Is there an age where you shift from trying to set all-time personal records to being the best you can be at your current age? Today's episode features two stand-out veteran athletes, triathlon legend Kurt Madden (68), and pro triathlete Dede Griesbauer (51), who share their wisdom and tangible tips for excelling in triathlon as your age advances. How does training, nutrition, and mindset change as you get older? Kurt and Dede are ready to answer this and much more as they share stories about getting older, wiser, and staying strong!

Big thanks to Precision Fuel & Hydration for partnering with us on this episode! Head over to and check out the Fuel Planner to get your free personalized fuel and hydration strategy.


TriDot Podcast .134

Revisiting Aging Up: Getting Faster as You Get Older

Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses yourtraining data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics andartificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results inless time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, andentertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and specialguests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together.


Andrew Harley: Welcome to the TriDot podcast! We have a very special episode today. Ialways love it when we do our revisiting episodes. If you're a long-timelistener of the podcast, you're familiar with this. If you're brand-new, theseare the shows where we basically take an older main set – a conversation we'vealready had, a principle we've already talked about – and we revisit it. Welisten to it again, and we get some fresh ears and some fresh perspective on apopular episode. These are really cool. We have over 200 TriDot podcastepisodes now, and when we revisit a topic, it is not because we need a rerun toplug into place – we have plenty of things to talk about – it is specificallybecause this show was just so good, this conversation was so strong, that wewant you guys, our listeners, to hear it again. So on this episode, we arerevisiting Episode .123, “Aging Up: Getting Faster As You Get Older”. Thisoriginally aired on January 31st, 2022. The guests were protriathlete Dede Griesbauer and TriDot coach Kurt Madden. They were the perfectvoices to speak to this topic, as they are both in their 60s and stillperforming extremely strong at the races. They were great. And to revisit thispodcast, I have with me Vanessa Ronksley. Vanessa is a TriDot mediacontributor, she often hosts the cooldowns of our podcast episodes, and sheoccasionally hosts the entire podcast episode. And Vanessa, I think we canannounce this today. You actually are full-time staff now with TriDot,officially on board with a new role. Can you talk about that a little bit andtell everybody what you're going to be doing for TriDot?


Vanessa:Absolutely, because this is a dream come true. I know that when I first startedtraining with TriDot, the thought had crossed my mind that I want to work forthis company someday. And here we are! Here I am, I'm now full-time. Myofficial title is the Event Marketing Manager, and I'm going to specifically beworking on TriDot at the Races.


Andrew:Love it.


Vanessa:And I’m so excited to see all of the Ambassadors, and athletes, and staffmembers, and coaches. I can't wait to meet everybody and to make their races aphenomenal experience for everybody.


Andrew:Yeah, and you're the perfect person for the job. We've always had a presence atthe races, and now with our partnership with IRONMAN, we can do more, frankly.The ceiling of what we can do has been raised. We will have a presence in theexpo in IRONMAN Village at the races, and Vanessa is kind of leading the chargefor what will be happening there. So hold on to your butts, and the next timeyou race an IRONMAN event, definitely make sure you swing by IRONMAN Village,and look for the TriDot tent, and see who might be under it. It might beVanessa, it might be Andrew, it might be a coach that lives in the area of thatrace. We'll find out as the year goes on.




Andrew:But on to our revisiting of Episode .123, this episode is one of our top tenmost popular episodes. I think people really connected to, “Hey, as I get olderin this sport, what do I need to do to stay healthy, to continue on in my trijourney? Am I naturally going to get weaker and weaker as I get older andolder, or can I get stronger?” And Kurt and Dede talk about all of thosethings. So today we will revisit the warmup question, Vanessa and I will answerthe warmup question that we asked on Episode .123, and then we will listentogether to the main set as Kurt and Dede talk about “Aging Up: Getting FasterAs You Get Older”.  Then Vanessa and Iwill stick around for a few minutes on the cooldown just to kind of reflect onour thoughts of this very good main set. So without further ado, I'll do thewarmup.


Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving.


Andrew: Before we get too deep into the show, I wantto talk about our good friends from Precision Fuel and Hydration. We've spokento Sports Scientist Andy Blow during several episodes of the podcast, to helpour listeners nail down their hydration and fueling strategy for training andracing. The big takeaway from those episodes with Andy is that there simplyisn't a one-size-fits-all approach to race nutrition. And that's why the teamat Precision Fuel and Hydration have developed the Fuel Planner. Head over to to take the Fuel Planner, and get your free personalized fuel andhydration strategy. The plan provides guidelines for how much carbohydrate,sodium, and fluid you should be aiming to consume, so that you know yournumbers for your next race. You can then hit those numbers by using thePrecision Fuel and Hydration product range, which is designed to make it easierfor you to keep track of your intake during racing, as the carb and sodiumcontent per serving is smack bang on the front of the packaging. It could notbe easier or tastier. Just last night actually, I encouraged my brother, whohas signed up for his first half-marathon, to head to the PF&H website anddo this himself. So head to the website, and as a TriDot listener, you can usethe code TRIDOT24 to get 10% off your first order of electrolytes and fuelingproducts. That code just updated, so if you're a longtime listener, for theyear 2024, our code is TRIDOT24 at


Ourwarmup question for Episode .123 was this – out of all the finish lines, thetriathlon, the endurance sports finish lines you have crossed, what finish linewas the most special to you? This can be a triathlon, this can be a Spartanrace, this can be a one-mile fun run you did with the family. Whatever finishline you have that you deemed the most special to you, we want to hear aboutit. When I asked this to Kurt and Dede on Episode .123, they both said thatevery finish line is special, and it was very hard to pick just one. Now keepin mind, Kurt and Dede have both raced hundreds of races, so this might be alittle more challenging for them, but I think Vanessa and I can both come upwith an answer. Vanessa, what is this answer for you? What is your most specialfinish line you've crossed?


Vanessa:I think I'm going to have to go with something different that I haven't talkedabout ever before in the podcast.


Andrew:Do it! Love it!


Vanessa:Okay, so I decided to dedicate one season to the sprint distance. And in thefirst race of that season, I was going all-out towards the end of the race, andsomeone was coming up behind me. This must have been maybe 500 meters fromthe finish, so half a kilometer, and someone was coming up behind me. And aspectator from the crowd yelled, “Pass her! Pass her!”


Andrew:Oh no, she didn't.


Vanessa:And I was looking like, “Someone is trying to pass me?” And I was like, “Thatis a hard no. No one is going to pass me in the last half-K of this race.” So Iturned on the jets, and definitely crossed that finish line ahead of whoever itwas that was behind me. So that felt pretty good. But the best part is thatthis was the first official podium that I had. I came in second, and I remembergetting my medal, and I put that medal around my neck, and I wore it to bed –in my tent, we were camping – and I had it on in my sleeping bag, just restingon top. I was so excited. And this is one of the first times that I realizedthat there might be something deep down inside that's just waiting to beuncovered. So it really ignited something in me.


