Athlete of the Month, July 2008 – Matt Given
Athlete of the Month
Celebrating Matt Given as he qualified for and is headed to the Ironman World Championships this fall!
D3: What prompted you to get involved in triathlon?
MG: I had been a mountain bike junkie in the early 90‚Ä≤s. In 2001, I bought a road bike and shortly thereafter, my next door neighbor dared me to the Boulder Peak. Both he and his wife beat me.
D3: Who is your coach and how long have you been working together?
MG: Mike Ricci. We started about 6 months before IMAZ in 2006. I believe my first email to him went something like this, ‚ÄúHelp‚Ä¶‚Äù
D3: Favorite distance to race and what is your best race to date?
MG: Favorite distance is definitely Ironman. That short stuff is way too hard. Best race to date has to be IM coeur d‚Äôalene this year. I had hoped to have a good day, race the whole race, go under ten hours, and qualify for Kona for the first time. I some how managed to do all of the above.
D3: What is the single hardest workout you‚Äôve ever done?
MG: I have two that are tied for first (or last). First is mile repeats on the track. I‚Äôll build up to nine prior to an Ironman and try to run them all at around 6:10 pace. Number six or seven is probably the worst. I‚Äôll say to myself, ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt do three more of these‚Äù. The other one is a high intensity swim set. 9 x 200 on 3:00/right into 9 x 100 on 1:30/right into 9 x 50 on :45. Barf.
D3: What workout do you like the least, but know you‚Äôll get the most out of?
MG: The mile repeat set from above. I think it lifts my speed and teaches me how to suffer at the end of the marathon.
D3: How does your wife and family put up with all the training? I know you coach a few teams for your twin boys so how do you work around that?
MG: I am lucky enough to have a very flexible career. I can do long rides and other workouts during the week. I‚Äôll do workouts on the weekend but nothing too long. I also get up really early to go workouts. I try to make it as little an impact on them as possible. Also, I don‚Äôt do a lot of extra stuff. I cut out TV. I don‚Äôt go out with ‚Äúthe guys‚Äù, etc. I am usually either training, working, hanging out with the family, or doing stuff around the house. Everything else can go. I also make sure we do lots for the kids and wife when it is not training time. All that being said, it‚Äôs still hard. They sacrifice for my habit. I try and acknowledge that as much as possible; in little ways.
D3: What does a typical training week look like for you?
MG: During an IM build, I‚Äôll shoot for over 20 hours/week. That‚Äôll be 1 long ride/1 long run/1 over-distance swim. Then I‚Äôll also do one high intensity interval set for each sport. For the bike, I like to ride on the trainer with a Spinervals DVD. For the run, it could be hill repeats or the track. Then I fill the rest with two hilly runs of up to 90 minutes and two to three bikes that are 2:30 ‚Äì 4 hours. Then two or so swims if I have the time.
D3: What foods do you hate giving up to get to race weight?
MG: Desert: Ice Cream (Glacier on the Hill) and cookies. My late bowl of cereal ‚Ä¶ I love it.
D3: What is your dream job?
MG: Working on my own, consulting with different businesses on business development and sales organization development issues. Giving sales seminars to companies and individuals; and working with several startups at one time to help them make it. Wait ‚Äìthat is my job. I made it! (www.mattgiven.com)
D3: Who is the triathlete you‚Äôd most like to emulate?
MG: I am jealous of all the √ºber-bikers. My strength is the run so I am always playing catch up until the end. As far as pro, I love Faris‚Äô attitude. He just lays it all out there. He also doesn‚Äôt get into all of the science around the sport regarding power and nutrition, etc. Just lace ‚Äòem up and go! I unhooked myself from the HRM for coeur d‚Äôalene this year and I think it helped me race faster.
Also, there are lots of great personal stories in triathlon in the back of the pack. From Jon Blais to Sister Madonna, and the Hoyts. If those stories can‚Äôt get you going, I am not sure what will.
D3: The three people you‚Äôd most like to meet?
MG: Will Ferrell, Adam Smith (the economist) and My Dad 40 years ago.