100 episodes

Simon Ward, award-winning triathlon coach, sharing insights on how to improve your triathlon performance with a High Performance Human approach to life.

Simon Ward, The High Performance Human Triathlon Podcast Simon Ward

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8 • 212 Ratings

Simon Ward, award-winning triathlon coach, sharing insights on how to improve your triathlon performance with a High Performance Human approach to life.

    Balancing training and racing with the menstrual cycle and menopause * Dr Natalie Brown

    Balancing training and racing with the menstrual cycle and menopause * Dr Natalie Brown

    The female monthly cycle and how it impacts training and competition is a conversation that athletes and coaches should have. The reality is that it can be awkward for both parties, so to avoid awkwardness it usually gets pushed aside. Which means that female athletes can feel isolated in navigating this part of their life. We should also include perimenopause and menopause in that conversation as it will affect most females at some point.
     
    As a coach I do believe that we need to have these conversations, and that they should not be awkward.
     
    Education is a big part, so to help us better understand the ways in which training and competition can be managed, I have invited Dr Natalie Brown onto the show as a guest. Natalie is a research assistant for the Welsh Institute of Performance Science. She works predominately with Sport Wales, leading on research with female athletes and the impact of the menstrual cycle on sport participation and performance. In this conversation with Natalie we talk about:


     

    To truly understand the patterns of your monthly cycle, track it for at least 3 cycles
    Lifestyle factors have a huge influence on the severity of your monthly cycle
    Carbohydrate supplementation prior to HIT sessions might mitigate some symptoms
    Menstrual cycle apps are good, but listening to your body is better
    Perimenopause is ‘chaos’ but healthy lifestyle factors can help
    How to arrange your training during the menopause
    HRT for females? It depends!
    Some guidance for coaches on how to open a menstrual cycle/menopause conversation with their athlete
     
    To find out more about Natalie Brown and her work please visit these channels:
    Instagram Optimal.Period 
    Website www.optimalperiod.com, 
     
    You can find some other really good resources at the following links:
    Podcasts The Female Athlete, 
    For continued education please check out Menstrual cycle online coaching modules:
    UK Coaching resources
     
    I also asked Natalie to recommend a book. This is her choice:
    Good for a Girl Lauren Fleshman
     

    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    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.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Tri coach Jim Vance on why he wants you to have the right start line mindset for the best race day performance

    Tri coach Jim Vance on why he wants you to have the right start line mindset for the best race day performance

    My guest today is Jim Vance  There are few individuals in the world with the teaching background, elite athlete experience, and coaching experience with elites, amateurs and juniors, as well as knowledge of training and a passion and understanding of tech. Jim has been the coach to US pro triathlete Ben Kanute for 8 years. He has also written 2 triathlon books (details of which you can find in the show notes) and is a consultant to several tech companies in the Multisport space including 80/20 Endurance and Velocity, a software programme for cycle coaching.
     
    Jim and I have a great chat about the rapid advancements in technology and their impact on triathlon coaching. We get into the weeds on the physical toll of triathlon racing for pro athletes, given the ever increasing intensity of the races especially when racing in extreme heat.  Finally, and I think most importantly for you, the listener, we discussed the significance of personal harmony and relationships in achieving optimal athletic performance, and the crucial role of mental and physical preparation in triathlon. 
     
    Topics include:
    18:14 Athletes need to learn to trust themselves - "I care more about athlete mindset on the start line than I do about training."
    28:25 On harmony in your relationships - "We've got to really enhance our world. That brings more stability to it, that reduces stress."


    56:41 On how to get the best recovery and stress levels - "So what affects that recovery cycle? Home life, stress outside of it, nutrition, sleep, all those things probably come back again to relationships in your daily life."
    1:17:35 On the power of showing vulnerability - "David Warden kept getting all these questions. And he kept saying, 'Well, I don't know the answer', and  afterwards it became this crazy thing, where all these coaches just came up to him."
     
