[Transcript] – The Life Of Physician & Pro Triathlete Tamsin Lewis

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/lifestyle-podcasts/physician-pro-triathlete-tamsin-lewis/

[00:00] Introduction

[02:56] How Tamsin Ended Up Being a Doctor and Pro Triathlete

[06:49] Training with Brett Sutton

[10:15] Tamsin's Current Coach

[14:46] Health Issues Tamsin Had To Deal With And Also Noticed With Others

[18:57] Tamsin’s Diet

[22:37] Strength Training, Muscle Mass, and Endurance Athletes

[24:14] Cardiovascular Issues in Triathletes

[32:42] What's Next For Tamsin

[36:15] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It's Ben Greenfield.  And I got to admit, it's actually not very often that I get professional triathletes onto the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  There's not really a specific reason for that.  It’s just that we have so many medical experts, and nutritionists, and fitness gurus coming on that there's only so much time left.  But it just so happens that I was able to stumble across somebody that's kind of all those things wrapped into one, a physician, a professional triathlete, somebody who's a real expert in the realm of fitness and diet, and just a wealth of knowledge, and we get the privilege of having her on today's podcast.  Her name is Tamsin Lewis, and Tamsin, thanks for coming on the call today.

Tamsin:  Happy to be here!  Great to talk to you all.  I hope I can impart some knowledge along the way.

Ben:  Now you're, right now, getting ready to race.  Like you're in France, right?

Tamsin:  I'm actually post-race.  I raced in Alpe d'Huez Triathlon yesterday.

Ben:  How'd that go?

Tamsin:  It went really well, actually.  It's sort of like a world-class field.  Rocked up with Caroline Steffen, and Emma Jackson, the ITU athlete, and some other ITU athletes.  I actually ended up second after a strong bike ride.  So, I was pretty happy.

Ben:  Wow.  That's not bad at all.  That's not bad at all.  So folks, she backs it up.  She's actually fast as well as knowledgeable.  Who won that race?

Tamsin:  Emma Jackson, the Australian ITU athlete.  I was a couple of minutes behind after a not-so-wonderful swim in the freezing cold water here.

Ben:  Still though.  You look at Caroline Steffen, she was leading the race for most of Ironman World Championships last year, right?  You beat her?

Tamsin:  Yes.  I mean, it's not really her type of race.  It's literally up the mountain, so, yeah.  But it's still nice to pass her on the bike.

Ben:  Yeah.  She is a big girl.  What do they call her?  Xena?

Tamsin:  Yeah.  Warrior Princess.

Ben:  So, what's your story?  How'd you get involved in the sport of triathlon and then throw becoming a doctor and a professional triathlete into the mix?

Tamsin:  It's kind of like, I would say I stumbled upon it, but that wouldn't be quite true.  I was a very sporty child.  My dad was a professional cyclist, having competed in the Tour de France twice and National Road Race Champion for Great Britain a few times.  So, I kind of grew up around that kind of sporting atmosphere, but my mum was very academic and sort of pushed me along the academic path.  So, I competed as a swimmer as a child up until the age of about 13, and then I did some running, but nothing really, to a high level.  And then I got into academia and kept fit, but nothing really extraordinary.  And it wasn't until I was at medical school, I ran the University of Bath's and I was pretty good, but never really committed to any training.  I was too busy studying, or drinking, unfortunately.  So, it was after my first year as a houseman, I think you call it your resident year in the States, I was fed up with feeling kind of unfit.  I was working while I got sense and then drinking at the weekend and my whole weekend was just spent in a blur.

So, a friend of mine, who I actually quite liked at the time, sort of like a boyfriend-to-be, as it were, got me into triathlon.  He was [0:04:22] ______ triathlete, and he said, “Come on, Tammy.  You've got to just do one.”  And after putting it off two years, I just finally got on the start line, did a few hours of training a week, and did a very well.  I mean, it's a classic sort of story.  You walk up on a half beaten up bike and I did really well in my age group somehow.  I don't know how.  I think what carried me through is the fact that I have that ability to push, to push past limits and just kill myself in the race.  So, that's how I got into it.  And the bug bit, as it were.  And you know, as with triathlon, you can always improve on something, so, that's what happened.

