Injuries like Wuh- Interview with Matthew Wright
Carlie: I guess I can intro. Hey. It’s Running Bout. We are here and we are here large. My name is Carlie and I am with my co-host, That McClean guy, Corey. We have a special guest today. I am so excited because he is Barbados and the Caribbean’s number one ranked triathlete. Matthew Wright has joined us. You can find him on Facebook and on Instagram at mattwright246. How are you doing?
Matthew: I’m good. I am happy to be home.
Carlie: You’re basically fresh off the plane.
Matthew: Fresh off the freeze zone, slowly defrosting.
Carlie: Speaking of that, you’ve been training in Canada?
Matthew: I’ve been based in Canada for the past three years. I moved there at the beginning of 2016; so just short of three years. In Guelph, there’s a training centre there. There was a problem with the training centre as there was a bit of a funding cut post-Rio so the centre was closed down but the infrastructure is still there so the squad remained. It has been a fantastic three years of my life but I have decided to move on and move back to the UK to train at a new centre there in Wales.
Carlie: That’s cool.
Matthew: New and exciting times ahead.
Carlie: When is that happening? Early next year?
Matthew: I’m leaving on Sunday. I’m going to check it out and make sure I’m not making a big mistake but I think I’m good because I’m really friendly with the coach. I went to university with him. So, I know it’s going to be legitimate but I just want to logistically sort my life out then I’ll come home to Barbados for Christmas to have a little chill time and then we get back to work.
Corey: What are you doing at Run Barbados?
Matthew: I’m doing the fun mile on the Friday night and I’m doing the 10k.
Carlie: That is a fun mile. Let me tell you, I look forward to the mile every year because I don’t run a mile so it’s like the one time I can run a mile.
Matthew: I’ve never done it so I’m really looking forward to it.
Corey: I was not expecting the mile part. I was expecting you to say 10k and half marathon. So, when you said mile, I was like excuse me.
Matthew: The mile on Friday night is just to get the legs shaken out and then get 10k ready.
Matthew: I have never in my life run as long as a half marathon. I think even on my long runs, my longest run has probably been 18k or 19k. To do a 10k and half marathon with twelve hours between, that would be too much. That’s almost my weekly mileage done in twelve hours.
Corey: Are you doing Run Barbados as a race?
Matthew: I plan to compete. Actually, I’ve heard that no Bajan has ever won the 10k in its thirty year history so I would love to be the first Bajan to win it on the Saturday.
Corey: What’s your target?
Matthew: Time wise?
Matthew: I have no idea, to be honest. I know I’m in about 30:30 run shape for a 10k. I’ve had two weeks off triathlon training. I’ve still been running but just a lot of base. When I go up to Cardiff next week I’ll get back in a few sessions; I’ll do two run sessions before. I’ve been holding on to that 30:30 run shape. Maybe I’m going to run 31:00 flat because its hot here and it’s very different in terms of running in the park and it will only be guys around me.
Corey: It is flat on sea level.
Matthew: It is flat on sea level and I do think it is a fast 10k, to be honest, because the heat comes into play a little bit. At the same time, I’m from here; a four-thirty heat is nothing like midday. By that time it is cooling off. I’ll just see how the race unfolds. Maybe if I’m up front, I’d turn the burners up a little bit. I’m more aiming for a result than a time per say. I was in my peak fitness, I guess, mid-November but a month is a long time to hold the peak for.
Carlie: I have a question for you. You mentioned you have an injury history. Does this affect the volume that you do in terms of mileage? Do you do less mileage but greater intensity or does it not come into play whatsoever? Does stuff like that come into play when setting a program?
