Katrina Matthews is a pro triathlete, currently 9th in the world rankings. She is also an Army athlete, physiotherapist and Pretty Athletic ambassador. We caught up with her following her fabulous performance at the Collins Cup!
You're currently in Utah preparing for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
"The "Ironman 70.3" is half the distance of a full Ironman, it's a really big distance in the sport on its own now but my focus is still on the full distance. Unfortunately, the Ironman World Champs (Kona) has been cancelled (October) again so I decided last minute to race this distance as I qualified last year. I came out to Utah quite early to really adjust to the time difference and also the heat! It is averaging 38-40 degrees! The race is on 18th September, here in St George, Utah. It's my 2nd World Champs and I am aiming to come Top 5. I will need a great day to achieve this!"
How are you coping with the heat?
"It takes a little time to adjust, but just knowing that is ok and normal and making sure you stay hydrated is the key. I use heart rate in my training a lot so I give myself a little leeway with paces and just work off effort until I can get used to it. The body is very clever! I think it is a good idea to not sit in air conditioning for too much of the day, but also to allow yourself to sleep cold. So it is a constant balance."
What is a typical training day like for you?
"I don't think I really have a typical training day, but at the moment it starts with a swim, maybe 4000m, 75mins. I will have a small snack before this and a proper breakfast afterwards. I then head out cycling for 2-4 hours. If the bike has intervals in it, I will make sure I have some decent carbs at breakfast and also take carbohydrate with me on the bike to eat throughout. If it is an easier spin I will have less carbs. I tend to miss lunch time so I make sure I also eat carbs and protein when I get home.
We tend to focus on the classic well marketed "protein shake" but carbohydrates are just as important for recovery. Sometimes eggs on toast or a ham sandwich, or soup, something really simple! Then time for a nap or some sofa time! Every other day I would then also do a run, say 45-75 mins before dinner time! Then again, a proper meal and likely a snack before bed too. I think sleep, hydration and proper fueling is all you need to recover properly, no fancy gadgets!"
What are you plans for the rest of the year?
"This race is a bit of an add on to my "race season" already, so after this I will take some time off I think but I will stay flexible as COVID cancellations are still happening so you can't be 100% confident planned races are happening."
Wishing you the best of luck in the world champs Kat!
You can find Kat on Instagram @katr_matthews !