>Professional triathlete Matty Reed is intense. Driven. A prolific racer. A self-described “race-horse”. He’s a veteran of the ITU racing circuit, the Lifetime Series, the Rev3 series and Ironman’s 70.3 series. He’s also been no stranger to excitement or controversy this year – he was criticized for announcing that he was working with former cylist Tyler Hamilton and was excluded from the ITU World Championships in London by the USAT. A native of New Zealand, Reed became an American citizen in 2008 and participated on the American Olympic triathlon team in Beijing.
2010 has been a successful year for Reed. He’s notched victories at Rev3 Knoxville, Lifetime Fitness Tri, and had numerous top five finishes, including at the ITU Pan American Cup last month in Tuscaloosa, AL. Matt took seventh place in this past weekend’s Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon. He has his eyes set on next month’s Ironman Arizona.
Tri Madness recently sat down with Reed and discussed drafting races, going long and how he dealt with a couple of distracting events this season.
With further ado, this week’s version of “Ten Questions With…” focuses on Matty “Boom Boom” Reed:
|Matty Reed taking the victory at the 2010 Rev3 Knoxville|
TM: You recently announced that you’re going to race IMAZ this year. You racing an Iron distance race seemed to surprise lots of casual fans, even though if you had won at Quassy, you would have gone long at Rev3 Cedar Point. That said, moving up from Olympic and half-distance races does seem like a big move for you. Looking into 2011, what do you envision your race schedule to look like? More focus on 140.6, a continued mix of shorter (drafting & non-drafting) races with 70.3 and 140.6? A trip to Kona, perhaps?
MR: My race schedule and my training will be similar to this year. I will do a few more 70.3’s mid summer than 2010. My goals for 2011 are The Lifetime Series, The REV3 series, and KONA. And to keep on beating the young guys. Even though I am only 34, I am considered the old generation after doing this 17 years. Surprised about going longer? If anyone knows my racing style, it was only a matter of time til I took it to the ironman distance. But I want to race fast alot all year and take that to the long race.
TM: Speaking of Rev3 – taking the series was a big goal for you this year. You had a great race in Knoxville, and a really strong race in Quassy. Could you share what your strategy for Quassy was, and did something go wrong with your strategy (or in the alternative, did you execute your strategy to the letter, only to be bested by Crowie and Bozzone)?
MR: At REV3 Quassy, I was a bit flat on the bike so I opted with a slightly different strategy as the race unfolded. We were trying a different bike position this year until August and it wasn’t working well for me. I played my cards at Quassy okay, but I got slack at the first part of the run and I should have continued on the pace I set outta the gate. I learned at that race that when it is humid I need a little more to eat race morning. My engine just hit empty at about 10 miles. That had never happened before so it was a good lesson for me to learn. But the cost was losing the race.
TM: You were a part of the 2008 US Olympic team. What was being part of that team like for you? How much did you get caught up in the spectacle of the Olympics? What was your highlight of Beijing?
MR: 2008 was a crazy year for me. It was amazing. It was emotional. Being a part of that team was a highlight of my career. The opening ceremonies were like nothing I have ever experienced. My race however was a disappointment. My coach and I knew going in that I had asked a lot of my legs with the campaign to save the third spot. That would mean my normal 3 week peak that I can typically hold would not be there and we had a smaller window to peak. We missed it. We were off on my peak. I was flat as on race day. But I take away an amazing experience on the world stage. I also got to do it with my older brother Shane. That no one can take away.
TM: You endured a fair share of distractions this year (the Tyler Hamilton topic and the issue with USAT over the ITU Worlds in London). How impactful on your training and racing were those issues?
MR: Huh? What issues? 🙂 To be really honest, I know what can of person I am and what kind of athlete I am. I know when I have done the honest, proper hard work to win races. I know what I have done in the sport and what kind of man I am in sport. I guess both of those issues were hard as I was being questioned- one was on my honesty and integrity in regards to workouts from a guy I consider a friend, and the other was my own federation questioning my abilities and not having my back and following policy as it was written. But I believe if you don’t learn something from bad races or bad experiences then it is a waste. I learned from both of those. I learned that my simple actions can be interpreted as so much more and that I am a role model in this sport and need to remember that. The London issue, I learned that things in life happen for a reason. And the best way for me to race is to race like Matty Reed, the races and the way Matty Reed likes to race. And if that is not good enough for federations and for coaches, well, then it isn’t meant to be. I don’t play politics and I don’t do drama. I am a race horse. I race. And I race to win not to just participate.
TM: Could you describe how your race-day strategy differs in a draft-legal race versus a non-drafting race? Knowing that your past several seasons have been a mix of both, which do you prefer?
MR: ITU/drafting racing is all about strategy. Get outta the gate and see what players are around. See what they are going to do. It is not about pure speed and talent. It is about when to use them and some of my strengths will not be used that day. That for me is a hard pill to swallow. Especially when I got 20 120lb runner boys in a pack back there. I prefer the non-drafting style where it is go from the gun and you lay it all down for the entire race. On your own. Push your own wind. And then run as fast as you can til you fall over.
TM: What is your favorite workout? What makes you groan the most when you see it on your training plan?
MR: I love what some say are boring sessions. 4 x1500 in the pool. 25 x 400 on the track. 6 x 2km repeats running. Hill repeats on the bike. Same place some repeat numbers. I am habitual. I like simple. I can then concentrate on pushing myself and not think. I do like fartlek running with the running boys and a good solid tt effort with the cyclists. There is no workout that makes me groan. I know if I want to avoid it, then I know it is a weakness and I must address it head on.
TM: Do you have a specific pre-race routine that you adhere to?
MR: I like to do a bit of training the day before. I hang with my kiddos in the afternoon before a race and watch a movie. I eat Hawaiian pizza the night before. Race morning, I don’t get to the start too early. I get down, warm up and head to start. No hanging out chatting for me.
TM: To what extent do you employ technology into your training and racing? Do you wear a heart-rate monitor or use a power meter to drive your training?
MR: I am old school. I use an SRM a bit in training. I use a heart rate monitor a bit to make sure I don’t over train on easy days. I know what effort I am at and can tell you what my heart rate is. I am very aware of my body and effort in workouts. My coach and I are using some heat tools in training to monitor my core temperature during long sessions so we can use that data with a consultant of mine Neal Henderson as I prepare for Kona in 2011. I use technology in my recovery. I never miss a massage each week. I use my NormaTec boots almost daily. For me there is no recovery naps or down time during the day. So NormaTec forces me to sit down, read with the kids or something. I use compression socks post works daily. I wear jeans a lot so I don’t look weird at the park with the kids in knee socks.
TM: At 6’5″, you’re pretty darn tall. Does your height help or hinder you in any way compared to your (shorter) peers?
MR: I use my height to my advantage. I am the tallest athlete out there and know I am strong. I like to race courses that favor my strength. Also my height has some thinking I can’t run fast or run long distance. Yeah, go ahead and think that. 🙂 I have long legs… Try to run side by side with me and try to out sprint me. My height is an advantage.
TM: How’d you get your nickname “Boom Boom”?
MR: At a swimming pool back in OZ, I was swimming with a national swim squad and one of the triathletes on deck said, “Man you went be that guy like BOOM BOOM.” the nickname stuck. I like to think Fergie is singing to me in BOOM BOOM POW.
Check out Matt’s website here
Follow Matt on Twitter: @BoomBoomReed