Ben:  Has it helped you to be a doctor?  Like have you relied on some of that knowledge that you picked up studying medicine to kind of like biohack your way into being a better triathlete or something like that?

Tamsin:  I'd like to say yes, but it actually hindered me during my time with teamTBB and Brett Sutton, which I know we're going to talk about in a bit more detail, but because he's very sort of anti-doctors, and anti-white coats, and anti-science and published sort of same race.  So, we came to loggerheads and argued quite a lot about things.  And he also says that, some of the great athletes do switch their head of and just race, and I used to struggle to do that.  Now, I can do it a bit better.  But I think in terms of now, learning more about my nutrition, keeping on top of things, strength and conditioning, et cetera, definitely my physiology knowledge and my nutrition knowledge has helped me, especially this season as I'm having a pretty good season.  It's been my best yet.

Ben:  Yeah.  I definitely want to dig in to kind of like what you eat when you're out there racing and if you follow some kind of a special diet or anything like that.  But first, let's talk about Brett Sutton.  Because, for people listening who don't know what he is, he's kind of a legendary coach in triathlon who's known for being extremely, kind of like hard to race for.  He throws out some pretty tough training programs, doesn't he?

Tamsin:  Yes.  And it was a baptism of fire for me because I literally won the World Age Group Championships as an age-grouper and Olympic distance, and a mutual friend of Brett and mine put us in touch.  And he basically got me out to Thailand where they had a training base and gave me a two-week trial and said, right there, I take you on, thinking, probably slightly naively, that I was going to be the next Chrissie, because Chrissie Wellington, that is four-time Ironman world champion, because he thought we had similar physiology.  It wasn't quite the case.  So, I got on board with him then, but I couldn't agree with a lot of the physiology in his training.  Half of it, I thought was amazing.  Excellent.  But the other half, I couldn't see the point.  But it's only in hindsight that I realize that a lot of it was just about mental toughness, just training for the sake of mental toughness.  Did some crazy seven-hour sessions that people used to do, and you've probably heard the story about running a marathon on a treadmill in a room bigger than a bedroom, a tiny box.

Ben:  That's nuts.  And so what happened to your body when you trained in that environment.  I mean, did you thrive?  Or what exactly kind of flushed out from that?

Tamsin:  Some people do thrive in that environment.  And typically, some people to thrive for a short period of time.  I think why it didn't work for me, two reasons, is that I came from a background of two years of Olympic distance racing.  I hadn't done any form of strength and conditioning.  And Brett classically does these long track sets of 20 times, 800 meters, sort of an extension of YASSOs 800s, but 20 to 30 of them.  And I got injured.  I got a hamstring tendonopathy quite quickly because my glutes, my glute maximus and minimus wasn't working, activating.  I got the same injury as Chrissie Wellington got when she started training with him, which is classically because you weren't pre-conditioned for the intensity and duration of the training.  So, that was one thing.  And because he doesn't like typical physiotherapists and scans, so he wouldn't let me get it scanned for a long time.  And so, it kind of progressed and became chronic.  And we kind of fell out a bit about that.  So, that was one reason.

But a lot of his sessions stick with me now.  I know I have to swim a lot.  He taught me that as a non-swimmer.  A lot of his training is based on swimming.  I mean they swim six days a week.  A lot of volume and a lot of paddles, [0:09:19] ______, strength work, and that definitely stayed with me.  But he wanted me to race Ironman in the first six months of being with him, and I'd only done one or two Half-Ironmans in that time and I wasn't ready mentally.  So, we parted ways, and on good terms.  I should say that I met up with him here, because he comes to Alpe d'Huez every year with the teamTBB.  We get on very well and have lots of exchanges.  So, it's always interesting to hear what he has to say because he has an amazing insight into the Ironman world and WTC Organization, et cetera.

Ben:  You went from Coach Brett Sutton over to a different kind of famous coach, Cliff English.  Was that a lot different in terms of the coaching experience and the kind of workouts that you did?

