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Performance Advantage Podcast

95 EpisodesProduced by Dr Will & Dr MattWebsite

Dr Will O'Connor and Dr Matt Miller (MTB PhD) are sports scientists who work with a plethora of endurance athletes from professionals to amateurs.They talk about common issues athletes encounter during endurance training and how to avoid or remedy them with the help of sports science. Submit questio… read more

95 Episodes | 2019 - 2022

92 | The Four Things Slowing You Down

January 14th, 2022


There are 4 things slowing you down when you start your ride: gravity, aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and braking. Some of these are trade-off, …

91 | Five Training Phases For Successful Periodization

December 20th, 2021


Following on from the Six Spokes of Planning Training, we have five training phases to help you plan your best training plan. Whether you're training …

90 | Six Steps to Planning Your Training in 2022

December 8th, 2021


Using the Six Spokes of Planning Training from our TrainingPeaks University Introduction to Exercise Science course, we work through how you can plan the best training for yourself. We use these same steps ourselves to …

89 | Unlocking the Secret Science of Fitness

November 24th, 2021


Do you find yourself validating a good training session with average pace, power or peak heart rate? Do you find that even though you’re pushing yourself harder and harder, you don’t seem to be getting any faster? If …

88 | Does Bike Weight Matter?

November 12th, 2021


A study by Matt's PhD supervisor, Dr Paul Macdermid, showed that heavier bikes were slower up hills—no surprise! A bike 21% heavier was 3.3% slower …

87 | Testing the Fastest Running Shoes with Dr Dustin Joubert

October 25th, 2021


Nike Vaporfly, Nike Alphafly, Asics Metaspeed, and Adidas Adios Pro are the running shoes with the most buzz around them, but who's the fastest? And how do the likes of Brooks, Hoka, and New Balance stack up? Dr Dustin …

86 | Maximal Aerobic Speed with Nathan Heaney

October 11th, 2021


Nathan Heaney is an experienced Strength and Conditioning Coach, High-Performance Specialist, Lecturer and highly sought Mentor and Consultant. Today …

85 | Female Athlete Health with Mary-Ann Moller

September 28th, 2021


Mary-Ann Moller is a sports scientist focusing on female athlete health. She competes as an elite XCO and cyclocross racer herself, and is especially …

84 | AI Coaching: Can a Computer Train You Better?

September 12th, 2021


Data is everywhere in training, and everywhere in our lives. AI has led to better YouTube recommendations and self-driving cars, but will those new coaching apps ever help real endurance athletes? A few software …

83 | Ketosis, High Carb Diets, Endurance Training & Burning Muscle

August 31st, 2021


Are carbs your enemy or your friend? Are carbs always good for some athletes and always bad for others? Do you really burn muscle if you train before breakfast? We get asked these kinds of questions a lot. Join in on …

82 | What's Inside the World's Fastest Running Shoes? - Pebax Powered

August 25th, 2021


There is a special technology that all the world's fastest running shoes share - Pebax. Pebax foam is able to return more energy than other shoe …

81 | 15 Minute Strength Training from James Wilson

July 25th, 2021


James Wilson has helped athletes get stronger and live healthier lives for the last 16 years. We talk about the whole gamut of strength training, and …

80 | Three Techniques to Get Faster.

July 16th, 2021


We all want to get faster. It's everyone's reason for training. How do you know you're doing the right training, and how do you know why something isn't working? This week, we talk through the three processes we use to …

79 | Getting Back Up with World Cup DH Racer Bryn Dickerson

June 14th, 2021


Bryn Dickerson is one of the top DH racers in New Zealand and the world, having once won the Elite Oceania Continental Championships, and earning a top 20 finish in the World Cup. Bryn is an amazing storyteller and has …

78 | Strength Training for Cyclists with Derek Teel from Dialed Health

May 17th, 2021


If you're still on the fence of whether strength training will help your mountain biking, check this episode out! Derek has amassed a wealth of knowledge on strength training for cyclists, and is a testament that adding …

