Simon Ward, The Triathlon Coach Podcast Channel
Polarised Training and much, much more * Simon Ward and Stephen Seiler

Polarised Training and much, much more * Simon Ward and Stephen Seiler

January 15, 2020

This week’s guest is another person I have been chasing for a long time. Stephen Seiler has written extensively about ‘polarised training’ and I have used many of the principles he talks about in his papers and presentations in both my own training and that of the athletes I have the honour of working with. There is no doubt in my mind that while there may be other approaches to developing fitness for endurance events, this one offers the most sustainable long term benefits for both health and fitness. You may have heard my previous podcasts with Dr Phil Maffetone, Dr Dan Plews and Prof Paul Laursen and each of these eminent coaches has spoken of methodology that has polarised training at its heart.  This is a loooong podcast, almost 2 hours, and the time absolutely flew by. Stephen has such a great message and it’s easy to listen to his stories and experiences. I have absolute confidence that you will find so much value in this conversation that will be of benefit to your own training or coaching. Please enjoy this show as we talk about:

  • The ‘holy trinity’ of monitoring intensity and why you must learn to use all three
  • Why 95% of endurance athletes can thrive using just three training zones
  • The simple, three step method for determining training zones without visiting a sports science lab
  • How the African distance runners use internal measures of intensity for much of the time and only use pace when preparing for races
  • What the 80/20 numbers really mean and how they apply to you
  • Why the principles of polarised training are even more important if you have only 8-10 hours to train each week
  • Hierarchy of Training Needs - what should come first when developing your fitness

Here are links to some of the references in our discussion:

Hierarchy of Training Needs. This is the diagram on his Twitter account representing this theory

The first Seiler paper that I read, "Intervals, Thresholds, and Long Slow Distance: the Role of Intensity and Duration in Endurance Training

“Experimental Challenges” 12 “aerobic” challenges created by Stephen Seiler, for you to attempt in 2019

Stephen Seiler posts a lot of good information on Twitter. You can follow him HERE

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Are kettlebells the best strength routine for triathletes?  Simon Ward and Steve Cotter

Are kettlebells the best strength routine for triathletes? Simon Ward and Steve Cotter

January 8, 2020

Kettlebells are not a new phenomenon but they have enjoyed an upsurge in popularity over the last 10-15 years. I’ve have been a fan for the last 8-9 years ever since attending a court in Yorkshire, delivered by today’s guest. Steve Cotter is one of the founding fathers of the recent revival and now heads up his own Kettlebell Organisation - IKFF.  Steve Cotter has literally written the book on Kettlebell Training.

As you will hear in this conversation Steve isn’t just passionate about kettlebells, he loves to teach and share his unique experience to promote health, happiness, and longevity through fitness.

This is a longer than normal chat because we disappear down a few rabbit holes but I think you will really enjoy this conversation as we discuss:

  • Why Steve’s biggest inspiration is provided by mothers
  • How to get started with kettlebells even if you are a complete novice to lifting
  • Why you ONLY need to learn 5 basic exercises to get a great kettlebell workout
  • How you can develop the perfect triathlon strength workout with just 3 x 10 minutes per week

Steve also mentioned many other training forms and practices in our conversation including:

Wim Hof and the Wim Hof Method

6 phase meditation with Vishen Lakhiani of MindValley

The Omvana meditation app

The Weck Method

The Book - 1421, The Year China discovered the world

Below are links to the basic Kettlebell exercises, including one hand & two hand swings & Kettlebell cleans:

https://youtu.be/3S2VALMvq7c

https://youtu.be/h7rib_DhL2s

https://youtu.be/QT5W8OZ7PlA

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

The benefits of giving back, and the power of IMF * Simon Ward and Sarah Hartmann

The benefits of giving back, and the power of IMF * Simon Ward and Sarah Hartmann

December 31, 2019

Ironman has grown into a huge, global business and, like many international corporations, they do a lot of work outside of the sport. Ironman does this through The Ironman Foundation (IMF). My guest today is the Executive Director of IMF, Sarah Hartmann.

I first met Sarah in Hawaii through one of our previous podcast guests (Derek Fitzgerald) and she asked me if I would like to get involved with some of their projects.  Much of their project work is based around races and host cities, so in recent months they have been doing work in Hawaii (at Ironman time), Panama City, Florida (to continue the rebuilding work after the hurricane in 2018), and Las Vegas (part of a community project to help those affected by the mass shooting in 2017).