Andrew:Yeah, that sounds extra-special for sure. The part of that story that I love,Vanessa, is that somewhere in Canada, there is a triathlon fan who went homedisappointed, because the person that they were cheering for did not pass youthat day. Yeah, good on you for that, way to surge to the finish line. Thisanswer for me, when I recorded this episode with Kurt and Dede, I talked aboutmy first Ironman finish line. I think your first Ironman is always special.That was IRONMAN Waco for me. What I'll say today – Vanessa, I'm very excitedabout whatever the heck my next finish line will be. I have not raced in Ithink a year and a half. Longtime listeners of the podcast will know we had ourfirst baby last year. She just turned one at the time of this podcastrecording, so I've just been in Dad Mode, and obviously taking care of my workhere at TriDot, which I love doing. It's a fun job when your job is TriDot. Sothere has not been that spare time to properly train and race, so I'm trying toget back into that. I'm trying to drop a little dad-weight, and get back whereI can fit in my tri suit, and get the wheels spinning again so that I can racehopefully later this year. Whatever that next finish line is, I think it'sgoing to be really special, because it'll be the first one as a dad, it'll bethe first one in a long time. It'll be the first one after a little bit of abreak.


Vanessa:I also have to say that crossing a finish line when your family is at the end,there's nothing like that. It’s so special. So when you do cross and you're going to see Ellie and Morgan there, youmay cry.


Andrew:I might. I'm not a crier, but apparently with Ellie, I am. We're going to throwthis question out to our audience like we always do. Make sure you're a memberof the I AM TriDot Facebook group. I will pose the question, “What finish linefrom your time as an athlete has been the most special to you?” Cannot wait tosee what you have to say.


Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1…


Andrew: Being a triathlete at the age of 20 isdifferent from being a triathlete at the age of 40, which is also differentfrom being a triathlete at the age of 60. Our bodies change; what they’re goodat, the training stress they can handle, how much TLC they need before andafter workouts. There are plenty of considerations to be made as you get intothe older half of the field, and we have two standout veterans of the sporthere to talk to us about excelling as triathletes as we age. So Dede, ouraudience knows me probably a little bit too well by now. Kurt has joined us afew times on the podcast. So I want to start today just kind of catching ourlisteners up on your background in multisport. What inspired you to move fromcollegiate swimming over to triathlon?


Dede: Yeah,I retired from swimming in 1994. I actually swam for two yearspost-collegiately, which at that point was unheard of. Now there is such athing as professional swimming. Back in the day there really wasn’t. There werevery few athletes who swam post-collegiately. When your college career ended,that was it. But my senior year at Stanford, I was still swimming best times,and I was still in love with the sport. So I decided to carry on, but by 1994 Idid start to feel like I was falling behind my peers a little bit, in terms ofcareer advancement and all of those important things. I was not continuing toprogress in the pool, so I did decide to retire. At that point, I sort of tookup running a little bit more seriously. I had always ran at Stanford as part ofour “dryland training.”


Andrew: Sure.


Dede: Backin the ‘80s, a very big emphasis on weight management from swim coaches, we cango into detail on how displaced that is. But anyway I actually really enjoyrunning, and one of my teammates at Stanford was actually Barb Metz, who isalso known as Barb Lindquist. And we were probably the only two on the teamthat actually really enjoyed running. So when we had to go run, it was great.And of course Barb went on to great success as a triathlete, Olympian, and Ijust continued to run mostly to keep up with my eating habits that I haddeveloped in swimming.


Andrew: Sure.


Dede: Icontinued to run just recreationally, ran a couple of marathons. Then thesummer before I started business school, I was dating a boy and was trying toimpress him, and he had suggested that we ride our bikes across the country.And I thought, “Well goodness. I only have my Schwinn from the fifth grade.” SoI bought a bike, and five days later we flew to Seattle to ride our bikes backacross the country. Unfortunately, we broke up in Montana, but we continued theride, and I actually just found I really enjoyed cycling. So the summer afterbusiness school, I didn’t have any money because I had just paid for businessschool. I had three months off before I had to start my job, and I had beenstudying for finals at business school right before the Christmas Holiday, andI was burnt out. And I turned on the TV, and I happened to see the IRONMANWorld Championship being broadcast right there on NBC.


Andrew: Wow.


Dede: Iwas gobsmacked, and I just thought, “I have got to try this.” So the summerafter business school, I spent that three months training as hard as I couldand getting as fit as I could, to do an IRONMAN. And I was hooked. I loved it.


Andrew: SoDede, you’ve had a presence in the pro field now for 17, going on 18 years, andyou’re still going strong. In the most recent race season – at the time we’rerecording this podcast, the year 2021 just wrapped up – and you had multipletop ten finishes, including a fifth overall at IRONMAN Lake Placid, and settinga bike course record in Cozumel. What is it like in this season of your life toline up on race day as the oldest member of the pro field?


Dede: Umm,it’s sort of refreshing to be honest. IRONMAN is an event of experience. Ithink you can make up for a lot by just having more experience. There are veryfew things that I’ll experience out on a race course that I haven’t experiencedalready, or coached an athlete to experience, or had a training partnerexperience. So that experience is comforting in many ways. There’s also sort ofthe – I don’t want to say the apathy – but I don’t feel the sense of pressure Ithink I felt back in the peak of my career.


Andrew: Okay:


Dede: BecauseI toe the line now, not with the pressure of feeling like I have to win therace, but seeing, “How close can I come to winning this race?” And not to soundsnarky, but, “How much can I embarrass these 30-year-olds?” And that istremendous fun for me, like, “Let’s just go see what’s possible.” There are noexpectations on me anymore, and that’s very, very liberating, and gives melicense to really take chances that I think I would have been almost too scaredto do, back when there was more that was expected of me.


Andrew: Interesting.Yeah, very, very interesting and it totally makes sense. As a 30-something, I’dlove to see it. I’d just absolutely love it. So Kurt, you’ve come on the showseveral times, kind of as our Kona expert and World Championship historian.We’ve heard some great stories from your days racing against Mark Allen, DaveScott, Scott Tinley, and so many others. Guys like Mike Reilly and Bob Babbitt,whom we all revere, are just peers and friends of yours. What is it like foryou to still be racing so competitively, while most of your peers havetransitioned from racing to other roles in the sport?


Kurt: You know Andrew, when I really reflect onthat, the way I would describe it is it’s really surreal.


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: Ithas to be, because it’s just so awesome when you can continue your learning,when you can be engaged, when you can be prepared, go through all the pre-raceanxiety. A lot of people are like, “So at this point in your career, do youever get butterflies before the race?” I’m like, “You know what? I actuallydo.”


Andrew: Wow.


Kurt: Andreally I think to give back to the sport, I think we owe this. That’s part ofour sport, it kind of evolved that way, that it’s important to give back. It’sreally focused on “we” rather than “me”, and I think it really inspires otherpeople to commit not to quit. And really, Dede, to piggy-back off your story, Ican remember being in Texas, I think it was in 2019 – I’m doing the math in myhead, 2019. I had a great swim, I had a great bike, I think I was 16 miles intothe run, and I was coming up to where Cindy typically sits in one little spotout there on the course.