Tamsin:  It was completely different.  I should mention that my first coach in triathlon was Michelle Dillon.  Have you heard of Michelle Dillon?  She's an ex-Olympian, and she coached me as an age grouper, and then I went to Brett.  And she recommended Cliff English to me, actually, because she didn't have the experience with longer distance racing.  So, Cliff is, he's an incredible coach.  He's very positive, incredible amount of energy and very different from Brett.  Brett tends to thrive on a lot of negative feedback and punishment, almost.  You find yourself, I felt like when I was with Brett that I was almost going back to school.  It’s very domineering relationship and a very submissive relationship, whereas Cliff English is very much more open for discussion, for debate.  There's a lot of feedback going on, whereas Brett, he famously said to me, “If I want you to push a peanut with your nose on the running track, then you're going to effing do it.”  And I was like, “Uh, okay?”

So that was his way of dealing with things.  I found him impossible to work with because he'd say one thing and then do another, and there wasn't a lot of consistency in what he would say.  But, he did it on athletes differently, and that was my experience.  I know it's not everyone's experience.  But of every athlete that you hear that does well with Brett, we don't hear about the ones, the eggs smashed along the side, and I think that's important to keep into perspective.  But he can overdo it sometimes.  Cliff English is very much more quality-based.  What I found difficult with Cliff is that he was based remotely.  I'd come from a situation with Brett where I was in a very close-knit team environment, which was incredible, in hindsight as an experience, I got to train along the likes of Steffen and Jodie Swallow, James Cunnama, Dave Dellow, et cetera, and built some very strong friendships.  And then Cliff English worked remotely.  Most of my coaching was online.  I only met him on a couple of occasion, and that's why our relationship ended, because I needed something more hands-on.

Ben:  And now you're working with a local hands-on coach?

Tamsin:  Yes.  I was in Hawaii last year, not competing but I was working in the medical tent in Kona, which is a fascinating experience, and I got to spend a week under the guidance of Darren Smith.  I don't know if you've heard of him, Dsquad Darren?

Ben:  Yeah.  He and I are actually co-presenting, I think, at the Global Business Triathlon Conference in London.

Tamsin:  Yes.  He is a fascinating, fascinating person.  And he coached Lisa Norden to the Olympic silver, and he coaches Jodie Stimpson, Anne Haug, the current Olympic Distance ITU World Champion.  And he completely revamped my swim in Hawaii within a week.  Changed me from a six beat kicker to a two beat kicker, taught me how to use my forearms instead of just feeling the water with my hands, and he recommended my current coach, who's called Tom Bennett, who lives local to me actually, because Tom had spent three weeks working with Darren, and he thought we'd be a good fit.  And I was a bit hesitant because coming from Cliff and Brett, and thinking, “I'm going to be working with an up and coming coach, but one with not much experience,” but it hasn't proven out like that.  He's been, we have a great relationship.

Ben:  Got it.  Alright.  Well, cool.  Let's dig into the stuff that you're really an expert in, Tamsin.  And I would say that, as a doctor, you probably have a unique perspective on kind of like the rigors of training for triathlon, especially at the professional level.  For you, what kind of health issues have you personally had to deal with or maybe have you witnessed going on around you in the community of athletes who are just exercising and exercising a lot?  And what have you learned in the process?  And I realize it's a loaded question and there's probably a lot of little things, but what are some of the major things that you think we should hit on?

Tamsin:  I think, I'll try and keep it quite succinct, but the two main things, splitting into men and women, because I get a lot, I get asked a lot of question from a variety of athletes online.  In terms of female athletes, I think it's very important to keep on top of nutrition.  People get obsessed with weight and being as lean as they can because they think it's going to help their run, but actually strength endurance wins out every time in a race.  It's a strong athlete that gets to the finish line.  So, the one key thing, and I know you talk a lot about it, Ben, is keeping on top of your iron stores.  Many, many, many athletes, including myself, run low iron, ferritin stores the whole time.  And I know for me, I was running along at about 10 last year.  And when I met you at Thailand, when I came back, I was down at eight and my GP's like, “We really need to get this sorted.”  And you feel like you're kind of running through mud.  You just kind of explain that you just feel this general fatigue, your recovery's impacted hugely.  For me, it affects me mostly on the bike.  I seem to lose strength.