77 | The Future of Power with RunPowerCoach Nathan Fenton

April 20th, 2021


Today we talked about the internet and power meters with Run Power Coach Nathan Fenton. Nathan is a running power guru, and it was great to chat with him about how he helps athletes at different levels to improve their …

76 | Internet Memes and Misinformation

March 28th, 2021


There is so much information about exercise on the internet - and a lot of it is WRONG! We think that in sports, this information is shared with the best of intentions, so we talk over some of the pitfalls and potential …

75 | What Went Wrong? Analyzing Failure

March 17th, 2021


Not every day is going to be a gold medal, but there are still plenty of things to learn. here we pick apart Will's failed ultramarathon when he had …

74 (3/3)| Power Meters 101 - Setting Training Zones and Avoiding Blowing Up

February 25th, 2021


Once you've done your FTP test, you can set your zones and properly analyze training. In this final part of Power Meters 101, we talk about what zones are and how to set them , and work through the best way to train and …

74 (2/3)| Power Meters 101 - FTP is a Science Lab on Your Bike

February 18th, 2021


In part 2 of 3, we talk about what FTP is and what it really means for you. How can a steady-state test be important for HARD racing? Let's deep dive …

74 (1/3) | Power Meters 101 - Critical First Rides & Best Brands

February 12th, 2021


Anyone who rides should check this out! So you know a power meter is the best way to train, but which device should you buy? In this first of a …

73 | How to Run with a Power Meter with Dr Will O'Connor

January 26th, 2021


Running power is quickly becoming the new way to train and improve in running. Currently, runners are relying on GPS - a measurement from space - and heart rate, the dial-up broadband of training metrics. Both pace and …

72 | 5x USA National Champ Seamus Powell Opens Up About Retirement

December 30th, 2020


American enduro racers will see less of factory rider, Seamus Powell in 2021. In this episode, the 5x USA National Champion opens up about the struggles of racing professionally, how COVID impacted his 2020 season and …

71 | World Cup Mechanic Dr Lewis Kirkwood on Vibrations and Data in MTB

December 7th, 2020


Besides working as a mechanic for the Norco Factory team, Dr Kirkwood is also a leading MTB researcher at Edinburgh Napier University focused on understanding vibrations during riding. In this episode we discuss why MTB …

70 | Dr Will Overheats, Passes Out and DNFs 24 Hour Run

November 27th, 2020


The heat shows no mercy, and that was particularly true for Dr Will's 24hr "race". Back in June, Matt and Will did an episode (59) going over Matt's …

69 | How to Be a Pro MTB Racer with Olympian Kevin Van Hoovels

November 16th, 2020


Kevin Van Hoovels had a quiet but sharp rise to the top in XCO MTB racing. Kevin represented Belgium at the 2012 Olympics in London and had a career-best finish at the World Championship in 10th. Now focused on coaching …

68 | High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Science with Dr Paul Laursen

November 2nd, 2020


High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a powerful but often misused tool.  Dr's Will and Matt are big proponents of "train easy, get fast" and …

67 | Fatigue Scientist Dr Guillaume Millet on What Slows You Down

October 20th, 2020


Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing symptoms experienced by athletes and patients.
Dr Guillaume Millet, French native and lifelong …

66 | International Racing is Back for 2020 - Expert Analysis

October 12th, 2020


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the international race season was postponed until now. It has been over 400 days since the conclusion of last season, and athletes have been thrown for a loop worldwide. Now that …

1 | WEBINAR SERIES | The Science of Pacing For MTB, Cycling and Running

September 25th, 2020


Pacing in endurance sport (>2min) is one of the most essential aspects of performance. Regardless of your ability, if you start the race beyond your level of fitness you will slow down at the end. The severity of how …

65 | Dr Blake Perry on Exercise and Blood Flow Regulation

September 10th, 2020


Ever wondered why you feel light-headed when you stand up too quick? Dr Blake Perry is an integrative human physiologist and elite downhill mountain …

