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Live Q&A with Joe Beer

Do you have a training niggle that needs fixing, fast? We're hosting a live Q&A with 220 coach Joe Beer right here, so send in your questions for him!

Joe will be speaking at the Triathlon Show, taking place at Sandown Park in Surrey from 28 Feb to 2 March. More details at www.triathlonshow.co.uk.


  • Looking forward to answering your questions this morning from 10am

  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    Hi joe

    I know it's not ideal to race an Olympic tri 2 weeks after a half ironman but IF ? I did go ahead what tips would you give to do in between those 2 weeks to be in good shape for Olympic tri or would you just knock the idea on the head ?

  • You can do it bathtub. The key is to allow full recovery after the Half:

    1. Keep of running for 6-7 days - deep water running is okay

    2. Book massage/chiro/Bowen etc from the 5th day onwards as much as you need

    3. Sleep as much as you can (weekend naps the week after the Half?)

    4. Build back into light training over the middle weekend but don't worry about HIT/speed work - you've done the hard work now get ready for a 2-3h hammer!




  • LangyLangy Posts: 2
    What is Bowen therapy
  • I am not a practitioner but I do have this type of body work. It does not feel like rubbing muscles in a massage instead various muscle parts are lightly manipulated. It feels like little is happening until the therapist leaves the room (those used to massage think "where's she going now?)... you lie there and "ping" muscles start to re-set. I walk out of the session floating on air, my body feels great and I have to say whilst I don't need to know the science I do know it works for me and other athletes who have tried it.

  • lukeylukey Posts: 1

    hi joe,

    Mallorca 70.3 bike leg. For someone who is indifferent between TT bike and road bike with aero bars and has both options- which one would you ride and why?


  • Well its got a lot of flat Luke, which means you have plenty of time to gain good speed from an aero set up. The climb, after 10k of flat, is about 12k in total with about 10k actually upwards. The descent has plenty of hair pins but nothing that cannot be down on a tri bike.

    After many clients have done the race for the past few years I would say for most a Tri (aero) bike, with the front end not excessively low (this is never good for triathletes as they have to run and be able to handle the bike), taking into account that the gearing needs to include probably a 25T minimum at the rear to climb smooth and not over-geared.

    Aero helmet, close fitting clothing, well thought out placement of your nutrition and good pace judgment are also vital on race day.


    Its a great event and goes to full Ironman distance this September so you can do it twice if you wish.



  • LangyLangy Posts: 2
    I'm a half ironman and ironman athlete would racing shorter distance triathlons in the build up to main events benefit me and would doing some single sport events (eg open water swim races, time trials 10 25 & 50miles and 5k to half marathon running races) be beneficial or should I just focus on training specifically for the couple of half ironman and one ironman race I'm doing this year?
  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Thanks for all your comments everyone, keep the questions rolling in! Joe will be here to answer your queries for another half hour or so.

  • hi Joe, I have done a couple of 70.3s and on both occassions suffered from extreme cramping at the start of the run section. so my questions are what are your thought on salt tablets to help this and what else can you recommend to try and prevent this? Thx

  • If I don't have have easy access to a coach with an endless pool, what is the best way to improve my swim technique? Some people suggest doing drills - but which drills and how do I know I am doing the drills in the right way?


  • Part 1 - Yes I think doing some raching over shorter distances keeps you in competition mode (crowded swims, transitions, pacing, kit testing) but they want to be part of a week not your big focus for a week  so you may for example do a 3h base ride the day before.

    Part 2 - Train specifically but using single sports events means:

     - you can swim an ironman swim flat out and see what you feel like going off on your bike (with a few mates) for a steady ride for 3h to turn it into a decent session and a pace judging test


     - time trials can be good quality (10-miles) done close to home but some do like the 50-milers (even 100 miles) to get a solid pace/feeding/comfort test - ALWAYS add a run after but realise they do not have aid stations - you are on your own or you get someone to "hand up" fuel at key stages in the event


     - run races are okay but they require a fair amount of recovery and if done too much on tarmac can accelerate injury and reduce bike strength gains - pick off road events, trail marathons and ride to them, ride the day before BUT DO NOT TREAT THEM AS CONQUER OR DIE OUTCOMES

    Enjoy your half and full Ironman this year.


