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303Endurance Podcast

Sep 4, 2021

Welcome to Episode #300 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. You are listening to your weekly connection to coaches, experts, and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance goals. We're your hosts coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Bill Plock.  Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion. 

Can you believe episode 300?

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In Today's Show

  • Feature discussion on "being fit does not mean you are healthy (disease free)"
    • TriDoc Jeff Sankoff Episode #73 on Tim O'Donnell's heart attack
    • My heart CT scan results
  • Endurance News
    • Collin's Cup
    • Paralympic Paratriathlon Results & watch party
    • Ironman PR on IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and Pros racing in St George
    • New Dura Ace
  • What's new in the 303?
    • Gravel Rules
    • Golden Ride today and Sebastian's new Scott bike
  • TriDot introduction and overview


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TriDoc on Tim O'Donnell's Heart Attack

The Tri Doc, Jeff Sankoff Shares Insight on Heart Health in Wake of Tim O’Donnell’s Heart Attack

Recently Emergency Room Physician and very accomplished IRONMAN veteran athlete Dr. Jeff Sankoff shared on his podcast, thoughts on heart health and specifically talking about what probably happened with Tim O’Donnell and what that means for triathletes in general.


In this podcast he replays a conversation with USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris who reveals some health issues he has overcome and warns triathletes to know your health history and get check ups. The overall message it seems is that simply being fit doesn’t mean you are healthy. That fitness does not overcome something like heart disease.


Dr. Sankoff brings in his colleague Dr. Matt Holland, a cardiology specialist at Denver Health. They discuss some very specific factors about things like what causes heart attacks versus cardiac arrest. What really is the “widow” maker and how so many different things can cause a multitude of outcomes. But the conversation is also re-assuring in terms of how most all of us can avoid these things and how rare it really is for someone like Tim O’Donnell to have experienced this.


Go here;


Dr. Sankoff is dedicated to helping triathletes (athletes) train healthy and his podcast features many great topics and guest dedicated to this mission. His website is Learn more about him here and subscribe to his podcast.


My Personal Experience with Heart CT Scan - SimonMed here in Denver.


Cardiac Calcium Scoring (Heart Scan) is a medical scan of coronary calcium

The coronary arteries are the vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Plaque — made of fat, calcium and other substances — can build up and narrow or close the arteries.


To detect this build-up, your physician may order cardiac calcium scoring — a test that is also known as coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring, a heart scan or calcium score.  This non-invasive CT scan (computed tomography) of the heart calculates your risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD) by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.


Plaque or calcium build-up in the coronary arteries causes heart disease or can lead to a heart attack. The coronary calcium scan is a better predictor of coronary events than cholesterol screening or other risk factor assessments.


About Your CAC Score

A calcium score (sometimes called an Agatston score) is calculated based on the amount of plaque observed in the CT scan. It may be converted to a percentile rank based on your age and gender. The results from your cardiac scoring will be sent to your doctor.  Mine was a score of 26 and the 4th percentile of my age peers.


Your likelihood of having heart disease or a heart attack correlates with your calcium scoring. The lower your calcium score and percentile rank, the less likely you are to have a cardiac event compared to other men or women your age.


Calcium Score Results

The purpose of the test is to understand your risk of heart attack or disease, taking preventive or corrective measures based on the results.


If you have any plaque present (a score greater than 0), your doctor may make recommendations for lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating better and exercising more. The higher your score the more treatment your doctor may recommend.


If you have a high score, you can make an appointment with one of our coronary artery disease specialists.


Zero: No plaque. Your risk of heart attack is low.


1 - 10: Small amount of plaque. You have less than a 10 percent chance of having heart disease, and your risk of heart attack is low.


11-100: Some plaque. You have mild heart disease and a moderate chance of heart attack. Your doctor may recommend other treatment in addition to lifestyle changes.


101 - 400: Moderate amount of plaque. You have heart disease and plaque may be blocking an artery. Your chance of having a heart attack is moderate to high. Your health professional may want more tests and may start treatment.


Over 400: Large amount of plaque. You have more than a 90 percent chance that plaque is blocking one of your arteries. Your chance of heart attack is high. Your health professional will want more tests and will start treatment.



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Endurance News:


USA Triathlon 2020 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team


  • Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.), guided by Jillian Elliott (Gig Harbor, Wash.), Women’s PTVI
  • 2016 U.S. Paralympian
  • Jamie Brown (Oceanside, Calif.), Men’s PTS4
  • Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.), guided by Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Men’s PTVI
  • Hailey Danz (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Women’s PTS2
  • Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.), guided by Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), Women’s PTVI
  • Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas), Women’s PTS5 (classing up from PTS4)
  • Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.), Women’s PTWC
  • Chris Hammer (Elkins, W.V.), Men’s PTS5
  • Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Men’s PTS4
  • Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio), Women’s PTS5
  • Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), Women’s PTS2
  • Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Md.), guided by Greg Billington (San Francisco, Calif.), Men’s PTVI
  • Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Women’s PTS2



The Collins Cup, Even Super Bowl One Didn’t Sell Out, But it Was a Pretty Good Start–a Few Ideas for the Future


Race Results

Rich's Picks - PTO Fantasy Game - Predict & Play (


Triathlon’s “Super Bowl” happened today in Slovakia, it was called the Collins Cup. Yes we have Kona and the IRONMAN World Championships but that is about individuals, today was about the teams and the sport and profession of triathlon.


The Collins Cup was designed to mirror golf’s popular Ryder Cup pitting three teams of 12 athletes (6 men, 6 women) against each other. One team from Europe, the United States and Internationals.


The goal, to make professional triathlon a better spectator sport thus attracting more money to make the profession more lucrative and sustainable.