64 | The Future of Food: Mike Rudling Goes from Pro Athlete to Founder of Radix Nutrition

August 28th, 2020


Radix Nutrition are changing the food industry with their high quality and fully nutritious freeze-dried meals. Mike Rudling, co-founder of Radix, …

63 | Length of New Zealand Triathlon - Behind the Scenes

August 21st, 2020


We are back, and wow, do we have some stories for you! We were both involved in the Length of NZ Triathlon project ( with pro …

62 | The Science of the Lactate Threshold and What it Means for You

July 23rd, 2020


Blood lactate accumulation, muscular acidosis and the lactate threshold are buzzwords surrounded by mystique in sports. But doesn’t have to be …

61 | Nike Vaporfly with Dr Kim Hebert-Losier: Cheating or Innovation?

July 16th, 2020


Dr Kim Hebert-Losier is leading the research into Nike's innovative vaporfly 4% and subsequent next % running shoes used to break the sub-2-hour marathon. We discuss what the shoe actually does and it's claimed …

60 | Winning Isn't Everything: How to Keep Pushing Regardless of Your Placing

July 9th, 2020


A wise racer once said, "enjoy every win--they don't happen that much." This couldn't be more true. The reality of racing though is that most of us …

59 | How far can he go? Dr Will vs 24hr Run

June 23rd, 2020


Dr Will enters the New Zealand 24hr championships for running live on air! We breakdown what Will is going to need to consider to ensure optimal performance on race day. The goal is a MINIMUM of 200km, and did we …

58 | Mental Skills with Jay Barrett: Skill Mastery vs Performance Focus

June 17th, 2020


Jay Barrett is a mental skills coach working with top athletes and corporate leaders. Today Jay talks about how we can equip ourselves with the …

57 | Pro Coaches Write Training Plan for Running & MTB

June 2nd, 2020


Learn how the pros build a training plan. Steve is the athlete we all know and love. Steve is in his 40s, has limited time, loves to thrash himself and is always keen to head out with the boys. Steve has come to us …

56 | Female Athlete Nutrition - Mikki Williden Ph.D

May 26th, 2020


Mikki Willden Ph.D is a world renown expert in sports nutrition. We talked to Mikki about how female athletes differ from each other as much as they differ from their male counterparts. Mikki talks us through the …

55 | What to Do When You Don't Want to Train

May 12th, 2020


Performing well throughout the season means you need to be motivated at all the right times. But how can you avoid a dip in motivation at the wrong time? And how can you deal with any planned or unplanned downtime? Will …

54 | Overtraining Warning Signs and Remedies.

May 7th, 2020


Dr Will has had to admit he's overtrained himself. This week, Matt and Will dicuss overtraining while figuring out where Will went wrong.

Overtraining is a blanket term that describes an athletes training state in which …

53 | Training Zones: Science, Simplicity and Effectiveness

April 22nd, 2020


Training zones are a useful tool for prescribing training and intensity. When coaches build workouts and plans, training zones make prescription and …

52 | Cancer, Chemotherapy and Exercise with Dr Steve Stannard

April 15th, 2020


Dr Steve was an elite Australian road cyclist turned top international exercise physiologist. In 2017, he developed multiple myeloma which totally …

51 | Ella Harris: Pro Cyclist for Canyon//SRAM racing and Zwift Academy winner

April 8th, 2020


Ella Harris is a 21yr/o Kiwi pro rider for CANYON//SRAM Racing. Ella won the 2018 Zwift Academy competition in 2018 which scored her a contract with CANYON//SRAM Racing. Through some standout performances in 2019, Ella …

50 | MTB Suspension Tuning: Jono Church from The Suspension Lab on Making Bikes Better

April 1st, 2020


Jono is a world leading expert on suspension tuning for mountain bike riders of New Zealand and beyond. We learn what suspension is supposed to be doing and how we can improve our ride to save energy. Will and Matt …

49 | Staying Motivated When Training & Working From Home

March 24th, 2020


Do you need training motivation or help with your productivity? As experienced working from homers, Matt and Will share their tips and experiences on how you can manage your training and time whilst be based at home.