While many triathletes who compete in Ironman events may be aware of the Foundation, not many know enough about the good work that they do, so in this week’s podcast we’re highlighting their work, including:

  • How IMF works, and the involvement of WTC
  • The power of volunteering and why it is good for everyone 
  • Sarah highlights some of the projects that IMF have been involved with and shares her favourite one to date
  • Who actually takes part and how you might end up working alongside “The Voice of Ironman” Mike Reilly
  • How the Foundation helped out at Bolton after the moorland fires which affected IMUK 2018
  • How you can get involved in an Ironman Foundation project 

To find out more about the Ironman Foundation, please CLICK HERE

We talked about several topics including the Gold Star Initiative run by Mike Ergo. You can hear the podcast I recorded with Mike right HERE.

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

The World’s Fastest (Official) Ironman Athlete * Simon Ward and Tim Don

The World’s Fastest (Official) Ironman Athlete * Simon Ward and Tim Don

December 24, 2019

In today’s podcast we’re speaking with one of the Britain’s best known triathletes.  A man who has experienced the absolute highs - 3 Olympic Games, 4 world titles, the fastest official, accurate Ironman in history, as well as absolute lows.  Breaking his neck and wearing a Halo device for 3 months. 

Congratulations if you have worked out that my guest is none other than Mr. Tim Don.  As you will discover as we chat, Tim is an all-round, nice guy and such a humble person.

In this episode I introduce a new warm up quiz which all future guests will be asked to participate in.  Tim was the first and among other things you’ll find out:

  • Which actor he would choose to play himself, if they made a film about his life
  • One superpower he would love to have
  • His favourite kids movie
  • Which famous person he would most like to have drinks with

We also have a more conventional chat about his triathlon life and you’ll discover:

  • Which victory was his biggest to date
  • What it felt like to break that Ironman World record in Brazil
  • Why he is still chasing the ‘perfect race’
  • What happened immediately after that bike accident in Kona
  • The amazing experience of Patagonaman 

If you haven’t already watched it, please take 30 minutes to watch “the Man in the Halo” right HERE

To find out what Tim is doing and where he is racing you can follow him on

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/tri_thedon/

on Twitter - https://twitter.com/trithedon

Or visit his website https://www.timdon.com/

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Turning Pro and Keeping Team Spirit * Simon Ward and Elliot Smales

Turning Pro and Keeping Team Spirit * Simon Ward and Elliot Smales

December 18, 2019

On this week’ss show my guest is Elliot Smales, one of the exciting breed of younger men and women developing their career as long distance triathletes.  Elliot is a Yorshireman who has based himself in Leeds, a city that has developed a deserved reputation as the centre of triathlon in the UK, Europe and maybe even the world.

Elliot was a member of the Yorkshire Triathlon academy who came to study at Leeds University and was part of the triathlon development squad. He dabbled in short course racing but at the age of 23 decided to have a go at a 70.3 event. In 2018 he turned pro and started to post some big wins including Ironman 70.3 Dun Laoghaire and 70.3 Staffs. In 2019 he also won Ironman 70.3 Sweden before deciding at the last minute to enter his first Ironman (Barcelona) just a few weeks after the 70.3 worlds in Nice, France.

Elliot has certainly packed a lot into his relatively short triathlon career so far and we cover a lot of ground in this conversation including:

  • Getting started in triathlon with Sheffield Tri Club and never forgetting the club spirit, even when you are a pro triathlete
  • What it really takes to race long distance triathlon
  • Why even no-drafting triathlon has ‘bike packs’, and the tactics involved in racing at the highest level
  • Entering an Ironman event because your clubmates were having a party afterward
  • Thinking that anyone can run a sub 2:40 marathon, when your longest run of the year is just 14 miles
  • The financial reality of trying to make a living as a young professional triathlete

To find out more about Elliot and his training and racing exploits you can follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/elliot_smales and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/elliot_smales/

You can watch the Pre Race interview that Elliot did before 2019 IM Staffs 70.2 HERE

Watch Elliot riding his REAP bike in South Africa HERE

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

How to bullet proof your body * Simon Ward and Louisa Holmes

How to bullet proof your body * Simon Ward and Louisa Holmes

December 11, 2019

The winter months should be the time when you address the weaknesses that limited your progress in the previous season, and which may do so again in the next season. In an ideal world, this would start with a thorough physical assessment by a qualified practitioner, such as my guest today Louisa Holmes (a.k.a. The White Witch).

