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303Endurance Podcast

Oct 24, 2020

Thanks to last week's guest Angela Naeth.  This week we are joined by the reigning 70.3 world record holder Kristian Blummenfelt. 

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In Today's Show

  • Feature interview with Kristian Blummenfelt
  • What New in the 303 - Karen Hornbostel Final Race of the Series
  • Endurance News - New Challenge Daytona Wild Card announcements
  • Best New Thing - Levels Health



Interview with Kristian Blummenfelt:

Kristian Blummenfelt (born 14 February 1994) is a Norwegian triathlete and Olympian, competing at both short course and 70.3 distances. He is the current world record holder for the 70.3 distance, setting a time of 3:29:04 in 2018 and both repeating the feat and bettering his own mark in 2019 with a time of 3:25:21. This was the third victory for him in as many years at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championships held in Bahrain.

Despite competing in the ITU World Triathlon Series for a number of years, his highest finish was second place until the 31st August 2019 when he took the gold at the Grand Final in Lausanne.

Notably, he was part of a 1-2-3 Norwegian finish at WTS Bermuda in 2018, finishing second to his compatriot Casper Stornes and ahead of their third team mate Gustav Iden. This was the first time this feat had been achieved in the ITU.

Blummenfelt trains up to eight hours a day, swimming up to 45 km, cycling about 400 km and running up to 120 km per week.

  • 5'8" and 77 kgs / 169 lbs
  • Sporting hero was Dale Oen was a Norwegian swimmer. He was the first Norwegian male to win a medal at a major international long course championship, gold at the 2008 European Championships.
  • @Kristianblu


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Endurance News:

LONDON, ENGLAND: The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that Sam Long, Danielle Dingman, Magnus Ditlev and Renee Kiley have been selected as wildcards for the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA®.

In Sam Long and Magus Ditlev we see the young guns of the sport, rightfully stepping up to a championship calibre competition. Both in their early 20’s, their recent performances have announced the arrival of what may be the new guard for the PTO and professional triathlon and the pair could well be battling it out for the next decade. In their first clash at the PTO 2020 Championship, we may witness a transcendental moment in sport that has not happened since Nadal and Federer first locked horns over 15 years ago and began a rivalry that brought tennis to new heights and still continues to this day.

Danielle Dingman and Renee Kiley represent the unique time-honoured tradition of age-groupers progressing to the professional ranks. Both were on their way to breakout seasons and poised to move up the PTO World Rankings for 2020 when COVID-19 struck, eliminating all opportunities to advance up the rankings into automatic qualifying spots.  Kiley’s performance at Cairns was at the level of an automatic qualifier, while Dingman’s victory at the PTO Supported Bear Lake triathlon, besting the PTO World No. 10, clearly indicated she was in good enough form to be awarded a wildcard spot.    

Sara Hall

The Secrets to Peak Performance with Pro Runner Sara Hall


What's New in the 303:

Biggest news, not posted is Chris Leiferman is now as a wildcard, so we need to mention in addition to Sam Long

Chilly Cheeks Duathlon has been approved 

Alamosa triathlon was kind of cool with the history of it with Amelia Earhart and finding the hot springs

I think Courtney Dauwalter is Colorado, she would be a good guest

Season Wrap Up from Karen Hornbostel Series

Posted on October 22, 2020

We could not have asked for better conditions then what we experienced this week. Little wind, nice temperatures and the ozone level was reasonable, considering all the fires in the area.

For the men, we had a new course record of 19 minutes flat set by Serghei Tvetcov. Serghei is a professional 

cyclist, and currently rides for the UCI Continental team Team Sapura Cycling.  He is the current time trial champion of Romania and this year he came in second overall in the Tour of Szeklerland and won the individual time trial stage. 

Second place for the men was Brennan Wertz, who came in two seconds behind Serghel with a time of 19:02. 

For the women, Betsy Mercer and Jennifer Sharp tied with a time of 23:45. Mia Aseltine the amazing and fastest junior was right behind with a time of 24:07.