     
    To find out more about Jim please check out his Instagram page @coachjimvance

    The most popular blog post he ever wrote: https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/10-things-endurance-athletes-need-to-stop-doing/
    Other cool stuff:
    80/20 Endurance Coach Certification and community, with Matt Fitzgerald
    Book recommendation for coaches, is a book called, "Motivational Interviewing in Sports", it's a game changer! 
     
    Some of the coaches Jim mentioned have been podcast guests. You can find links to their work in the show notes for their respective episode:
    Bobby McGee
    Matt Pendola
     

    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    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.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Sleep walking, nightmares, and freezing temperatures . . but still a 3rd place finish in the 268 mile Winter Spine Challenge * Lucy Gossage

    Sleep walking, nightmares, and freezing temperatures . . but still a 3rd place finish in the 268 mile Winter Spine Challenge * Lucy Gossage

    Lucy Gossage has been around on the long distance triathlon scene for a long time, and she's instantly recognisable with her blue Erdinger kit and infectious smile. If you don’t know Lucy, she has 14 Ironman victories to her name including IMUK, IM Wales, IM Lanzarote and Patagonman (basically all the toughest ones). In 2019 she stepped back from IM racing to focus more on her work as an Oncologist in Nottingham. You’ll get a sense of how Lucy likes to challenge herself with that race resume, and today's conversation is all about another of those challenges. And they don’t really come much bigger than The Winter Spine Challenge - 268 miles on the Pennine Way in the depths of winter.
     
    It’s a non-stop event requiring participants to be self sufficient. The temperature barely gets above 0ºC, with knee deep snow and blizzards at times, and as if that's not enough the sleep deprivation can literally be a nightmare. We chat about:



     

    Weekly power strength yoga - "I just knew that I had to get as strong as I could"  
    The benefits of commuting to work and keeping it fun
    Walking poles in ultra racing - "As soon as I got them, I was like, oh my god, these are a game changer."
    Sleep walking - "The most terrifying discombobulating experience I've ever had."
    Shoe selection - "I went with Hoka Speedgoats, which many say is crazy for that terrain. But they were so comfortable."
    Sleep deprivation and cognitive function - "I could see the red lines on my Garmin where I'd gone off the course and I was like bloody hell I am actually sleepwalking."
     
    To find out more about Lucy please use these channels:


    Twitter @lucygoss Insta @lucygossage


     
     
    Link to topics we covered in the show
    NHS Blog posts
    Lucy and I talked for quite a bit at the start about the NHS and she mentioned some blog posts she had written. You can find those HERE.
    Lucy’s favourite book Shantaram:A Novel - by Gregory Roberts “It’s a long book but an incredible read."
    Developing an Iron Mind
    This is the podcast I recorded with Lucy, Helen Davis and Helen Gorman
    Developing an Iron Mind -
    How to access the Iron Mind course - https://www.thinkbelieveperform.co.uk/iron-mind/
     
    Green Runners
    Lucy talked about the The Green Runners  eco running group formed by Jasmine Harris and Damian Hall
     

    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    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.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    From elite LD triathlete to sailor * The weird world of Emirates NZ America's Cup Cyclor Dougal Allan

    From elite LD triathlete to sailor * The weird world of Emirates NZ America's Cup Cyclor Dougal Allan

    Triathletes like to call themselves multi-sport athletes. In a manner of speaking, they are. They have generally mastered 3 disciplines and combine them all in one single race.
    Today's guest, Dougal Allen, is a true multi-sport athlete of the highest order. He’s won the NZ Coast to Coast twice (run/kayak/MTB), had many victories and top 10 finishes in both IM & Challenge events, and completed many multi-day adventure races around the world. As well as running and cycling, these events have included, kayaking, rafting, inline skating, horse riding,  as well as rope work for climbing and abseiling.
     
    Dougal is a very strong cyclist and in the last 2 years he has put these skills to good use with a complete change of direction. He is now a Cyclor on board the 8 man crew defending America’s Cup for Emirates Team New Zealand. And if you're wondering what a Cyclor is, you can find out HERE.
     
