Simon Ward, The Triathlon Coach Podcast Channel
Optimising Human Performance * Simon Ward and Dr. Tommy Wood

Optimising Human Performance * Simon Ward and Dr. Tommy Wood

November 11, 2020

My guest today is Dr. Tommy Wood.  I’m so glad to have him on, and I know you are going to love this episode!  Tommy has the ability to make the complex sound simple, and his depth of knowledge on a wide range of topics is amazing.

Dr. Wood is a research faculty at the University of Washington (UW) in the Department of Pediatrics.  His work focuses on ways to increase resilience of, and treat injury of, the developing brain.  This may not seem relevant but his knowledge of brain injuries provides some interesting comments on what we can all do if we bang our head falling from our bikes.  With a Bachelor's Degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, a medical degree from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Oslo, he has a more than credible background.  He also serves as President of Physicians for Ancestral Health, and is on the scientific advisory board of Hintsa Performance.  Of more relevance to the conversation is that Dr. Wood has invested much time in developing easily-accessible methods with which to track human health, performance, and longevity. He has published and spoken on multiple topics surrounding functional and ancestral approaches to health, including examining the root causes of multiple sclerosis and insulin resistance.  He uses his experiences in coaching and competing in rowing, CrossFit, powerlifting, and ultra-endurance racing to inform his day-to-day interaction with clients looking to achieve long-term health and performance.

I had so many questions for Dr. Wood that we spoke for quite a long time but you won’t notice the minutes tick by as we discuss:

  • How to balance winter training goals of improving fitness while still maintaining an immune system resilient enough to withstand coronavirus
  • Why a keto diet might work for endurance athletes, as long as you are patient
  • Polarised training - a good choice for longevity
  • Tommy’s "If it’s working for you, how can I argue with that?” philosophy to training and nutrition
  • Nose breathing and why it’s the easiest way to make sure you keep your training intensity low
  • Advice on getting better sleep (TIP: it’s what you’ve heard before but it never harms to have good advice independently confirmed)
  • Lifestyle medicine advice on how to die young as old as possible
  • How Omega 3 fats and creatine supplementation might help if you have a bike crash and hit your head

Tommy has such a depth of varied knowledge, I’m pretty certain you would like to follow him.  Here are the best places:

Website - https://www.drragnar.com/

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

Twitter - https://twitter.com/drragnar

“Metabolic health and lifestyle medicine should be a cornerstone of future pandemic preparedness”

Tommy mentions Dr. Terry Wahls when we were chatting about how he helped his step-brother with MS - You can read more about Dr. Wahls HERE and also find out more about her book

The Wahls Protocol: A radical New way to treat all auto-immune conditions

If you have suffered with a head injury then Tommy mentioned a book which you might be interested in, “How to feed a brain” by Cavin Balaster

If you are interested in using creatine as a supplement then the best source is Creapure.  To check the integrity of all supplements then go to Informed Sport if you are in the UK and NSFsport if you are in the USA

We talked about the benefit of sun light or bright light. A simple way to test this is to install a LuxMeter app on your phone. This is the link to the iPhone version.

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Talking with the Chief Evangelist of TrainingPeaks * Simon Ward and Dirk Friel

Talking with the Chief Evangelist of TrainingPeaks * Simon Ward and Dirk Friel

November 4, 2020

My guest today is the Chief Evangelist and co-founder of TrainingPeaks, Dirk Friel.

TrainingPeaks was formed in 2002 and is the world’s leading online training log.  It allows you to plan and record your workouts, map your routes, upload data from a training watch, heart-rate monitor, or GPS, and more.  From that point, if you choose, you can analyse the data and use that to inform future training plans.  As a coach I have been using TrainingPeaks for over 10 years now and while there are other options, I find this one to be the most comprehensive.

You may recognise the surname Friel and that's because Dirk is the son of legendary triathlon coach, Joe Friel.  As you might imagine, Dirk grew up in a very active household and from an early age found himself immersed in the sport of cycling. In his late teens he had enough talent to take a risk and try his luck in that hotbed of Northern European cycling, Belgium. This was at a time when there were very few US cyclists in Europe. The first US cycling team, 7 Eleven, had debuted a few years before and riders like Andy Hampsten and Greg Lemond were starting to make a name for themselves. Dirk eventually managed to get himself a contract with a local team and eventually a pro contract after missing out on selection for the 1992 Olympics. 10 years later, after racing pro in the growing US domestic programme, he retired and shortly after co-founded TrainingPeaks. Dirk now resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and daughter, and aside from his work at TrainingPeaks he pursues his passion for ski mountaineering (Ski-Mo).

As a Coach Education ambassador for TrainingPeaks, chatting with Dirk was a bit like interviewing your boss but it certainly didn't feel like that. Please enjoy listening in as we chat about:

  • How does a teenage cyclist from the US find himself riding with a local team in Belgium?
  • Learning to race, the hard way
  • Riding with Sean Kelly and beating Bobby Julich (3rd TdF, 1998) in the State Championship
  • Living the dream as a pro cyclist: (TIP – it’s not that glamorous)
  • How does an ex pro-cyclist keep fit in ‘retirement’?
  • The life of an entrepreneur and the goal of trying to 'replace yourself’
  • Artificial Intelligence and the future of TrainingPeaks
  • Responding to COVID19 - vulnerability & team building
  • Endurance Coaching Summit - pivoting to a virtual summit

The Endurance Coaching Summit  was originally scheduled to take place in London on Nov 18-20. Due to COVID19 restrictions this event is now a FREE conference for 2020. There are some fantastic speakers - Stephen Seiler, Gwen Jorgenson, and Stacy Sims to name but a few (see more of the speakers HERE)

To sign up for this year’s conference, please click HERE

We've teamed up with charitable partners around the world to help give back to the endurance community during this time of need. With all registration costs being waived for the 2020 Summit, we hope you will consider supporting one of these great organizations below. For every donation received, TrainingPeaks will match dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000!

To make a donation, please CLICK HERE (Simon’s note…The summit would normally cost over £200 to attend plus your travel and accommodation costs. You are saving a ton of money and getting a whole lot for FREE. How about putting just £5 of that saving to good use by making a donation?  I’ve already committed my donation!!

To follow Dirk the best place is Instagram 

Below are links to some of the subjects that we covered in the chat

If you don't already have a TrainingPeaks account sign up HERE for a FREE basic account. 

Dirk mentioned a Ski-Mo challenge that he completed Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt. Read more about that HERE

Three books Dirk mentioned

The Happiness Advantage - Shawn Achor - The seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work

Grit - Angela Duckworth - The power of passion and perseverance

Peak - Anders Ericsson - secrets from the new science of expertise

Dirk’s favourite wine - J. Lohr - Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

What should my winter training plan look like?  * Simon Ward

What should my winter training plan look like? * Simon Ward

October 28, 2020

In this week’s podcast there is no guest as I go back to solocast mode and describe how to set up your winter base plan.  In recent months I’ve chatted with some great endurance coaches and scientists such as Dr’s Stephen Seiler, Dan Plews, Paul Laursen, Phil Maffetone, and Alan Couzens. I’ve shared in depth discussions about MAF training , Polarised and 80/20 approaches, as well as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

There’s a lot of cross over with some of these theories, and because training zones are not black and white, I realize that sometimes it can cause confusion.  In this episode, my intention is to clarify all of this and give you my own ‘real world’ interpretation of how to put together a Winter Base Plan with the right balance of endurance, intensity, and strength whilst at the same time protecting you from the continuing threat of coronavirus by not pushing too hard over winter and overtaxing your immune system.

Listen in as I discuss:

  • Recap some basic physiological principles and how they apply to your training
  • Understanding your goal
  • Definitions of MAF training, how to calculate your MAF HR, and some of the variables
  • How polarised training (80/20) really works and why it’s an obvious choice for your winter training
  • How and when to insert HIIT training into your plan
  • Why I feel you should avoid “sweet spot” training during the winter

Your questions answered, including:

  • MAF HR zones for athletes over 60 years of age
  • Over-reaching - The fine balance between doing enough and too much
  • Does MAF work for all levels of athlete experience?

To calculate your MAF HR, please go HERE

Dr. Maffetone reviewed the 180 formula and offered these insights to some of the other factors which might influence your progress HERE

To listen to previous podcasts about some of today’s subjects, please click on the links below:

Dr. Stephen Seiler Talks Polarised training, Part 1 & Part 2

Prof Paul Laursen talking HIIT

Dr. Dan Plews - Training for Ironman

Dr. Phil Maffetone - Staying consistent through the winter

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Menopause Questions Answered * Simon Ward and Dr. Juliet McGrattan

Menopause Questions Answered * Simon Ward and Dr. Juliet McGrattan

October 21, 2020

It’s taken a while but finally Simon manages to pin down an expert to chat with him about menopause.  Dr. Juliet McGrattan is a former GP who after 16 years decided to hang up her stethoscope and follow her passion, using medical knowledge and experience to improve health through physical activity.

 

She wrote a book, Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health, which was published by Bloomsbury Sport in 2017 and won first prize in the Popular Medicine category at the 2018 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards. She is also the resident Health Expert for Women’s Running UK magazine and writes frequently for other paper and online publications. Juliet is the Women’s Health Lead and Master Coach for the 261 Fearless Global Network founded by Kathrine Switzer which empowers women from every race and background to find courage through running.  She is the Founder and Director of 261 Fearless Club UK and founding member and coach of local clubs 261 Fearless Club Lune Valley and 261 Fearless Club Lancaster. Finally, she worked for three years for Public Health England as the Lead Champion for Physical Activity in the North West of England.

 

In this show Dr. McGrattan answers listener questions, the request for which created a huge response. The questions covered a huge range of subjects including:

  • Why good communication skills can be the best help to your wife, partner, friend during the menopause
  • What you can do in advance to prepare for the menopause
  • Perimenopause and contraception
  • How to train through perimenopause and menopause
  • Why eating nutrient dense, real food will help you more than supplements
  • Tips for countering ‘menopause belly’
  • Hydration - what you need to know and do to counter night sweats and hot flushes
  • Raising your metabolism, building muscle mass and bone density - why you must lift heavy weights  
  • 5 simple tips to help make your life easier during menopause

To find out more about Dr  Juliet McGrattan use these links

Links:

Website https://drjulietmcgrattan.com/

Twitter @DrJulietMcG https://twitter.com/DrJulietMcG

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/drjulietmcgrattan/

FB: @DrJulietMcGrattan https://www.facebook.com/DrJulietMcGrattan/

261 Fearless https://www.261fearless.org

Blog: https://drjulietmcgrattan.com

Book: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/sorted-the-active-womans-guide-to-health-9781472924797/

We also chatted about the following resources that you might be interested in

Dr. Stacy Sims book Roar

Menopause Matters website

Research paper on the phenomenon of ’The Active Couch Potato'

UKAD Prohibited supplements list

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

No holds barred as the Grumpy Old Coaches answer your questions * Simon Ward, Steve Lumley, Marc Laithwaite

No holds barred as the Grumpy Old Coaches answer your questions * Simon Ward, Steve Lumley, Marc Laithwaite

October 14, 2020

Simon is once again joined by Steve Lumley and Marc Laithwaite as the Grumpy Old Coaches reunite for a fourth podcast. This time they are answering questions sent in by listeners and members of our Facebook tribe.  As promised, there are no holds barred so if you asked a silly question be prepared for a silly answer. Of course, the GOC’s do have a sensible side and still manage to retain some professional dignity when answering your serious questions.  In this episode:

  • Marc explains why he was imitating Magnum PI by wearing a blonde wig
  • Simon finds out he’s not as popular as he thought as he gets left off the desert island invites
  • Marc travels back in time to advise his younger coaching self not to be such a cocky, know it all
  • Advice on how to avoid low back pain and saddle sores on your TT bike
  • How to be faster in transition
  • The GOC’s fess up on their biggest ever mistakes in racing
  • How to pace your race if you have no power meter
  • Peeing on the bike during a race - yes or no?
  • Which bad habits of triathletes wind our coaches up the most?
  • Simon reveals what he was thinking when riding up Hovis Hill

Here are some links that we made reference to during today’s episode

Simon riding up Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, made famous in the Hovis advert

Magnum PI does Ironman (be warned, It's dubbed in German. Maybe someone knew the Germans would dominate Hawaii one.)

TrainingPeaks article by Dr Andy Kirkland on The Dunning Kruger effect referred to by Marc

Asker Jeukendrup website MySportScience, referred to by Steve

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

How to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible * Simon Ward and Dr. Paul Clayton

How to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible * Simon Ward and Dr. Paul Clayton

October 7, 2020

Living to 100 and getting my telegram from the Queen (actually it’ll probably be a king by then) has never really interested me that much. On the other hand, living until I’m in my mid 80’s and still having a full and active life - working, travelling, hanging out with friends, riding my bike - now that does interest me. I think I’ve said before that the triathletes I see crossing the Ironman finish line aged 80+ are a real inspiration. There is actually a term for living a healthy and active final stage of life and then passing away after a very short illness. It's called 'morbidity compression’ and today’s guest is an expert on how we can make this happen.

Dr. Paul Clayton is a  clinical pharmacologist and pharmaco-nutritionist. He states, “I obsess about food, nutrition and health so that you don't have to”.  I don’t think I need to remind you that in recent years I’ve become much more focussed on health, and how nutrition plays a big part in this and subsequently in our athletic performance.  According to Dr. Clayton, we (as humans in the western world) are much less healthy than the mid Victorian navigators (the labourers who dug the canals and railways by hand). In fact, the Victorians were poster models for morbidity compression, with males enjoying life spans very smilier to our own but being healthy and active for much much longer.

If you are interested in the actions that you can take to live a full and active life, then you’ll find many simple ideas in this podcast as we chat about:

  • Why your athletic performance will always be sub-optimal if your nutrition is below par
  • The Victorian navigator daily workload and why it would cripple most 21st century humans
  • What your grandmother had in common with Hippocrates
  • Why you should get an allotment
  • You’ve finished an Ironman, but are you really that healthy?
  • Dr. Clayton’s top tips on how to live a healthy and active old age
  • Some advice for those who work night shifts, especially rotating shift patterns
  • Why you should avoid the medical profession if you want to live long and healthy

To follow Dr. Paul Clayton the best place is his website, https://drpaulclayton.eu/

And you should definitely visit the Blog page on Paul’s website HERE as well as the page titled ‘White Papers”  including the subject matter for this podcast

Health Extension - a better road to life extension

Dr. Clayton has written 5 books

Strengthening your Immune system - How to fight infection, allergy and auto-immune disease

Let Food be your Pharmaco-Nutrition

After Atkins and other low carb diets

Out of the Fire - why chronic inflammation is the root of all disease, and how to put out the flames

Health Defence - how nutrition is the key to a maximum healthy lifespan

We also talked about the working life and diet of the Mid Victorians. You can read more about those in these 3 papers, titled “An unsuitable and degraded diet? . . “

Part one: public health lessons from the mid-Victorian working class diet

Part two: realities of the mid-Victorian diet

Part three: Victorian consumption patterns and their health benefits

For more information on health protocols, please email mdorricott@yahoo.com

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

The best way to stay consistent through winter * Simon Ward and Dr. Phil Maffetone

The best way to stay consistent through winter * Simon Ward and Dr. Phil Maffetone

September 30, 2020

This week we bring back one of our most popular guests, Dr. Phil Maffetone.  This show is from the archives, if you can remember all the way back to July 2019.  It's just as timely now as it was then, maybe more so as we're heading into the winter months.

In this episode, Phil discusses:

  • A recap on how to determine your true MAF heart rate
  • The relationship between MAF HR, aerobic threshold, maximal fat oxidation and why MAF is actually better and more reliable than expensive and time consuming lab tests
  • How heat can affect performance, and how to adjust accordingly
  • Why it’s ok to consume sugars from natural sources like honey and berries, and how the body treats them differently to refined sugars
  • Dr Maffetone's simple prescription for a disease free life of optimal performance
  • Why Phil loves fartlek training for intensity
  • What you must do if MAF isn’t working for you

In this episode we also discussed the following items/links:

2 week test to determine carbohydrate intolerance

The Overfat Pandemic why athletes who do lots of training may still look fat

Athletes: Fit but unhealthy

Fartlek training

The MAF test

You can find Dr Phil Maffetone at various social media sites including:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/philip.maffetone

Twitter @DrPhilMaffetone 

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Why the gut is the second brain * Simon Ward and Bella Lindemann

Why the gut is the second brain * Simon Ward and Bella Lindemann

September 23, 2020

I’m excited to introduce this week’s guest, Bella Lindemann, who is a specialist in functional diagnostic nutrition and whose area of expertise is the gut, and specifically those individuals who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and associated complaints.

The gut is often referred to as the second brain. As humans, we give the gut a lot of credit for the way we think and act and it crops up time and again in phrases that we probably don’t even realise we are using, such as “I have a gut feeling” and “trust your gut”.  Everything you eat or drink goes through the gastro intestinal (GI) tract, which is like a garden hose filled with bacteria, good and bad. In fact, this ecosystem is known as the microbiome. As well as digestion, these bacteria have a huge influence on the immune system and consequently our health.  Many of you have probably experienced an upset stomach after a spicy meal or over consumption of alcohol.  And many triathletes, including myself, have endured a wide range of gut issues, especially in longer distance events.

This is a fascinating podcast and may well answer many of your gut related questions. If it doesn’t, please let me know so that we can get Bella back on for another show to answer your specific queries. Topics we chat about in this show include:

  • Common gut issues and why they occur
  • The importance of eating a diverse range of fruits and vegetables (see my challenge HERE)
  • Yet another expert suggests avoiding refined sugars and processed foods
  • Grape polyphenols and why a daily glass of red wine might be a good thing
  • Runners tummy and how to overcome the problem
  • Should you take pre or probiotics on a regular basis?
  • Does IBS really exist and is there a cure?
  • Why you get GI problems during long distance triathlons
  • The ‘Clean 15’ and ‘The Dirty Dozen’
  • Bella’s top 5 tips for a healthy gut

To find out more about Bella and her services, please use the links below

Website - The Functional Gut Health Clinic

Facebook - www.facebook.com/bellalindemann/ 

Links to other topics we discussed

"No Guts, No Glory” The Outside magazine article on the American Gut project

The British Gut Project

Blog post - Leaky Gut and food sensitivities

Blog post - everything you need to know about IBS

Blog post - all you need to know about Constipation

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

Dave Scott opens up about depression, rinsing cottage cheese, and Simon’s new hairstyle * Simon Ward and Dave Scott

Dave Scott opens up about depression, rinsing cottage cheese, and Simon’s new hairstyle * Simon Ward and Dave Scott

September 16, 2020

The word “legend” is used too frequently these days, like describing the pizza delivery guy who arrives when you’re hungry.  However, in the case of this week’s guest, calling him a legend is absolutely the right word.  Dave Scott is “The Man”! He’s won the Ironman World Championships no less than 6 times and in its early days he was dominant. He retired and then made a comeback at the age of 40, finishing second behind rising star Greg Welch. Since his last Ironman in 2001, Dave has carved out a career as a triathlon coach (advising other Ironman World champions such as Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington) and motivational speaker.

When I first started in triathlon, there were no coaches but I did manage to find a triathlon book, Dave Scott Triathlon Training, which I still have to this day. In fact, I managed to get it autographed by Dave when we met for the first time at the Eilat triathlon in 1989.

Dave is a forthright character and isn’t afraid to voice his opinion.  When you listen to this conversation you’ll get real insight to one of the greatest Ironman triathletes ever, including:

  • How depression sometimes meant Dave struggled to even start his sessions
  • Following the low fat/high carb Pritikin diet and why Dave did a 180 and adopted a Keto diet
  • Rinsing cottage cheese to get rid of the fat
  • When you have been an Ironman world champion and you develop heart problems
  • Dave Scott on strength training for triathletes
  • Why Ironman have done a good job during the COVID19 pandemic
  • PTO and why it’s a great opportunity for professional triathlon

If you would like to follow Dave you can find him on all of the social media channels listed below. 

The best place to find him is his website https://davescottinc.com/ where you can sign up for his regular newsletter

Twitter https://twitter.com/davescott6x

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/davescott6x/

YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/user/davescottinc/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/davescott3/

Dave and I chatted about many topics and made references to other resources.

These are the books Dave has been inspired by

The Perfect Mile - The race to break the four minute mile

Thinking Fast & Slow - Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize

The 3 year swim club - The untold story of “sugar ditch” kids in Maui and their quest for Olympic glory

Road to Valour - Gino Bartali: Tour de France legend and WW2 hero

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

I have some questions about polarised training * Simon Ward and Dr. Stephen Seiler part 2

I have some questions about polarised training * Simon Ward and Dr. Stephen Seiler part 2

September 9, 2020

Dr. Stephen Seiler is back and this week he is answering listeners questions including:

  • A dumbed down recap of polarised training
  • Enjoying your training and 4 other key benefits of polarised training
  • How to use the Karvonen method (heart rate reserve) to find the right HR zones without testing in the lab
  • How does strength training fit with polarised training?
  • Time crunched athletes - Should I ignore polarised and just train hard all the time?
  • How to gauge your effort without a HR monitor  - understanding breathing patterns
  • Should I use the polarised approach to training all year round?
  • Does age affect the benefits of polarised training?
  • You can follow Stephen Seiler on these social media channels

You can follow Stephen Seiler on these social media channels

YouTube - sportscientist

Twitter - StephenSeiler

Facebook - stephen.seiler

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

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

Links to all of Simon's social media channels can be found here

For any questions please email Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com

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