Ryan Muncy was out again this week and got several great photos! We are honored that again this year Ryan has been part of the KHMTT. He does beautiful work, and we encourage you to support his endeavors by purchasing a photo or two of yourself. You can find all the photos from all seven races here.


Levels Health

12 glucose lowering strategies to improve metabolic fitness:

A review of 12 strategies that have been shown in research to improve glucose levels in the body. This article offers ideas to consider as you explore your personal data using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

Metabolic fitness is our ability to keep average and fasting glucose levels in an optimal range, minimize post-meal glucose spikes, optimize insulin sensitivity, and to exhibit flexibility in utilizing different energy sources — including stored fat and glucose — for fuel.

In order to improve our metabolic fitness, we have to first track our glucose levels, and then we have to know how to modify them. Fortunately, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) lets us track how specific foods and lifestyle behaviors are impacting glucose levels in real time, helping us expand our metabolic awareness. With our personal data in hand, we can then turn to the scientific literature to provide us guidance in reaching our goals.

This article will explain 12 strategies that have been shown to positively impact glucose levels, and that members of the Levels team have utilized to improve our own metabolic fitness.


  1. Eat earlier in the day

“Time restricted feeding” means consuming all your day’s worth of calories in a relatively short window, and abstaining from eating the rest of the time. One study in overweight, non-diabetic individuals showed that even engaging in time restricted feeding for just 4 days can lower fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and mean glucose levels significantly.


  1. Explore intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting means restricting food intake for longer periods of time, usually for 24 hours or more. A recent small case report in three individuals with type 2 diabetes showed that intermittent fasting could meaningfully reverse diabetes in as little as 7 months. These participants did 24 hour fasts, 3-4 times per week.  Bottom line: 24 hour fasts can improve insulin sensitivity. For practical purposes, this means eating breakfast one morning, and then not eating calories again until the next morning.‍


  1. Say no to added sugar and refined foods

This one is simple and highly effective: if you’re trying to optimize your glucose, then don’t eat food that was made in a factory, comes in a package of any kind, or doesn’t look at least somewhat like its original form in the wild. Top of the list to eliminate? Added sugars of any kind, refined grains (ie, anything made with refined flour), and refined fruits (ie, juice).


  1. Consider fiber a friend

In insulin resistant individuals, high amounts of fiber are associated with lower post-meal glucose levels, insulin levels, and lower glycemic variability (glycemic variability refers to up-and-down swings in glucose). In a study of 18 individuals, those who ate ~51 grams of fiber per day had better glucose-related metrics than those who had an identical amount of calories per day, but only ~15 grams of fiber. The fiber sources in this study included legumes, 2 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits per day, and whole grains. Other sources of fiber include seeds (flax, chia, others), all types of beans, and nuts.


  1. Use fat and protein to our advantage

“Preloading” meals with fat or protein can minimize the quick absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Similarly, eating fat alone in conjunction with a carbohydrate load will decrease the post-meal glucose spike. Research shows that eating 3 ounces of almonds with a meal of white bread leads to significantly lower post-meal glucose spikes than when white bread is eaten alone. Similar trends were seen when participants were served 1 and 2 ounces of almonds, but the biggest effects were seen with 3 ounces of almonds (~40g of fat).

Bottom line: Eating carbohydrates alone is likely to spike glucose more than if the carbohydrates are eaten with fat and/or protein.


  1. We utilize vinegar to blunt spikes

Vinegar is known to have a glucose lowering effect when taken before or with a meal. One study showed that when about 1 ounce of white vinegar is consumed with a carbohydrate rich meal, post-meal glucose spikes and insulin levels are significantly lower. In addition, vinegar increases satiety ratings of a meal! In this particular study, the carbohydrate used was white bread containing 50 grams of carbohydrates.  Bottom line: Taking in a small amount of vinegar along with a carb-rich meal appears to generate a lower post-meal glucose spike.