Matthew: The program is definitely bespoke, especially with my coach in Canada. He is really amazing. He has really chopped and changed to see what works for me; even to the case where I don’t do one big long run. My long run is chopped up into twenty minutes run; two minutes walk just to reset the body. My longest in a row run for the past three years is about forty minutes without stopping. If I do anything over an hour; I do like twenty minutes with a little walk. Just to reset the body, I’d do a bit of walking drills. It’s actually amazing because in, say, the second twenty minutes everything feels so loose, it’s like a warm-up before a session. I have had to chop up the mileage a lot and be much more efficient with my running. My recovery runs aren’t really a thing, I guess. I probably run a half a mileage with the guys in my squad at training.
Corey: When was the last time you had a big injury?
Matthew: My really last big injury was in 2016. I had to break from running for six months.
Corey: That’s the thing that people don’t consider because once you’ve had an injury, you have to manage that injury all the time after that.
Matthew: In February I crashed my bike. I just always think of injuries as lower limb but I had an arm injury and to this day it’s still affecting everything. I had a knee problem where my whole left side kind of shut down and I had surgery. I did have quite a bit of onset effect.
Carlie: As you said, you have forty-three injuries. I’m sure that was the number you just pulled out but it’s probably not far off.
Matthew: I totally forgot.
Carlie: Come on. You have to keep each one dear to your heart. They’re like notches on your post.
Matthew: Running was the only thing I could actually do, with a broken arm. Running was okay once the pain went away. My biggest one was 2016. Up to this day, I still have to rehabilitate.
Carlie: Run us through what happened on the day.
Matthew: It was a soaking wet day and you know Barbadian roads are not known for their grip. I was just by Lodge School and we were coming down with a little bit of speed and there was a raised manhole cover. I guess I could have avoided it but I hit it and my front wheel jumped but when it landed, the bike washed out and I landed straight on my elbow. Within two seconds it looked like I had a mini volleyball in my elbow. I was kind of having hope, saying it is fine but there was a guy who was staying cautious behind us and he was like no I’ve got Commonwealth games coming up; I’ve got this big Barbados race. This was a week before the Barbados race and I was like no way. It kind of finally hit me when I got to FMH and the woman was putting the back slab on and I felt the pain hit me and I burst out into tears. I was like Commonwealth games is in two months; I have so much family coming to Australia to watch me race and there’s probably not going to be a race. I was panicking. That was one of the most traumatic ones as well. Olympic qualifying was starting in May and one stupid little wet bike ride.
Corey: It doesn’t take a lot for you to have a devastating injury.
Matthew: Not at all. I’ve crashed my bike one thousand times. You just have a little road rash; you can’t sleep for a couple nights because you can’t roll over. This was; I couldn’t believe it.
Carlie: Did you make it to the Commonwealth games then?
Matthew: I could race but it more like at that point it was a race to just complete the race. Three weeks before I was doing walks on the cane piece with my mom to keep active. I did my first swim shot the night before the race, no word of exaggeration.
Corey: This obviously was like a cycling race.
Matthew: I set my hand and I was supposed to take a lot of pain killers. I had no strength in the arm but I was like luckily a sprint distance is only a three hundred and fifty distance swim so maybe I can do it. After about two hundred meters, I just fell off and I had no fitness. I was doing a lot of kicking in the pool and a lot of one hand swimming that didn’t really raise the heart rate. The goal was definitely that it would be an awesome thing to overcome this adversity and get to the start line. Crossing that finish line was winning for me. I wasn’t going to compete and be at the front end of the race which is what I wanted to do. Seven and a half weeks from surgery, to be able to do that.
Carlie: Your emotional recovery must have been hard.
Matthew: That was the hard part.
Carlie: It must have been devastating to have competitions taken away from you, it’s really hard.
Matthew: Competition and prise money.
Carlie: You’re building your showcase; look at what I can do then it’s like I can’t.
Matthew: Sport has to be objective. People have this talent but if you don’t perform in a race, it doesn’t matter what you show in training. As an athlete, it’s almost a bit of a poker game where you don’t want a race to be bad or to be average. You can say you’ve competed at the Commonwealth games but what place did you come. Placing twenty-fifth is nothing. With the shoes on the other foot, you want to compete against the best. You want to be your best; you don’t want to be there just to be ‘puppy’.
