The Science and Triathlon Podcast


Welcome to the World Triathlon Edmonton - Science and Triathlon Podcast! We are excited to be delivering a high-quality learning experience under a different format as part of our legacy projects. 


Our podcast starts with a series of episodes that highlight our speakers from the 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. It is a balancing act to discuss the topics they will present without giving away too much, but we are confident that you will enjoy our conversation with the experts!


You can find us on Anchor, as well as on Spotify, Google, and Apple podcasts, and more!


Show notes, papers mentioned, and others can be found below. 


We hope you enjoy it!


Episode 1 - The Holy Trinity of Training Monitoring

Dr. Stephen Seiler

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This is the first of many episodes that will feature the speakers of our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. 


In our first episode, we talk to Dr. Stephen Seiler.  Dr. Seiler will be presenting on the "Holy Trinity of Training Monitoring", on September 8th. In this episode, we discuss the importance and the reasons for monitoring training, how to do it effectively, and what the future of training monitoring looks like. Dr. Seiler also discusses the idea of developing durability, why triathletes should employ a 14-day training cycle, and why the job of the coaches is safe for the foreseeable future.  

It was a balancing act to discuss some of his presentation's topic without going into too many details about it, so we went off-topic a couple of times. Nevertheless, Dr. Seiler's experience and expertise ensure that he is always delivering high-quality content!


Hope you enjoy, and follow him on Twitter (@StephenSeiler) for more great content!



After growing up in the US and earning his doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Stephen Seiler PhD, has lived and worked in Norway for 25 years as a university teacher, researcher, and leader. He is past Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation and past Dean of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway.  Currently, Dr. Seiler is Professor in Sport Science at the same institution.  While anchored in an academic environment, Seiler has over the years served as research consultant and scientific advisor for a research foundation, sports teams, a regional hospital and the Norwegian Olympic Federation.  From 2014 to 2019, Professor Seiler was Executive Board member of the European College of Sport Science, where he founded the Elite Sport Performance Special Interest Group in 2014.

Seiler has become internationally recognized for his research publications and lectures related to the organization of endurance training and intensity distribution.  This work has included both descriptive and experimental approaches, investigating cyclists, rowers, XC skiers, orienteers, triathletes, and distance runners. His work has influenced and catalyzed international research around training intensity distribution and the “polarized training model”.  Most recently, he has developed crowd-sourced research approaches that enable endurance athletes globally to contribute to research studies linking science and practice.  Seiler has published >100 peer reviewed publications, written over 100 popular science articles and given over 100 invited lectures related to exercise physiology and the training process across Europe, the United States, China, South Africa, Brazil and Australia.  He is also a founding editorial board member of the International Journal of Sport Physiology and Performance as well as Elite Sports & Performance Enhancement section editor for Frontiers in Sports and Active Living.



Dr. Seiler's Research Gate Page

Article - What is the best practice for training intensity distribution?





Episode 2 - Confronting Inconvenient Truths: What Truly Drives Training Adaptation?

John Kiely

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This is our second episode in our series of podcasts featuring the speakers from our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. Our guest is John Kiely, who will present his work on "Confronting Inconvenient Truths and what drives training adaptation". 


In this episode, we discuss John's views on periodization, if coaches should even bother on developing a yearly training plan, and the importance of athlete-coach interactions. John also talks about his views on stress, the importance of building resilient athletes, why more technology might not always be the answer, and he also provides his answer to the question: "if you could have any data from your athletes, what would you monitor and why?". This was a great conversation, and if you want to connect with John, follow him on Twitter (@simplysportsci).  Also, check our website (www.edmonton.triathlon.org) for a link to the periodization paper we mentioned during our conversation. 


We hope you enjoy this episode!



John's career within sport has been relatively varied, having experienced life as an international competitor, coach, sports scientist and strength and conditioning specialist. During this time, John has worked directly with the coaches of Olympic and world champions in three major sports. He has coached a Paralympic track medallist and European champion, numerous combat-sport athletes, and lots (and lots!) of kids. From a team sport perspective, he has worked as the Power Training Consultant for the Munster senior rugby squad, the Director of Fitness for Garryowen Rugby Academy, and as an advisor to top professional football clubs.

Outside the sporting domain, John has consulted for both the police and the military and has performance managed the science and conditioning support for elite polar expeditions. From 2005 to 2009 John was the Head of Strength and Conditioning for UK Athletics and retains a brief role with that organization to provide direct service to current world champion and Beijing silver medallist, triple-jumper Philips Idowu and coach Aston Moore.

From an academic perspective, John graduated with an honor’s degree in sports science from the University of Limerick, and a master's degree in strength and conditioning from the University of Edinburgh. In the past, John has lectured on sports science and physical education courses at the University of Limerick, has published in both practical coaching and peer-reviewed science journals, served as an invited reviewer for top sport science periodicals, authored a book chapter, presented on various topics at international sports science conferences, and regularly present at coaching conventions.