48 | Dr Emma O'Connor (Crum) - Ex-pro cyclist, PhD sports scientist, new Mum, and ultra athlete.

March 18th, 2020


An informative and insightful chat with Dr Emma O'Connor (Crum). Emma is a Kiwi athlete who spent five years racing her bike in Europe before …

47 | Pro Coach Tips for Training for a Marathon

March 12th, 2020


The marathon is the most iconic distance event in running, and this week Dr Will takes you through his top tips for training for a marathon including the dos and don'ts of pacing, nutrition and shoes. 

The boys talk …

46 | How to Train for XC Mountain Biking with Smart MTB Training

February 25th, 2020


XC racers need to be fit, skilled and able to dig deep. Matt and Will discuss some of the common mistakes riders make when training and racing and take a unique spin on how to approach your own program.

As a podcast …

45 | Understanding Low Carbohydrate diets and Endurance Performance with Expert Dr Will O'Connor

February 19th, 2020


Do you need carbohydrate for optimal endurance performance? YES. Do endurance athletes need carbohydrate all of the time? NO.

There are numerous nuances and caveats that need to be considered when talking about "Low …

44 | Reflecting On a Year of Podcasting Sports Performance

February 12th, 2020


The guys look back at their fails and wins over their first year of podcasting and talk about what is to come in the future of the Performance Advantage podcast. 

Will reports back on his Tarawera Ultra race. 

This Week …

43 | Pro Ultra Runner Tom Evans

February 4th, 2020


Tom Evans is a RebBull sponsored professional ultra runner form Great Britain. Tom is in Rotorua for the 2020 Tarawera Ultramarathon, so we sat down …

42 | Alcohol and Sports Performance with Dr Matt Barnes

January 21st, 2020


Good race or bad race, we love to have a few drinks after a big event. As athletes, we have been known to apply our 'all or nothing' approach to …

41 | 6 Steps to a Successful Training Plan

January 14th, 2020


Dr's Matt and Will talk trough how to use a six-step process to get athletes to the start line knowing that their preparation has ticked every box. When an athlete is confident in their preparation, they get to the …

40 | How to Be The Best Athlete in 2020

January 7th, 2020


There are a few small changes you can make to be the best version of yourself this year, and we show you the best things you can buy, eat and do to …

39 | Pro Tour Cyclist Robert Stannard

December 31st, 2019


Robert Stannard rides for pro tour team Mitchelton Scott and happened to grow up in the same town that Matt and Will did their PhD's. In fact, Rob is the son of Dr Steve Stannard who supervised Matt and Will throughout …

38 | Strava: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

December 17th, 2019


Strava, social media for endurance athletes. Last week, Matt crashed chasing a Strava KOM (King of the Mountain), and Strava released their annual report, so we thought we'd go through the pros and cons of using Strava.

37 | Top 10 gifts for runners & our favorite interval sessions

December 4th, 2019


This week we talk about our favorite intervals and the gifts you should and shouldn't buy for the athlete in your life. The brake power meter …

36 | How To Monitor and Analyze Your Training

November 26th, 2019


How much training did you do last week? Most people will answer in terms of time or distance. Unfortunately, time and distance are not the best indicators of training load. We discuss how using training stress score …

35 | What is Base Training and Why Do you Need It?

