PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 32: Jess Learmonth

PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 32: Jess Learmonth

ON October 9, 2020 by derick.smith@zwift.com

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. Listen/follow/subscribe on SoundcloudiTunes, Spotify, or Podbean.

Play Episode 32


In this episode, we bring in British pro Jess Learmonth to talk about her ascension into elite triathlon. We also pick her brain about her E-racing experiences from this season. Jess was a somewhat latecomer to the ITU scene, but now can say she is a WTS World Series silver medalist, a European Champs silver and gold medal winner, as well as too many more podiums to count. Jess has taken all this experience and used it to bring home the recent Super League Triathlon Arena Games title in Rotterdam. 

Jess has been an avid Zwift user for a while now, with proof being her level 50(!) status in-game. This year, she used her Zwift racing knowledge when she raced in the Z Pro Tri Series Invitational earlier in the summer, which then carried over to her success in Rotterdam. Jess not only won the three-race series, but won every leg within! After the first race though, it looked as if she had played all her cards: she could barely speak as she gave a post-race interview. Looking back, Jess remembers how hard it truly felt, and thought she may have gone too hard. “I hope everyone else is feeling the same as me because if not, I’m going downhill.” Clearly that wasn’t the case as she swept the series, giving credit to her ability to suffer, an edge that she learned staring at the black line for years as an elite swimmer. 

There is no doubt that dealing with COVID and lockdowns this year has brought more elite triathletes to E-Racing. The big question is when things get back to normal, will they still race indoors? For Jess, the answer is pretty emphatic. “Definitely. Yeah. I would be a hundred percent. I absolutely loved it. I think there’s a lot more to come of it.” That’s a pretty ringing endorsement, and we can’t wait to see Jess and her fellow competitors get back to E-Racing soon, whether it be in future Super League Triathlon Arena Games, Z Pro Tri Series, or other race series on Zwift to come!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Power Up Tri Podcast without some triathlon talk going off the rails. We recap Jess’ race in Hamburg at the World Championship, spend some time bantering about whether holding a “World Champs” this year is the right call, and about the ITU’s series championship vs. a classic one day race. Jess is a truly humble champion, so lots of good perspective from her on a range of topics, and some great thoughts from Jordan on this new Power Up Tri Podcast!

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