Carlie: Obviously, we use only technical jargons in here.
Corey: Going forward, what’s next on the calendar?
Matthew: Run Barbados is, I guess, the first race of the new season. When I’ll start racing, I haven’t quite figured it out. When I go to Wales next week, we’ll figure out the plan with my coach. I’ll be racing quite early next year because Olympic qualifying first period ends in May so I need to get a few more races under my belt. A lot of the other side of the world travel. I have an Australia and New Zealand tour. I’m going to South Africa in February and that’s what, potentially, I’ll open my season up with but we haven’t fully figured it out. I was looking at other races and there are a lot of races going on all over the world next year.
Carlie: How do you choose?
Matthew: How it fits in training, travel, you have to look at jetlag. You have stuff to take into consideration. When you are moving between continents multiple times per year and trying to train on top of that and recover, your body just gets into whack. So, you want to try to choose a few races together. I always try to have a racing block; training block; racing block. So, you try to choose two or three races within a month of each other then you step back for a month and train. Your body can’t just hold on to fitness forever. You have to make the decision of who is going to go where; who’s better for where; or what core suits me better.
Carlie: I would choose all the vanity races. I would be like which ones am I going to be at the front end; I’ll go to those. I’m just kidding.
Matthew: The thing with Olympic Championships is that what you think would be a vanity race, you get such a shock. I had a bit of timeout from racing after the summer I had a late season race and I was like all the guys are going t tire; no one is going to be racing but everyone was showing up for the race in South Africa even though last year none of the big players were there. When Olympic points are on line, everyone is racing every possible thing to make sure to get on that start to get to Tokyo. The competition has stepped up. The races you thought you would be a bit smart in doing to see if you can get some points, all of a sudden, you’re ranked way down the line. You’d be at number ten for a race and all of a sudden I’m at number forty-five right now.
Corey: For the listeners that aren’t fully familiar with how the Olympic points are allocated of how the system works, just give a quick little summary.
Matthew: For Trafford, it’s twelve races that you get over a two year period. There are two one year periods in there and we only get a maximum of seven of those races. You can’t come 2020 January and expect to qualify unless you win all seven of your races at the World Series level. There’s a ranking of races. World Series is the highest and then you have World Cups and then you have Continental Championships like a Pan American Championship or European Championship. Those are the only three types of races you can get Olympic points from. It’s kind of a long game. In triathlon, you want to start collecting out from middle 2018. It kind of puts people in a good position if you want to do it from early but if you’re somebody that did surgery in the February before 2018, it would put you on your back foot for the year. That’s kind of what happened to me this year. Next year is the main one because this one period ends and another period begins. By the end of 2019 you’ll roughly know if you’re going to get on that start line or you’ll panic at the beginning of 2019. It’s up to the middle of May 2020 so May 2018 to 2019 was one period and then May 2019 to 2020 is the second.
Carlie: So, do you have any inclinations right now about how you’re feeling or just not really yet.
Matthew: My coach and I had sat down in the beginning of the period and we worked out from the past few years, the average of what points you’d need to get in because it’s only fifty-five men qualify for the Olympics. We worked out like an average per race that you’d need. So far I have two races that we can add to the list. So far, I’m above the average of what we worked out at the beginning of the season so I’m positive.
Carlie: So, you’re definitely on track even though you broke an elbow.
Matthew: A lot of people are writing how they have seven races already because if you race from May until October or November, you definitely can get seven races in there. I’m ninetieth on the list right now but that is with two races. A guy that’s maybe eightieth has seven races already so I’m going to move up. It’s just being patient and trying not to get caught up and not panic and do the right things. I know that when I get myself in shape and when I get myself fit, I can be up there but it’s just having faith in the process.
Carlie: So, the real question, how much has having to take steps back because of injury; how has that sharpened the way you mentally approach this game and having to deal with having patience? You must have learned, along the way, a few lessons about trusting the process.