I have linked two previous podcasts to highlight the full assessment process (part 1) and then on to the hard work required by you, the athlete, to ensure that those identified weaknesses are strengthened (part 2, beginning at 0:32:12).

I have been through this process myself and the fact that I can now run without Achilles or calf pain during or after is testament to the value of such an assessment and the necessity to spend more time working on mobility and stabiliser muscle strength.  Please make sure you take notes while you listen as I have no doubt that you can benefit from this as much as I have!

Part 1

  • Why a hi tech bike fit isn’t necessary to find the best riding position
  • Why a bike fit must include a full head to toe muscle skeletal assessment and lifelong medical history 
  • How injuries that occurred when you were a child could impact your bike fit as an adult
  • When the information obtained from a bike fit can benefit your run performance
  • How a bike fit turned into a 10 minute examination of my jaw 
  • The reason why hip flexors are the most talked about muscles in my podcasts
  • How a single leg squat influences your bike fit
  • Why you should have a bike fit at least twice each year

Part 2 (0:32:12)

  • Scapula stability and its impact on rider comfort and run performance
  • Why you must take care of the Soleus muscle
  • The startling revelation that endurance athletes should spend 30-60 minutes per day on their strength, conditioning, and mobility
  • Further confirmation that reducing aerobic training and increasing conditioning work will give better overall results
  • How to produce your FTP power in the aero position
  • Breathing pattern disorder, why you probably have one, and how it’s limiting your performance 
  • The compromise between your most aero tri bike position and the one which helps you to run fastest

You can find out more about the Cyclist's Full Body MOT —>> HERE 

Find out more about the Runner’s Full Body MOT —>> HERE

To book your appointment with Louisa Holmes or any of her equally able colleagues,  please contact CSPC, phone 0113 2750606

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Triathlon on a budget * Simon Ward and Graham Brookhouse

Triathlon on a budget * Simon Ward and Graham Brookhouse

December 4, 2019

In this week’s show I’m joined, yet again, by my pal Graham Brookhouse as we spend the entire show answering one reader question.  Scott Harriman was kind enough to write in asking for advice on how to avoid spending too much on our great hobby of triathlon. Scott’s specific question was, "What equipment needs can be budget, and what cannot?” Graham and I have each been in the sport for around 30 years and we have seen the costs of both races and equipment spiral. As a Yorkshireman I am very careful about how I spend my money and while Graham isn’t from Yorkshire, he could be. So, with the enthusiasm of two teenagers we set about chatting through how to keep the costs of competing in triathlon down to levels acceptable to a Yorkshireman, including:

  • Why the equipment we used for our first triathlons in 1987 are way, way below the quality of 2019 budget priced items
  • The bare minimum of kit required to take part in a triathlon
  • How to do a triathlon with your only cost being the entry fee
  • If you are upgrading, what should you spend your money on first?
  • How to save a fortune with secondhand kit
  • When last year’s model is this week’s big bargain

In the show Graham and I mentioned the second hand market for tri gear. These Facebook pages might be a good place to start if you are on a budget

Pre Loved triathlon gear

Triathlon Marketplace

Yorkshire Cycling Sales

Ex Rental Triathlon wetsuits

Triathlon Bike Hire

 

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating * Simon Ward and Dr. Rhys Jones

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating * Simon Ward and Dr. Rhys Jones

November 27, 2019

Nutrition is a popular subject for triathletes to discuss, and as a group they seem to be early adopters when it comes to trying a different approach. My guest on this week’s show is Dr. Rhys Jones, Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in eating disorders. Rhys is also a para triathlete,  and this gives him a unique insight into the behaviours and training patterns of his fellow athletes.

While there have been a number of past and current high profile endurance athletes that have spoken openly about eating disorders during their careers, they make up only a small portion of the total number taking part in endurance sports.  This might mean there is no problem, or it could be that athletes just don’t wish to discuss it openly. Either way, it is definitely a subject that we should be aware of. Coaches particularly would be advised to up their knowledge on this topic with a view to being able to identify and respond to existing and potential problems.

Today we discuss:

  • Understanding the ‘female athlete triad’, relative energy deficiency syndrome (REDS) and how they can affect both men and women.
  • Is triathlon a convenient hiding place for individuals with an eating problem?
  • What is the difference between disordered eating and an eating disorder?
  • For those people following a Keto, Paleo, or low carb/high fat diet is there a tipping point between eating for improved performance and disordered eating?
  • Why eating disorders are a much more complex issue than just food
  • Is 'comfort eating' just an excuse for humans who can’t control their food intake?
  • How to recognise an eating disorder, and where to guide an individual who might need help

In the conversation Rhys mentioned several resources that you might find useful. Type the titles into a search engine and you will get lots of hits.

