PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 19: Dan Plews

PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 19: Dan Plews

ON December 17, 2019 by Zwift

The PowerUp Tri Podcast is hosted by former pro triathletes Matt Lieto and Jordan Rapp, who lend their in-depth knowledge of the multisport to the Zwift Tri audience.

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This week the crew brings on the coach of the Zwift Academy Tri to talk all things ZA Tri, but also to chat about an often asked about topic – heat acclimatization.  Dan is a physiologist, sports scientist, and researcher. He is also a top-level triathlon coach and the fastest ever age group athlete at Kona. He’s all about low carbs, high fats, and heart rate variability. Sound like a reliable source on the topic? We think so.

In triathlon, a lot of racing tends to be in warm locations, but most of us are not training in climates that mimic the race conditions we’ll face. Having been the fastest ever amateur in Kona coming from New Zealand, Dan has some very good insight on how to best prepare for this scenario. Dan values focused work to allow your body to adapt appropriately. He tells us about his prep for Kona that started with a 2-week camp in Kona and ended a few weeks prior to the race. His prep continued, though, when he was home for 2 weeks prior to the race. “We’ve got a heat chamber, we’ve got saunas, we’ve got everything that we need… I was there for two weeks and I used that period to keep all those adaptations in place.”

It is quite important to realize that any heat acclimatization protocol is essentially stress on the system to help you adapt to the conditions. Being aware that this stress could put you “over the edge” in training and cause a setback in your progression is important. I point out that I would play it by ear when doing such prep periods if I felt my body was under the stress of overtraining or sickness. I usually did a 10-day sauna protocol a couple of weeks before events. But if I was ‘on the rivet,’ as they say, I would skip it or I would skip some hard training days because you would just get drained and have adverse effects in the end.

On top of a “deep dive” into this subject, we take the opportunity of having Dan on to bend his ear on his super-popular workouts for the Zwift Academy Tri program. Dan focuses on workouts that are fun to ride but will also show the markers he’s looking for to show an athlete’s strength over the distance.

With over 75,000 people signed up for the program, there is no doubt he’s going to make a lot of people suffer through his workouts.

As always, there’s lots of good trash talk with recent happenings that’s bound to get us into some trouble! Tune in and enjoy.

Don’t forget, Zwift Academy Tri ends on January 11th. Sign up a group workout or race online or in Zwift Companion, or select a ZA Tri 2020 workout in the workout folder. Complete all 12 ride & run workouts and races for your chance to be on the team!

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