Matthew: Don’t get me wrong; the trust disappeared many a time; many a day. You wake up in the middle of the night just panicking; I have no idea if I can get back to where I was. Over the years, I’ve kind of done it enough times where I know that I can get back and I have a lot of faith. It gets murky at some points. I know I’ve done it but at the same time that doesn’t make it any easier. It’s not only that I want to get back to where I had been, the whole game is to improve. So it is like am I going to be able to improve before another injury comes and stops me for another month or two.
Carlie: You need to lose an eyeball somewhere along the way. Can I put in a request? If you want to stay intact, don’t run with me because I have a streak of injuring other people that have run with me.
Corey: It’s the freakiest thing. All of Carly’s training partners have been injured.
Matthew: You don’t get injured?
Carlie: Never ever. I’ve had an injury called pregnancy; that’s a long one and I’m still suffering from it.
Matthew: That’s weird. That’s a whole other topic that we need to talk about.
Corey: It’s weird. She broke me; she broke Sarah; she broke Liz.
Matthew: I think once your body gets that one injury, it takes you out of whack. I almost had to reset everything I do. If one leg is hurting you, subconsciously you’re always putting pressure on the other leg and eventually you build up and it’s mad. When I was a teenager running in Barbados, I was wearing four ounce track shoes that have no support and I ran so fast. I used to do barefooted sessions behind the stadium and on the beach. Now, it’s like if I go without shoes for two minutes, my feet get sore and I used to do it with no issue.
Corey: What I can tell you is wait till you hit thirty.
Matthew: By the time I’m forty, I can’t even get upstairs.
Carlie: Think about the photos you’ll have over your wall and tell everyone back in my day.
Matthew: I’m nervous for what the future holds but I think by that time, technology will be so good I’ll just get an electric foot or grow a limb.
Corey: That would be great because right now I would be good with two knees and a shoulder. Any day, as long as you are in any sport, regardless of what it is, and you are pushing yourself, you are going to get hurt. It’s quite possible. Race cars on race day.
Matthew: Especially in a lead sport, I think a lot of times at the start line, people are holding themselves together. You can get a performance out of your body but it’s like how is it going to affect you long term. You read a lot about retired athletes and what they’re suffering in terms of just pains and aches because of what they have done to their body. Even though when you are young, you are very sure you have a long life ahead of you but at the same time you can’t overwork your body.
Carlie: Like I want that glory, glory, glory. The future me is sitting there looking at me; shaking her head like why are you doing this to me.
Matthew: When you’re forty-five you’re thinking what if I did this when I was younger and you just live with regrets. I think the name of the game now is squeeze every last ounce out of your body, even energy wise. When I’m in heavy training, I’m just the most boring man you’ve ever met. The supermarket gives me anxiety when I’m doing heavy training.
Carlie: My husband laughs at me because if I have to get up and walk somewhere I have to be like oh my God, do I have to walk and he’s like hello, you just ran from Bay Street to St. James, what are you talking about.
Matthew: That’s where my energy is.
Corey: I prefer to run than walk anywhere any day.
Carlie: You get there faster.
Corey: I remember being in a race, I think it was 10k and I got this horrible stitch and I had to walk. I said Corey you can’t walk 7k to the finish line. It never crossed my mind that if I just turned around I could just walk 3k back.
Carlie: Talk to me about the first injury you’ve ever had. We just talked about the most recent one which was breaking an elbow but what was the first one?
Matthew: The first one, I tore a ligament in my knee. That was my first big injury. I fell off the back of a truck. Details are fuzzy. My friend dropped me off at home and I just went and stood up on his back wheel. My foot slipped off; my back leg just twisted; my MCL in my left knee. That was a month before my first ever World Junior Championships for triathlon. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I guess because I was at home and I had a month, I had to have a brace and crutches and all that so I had to wait for my parents to come back. I think we really delayed starting to fix me and with a ligament you have to get on top of it really soon. That led to snowball of injuries so I tore two more knee ligaments in the next two years as a result. My leg knee ligament first tore but then I tore two right ligaments because of six months of putting all of my weight on my right side. It was actually first two runs back; I was actually on the bike. I flew back for the Eastern and I just started to spin my bike and I felt it pop and I was like this is a bit painful. I was at home for two weeks training through it and I went back to the scanners and there was a next big hole. That was ten weeks after so I was wondering how big it was ten weeks previously. That knee then went again the year after and that was only one week before World Championships so that was even more devastating. I’ve had a bit of snowballing.
