I had a lot of questions and I figured a lot of things out the hard way as I went. So, if you're coming on, if you're new, if you're joining, take advantage of the resources there. Because it was a little while before I had the right training available to me, but I was not doing it right correctly, right away. 

Elizabeth: Well, and I mean we do want to offer those opportunities for continued education and continued assistance on executing those sessions. And so we mentioned those session notes and that's one part of it. In addition to that, the workout sessions also include some embedded explanations or videos of drills such as the dynamic warm up drills for the run sessions or the swim drills that are included within a swim set. So, those are directly linked to the daily workout sessions. That can also be found in our knowledge base. I like to think of our knowledge base is like a triathlon library where athletes have access to videos, webinars, and articles on basically all things triathlon related, from run biomechanics information on nutrition, considerations for racing. And then if you're listening to this, then we have our podcast as well for continued education. 

Andrew: Ah, yes, the TriDot podcast. Well, what a wonderful tool. My personal favorite, by the way, my personal favorite. And I'll say this, like, I really like how TriDot has taken the effort to whether you are new to the sport and you’re a beginner or whether you've been doing this for a long time, like the resources available can help you no matter where you are in your journey. 

Jeff: Absolutely. I think that-- I mean, there's a line, you don't want to overwhelm beginners or people new to the system. So, is how much do you provide and how much do you make available? Too much is overwhelming, then you have to go look for the other stuff. So, there's that balance and everyone's different. But I'd say that we found that the resources are even more meaningful for the veterans. They don't realize it at first and I think you might have fallen into the veteran category because you've been doing triathlons before. And so, there's things that you already know.

Andrew: Yeah, a couple years. 

Jeff: So, why I say that for more important for the veterans is a Mark Twain actually quote, I don't know if they attributed it to him or not, I often see that. But it says “The problem is not what you don't know, it's what for sure that just ain't so.” So, for a lot of newbies coming in, beginners, they don't know and they're eager to look and ask and access the resources. But there's so many people that have been doing triathlons for a long time and just going with common knowledge, what everyone else is saying, and tradition and believing a lot of things. And what they've learned has been in the absence of real cause and effect data. So, a lot of the things they know and believe are not correct. So, in reading some of the resources and the tools and materials, they're able to go, oh, and light bulbs go on, and they have a different approach. But in the absence of that, they persist in bad habits or bad behaviors in their training.

Andrew: What it reminds me of is just even how we are in our lives, right? When you're born and you’re a child, you look at your parents and teachers and adults, and you're like, “Oh, my gosh, I need to learn so much. They know everything.” And you become a preteen and a teenager, and maybe even into young adulthood and you're like, “Oh, my parents don't know anything. I know everything. I have all the right answers.” Because you know a little bit, you understand a little bit about how life works. And then once you become an adult, and you're out in the real world, you're like, “Oh, my gosh, I know nothing.” All the adults older than me and you go back to realizing that it's, to me, it's kind of like that in your triathlon journey when you're brand new to the sport, you recognize oh, all these people know more than me. But once you've done a few races, maybe even a half or full and you've been in the sport 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years, you might be like that teenager that thinks they got everything figured out, when in fact, there's this whole world of stuff that you don't even know that you're not open to because you think you know. 

Jeff: But that reminds me of something in business now being the CEO of a company. Running other companies and helping being senior management and executive, you've always and whatever managers, you’re sitting at the executive table and the guy, the boss at the end, you always think they don't know what they're talking about, they’re mistaken and all this kind of stuff. 

Andrew: If I was running this company-- 

Jeff: Yeah. And that's the perception and you think that way, and then now sitting where I am today at the end of the table, I realized how true that is, that the guy at the end of the table, you don't know what you're doing. There’s so much more to learn than you've learned and it's just a kind of a unique thing, your context of what you're doing. 

Andrew: And you’re figuring it out and you’re looking to resources available to you to improve just like athletes should do in their TriDot training. Use the resources there that are available that can help you grow. There are people-- No matter what your station is in life, there are people that have come before you and no more than you. You should take the time to learn from them. So, let's learn a little bit more with how-to number five, the fifth how-to in doing the right training right is to make the most of plan B. Elizabeth, what does this mean? 

Elizabeth: So, I mean, we've already touched on my perfectionism. So, this is a good one for me to talk about as well, just some self-reflection here. Making the most of plan B, this is making intelligent adjustments when life happens, and determining what the right training becomes when you can't feasibly do what's prescribed in plan A because this is going to happen. Okay, you are going to have to make some adjustments. So, let's say that you're looking at your weekly schedule, you know what's there on your training plan, what's optimized for you for the upcoming week. And if you can complete some of that, but not all of it, then let's talk about where the priority should lie. So, if you're able to complete some, but not all of it for the given week, prioritize those long sessions, the longest ones of the week, especially if you are in a race preparation phase, where that week to week long session duration is kind of building. After those longest sessions, then you want to prioritize the quality sessions where you have the most intensity. So, then your weekly Train X score is going to be weighted off of those most important sessions, so your long one and then the ones with the most intensity. You certainly want to avoid moving sessions from their prescribe days if you can. But then do it if you must, and don't sweat it. That's life. 