John's Research Gate Page

Article - Periodization Theory - Confronting an Inconvenient Truth


Episode 3 - Energy Leaks and Disturbances

Coach Dan Pfaff

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This is the third episode in our series of podcasts featuring the speakers from our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. Our guest is legendary coach Dan Pfaff,  who will present his work on "Energy Leaks and Disturbances". 


In this episode, we discuss what Coach Pfaff means by energy leaks and disturbances, his concept of the 4 spheres of influence, and many of his views on athlete development and how he came to be such a successful coach. 


If you want to connect with Dan, follow him on Twitter (@PfaffSC), and check some of his work at Altis (@Altis). 



Coach Dan Pfaff is an internationally experienced and recognized educator/coach with forty-seven years of multifaceted work. He has a background in directorships of international training centers, coaching staff development, Division I intercollegiate track and field as a head coach, as well as numerous assistant coaching and teaching positions. Dan has extensive experience as a lecturer and curriculum designer for international, national, regional, state, and community level sports theory symposia and schools. He is a highly qualified leader with demonstrated abilities in integrated support team management, coach and support staff development/mentoring, and community relations. Coach Pfaff is actively involved with consulting services to a number of professional teams, support staff, and individual athletes in a variety of sports both domestically and internationally. He is also currently involved in numerous international staff and center audits with an emphasis on biomechanical efficiencies and return to play programming. He is internationally recognized as a high-performance center director having served domestically and internationally. 


Performance Overview:
Tutored fifty-three Olympians (ten medalists), fifty-eight World Championship competitors (eleven medalists), and five world record holders. Directed athletes to fifty-seven national records. This includes two Paralympic Gold medalists and two Paralympic World Records. Coached at 10 Olympic Summer Games and served on five Olympic Games coaching staff (five countries) and ten World Championships staff (six countries). Lectured in thirty-seven countries and published in over twenty countries.
Appointed coaching education curriculum chair for both the United States Track and Field Coaches Education Schools and the NACAC Caribbean Basin Project. Lead instructor for each organization at the Level I, II, and III schools. Provided consultancy to players and teams in the NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, Canadian Winter
Olympic Programs, WTA, AFL, and European Soccer Leagues. Coached twenty-nine NCAA individual national champions and one hundred fifty All-
Americans. Dan was also the lead staff member on teams that have won seventeen NCAA National Team Championships (fifteen women, two men).



Episode 4 - The Politics of Practice Design

Dr. Jim Denison

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This is the fourth episode in our series of podcasts featuring the speakers from our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. Our guest on this show is Dr. Jim Denison from the University of Alberta. Dr. Denison will be talking about the "Politics of Practice Design". 


In this episode, we discuss what Dr. Denison means by the politics of practice design, the role of the athlete-coach relationship in athlete development, his views on athlete-centered coaching, and how coaches can create a training environment that can assist in getting the best out of each athlete. 


If you want to know more about his work, please check Dr. Denison's biography below. You can also visit his research group's social media (@Research_BMC) and find more about their work here (https://sites.google.com/ualberta.ca/bmc-research-group/home). 



Dr. Jim Denison is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Canada. A sport sociologist and coach educator, his research examines the formation of coaches’ practices through a post-structuralist lens. He is also the former Director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre (2010-2014). Along with his numerous book chapters and refereed articles, he edited Coaching Knowledges: Understanding the Dynamics of Performance Sport (2007, AC Black) and co-edited Endurance Running: A Socio-Cultural Examination (Routledge, 2016) and Moving Writing: Crafting Movement in Sport Research (2003, Peter Lang). He serves on the Editorial Board of Sports Coaching Review and was co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Sports Coaching (2013, Routledge). In addition, Denison is the author of The Greatest(2004, Breakaway Books), the official biography of the Ethiopian running legend Haile Gebrselassie, and Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile (2003, Breakaway Books), a collection of in-depth interviews with a wide array of sub four-minute milers. Before coming to the University of Alberta, Denison held positions at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and De Montfort University and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Originally from New York, he earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and his Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Toledo. He is a former NCAA Division I middle-distance runner (Fordham University) with a personal best of 3:43.50 for 1500m. He was Head Boys’ Cross-country and Track Coach at Bronxville High School, New York (1986-88), Assistant Men’s Cross-country and Track Coach at the University of Toledo (1988-89), and Volunteer Assistant Men’s Cross-country and Track Coach at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1991-93).



