Triathlon legend Dave Scott has remained a key figure in the sport of triathlon long after he ended his professional career. The six-time Ironman world champion is now a popular coach, motivational speaker and elite strength and conditioning coach. This Saturday April 12th at 5 p.m. EST, Scott will be answering your strength, training and nutrition questions through a live webcast Q&Action: Advice to Act On, hosted by X2Performance Natural Sports Energy. Sign up here to join the webcast. You can send your questions to us by emailing All Q&Action attendees will receive an exclusive offer from X2Performance at the end of the webcast, and will be entered to win several prizes. The Grand Prize winner will receive a 90 minute personalized training and nutrition consultation with Dave Scott, a complimentary entry to a select 2014 as a member of the X2Performance Triathlon Team, X2Performance training and race apparel, and a one year supply of X2Performance. In addition, any LAVA reader whose question is chosen for the webcast will also receive selected LAVA apparel!

We asked Dave Scott to answer a few questions from readers to start things off:

1. I’m a male in my early 30s, 6′ tall and 175 pounds, currently in Ironman training for a race in June. I had been having stomach problems, and so I recently cut out all gluten from my diet and upped my greens and protein intake considerably.  Overall, I feel and look much better, and my stomach issues are now much, much better, but I’m becoming very sluggish during my longer rides (3-4 hours) and runs (1.5-2 hours). I know I must be doing something wrong with my carbohydrate levels, but I keep on tinkering with it and nothing seems to work. Is there a good rule of thumb for how to keep your energy levels up on a gluten-free diet?

Dave’s Reply: Reducing your simple carbohydrates and taking out gluten is not a only a wise decision to optimize your health but also to limit potential fatigue and GI issues during training and racing.  Your longer sessions may simply need a slight boost in calories and supplementation.  Without knowing your speed during your bike and run, Ill give you a few suggestions:

1.  If you haven’t eaten within two hours of your session, take in 60-120 calories of predominately simple sugars, 8-15 minutes before exercising. X2Performance has 60 simple sugar calories—glucose, ribose and yes, the simple ones are what you need before and during exercise. Additionally since you are a bigger chap, adding additional electrolytes will help regulate your potential fatigue issues.

2.  X2performance has a small amount of calories, which should not cause GI concerns, but you may need a small 30 to 60 additional calories of Fluid Replacement Drink or a half gel before you begin the session.

3.  During your workout, the rule of thumb is to begin replacing the burned calories. Everyone varies in the volume of replacement calories the guideline is to replace 15 percent to 25 percent of the total calories burned. A very high intensity workout for a guy your size would be 1000 calories burned per hour. The replacement would then fall within 150 to 250 calories per hour. Assuming that you have pre fueled as suggested, wait until approximately 30 -40′ into your session before taking in any calories.  So, the first hour of caloric replacement is approximately 50 percent of the hourly estimation.

4.  Fueling every 10 -12 minutes in small portions is best.

5.   Lastly, the carbohydrate intake per day can and should be quite low: approximately 30 percent to 50 percent of the total calories. Increase your healthy fats and stick with your gluten-free diet.


2. I’m a female in my mid 30s who has been doing triathlon for more than 10 years. I’ve always done a lot of strength training, but mostly “circuit” style exercises (high-reps, moderate weight). I’m now about two months out from my first big race of the season (a half Ironman), and I’ve been told that lifting heavier weights would be beneficial for my power output. I just have no idea where to start. What are some basic guidelines for heavy weightlifting for someone who is new to the practice? Any recommendations for times per week, reps, or specific exercises to target?

Dave’s reply: Bad advice starting a heavy strength program two months outside of your major race! Why?

1. I’m not opposed to doing a heavy strength program but your timing is off.  Heavy loads increase joint, connective tissue including ligaments and tendon stress.  Plus there is a huge muscular overload.  You’re elevating your risk for injury!

2.   You should be doing moderate weight with proper form and controlling the movement patterns of the exercises.  Once you have mastered (5-6 sessions) of proper technique, then you can bring the speed of movement up.  This will increase power and enhance the development of the fast twitch 2a muscle fibers. These fibers assist the slow ones and for all triathletes, they are key to elevating your performance capabilities.   (Please read my article on my website or the X2 Performance website on High Intensity Training ).

3.  Strength / power sessions; here are the rules:

  • 2 – 3 x / week
  • 2 -3 sets
  • 8 -15 reps
  • Moderate weight so the final three reps are fatiguing but don’t  go to failure.
  • stack two “like” exercises that innervate the same muscle. i.e. single leg soar with single leg soar with rows (I recently did a video on this that you can check out on .


3. I’m a male in my 50s who has been doing triathlons, marathons and all different types of endurance sports for more than 20 years. I recently had knee replacement surgery (it went well), but now that I am done with physical therapy and kind of out on my own, I’m having some moderate knee and hip pain while running. Are there any strength training exercises you recommend?

Dave’s Reply: You’re the prime candidate to stay on a strength-rebuilding program:

1. Glutes, hips, quads, low back and overall core weaken post-surgery

2.  I’ve included exercisea that directly address your weaknesses. Check out my recent blog post on I will also be adding additional exercises that are perfect for your needs post-surgery.

3. Here are are a few exercises and you should be implementing them with a qualified trainer or PT. In the meantime, check out some of my exercises (listed below) on video at :

  • Single leg soar, soar with rows, plank with movement, single leg short range step forward, step back, step side and step down while keeping your knee tracking straight ahead.
  • Monster walk with band only if you keep your transverse abdominus tight and your knees in alignment with your feet ( no medial movement ).
  • All fours single leg clam, lateral swings, up and downs and mule kicks are beautiful and perfect for your rehabilitation.

To sign up for the Q&Action: Advice to Act On webcast on April 12 at 5 p.m. EST, click HERE.