    In this episode we chat about:

    Building a team and racing without ego
    Training to race, or racing to train. Which are you?
    Over-racing and losing fitness
    Boring high performance habits to ensure best performance


     
    If you’d like to find out more about Dougal Allan please visit the following sites:
    Website - http://DougalAllan.com
    Instagram: dougal_allan 
    Facebook: Dougal Allan



    Dougal Allan Mini documentary
    Trials for the role of Cyclor on board Emirates team New Zealand
    Dougal at the 2019 NZ Coast to Coast event
    YouTube video of NZ Team Emirates Cyclor’s
     
    Dougal is an ambassador for Precision Fuel and Hydration. He has written many articles for them which you can find HERE, including:
    How to balance training, work, family and life
    The art of gut training
    How a pro athlete strategically uses caffeine
     

    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    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.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    In the short term, lighter might mean faster, but we must consider longevity * Talking about RED-S with Alex Vendittelli

    In the short term, lighter might mean faster, but we must consider longevity * Talking about RED-S with Alex Vendittelli

    "The RED-S project is a club for sustainable performance. And sustainability to me brings up a few different words, I think about fueling and enjoyment. And no, no process is sustainable unless it's enjoyable. And for me, if I was to get close to a recreational race, and I started to think about race weight, that wouldn't tie in with enjoyment for me."
     
    In this week's episode of the High Performance Human, our guest is Alex Vendittelli, a RED-S Ambassador and a recreational runner. We discuss the prevalence and impact of RED-S Syndrome in athletes, emphasising the need for education and support. We also explore the intricate relationship between health and performance in sports, highlighting the importance of prioritizing overall well-being rather than solely focusing on athletic performance. We chat about the challenges of navigating unrealistic body ideals and performance pressures in sports, and the need for a more balanced approach to fitness and body image. Alex shares his personal experience of feeling pressure to conform to a certain body type after reading one specific book, and how another book rescued him from the mire. Even elite athletes with support services can get it wrong, with some openly admitting to health problems caused by an overemphasis on body image.
    Lighter might mean faster but it isn’t always healthier
    Sore legs and fatigue are not the norm when training for endurance events
    Should we be focussing on a sustainable approach to nutrition rather than a specific race weight?
    Coaches need to work on changing the mindset of athletes
    Giving yourself permission to enjoy life
     


    Alex doesn't have a social media presence. He is an ambassador for RED-S Project and you can find out more about RED-S project HERE.
     
    Some other links you might be interested in:
     
    Some RED-S articles:
    Pro Cyclist Jonas Abrahamsen - Gaining weight to achieve greatness
    Cyclist Jackson Long - When the power to weight ratio bottoms out
    Two articles related to pre-conceived ideas about how we should behave, look and live our lives to meet these 'elite standards' - examples of how trying to be what we're not, can lead to a slippery slope
    Niamh Bridson-Hubbard - A Runner’s Body
    Are athletes supposed to look a certain way? The Athletic Aesthetic - 

     
    Great LinkedIn Post by Mental Performance Coach Aaron Walsh
    The Dark Side of High Performance - can you distinguish between mastery and perfectionism?
     
    Matthew McConaughey video - Don't ask for permission
     
    Research papers:
    Carbohydrate fear, skinfold targets and body image issues: Perceptions of the nutrition culture within elite female soccer - McHaffie et al 
     Includes specific examples of things coaches have been heard saying to players etc. relating to food. 
     
    Nutrition for Female Soccer Players—Recommendations (Dobrowolski, Karczemna, Włodarek)
     
    Alex's book recommendations:
    Seven Deadly Sins: My pursuit of Lance Armstrong - David Walsh 
    Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson - Beautifully written book about Steve Jobs and how his personality was the reason for his success but also his ill health. It highlights how our behaviour and decisions will always have a knock on effect in later life. 
     

    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    Visit Simon's w

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Data rich, insight poor * How AI can help you to become a better athlete or coach * The Prof Paul Laursen

    Data rich, insight poor * How AI can help you to become a better athlete or coach * The Prof Paul Laursen

    Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is gaining more traction in our lives. It's been here awhile, but the launch of Chat GPT has really accelerated our awareness of how it can simplify our lives. AI will be a part of our athletic lives as well, certainly for the way we plan our plan, analyse, and adjust our training to get the best results.
     
