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

2016 from the Rear View

Bike 1I’ve spent a lot of time since Cartagena 70.3 trying to piece together how I want 2017 to look in terms of training camps, builds, key races, and of course family time. I started to think about how far in advance I should set concrete plans for…and how much I should just create an “expected/best case scenario plan for.” If you would have asked me in January of this year if I would have ended my year with four 70.3s including two races in South America, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Needless to say, 2016 didn’t go as planned. I definitely don’t consider the year to be a bad or unsuccessful year, but there were a number of goals that I had at the beginning of the year that remained unchecked. I decided to throw together a quick recap and some stats from the year.

JanuaryMe and Ash DSM
– Swim camp with Tim Floyd/Magnolia Masters
– Spoke at Northwest USAT Conference
– Panama 70.3 Pan Am Championships – 8th

– IM New Zealand – 4th w/ 2:41:20 run course record

–   Large block of training, primarily Tempo work on bike/run

– Aero Testing with Jim/ERO
– Oceanside 70.3 – 11th

– Ironman Texas – 23rd after “superbonk”

– Ironman Cairns – DNF due to Bike Crash
– Started coach search, got kicked out of a camp by prospective coach (yup that really happened!), interviewed a number of other coaches, and felt fortunate that Coach Julie Dibens had a slot open on her roster and was willing to work with meOCide swim.
– Went to watch USA Swim trials

– Adjusted to new coach, large aerobic block of training then started training block for IMChoo

– Watched Ashley complete Ironman Boulder
– 2 week training camp in Boulder with the JDcrew!

Des Moines Capitol Cup OLY – 1st w/ 31:20 run split
– Ironman Chattanooga – 4th

– Miami 70.3 – 8th w/ 1:11:25 run split
– Austin 70.3 – 3rd w/ 1:11:13 run split (swim canceled)

– Uruguay 70.3 – 2nd

– Cartagena 70.3 1st (first 70.3 win!)
– Legit 2 week break!!!

2016 Stats
– 2 wins, 4 podiums, and 2 4th place finishes
– Raced on 3 continents in 6 different countries
– Best out of the water – 2nd in Uruguay 70.3, 3rd in IMChattanooga
– Bike Primes- 1 (second fastest in 2 races)
– Run Primes- 7 races
– Longest workouts–  Swim: 7000 yards     Bike: 123 miles    Run: 28 miles
– Longest weeks:– Swim- 36,900 yards      Bike: 433 miles   Run: 71 miles
– Number of times Drug Tested – ZERO

matt-hanson-spider-aeroLessons Learned in 2016
– You are going to have good races and bad races in this sport. I was slapped by a branch on the “epiphany tree” a number of times this year reminding me to focus on the process and the journey and let the results sort themselves out.
– I learned a lot more about how hard I can push on the swim and bike while still putting together a good run. This came through successful pacing strategies in Austin, Uruguay, Cartagena, and Des Moines and what I’d consider unsuccessful pacing strategies at Panama, Chattanooga, and Miami.
– I learned a lesson I should have learned last year…DO NOT REVENGE RACE. I was not ready to go physically or mentally after my crash in Kona last year but still went and raced at Cozumel. I tried to do the same thing after going to the well at IMTX this year by going and racing in Australia. Neither race went well…hopefully this is a lesson I hold on to moving into the future.
– I am continually reminded how amazing the people in this sport can be. The hospitality I have been shown on SO many trips this year has been incredible. Everything from sponsors going above and beyond to help me out to families opening up their home to give me a place to stay. It makes this sport so much more enjoyable.

group photo_zpszxsrmcpbOff Season Focus Points 
– Continue to develop in the swim. I have seen huge progress over the past 2 years, but still have a long way to go. I’ll be getting in the open water with a group and working on awareness while swimming in a pack and getting better at holding onto feet. I’ll also be looking for a few open water swim races including the Snapping Tortuga in The Woodlands, TX this April.
– I will always be working on increasing my ceiling on the bike. However, there are a lot of things that I can do to use the gear box I already have more efficiently. This is what I’ll be spending much of January working on.
– I’ve been pretty happy from a run fitness standpoint with my run throughout my professional career. However, this year was the first time that I moved backwards in the overall standing on the run portion in a race…and it happened twice! So I can never be satisfied and will continue to work on improving fitness and running smarter.
– I also need to continue to work on developing my social media presence and have a few things that I am planning early in 2016 that hopefully you all like!

img_0806Ending the season with a 3rd, 2nd, and a 1st definitely made it difficult to step away for a break from training, but I knew it was the right thing to do. My fitness was great and I was racing really well, but I knew I couldn’t hold that level of fitness through IMTX next year. I am back to training and will be slowly building into 2017. I am looking forward to what’s in store for the season.

Definitely need to thank everyone for their support through the year. The sponsor support that I had in 2016 was tremendous, I definitely have been able put together a team that allows me to race when and where I need to and on the best equipment on the market. This job is full of highs and lows, but it has given me so many amazing opportunities and let me meet some great people who treat me like a member of their family. My wife and I are still adapting to the life as a pro, definitely different than we “planned” for ourselves when we got married. The last year and change has been an incredible journey filled with highs and lows, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.


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