Andrew: Yep.


Kurt: Iremember that race and we actually put the numbers on the back of our legs.This guy, I think he was 27, he caught up with me and he goes, “You know what?You’re as old as my grandpa.” In the moment I caught him completely off guard.I said, “No, that number 63 should be 93.” He stopped. He actually stopped inhis tracks, and he couldn’t stop laughing. He goes, “You can’t be 93.” I said,“No I’m not.” Then he goes, “I want to be like you when I grow up.” And I’mlike, “You know what, see that made my day.”


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: Youknow, it sounds kind of corny, but that guy will never forget that, and he’llprobably tell that story. He’ll put the spin on it, and I don’t think I will. Ithink too that in the sport now, it’s something that it really still teachesyou the nuts and bolts – how to adapt, how to pivot, how to be resilient, howto bring your A-game, how to give 100% and then finish strong. When you reallythink about it, it really parallels life. That’s that interplay between oursport and life. If you can do all those things throughout your life, you’regoing to be A-okay, versus some people they just can’t. So I think again, as Ilook back, it’s just so surreal, and I’m just so pumped to even start the 2022season.


Andrew: SoKurt, just from dinner conversations, and seeing you out on course multipletimes in the year 2021, I can see your passion to race is as strong as ever.Kurt, you were the number one age-group athlete last year in the IRONMANage-group point standings. I remember getting the email where IRONMAN is like,“Hey check your All World status.” I remember clicking on the link to see whereI was in my age group, and the top name out of every athlete in the world, #1Kurt Madden. It was incredible to see that and be like, “I know him!” Youtopped the podium for the men’s 65-69 division in Coeur d’Alene, in Tulsa, inWaco, and in Tempe. Do you feel like your relationship with triathlon haschanged over the years, or do you still kind of view your place in the sport asthe same as it’s always been?


Kurt: Well,probably I would respond, Andrew – and thank you for those compliments –andthat’s a whole different podcast. Andrew, I can tell you, we went through a lottogether this past year.


Andrew: Wesure did!


Kurt: AllI wanted to do is I just wanted to find Andrew and John. Once I found where youguys were, then you could give me some good intel, but up to that moment it waskind of pins and needles. But I think for me, the relationship, it’s kind ofyes and no. I think first of all, as we’ve looked at the changes in the sport,that we’ve had to adapt. We’ve had to adapt with all the technology, all thedifferent things with the rules and the courses. Because back in the day, itwas real simple. It was called RPE, your rate of perceived effort.


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: Thatwas all the technology you had. And I was just thinking, prior to coming onthis podcast, what would happen if IRONMAN decided “Okay, we’re going to dothis race a little bit differently. There’s no technology allowed.”


Andrew: Wow.


Kurt: Idon’t know if a lot of people would say, “I’m in.” They might say –


Andrew: Somepeople would have a heart attack and just –


Kurt: Theywould. They would. But I look at that, and I think the one thing that hasn’tchanged is that you always want to give your best. You want to give your bestfrom start to finish. You want to embrace the comradery. You want to be a goodperson in the sport, meaning your sportsmanship. Really, just to put it outthere, you don’t want to be a jerk. That’s one thing that I would say honestly.Once in a while you see that, but the majority of triathletes that’s really,really awesome. I think the mental approach hasn’t really changed at all. It’sthe grit, the tenacity, the positive self-talk that is important. But I thinkagain, when I look back on the sport, I think it was really easy in thebeginning. In 1980, there was one simple rule – no cheating. Fast-forward to2022, unfortunately there’s a few people in the sport and their mindset is,“I’m going to go ahead and draft until I get caught.”


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: Youknow, “Go ahead and penalize me.” I think I have to separate myself from that,because it does bother me a little bit, the pureness of the sport. And that’sone thing maybe I’ll never adjust to. But I think there’s been big changes.It’s been great, but when it comes down to it, you still have to perform andexecute on race day.


Andrew: YeahKurt, you referenced John and I gave you time updates. By the time you found uson the run course, we could tell you how far ahead of the second-place man youwere at your races. It was especially fun in IRONMAN Arizona, because the guyin second, 45-50 minutes behind you, was actually an athlete that you coach. Sowhen he came around – we knew he was a TriDot athlete, but I didn’t know youcoached him – but he was very concerned. He asked John and I straightaway, “Howfar ahead is Kurt?” And we were like, “Bro, he’s 45-50 minutes ahead of you.”He was like, “I’m going to catch him.” “I don’t know if you’re going to!” Buthe was like, “No, he’s my coach. I’m going to catch him.” Anyway, it was reallyfunny to meet him, and to know that that guy trying to chase you down was anathlete that you actually coached. That was a fun story for me. So for each ofyou – Dede in your 50’s, Kurt in your 60’s, respectively – both of you arestill crushing it on course. Do you approach your training any differently nowthan you did when you were younger? So Dede for you, to stay competitive in thepro field, is the training the same as it was 16-17 years ago, or does it lookdifferent now?


Dede: I’mactually pretty proud to say that I think throughout all the years of mycareer, I’ve been able to sort of build momentum. I think in my early years Idid a lot of quality training, but the volume wasn’t tremendous, and part ofthat was geography. I started my pro career living in Boston so the wintersobviously weren’t very conducive to doing a lot of long training in the wintertime. But as I’ve evolved through my career, I think today I am doing a highercombination of volume and intensity than I did earlier in my career.


Andrew: Wow.


Dede: What’shad to come along with that, I think to use your words from earlier, the TLCthat comes along with it. And that’s not to say that I’m not taking morerecovery days. I am taking recovery days, but I’m taking fewer days off. I findthat an object in motion stays in motion, and if I stop moving I actually getinactivity injury.


Andrew: Sure.


Dede: SoI think that that has changed. As opposed to rolling out of bed, throwing myshoes on, and heading out the door for a run, it now takes me a half-hour toget ready to go run, with all the prehab and the rehab and the taking care ofmyself. Nutrition is something that has long been an Achilles heel for me. Iwas able to sort of skirt it for a long time and just say, “You know what? Itdoesn’t really matter, I’m doing just fine.” But now I really have to payattention to it. So those little details matter a lot more. So for me, I’mreally happy with what I’m able to withstand in terms of training, and I feellike it is keeping me competitive in the sport. But I’ve had to add atremendous amount of work on top of that with regard to strength training,nutrition, rest and recovery, rehabilitation, and all of those sorts of thingsto keep going.


Andrew: Very,very interesting. Kurt, I know TriDot was not a thing when you were young inthe sport. So I know discovering TriDot was a great moment for you, that kindof changed the way you train somewhere along the way. In addition toassimilating to TriDot, how has training changed for you as you’ve gottenolder?


