Simon Ward, The Triathlon Coach Podcast Channel
Grumpy Old Coaches * Simon Ward, Marc Laithwaite, and Steve Lumley

Grumpy Old Coaches * Simon Ward, Marc Laithwaite, and Steve Lumley

April 8, 2020

In this week’s podcast Simon is joined by two of his old mates, Marc Laithwaite and Steve Lumley.  Steve, Simon, and Marc have all been coaching for at least 15 years, so there’s a wealth of experience and a whole load of grumpiness that goes into their coaching.  The seeds for this conversation were sewn several weeks ago as each of them got agitated over triathletes discussing how many and which type of swim drills should be inserted into swim sessions.  They dive down a lot of rabbit holes, but the basic topics are:

  • Gadget overload
  • Why Zwift might be good for your fitness, but not so good for your bike handling skills
  • Diet BS and fads
  • Are today’s brand of Ironman one-and-done just box tickers who aren’t really prepared for the rigors of IM racing?
  • Are marginal gains relevant for most triathletes?
  • Silver bullets as “the thing” versus keeping sight of the basic essentials
  • Buying speed
  • Do you really need 10 training zones?
  • Collecting data on a smart watch, yet not doing anything with it
  • Ultra-precision in training, and zero precision with sleep and nutrition

So basically, this podcast is 3 grumpy old triathlon coaches whining about the behaviour of some triathletes.

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

COVID19 and how the pros are coping * Simon Ward and Elliot Smales, Sam Dickinson, and Helen and Marc Jenkins

COVID19 and how the pros are coping * Simon Ward and Elliot Smales, Sam Dickinson, and Helen and Marc Jenkins

April 1, 2020

In this week’s podcast, I have asked some of my pro-athlete contacts to share their thoughts on the current situation. In particular, I wanted to know:

  • How they have adapted their training given the current restrictions to group sessions and facilities
  • Their mental approach to having no races in the calendar for the immediate future
  • What financial challenges they face now that they have no opportunity to win prize money

My 3 guests include two returning guests who are based in Leeds:  Rising star of the 70.3 world, Elliot Smales, high performance athlete Sam Dickinson, and also two new guests to this show!  An Olympian, twice former World Champion, and now mother of two, Helen Jenkins along with husband and coach also an ex pro and Olympian, Marc Jenkins.  These are 3 very candid and open conversations where we chat about:

  • Getting some perspective on life
  • Swim training without a pool - what the pros do
  • To ride outdoors or not
  • Coping without group training
  • The mental aspect of being a racer and having no races
  • How PTO is helping athletes

If you would like to join SWAT but finances are challenged right now or will be in the near future, please reach out to us by email and we will find a way to try and help, Beth@thetriathloncoach.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

Developing an Iron Mind * Simon Ward with Lucy Gossage, Helen Davis, and Helen Gorman

Developing an Iron Mind * Simon Ward with Lucy Gossage, Helen Davis, and Helen Gorman

March 25, 2020

In this week’s podcast we have another hot topic - mental toughness.  A few weeks ago, superstar Ironwoman Lucy Gossage launched a new 6 part mental skills programme with her Sports Psychologist, Helen Davis.  I have known Lucy for many years and watched most of her victories, and I always assumed that racing at the front came completely natural to her. As you will hear in this conversation I was totally off the mark. Lucy is also an oncology doctor currently working at Nottingham City Hospital so is experiencing the Coronavirus situation on the front line. Whether you use mental skills for improving race performances or handling tough life situations, you are sure to find this podcast very informative.  Please make sure you read the show notes for details of a discount code that you can use if you wish to sign up with her programme.