Andrew: Because the plan B is rolling with it, rolling with life, rolling with what comes your way, rolling with what can sometimes get in between you and the ideal training schedule, and knowing how to prioritize these sessions like you're talking about, right. 

Jeff: And we all live on Plan B. 

Andrew: We all. Yeah, we all. You might have the occasional week where everything just clicks and you get all your workouts in exactly when you went to. But for the most weeks, there is a plan B adjustment made somewhere along the way. 

Elizabeth: Yeah, yeah. And if you are going to make those adjustments, really think of the prioritization in doing that. So, if you're able to maybe move things around so that you're still hitting those longer sessions and the higher intensity sessions. Scoring well on those long and quality Sessions is going to be a much higher priority than just merely accumulating time distance or the total number of completed sessions. So, if some training is not feasible for you in a given week, then-- 

Andrew: Quality over quantity is real. 

Elizabeth: Yes, absolutely. 

Jeff: And don't move a session, non-quality session ahead so it hinders a quality session. So, just because you missed something, don't feel like you have to move it ahead of day if it's going to jeopardize another session. So, it's not about getting it all in, it's about being smart. If some training is not feasible for you in a given week, if it's not feasible, then it's not the right training for you. Your life happens first, then the best training possible happens around that. 

Andrew: Yeah, I love that. That's, I mean, just as an athlete with a life, that's all of us, right? That's super helpful to have that mindset. So, let's move on to the last and final how to do the right training right, how-to number six is trust the process. And this is all about letting go of the old school training mindset that you have to do all this mileage and all these long sessions to be ready for race day. You just have to lean in and trust the process. Elizabeth, tell me about this. 

Elizabeth: So, particularly in the endurance community, there are some old school training mindsets that are hindering athletes from maximizing their potential. One example of this is the kind of once traditional base phase or the LSD, the long slow distance where athletes will continue to accumulate a lot of miles at a very easy effort level. And while long sessions play an important role, we did just discuss that, the amount of long sessions that you have to do and the length of that longest session is often exaggerated in this old school mindset. Athletes often don't need the volume that they think they do. And TriDot structures training to be fast before far and strong before long, prescribing training for each athlete that produces their best possible race result. So, the workouts are prescribed and are optimized for each athlete based off of 11,000 simultaneous calculations. 

Andrew: Wow. 

Elizabeth: Oh, yeah. Very, very, very specific. And, I mean, this just goes to show that everything on your training plan is intentional, and to trust the process of that. And once you've experienced the process, you'll not only have an understanding, but also for-- I mean, but also a big appreciation for the process. 

Jeff: Yeah, I agree with that completely. So, when we say trust the process, Andrew, it's not this blind trust or don't ask any questions, just trust, it’s not that at all. It's a matter of that that understanding often comes later, don't wait to execute until you understand. And I think most of us listening here are likely parents or at least we know who parents-- everyone had parents. So, when we raised our kids, we taught them to say thank you, yes sir, yes ma'am to take those actions long before they understood what gratitude was, what respect was, what humility was, they just said those things. They didn't know why they said those things. But they did those and over time that understanding came. And every once in awhile, you'd have someone say, oh, that's okay. They don't need to be formal or they don't need-- you don't need to, you can. 

Andrew: Like that's not the point. 

Jeff: Yeah. The point is, it is eventually respect for other people and showing gratitude to other people. But my primary reason my wife and I, our primary reason for teaching our children that was for our children's benefit. It was to teach them and to mold their hearts and their characters to develop over a lifetime, so they're going to respect people show gratitude and humility. And so when we're approaching our workout and we see a warm up or this drill or that set would be easier to do than this other set, and we're saying it and you may not agree with it or understand or see how that could possibly be, I just encourage everyone to just to do it. Just like you said, let's just lean into it, do it, stay in zone two if you're supposed to, Do the longer run, don't double up if you missed one yesterday--

Andrew: There's reasons for all of this whether you fully understand them or not. 

Jeff: And in time, you're going to understand that, you can go aha. And again, go back to the Facebook group, I Am TriDot, you see, I get it now. Okay. Okay. I wish I had implemented this many seasons ago or done earlier. But just trust the process, trust the others, trust people who've been there before, just like kids trust their parents and sometimes don't trust them, they just do what they're told. So, if that's what it takes, do what you're told, your coach is telling you and you'll understand and be better for it. Because everyone's here just to develop and we're committed to the success of our athletes, and that's why everything's there. 