Kurt: Yeah,that’s a great question. I know probably because of where I was geographically,Dede, that I was in kind of the thick of it. I was in San Diego, and that’swhere everyone was training back in the early ‘80s. I can remember that whenyou were literally driving around or whatever, if you saw Scott Tinley on hisbike, you knew he was probably going 100 miles. And then all of a sudden you’dget a call, “Hey, you want to go for a bike ride?” “Well, who’s on the ride?”“Well, we have Mark Allen, and we’ve got Mark Montgomery, and Tinley, and a fewother people.” So I’d tell my wife, “Yep, they said it’s three hours, I’ll beback like in 3½.” Six and a half hours later I’m like, “Oh my goodness.” So itwas high volume. And I can remember even Dave Scott – and I have so muchrespect for Dave. If you go back in his history in the ‘80s, Dave would do alot of high volume. Actually the day before the race, he would do like a60-mile bike ride, or do repeats on Ali’i Drive going to the carbo-loadingparty. I think a lot of it was the psych thing that he would put out to people.So I think as I shift forward, when I came back into the sport in 2015, it wasperfect that John and I met at a perfect time in 2016. It’s like, “Wow. I’mgoing to flip the switch on this whole thing.” I now can control the volume,really focus on that intensity, and I think that’s been a big change for me.And also, just like with Dede, I think in this day and age now, there’s nosecret. It’s swim, bike, run, and recovery is a whole other pillar.


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: That’slike a different pillar. Back in the ‘80s, we didn’t do that much recovery. Itwas like if you did, you were kind of a wussy. In this day and age it’s like,“You don’t have your massage gun out? You’re not doing the Normatecs? You’renot sleeping 20 minutes extra every day?” All those things that we need to do.I think the other thing too is nutrition, that’s the fifth pillar. I was goodback in the ‘80s, but I’m much better today.


Andrew: Ithink something that would be really interesting to talk about, Kurt, that Ihaven’t heard anybody ever really bring up, is if you could go back to the ‘80sand have Dave and yourself, Scott Tinley, Mark Allen, all those guys racing allover again – if they could have known what we know now in terms of fuelingyourself and recovering and all that – how much faster could those guys havebeen than they were back then? I don’t know, probably a whole differentpodcast, but a very interesting talking point.


Kurt: Agreed.


Andrew: Soluckily for us in triathlon, there are objective data points in our training.There’s things like watts, average paces, and those paces’ relationship toheart rate. Talking shop with a training buddy of mine who’s in his 50s, we’vecompared notes that my max heart rate is in the 190s while his max heart rateis in the 150s. For you, how have these biometric data points changed over theyears, and how has it changed what your body is capable of in training andracing?


Kurt: I’mreally pleased with the technology that we have now, and all the differentmetrics we can utilize. Because again, my background is in exercise physiology.I have to go back again – when I did my Master’s, something that I can remembervividly was doing a max VO2 kind of old school. It’s not on your Garmin watch.No, you’re going to put everything on, we’re going to watch your expiredgasses, and it’s going to be all-out. So I think for me, back in college when Iwas a pro – that was just the perfect timing –that was one indicator. I think Ididn’t hang my hat on that too much, because as I looked at the one variable,it was really anaerobic threshold. Dave Scott promotes that quite a bit, and Itag right onto that. That was my thesis – it was really with a tetheredswimming device – it was can we measure oxygen uptake, and measure anaerobicthreshold? So when a person goes from an aerobic to anaerobic state, that’skind of like how much of your VO2 or oxygen uptake are you taking? Is it 60%,70%, 80%? Can you make that go up to 85, 86, 87? So I think as I’ve come backto the sport in 2015, I think I would say objectively that I’ve agedgraciously.


Andrew: Okay.


Kurt: That’sthe appropriate word to use. I think again, TriDot – things are very, veryobjective. When you do a 20-minute power test, it’s a 20-minute power test.There’s no subjectivity to it, it’s right there. Andrew, it’s even hard to saythis, but last Tuesday – since I have been with TriDot in 2016 – it was anall-time best.


Andrew: Wow.


Kurt: All-timebest, and I had texted John last month and I said, “Hey John, I have thisreally weird feeling that I can go up by like 15 watts.” And it was so funnyhis response, he goes, “You know, I don’t think I’m going to doubt you rightnow.” But I think Dede can appreciate this – I think as an athlete, when youget these strange ideas that you believe something will happen and you worktoward that, no matter what level you’re on, you’ve got to stick with that. Andthat’s what drives me I think and motivates me. It’s like I’m so fixated on, “Iknow I can hit that number.” But at my age, to hit an all-time best on an FTPI’m thinking, “I really drilled down. I didn’t have OCD too much about it. Itfelt good, I didn’t vomit at the end.” You hear all these stories about the FTPtest. No, it was actually really good and I’m thinking, “Guy, let me check mycadence one more time. What can I do in my warmup to change that?” So I thinkthat was good. With my swimming, again I looked at my times from 2016, my assessments,and I can tell you that they’ve changed maybe a second or two. But keep inmind, probably just like Dede, that 90% of the time that I’m working on that,I’m trying to maintain that level. I’m not going to get a big bump. And I knowI even did my 400-yard swim last Friday – and Andrew you can appreciate this –I started to get a leg cramp at 150 yards and I’m like, “What are you thinking?That cannot happen right now. I’m going to finish this puppy.”


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: Butthen at 250 my leg started going numb because I didn’t have enough oxygen. Igot to 300 yards and I’m like, “Just relax. You’re going to finish this thing.Just relax.” And I came in two seconds faster than a month ago. Then as you’vebeen to races respectfully, John and I – He kind of teases me like, “You thinkyou can go under an hour?” And I’m like, “Well John, I’ll see.” And I’m prettyconsistent with that. But again, just like Dede, with me the running – there’sno way at my age that I think I can continue to have that high level max VO2.Now conversely, I’ve got a couple athletes that I work with in their 70s, andit’s really incredible to even say this, but they’re not slowing down. And I’mthinking, “Is it genetics? Is it lifestyle? Is it a combination of both?” Butwhen I’ve got a 72-year-old that can go like 22:30 for a 5K and then he’stelling me, “Coach, I think I’m slowing down.” I’m going, “Please. Can I have apart of your genetics? Can you Federal Express it or put it on an Amazon bus?”But I think we do it with grace, and I think the thing that I’ve learned, justlike what Dede has said, you’ve really got to take care of yourself withrecovery, with nutrition, and moderation is really key. But for me, I’ve got achiropractor, I’ve got an acupuncturist, I’ve got a massage therapist. When Igo in, it’s like going to church three times a week. I don’t need to say aword. It’s like they’re going to tell me exactly what I need to know, not whatI want to hear. And that’s a big, big difference, because they know your bodyintuitively. So when I check everything off for a race, there’s no doubt in mymind that it’s like, “Okay, I want to go in and be proactive.” I think that’sthe other thing I find, not to belabor the point, is to be proactive. Just likeon a car or on your house, don’t wait until the dashboard has all red lights onit. Take it in. Just like your body, do it in a proactive sense, versus you’reso broken down we can’t repair you and put you together with duct tape on race day.  