Carlie: What else have you done?
Matthew: I have done all my ligaments in my right foot. I was just jogging around a rugby field; there was a rugby game going on, when I was in the UK. I was just watching the game and didn’t see the hole in front of me and my foot went straight in the hole; flipped right over and I was like something is kind of done badly here. That was pretty much what I was dealing with for two years. I went to Canada, I had to reset. I started walking, started running. I got three ligament tears in my knee and one foot tear and then surgery. That was kind of the big ones. I’ve only ever done big ones. I broke a pinky toe one time as well. That was only six weeks.
Carlie: You must have rejoiced when the doctor said only six weeks.
Corey: You’ve done a lot of rehab. How much pre-habbing are you doing?
Matthew: I do a tonne of pre-hab. Every day, I would spend fifteen to twenty minutes on the carpet in the front room. I’m really into yoga and I do a lot of activation stuff like rolling. Before the big run sessions, I spend around an hour foam rolling and doing some stuff with a lacrosse ball like trigger pointing. I massage every single week; physiotherapy every single week. My life is just how I keep myself together. I do ice baths maybe like a post-race but I wouldn’t say I ice bath all the time.
Corey: Have you ever done cryotherapy?
Matthew: No, I have heard about it though.
Carlie: This is when you freeze yourself for one hundred years and then come back and you’re like I’m back people.
Corey: Like that but not for one hundred years.
Matthew: Definitely. I’ve read about but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it. Have you done it?
Corey: I have not done it but you can do it in Barbados.
Matthew: I’m not sure if that facility is quite up. It’s probably a deep freeze and you hear the lock clicking and you’re like oh God. No, I haven’t had the chance to do the cryotherapy.
Corey: Some people go to the extreme. My new favourite toy is the hypervolt. This is an electric massager. It’s the one that my friend used. I don’t know if she just used it on me as a guinea pig but the thing is so amazing. My last injury, we had to hit it hard because I had a competition coming up so we did a lot of massages then the hypervolt. It’s like a machine that is just cuffing you. We did hypervolt; we did regular massage; we did muscle stimulation; acupuncture.
Matthew: I think that one is the best. I like very deep and very hard so I find that acupuncture is the one thing that can get really deep into the body and really loosen you up.
Corey: It’s weirdest sensation when the needles feel like they start burning.
Matthew: That’s when it is going a bit too deep.
Carlie: I’ve never tried it but I would be open to.
Corey: If you don’t have any injuries, don’t do it.
Matthew: I don’t want to say physiotherapy is like a fart but it’s almost like a fart. You have to go there when you have injuries. I feel like your body over twenty years, most of the times you feel your first injury, your body is built efficiently to move in that way. All of a sudden they go and they correct you and fix you in a way that your body isn’t designed to move in. I feel like even when you’re warming up you have to take a step back and let your body adapt to the way it is moving. It might be more efficient but I’m a big believer that you can’t expect to fix what’s not having loosened. Everything is built to move this way for your body. Also, I feel like physiotherapy has this one size fits all, not quite.
Corey: That part that you said I agree with. It’s not to say that you are all supposed to do the same thing but biomechanics varies across all people. You have people with longer femurs and shorter femurs. Even heads, they are in different positions on different people. You might squat and I might squat and we look completely different.
Matthew: I think there are basic principles where you are looking for certain things like for running, your feel should contact right under the hips. Small things like that you can correct. You watch some people run and you’re like how aren’t they broken all the time. These marathon runners run two hundred miles per week and I’m like how do you run like this for two hundred miles per week.