So, from that, I've learned that I need to stay on top of replacing my iron.  And I didn't cope very well with the stronger iron supplements like ferrous sulfate.  They upset my stomach.  So I actually use what you recommend a lot, and that's Floradix.  I take that three times a day, and that keeps me topped up and feeling good.  And I think many women need to be tapping into their blood [0:16:23] ______ and keeping an eye on their ferritin levels.  And also their full blood count as well, because I do see anemias popping up with female athletes too.  So, that's the one thing that, the main thing that I've come across in terms of nutrition.  I also think people, when they're getting too lean and undernourished, lose their periods.  And again, that can affect their bone density, et cetera, and I've come across some people with that problem.

Ben:  Have you used medications, or herbals, or different foods to kind of try and mitigate some of those hormonal issues?

Tamsin:  Well, for me, because I had a stress fracture last year, I got my bone density checked.  And thankfully, that was all normal.  But I started to take another thing that you like, which is colostrum.  I use this supplement called Neovite, which we have over here in the UK, which is bovine colostrum, and I think that contains what you say, lactoferrin.  So, there's some evidence that can help with the bones.  That's one thing.  I also was on the pill for a long time, probably for about 10 years.  But one of the biggest changes I think in my performance, and my recovery, and strength, etcetera has actually be to come off it, which happened in March this year.  And I seem to have become a lot stronger and a lot more consistent in my performance since then.  And I have read up, and I've read what you've said about it and listened to your podcast on it, and I do think it's to do with B vitamin metabolism as well, the blocking of testosterone.  So, that has really benefitted me.  I didn't want to think it would, but it definitely has.  So, I would say to a lot of people, if you are concerned about that, there are a ton of methods of contraception out there which don't all have to involve hormones.  So, do question and ask your physician.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Now…

Tamsin:  Sorry, while we're still on that.  With guys, one thing I have come across in many men athletes is a lot of guys become low on testosterone, so I think that's something that they need to keep an eye on [0:18:43] ______ .  And also for guys, ferritin as well.  I mean, it's an issue for men too.  So, I think that's two things that guys need to be aware of too.

Ben:  Do you follow a specific diet yourself?

Tamsin:  You know what?  People ask me that because I do tend to leanness.  I think that's because I'm blessed with good genetics from my dad.  I'm very, this year in particular, and probably starting last year, I've become very much on top of my diet.  Taking the colostrum, I also take magnesium citrate, which I know that you advise.  I take spirulina, I juice greens all the time.  I particularly have eaten more fat this year and probably much less, I've never been a big carb person anyway.  Probably stems back to my, when I experienced an eating disorder in my teens.  I've always tended towards lean proteins.  But I used to be quite fat avoidant, and that's something that I've changed up and I really think it boost my immune system, to eat more healthy fats, nuts, seeds, avocados, hemp oils.  I also use a supplement called Nordic Oil, which is a high-quality fish oil.  So, I'm very on top of it.  People would say it's obsessive, but I do a lot, I like chocolate, I love red wine, and I know that's beneficial as well.  I'm not a Nazi with it.  I will allow myself to eat [0:20:13] ______.

Ben:  Yeah.  Unless you pay attention to the recent study on resveratrol, and then you're going to die from red wine.  Or at least not get any benefits from your exercise sessions, right?

Tamsin:  I haven't actually read that one.  Maybe you should send me that.  I don't want to hear it.

Ben:  It was a study they did on, I actually talked about it in a recent podcast, on synthetic resveratrol supplementation.  They gave these exercising men 250 milligrams a day of resveratrol, which is a lot more than what you get in wine, but it actually is what a lot of people are taking.  And it blunted the response to exercise or it simply resulted in a similar, slightly lower response to exercise.  And there were a bunch of kind of problems with the studies, in addition to being a synthetic nasty resveratrol pill.  But, yeah.  Anyways, so, there you go.  Your red wine might be holding you back.