Dede: Actuallyit’s interesting you say that Kurt, because I started off my training blockafter my season break during the holidays, and I marched into a physio’s officeand he was like, “Well, what’s wrong?” And I was like, “Well nothing, but Iwant to go through a movement screen, and I want you to pick up on things thatyou’re seeing, and give me a set of exercises to do on my non-gym days, tospend 20-30 minutes just preventatively.” I want to nip these things in the budbefore they become a thing, before you get to that state of being broken down.He looked at me, and he almost wept. He gave me a hug. He’s like, “Why isn’teverybody like you?” It’s not the fun stuff to do, but it goes a long way.Preventative stuff goes a very, very long way in terms of it’s a lot easier toward off a problem than it is to fix it once you’ve got one.


Andrew: Yeah.


Kurt: HeyAndrew, we could stay with this, I think it’s a very important component ofthis podcast so I want to stay with it just for like a minute or two longer.


Andrew: Yep.


Kurt: AndI’m going to piggy-back on what Dede said. Even myself, as I’m assessing, “Howcan I get better as a coach? How can I get better as an athlete?” I’ve eventaken that bold move now that I’m doing yoga. I’m doing, like, hot yoga. It’sfunny, I was actually in the studio earlier today – I’m not on the podium inyoga class, I can tell you honestly. I’m like in the back row with theinstructor helping me, “Kurt, do this and do that.” I’ve done it six times, andit’s the hot yoga, and I thought to myself in the moment, “Back in the ‘80s, ifI had told Mark Allen or Scott Tinley, ‘Hey, I’ve got to go to yoga class,’those guys would have had me jump off the ship.” That wasn’t going to happen.But in this day and age, if I can start to do yoga, there’s no doubt in my mindwhen I look at strength, flexibility, balance, doing all those things, it’s agame changer. I’ve gone to my sixth class. It’s kind of like swimming, the moreyou go the more you like it.


Andrew: Ihave a new dream, Kurt. A new goal is to somehow, some way, be in the sameplace at the same time to attend a hot yoga class with Kurt Madden in SanDiego. So I’ve got to find an excuse to come out to San Diego, just to go dohot yoga with you. That sounds like a blast.


Dede: Let’sfast forward that and have Kurt open his own hot yoga studio. We’ll all go!


Andrew: Hey!


Kurt:But Andrew, maybe we can do that at the Ambassador Camp in St. George.


Andrew: Thatwould be so fun.


Kurt: Icould bring somebody in for that.


Andrew:Actually a little further into our script I have me asking this question, butKurt you were just talking about this, so I want to bring it up here too. We’rekind of going out of order today, but in a way it’s good. A lot of ourathletes, whether it’s just on the Facebook group or just in conversation atraces, they’ve kind of posed the question – Kurt, you were talking about howyour FTP is higher now than it’s ever been, in your mid- to upper-60s. We’vehad athletes ask before, “Okay, on TriDot every four to six weeks you have anassessment. You’re kind of time-trialing. You’re swimming in the pool, your400, 200. You’re time-trialing a 5K, you’re doing that 20 minute power test.”And I’ve seen people ask before, “At what age can I expect myself to stopgetting better?” They kind of expect there to be a point where, “Okay, well nowI’m 40, now I’m 50, now I’m 60, so clearly I can’t do as well as I did when Iwas 30.” But we’re seeing in a lot of athletes like yourself, that that’s notnecessarily the case. You pose that this is maybe genetic, maybe it’s not,maybe it differs from athlete to athlete. But for each of you, what is yourperspective on this? Is there an age where you stop shooting for all-time PRs,and you kind of switch gears to, “I’m just going to do the best I can do for myage?” Is there an age range maybe where you start trailing off, or can we keepimproving indefinitely?


Dede: Ithink it depends a little bit on what your background is. For me personally I’mnot going to hit any PRs swimming. I’m a NCAA champion, All American, two-timesOlympic Trials swimmer. Those days are in the rearview mirror for sure. So I’mfighting decline in the pool, based on where I started from.


Andrew: Okay.


Dede: Thatbeing said, I mean I hear Kurt talk about a 70-year-old who’s still runningclose to PBs in 5K.  I think it dependson where you’re starting from. I mean if you’re just new to the sport – andthat’s one of the things I love advocating for now as an older athlete, it’snever too late to start. If you want to start triathlon and you’re 50, great.Dive right in because your curve – you’re going to improve, right? We’re allstarting from somewhere. So I think it depends a little bit on the backgroundand what the potential is. Where you’re starting from, what the depth of yourhistory is in each of the sports. But like Kurt, I’m still seeing PRs on thebike. Not much on the run, but I think I’m finding greater efficiencies on therun.


Andrew: Okay.


Dede: SoI think you look for improvements in perhaps different ways, but I think ifyou’re just starting, you’re going to be seeing PRs no matter what your age.


Kurt: Youknow Dede and I, we’re really on the same page. I think it’s case-by-case asperson-by-person. I know as I work with athletes and with TriDot – I’ve got oneperson in particular that’s in his 70s, and we go back through his assessmentsfrom three years ago, and he’s right there. He has not stopped at all. So I’mthinking, “Wait a minute, he’s like in his mid-70s.” He’s probably geneticallyreally, really superior. He follows the training plan. He’s a great guy tocoach. I’ve got other people that at the age of 50 they can’t quite do that. SoI think it’s really, really case-by-case, but just like Dede said, I think alot about our sport is efficiency. I think the ideal person is like, “I want tohave the physiology of a 30-year-old, but the wisdom of a 60-year-old.” AndAndrew, even going back to last year, and you were kind of there – guy we didfour races, and each one was a little bit different and unique.


Andrew: Absolutely.


Kurt: ButI posed the question, when people are preparing for an IRONMAN. The questionis, “How many IRONMANs do you think you would have to do before you really nailone, that everything goes almost perfect?” And I’m not surprised by what theysay. They’re going, “First of all that’s a really good question. Secondly, I'dprobably have to do about 16.” And I’m like, “Can you repeat that again?” Sothis isn’t the one-and-done. And I know even last year, Andrew, things for me –because of all the chaos with the weather and everything else – the last raceof the year out of four, that was the one that worked out the best. So I thinkas you age you get that wisdom, that experience, and I think that’s what is sointriguing for me about Kona, is that I will train literally the whole year toperform my best on that day. Because if I can get five minutes faster on thatcourse, or go up Palani on the run and not die out at the Energy Lab and justkeep on running, and be in the top 10 or be in the podium, to me, that istotally worth that journey. It really, really is. So I think really, peaking ismostly in your head versus your body. I was working with an athlete recently,and it was after your podcast about stamina, and it was like an epiphany. He’slike, “You know, I know what it is now.” And I said, “What is it?” He said, “Mylimiting factor is in my head.”


Andrew: Wow.


Kurt: “Idon’t want to really put myself out there to get really uncomfortable and becomfortable doing that.” And I said, “Perfect.” So thanks to you, shoutout toAndrew for that podcast, and Jeff and John. I go back to that often, I think somuch is in our mind.


Andrew: Sosomething that Dede mentioned a little bit earlier as being important as youage, and I know it’s important for all of us, is our nutrition. Dialing in ournutritional needs is such a key component of multisport success, both in theday-to-day training and on race day. Nutrition fuels our training, it enablesour recovery, and it drives us forward obviously on race day. So how are thenutritional needs of older athletes different from those of younger athletes?