    Will this benefit athletes and coaches alike? I don’t have enough knowledge on the subject to answer that but today’s podcast guest does! Prof Paul Laursen will be familiar to regular listeners of this show. He’s spoken on this show before about High Intensity Interval Training and we spoke about AI back in 2021. Since then there have been a lot of advances in AI and with his own platform Athletica.ai.
     
    If you are a self coached athlete, AI has the power to save you a lot of time with planning and improve your training prescription. Coaches can benefit too, as they'll be able to analyse much more data and improve their decision making for a larger number of athletes. Whether you're an athlete or a coach, AI will have some impact on your work, training, or data analysis. 
    In this conversation we chat about:
     
    Some of the latest gadgets that Prof is testing out
    How Athletica works for athletes and coaches
    Threats and opportunities for athletes and coaches 
    Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) is so relevant, and why athletes need some personal responsiblity 
    Coaches will never be redundant
     
    To find out more about The Prof please visit these channels:
     
    Athletica: https://athletica.ai/ 

    HIIT Science: https://hiitscience.com/ 
    Twitter - @PaulBLaursen
    Click the link to get hold of a copy of Paul’s book, Science and Application of High Intensity Interval Training

     
    New links we spoke about on this podcast were:

    Respiratory training System - https://isocapnic.com/ forget Powerbreathe. This take breath training to a new level.
    Fourth Frontier Heart rate monitor this HRM not only measures heart rate, it also tracks HRV and provides a continuous ECG during exercise.
    Strength, Power & Movement testing  If you’ve ever perform a measured vertical jump, this device makes everything a whole lot easier. In fact, you can measure the velocity of many movements.
     
    Endurance Training - Science and Practice This is the latest book by sports physiologist and coach Inigo Mujika and which features a chapter written by The Prof.
     
    To contact Beth regarding Life Coaching, please visit her website at BethanyWardLifeCoaching.uk.

     


    Sports Nutrition questions - if you have a sports nutrition question that you would like answered on the podcast, please email it to me via Beth@TheTriathlonCoach.com.
    Join our SWAT/High Performance Human tribe using this link, with a happiness guarantee! You can watch a brief video about the group by going to our website here, and join our SWAT High Performance Human tribe here.
    Purchase a copy of my High Performance Human e-book featuring more than 30 top tips on how to upgrade your life.
    If you would like to help offset the cost of our podcast production, we would be so grateful. Please click here to support the HPH podcast. Thank you!
    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.

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
212 Ratings

212 Ratings

CathyR354 ,

Top bloke, top podcast

I’ve been listening to Simon’s podcast for a couple of years. No matter the topic or guest, it’s always interesting and full of valuable information and advice. As an older (60+) athlete who wants to continue running and lifting to my best ability, his most recent episodes have been particularly relevant. Keep up the brilliant work!

RunnerClare ,

Simon Ward, The High Performance Human Triathlon Podcast

I’ve enjoyed all the podcasts that I’ve listened to. They are brilliant in terms of education and knowledge in a vast array of subjects, not just triathlons. Having just listened to the episode with Menachem Brodie, I felt inspired to write this review. I am not a triathlete but I’m currently training for a multi day sporting adventure and was keen to hear Menachem’s strength training methods. Wow! What an interview that was. It was very clear that Simon and Menachem completely hit it off, delivering a very conversational yet informative episode. I took a lot from the podcast and as a result, immediately ordered a copy of his latest book. In addition, the podcast cleared up a few unresolved questions that I had after reading his Strength Training For Cycling Performance book. It made me realise that I had been trying to cram too much into a strength session. The podcast has also galvanised me to do much more mobility work than before - something every day - rather than the haphazard ‘see if I have enough time’ method I was employing before. So, yeah, thank you. I am thrilled Simon had him on the show!

Olivia zshi ,

Great to hear those pearls of wisdom

Really enjoyed listening to Simon talking to Margaret Sills. Good solid advice built on experience and science. Entertaining to hear about the early days of triathlons and what it takes to maintain longevity and enthusiasm for the sport! Thank you. 👍🏽 Roger.

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