Will it work? Did it work? It’s too early to say but nobody predicted the wild popularity of the Super Bowl. Triathlon will never be that popular but lets see what happens.


The Professional Triathlon Organisation orchestrated this “made for TV event”. Viewers watched 12 matches with one competitor from each team racing. Each match started 10 minutes apart. The entire race lasted about 5 hours. Cameras were all over the course capturing the 36 athletes racing in their own three person race. It was fun to watch and the coverage was good as was the announcing. It was especially fun to have Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett behind the mic. His voice just adds a tone of familiarity and importance.



IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship presented by the Utah Sports Commission. Among them will be over 100 of the world’s top professional triathletes who will battle for a piece of the $350,000 USD total professional prize purse and the title of IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion.


Since the first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held in 2006 the women’s race has seen 10 different champions from five different countries. Swiss Daniela Ryf has won an event-best five times, and is coming off an undefeated season, including a win in St. George at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship earlier this year. Together with Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Leanda Cave (GBR), Ryf also holds the distinction of having won both the IRONMAN World Championship® and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.


Aiming to dethrone Ryf will be a stellar group of professional female triathletes, including Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), who is coming off a recent win at 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 European Championship Elsinore. Charles-Barclay edged out Holly Lawrence (GBR) in that event, who as the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and multiple-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner will also be aiming for the top podium spot in St. George. Additional global competition will come from Paula Findlay (CAN), Taylor Knibb (USA), Kat Matthews (GBR), Skye Moench (USA), Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR), and Ellie Salthouse (AUS), each of whom continue to impress on the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 circuits.


On the men’s side, a star-studded field of professional talent will come together aiming to create history in St. George. With no clear frontrunner, a few of the dominant competitors that could take a shot for a podium spot include the defending IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion from 2019 in Nice, France, Gustav Iden (NOR); Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), who has momentum coming into St. George following his recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Triathlon win; and Lionel Sanders (CAN), who won the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St. George earlier this year and has over 20 IRONMAN 70.3 wins to his name. Also in contention are Alistair Brownlee (GBR), the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist as well as Javier Gomez (ESP), the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship third place podium finisher. Finally, American’s Ben Kanute (USA) and Sam Long (USA) look to claim home nation victories. Kanute has multiple IRONMAN 70.3 wins and podium finishes in recent years and a second-place finish at the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, the last time the event was held on US soil. Sam Long comes in on the top of his game having won the 2021 IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene triathlon and the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder triathlon.



What's New in the 303:

  • New Dura Ace?
  • Gravel Rules


My Experience With TriDot

What is TriDot?  It's a training platform, but its pretty sophisticated.  It takes your race goals, your training data, puts threshold test on your training calendar, takes those threshold test results and uses AI to automatically adjusts your training plan and workouts.  You can also see your Threshold Test history and drill into the details.  It tracks your Fitness, Stress and Readiness on a graph. 


TriDot also has an integrated App called RaceX.  Within RaceX, you can pick your "A" and "B" races (Ironman and Challenge branded).  You can browse race routes for any of the races in the database and look at the gps route, elevation and distance.  You can also see your Threshold Test history and drill into the details.  It tracks your Fitness, Stress and Readiness on a graph. 


Within Diagnostics there's a feature called Phyiogenomics.  If you've used DNA-based ancestry services like or 23 and Me, there is a downloadable text file that has your genome that can be used for things like nutrigenomics (using your DNA or genome data to understand if you have genetic markers for celiac disease or allergies), or pharma genomics (using genome data to treat/prevent disease. We have a mutual friend who learned she had DNA markers putting her at likely risk for breast cancer. 


TriDot has a feature called PhysiogenomiX. It uses your DNA (genome data) to tailor the training plan and workouts to your genetic profile.   I uploaded my 23 and Me genome text file to TriDot.  Within a few seconds TriDot gave me an analysis that includes categorical summary and detailed results from specific genes related to physical training. These genes shown (and others) are used to enhance your training optimization.


The categories:

Training Intensity Response is a relative measure of how you respond to high-intensity versus low-intensity training. Based on your genetic variations, you are predisposed to have a greater response to either high or low-intensity training.

Aerobic Potential is a measure of your potential for developing a high aerobic capacity or high oxygen utilization (VO2max). This is not a measure of your current aerobic capacity. Rather, it is a measure of your aerobic trainability--your potential for improvement with proper training.

Recovery Rate is a measure of your genetic ability to recover from exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation. This includes the level of stress and inflammation produced and the rate at which it is cleared.

Injury Predisposition is a measure of how genetically prone you are to incurring soft tissue (tendon and ligament) injuries from training.


Lauren has also done it and we compared our results.  We took the very first category of Training Intensity Response.  At the top level we were both categorized as 40% responsive to Power vs 60% responsive to Endurance.  When you drill into the details, each Gene, the Result, Effect and a summary.


At the gene level we had about a half dozen genes that were different.  In the first gene, Lauren had a piece of DNA inserted and I had both of them deleted.


ACE: Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme

I have both deleted (DD) so I tend to be respond better to power based training.  Lauren tends to respond well to a mixture of power and endurance.

VEGFA: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

Tends to be highly responsive to endurance training with good muscle efficiency and VO2max. Tends to adjust well to altitude training. Var-allele carriers produce a greater amount of VEGF.








Your genetic makeup is only part of the equation.

Genetics alone is insufficient to predict or identify talent.

Genetics can’t (shouldn’t) be used to set or change your goals; rather, to help you reach your goals most effectively.


Video of the Week:

Team Europe Win First-Ever PTO Collins Cup | Race Reaction & Highlights





Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and of course go to iTunes and give us a rating and a comment.  We'd really appreciate it!

Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!