Andrew: So, in a way, it's like TriDot Founder and CEO, Jeff Booher is the father of us athletes that are like his children. They're just saying, “Yes, sir. I’m trusting the process, I'm doing the workout.” So, we just covered so much great stuff about how to do the right training right, how to execute our training, how to execute every session, and kind of how we joked about there's six keys in there, but there was a lot of great stuff, there's a lot of how-tos and how to do those six keys correctly. And so before we go, just real quickly, I want to make sure everybody remembers and takes away. These are the six how-tos in how to do the right training right. How-to number one is you've got to optimize your training. You heard firsthand, just the data behind the proven benefit to optimize training over random training or even cookie-cutter non-optimized training plans. Only optimized training can provide the right training for you to then set out to try to do correctly. 

How-to number two was you have to feed quality data into your training. The better the data, the better the program knows you and the better the training prescribed will be. How-to number three is be intentional with each session. The better you execute each workout on your training plan, the more fitness benefit you will derive from that workout. How-to number four was to use the resources available to you. If you have a question about how to do the right training right, ask a coach. Find the video that shows you how to do that drill. how to do that warm up, pay attention to the session notes that are there to help you nail each workout. Stop and ask for directions as needed along the way. How-to number five is to make the most of plan B. Logistically with life, not every workout can be done perfectly as scheduled and prescribed. Be flexible. Do as much of the quality work as you can and don't stress about the small adjustments you have to make along the way. And finally, how-to number six is trust the process. The workout, the warm ups and the drills given to you are all there for a reason, and they're optimized to be the best set for you on that day. So, know that you're doing the right set and go out there and do it right. 

Great set everyone. Let's cool down. 

Andrew: And with that, we're going to cool things down with a segment that we call the TriDot Top 10. Friend of the podcast, Coach John Mayfield is joining us to help us count down today's top 10. John, thanks for jumping on the podcast.

John: Yep, yep. 

Andrew: So, recently we polled triathletes on our social media asking a very simple question, what is your A race next season? After all, doing the right training right is all in hopes of crushing it on race day. We had some great responses with over 62 different races mentioned and here are the TriDot top 10 results. I'll start with number one, the most athletes that listened, their A race this year is Ironman, Texas. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed seeing that because I am racing Ironman, Texas this year. You guys are probably gonna get sick of me talking about the way I feel leading up to race day, but I'm excited to have a lot of friends of the podcast out there on the course with me. Elizabeth, what is race number two? 

Elizabeth: So, number two is also an early season race. I guess kind of not surprising that both of our top two races were early season. I think a lot of people are focused on those first couple months of the year looking-- [crosstalk] 

Andrew: They’re ready to get going. 

Elizabeth: Yeah, looking to get going. So, our second top 10 is Ironman, Texas 70.3 in Galveston. 

Andrew: Yeah, I know people love coming down to Texas for that one. It's right at the start of the season, they can get their season started right there, get cracking, get going and we have a lot of people travel from all over the country to Texas to do that race. So, not surprising to see it in number two. John, what is number three? 

John: Opposite end of the season, start things off in Texas end things out in Arizona, so Ironman, Arizona number three. 

Andrew: John are you not an Ironman, Arizona finisher?

John: I am a two-time Ironman, Arizona finisher. It's my Ironman PR one of my favorites of the year and I look forward to being there.

Andrew: Outstanding. Number four is Ironman, Canada that none of us have done. So, a lot of TriDotter’s going up north for Ironman Canada should be a beautiful race above the border. And Elizabeth what is number five? 

Elizabeth: So, number five is a new race for 2020. It is Memphis 70.3

Andrew: And I will be there as well. It warms my heart to see my A races next year, also being done by so many athletes. So, if you see me out on course, I'll be in the middle of the pack. You can find me there. Not in the front, not in the back, right in the middle. High-five me. Memphis should be a whole lot of fun. John, what’s number six? 

John: Another new race Ironman, Tulsa. So, full Ironman first time in Oklahoma. 

Andrew: Yeah, it's a lot of fun doing an inaugural race. So, I think I can see the appeal of people choosing to go to Ironman Tulsa, first-time race up there should be really, really cool. Number seven is Age Group Nationals. We have a lot of athletes saying that they have qualified and they are going to be racing and Age Group Nationals, which is in Milwaukee this go around. So, we'll see a lot of you out there. Elizabeth, what’s number eight? 

Elizabeth: So, number eight, headed quite a ways up north again is Mont-Tremblant.

Andrew: I have a Canadian triathlete friend of mine who I met at a race in another country and he kind of third wheeled the whole week with my wife and I. His name is Mike. So, shout out to Mike, he does Ironman Mont-Tremblant on almost every year, keeps trying to talk me into it. He says that it is just the most beautiful course. So, Mike, if you're listening, have a good time in Mont-Tremblant and all of our athletes doing Mont-Tremblant, enjoy it. It's a really, really well regarded course. John, what is race number nine that people are doing? 