Carlie: I like to see how calm and peaceful they look sometimes.
Corey: You raised an important point in terms of running form. I used to be really big on you have to look a certain way while you run. Over time and as I learned more, I realised sometime you just leave people. This is working for you, do your thing.
Matthew: Exactly. Too much change is almost the worst thing. If you start coaching some eight years old kids, fair, you can get them all to do it. If you were to work on some middle aged people, you can’t completely try to strip back everything and start fresh. Well you can but it would take a really long time
Corey: When I watch my son squat, it’s gorgeous. I’m like wow your legs move amazingly. On the point of running form, are you a conventional runner or do you pose?
Carlie: I pose. You mean for pictures?
Corey: Not posing for pictures. I mean, is your running form conventional, just one foot in front of the other and you kind of heel strike?
Matthew: I do a mid-foot strike, mostly. I’m definitely not a fore-foot striker; maybe heel a bit more. More towards the heel of the mid-foot I’d roughly say. Maybe I’m conventional. I don’t even know what that means. Pose is an actual scientific term?
Corey: Pose running, you basically pull your return leg as opposed to just letting it trail.
Matthew: So, it’s a back kick almost.
Corey: It looks like you’re lifting your knee and butt at the same time.
Matthew: One thing I’ve realised with all the top runners, they have such a huge butt kick. I also think it’s because they are running two hundred and thirty five per kilometre.
Carlie: Two hundred and thirty-five per kilometre is like my one hundred meter pace. I’d be running that for one hundred metres maybe, probably two hundred.
Corey: Did you see the video of the treadmill that they had set up to show Kipchoge’s marathon pace.
Carlie: I saw that. I was like I want to do that.
Corey: I think I saw one person maintain it and not face plant.
Matthew: At every track event you have eight lanes; at the Olympics you just have one lane with a normal person. Even if the person does one hour a day in the gym or have an age group run it because I don’t think people understand it. Let’s say our Bajan athletes get in but they don’t get through to the second round, you still understand how fast these people go. I would like for there to be a normal person so people can fully understand. Say they were like Kipchoge ran into a one hundred and thirty-eight mile in a fifty-six. What does that mean? Until you break it down, [unintelligible]. Unless you are a runner, you still don’t understand what that means.
Carlie: I really like that idea.
Matthew: In the pool, just to really let people understand that a guy that comes forty-fifth in the Olympics ... I really think they should do it just to give them an idea. The average person doesn’t have a clue what that means.
Corey: If you look at marathon splits over five kilometres, you realise the final five kilometres of a marathon and you’re looking at fourteen minutes. This is your last five kilometres, not the first one, not the only one.
Matthew: Even when the commentator says it’s the last ten kilometres to go, he’s got to pick up. I’m like I run one ten kilometres and when you’re running a ten kilometres race and you have 1.5 kilometres, you pick up. They’re like last five miles. I’m like last five miles. It’s all relative; it’s what you train for. It hurts me when they say last five kilometres, I just run one and that’s it and not run seven and then pick up from there.
Carlie: Even though we are all runners, people who run marathons are a different animal and people who run a mile are a different animal.
Matthew: Completely different. I read something the other day that every year they take a vote on what is the hardest track and field event. A hundred metre sprinter made a tweet that said I hate to see these because as a sprinter we obviously barely train compared to marathon runners but at the same time he’s like I can’t do every track event to world class level so I am world class at my one hundred meter run. I couldn’t run a marathon. I could probably complete one. It put it really into perspective because we always rate sprinters. They train for about six hours but they sprint for three thirty meter starts and then they go and warm down, lift weights. They spend the longest time in the bathroom. They go to the bathroom maybe seven times in a session. At the same time, they are world class and they only race for nine seconds so you can’t expect them to be doing the same amount of training.