  1. Exercise right

Exercise of pretty much any form (including mild aerobic activity, moderate aerobic activity, high intensity interval training, and resistance training) improves metabolic fitness and glucose control. One study showed that a single session of exercise at even a mild intensity (50% or 65% VO2 max) has the ability to significantly increase insulin sensitivity the very next day.  Bottom line: Exercise of any type helps with glucose control and metabolic fitness. Short, frequent bursts of exercise seem to be more effective than longer isolated chunks of exercise. Try to be active all throughout the day!


  1. Prioritize sleep

Sleep is absolutely critical to glucose regulation and metabolic fitness. Restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for just 5 days has been shown to significantly decrease glycemic control and metabolic fitness. In one study, this amount of sleep deprivation led to a higher glucose response to specific foods, and a 40% lower rate of glucose clearance from the blood during a glucose tolerance test, as compared with participants who are able to get 12 hours of sleep per night. Bottom line: We need good sleep (7-9 hours per night for most adults) to have proper glucose regulation. No matter how good a diet is, sleep still plays a key role in metabolic function.


  1. Prioritize stress management

Stress raises glucose levels, and if we want optimal metabolic fitness, we have to take ownership over managing the stress in our lives.


Studies have shown that there is a significant correlation between perceived work-related stress and increased levels of circulating glucose. Bottom line: Stress of any kind can negatively impact glucose levels. Self-care in many forms, including meditation and deep breathing, can promote improved glycemic control and metabolic fitness.


  1. Limit saturated fat

Ingestion of large amounts of saturated fat has been shown to acutely decrease whole body insulin sensitivity by about 25%. Saturated fats include fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb, dark chicken meat, poultry skin, dairy foods (milk, butter, cheese), tropical oils like coconut and palm, and margarine. To optimize insulin sensitivity, emphasizing unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil, avocado, fish, soybeans, and tofu appears to be a better bet.  Bottom line: We try not to overdo it on saturated fat, as it seems to be associated with lower insulin sensitivity. Favoring unsaturated fats is likely better for metabolic function.‍


  1. Don’t chug water with meals

Interestingly, multiple studies have shown that drinking a large amount of water with a meal will cause an increase in the peak of glucose and insulin after a meal, likely because the fluid load speeds entry of food into the small intestines for rapid glucose absorption. With that said, good hydration overall is an important part of metabolic health, so we never skimp on water, we just try to be smart about when we drink it in relation to our meals. Bottom line: We try spacing out large amounts of liquids an hour or two from meals.


  1. Sprinkle the cinnamon

Compounds in cinnamon have been found to improve insulin signaling and glycemic control through a number of potential mechanisms. This is true even in individuals who are non-diabetics: A study of 41 healthy adults assessed whether glucose levels were improved with taking 1 gram, 3 grams, or 6 grams of cinnamon per day for 40 days. The participants were instructed to mix their daily dose of cinnamon powder with apple and milk and consume it. At the end of the 40 day study, those individuals taking any of the doses of cinnamon (1, 3, or 6 grams) all had a statistically significant drop in the post-meal glucose levels after a standardized meal. This effect was largest for the group taking 6 grams cinnamon, who’s post-meal glucose levels dropped from a mean of 105 mg/dL to 92 mg/dL. Additionally, those individuals taking 6 grams of cinnamon had reduced pre-meal glucose levels, indicating that their baseline glucose during the day was lower.


Bottom line: Based on the research, cinnamon may be a helpful adjunct in the quest towards improved metabolic fitness. Given that high post-meal glucose spikes are associated with worse health outcomes, cinnamon may be an effective way to blunt these surges.


Video of the Week:

Arzachena World Cup October 10th with Kristian Blummenfelt came in a close second to Vincent Luis.


Upcoming Interviews:

Carlos Casali has been winning crit and cyclocross races across the nation.  He's a bad ass.  He raced just this past month at the Valmont CX race winning his category. 



Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and @303triathlon 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!