In today’s conversation Lucy, Helen Davis and special guest, Masters Swim World record holder, Helen Gorman chat about:

  • Lucy’s current work in the NHS and her first hand experiences of the COVID19 situation
  • How the “iron-mind” skills are helping Lucy in her workplace at this very moment
  • Why my perceptions of how Lucy raced were totally wrong
  • Finishing 2nd at Ironman New Zealand on just 2 weeks of running
  • Helen Gorman explains how mental strength can help with your swim performance
  • When COVID19 recedes, how to manage expectations when you finally get back to racing

To find out more about the Iron-Mind course please click HERE

Helen Davis is a chartered psychologist and you can find out more about what she offers HERE

Lucy Gossage is a retired pro triathlete but you can still follow her on Twitter HERE

Follow the “Killer Shark” Helen Gorman HERE

To get a 5% discount when you sign up Iron-mind use this code —>> SWARD5

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

A conversation with Mr. Ironman Lanzarote * Simon Ward and Kenneth Gasque

A conversation with Mr. Ironman Lanzarote * Simon Ward and Kenneth Gasque

March 18, 2020

My guest for this week’s podcast is none other than Mr. Lanzarote Ironman, Kenneth Gasque. Kenneth has been an integral part of sport and particularly triathlon in Lanzarote over the last 35 years. It all started when he became one of the very first employees at the fledgling Club La Santa back in 1983 and he and his wife Anna Lis have been on this volcanic island ever since.  Kenneth was a keen triathlete back then and took part in Ironman Hawaii in 1985, the days when you could simply complete the entry form to take part. He completed 3 more times with the last being 2005. He also organised and grew the “Volcano Triathlon" at Club La Santa which started in 1985 and is still running today some 35 years later. In the late 80’s there were just a handful of Ironman events worldwide with no official ‘M-dot’ race in Europe. He tried and narrowly failed to organise the first event (that honour went to Roth in Germany) but was eventually successful in bringing Ironman to Lanzarote in 1992. Where it has been ever since, making it the second oldest event at a single location (Ironman Hawaii being the longest with 42 years in Kona).

In addition to this, Kenneth created the Ocean Lava triathlon back in 2010 and now has 16 events in Europe ranging from sprint distance to 140-6 miles.  In recognition for his valuable contribution to the development of the Ironman brand, Kenneth was inducted to the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2019, an honour so far only bestowed on 36 individuals with only 3 from Europe.

 

Kenneth Gasque is an absolute legend in the world of triathlon in Europe and this podcast conversation is a must if you have ever raced any Ironman in Europe, participated in a triathlon in Lanzarote, or visited Club La Santa.  We chat about many subjects including:

  • The driving force behind Kenneth’s desire to greet every single finisher at Ironman Lanzarote
  • How fate intervened in the search for an Ironman Hawaii entry form in 1984
  • The joy and happiness of racing in Kona
  • Why all Ironman swims should still be a mass start
  • Why the first female to cross the line in Lanzarote 1992 was NOT the winner
  • The Kenneth Gasque ‘recipe’ for successful races. Event directors, please take note!!
  • The definition of a ’win’ (TIP: it’s NOT setting a new PB)
  • Creating ‘Ocean Lava'

Click here to watch a video of the very first Ironman Lanzarote in 1992

To find out more about the Ocean Lava Planet race series, please CLICK HERE

VIEW the original Letters from Ironman to Kenneth about purchasing the Ironman Europe License in 1987

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

Bonus Podcast:  Mental Strategies for Dealing with COVID-19 * Simon Ward and Rob Griffiths

Bonus Podcast: Mental Strategies for Dealing with COVID-19 * Simon Ward and Rob Griffiths

March 17, 2020

With the impending restrictions on our movements, racing, and maybe even training due to pool and facility closures, it’s occurred to me more than once that there will be people out there who will find this very difficult to deal with.  In fact, I’m sure we all will in some ways because it’s totally new to just about all of us.  It was mentioned to me that mental health could become a much bigger problem as we progress toward the summer, and I’m already seeing posts from athletes who are feeling anxious as they contemplate not being able to train, or from those whose races have either been cancelled or are pending cancellation.

I reached out to a friend of mine, Rob Griffiths, who is a fellow triathlete but also a psychologist.  In this podcast today we chat about:
  • How to control the controllables
  • Strategies for dealing with boredom
  • Lateral thinking and how to apply this to your self-isolation or curfew
  • Creating a community spirit to support others
If anyone needs to reach out to either myself or Rob to discuss anything we’ve mentioned in this podcast, please use the links below.  We’re only too happy to discuss any of these topics.
 