Carlie: The guys that I train with, I’m running up to half marathons and most of them are like sprinters. When I run for twenty-five minutes, they are wondering how am I still running. We have things at intervals and we have rests. I am so notorious for let’s do the next one now, I’m so impatient. They’re like w got a minute, we take it; enough of that behaviour.
Corey: I went through a weight lifting cycle and that completely changed me. Weightlifters, they sit between lifts so at first I was like this is so boring, this is the most ridiculous thing. Coming on to the end of the four months, we were sitting for two minutes before touching the next weight.
Matthew: It’s so true. When you have people trying to improve in the gym, you do one rep maximum then sit for however long. For me, I have to work on endurance and efficiency of what you can do with your time. Your muscle has to have that time to recover.
Corey: You have to rebuild your ATP.
Matthew: It takes forever to rebuild. I am very interested in all that stuff and being a world class athlete regardless of what you’re doing is still an amazing field. I’m going to rinse someone who is training for a few hours compared to my overall time because I’m doing a lot more but at the same time you just have to acknowledge and accept.
Corey: One of the things we wanted to touch on is your weeks. How do you map your week?
Matthew: When I was in Canada, we did a five days train; two days recovery. Tuesday to Saturday was usually really hard and then Sunday would be a really long run. Get it done early so you have almost twenty-four hours to the next session. We do one or two sessions a day on the easy days; just very light and just do the work. Honestly, I found recovery days the hardest to get through. Usually Sundays would be a long run and then Monday would be a swim and maybe an easy bike. Swimming wouldn’t be technical; just an hour, three kilometres easy and then work on some technical stuff and then bike thirty or forty kilometres; just spinning the legs to get the blood flowing. Our hard days, going towards race days we do bike to run or something more specific for the races. Just running compared to running with tired legs after biking is a completely different ball game.
Corey: Being a land crab, I don’t swim. I’ve been a dry-athlon. This is row, bike, run. I made it up. The transition from the bike to the run, that blew my mind. I never thought about it because I never had to. I was a runner full stop. I got a lot of respect for tri-athletes after doing that one event. When I got off the bike and got on the run, my legs weren’t mine.
Matthew: It is learning to train your body to deal with that discomfort from the beginning as well. When you run ten kilometres, the first three or four kilometres you are still within yourself, you are still feeling comfortable but then all of a sudden you go to run ten kilometres after the bike. That first kilometre and a half, your legs don’t feel like yours. We wouldn’t run ten kilometres off the bike but we’d run four kilometres off the bike. We’d usually swim, first thing, for three to five kilometres. It’s roughly two or three sessions on those hard days. Sometimes four if we do gym because we do strength training twice per week. Usually four out of five of the swims would be quite hard then we do two big, hard bikes then the others will just be building mileage. Run would be two hard run sessions usually with one recovery one and one long one. We obviously wouldn’t do hard runs and hard bikes on the same day. I do my recovery run straight after swimming and then a big three hours of easy bike. We usually try to combine two sessions and have a recovery time for the third one. So it would be roughly twenty to twenty-five hours; anywhere between three hundred and three hundred and fifty kilometres riding. I run anywhere between forty and fifty kilometres. Some of the guys run a lot more than me. It’s really funny because some guys are so good at some sessions but then running off the bike is like a threshold run more than how fast can I run. That will let you know how well you’re going to run five kilometres on the track but it doesn’t let you know how all the factors play. We do three sports but it’s basically how can I make this into one sport. I was a big track runner and Barbados was my favourite, I then learned that I had to hold back my running mindset. I remember running two sessions a day and I think triathlon is an enduring sport; consistency is key. I hardly give one hundred percent in training. I hit my pace six months in a row; that is where the major gain is.
Corey: Lay a brick every day.
Matthew: Some days, you don’t feel good but just show up. You might just miss your pace by a few seconds but your body doesn’t realise the difference. If I am a bit tired because I was doing a huge bike session yesterday, you come to the run the next day and I’m going to get blazed because the other guys are a bit fresher. You just have to learn what you are doing and not get caught up with people around you. Some days just don’t look at the watch or don’t look at the pace clock.
