Roundup: live Q&A with 220’s Joe Beer

From Bowen therapy to training after half Ironman races, today's online discussion with triathlon coach Joe Beer had lots of great tips for our readers


We hosted a live Q&A earlier today with 220 contributor and top triathlon coach Joe Beer, covering topics ranging from Bowen therapy to cramping and swimming technique.


Here’s a sample of what Joe covered…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Langy: What is Bowen therapy?

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

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

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

a) you never use electrolytes in training/racing – relying on water alone
b) you work in a very hot environment for hours a day (diamond mining?)
c) you have taken all salt out of your diet and add none to food

The biggest cause is likely:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Practice makes permanent.


For the complete list of discussions head to the Forum thread