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By September 15, 2008One Comment

Many people ask me,  “How do you handle the mental drudgery on your 7 hour+ rides?”

In general, I don’t find it to be that difficult.  I have become acclimated to them and actually find it to be quite meditative.  Generally, the first hour is toughest until I settle into a rhythm, and then I typically enter into a place of total “now” (as Eckhart Tolle would say).  It becomes deeply meditative — I lose time, I am present and I am nowhere to be found.  Something about being in that Zone 2 aerobic zone allows me to quiet the mind completely.  To coin a trite phrase, it is extremely Zen.  And despite the heavy legs, I generally feel completely refreshed mentally and spiritually afterwards.  It is definitely a spiritual practice, part of what is so appealing about it for me.
But there are times when I need a bit of assistance to get me through the day.  And although I resist overdependence on my iPod, I’m not afraid to use it during my longer training sessions.  But I can only listen to my favorite music so much before I tire of it.  And I can’t listen to music for hours on end.  I generally reserve my favorite training tunes for the last hour on a ride or the last half hour on my longer runs when I want to kick things into a higher gear and finish strong.  But what about all the Zone 2 slogging hours?  My solution — podcasts!  Why not learn something while you are training?  I suppose I could listen to audiobokks (I’ve done this), but podcasts are free and many can be highly informative.  A simple search on iTunes can bring up podcasts on every conceivable subject you may be interested in.  And I listen to alot.  It can require a bit of experimentation before you land on the ones you really like, as quality varies tremendously — the vast majority are very hack and amateurish.  But persistence will prevail and you will no doubt find what you are looking for with a little effort.
Because this is a multisport blog, and upon the urging of my fellow multisport buddy Arno Kroner, I thought I would give you a run down on some of the triathlon, endurance training & multisport podcasts I subscribe to — I have gleaned alot of great information from these and it can be fun and motivating to listen to them while you train.
Here’s a list — I have included links to the respective websites, many of which also have great blogs.  You can also search / subscribe directly through iTunes:
Competitor Radio— Bob Babbitt of Competitor Magazine & Paul Huddle interview top athletes across a wide variety of multisports; I love these guys.
Ironman Talk— Top Ironmen Jon Newsom and Bevan James Eyles discuss “all things ironman” from New Zealand.
Deck Pass— the latest news in competitive swimming.  However, this one seems to be on hiatus at the moment.
Endurance Nation— great training and racing insights from coaches Rich and Patrick; I’ve learned alot from these guys.  Great for the first time ironman.
The Age Grouper— a couple of average Joe’s with heavy midwest accents talk about their racing and training.  Sort of a guilty pleasure as these amateurs make their way through the midwest tri circuit.
Endurance Base Camp— great information on endurance training & nutrition from husband and wife coaching team Gary & Nikki; only annoying when Gary broadcasts while he’s running — it takes him 5 times as long to spit out what he’s trying to say.  I don’t get the appeal.  But if you can tolerate this, he has some good things to say.
Endurance Corner— hosted by endurance legend and top coach Gordo Byrne.  This guy really knows his stuff.  It can get highly technical, so get your geek on.  I love Gordo, not only becuase he won Ultraman in 2002, he has been there and done that and is still cranking.  Great tips and some good interviews.  One of my favorite podcasts
Endurance Planet— Interviews, insights and recaps, mostly from the world of ultramarathon running and cycling; very folksy, but some good interviews with top ultra guys like Scott Jurek and Dean Karnazes.
iMultisport  — decent insights on training and racing from the coaches at iMultisport.
IronmanLife— the official podcast of Ironman, hosted by Kevin McKinnon of and Ironman legend Greg Welch; mostly interviews and race reports from various Ironman events.
Training Bible Coaching  — great training and racing content with interviews and Q&A with Joe Friel and the staff at Joe Friel’s TrainingBible coaching.  Highly recommend.
TriTalk  — for the super geek; host Dave Warden will tech talk you until you feel like you are in an engineering or biochemistry lecture.  But I find it super informative on subjects ranging from nutrition, training, biology, mechanics and gadgets / gear.  This guy really does his homework, including reviewing medical journals on the latest findings in sports medecine.  One of my favorites, although he seems to have gone off radar lately.
Non-Multisport Podcasts — just a few I like:
KCRW’s The Business— Claude Brodesser-Ackner delves into the business of Hollywood.
Ted Talks— brief 20 minute talks from the Ted Conference; pioneering geniuses bring you insights from the cutting edge of technology, politics, media & science.  This is an AMAZING podcast.
This American Life— Ira Glass’ well known radio show.  I love it, but it can be a bit depressing at times; maybe not the most motivating thing to listen to while training.
LOSTCasts— I’m such a dork; everything you didn’t want to know about LOST and LOST theories.  I’m a nerd; I admit it, but I love it.
Creative Screenwriting Magazine — Jeff Goldsmith interviews top screenwriters.

One Comment

  • Christoph says:

    Thanks for sharing your rec’s with us. I’ve been curious to know how you keep your mind occupied during your training sessions. My fingers are crossed for Ira to lighten his content. Its getting darker by the week.

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