Tamsin:  I don't think so.  I do swear by it for a number of reasons.  But I think the whole thing about antioxidants and blunting the response to exercise, I've been big on that.  I don't take a thousand milligrams of vitamin C anymore after reading some of the studies.  And high dose anything to me, apart from talking about fish oils and things like that, selenium, any of the antioxidants, I'm slightly weary of because we need some inflammation in our muscles in order to adapt, and strengthen, and improve.  I don't know what your view is on that.

Ben:  Yeah.  My view is that most of the studies are done in people who do not need antioxidants to the level that the hard charging athlete actually needs them.  So, we really can't draw many correlations between some 70-year old obese, sedentary individual and an Ironman triathlete.  I know I feel better when I take them and I get sick less, so, I take 'em.  And that's kind of where I stand on it right now.  But speaking of beating your body up, you also, I assume, do some strength training.  Or have you been able to, I know that, especially for, we just talked about climbing hills, and Alpe d'Huez triathlon, and body size, and stuff like that.  Do you kind of find that there's a balancing act between lifting weights and strength training and kind of not putting on too much muscle, especially for an endurance athlete?

Tamsin:  Yes, I do.  But a lot of athletes come into this sport with added bulk anyway.  Perhaps not females, but guys definitely have it.  I mean, you, yourself, you were an ex-bodybuilder, weightlifter.  So, it's hard for people to actually drop that muscle too into the more lean shape for triathlon.  But on the other hand, that gives you a good strength base in order or build on for the endurance sport.  I didn't have a strength base, so I suffered the consequences and got injured early on.  And as a result of that, now do some strength training.  I don't, I mean, perhaps mostly over winter, I do a lot of squats, I do a lot of body work stuff, I do a lot of one-legged work, working on proprioception, glute activation, et cetera.  But I don't lift weights per se.  I do a lot of specific work, like I do a lot of hill climbing, big gear work in the bike.  I do a lot of paddle work in the pool, and running hill work similarly, and working on my technique and efficiency.

Ben:  Got it.  So, we haven't really touched on this too much about your website.  You have a website at sportiedoc.com, and we'll put a link to it in the show notes.  But you have a blog there, and you recently wrote a bit about heart damage and cardiovascular issues in triathletes.  And I know that you kind of have a stance on that.  What are your feelings when it comes to how our hearts, specifically as endurance athletes, are holding under what we're doing?

Tamsin:  Well, the studies that I highlighted in that blog is that they were concerning and they were alarmist.  They were basically showing that Ironman and repeated marathons were causing damage to the heart, even though we all think it's a very healthy thing to do.  The repeated stress on the heart in some individuals was causing scarring of the heart tissue and a predisposition towards rhythmic changes in the heart, which can be quite dangerous.  I think the main take home point, and I've done a lot of reading and spoken to quite a few cardiologists about this is that for the extremist, the people end up in the medical tent every time they do an Ironman, or a Half Ironman, or a marathon are potentially causing themselves long-term damage to their heart, which we won't know about until they're sort of 50, 60 years of age.  And that damage is irreparable at that stage.  It's basically like having mini heart attacks in the heart.  So, I do think it's something that we should be aware of, allowing adequate recovery.  And then pre-conditioning for an event, turning up to an event undertrained, grossly undertrained and getting yourself into a real state is obviously not going to be good for your heart because it is a muscle like any other muscle.

Ben:  Are you concerned about yourself?  Do you ever wonder, when you're out training, or whatever, lying awake in bed at night, or just kind of like living life, do you ever wonder about your own heart?

Tamsin:  I'm very aware of it now.  Much more so since I've been reading these studies, I monitor it with a similar system that you use, and I do my morning heart rate, et cetera.  And I have an appointment with a cardiologist later in this year to go through a whole battery of tests, but I think…

Ben:  What tests are you going to do?

Tamsin:  Well, I'm going to do sort of 48-hour ECG, which is like a tracing of the heart.  So, I'll wear a monitor for 48 hours and go about my normal daily life and training to see if they pick up any arrhythmogenic changes and beat difference in the heart.  I'll also, potentially for research purposes, do a nuclear medicine scan, which is where they put an injected dye into the veins and they watch the heart beating.  They give something, a stress to increase the heart rate to see if there's any changes in the heart muscle.  So, I'll also do that.  And some instances, a cardiac MRI scan can pick up small bits, calcium deposits in the heart.  But these tests can show up false positives in some people, so they might be concerning us unnecessarily.  I think the main thing is if you have a family history of heart disease, I think you should see your physician and go through a battery of tests, if there's any history of sudden death in the family, et cetera.