John: Race number nine is not a race, it's a series of races [crosstalk] local sprint races, which maybe me. I haven't raced a sprint in several years but still maybe giving it a go, and a local sprint race maybe my a race for the year. 

Andrew: All right. That's awesome, you don't always have to go long. You don't have to make it an Ironman for it to be a big race. For a lot of folks the awesome local sprint down the road is the A race and we love that, we support that. We love hearing about how you do with a local race. Number 10, we had a two way tie so it's kind of like a little bonus action. But number 10 we have a lot of athletes heading to Ironman, Maryland and Ironman, St. George. So, enjoy the scenery at both of those. Ironman, St. George I know is is back on the circuit. Some challenging hills out there I hear, but both those should be some great races with a lot of athletes. Man guys, we had just a ton of great responses. I mean there's athletes doing 70.3 Worlds in New Zealand. There's athletes doing races in the UK, there's athletes doing some of the big races down in Mexico, and there's just TriDot athletes all over the world just crushing it at races all over the world. So, we'll have to make sure we get some athletes on the podcast talking about the awesome races you guys go out and crush. So, thanks so much for the results. 

Here at TriDot, something I want to highlight before we end today, with athletes racing all over the world, we do have an awesome thing called TriDot At the Races. Where we send a few TriDot coaches and ambassadors to major races to help prepare and support the athletes racing there. Now John, you lead a majority of our TriDot At the Races events, so tell us real quick what we do at these events and kind of help athletes get ready for their race? 

John: So, it really varies by venue and race distance. Over the last several years, we've concentrated on the Ironman distance races where we've been on-site for three to four days prior to the race. And in those last couple days, we do several things. We want to connect athletes. So, we have Facebook groups for each of the Ironman races, which gives athletes opportunities to connect with folks all over the country, all over the world that are going to be racing with them. They're also alum in the group. So, it's a great opportunity to ask questions of folks that have raced in previous years-- [Yeah, learn about the course] lot of good course information. And then when you actually arrive on-site, it's an opportunity to meet some folks face to face. That's probably my favorite part of doing it is getting to meet tons and tons of athletes every year. And then from there, it kind of depends on the venue and the course. But we'll do some of those last-minute sessions together. We combine like some of the last-minute run sessions. We make a kind of a mini-tour, check out the transition area, run out, swim starts, swim exits, all those kinds of things.

Andrew: So, you get your shake out run, while you get acclimated to the course a little bit to see some of the key spots.

John: Yeah, where the change tents are, where's the backdrop, where's the bike drop, all those things that are kind of unique to Ironman. So, it's just a great opportunity to go and see those things, get in the last few workouts. Sometimes we do group dinner, sometimes it's a happy hour, sometimes it's coffee. So, it just kind of depends on the race and the venue. And then for the 70.3s, it's similar, but more of a truncated agenda. Most folks don't show up quite as far out for the 70.3s. So, we always try to connect, make it a kind of a fun social thing opportunity to meet. And then from there as we have opportunities to have meals or get in some of those last-minute sessions we do those as well. 

Andrew: Yeah, I had the privilege of traveling with TriDot to Ironman, Arizona this last go round. I got to meet a lot of the athletes and one of the things that I didn't realize was whether you're on like the shakeout run we went for, the bike to the desert where we were showing people kind of what to expect on the bike course, where the u-turns are, etc. I mean we had TriDot athletes, and we had people just kind of show up that were like “Oh hey, can we ride with you?” Like we're not looking to-- there's no payment here, this is not an extra add on. This is, if you're an athlete and you're connected with us and you're there at the race like this is all kind of for free already kind of added in, right? 

John: Yeah, it's just something we love to do. Everyone is welcome whether you're a TriDot athlete or not, if you want to join us, you're more than welcome to. And yeah, we don't charge for it. It's just something we love to do and we want to give back to the community. We want to help people have great races and do whatever we can to help out. 

Andrew: So, whenever you head to your next A race whenever it may be, know that TriDot At the Races is there to support you. We are at every single United States Ironman. And so check out TriDot at the Races for your race support. 

Well, that's it for today, folks. I want to thank TriDot CEO, Jeff Booher and Coach Elizabeth James for talking us through doing the right training right. A big thanks to our friends at TriBike Transport for bringing us today's show. Next time you travel for a race let TriBike Transport get your bike there stress free and ready to race. Enjoying the podcast, have any triathlon questions or topics you want to hear us talk about? Head to TriDot.com/podcasts to let us know what you're thinking. We'll do it again soon. Until then, happy training. 

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.