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In the Final Surge Podcast, we interview coaches, athletes authors, and endurance industry experts to help you train with a purpose.
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Aug 23, 2018

Matt Fitzgerald has had some challenging goals, but this may be the most challenging yet. Today we talk to Matt Fitzgerald about his quest to qualify for Kona after not having done an Ironman in over a decade and also about his new book which is the 80/20 Triathlon.

Last time we talked to you, you had just finished your Running Bum challenge and you were working on a book, when is that coming out?

  • 2020

Your latest challenge is called Kona or Bust, can you tell is about that?

  • Unfinished business
  • Marathon was about breaking 2:40
  • I was 23 seconds short of qualifying for Kona in my one Ironman 
  • 23 seconds were there, I could have got them

You never did another Ironman?

  • I have registered for some, but never made it to the start line
  • Injuries always come up
  • Starting to have some now
  • I have 9 more months to get ready so not rushing it

Your goal is to qualify for Kona, where are you going to need to be?

  • Doing Ironman Santa Rosa
  • Mens 45-49 age group
  • Last year was under 9:30 for the win of my age group
  • Depends on who shows up and how many in the age group
  • If I don't make it this time I will try again next year

How did you pick your race?

  • Looking to stay close to home
  • Didn't want to play a game, just knew I needed to be fit
  • Not many who can run a 2:39 marathon so I know if I can stay healthy I have a shot

Is your goal to qualify for Kona or are you looking to be competitive in Kona and compete?

  • 1998 was the first year I was at Kona to report on it
  • I was exhausted spending the day on that course
  • I swore I would never do Kona
  • It is more about qualifying as I am not awesome in heat
  • I would do the race, but with lower expectations

When you were doing the Running Bum challenge you built up to 90 miles a week, are you close to that still?

  • No, I knew the biggest mistake I could make was to keep that going
  • Smart thing was to take a step back
  • I am better not running every day that is why triathlon was so attractive

When is the last time you really trained in the pool and on the bike?

  • 2009 after the Boston Marathon was training seriously for triathlon

What was it like getting in the pool for the first time after a decade?

  • Dreadful
  • I am comfortable with water but was not training
  • Swimming so technique dependent 

The new book is your 80/20 Triathlon, what brought about this book?

  • When we mimic the training of pro's and their 80/20 we get best results
  • I wrote 80/20 running in 2014
  • Triathlons asked for a version

Is 80/20 still optimal in the pool where the impact on the body is less?

  • Swimmers, even short sprint swimmers, train at high volume and 80/20 is relevant
  • Cannot train at all high intensity because will fry yourself 

You mentioned getting stuck in the grey zone rut, want to talk about a few ways that happen?

  • This book is different than the 80/20 running
  • I put in a list of why people get caught in the rut
  • Less genetically gifted athletes our ranges are a lot smaller
  • There are 8 reasons in the book, the biggest may be the natural pace compromise 

One of the things I loved about this book is you give plans but you also it teaches you how to build plans. One you talk a lot about your zones. You talk about power meters, do you use a Stryd Power Meter?

  • It is legit, I have used it
  • I have not made it a regular part of my training, but it is a useful tool
  • Makes my job easier with some athletes I coach

Have you found since you worked with the NAZ group that you do more strength/stretching?

  • Yes I took that with me

 

Resources

Kona or Bust https://www.finalsurge.com/KonaOrBust

Website http://mattfitzgerald.org/

Twitter https://twitter.com/mattfitwriter

Training Plans https://finalsurge.com/TrainingPlans/Fitzgerald

Stryd Power Meter http://bit.ly/strydfs

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