November 19th, 2019


Base training is an old-school method for improving endurance performance. Matt and Will discuss whether this is still valid in the current day and …

33 | Pace Yourself to the Perfect Race

November 6th, 2019


Pacing in endurance sport is one of the most essential aspects of performance. Regardless of your ability, if you start the race beyond your level of fitness you will slow down at the end. The severity of how much you …

33 | Carl Read 2-Time Ultraman Winner and Ultra Athlete

October 30th, 2019


Carl is a two-time Ultraman winner. Ultraman is a 3-day triathlon consisting of; 10km swim - 140km bike - 281km bike - 84.3km run. Carl started endurance sport late in life and found the longer he went the better he …


October 16th, 2019


History was made this week as Eliud Kipchoge was the first human to ever run a marathon in less than 2 hours. Beyond being just a feat in athletic performance, the sports science behind the performance was also second …

31 | Sports Performance Psychology with Jay Barrett

October 9th, 2019


You’ve spent hours training your body but have you ever taken time to train your mind? Jay Barrett was a professional mountain biker and now works as a mental skills coach. Jay talks to us about applying mental skills …

30 | Racing MTB World Championships with Top Junior Caleb Bottcher

October 2nd, 2019


Will and Matt catch up with New Zealand mountain bike phenom Caleb Bottcher on what it's like as an up-and-coming racer, the rigours of training and life in the junior ranks, and the chaos of competing on the world …

29 | Training with a Heart Rate Monitor

September 25th, 2019


Heart rate training is Will’s favourite way to monitor training intensity. Matt disagrees but concedes heart rate has its place.

Using heart rate to help guide your training can be one of the most cost-effective and …

28 | MTB Skills Coaching with PMBIA Coach Harlan Price

September 19th, 2019


Harlan Price was a top ultra endurance MTB racer, but even on the simple courses, he felt like his skills helped him win races. After fathering …

27 | What is Going on When You Taper for Your Race?

September 11th, 2019


Matt is back from the Eurobike trade show, and he has some stories to tell! 

Will has his 100km ultramarathon run this weekend, so the boys discuss …

26 | Dr Will’s Run-walk Marathon Method

August 28th, 2019


I did an experiment to find out if I could run a 2:40 marathon using the run-walk method. Being a sports scientist I broke down the physiology, …

25 | Developing Young Champion Athletes with Dr Steve Stannard

August 20th, 2019


In this episode, we catch up with Dr Steve Stannard, parent of successful athletes, a world-leading sport scientist and coach. Dr Steve is a …

24 | Training for Enduro Mountain Biking with Dr Matt From MTB PhD

August 15th, 2019


Dr Matt is giving you the very best advice on training for enduro mountain bike events. Enduro mountain biking consists of multiple timed downhill …

23 | How To Become A Better Athlete In Five Easy Steps

August 8th, 2019


 Matt and Will discuss the five fundamentals for creating better athletes; consistency, structure, specificity, guidance and being realistic.

The boys review why they had a week off, what Will got up to on his birthday …

22 | Running Power with Evan Schwartz from Stryd

July 26th, 2019


It was amazing to have Evan from Stryd on this episode. Not only is Evan a 2:18 marathon runner but he’s also the man on the ground at Stryd. Stryd are the pioneers of running power meters.

During the middle of 2019 …

21 | Can you compete in endurance sports without training huge hours?

July 17th, 2019


How long is long? If you're running an ultramarathon, there's no question that you need to be fit. But is running super long durations every weekend …

20 | Ultra-Endurance Training, Performance and High Volume Loads

July 9th, 2019


Exercising for a stupid amount of time is the new black, so we thought we’d discuss ultra-endurance. Dr Matt has experience racing 24 hr mountain …

19 | Getting to the Ideal race Weight Without Starving Yourself

July 3rd, 2019


 Weight or body mass is an important area of endurance sports. But, is it the answer to faster times and improved performances for you?

