Top Triathlon Podcasts of 2015: Ben Greenfield Reigns Supreme

Mastermind Talks 2014 in Toronto, Ontario. ©2014 Mark Adams www.MarkAdamsPhoto.com

The Nielson ratings don’t exist for podcasts, so we set out to create our own. We emailed all of the podcasters we could find. Most were happy to submit their download data, and not surprisingly, a few notable shows refused. All of the shows that submitted data are listed in our directory below, so be sure to check them out. Your next trainer ride is sure to be an audio adventure.

The Undisputed Champion

The Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast was the clear winner for both total downloads and average downloads per show. It wasn’t even close. He had roughly 3x the average downloads of the next closest podcast. 

Ben Greenfield is a former bodybuilder, an Ironman triathlete, a Kona qualifier, a Spartan racer, a coach, a public speaker and author of the New York Times Bestseller “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life”. In 2008, Ben was voted NSCA’s Personal Trainer of the year and in 2013 and 2014 was named by Greatist as one of the top 100 Most Influential People In Health and Fitness. This Ben is getting it done.

Critics of Ben would call him a charlatan, a pseudoscientist and worse. I’m bracing myself for a shit-storm in the comments section of this article. Hopefully, our web host will survive the onslaught of magic bracelet references. Criticism aside, you have to respect his ability to grow an audience and consistently create content.

Is Ben Greenfield Fitness really a triathlon podcast?

Ben is a triathlete who may occasionally talk about triathlon, but the show is mostly about health and fitness generally – not triathlon. You’re more likely to hear a conversation about underwater rock carrying than you are a conversation about improving wattage on the bike. That said, Ben wrote to me, asked to be included and I obliged.

My ruling: No, it’s not really a pure triathlon podcast, but perhaps neither is The DC Rainmaker Podcast. Ray references triathlon at least once an episode, but you could make a similar argument against his inclusion. 

That said, the next two charts will disregard Ben while we focus on the more triathlon focused shows. 

Top 5 by Total Downloads

Podcast 2015 Downloads Episodes Downloads per show
IM TALK 560615 52 10781
TRS Radio 447338 51 8771
The DC Rainmaker Podcast 278832 28 9958
Training Bible Podcast 243619 22 11074
Triathlete Training Podcast 217359 19 11440

Among the pure triathlon podcasts, Bevan and John of IMTALK take the prize in terms of downloads. As a newbie to podcasting, I  tip my cap to the men of IMTALK. Practice, practice, practice. They have been putting out a show every week for over a decade. Their format has a predictable and comforting rhythm and you could conceivably get 100% of your triathlon news from this podcast alone and be very well informed. 

I don’t always listen to IMTALK, but when I do, I’m entertained. The chemistry is great, the Kiwi sense of humor is good for a laugh, and they deliver a reliable consistent product every week with no end in sight. 

Of note is the DC Rainmaker podcast, a weekly show launched in late April that has incredible numbers. I’d expect Ray Maker to be making a big move in 2016 despite his talentless co-host. 

Top 5 by Downloads per Episode

Podcast 2015 Downloads Episodes Downloads per show
Triathlete Training Podcast 217359 19 11440
Training Bible Podcast 243619 22 11074
IM TALK 560615 52 10781
The DC Rainmaker Podcast 278832 28 9958
TRS Radio 447338 51 8771

When we look at average downloads per episode, it starts to get interesting. You’ll notice that two shows focused on training techniques jump to the top. Why? First of all, the content is evergreen. Unlike IMTALK, which is largely topical in nature, these shows are as helpful 2 years later as they are 2 days later.

If you stumble upon the Triathlete Training Podcast and find the show helpful, you might just go back and listen to all of the previous episodes. Conversely, the Triathlon Preview Show, which previews the weekend’s upcoming races is totally out of date the moment those races actually take place. 

Because total downloads for the year include episodes that may have been released in 2014 or earlier, evergreen shows have a distinct advantage. Next year, we have to look at the average downloads for the most recent 10 episodes. In that case you might see shows like IMTALK, DC Rainmaker and TRS Radio leapfrog these evergreen training shows. 