Dede: Juststating the obvious, as we get older, muscle mass is the first thing that wetend to lose. So I think having adequate protein intake is critical. I thinktime in the gym is critical for maintaining that muscle. Again, like Kurt said,it’s everything in moderation. I think the longer you’re in the sport, the moreyou sacrifice for the sport. And this is something that Karen Smyers taught me,after a race that didn’t go very well for me. We were both racing together, andI didn’t have a very good race, and I was quite upset afterwards. She justshook her head at me, and the perspective of that woman, I tell you. She waslike, “Dede, win or lose, we drink the booze.” And we wandered right over tothe finish line beer truck, and had ourselves a beer. But she really taught methe lesson that if you want to be in this sport for a really long time, it doeshave to be in moderation. I don’t think you can live this puritanical life,right? I work with a nutritionist now who – I’ve worked with 147 different nutritionistsin my life, because it’s been a real struggle for me to get it right, becauseit’s just not something I have that much interest in. I’m a picky eater. I eatfor simplicity. Give me the path of least resistance so I can just eat thismeal and be done with it, and not necessarily what’s best for me. So he’s beengreat, but also everything in moderation. If you have to give up everything andnot eat a gram of sugar too much, you’re going to end up resenting the sport.So I think we have to make good choices, but I think you have to do it inmoderation and still enjoy the things that you enjoy in life.


Andrew: Yeah.Kurt, what have you learned about nutrition in terms of just sustaining yourenergy, sustaining your effort, and lasting this long in the sport andsucceeding at this age? Is it any different for you than it was earlier in yourcareer?


Kurt: Youknow, I think again just to piggy-back off of Dede, I think our mindsets are socommon and similar, that when you were younger you could get away with a littlebit more. Not that it was truly excessive, but it was something that lookingback on, if I had to do that over I probably could have done it, not too muchbetter, but a little bit better. But to fast forward now, I think we have somuch more information. That’s one thing we need to remember with our sport.Back when it started, I can remember we had that conversation like, “We’ll knowmore in 20 or 30 or 40 years.” Well we’re here now. Let’s be very, verystrategic, but I think I really try to model it when I work with people is justreally eating wholesome, and eating as clean as possible. Try to really behonest with yourself and do a food diary for seven days. I think it’s very,very compelling. Some people are like, “Well I need 2,000 calories a day.” Isaid, “I won’t argue that, but tell me about the calories you’re consuming.”


Andrew: Yes.


Kurt: Thenthe person says, “You know, I do have a lot of hollow calories.” “Oh perfect.Let’s kind of minimize that back, or maybe the portion size.” I know that asI’ve gotten older, it was kind of a big day, I can remember being at the “carbloading party”, but truly what it was, boy you would just eat and eat and eatall this food. Fast-forward to where we are today, it’s really, really changed.There’s such a focus now, as we know the importance of protein and we know theimportance of electrolytes, supplements. But for me, the shift I’ve made overthe past three to four years is really, 48 hours before the race, I tend toreally start not consuming as much solid food. I’ll kind of drink my calories,and I’ve got a great balance of carbs, protein, a little bit of fat. But youknow Andrew, as you’ve talked so many times on podcasts, it’s so nice on racemorning to say, “Okay, let me look in the rearview mirror. I know exactly howmuch solid food I took in yesterday.” Therefore on race morning, there’s goingto be very few issues, it’s going to be so much nicer. That’s one thing that Ithink that I’ve made that change, and I work with people on that. I try to justkind of weigh in on that topic. I think it’s just nice to start that day. It’scontinuing to evolve, and sometimes the word “nutrition” or “food”, it’s a fourletter word. What I’ve learned – and that’s the beauty of working with so manydifferent people in TriDot – is that boy, you don’t realize how many issuespeople have with nutrition. It could be sinuses, or they’re allergic tosomething, and I’m thinking, “How can they get through the amount of trainingthat we do?” because they’re so limited on their nutrition. So I think forpeople like that, they need to set that bar a little bit lower, that maybe afull IRONMAN is not going to be their go-to. We can work through that. But it’sreally fortunate that I don’t have those types of situations as an athlete, andI’ve got a great cook. Kelly, we call her “Queen K”, she is just my go-to.She’s like Bobby Flay on steroids. She is just very particular on, “This iswhen you’re going to eat, this is how much you’re going to eat,” and thingslike that. So I’m very, very fortunate.


Dede: Ithink another thing that’s important to highlight as well, is when we talkabout technology – this isn’t technology specifically, but the evolution ofsports nutrition, and how that’s allowed us to find new ways to be faster andbetter and to sustain energy. And to Kurt’s point, for people that have variousnutritional issues, the sheer variety of sports nutrition products meet thosevery specific needs. The ability to diagnose those needs is so much better.That’s one thing that my nutritionist has been very helpful to me with, is notonly the day-to-day nutrition and making sure you’re getting those pre-fuelingand recovery fuels before and after workouts, but during the workoutsthemselves. Finding that right product or that right combination of productsthat works for you, and the fact that there are so many to choose from now, Ithink gives athletes a great variety. I mean, I made a switch to UCAN a coupleof years ago as my primary source of race nutrition, and it’s been tremendousin terms of my digestive issues. But it’s going to be different for everyathlete, it really just depends. But there are so many options now. It can beoverwhelming, but if you’re well-guided by a coach, by a nutritionist, by atraining partner who’s got a lot more experience that can make thosesuggestions – that’s why it’s so complicated, it’s not a one size fits all. Weall know generally in day-to-day nutrition what good choices are, right? Weknow it’s not necessarily smart to go for the Big Mac and the French fries for lunch,it’s better to have A, B, and C. But on the fueling, the training fueling andthe racing fueling, that’s a much tougher nut to crack, but I think the factthat there are so many options out there now is great. That people can findwhat they need, be it a vegan source or whatever their dietary preferences orrequirements are.


Andrew: Yeah.I’ve mentioned on the podcast before the website We are not sponsored in any way, shape, orform by I justthink it’s a great site to try some things, because instead of buying a tub ofsomething, you can buy a couple individual packets of a bunch of differentitems and kind of play in your training with what you like. And Dede for me,one of the silver linings of my first IRONMAN – so when I signed up for IRONMANit was IRONMAN Texas in 2020. It got canceled, it got pushed a couple differenttimes – and one of the silver linings for me in all those postponements was itgave me time to discover UCAN, and kind of work out for myself how I use UCAN.By the time I got to race day at IRONMAN Waco, I had my system in place. I knewexactly how to do it, I had done it in race rehearsals, I had done it instamina sessions. I had my downtube bottle on my bike, it had all my servingsof UCAN, it had my Precision Hydration and Nutrition electrolytes, and it hadmy deltaG ketone ester all in the same bottle. Had I done IRONMAN Texas thefirst time I signed up for it, I would have had none of that on my bike. And nutrition-wiseI would not have been nearly on point. So Dede, for you on race day, is it allUCAN start to finish? What’s your system that you’ve found?


