Hello, readers! Today, I want to introduce my coach, Matt. He is super knowledgeable, passionate about endurance sports, and an overall great person!
I have been working with Matt through his coaching services, Trust the Plan, Coaching. Matt is helping me build up to the Chicago Marathon, this October. The training and feedback he has given me so far have been great!
Let’s get to know Matt a little better, through these questions I have asked him:
How long have you considered yourself a runner?
My parents said they could never get me to stay in one place, always out in my neighborhood, I grew up in dribbling the basketball up and down our front street or playing ‘RELEASE’ with my friends. I guess I’ve always been a runner but my maturation into a qualified distance runner was when I was in 10th grade and our basketball coach made us run XC to stay in shape for the season. I loved every training session, every meet, and every finish line I crossed … my teammates did not.
Those good old high school cross-country days!
Where is the most interesting place you have ever run (for training or, for a race)?
One year, my uncle took me to climb mountains in Quito, Ecuador. On our free time, I took full advantage of the altitude and made it my mission I would use the mountains for a good building block leading into Ironman Lake Placid that summer. Amazing views, spectacular terrain … and great miles that really did pay off in that race.
Look how gorgeous Quito is!
What is your favorite workout to do?
Not sure if you’ve seen this session on your training plan yet – and if not, this is a hint on what’s to come – but I love a session that an old friend once showed me. You do this on a slight incline, preferably a 1:30-2 min. hill, where you power skip up the hill for :30 sec. then go right into a 1:30 min. STRONG hill climb, extending your stride and really settling into a solid pace. The skips are a great power movement that strengthens your hip flexors and glutes … then making the transition into a regular hill run really fatigues you.
Bounding up-hill….should I be scared? 😉
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hummus and chips. No doubt.
I could definitely live off hummus and chips, too!
What is one workout/type of workout, a recovery move, etc. that you have all your athletes do?
I’m a big believer of stability work, before or after a session. Balancing on one leg really fires those tendons and allows you to warm-up and build strength by not doing much more than keeping your balance. Try it with your eyes closed!
Matt doesn’t have me do anything this intense but…balance is definitely a great warm-up/stability exercise!
Share your ideal running temperature/race conditions:
The hotter the better. I’ve raced in some pretty humid climates – Haiti, Hawaii, Louisville in August – and I just find my focus becomes sharper and my thoughts more controlled.
The hotter the better?! Matt may be crazy but….all the good ones are. 😉
Are you a talker when you run or, a thinker?
Usually, the people I run with are much faster than I am, so as much as I’d like to ask them a question or hear about their family, I’m just trying to catch my breath … so I’ll put myself in the category of a thinker.
We all know that feeling of trying to keep up!
Share a personal cause/organization that you are passionate about and make an effort to support:
My wife and I are huge supporters of a local Pittsburgh organization named WORK. They support Haitian families in the country with job placement and placing kids in schools. For the past two years, I’ve participated in the Run Across Haiti, that covers 230+ run miles from the North coast of Haiti to the South coast in six days. We fundraise for the families that go right into the community and help with their needs. My wife is very involved in being an educational consultant and helping run their 1:1 Campaign which allows people here in the states to personally sponsor a family in Haiti.
Wow! That is so awesome. You can learn more about WORK and Run Across Haiti, on their website.
If you had to run one distance for the rest of your life, what would it be? In other words, what is your happy distance?
I’m a distance guy. Give me a wooded trail and 30+ miles to cover and I’m all over it. To be able to get lost in the woods and really see and understand what God has given us is truly a blessing.
Totally agree with getting lost in the woods. 30 miles is a lot, though! Wow!
Where is your favorite place to run in the Pittsburgh area?
I’m a creature of habit – my favorite place is Frick Park. The trails go on for days and the hills are unrelenting. The best of both worlds.
Frick Park is amazing!
Who is your biggest inspiration and what have they done to influence you?
Growing up, it used to be Michael Jordan or Joe Montana for what they could do on the court and the playing field. Nowadays, it’s the everyday person who can handle raising a family, working a 50-60 hour a week job, being a wife or husband AND balancing training for an endurance event. Those are the real inspirations.
YESSS… I could not agree more.
What are you currently reading, if anything? (Magazine, book, etc.?)
On my nightstand is ‘North’ about Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail expedition – great book; I also have ‘Once a Runner’ by John Parker.
Those both sound like great reads!
Give us some tips you have on rest and staying healthy through training:
Early in my career, I would let my ego get in the way and compete with my friends and training partners as to who could garner the most miles or crazy workouts in the pool, on the bike and with running. That wore me out … as I matured, I’ve learned that it’s the ability to listen to your body, understand that sometimes it’s QUALITY over QUANTITY, is the best way to approach this crazy world of endurance sport.
Most importantly….tell us your favorite ice cream flavor!
My go-to, one and done, unadulterated, most favorite flavor in the entire world … mint chocolate chip.
Yum! Not my personal favorite but, definitely a solid pick!
If you are interested in learning about how Matt can help you prepare for your next endurance event, feel free to reach out to me, here on the blog or, directly to Matt, through his website. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself, Matt!