The Future of Triathlon Podcasting

It’s actually quite inexpensive to start a show in 2016. The medium itself is perfectly suited for triathletes because they spend many hours every week in solitude on trainers and on long runs. Advertisers and sponsors should take note because each of these audiences are fiercely loyal and feel like they have a personal relationship with the broadcaster who they listen to for hours each week. 

A podcast commercial can feel like a recommendation from a friend and there is a good chance that the commercial is unavoidable. Podcast listeners are doing something else like driving to work, riding a trainer or running. It’s unlikely that they will skip past a commercial. Conversely, it’s easy to block or ignore banner ads on websites. 

For consumers of audio content, the choices are abundant. Browse the directory below and check out a new show or two. Each of these shows represent a niche within a niche. Do you like late night talk shows and inappropriate humor? TRS Radio is for you. For a very well produced show that highlights both British athletes and a wonderful British sense of humor, check out Cup of Tri. Are you a coach who wants to become one of the greats? The Real Coaching Podcast is a must listen.

Bottom line: there’s something for everybody.

Real Coaching

real coaching podcastReal Coaching with international triathlon coaches Joel Filliol and Paulo Sousa is a no bullshit conversation about high performance coaching, developing athletes, training methods, and what works and what doesn’t in triathlon preparation and competition, based on experiences with the worlds best athletes, and applicable to any athlete or coach looking to improve their performance. Subscribe on iTunes.  

 

Jim and the Other Guy

jim and the other guyJim Lubinski is a professional triathlete, endurance sport coach, former professional ice hockey player, and public speaker extraordinaire. Jim and the Other Guy brings you your daily dose of endurance sport news, notes, tips, and topics, plus much, much, MUCH more including current events, pop culture, sports news, and anything else he can think up. You never know who is going to sit in with Jim for the show. Subscribe on iTunes.

Triathlete Training Podcast

triathlete training podcastThe Triathlete Training Podcast is hosted by Eric Schwartz and primarily covers training advice for triathlons. Sometimes it’s done with expert guests such as Joe Friel, Jim Vance, and Hunter Allen, or professionals such as Justin Daerr or Victor Plata.  Just as often the training advice and lessons are included within the story of an age group triathlete completing their first Ironman, qualifying for Ironman Hawaii after numerous attempts, or a newbie attempting their first ever sprint triathlon. Subscribe on iTunes. 

Zen and the Art of Triathlon

zen triZen and the Art of Triathlon is the longest-running endurance podcast, going beyond just training and racing to discuss the why and the art of living the triathlon lifestyle. After interviews with industry experts, the show’s host takes you with with him as he trains and races at the Ironman level.  Over the years, Brett has taken his listeners along on 13 Ironmans, an Ultraman, multiple ultra-marathons, and swimming 22 miles across Lake Tahoe.  Each show is different than the last, and also jam-packed with insight on how to succeed at living the ultra life.  Subscribe on iTunes.

IMTALK

IMTalkIMtalk is one of the most long standing tri podcasts hosted by kiwis John Newsom & Bevan James Eyles. In April 2016 the guys will celebrate 10 years of podcasting! The shows are a mix of news, pro & AG interviews, coaching tips along with contributions from the audience and a dose of kiwi humour. Infamous incidents include detailed tips for “peeing on the bike”, a blender challenge between Bevan’s el cheapo blender vs John’s heavy duty and an on-air rock-scissors-paper challenge to see who had to unblock the toilet in Kona one year. Subscribe on iTunes.

Legends of Triathlon

legends of triathlonThe Legends of Triathlon Podcast is hosted by John Newsom & Bevan James Eyles from the popular imtalk podcast. The show is a monthly podcast dedicated to showcasing some of the biggest names of triathlon covering athletes, administrators and industry leaders. The list of athletes is a who’s who of triathlon including Allen, Tinley, Pigg, Molina, Deboom, Lessing, Baker, Smyers, Whitfield, Leder, Zack, Kiuru, Souza and many more. Along with the athletes you will head from others who have helped shape the sport like Mike Reiley, Jim Curl, Carl Thomas and the first ever winner of the Hawaii Ironman Gordon Haller. Subscribe on iTunes.