Matt and Will …

18 | Cam Langsford: Founder of TrainingTilt

June 27th, 2019


Cam Langsford is the founder of TrainingTilt, a revolutionary way for endurance sports coaches to run their remote businesses. TrainingTilt is the …

17 | Travel Like a Pro for Your Next Event

June 21st, 2019


As preferred airline members, we have international travel dialed. Travelling to races can be a massive hassle, and it can sometimes make or break your race. In this episode, we go over all the different ways you can …

16 | Rob Dallimore: Founder of Foot Traffic Endurance Sports Coaching

June 12th, 2019


Rob Dallimore is the founder of Foot Traffic Endurance Sports Coaching, an Auckland (NZ) based coaching business. Rob has grown Foot Traffic from a one-man band to a coaching business with seven coaches. We talked to …

15 | How to Avoid Overtraining but Continue Improving

June 5th, 2019


Overtraining is far too common in endurance sport. The combination of motivated type-A personalities and ever-increasing event distances makes for a disastrous mix. Will and Matt have both suffered from severe …

14 | Is EWS Pro Sam Shaw the Coolest Guy on Two Wheels?

May 23rd, 2019


The Rotorua boy taking on the world in two forms of mountain biking, enduro and X-Country Olympic (XCO). Sam shares his unique views on training without a coach. Sam also tells us about how he got his start in mountain …

13 | The 5 W's of Carbohydrate and Endurance Sport

May 15th, 2019


Could you be racing faster? If you're taking on too much carbohydrate or you're not taking on enough, you could be missing out of performance gains. …

12 | Seamus Powell: Pro Mountain Biker Behind the Scenes

May 8th, 2019


Seamus Powell shares some never heard before insights into the world of professional mountain biking. Seamus has ridden for the Gaint Factory Mountain Bike Team and the KHS Factory Mountain Bike Team before becoming a …

11 | Buying Guide for Endurance Athletes

May 1st, 2019


What should you buy to get the most out of your training? We go over three price levels; $500+, $250, $50, and give our recommendations for the best …

10 | Using a Running Power Meter to Train More Effectively

April 25th, 2019


Dr Will talks through how running with a power meter can improve your running. Running power meters offer an objective measure of effort without the error of GPS signal or variance of terrain. Running power meters also …

9 | Brake Power Meter: Inventing the BrakeAce and Understanding the Information

April 17th, 2019


Dr Matt Miller (aka MTB PhD) finally releases some intel behind the worlds first brake power meter. The brake power was invented by Dr Matt during his PhD and has been kept secret due to international patent law and …

8 | Getting a Coach for Triathlon, MTB or Running

April 10th, 2019


How do you know when it’s time to get a coach? Is coaching going to be right for you, and do you know what type of coaching you want? On this episode, we discuss the world of endurance sports coaching and what options …

7 | Kieran Mcpherson Pro-Xterra Triathlete

April 3rd, 2019


After a somewhat challenging run in the weekend, Will was admitted to hospital for gastro, dehydration and heat illness. He tells the story on how all that transpired, before getting into an interview with professional …

6 | Training in the Fasted State to Improve Fat Utilization in Exercise

March 28th, 2019


Do we need to eat before training? Will and Matt discuss training in the fasted state. The main takeaway is that it works for men but not for women. Will talks over his training for his upcoming marathon in which he …

5 | Training for XC Mountain Biking

March 20th, 2019


If you thought mountain biking was all fast starts and going hard you may be looking at it the wrong way. Dr Matt Miller (aka MTB PhD) talks through the dos and don'ts of XC mountain biking training. Dr Matt also …

4 | How to Train for Triathlon and Xterra with Dr Will O'Connor

March 13th, 2019


On this episode, the boys are talking training for triathlon. Matt and Will both talk through their first triathlon stories. Matt's experience …

3 | Using a Power Meter For MTB and Road Training

March 6th, 2019


Matt has done a vast amount of scientific research on power meters and has been training with a power meter since 2008. Will and Matt talk about cycling power meters. Matt runs us through his research on which ones are …

2 | Low Carbohydrate Diets & Endurance Sport Performance

February 27th, 2019


Dr Will is an expert in this area. Today he shares his knowledge gained from working with athletes on different diets, trying low-carb long and …

1 | Cross-training for Endurance Athletes

February 20th, 2019


Cross-training can be a good addition to endurance training, but is it right for you? Will and Matt talk through how they incorporate cross-training with professional and amateur athletes. 

Matt tells Will that strength …

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