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Dr. Dan Plews - Elite Coach - Sport Scientist / Physiologist - Kona Age Group Course Record Holder

Dr. Dan Plews - Elite Coach - Sport Scientist / Physiologist - Kona Age Group Course Record Holder

Episode 145 - Elite Coach - Sport Scientist / Physiologist - Kona Age Group Course Record Holder

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"The Greg Bennett Show"

Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg chats to Dr. Dan Plews. Dan is one of the most requested guests. Elite coach Dr. Dan Plews.

Just days after coaching Chelsea Sodaro to her debut Kona in 8:33, Dr Dan joins Greg to dissect the process of how Chelsea went from having a baby 18 months ago, to winning Kona this past weekend.

Dan discusses the training prep, nutrition, and heat adaptations, plus the mental prep that he and Chelsea went through prior to her amazing debut.

Dan Plews is an Applied Sports Scientist, Researcher and coach.

As a Sports Scientist (specialising in the area of Physiology) Dan has worked closely with athletes who have won more than 25 world and Olympic titles in the sports of rowing, kayak and triathlon. Athletes include Mahe Drysdale, Lisa Carrington, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.

As a researcher, Dan completed his PhD in the area of applied heart rate variability (HRV). This work focused on implementing and validating methods regarding the application of HRV to track training adaptation in elite athletes.

Since then, Dan has gone onto having more than 21 peer-reviewed publications in the area of applied sports science.

Dan is seriously passionate about endurance sport, particularly Ironman triathlon, where he has coached 3 athletes under the 8-hour barrier. He lives and breathes it, and is a competitive Ironman athlete himself. In 2018 he broke the amateur course record at Ironman New Zealand by more than 10 minutes in a time of 8 hr 35 min.

Dan thrives on continuous learning and being on the cutting edge of applied sports science. He often throws himself into the depths of new science, measurements and self-quantification to find out first hand the effects that they have on training adaptation.

He’s one of the world’s greatest minds in endurance sports. He has the practical and personal experience, and he has the science. Check out his website -


2:28 - Interview starts

5:36 - It's been a challenging year for one of Dan's star athletes - Javier Gomez. Dan describes his perspective on the 'highs & lows' of professional sport for a coach.

8:08 - Dan holds the course record in Kona @ 8:24. Greg and Dan discuss how fast the race is getting.

14:52 - Dan and Greg discuss at what point in the race he felt Chelsea was going to win.

19:17 - These types of wins are lifechanging for an athlete. Dan explains how he feels Chelsea can go on and win further within the sport plus also to be able to grow and deal with the success at this level.

Success breeds Success

23:26 - Dan and Chelsea met only2 years ago ... right before she had her baby. The story from that interview is extraordinary.

28:50 - Chelsea was the first athlete Dan has coached through pregnancy. So he applied his sports science knowledge and got to work on studying what he need to do coach Chelsea back to racing form.

32:46 - Chelsea chose to only take 6 weeks off from training after giving birth. Her frist goal was to get to The Collins Cup. Dan explains her training program and the path to Kona.

Chelsea's dedication to race in The Collins Cup is an inspiring story.

36:33 - Chelsea's swimming power was holding her back so they called in Paul Newsome to help and guide her.

42:33 - Dan explains the point at which he and Chelsea decided to focus on Kona.

44:48 - Greg probes Dan on his heat-adaption process for Chelsea and Kona. But do we get the full details? usually Dan is so open in sharing his wisdom.

46:51 - One of the hot topics in endurance sports nutrition at the moment is ‘carbohydrate periodization’. Dan explains his view on training to improve Chelsea's ability to make use of fat as a fuel source during exercise.

52:21 - Greg asks Dan on his views on hydration in race mode. We know that better performance can come from those who lose more body fat lose over the course of a marathon.

55:49 - On race day, what did Dan advise Chelsea in terms of keeping cool?

57:49 - Dan and Greg discuss the mental and emotional preparation for Chelsea prior to the race.

Is what I'm doing now, positively affecting the last part of my race

01:09:35 - Interview concludes


Be sure and check out

Find Greg on social media:

Find Dr. Dan Plews on social media:

Twitter: Dr Dan Plews

Chelsea Sodaro Instagram:

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