Cup of Tri

cupoftriCoach Rob Wilby and age group triathlete Helen Murray host a weekly triathlon podcast with a unique British slant. Loads of interviews with British triathletes, pros and interesting AGers alike. Perfect listening on the turbo or your tea break! Subscribe on iTunes.

Octane Athletics Podcast

octane athleticsThe Octane Athletics Fuel Your Fire podcast is targeted at the middle to middle/back of pack age group endurance athlete or those that are just starting out in endurance sports. It’s hosted by Dave Jimenez and Randy Messman who are a couple of of athletes who also happen to be a couple of pretty talented coaches. They primarily focus on knowledge sharing by answering specific athlete questions that they gather via their website, virtual voicemail box and their open Facebook group, Fuel Your Fire Running and Triathlon. They also like to have guests on the show that range from Ph.Ds to professional triathletes like Lauren Barnett and Meredith Kessler. It’s a well rounded endurance podcast where they guys keep it light while delivering valuable information. Subscribe on iTunes.

Training Bible Podcast

training bible coachingJoin Adam and Scott, two elite level age group athletes and triathlon coaches with Training Bible coaching for the latest in triathlon training and racing information including interviews with professional and elite level age group triathletes. Subscribe on iTunes.

Ben Greenfield Fitness

ben greenfieldFree exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from BenGreenfieldFitness.com! Tune in to the latest health, fitness and multi-sport research, non run-of-the-mill interviews with exercise and medicine professionals, and new cutting-edge content from the top personal trainer and wellness coach in the nation. Exercise, eat, swim, bike, run and live better. This podcast includes fitness, nutrition, health, diet, wellness, workout, exercise, triathlon, Ironman, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, muscle gain and fat loss advice from America’s top personal trainer. Subscribe on iTunes.

The Triathlon Preview Show

triathlon preview showThis weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Co-Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself. Subscribe on iTunes.

The DC Rainmaker Podcast

dc rainmakerThis is a 30 minute live-to-tape Q&A format show where listeners ask Ray Maker of DCrainmaker.com questions about sports technology and other random topics. Ray offers his expert opinion on topics such as finding the right trainer or the latest Ironman policy shift, and co-host Ben Hobbs of TRS Triathlon offers smart-ass commentary. It’s a potpourri of Ray’s noggin, served up in 30 minute episodes each Monday. Subscribe on iTunes.

TRS Radio

trs radioThis 60-90 minute “live-to-tape” podcast features funny and candid interviews, comedy bits and the occasional angry rant. TRS Radio is hosted by Ben Hobbs, Publisher of TRStriathlon.com, the #1 website for truth-seeking triathletes and fans of pro triathlon racing. Ben and co-host, Dark Mark, regularly challenge the establishment as they examine the news and controversy of the week with wit, humor and irreverence. Dark Mark is a legendary joke writer, humorist and proponent of the mustache. Subscribe on iTunes.

Podcast 2015 Downloads Episodes Downloads per show
Real Coaching 23200 7 3314
Jim and the Other Guy 6955 6 1159
Triathlete Training Podcast 217359 19 11440
Zen and the Art of Triathlon 200000 52 3846
Cup of Tri 13974 52 269
Octane Athletics Podcast 99463 45 2210
Training Bible Podcast 243619 22 11074
The Triathlon Preview Show 6222 16 389
IM TALK 560615 52 10781
Legends of Triathlon 84790 11 7708
The DC Rainmaker Podcast 278832 28 9958
TRS Radio 447338 51 8771
Ben Greenfield 4466406 134 33331

About the Author

Ben Hobbs
Ben Hobbs is Publisher of TRS Triathlon and host of TRS Radio.