Carlie: Speaking about that, my thing has been watches. I go through watches like one a year; they just mash right up. It just went from normal and then I take it off and I’m like what.
Matthew: Do you have some corrosive sweat or something?
Carlie: Maybe, actually.
Corey: I have a watch, put it in the gym bag, reached in the gym bag and I just have a watch with no straps.
Carlie: I think it is known that Garmin straps are not that good. Let’s be fair, I buy the cheapest ones. I don’t buy the high end.
Matthew: For me, I just buy a watch that suits everything. This can do biking as well. I bought a bike computer and the bike computer costs as much as this one watch that I put onto my bike.
Corey: Which model do you use?
Matthew: This is a black Garmin, forerunner 935. I think it’s their top end run one. It can Bluetooth to the power meter on my bike as well. I can take it off and put it on the bike. It’s a one size fits all so it’s a bit more of an investment but this one will last me straight through the time.
Carlie: Before we go, there’s one last thing I want to talk about. It is your Barbados through my Eyes video that you put out on YouTube.
Matthew: On my Facebook page, Matthew Wright Triathlon, it is pinned to the top so you just see it. The reaction blew my mind. I just wanted to show people what I did. For potential sponsors out there, you can get in contact. So instead of being like hey I’m this guy from Barbados; it’s just like this video is what I am about. My main angles just show Barbados for what it is and it’s a completely different angle from the BTMI videos. Shout out to Zap Bagga, Bajan pro, for just putting the video together.
Carlie: What was the conceptual process like? Did you just say I think it would be good to do this thing?
Matthew: Yes. A few professionals have done it as well. Flora Duffy who is world champion Bermudian, she is sponsored by a company called Specialise which is the biggest bike company in the world. They did a video with her, not quite similar, more about her bike and all that. I sent them a few of these training videos at the top. I was like this is what I’m thinking; I want to show off Barbados like this. He has a drone and all that and he was like yes this sounds cool and sent me a plan of the shots he wanted to get. I just showed him that this is where I want to this; I think this would be cool. We just went on a flight. I spent around an hour on each sport. One run session; one whatever and on the bike, riding, etc.
Carlie: You men, he didn’t drive you to the top and let you out?
Matthew: No. I rode from my house in garrison and met them on East Coast Road.
Carlie: All of that?
Matthew: All of that. I think he brought me back because it got too dark and I didn’t bring my lights. It was amazing what was done in such a short time. He set up the cameras and he was like you meet a girl in the bar and she want to know what triathlon is all about; ready, go. I was just sitting in front of this camera and I was like I need to at least see what she looks like. Is she brown, blonde or brunette? That’s just how it happened and he just did awesome.
Carlie: You don’t have time for girls with all the training you’ve been doing. You don’t have any time for girls.
Corey: He doesn’t even have time to go to the supermarket.
Matthew: About August 2020 I’ll be available.
Carlie: Send in your application now.
Corey: It’s in the next year and a half now. So it’s full crunch.
Matthew: Real, real crunch. Every day now counts towards that goal. Getting out of here on January seventh to meet the new squad in Porchville for training camp and that’s the beginning of the new journey but the same goal is in mind; same plan. It’s exciting man. I know it’s not going to be an easy road but I am one hundred percent committed.
Carlie: The easy road is not the rewarding road.
Corey: If it was easy, everybody would do it.
Matthew: I’ve heard that one before. Definitely.
Corey: Thanks for chilling with us.
Matthew: Thanks for having me.
Carlie: Thanks a lot for listening. This is Running Bout. Remember, you can listen on iTunes; you can also find it on the website carlyrunsbarbados.com. You can follow us at @that_mclean_guy and you can follow me at @flyy.runnerr. You can also find Matthew Wright and please keep following his journey to Tokyo 2020. He’s on Facebook and Instagram, just at @mattwright46. Thanks a lot guys, this has been Running Bout.