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

2017: Done and Dusted!

Photo: Jim Fryer / BrakeThrough Media |

It’s that time of year again…the time that you look back and reflect on the year and think about what went right, what I need to do better, and of course set my 2018 goals. Like every year thus far in my professional career, this one had some highs and lows. Last year ended on a high note with 3 straight podiums and I was able to carry that momentum into 2017. The year started off well and I was able to put together back to back wins for the first time in my career. I was feeling great about how the season had gone up through the mid point of the year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put together a strong back half of the year and I chose to end the season on the coat tails of a few frustrating races. I wanted to keep racing after Austin 70.3 this year, but I had been dealing with a bug for over 7 weeks and knew my body was telling me it was time for a break. I’ve been home for nearly 2 months without a triathlon trip, which has been really rare the last few years. Here is a quick recap of my 2017:

– Tucson training camp for 3 weeks to start off the year – swim and bike focus

– 2 week camp in Kona with the JDCrew- balanced camp to kick off IMTX prep

– Campeche 70.3 – 7th overall w/ fastest run split

– Traveled to The Woodlands Texas two weeks before IMTX for final prep
– Snapping Tortuga Swim Race – 4th
– IMTX- 1st overall – 7:52:44 – Fastest American to complete IM distance

– Back to the routine back at home, balanced training push to lead into summer 70.3s
– Photoshoot with Payton Ruddock for NormaTec
– Started Coaching Mentorship program with MHC

– Went to watch Ashley compete in Raleigh 70.3
– Went to Boulder for a training camp and to watch my sister compete at IM Boulder
– Bike fit with Ivan and Retul in Boulder
– Started Strength and Conditioning program with Erin and ECFit Boulder
– IMCdA 70.3 – 1st overall setting a bike, run, and overall course record – 3:51:16

IMRacine 70.3 – 5th
– Traveled to IM Santa Rosa to watch Ashley compete

– 10 day Kona training camp
– Steelhead 70.3 – 2nd overall – Run course record
– Flew to Atlanta to do an event with ReST Performance

– IM 70.3 World Championships- 14th overall
– Flew to Tucson for 2 weeks for heat prep

– Flew to Kona 10 days before race for final prep
– Ironman World Championships- 34th
– Austin 70.3 – 6th overall – Run course record and PR 70.3 run split (1:10:39)

– 2 week break then back to training
– First ever Cyclocross race…then the second…then the third!

– Fourth and Fifth cyclocross race, ending with a podium!
– Added Matt Bottrill to help continue developing my bike
– Announced MHRacing AG team

Take Home Points from 2017
I’ve continued to progress in the swim. In both of the full IMs I did this year, I swam with the first pack for over 1/2 of the swim before drifting back and coming out of the water in no man’s land between the 1st and 2nd group. I’m so close to being where I want to in the water, but the last little bit of improvement is definitely not going to come easy. This will happen in 2018.
– I improved significantly on the bike. I was able to bridge up to the front pack alone at both IMTX and IMCdA 70.3. I set a bike course record and was able to break away from the group at CdA as well. Coming in first off the bike was not something I ever really planned on being a part of my game plan through the first few years of racing, but it is nice to know I have the ability to do that when the situation is right for it. I have to work on getting more consistent on the bike as well as keeping speed through corners better. Both are things I think Coaches Matt and Julie can help me with in 2018.
– My run remained a strength this year despite having my lowest yearly run mileage in my pro career. Coach Julie has done a fantastic job of managing my stress and fatigue levels and allowing me to work on the bike and swim while keeping my run strong.

Moving into 2018
I am very excited for what 2018 is going to bring. I feel like I have the right coaches, the right sponsors, and the right team supporting me to put me in the best possible position for a successful 2018. It’s up to me to execute! I’ve enjoyed training in Iowa for the last 2 months, but January is going to be a busy month. I’ve got 3 trips planned to start off the year, but more on that later!


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