Ben:  So, do you think kind of like the gold standard is that nuclear scan?

Tamsin:  I think, and my impression is, I think you need to have different things.  I think you need to get the hormones, the cardiac enzyme measured, and they've done this in athletes.  And I don't know if you know, after triathlons, and they've found that they have very high levels of troponin, which is a cardiac hormone caused by damage to the heart muscle.  So, I think measuring the cardiac hormones, doing a nuclear medicine stress test, and the ECG monitoring of the heart would pick up most cardiac problems.

Ben:  Interesting.  It's something that you can probably, can you get that covered by insurance over in the UK?

Tamsin:  Possibly.  I'm sure it would be difficult, but if things, if you had a, yeah, there would be difficulties, but it would be possible.

Ben:  Hmm.  Interesting.  Yeah.  I know over here in the States that it'd be tough.  I think it probably costs about a grand or so, out-of-pocket, to get one of those scans done.  But yeah, it's something that I certainly think about quite a bit in terms of just wondering not only what my heart looks like, but the guys who are 20 years older than me that I coach or who are out there competing alongside me in triathlons.  I always just kind of wonder that it'd be nice if we just had some kind of Star Trek-y handheld scanner that we could just check with, right?

Tamsin:  It would, like a portable echocardiogram, like an ultrasound machine.  But they're only as accurate as the people, the skill of the person that's using it.  So, perhaps in 10 year's time, we'll have something that's much more user-friendly and we can biohack to the max.

Ben:  Yeah.  There we go.  That's what I'm looking forward to.  But you track your heart rate variability though?  Is that what you were saying?

Tamsin:  I do.  My coach keeps an eye on it as well.  I'm very heart-aware, and sometimes I do get sort of a double beat, et cetera and I'm just aware of it and I think that more and more people should be more aware of their heart.  Not just because they're in training zones, but when they're resting and what kind of things irritate the heart.

Ben:  We talked about biohacking, the words come up a couple of times.  I've recently been experimenting with tapping, which is kind of the process of tapping different meridians that are tied to Chinese medicine at various locations on your body, and I've been doing that while testing heart rate variability.  And I've actually found that I can almost instantly increase my score by about five points just by tapping at specific spots using this Chinese technique of tapping at your meridian point.  It's super interesting.  But yeah, I think we're just scratching the surface in terms of the different things that we can do to help our nervous system and our heart along.

Tamsin:  Yeah.  I think so.  I mean, I know you use SweetBeat.  Is that the system that you use?

Ben:  Yeah.  It's typically SweatBeat.  I've experimented with some other stuff like the Tinke and the, actually, I've used the Omegawave, BioForce.  There's a bunch of them out there.  Azumio has one as well.  But I like SweetBeat just because it gives you some interesting data on feedback from the different components of your nervous system, so you can dig in a little bit more.

Tamsin:  Yeah.  You're talking about the parasympathetic and the sympathetic.  I think just for a lot of people, just measuring their morning heart rate using that Azumio, it's a free instant heart rate app.  I think that's a starting point for some people, isn't it?

Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.  They're whole suite of apps is really good.  I actually do some testing for their stuff, and they have a new one called an ARGUS that just came out.  You know it's that fine line, right, between always being tied down to technology and constantly tracking your body and just unplugging and enjoying the fresh air and the wind through your hair.  So, it's one of those things where I'm iffy about constantly monitoring everything.

Tamsin:  Yeah.  I think that's very important to mention because I do think that triathletes in general are very highly strung, very dedicated individuals.  And we do get too caught up in a lot of the data, and that's something that Brett Sutton picks me up on.  He says, “Throw your Garmin out the window sometimes.  Don't look at power.  Just feel and enjoy.”  Because if we're constantly stressing ourselves by having to stick to a training pan and to numbers, then it's stress.

