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Linsey Corbin, The Grit and Grace of a 5-Time IRONMAN Champion

The below is the transcript of an interview between Linsey and PTPintcast
Jimmy: Today, very, very excited to talk to this girl. First stepped on the Triathlon stage in 2006, the unknown from Bend, Oregon, made an early statement in the sport. Not only did she win the first 2 races she ever entered, she went on to set a course record in her first race as a pro. Since then, she’s become a household name in the sport of Triathlon, achieving a multitude of accolades, including “Top American” at both IRONMAN and 70.3 World Championship events, and adding 5 IRONMAN titles to her trophy case in the process. In 2015, she set a new American IRONMAN record in a time of 8:42:42 at IRONMAN Austria. That’s fast. She’s known for the “grit and grace” attitude she displays on and off the course. She even has it written on her bike. When not racing, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Chris and Golden Retriever Madison. She’s also a fan of all things baking, cooking, traveling, Scrabble and of course, well-made boots. Welcome to the PTPintcast – Linsey Corbin.

Linsey: Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to it.

Jimmy: Alright. First questions is always the hardest. Now you’re a pro Triathlete. You gotta watch everything that goes into your body but what are we drinking today?

Linsey: Well, I live in Hawaii right now so while we’re recording this it’s nighttime for you and it’s still pretty early in the day for me so no beer for me yet. I will say, my husband works at a micro-brewery and I have a beer sponsor which is – I don’t think many other pro Triathletes have a beer sponsor so. If I were drinking a beer, it would be a Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool, largest brewery out of Montana.

Jimmy: Yeah, I saw that. Big Sky Brewing, a big supporter of yours. They have some Linsey Corbin gear whenever you race. And then I was on your website and I saw you had your very own beer.

Linsey: Yep. Yeah so Big Sky Brewing is one of my sponsors. They’ve been a long-time supporter of mine and for each world championship event, they do a custom beer and a custom label for the race. So, we’ve done it for 4 or 5 years now. So, in October I get a custom beer and we have a Happy Hour party before the race, which is kind of surprising, but it’s earlier in the week, just it’s a way for me to interact with the fans, and for people to kick back and relax before the race. Usually people are really stressed out and it’s kind of good to remember that ultimately we’re all doing it for fun so usually a beer helps out with that.

Jimmy: Yeah that’s pretty cool. On her website, www.LinseyCorbin.com, I was just doing a little background and I saw that, I’m like “she’s got her own beer? This girl’s right up my alley.” It feels weird to talk to someone like you and say “yeah, I’m a triathlete” and just look at what you’ve done. It feels weird to call myself the same thing as you. Now obviously you put the word “pro” in front of that but, before you were a pro triathlete, what were you doing and how did you make that jump?

Linsey: Well I was studying exercise physiology at the University of Montana. I grew up as a runner and a ski racer and I first went to UC-Davis in California and I had ambitions of running there collegiately was way different from high school program – college was – and didn’t really like it as much and was injured a lot so I transferred to the University of Montana. At Montana I joined a local club triathlon team called “Team Stampede” and I think you talked to Elliott Bassett?

Jimmy: Yeah.

Linsey: And he was on the team with me. Basically it was a local club team. People that were working 9-5 and they’d get off work or get done with college and they’d train when they were done with classes at the end of the day or first thing in the morning. It was just fun and we would travel around to races and go on like Spring Break trips and do all sorts of challenging things and I liked it because it was a way to have a competitive outlet but it wasn’t super structured and I liked the variety too of introducing swimming and biking. I’d done some biking growing up, mainly mountain biking, sort of as cross-training. My swimming experience was just playing at the lake. I’d never swum a lap or anything. But, yeah so I joined up with the collegiate team and a local team just having fun with it and enjoying it and I was finishing school in 2006 and a bunch of people that I was studying with and going to college with were doing the IRONMAN in Coeur d’Alene, and I thought I wanted to do something symbolic to celebrate being done with school so I signed up for the IRONMAN in Coeur d’Alene in 2006, and that’s sort of when I really started applying myself to training and I followed a training plan for the first time. The thought of doing an IRONMAN scared the crap out of me so I knew I had to dot all my “i’s” and and cross all my “t’s” so yeah I didn’t miss out on a bunch of training and just stuck to a plan and followed it and I got super fit doing that. Leading up to that race, I competed in a few shorter distance half-IRONMAN events and had great success with those so I was finished with school and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and someone was like “maybe you should race professionally” so – not only did I do my first IRONMAN but the week before I got my professional license – not only did I do my first IRONMAN it was also my first professional race as well.

Jimmy: So walking into an IRONMAN, and I’ve done 2, a little bit, just a little bit slower than you, but I’ve done 2, and just the jitters right there of walking into your first race, but you’ve got “oh now they’re tagging me with “pro” and you get to rack with the pros and you get to start with the pros. That’s got to pile it on just a little bit, a little bit more butterflies.

Linsey: Yeah. I will say, I think I mentioned earlier, that swimming is my weakness and I didn’t grow up swimming and in 2006 I definitely was not the caliber swimmer that I am now, not to say I’m a great swimmer now, but I’m much improved, and the thought of doing the mass-start at the IRONMAN absolutely scared the crap out of me and so half of my incentive for turn pro was that I’d only have to start with 50 women versus 3000 people in the masses so that was definitely some incentive. So I will say that I actually have never experienced the whole mass-start – like I’ve done it in maybe shorter races but, in the professional races we tend to get a head start and we get our own separate start – so I feel like I missed out on the whole mass-start of the age group race.

Jimmy: I’ve been plowed over. My first IRONMAN at IRONMAN Wisconsin I stopped to adjust my goggles for like 2 seconds. You know I was going to stop and smell the roses and kind of look around and half a second into me adjusting my goggles, I just got plowed over, and I’m just under the water going “oh yeah, I guess there’s a bunch of people behind me and around me and in front of me. I really can’t just stop in the middle.”

Linsey: There’s no where to go.

Jimmy: Yeah, there’s no where to go. I always say that triathlon is a sport that allows me to be mediocre at 3 things in one day. And you mentioned the variety and that’s just kind of what drew me to the sport, and ultimately, triathlon was that bridge from me – going from a radio DJ ultimately to a PT student to eventually a PT. So to get a chance to talk to someone like you, is really, really cool. What was it like, making that jump after doing that first race, you kind of started crushing it right away. Kind of a steep learning curve, right? Went right up.

Linsey: Well I definitely did, to clarify, the IRONMAN wasn’t my first triathlon. I had done like – the summer before I did some sprints and Olympics, and then my end-of-the-summer deal was a half-IRONMAN so I didn’t just jump straight into the IRONMAN. I definitely had a pretty steep learning curve and yeah I mean, I think I just enjoyed the variety of it, the idea of learning new things. I’d never really ridden a bike before and I really fell in love with the idea of riding a bike and the concept of like seeing places on 2 wheels. Like my favorite workout, still even today, is like big, long adventure rides where you’re gone all day, climbing up huge mountain passes and you get to see places on 2 wheels, like I said, that some people spend all day in a car getting to do and just the fact that you utilize your body to get to those destinations and just the friendships I’ve forged along the way and memories, things like that. I really enjoyed biking and then I also love challenges and testing limits and so the challenge of not being a swimmer and sort of learning how to swim has been kind of a cool project, and it’s been interesting to see myself evolve. Every year I’m learning how to be a better athlete and philosophies are changing, you know, different training plans and different coaches that I’ve worked with and so I kind of like that aspect of it. Sort of seeing what works and what doesn’t and I think it’s very individual from athlete-to-athlete from my experience.

Jimmy: Yeah. Absolutely. I read a quote that you had said and part of it was “if you’re doing what you love, worst case scenario, you’ll enjoy the journey” and that’s really what triathlon is all about if you’ve ever trained for one and then raced it – I mean race day is ultimately just a victory lap for all the time and effort you’ve put in, and if you don’t enjoy that training, man, you’re in the wrong sport.

Linsey: Yeah, definitely.

Jimmy: So you mentioned looking at going collegiately in California to run and you being injured and of course if you do that much training and your doing it at the high level, you’re going to get hurt. So where was rehab – and you were an exercise science major. Where’s rehab and staying healthy and preparing to prevent injuries come into your training?

Linsey: It’s super important. When I signed up to be a pro athlete and even when I signed up for my first IRONMAN, no one talked to me about the injury part of it. They were all like “oh it’s so fun” and people are having a few beers and they talk you into signing up and you’re like “this is a great idea” and you think it’s just swim, bike, run, swim, bike, run. So early on in my career I didn’t pay much attention to injuries or taking care of myself. I think 2 years after I had been racing IRONMAN I started to get my first injury. That was no fun. So that was sort of my wake up call that you have to do a lot more than just swimming, biking and running and that recovery is really important and taking care of your body is really important. I’ve unfortunately had my fair share of injuries, but every time I have one I learn something new about myself and sort of apply it to becoming a better athlete. Being injured is not fun at all but I think it’s kind of part of the job unfortunately as I’ve learned. I don’t know many athletes that are sort of walking that fine line that don’t end up with some sort of injury. Whether your elite or amateur.

Jimmy: Yeah it grinds you down. I think with the amateur athletes like me , a “weekend warrior”, we try to stuff a week’s worth of training into well when I can get into it after work or when I can jam into two days on the weekend you know. Maybe I’ll just try to bike, bike, bike, bike, bike because I don’t have much time during the week and that’s going to lead to injuries. And that’s going to lead to people eventually even having to bail out of the sport, bail out of the race or head to physical therapy. Um, I saw that you had worked with Jay Dicharry out of Bend, Oregon. He’s a big name that pops up. Love his book, “Anatomy For Runners.” It’s written really, really well. If you’re a PT, I suggest you read it because he speaks really intelligently, but he also is very, very relatable in his writing, anyway, I’ve never actually spoken to him. But is he that way in person?

Linsey: Ah, yeah. Jay’s awesome. If you want to have him on the show I can definitely introduce you.

Jimmy: Yeah. Hook me up.

Linsey: So I met Jay in 2013. That summer I’d been dealing with shin splints in my left shin which ultimately turned into a stress fracture in July. I did the walking boot and took time off and then I was just starting to return to running again in late August . Similar pain came back right away. I was definitely healed by then, you know, I had been in the walking boot for half the summer and paid my dues with the time off and someone had suggested “oh, you should meet up with Jay Dicharry.” I actually wasn’t living in Bend at the time. But I went to Bend to visit Jay and to do some training and ultimately to get ready for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. So yeah I met Jay in September of 2013. I think it was like right after Labor Day Weekend. I let him know my history and what was going on and he said, right off the bat, well first of all he’s just a fireball full of energy so he was super excited. I’m like “I don’t know who gets excited about this kind of stuff.”

Jimmy: PT’s do.

Linsey: Yeah I’m pretty sure I was crying. But he just said “what are your goals?” and I said “well, I’ve qualified for the World Championships which are in 6 weeks and my goal is to compete there.” And he asked me what my best finish was and it had been meh. I said “my dream goal considering all this would be top 10.” He asked me how fast I had run there before and I told him I think it was around a 3:07 and he looked at me and was like “if you listen to everything I tell you to do for the next 6 weeks, I think that you can definitely get in the top 10 and I think you can run a personal record.” And I was like “no way” and I didn’t believe it. And so I spent basically 2 hours a day with Jay for the next month basically an hour to 2 hours a day. Usually an hour was getting actual physical therapy done where Jay was breaking up the scar tissue in my lower tibia and my shins and my calves and then the other hour of the day was doing strengthening exercises. Jay’s philosophy was that rather than having me get in all the long runs that I missed out on, he was going to make me super durable. So most of the time in triathlon athletes later in the day their form starts to break down because they don’t have the strength to maintain it, and Jay’s idea was that “let’s make you as strong as possible and bulletproof so at mile 15 to 20, when your competitor’s forms are falling apart, you’re actually going to be super strong and your form is going to be held together and you’re going to be more efficient and you’re going to be able to run faster than all of them. So I listened to what he said and I did walk/jog program and finally about a month out I was starting to do some consistent running but my longest run before the race was 9 miles. It was an hour and like 5 minutes. We focused a lot on speed work, quality not quantity, doing a lot of explosive plyometric strength movements , really heavy weights at the gym. This is all stuff that I’d never done before, so Jay sort of opened my eyes to a whole new world basically. About a week before I was to head to Hawaii for the race, I decided to book Jay a ticket and he came to Hawaii with me because he had done so much awesome stuff, I was afraid to go without him. It was a very unconventional lead up to the World Championships. I’d raced there in ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11 and ‘12 and this was 2013 and I’d never had a lead up like this before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, most of my other races I’d gotten in 18-, 19-, 20-mile runs and this one was 1 run of 9 miles. That was it. You know before the race, Jay had me at the gym lifting, like 2 days before the race I was doing pull-ups and explosive movements in the gym and I thought it was crazy.

Jimmy: It’s counterintuitive.

Linsey: Yeah, but I also didn’t have any other choice. I had surrendered to Jay at that point and I mean I had zero expectations, I had pretty much been written off by all the press, which was fine, like it was understandable and so – race day came and I had not that great of a swim and I was a little disappointed and I was a little lackluster on the bike and actually the best part of my race was the marathon. With maybe 2 miles to go I was in 11th place. Anyone that’s been to IRONMAN Hawaii, the last mile is all downhill, down this famous hill Palani Hill. Jay and my family were all on Palani Hill and I could see 10th place. Then they sprinted down to the finish and I was sprinting to the finish and I basically had a sprint finish with this other gal, Amanda Stevens, and I passed her on the last corner with maybe a quarter mile to go. I felt so bad passing her but I – and I was in so much pain but it was like a good pain and I finished 10th and I ran a 3:04 marathon.

Jimmy: Wow. Good for you.

Linsey: Jay is the bomb dot com. Best PT ever. And since then I just drive him nuts. Like he can’t get rid of me. So um – you had asked me earlier um – so I now see Jay regularly, just even when I’m healthy and I see him once a week usually if I’m healthy and if I’ve got some issues cropped up, twice a week. We usually spend half the appointment doing manual therapy, working on tight areas that I have, or imbalances, and then the other half of the appointment he usually is giving me new exercises. It’s just dependent on my need. Like if I’m doing a bunch of swimming, we’ll work on some shoulder stuff. I definitely have chronic stuff like my right leg is a little bit not as stable as my left leg and so we definitely tend to work a lot on the right leg and doing sort of right leg balance exercises. And then when I’m not in to see Jay, everyday at home I spend about 30 minutes doing I call them “Jay-z-ercises” so – they’re essentially the exercises that Jay gives me for the week.

Jimmy: Cool.

Linsey: And ah, still lifting the heavy weights. Definitely not year round but a lot of year I’m in the gym doing strength work as well.

Jimmy: And that’s what I think a lot of triathletes have always shied away from because as you alluded to the thought of running only 9 miles before you go out and run a marathon, man as a triathlete or a distance runner, we get freaked out about that.

Linsey: Yeah.

Jimmy: But you said a couple of things. Number 1, and I don’t want to discount this: Jay asked a very important question: What is your goal. That’s a very important question for a PT to ask a patient, and then another thing you said was he wanted to focus on quality and not quantity at that point. And he was going to get ready to make sure you were bulletproof and I think that’s one thing that a lot of triathletes, and I think it’s on us as PTs, is to make sure that our patients know, that you need to be strong, even if you’re doing a long, one-plane sport. Even if your just swimming and biking and running in one direction, you still need to be strong and that showed for you at that big, long 140.6 mile race.

Linsey: Exactly. And I think, um, like my fear at first when Jay told me like “we’re going to have you lifting max weight” you know I had lifted a little before Jay but it was like sets of 20 and they were really light weights because I didn’t want to bulk up.

Jimmy: Right. Reps.

Linsey: Yeah, exactly. And Jay was like “we’re going to have you lift max weights and you’re not going to bulk up.” And he was right. I was afraid that I would just get huge which I’m actually a pretty petite person so that’s kind of funny to think I’d get huge. But yeah, I mean, it was definitely different than what I thought it would be like. It makes a lot of sense. So I’m glad that I met Jay and we crossed paths and he’s a huge part of what I do.

Jimmy: I read online, something on his blog about your training and him working with you is instead of thinking outside the box, he just threw the box away and started building a new one. I talked to Matt Lieto earlier this week and he had had a great quote. He was like “I don’t need to train to be fast, I need to train to be strong,” and I think that is exactly what you were just saying right there is “we do need to have strength even if we’re doing these long, long distance races.” Gotta be strong. That’s the foundation right there.

Linsey: And I think the other unique thing about Jay is similar to how his book is written, what he said is, the things he teaches us or teaches me when I go in for my PT appointments are all very relatable to running so rather than like giving you exercises and you can’t understand how that’s going to translate to making you a better athlete, he has done a good job of explaining the exercises, and if it doesn’t make sense to you, then he’ll basically show you the same exercise that’s activating your glutes, but in a way that makes sense to you as an athlete so you can actually understand what your doing and you can see how it’s applicable to making yourself a better athlete. And he, and he’s constantly fired up.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Linsey: He has so much energy I can’t keep up with it.

Jimmy: Yeah. That’s awesome though. Alright – we’re going to take a 60-second break. When we come back, I want to talk to Linsey about grit and grace and how she got that moniker. I want to walk through a week of your training because I want you to make me feel really, really weak and really, really slow and hear what you do on a regular training week as a pro triathlete and then I want to hear about – more about beer. I want to hear about Big Sky just a little bit. Back in 60 seconds with Linsey Corbin on the PTPintcast.

Jimmy: And we’re back at the PTPintcast with pro triathlete Linsey Corbin. You can check her out online. Her Twitter handle is @LinseyCorbin. Tonight I am enjoying, courtesy of Evolution Craft Brewing in Salisbury, Maryland, the “Secret Spot Winter Ale’. It’s very, very good. You’re in Hawaii. You don’t understand the plight that I’m going through on the East Coast right now. It’s cold. It’s dreary. So we gotta drink a beer. So, ah, in Hawaii for what, training? What are you doing out there?

Linsey: Yep. So I’m out here on a train-cation.

Jimmy: Ah – that’s a rough life.

Linsey: Half vacation, half training. We’ve had snow on the ground in Bend since Thanksgiving and now is the time of year when I do a lot of my base training and I knew I was going to be pretty out of shape this year after taking a big break from racing last year so I thought, rather than beat myself up with all the indoor training to find fitness that I would come to Hawaii so – my husband and I were here for Christmas and um I’ve stayed a little bit longer and just sort of doing some base building.

Jimmy: Yeah, that’s cool. Well, we’re going to get a chance to see you. You’re coming to back to the East Coast coming up on the 23rd, right?

Linsey: Yep.

Jimmy: We’re going to be at the Richmond Endurance Athlete Symposium and you can check out more information online at RichmondEnduraceSymposium.com. They’re at the Westin in Richmond, Virginia. Very excited about that because we’re going to get MDs, we’re going to get strength and conditioning guys, we’re going to get professional athletes and PTs all in the same room, and not talking about each one of our disciplines, but all talking about what it takes to make sure that endurance athlete stays on the course. And so I’m very excited to hear what you have to say about that but – how do we get “grit and grace”? I saw a video online showed a picture of you ah, your bike and it had “Grit and Grace” nicely caligraphied into the, into the ah paint job. Where did that come from?

Linsey: Yeah – it’s just a moniker maybe that my husband or a couple people have used when it comes to describing me and I just think the type of athlete I am is someone that’s really gritty and resilient, a fierce competitor, so I think that that’s the grit-side of my personality and then the grace-side is that I’m a woman and a female and I like to dress up. But I also enjoy a lot of other things outside of racing and I’ve tried to be a gracious competitor so I think it’s just the 2 contrasts combined and that makes me.

Jimmy: Yeah. That’s cool. So what are we doing next year? Do you line up your races now? Do you pick 1 or 2 or how does that work?

Linsey: We are on a points system to qualify for the World Championships which are in October in Hawaii, and so the first part of the year I’m going to be racing some short events, they’re regional championship events so they have higher points rankings and more competitive fields and so I’m actually going to be racing the weekend after the Symposium in Virginia in Panama. So, that’s going to be my taper activity. I’m going to be soaking up the East Coast atmosphere. Hopefully that will pump me up for a good race. So yeah, I’ll be racing in Panama and then Puerto Rico and then Brazil and that’ll take me to April and then I’m going to see where I’m at as far as points go. For us, we don’t have to sign up for races until about a month before so, either race an IRONMAN in early Mary or in June, just depending on how I’m feeling.

Jimmy: That’s really cool. And if you ever need it – if Jay’s not available to travel with you – I will be graduated in a couple months. I can be your personal PT. I charge zero dollars just to travel to this locations too. So – what are they called again – Jayzercises?

Linsey: Yeah. Jay-Z-ercises.

Jimmy: I like that very much. So what are some good ones? Let me steal one. Maybe even one of your favorites – or maybe a least favorite because maybe it’s so hard but at least it’s so effective. What, what’s a couple of good ones?

Linsey: Well the first one is a funny one and that would be “Cookie Eating.”
Jimmy: Yeah. Alright. What’s that?
Linsey: Jay loves to eat cookies so. If he’s listening he’ll get mad that I didn’t throw in a – throw him a bone about cookies but – that’s not an exercise but he’s a big proponent of eating cookies and having a balanced lifestyle so.

Jimmy: Good.

Linsey: Exercise number one. Let’s see so I my philosophy has always been that a lot of stuff happens in the hips, and I think Jay feels the same, like a lot of structural sound points are in the hips, so we’re constantly working on using stable hips, and getting strong hips and having them balanced and so for awhile, I haven’t, knock on wood, I was having IT band problems with my right IT band, like nothing that inhibited me from running, but it was definitely sort of like “my IT band’s feeling tight” and a lot of it was originating from up in my hip which – shocking – everyone thinks it’s like “oh my knee hurts.”

Jimmy: Yep.

Linsey: It’s actually your hip that’s the problem so we do a lot of hip lifts that usually, I can do those anywhere. I do 50 a day. And just stand on the stair with one leg and then use the hip to drop the other leg down and then use the hip to bring it back up. I’m sure everyone knows that.

Jimmy: Yeah. Yeah.

Linsey: It’s pretty basic. Yep. Good old standby. There’s one exercise that Jay prescribes that I can’t stand and I have to do all the time and that’s the “Rotisserie Chicken.”

Jimmy: OK.

Linsey: Yeah and I think it’s definitely a Jay-z-ercise because no body else has really heard of it. It’s essentially one of your legs is the spit and your hip is the chicken that’s rotating around the spit. When I’m not that strong we do it standing. You’ll stand on one leg like a flamingo and your shoulders will – your hips have to stay parallel to the ground – and your shoulders stay forward and your hip essentially rotates around the leg like a spit. So your hip is the chicken and it’s rotating around the leg and when you get stronger you can do it on the ground and you go into – you lay on the ground and you go into a hip bridge.

Jimmy: OK.

Linsey: So single leg hip bridge, and the idea is that your knee the whole time has to be facing forward. And so if you’re bridged up, let’s say your left leg is on the ground, your hips are level, and then you drop that right hip, and then you use your gluten and your right hip to bring that hip up and above and meanwhile the knee is staying on the ground the whole time. And then when you’re super advanced, you get to put that left leg into a sling, like a TRX strap.

Jimmy: Right.

Linsey: And, um, that’s Jay’s favorite so.

Jimmy: Wow.

Linsey: And then the new one that we’ve introduced this year that I think is super hard for me – I’ve heard it’s because I have a longer wing span – is just the ab-roll machine.

Jimmy: Uh-huh.

Linsey: Not only does it utilize the core but also a lot of stability in the shoulders. I think with swimming, obviously, my shoulders get tight and weak, but also with running we’re working on having equal motion and sort of having good movement in my shoulder area. So the ab-roll is – I hated it at first – but now I’ve actually got pretty good at it so um, the ab-roller’s a good one.

Jimmy: I like that. I’m going to steal some of those Jay-z-ercises right there. Alright – so I want you to make me feel really slow. Alright? What is your fastest half-time and what is your fastest full-time?

Linsey: Um, my fastest half is, I think it’s around 4 hours and 15 minutes, and my fastest full would be, in 2014, I set the American record at IRONMAN Austria. That was 8:42:42.

Jimmy: Yeah. I mean you’re a little bit faster than me. I guess, you know, maybe if I got an arrow helmet or something like that. A little bit faster. Before we let you go, walk me through a typical, middle of training plan work week. How many hours are you out there? How many different swims, bikes and runs?

Linsey: Generally, like on a big week, I’ll be between 20 and 25 hours. Sometimes I’ll creep a little bit over 25, not much. So I swim usually 6 days a week.

Jimmy: Wow.

Linsey: Usually I swim around 25,000-30,000 yards. Well we swim meters. 25,000-30,000 meters a week. Swim around 5K a day, so 5 to 6 days a week.

Jimmy: Wow.

Linsey: Yeah.

Jimmy: And what are we riding? I’m even scared to ask how much your riding a week.

Linsey: Anywhere from 11 hours to 18 hours. It just depends. But on average I’d say 14 hours, 13 hours. That’s a pretty solid week of riding.

Jimmy: OK. And on your 2 feet, running?

Linsey: I don’t run a ton. My coach is a lot, he’s a big proponent of consistency in running. Not duration but durability. So we run maybe 5 to 6 days a week. I don’t do any crazy long runs so – I used to, early on in my career, do 2 hours, 2:20 and then run 30 minutes that night. Now 2 hours would be a long run for me and if I run that long it’s usually split up. I think actually the longest I ran last year was an hour 10 in the morning and then an hour that night.

Jimmy: OK.

Linsey: So 2 hours and 10 minutes. But if I were to run 2 hours it would be split up it wouldn’t be all be at once. And the idea of splitting it up, for people that aren’t aware, is that if you go on like a 2-hour run, traditionally people do their big, long bike ride on Saturday and then they go run their 2-hours on Sunday. A, they’re trashed and they’re tired for that 2-hour run on Sunday, which is great for IRONMAN training, but their form is pretty sloppy, particularly by the end of a 2-hour run, so the idea of running an hour in the morning is “okay your kind of tired, but you’re still holding your form the whole time and then you take a 4-hour break between. And then, when you do your second hour that night, hopefully you’re still able to hold form.

Jimmy: Are you still working with Jay and lifting weights and doing strength training in this week as well in that sort of training week?

Linsey: Yes. So I would see, if I’m home, I would see Jay usually on Wednesday mornings and then yeah, every morning it depends but usually if I’m swimming at 5:30, I go to the gym right after swimming.

Jimmy: Good.

Linsey: And I’ll either lift at the gym or I’ll do my PT exercises. But if I don’t set aside time like that, like, if I say “oh, I’ll do my PT exercises tonight when I’m watching TV,” yeah, I don’t do them.

Jimmy: Yeah. We know that.

Linsey: No – I make a point of going to the gym and being like 30 minutes and that’s how long the program usually takes, whether its the Jay-z-ercises, which are more non-strength based, but like balance, stability, things like that, and then the lifting. I either lift or I’m doing the PT exercises. Everyday. A 30 minute program. So it’s actually not – I think people are afraid of committing to like, “oh it takes so much time to go to the gym and lift, blah-blah-blah” but it’s 30 minutes. To me, that’s not that much time.

Jimmy: Right. Just getting the most out of your time in the gym and just doing the right stuff right away instead of just kind of walking around and doing a bunch of stuff that’s not going to necessarily help you build that stable base.

Linsey: Usually just 3 lower body exercises and 3 upper body.

Jimmy: Cool.

Linsey: It’s pretty easy.

Jimmy: Yeah. Absolutely.

Linsey: Yep.

Jimmy: Alright – every episode, Linsey, is a pint – but before we’re done with the pint, we do shots. And what I mean by shots is – parting shots.

Linsey: Oh nice.

Jimmy: So if you had any advice for PTs or strength and conditioning coaches that are working with endurance athletes, specifically triathletes, what’s something that you want to make sure that these PTs would know? They don’t necessarily have to be working with a pro triathlete, since then sport is exploding recently, is the weekend warriors, the guys like me, the age-groupers. What’s something that the PT should know working with a triathlete?

Linsey: Um, a few things. Like, I think, I’ve worked with a handful of PTs, and Jay is definitely my favorite because he’s fun and motivational to work with, and so I think keeping it fun, you know I think a big part of that is knowing what your client is going to do. There’s no point assigning exercises to your client that they’re going to go home and not do. So I would just make sure that the exercises are fun and that it’s something that the client is going to want to do. And a lot of that comes from the PT himself. You know, like if you’re energetic and excited about it , I think it’s going to make your client excited about it. But I know a lot of PTs and I’m sure there’s nothing more frustrating than giving out exercises and seeing your client 10 days later and they’ve done none of them.

Jimmy: Absolutely

Linsey: And then um, on the converse side I would say that um most triathletes are pretty Type A, don’t know how to chill out and will always be pushing the boundaries so – that’s probably not really a tip. I would say most PTs know that. But just know that triathletes are always going to be pushing the limits wanting to do more and not letting their body rest, and I think, as far as advice for triathletes go, my advice would just be that it’s okay to relax a little bit, and that rest and recovery, I think, is a mistake that I see most people not paying enough attention to. Paying more attention to rest and recovery actually increases your performances.

Jimmy: Good advice from Linsey Corbin. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing you speak at the Richmond Endurance Symposium, coming up on January 23rd, in Richmond, Virginia. I’ll cross my fingers that it warms up a little bit. I know you’re out in Hawaii right now and going to all those southern places. RichmondEnduranceSymposium.com is where you can check out information about that. This is the third year that they’ve gotten all of the endurance professionals in one room so. Hey, good luck to you in your, in your training in this upcoming season
I want to see you out there on the course and ah, it was really awesome to talk to you and get some insight.

Linsey: Cool. Thanks for having me.