Matt Hanson | Professional Triathlete
5x Ironman Champion/ 4x 70.3 Champion

Texas Training!

Within minutes of my last student finishing up my last final exam for the first semester I was in the car heading to The Woodlands, Texas for a week of nothing but training…and grading of course. I drove straight through to Dallas where I crashed for the night at a college friend’s house. Pretty sure I need to start paying rent there, I stay at the Casa De La Baker on pretty much every trip through Dallas on my way to race or train in Texas.

ORRLogo I left Dallas early on Friday morning and headed down to The Woodlands. Coach Michelle had worked it out for me to stay at the OurRival Racing coaching suite which is on Mile 98 of the bike course. Within 30 minutes of arriving at the office, I was off on my first 60 mile bike and topped it off with a short run. That evening, I met up with Coach Tim with Magnolia Master’s for a 1-on-1 technique session. We did some filming and he was quickly able to point out some major flaws in my stroke. I’ll do a separate update with a before and after swim video soon.

The main reason I was going down to Texas was to work in the pool with Tim. He wanted me to start ramping up the volume in my training but wanted to be there for every stroke while I was doing it to make sure my form didn’t go to crap leading to an injury when I got fatigued. Another goal of the trip was to fix some of the holes in my stroke that would be too hard to do over the phone. I certainly was not going to let the opportunity of getting out and enjoying some outdoor training in as well while I was there. I run outdoors most of the winter in Iowa, but it is really difficult to get my TT bike out on the icy and sand/salt filled roads during the winter months. Plus I am a pansy and it is COLD in Iowa! Looking back, at my week, I think I definitely met my major goals for the week.

Magnolia Masters (1) I totaled 40,000 yards in the pool from Saturday to the following Friday. I hit just over 8000 yards on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Most importantly, I seemed to be getting faster as the week went on. My two best workouts during the week were Wednesday evening (sprint night!) and Thursday night. My average weekly volume was typically around 20,000 yards each week. My two best swims of the week came after 30,000! This tells me a few things. First, I made some significant improvements on technique and efficiency in the water while I was working with Tim throughout the week. Second, it showed me how important it is to have a coach on the deck yelling/encouraging you every rep. I definitely learned a lot about myself. I could push a lot harder with my coach there than I was on my own while I swim at home. I was also great to have people as fast and faster than me to feed off of while swimming.

Photo: Another great workout in the bank for Matt Hanson.  Finished out another 8000 yard day.  Descend and negative split 600s.

4×600, not 6×400…

I don’t think it is necessary to give the complete details of every swim I did during the week, Tim posts pretty much every workout online anyway. The two swims that I feel I had a mini break through were the Wednesday and Thursday evening swim. Wednesday night was a short swim, but it included 2×50 yd kick then a 100 yd sprint all out. We did that set 4 times. My previous 100 yd pr was 1:05 and I ended up going 1:02, 1:01, 1:01, 1:02 for the 100s. I was pleased to say the least. The Thursday swim wasn’t necessarily a huge breakthrough time wise, Tuesday’s swim was probably a much better swim if you just look at times, distances and recovery intervals. The reason Thursday’s swim stuck out to me was because I was able to control the pacing much better than I ever had in the past. Thursday’s workout was 4×600 with a negative split by 300 and descending each 4. I was able to control the first 300 while still maintaining a decent level of speed for me and get faster the final 300. For the last 300, I averaged 1:11s which I was definitely happy with.


Photo: Beautiful day for a fun ride!

OutRival Racing Group Ride…Some Speedsters for Sure!

I put in a total of 410 miles on the bike during the 8 days I was training and was able to review about 90% of the IMTX course multiple times. Most of the bike miles were aerobic or tempo. I did go on a group ride with a few other pro triathletes and a pro cyclist. It was really my first ever group ride. I definitely got shown how to ride! We did 4×8 minute Threshold intervals then 6×2 minute zone 5 intervals. It was definitely all I could do to hold on to the wheel in front of me during a few of the intervals. I set my new 2 minute power records during one of my zone 5 pulls as well. We finished the ride with a 60 minute tempo, which I was holding my 70.3 pace. Again, I learned a lot about pushing myself on this ride and the value of riding with others. It is much easier to keep pushing when the going got tough when I was with a group of other riders. Coach Michelle did a great job of finding a group of fast riders for me to roll with! It was honestly the most fun I’ve had on a bike.

I only put in about 35 miles running while I was down there. My runs were mostly bricks, ranging from 2-8 miles. It was still great to be outside running but as I said before, I wanted to save my legs as much as possible for the bike and swim.

Overall, it was a great week. It was awesome to be able to meet so many of the Magnolia Master’s and the OutRival Racing team members. The weather was beautiful, it was a great learning week, and I had some great coaching and training partners. I definitely need to thank Coach Tim and Coach Michelle for making the week possible. I was able to get a jump start on laying the base foundation to build off of for the 2014 season! I was also able to get a great preview of the IMTX bike course for when I return to the race in May. I have high goals for the year and this week long mini-camp gave me a push in the right direction.

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