  • Well Colin to get extreme cramp in a 70.3 would be unlikely to be due to salt losses unless:


    a) you never use electrolytes in training/racing - relying on water alone

    b) you work in a very hot environment for hours a day (diamond mining?)

    c) you have taken all salt out of your diet and add none to food

    The biggest cause is likely:


    1. Saddle too high forcing you to recruit your calfs too much at the lower stages of the pedal action ...bike fitting in Devon is a good solution to that


    2. Pushing too hard on key climbs, trying to out sprint someone in the ride or just failing to keep to a smooth effort - it is after all 2.5-3.5h of riding with a 1.5h+ run after. Using a power measuring system (e.g. Rotor cranks) can mean you are better at keeping it smooth - then you get a great run result.


    70.3 cannot be won on the bike by going too hard - but it can hamper yor muscles and lead to a poor run.

    Tweak your set up, diet and or pacing and get that 70.3 nailed...



  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Ding ding - 15mins more to go for this live Q&A with Joe Beer!

    If Joe doesn't have time to answer your question then don't worry, he will also be speaking at the Triathlon Show at Sandown Park in Surrey at the end of this month: www.triathlonshow.co.uk

  • Well Oliver that's a very hard question to answer. However, getting an experienced coach or very competent swimmer to view you swimming SHOULD uncover some elements of maximum propulsion efficiency or drag limitation that you are not doing right.

    Once you know what things are making propel less good or raise drag these areas must then be attended to in minute detail to change your habit and make things nearer to perfect (note nearer to perfect NOT perfect)

    Don't do drills that attend to things you are already good at (you can swim forwards after all)


    Practice makes permanent.





  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Hi everyone, Joe just told us he can do another 15mins – this Q&A will now finish at 11.15am, so there's a bit more time to ask for his advice!

  • It would be great to have some of the people watching this Thread to come to the Talks at TriathlonShow and ask us experts. We want you to query, ponder and test our brains... its how we all get better. In every way.  http://www.triathlonshow.co.uk/article/220-theatre

  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Can you tell us a little about what you will be talking about at the Triathlon Show Joe?

  • On Friday at 3:30 (nip away from work early for this one)...

    I want to offer up '10 New Ways To Boost Speed' -

    all areas of performance with enhanced or updated methods to ensure that people race faster in 2014. Prepare to be surprised! 

    I will offer this as a PDF after the weekend via my website coachjoebeer.com

    On Sat/Sunday it will be:

    'Training for Ironman: Learning From Winners'

    Using actual client (and research) training data, racing experience, nutrition lessons and equipment choices to help people see how they how they can crack long-distance racing.

    Yes its about a mindset but you have to use EVERYTHING in your arsenal to be able to say you did you absolute best on race day

  • Thank you for the questions and the 300+ views that this thread has had. It looks like we will have to do this again. Maybe on a regular basis...

    See you at the TriathlonShow




  • Jamie220Jamie220 Posts: 168

    Great thanks Joe.

    Let's wrap up this live Q&A, thanks to everyone who posted questions, and a big thank you to Joe for kindly giving us his time and expert knowledge today.

    See you at the Triathlon Show in a couple of weeks everyone!

  • Hi Joe

    My resting heart rate has shot up to 50-53 this week from a normal rate of 42-44bpm. I feel well and training is also going fine, though I am doing a larger volume than I would normally do. All other indicators look good. Is this anything to be concerned about?


  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    Thanks for your input joe very much appreciated.
  • Okay Chris, late to the party but I've just checked in again and want to answer your question...

    Any significant increase in resting HR needs to be taken as a "red flag".

    This does not mean stop, go to bed and say you're ill.

    However, be it dehydration, lack of good sleep, late nights, mental stress, OR total training load build up - there's something to acknowledge and to then make one or two actions to see it does not end up as something more serious.

    You probably need a few lighter days, acknowledging that you have done the training to get into this situation (which is a good thing) BUT that we are not trying to see who can push their RHR to breaking point.

    So its a warning shot across the bow, a slight tweak to your current training - airing on the side of a slight drop in duration of sessions and frequency for 2-4 days - they you will see RHR resume and a sense of added fitness/freshness come to the fore.

    Thanks for a great question.

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