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  • Writer's pictureBennett Endurance

Lance Watson - Olympic Triathlon Gold medalist coach, Ironman University master coach

Lance Watson - Olympic Triathlon Gold medalist coach, Ironman University master coach

Episode 44: Lance Watson - Olympic Triathlon Gold medalist coach, Ironman University master coach

See below for Deals and Coupon Codes, Show notes, Timestamps, and Links

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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg Bennett chats with Lance Watson. Lance is one of the greatest Triathlon coaches of all time.

In three decades of coaching triathlon, he has coached at four Olympics and over 50 world championships. Coached more than 20 professional IronMan winners and an Olympic gold medalist, he is one of only five Ironman master coaches and was inducted into the triathlon Hall of Fame.

The athletes he’s worked with have reached the top of the world with incredible success, including Olympians Simon Whitfield and Brent McMahan…Simon of course winning the Olympic Gold in 2000, and Ironman champions Lisa Bentley, Chris Lieto, and Peter Reid.

He worked with both Laura and me for several years and personally he brought the joy back to training and racing in my career when I was feeling burnt-out and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

Lance discusses his journey into the sport of Triathlon, building the National Training Centre in Victoria Canada, and how his athlete Simon Whitfield winning the Olympic Gold affected his life.

Lance discusses how he along with Mark Allen, Dave Scott, Paula Newby Fraser, and Matt Dixon built the Ironman University coaching courses.

Lance describes his coaching style and methodology, his mental strategies for his athletes, Nutrition, and working with athletes over many years.

Incredible insights and remarkable stories. See the timestamps below for more detail.


0.0 - Introduction to show

1.39 - Sponsors

5.10 - Start to show – Introduction

6.05 - General chit-chat - Looking back - The 2000 Olympics chapter - Finding humor in training in the culture - "A happy athlete is a fast athlete" - Burn out and bringing back the love for the sport - 2001 Greg raced 13 races in 11 weeks - Victoria, Canada - 2000 to 2004 is when the sport was changing to Olympics

17.00 - Winding the clock back - Lance grew up playing ice hockey but was too small - signed up for a Triathlon in 1987 - "I had an incredible passion for the sport that I wanted to share and had good organizational skills" - Studied sports science - 25 years later and still coaching Brent McMahon - "In any bodies career when they have a real breakthrough there's a moment where you take a risk, a personal risk" - "By the late 90s I was coaching 2/3rds of the Candian National team" - Starting coaching Simon Whitfield in October of 99 - Moved to Victoria at the start of 2000 - "It just unfolded"

25.10 - The impact of suddenly being an Olympic Gold medalist coach - There was a boom in the sport of Canada - It allowed to build a coaching center in Victoria - Coaches Joel Filliol and Cliff English learned their craft - It also brought more responsibility - It was nice to be recognized for the hard work - "I was 30 years old, then I'm like, Wow that happened, there's my 25-year coaching goal done, what's next?" - It made Lance self reflect why is he coaching - why is he coaching - Managing expectations of Olympic Games - Lance had to manage emotions of Simon Whitfield and Greg

34.05 - Building the Lifesport coaching business - The travel during the Olympic cycles was too much so Lance took a step back - "I've been doing online and distance coaching since the days of fax" - It wasn't a difficult transition back to that work - Lance built the level IV coaching program for Canada - Lance's passion is coaching athletes and teaching more coaches - "The level of amateur sport is incredible and a big part of that is the proliferation and qualified coaches" - "You have a greater number of athletes that are now optimizing their potential"

38.40 - Ironman University - Lance worked with Mark Allen, Dave Scott, Matt Dixon, and Paula Newby Fraser to build an education platform for Ironman

40.10 - "Ch 1 was high-performance athletes & taking big personal risks, Ch 2 Building a National Federation training center & the professionalization of an Olympic sport, Ch 3 Coaching education & mentorship and trying to share the knowledge and information as broadly as possible"

41.00 - Developing the coaching education program along with the other IM university coaches

44.30 - The development of the sport - and working with the personalities of Ironman

47.30 - Coaching style and influencers - Distance running is Lance's passion - "The influencers early on were the athletes I worked with"

54.45- Building an athletes program - Lindsey Corbin - "What are the long term outcome and best pathway for this athlete?"

58.15- Brent McMahon - Teenager to Olympic career to 70.3 IM to Ironman athlete - working with Brent for 20+ years has meant that Lance has been fortunate to take his time building him - 7.55 hr Ironman debut in Arizona - Coaches have a moment to say something on the racecourse "what am I going to say in that moment?" "If you want to make money go do something else, this is a sport about personal excellence"

1.06.45 - Working with athletes at races - "98% of the job is done by the time the athlete gets to the start line" - "It's now in the athlete's hand" - "A great coach will be thorough in preparing their athlete before the race and trying to think through as many scenarios as possible, and giving them a complete skill set as possible" - Chris Lieto story

1.10.10 - Mental strategies - Being emotionally prepared "think of the race technically and tactically" - Lance shares story of Greg's win in 2001 - "If you're not emotionally prepared you don't get to play the game of Triathlon" - Mind Games

1.16.30 - Nutrition - "Eat wholefoods and organic when you can and pay attention to what you eat" - "I've had athletes that can't eat gels"

1.22.45 - The Future of athlete coaching - "Training indoors was taking off even before lockdown" - "Live interactive online training is here to stay" - "A sense of community is being built from all over the world" - Lance Watson Tri Club is the name of the community

1.29.00 - Lance's team of coaches at Lifesport - "Athletes work with one coach but have a whole team" Dan Smith, Philip Bertrand, Mark Shorter

1.33.00 - Favorite Training locations - Noosa Australia, Kona Hawaii race week, Vietnam IM 703, Philippines 70.3, Victoria Canada

1.35.00 - Gear recommendations "a smart trainer"

1.37.40 - Conclusion - Virtual clinics


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