Click here to find out more about ‘motivational interviewing’ 

The eating disorder charity mentioned by Rhys is BEAT eating disorders

You can also find a lot of resources on this NHS website for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Adult Eating disorders service

We also discussed the Norwegian Endurance athlete eating disorder study which you can find HERE

For Twitter and Instgram use @lypft_CONNECT

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook age HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.

What can chia seeds do for me? * Simon Ward and John Foss

What can chia seeds do for me? * Simon Ward and John Foss

November 20, 2019

In recent weeks there have been a number of conversations that I have been involved with or observed which discussed nutrition, and specifically nutrition philosophies. Keto, paleo, low carb/high fat, and vegan are all very popular right now. The Game Changers documentary has increased this level of conversation which means that today’s guest arrives at a very topical time.

Almost 20 years ago John Foss arrived in the UK from Australia on a farming scholarship and chose to review farming trends. As part of that study, he identified some very interesting trends and a gap in the market. On his return to Oz he set about persuading the other members of his family (a family with a 100 year history in wheat farming) that it would be a good idea to start growing a crop for which there was, at that time, a sporadic supply and a very small demand.

20 years on and chia is a widely recognised food product with a worldwide demand and a regular and reliable supply, and John Foss has been in the vanguard of this sea change. Prior to this chat I hadn’t really known much about chia so I found this conversation both interesting and thought provoking. If you are looking for nutrition inspiration and ways to upgrade your food intake then this show is a “must listen to” choice.

Oh, I almost forgot. John is also a triathlete and during the growth of his business he was actively training to compete in standard distance events. His journey has some unexpected complications which we also talk about.

We touched on a lot of subjects including:

  • What happens when you explain to your family, with a history of farming wheat, that you are going to grow a virtually unknown crop and build a business
  • How and where to grow chia and why it’s good for the environment
  • Why chia as a credible source of Omega 3, protein and insoluble fibre which make it a healthy addition to your diet
  • Chia and its role in the plant based diet
  • Chia Fresca or Iskiate, the drink used by the Tarahumara and described in the book “Born To Run"
  • John's transformation from triathlete to high performance human

If you want to find out a little bit more about the Chia company and the chia seed please CLICK HERE

Find out more about Chia Fresca HERE

In the conversation John mentioned the Lancet study which you can find HERE and the summary report for download in multiple languages HERE

The recipe for Chia Pudding is available HERE

You can find good sources for chia recipes  on the thechiaco social media pages HERE —> Instagram & Facebook

If you wish to order your own supply of chia seeds then this code - highperformancehuman -  will give you a 30% discount at the online shop

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click HERE 

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook age HERE 

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes 

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.

Can you be a front of pack swimmer with no swim history?  This and more answered by Graham Brookhouse and Simon Ward

Can you be a front of pack swimmer with no swim history? This and more answered by Graham Brookhouse and Simon Ward

November 13, 2019

In this week’s episode my old friend Graham Brookhouse returns to the show as we attempt to answer questions sent in by members of The Triathlon Coach Cafe Facebook page. Graham and I have a very similar dry sense of humour so I’m sure you’ll enjoy the banter in this one, as well as gain some very useful knowledge about common triathlon issues. We have questions about a whole range of subjects from beginners right up to some advanced questions so stay focussed as we discuss:

  • Can you be a front pack swimmer without a background in swimming?
  • Have I reached my limit in the pool?
  • How do I stop swim goggles fogging up?
  • Bike speed - how to mix sessions up to get faster?
  • Should a runner focus on cycling or swimming to be competitive?
  • How to improve my Ironman run?
  • What can I do to stop my legs hurting when I run hard?
  • When to ease off to avoid overtraining
  • What training should a 60 year old triathlete do?
  • How to make triathlon cheaper?
  • The best things to avoid when starting triathlon
  • Our biggest changes in mindset

To find out more about Simon’s SWAT programme, please click here https://simonward1.lpages.co/swat-sign-up-30-offer/

To comment on this podcast, please visit Simon's Facebook page HERE https://www.facebook.com/simon.ward1

Visit Simon's website for more information about his coaching programmes https://www.simonwardtriathloncoach.com/1-to-1-coaching/

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.