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

3 men, a cask of whisky, and jellyfish:  A swimming adventure in the Western Isles * Simon Ward and Johnnie Mundell

3 men, a cask of whisky, and jellyfish: A swimming adventure in the Western Isles * Simon Ward and Johnnie Mundell

March 11, 2020

In this week’s show I’m chatting with one of the members of a 3-man team who were the first humans to circumnavigate swim the isle of Islay (one of the western isles of Scotland).  Johnnie Mundell resides on the West Coast of the US and is a Brand Ambassador for Maker’s Mark whiskey.  However, he has an intimate family connection with Islay, having been born and raised on the West Coast of Scotland.  He was also previously a Brand Ambassador for Laphroaig, one of the well-known brands to emerge from this island.

 
As you’ll hear in the conversation, this was a crazy adventure which was conceived in the manner of most crazy adventures . . over a few drinks.  It took several years to put a working plan together and swim the first strokes.  Neither Johnnie, Justin, or Chad are multi-sport athletes, and this story is not about triathlon.  But, it does embody the spirit of adventure demonstrated regularly by triathletes and one can easily imagine the original Ironmen giving this their nod of approval.  
 
Some of the things we chat about are:
  • Paying homage to the witches of Islay
  • Signing up for a swim adventure when you don’t even swim on a regular basis
  • Why some of us triathletes need to get an attitude makeover
  • How to fuel yourself for swimming in 8c water for days on end (without a wetsuit!)
  • How the mind can push the body to do amazing things, but if you don’t have the base fitness you might suffer for a long time afterwards
  • Missing your best friend’s wedding to pursue your adventures

To watch the video of this incredible adventure please CLICK HERE

You can also visit the website for GreatIslaySwim

Johnnie also mentioned SingleCaskNation as being an integral part of the adventure

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 the Boston Marathon bombing led to healing across 7 continents * Simon Ward and Bobby O’Donnell

How the Boston Marathon bombing led to healing across 7 continents * Simon Ward and Bobby O’Donnell

March 4, 2020
 
On this week's podcast I’m joined by an amazing young man. On April 15, 2013, 17 year old Bobby O’Donnell was about to fulfill a lifelong ambition. He stood on the start line of the Boston marathon and had never been so excited in his life. This was the day he had been building up to, and several close members of his family would be waiting in the finish line grandstand to cheer him home. With just over 1/2 mile to go the race was stopped and his life was about to change forever. Terrorists had detonated 2 bombs at the finish line killing 3 people and injuring several hundred others.
 
Not only was Bobby’s dream over, his nightmare began. Unable to contact any members of his family, he feared the worst. For several hours he assumed that they had all been killed until finally, using a borrowed phone, he was able to share text messages with his Mum. Finally he was able to meet them in a safe area where he saw every member of his family bar his father. Bobby’s father, a paramedic had offered his help to tend to the injured in the immediate aftermath. Bobby’s family were at the finish line but thankfully they were on the opposite side of the road. After the elation came the depression and a journey of several years to regain his love of life and running.
 
This podcast is Bobby’s first ever and while he has a shared this story previously in a public forum it never gets any easier. Please listen and while you do, consider the courage needed to speak about some memories that should never be experienced while enjoying your favourite sport.
 
Bobby has now written a book about his experiences over the last 7 years. "Running Wild:A quest for healing across 7 continents"will be realised in the UK at the end of March and while you will have to wait a few weeks to read the full story, in this episode Bobby and I speak about:
  • How getting a lottery place for a popular local road race changed his life forever
  • A chance meeting with a running coach at the start of his first ever run race, and learning a lesson for life
  • Entering his first marathon with just 100 days to prepare
  • Thinking that the Philadelphia marathon was just a short drive from Boston, not 300 miles away 
  • Why Bobby had to run for a charity to gain a Boston Marathon place
  • How an experience with best friend John Lee had a career defining impact on his life 
  • The immediate emotional impact of the Boston bombing and the aftermath
  • The TedX talk by Alex Sheenand 5 simple words that started him on the road to recovery
  • What shaped his decision to start travelling
  • Why he wouldn’t change the last few years
In the show we also mentioned several links:
Bobby’s first ever running race https://falmouthroadrace.com/faqs/
The Promise Card - “Because I said I would”
Emergency first aid and CPR training in the UK RLSS - First Aid at Work
CPR Training in the US: https://www.heart.org/en/cpr
Mental Health US: https://afsp.org
Mental Health UK: https://www.mind.org.uk
Instagram: @runningwildbook
 

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 Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance * Simon Ward and Alex Hutchinson

The Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance * Simon Ward and Alex Hutchinson

February 26, 2020

The annual Training Peaks conference is recognised as having some great keynote speakers, several of whom I have managed to invite onto this show as guests (Stephen Seiler being the most recent one). This week I bring you another one of those insightful humans as I chat with Alex Hutchinson. Alex is a journalist and author. His latest book is Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.  Alex is a keen runner, and in his younger years competed for the Canadian National team at middle distance with a 3:42:43 best at 1500m, and 49:20 for 10 miles. He studied at university as a physicist spending 3 years studying for his Phd in the UK, and eventually ended up as journalist.  In addition to having written books, he contributes regular columns for Outside magazine and others.

This is another great discussion so please listen in as we chat about:

  • Some surprising truths and myths about training for sport
  • Why your brain could be holding you back in races
  • Why your environment matters if you want a PB
  • How to harness the pack to race faster
  • Building your belief to achieve your goals
  • What will influence the big endurance breakthroughs in the next few years
  • The obligatory (short) chat about Nike Vaporfly
  • Alex’s top 4 tips for peak performance

Just a reminder about Alex’s books

Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Which Comes first? Cardio or weights?

We also chatted about some research which Alex references in his book.  This one is about how mental fatigue impairs physical performance, something you might want to take into account before a taper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19131473

This research focusses on how motivational self talk can help performance https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27580154

Finally this is the research where the cyclists were shown happy or sad faces for milliseconds and how it affected performance https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4263011/

You can find Alex via his website, Alexhutchinson.net

And mostly in these social media places:

Twitter - @sweatscience

Facebook

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

Legends of British Triathlon * Simon Ward and Richard Hobson

Legends of British Triathlon * Simon Ward and Richard Hobson

February 19, 2020

This week I’m returning to the “Legends of British triathlon” theme as I interview Richard Hobson.  When I started in triathlon back in 1987 Richard was beginning his own triathlon career (although at a significantly higher level than me) and it was interesting to watch him progress in a short period of time to the very top of the tree in the UK.  Over the years I have come to know Richard much better and to this day he is a true inspiration. Still a very fit guy and busy running his training camps and holiday business in France, and along with his wife Dorte they are parents to two very talented athletic boys.

I really enjoyed this catch-up and we revisited many triathlon topics from the 80’s and 90’s including:

  • How Richard made the transition from windsurfing to triathlon
  • The origins of his nickname “Captain Quads”
  • How to win races without having a formal triathlon coach
  • Snugg wetsuits and a 30-year sponsorship
  • Starting university with no swim, bike, run training experience, and leaving as a full time athlete
  • Training by feel and listening to your body 
  • A triathlon career with no injuries
  • Involvement with the first UK High Performance Triathlon centre at Bath

If you want to find out more about what Richard is up to these days or if you would like to book a holiday at his venue in France here are some links

Triliving.co.uk

LivingFrance.org

Facebook 

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 be a Fearless Coach * Simon Ward and Ingrid Loos Miller

How to be a Fearless Coach * Simon Ward and Ingrid Loos Miller

February 12, 2020

Some folks think it's odd that as a Tri coach, I’m willing to interview other triathlon coaches and showcase their work, somehow weakening my own position.  The truth is, I'm inquisitive about how other coaches work and also about the journey to their current role. Take today's guest, Ingrid Loos-Miller. She is a triathlon coach based in Southern California and she has a training group called Fearless Endurance very similar in philosophy to my own SWAT Inner Circle.

So here we have two coaches, several thousand miles apart, who have never met and yet who have arrived at very similar points via a completely different pathway in order to help other athletes. That is fascinating to me.  In today’s conversation we chat about:

  • How Ingrid lost over 25kg in just over 8 months to get started on her triathlon journey, and her weight loss strategies
  • Exerting power over food
  • Becoming a Weight Watchers nutrition coach
  • How to train to be a lifeguard
  • Becoming one of the ONLY female surf lifesavers in Southern California
  • Taking on IM St George at 60
  • The philosophy underpinning Fearless Endurance

To find out more about Ingrid you can follow her on:

Facebook

Instagram

Fearless Endurance

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