Ben:  It's stress and it's also decision fatigue.  Like for me, if I look at a workout and it's a complex 60-minute bike workout versus just go out, ride some rolling hills, and attack a few of them, that latter workout for me at the end of a work day is the one that I'll end up doing versus decision fatigue and skipping the other workout 'cause it's just too complex to think about when you're doing with a day of work.

Tamsin:  Yeah.  Great.  And I think that more and more people should think like that because instead of feeling like a failure if they don't do their prescribed FTP threshold sessions, just getting out there and doing some consistent work and enjoying it is much more beneficial.

Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.  So, you just got done with the Alpe d'Huez.  Obviously, you did awesome there.  What's next for you?

Tamsin:  I'm going to be training out in France actually for a while, and then I'm going to do the European Ironman 70.3 Championships, which is in Germany, beginning of August.  So, in 10 days time.

Ben:  Now, you and I met in Thailand, and you're obviously a fan of that race, the whole Laguna Phuket Triathlon Festival, and I should mention to listeners, you are going to be making kind of a special guest appearance at our Thanyapura Camp, right?

Tamsin:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  I mean, I went to Thanyapura when it was first opening a couple of years ago and I just fell in love with the place.  It is absolutely beautiful.  The swimming facilities are incredible, the people are incredible, the food's incredible.  So, I love coming back there.  There's something about Thailand, and the race is fantastic.  The organization's top notch.  So yeah, I'm looking forward to coming back this year and doing both the races and then talking to some of your athletes and campers.

Ben:  Yeah.  So, if you want to do some medical Q&A with Tamsin, then you can get details on our Thanyapura Camp over at pacificfit.net/Thailand.  But check it out.  She'll be there, and we've got some other folks that we're lining up as well.  So, it's going to be a good time and Thailand is always a highlight of the year.  Tamsin, I'm going to put a link to your website at sportiedoc.com, and I'll also link to some of the resources that we talked about, but is there anything else you want to bring up or mention to the listeners while I've got you on?

Tamsin:  Well, I'm looking at setting up with a friend of mine who's a physician in the UK who also has a masters in Sports Medicine.  We're looking at setting up sort of a Sportie Doc consult and business, we'll, we're going to be doing some blood testing, specifically for athletes, touching on the things that you already mentioned, ferritin, and hormone profiles, et cetera, because I get asked a lot of questions through social media related to that.  So, that's something that should be quite exciting.  But that's probably more for our UK athletes.  But we're also going to be doing some sports psychology alongside that, which a lot of it will be through Skype and online.  Sportie Doc consult, and you can find out more about that on Twitter, @sportiedoc.

Ben:  Very cool.  Well, I like your holistic approach and kind of balanced approach to this sport, and it's pretty rare to find a professional triathlete who's got a good head on their shoulders from the point of making sure that it's not just about beating up the body.  So, I appreciate what you're doing and the stuff that you write on your website and would encourage folks to go check it out over at sportiedoc.com.  And we're also link to that in the show notes.  So, Tamsin, thanks for coming on the call today.

Tamsin:  It's been great.  Thanks a lot, Ben, for having me.

Ben:  Alright, folks.  Until next time, this is Ben Greenfield and Tamsin Lewis signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.



It's not often that I bring pro triathletes onto the show, but Tamsin Lewis (pictured above) is not just any athlete. She is also a physician with lots of in-the-trenches experience that all of us active people can learn a lot from.

Tamsin has trained under some of the toughest and smartest triathlon coaches in the world, including Brett Sutton and Cliff English.

She has dealt with muscle injuries, eating disorders, low iron and everything else commonly faced by both male and female triathletes, and active individuals around the face of the planet, and during our interview, she offers an educated perspective on how to deal with these issues.

In this interview, Tamsin and I also talk about:

-Finding the ideal balance between getting enough strength, and having too much muscle…

-Whether endurance training hurts your heart, and the best way to to test if your heart is OK…

-The diet and supplements that Tamsin uses…

Resources for this podcast:

-Ben's Thanyapura training camp, where Tamsin will be offering a “Medical Q&A For Triathletes”

-Tamsin's website SportieDoc.com







Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *