Meet an ASSM athlete: Matt S.
We are incredibly honored to work with some incredibly committed, talented, and successful athletes. We are excited to share their stories with you.
Meet Matt S., Denver based triathlete.
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How long have you been competing in triathlons?
I started racing triathlon before I was 25, sot hat would put it at about 16 years of competing with one year off in there to finish my Masters degree and get married.
What does your training schedule look like this time of year?
Right now is what I would call the prep part of the season. It’s about getting the body strong and ready to layer on heavier training later in the year. I mix in a little fast stuff to keep it interesting, but not a ton of intense sessions yet. I’ve seen way too many an athlete have a stellar March at local run races and be completely burnt by their key try race over the summer. It’s also a good time to focus and becoming more efficient with your caloric needs so I don’t use a ton of sports energy products now either.
What training/lifestyle tips would you give to someone who is also training?
USA Triathlon used to use the slogan “Celebrating the Multisport Lifestyle.” That simple phrase is what I base all coaching relationships on as well as my own training. Triathlon or endurance sports training should never be looked at as a stand alone life entity, but more holistically. Stress is stress, whether is comes in the form of training, work, family, travel… it goes into the same bucket, so athletes need to be conscious of the cycles in their life and where stressors are coming from. Then, be OK making a workout easier or skipping it if you have to stay at work until 10 p.m.
What does a “cheat” or “lazy” day look like for you?
It sounds bad but I am a big proponent of moderation, so I eat cookies, have some ice cream, love a good glass of wine on the weekends, but aim to keep that in balance with the demands I’m putting on my body. After ever IM race I complete, a few buddies of mine and I did create the ominous “Fat Week” where the aim is go at least five days eating nothing but junk (usually we wait five days after the race to recover first,) that includes some donuts and always the Denver Biscuit Truck.
How do you balance work, family/friends, and training?
I’m lucky that my work is somewhat flexible and that being a coach and consultant, very integrated with triathlon. Sometimes that’s a blessing and a curse as there are time you just want to get away from it. Most of our friends enjoy the sport as much as Molly and I do, but we are all very intentional about having nights out where you can’t talk about training. It’s not always easy, but I’ve found that building my life schedule 2 weeks in advance so I can prioritize tasks for work and family/friends keeps me on track.
What’s a go-to snack or meal you love?
A favorite meal is probably something like a piece of grilled salmon with some roasted kale and beans and sweet potatoes all stirred up or a similar combo with eggs and avocado. I eat a lot of nuts for snacks and we always have Honey Stinger snack bars around the house too.
How does ASSM affect your training and performance?
The team at ASSM has been instrumental to my training and racing over the past two years. I make it a point to see Dr. Ben a few times a month, even if everything feels good. I travel a lot for work, so he always has tricks for keeping my body in-line for the long days of travel. Of course, the speciality of the team is figuring out the acute injuries and getting me back track quickly. The first time I saw Dr. Ben, I had a small tear in my Achilles tendon and a race coming up the next weekend. He was able to not just get me through the race, pain free, but restore the heal of the tendon in less than two weeks.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into triathlons?
Sign up! That’s usually the first step. Remember that a sprint or an olympic tri is a race less than 5% of the world’s population will ever complete. You don’t need to sign up for a full Ironman to be a good triathlete, in fact, I coach many who will never race one. Next, join a group that has resources to help you learn, like Rocky Mt. Tri Club. It’s so much better to train with other. Lastly, seek professional advice. Not a counselor, a coach. After coaching athletes for over 8 years, I see so many people go out and just beat themselves up training and have nothing left for the race.