Episode 5 - Epidemiological Aspects of Injuries and Illness in Triathlon

Dr. Veronica Vleck and Dr. David Hoeden

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This is the fifth episode in our series of podcasts featuring the speakers from our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. In this episode, we have two guests - Dr. Veronica Vleck and Dr. David Höden. Together, Dr. Vleck and Dr. Höden wrote the book chapter on "The Epidemiological Aspects of Illness and Injury in Triathlon", and this is also the topic of our conversation. Few people, if any, have collected more information on this topic than today's guests. 

In this episode, we discuss what causes injuries or illnesses in triathletes, the most common sites of injury, what are the intrinsic and extrinsic factors related to injuries, and more. Dr. Vleck and Dr. Höden also answer the million-dollar question "can we prevent injuries in triathletes?".  

If you want to know more about their work, visit their website (triathlon-research.com or fluidlife.org). 




Dr. Veronica Vleck is a former Laboratory Director of the National Sports Medicine Institute of the UK, with extensive experience in providing sports science support, across multiple sports and athlete ability levels, from novices through to Olympic medalists. She was the long-time Chair of the ETU Medical and Research Committee: organizing the first-ever European Championships coaches conference, and overseeing the medical set up for the 2012 (pre-Olympic) European Triathlon Championships. As a former Senior University lecturer, she also has considerable teaching experience in sports and exercises physiology and psychology. Veronica has over 85 academic publications, including the triathlon-specific chapters of both the IOC handbook of sports medicine on the epidemiology of injury and illness in Olympic Sports and the World Book of Swimming (Profil). Furthermore, Veronica has been both a triathlon club (age-group) Head coach and coached at the Elite (Olympic qualification) level.


Dr. David Höden is a lecturer in strength and conditioning, flexibility, endurance training, coaching, L-diagnostics, swimming, and triathlon at both the Institute of Sports Science and Karl Franzens University-Graz, as well as at the Federal Sports Academy and the College of Higher Education. Lately, both his research findings and his international working group has led him to be increasingly involved in international level sports congresses. The economist and sports scientist did his doctoral thesis- for which he won the 2017 Sports Science prize of the province of Styria – on injuries, dietary supplements, and training habits in triathletes. He also conducted research in New Zealand, Australia, and Gran Canaria as part of the work for his undergraduate dissertation on “Shoulder Pain in Swimming – Causes and Consequences.” His dissertation on this topic- one that is means a lot to David for many reasons including his former career as a competitive swimmer, his career-ending shoulder injury, and the countless hard hours of therapy that he underwent –was published as a textbook in 2013. In David´s business administration related study he focused both on the ecological quality of products and on area crisis management. David´s s final dissertation was on “crisis management taking into account the problem of Markus Rogan: effects and changes of a sporting career”. This state-certified swimming and triathlon coach is a sporting all-rounder. He is just at home in athletics as in the sport of swimming- in which he can look back on umpteen national titles as well as several state and vice-state championship titles. His training, and his many years both of top-level competitive sport and as a patient on the field of sports-related therapeutics, have enabled David to implement his practical know-how both as a coach and as a lecturer across a wide variety of areas ranging from children´s swimming to performance-focused training camps.



Dr. Vleck's Research Gate page

The Impact of Triathlon Training and Racing on Athlete's General Health



Episode 6 - Applications of the Anaerobic Speed Reserve in Triathlon

Dr. Gareth Sandford

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This is the sixth episode in our series of podcasts featuring the speakers from our 2020 Science and Triathlon Conference. In this episode, Dr. Gareth Sandford discusses the concept of the anaerobic speed reserve. A re-emerging topic in the literature, the anaerobic speed reserve has important applications in ensuring athletes can withstand the demands of an event and might play a crucial role when surges in intensity are performed.

Dr. Sandford talks about his experience collecting data over 6 and a half months, traveling to 33 high-performance centers around the globe. He explains what is the anaerobic speed reserve, why speed is an essential component to performance, and how coaches can start to implement it during practice. 




Dr. Gareth Sandford is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia based in Victoria, BC in collaboration with the Performance Innovation and Physiology teams at Canadian Sport Institute Pacific & Athletics Canada. Gareth has been in his current role since January 2019 and joins Team Canada for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic cycle having completed his Ph.D. on the 'Applications of the anaerobic speed reserve to elite 800m running,' a collaboration between Athletics New Zealand, High-Performance Sport New Zealand and AUT University. A role which included leading the endurance physiology support for Athletics New Zealand into the Rio 2016 Olympics and London 2017 World Championships, as well as conducting a 6 ½ months International collaboration traveling 68,000km between 33 high-performance track and field centers with Professional, Collegiate, and Federation coaches and athletes.


Gareth’s background in triathlon involves work with GB U21 development and Paratriathlon squads at Loughborough University in 2013, alongside more recently consulting with national coaches and practitioners in both New Zealand and Canadian national federations.



Dr. Sandford's Research Gate page

Follow Dr. Sandford on Twitter