Dede: No,UCAN is definitely the foundation of my nutrition. And to Kurt’s point, I takea lot of UCAN on board in the days leading up to, as a carbo-load so to speak,but low glycemic settles nicely in the stomach. Nearly my entire race morningbreakfast is UCAN. Then depending on the length of the race, my first fewbottles will be UCAN, because you lay that foundation, and then thatslow-burning energy is released throughout the day. Then for the longerefforts, I do believe – and UCAN will even advocate for this – you do need tolayer a higher-glycemic carb on top of it for super-intense sessions or reallylonger sessions. But UCAN is absolutely the foundation, and once I have thatUCAN on board, I actually find my stomach is just settled almost regardless ofwhat I put on top of it for the high-glycemic component later in the day. Sothat UCAN has been tremendous for me.


Andrew: Soeven with your fitness on point, your nutrition dialed in, your recovery andyour strength-building going well, there’s still kind of the mental aspect ofbeing a triathlete. Things like confidence in yourself, mental stamina to gothe distance, the grit to dig deep when it hurts. Younger or older, we all needto be mentally prepared for tough training days, and of course tough moments onrace day. Kurt, is developing mental toughness the same for us all, or does itkind of take on a different form when you’re in the older half of the field?


Kurt: I’mgoing to tap into Dede first. I’m going to have her go first, and then I’mgoing to follow up. I’m curious what she might say.


Dede: Umm,gosh. I mean we’ve all had races where – I’m not going to remember the year,but I raced IRONMAN South Africa one year, and just had a terrible race. Comingoff the bike, I was so far back that I decided that was it, I was quitting. ButI didn’t want my last race to be a DNF, so I decided I was going to walk thewhole marathon. And throughout the whole marathon, I was working on my résuméin my head because of course I had to go get a job. And I thought, “Well, it’sokay that I’m quitting, because now I can get a puppy,” and I was naming thepuppy. And of course, none of this is productive to getting yourself back intothe race.


Andrew: Ijust love that all of that was going on in your head during a race. That’sfantastic.


Dede: Ohno, it was amazing. I actually stopped at one of the tents. At IRONMAN SouthAfrica, a lot of the tri teams have their own tents, and there were some adultbeverages being served. I think I stopped and had a half a beer with one ofthem. There was no way, I did not give myself the opportunity to get back intothat race ever. It wasn’t going well, and I quit. I finished the race, but Iquit mentally.


Andrew: Okay.


Dede: AndI think ever since then I really have tried – it hasn’t always worked, but I’vetried to adopt the strategy that the only way out is through. If I amphysically able to finish the race, I will do it, and make the most of everysingle moment. There are going to be dire moments in any IRONMAN race you do.


Andrew: Yeah,absolutely.


Dede: In any sprint race you do, you’re going tohave dire moments of doubt. This isn’t going the way it’s supposed to, thisdoesn’t feel as good as it’s supposed to. But again, with the experience, I’mable to tell myself, “Well, I don’t feel good. But I don’t have to feel good tobe able to go fast.” Feeling good is an ancillary benefit. We all dream aboutthose days where you go fast and feel good, but most of the time it doesn’tactually feel that good.


Andrew: No.


Dede: Soget that out of your mind. You don’t have to feel good to go fast. And ifthings aren’t going the way that you are expecting them to go, be a problemsolver, right? Instead of just “woe is me” and boo-hooing in your Cheerios,figure out a way through. Figure out the way, “How am I going to make the mostof this moment that isn’t going particularly well? What bag of tricks do I havethat I can pull from to make this situation better?” Find better. Sometimesbetter is, “Okay, I just need to walk to the next aid station.” And you need togive yourself credit for making that decision and saying, “Okay, this is what Ithink I need,” and committing to that strategy. Sometimes it works andsometimes it doesn’t, but giving up on a race before you’ve gotten to thefinish line – you may problem-solve from start to finish and never quite get itright, but at least you’ve tried. So to me, I like to just say, “The only wayout is through.” I’m going to problem-solve this if it’s not going the way Iwant to, and at least by the time I get to the finish line I threw everything Ihad at it.


Andrew: Kurt,I don’t think she did too bad going first there on that one. Do you haveanything to add there?


Kurt: YeahI do. Again, I think our thought process is very, very similar. What I reallytry to do is really kind of get into that self-hypnotic trance. Many times it’scalled the “state of flow”. It’s been talked about that mountain climbers getit, surgeons get it, triathletes get it. As I watch the great people in oursport like Jan Frodeno or Heather Jackson, they’re in that trance. They’re in astate where it’s enjoyable, it’s effortless, it’s easy, and they can go allday. The nine hours seems like three hours, it goes very, very quickly. I do alot of visualizing in my training, especially the week before the race. Butright before the race, literally two to three minutes before, I just really tryto get into that hypnotic state, and go to the point where I just let thingsgo. And then it’s effortless. I’ve just got to get my mind there first, andI’ve got to stay there, because you’re going to hit those speed bumps. Andrew,I remember Coeur d’Alene well. I got off that bike and I’m like, “This is not goingto be fun at all.” I was not in the zone that day for sure. I was completelyout of the zone, doubting myself, doubting my ability, in such a dark spot. Iwas just moments from just ringing the bell, I’m going to come clean on that.But I think the mental approach to racing can make it or break it for so manypeople. The people that do really well, especially if you lined up the top fivewomen or men – their max VO2s are identical, but it’s the will to grind longerand harder than anyone else. It’s that mental state that you’re in. There’ssome days where people just know it, it’s like, “I’m just going to beunstoppable today.” Lucy Charles said that at St. George. She did it withhumility, but she kind of said “I knew for sure on that day I was going to winSt. George.”


Andrew: Wow.


Kurt: Andshe was first on the swim, she was first on the bike, she was first on the run.She made a statement. So I think for every athlete, regardless of where youare, work toward getting to that mental state of mind, versus, “I have thisfear, I have this anxiety, nothing good is going to happen.” I see thatespecially with people that aren’t very good swimmers. They are so worked up,and to start the day in that rough patch, they never come out of it. Versus“Relax, the water’s your friend. You’ve got a wetsuit on, you are going tofloat. There’s lifeguards everywhere.” Make this as enjoyable as possible,because you’re going to be out of there, on the bike, and then you’re running.


Andrew: Soto kind of land the plane on our main set, kind of a two-part question here fory’all. The first is this – for athletes like me, in our 20s, 30s, and probablyeven our young- to mid-40-somethings, are there any habits that we can form nowto help extend our tri careers into our 50s and beyond? Kurt, I think about theyoung man you joked with at IRONMAN Texas, where you told him you were 93 yearsold and he was like, “Man, I want to be like you!” 93 or 63 either way, I wouldlove to be doing this sport into my 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, and I thinka lot of us would aspire to that. What habits can we form now to make sure thatwe’re set up to have a successful back half of our tri career? Kurt, what doyou think?


Kurt: Yeah,I think I would call this the nuggets we can get out of our sport, or out ofthe trials and tribulations. I’ve seen so much that I’ve kind of embraced – Ithink the number one thing is to love the sport. Love the sport means you’regoing to take the good with the bad, and that’s what unconditional love is. Youtake the good with the bad. Try not to live in the past, try to really live inthe moment. Enjoy everything that’s going on. Remember that this is ourindividual story. Andrew, your story is different than Dede’s, different thanmine. It’s the comparison, I think, that’s why some people leave. They’re justkind of self-defeated that, “I’ll never be that person.” And I’m trying tocoach them, “No, this is about you.” I think COVID was really good in a way,that every day is a day to practice your craft. And be a craftsman, don’t be acarpenter. It’s really a lifestyle. It’s that physical and mental health thatis going to sustain you, and I think at the end of the day that’s a really, reallygood mindset to have. Know that no matter how bad we want it, at a certain timeor a certain place or whatever the case might be –I’ve learned in life thatthings always work out, things happen for a reason. But if you play the longgame, you’re going to have a lot of joy in the journey as you continue yours.


Dede: Iwould agree a hundred percent that it comes from love of the sport. I would sayjust always be curious. Always be curious about ways you can keep gettingbetter. And if you love the sport you will do that automatically. I don’t wantthe music to stop. I want to keep playing the game, so I’m going to be curiousabout these little details, that I can turn these dials and continue to getbetter, or at least continue to not get slower as I get older. But it comesfrom just a deep passion for getting to do this sport. It’s such a gift to beable to be a part of this community. To get to test ourselves, not only on racecourses, but day in and day out through the training, the lifestyle as Kurtsaid. It’s such a valuable thing to me that I think the best habits you can getinto in the earlier years are to find that love. What is it that you absolutelylove about this sport, and make that be your focus and that’s going to keep youin it for the long haul.


Andrew: Soon the flip side to our athletes listening that are sliding towards age 50 ormaybe currently in their 50s or even older, what final words of wisdom wouldyou share with them today to help them excel in the sport and enjoy triathlonfor a long time to come?


Dede: Iguess for me, if the joy is there and the love is there, even if you’re notmaybe as fast as you used to be, you can still find joy and love in it. My daysof even being able to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship as a pro arenumbered. I’ve come close a couple of times, and it would be exciting to get torace there again as a pro. I don’t think I realistically have a chance in heckof being in the top ten there, but that doesn’t mean that participation thereis worthless. I think your story continues to evolve. At least for me, as I’vegotten older in my career, the things that I find value in, the way I definesuccess, is slightly different. But I still think I’m successful. As I said, Ijust turned in the second-fastest bike split ever ridden by a woman in IRONMANhistory at the age of 51. Now granted, I rode like Tarzan, ran like Jane. Itdidn’t end up being a great day overall, and there’s things that I’d like tohave back. But that’s a big piece of the puzzle. I went the fastest IRONMAN I’veever gone at the age of 51, the best time I’ve ever done as a triathlete at theIRONMAN distance, and I did it at age 51 and it wasn’t perfect. So I just thinkthat you can get better in so many ways, even if that doesn’t necessarilyequate to getting faster. You can still get better.


Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down.


Andrew:Well, that was the main set from Episode .123 of the TriDot podcast. Kurt andDede both just spoke remarkably to this topic. Actually Vanessa, I'm going totell this story, this kind of a peeling-back-the-curtain, behind-the-scenesmoment. Dede Griesbauer almost missed our recording entirely. It wasn't herfault, I want to be very clear. The platform we were using at the time toremote-record with guests, it doesn't send an invite that gets put on yourcalendar. It sends you an email, but you have to go find the email and clickit. So anyway, I think Dede just didn't have it on her calendar, and hadforgotten that she had committed to doing this podcast. Thankfully, Matt Bach–myself and Kurt Madden, were logged on and ready to record, and Matt Bach hasDede’s phone number as long-time triathlon friends. So he shot Dede a quicktext, and Dede was like, “Oh my gosh, I'm literally just at home doing nothing.Let me hop on, I'm so sorry!” So all the knowledge that Dede just dropped, shedropped like on a dime, not fully realizing she had a podcast recording thatday. And she was such a great guest, and Coach Kurt obviously always bringsamazing insight when he's on the podcast. I really liked this episode that Iwanted to revisit it, and so I chose it for today's revisiting. Vanessa, as youwere listening to that main set, from everything they said, what stood out toyou?


Vanessa:Well, these two icons in triathlon are simply amazing, and listening to themtalk about their careers is so inspiring. In terms of having longevity in thesport for years to come, everything that they said is very valuable andtangible, and it applies to basically everyone.


Andrew:Yeah, you’re absolutely right. There are things that they shared – Dede, forexample, in talking about how when she was a pro and “in her prime”, in theyounger years where a pro normally is, she could roll out of bed and throw herrunning shoes and go for a run. Well now she can still do that run, she justhas to roll out of bed and throw on her running shoes and do 30 minutes ofmuscle activation to go do that run. Those are things that are so easy tooverlook when you're younger, but you would benefit from whether you're youngeror middle-aged or older. You're absolutely right, tons of great info there thatcan apply to more triathletes than just our aging population. And for me,Vanessa, I really liked the part early in the episode – because I was justcurious about this, I asked Dede, “When you are toeing the line at the startingline alongside all the other female pros in the field, how do you feel, knowingthat you are, in some cases, decades older than some of the women that thatyou're racing against?” And she was like, “I love it. I don't have the pressurethat I had when I was younger, and I really like going out there and sometimesembarrassing those 20- and 30-year-old somethings.” As this 58-year-old protriathlete kind of shows them what's what, and goes by them on the course.Really fun to hear that perspective from Dede, as she gets older, that that'skind of her place in the pro field. Especially on the bike, she's asuper-strong athlete. The other thing I really liked here, I was so encouragedby the way Kurt was talking about how his bike FTP has never been higher in hisentire life than it is right now.


Vanessa:That's incredible.


Andrew:It’s incredible. And I think we all assume, “Okay, I'm going to reach an agewhere I run my fastest 5K I can ever run. I'm going to reach an age where I hitmy highest FTP I can ever hit.” And from there it's just all downhill until theend of your tri journey. And that's not necessarily the case, especially on thebike, where the bike is holding some of your weight. So for Kurt and Dede bothto have the FTPs they have, at the age they are, is really encouraging to me,because I am a super-weak cyclist. I'm not strong on the bike, and it justshows me I can keep improving, keep improving, keep improving, and maybe whenI’m Kurt and Dede’s age, I'll be a decent cyclist. That's something for me tolook forward to.


Vanessa:You know, I also think that the words of wisdom that they shared really applyto anyone in triathlon. And not only in sport, but just life in general. Kurthad mentioned the importance of being able to adapt and pivot and how to beresilient.


Andrew:Yeah, so good.


Vanessa:It's so good, and you could take those words and insert them into any part ofyour life. And as a result, you're going to experience greater success. I thinkthat was top-notch, spot-on, and wonderful knowledge for everyone to take intotheir training and their life.


Outro:Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast withyour triathlon crew. For more great tri content and community, connect with uson Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head and start your free trial today! TriDot – the obvious and automaticchoice for triathlon training.


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