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December 13, 2023

84 Minute Improvement in Ironman!

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In this episode, Coach Mike interviews Matt Szymaszek,, who recently had an amazing race at Ironman Florida. Matt shares his background in endurance sports, including running in college and participating in half marathons. He talks about his transition to triathlon and the challenges he faced, including learning how to swim. Matt then discusses his experience at Ironman Florida, the race conditions, and his strategy. He also talks about his nutrition and cramping issues during the race. Finally, Matt shares his future goals and his plan to focus on shorter distances and duathlons.


  • Transitioning from a background in running to triathlon can be challenging, especially when learning how to swim.
  • Race conditions and strategy play a significant role in performance, and it's important to adapt and make adjustments during the race.
  • Nutrition and electrolyte balance are crucial for endurance performance, and individual experimentation is necessary to find the optimal intake.
  • Cramping issues can impact performance, and it's important to address the underlying causes and find solutions.
  • Setting future goals and transitioning to shorter distances can provide new challenges and opportunities for improvement.


00:00 Background and Introduction to Triathlon

06:38 Transitioning to Triathlon and Training Challenges

15:35 Ironman Florida Race Experience

20:27 Nutrition and Cramping Issues

25:13 Previous Marathon Experiences

29:31 Future Goals and Transitioning to Shorter Distances


Mike (00:00.886)
Hi, Coach Mike here again for the D3 Multisport podcast with Matt Smazek and Matt just had an amazing race at Ironman Florida, crushed his previous PR and we've got him on and thanks for coming on with us today, Matt. Awesome, awesome. Before we get into Ironman Florida, just give me a little bit, you know, what was your background before triathlon and you know, obviously endurance sports and obviously you're athletic, you've had a big, big jump in, you know, your, your times, but there's gotta be some athleticism in the background there.

Matt Szymaszek (00:12.572)
Yeah, thanks for having me.

Matt Szymaszek (00:28.496)
Yeah. So initially my introduction to, I guess, endurance sports was kind of high school cross country. And I actually joined that initially to get in shape for hockey season. So that transitioned to no longer playing hockey and then running through the winter. And then that carried me forward until college, where I ran at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. And that was both cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

doing all distance events, so 3K, 5K indoors, and then 5K, 10K outdoors. One of my teammates was an incredible athlete, all American in high school, school record holder in college, and he actually made the jump to triathlon post-collegedly and actually got his pro card pretty quickly. So that was my kind of first introduction into triathlon, but never thought about like,

Pursuing it myself other than having the dream of you know, being an Iron Man and going to Kona but never actually Pursuing it at that time So post collegiate Lee transitioned To more longer distance stuff. So half marathon ran Boston a couple times Philadelphia a couple times and then went to medical school where I continued to run that was like my outlet for everything and then

Mike (01:53.539)

Matt Szymaszek (01:57.38)
through med school, in residency things are just crazy busy. So the true training really was on the back burner, but it was my passion to just get out there and hammer some miles every once in a while. But then fast forward to moving to Colorado in 2019, August of 2019, just my work schedule.

allowed me to do more. And so one of my former teammates had done Ironman Wisconsin. And I was like, well, if he can do it, I can do it. And I'm probably going to do it faster. So then that kind of launched me into triathlon, where I started with purchasing a plan from D3 and just doing it by myself, which was incredibly challenging and eye opening, since I'd never done swimming before.

Mike (02:33.143)
You'll like it.

Matt Szymaszek (02:49.996)
I'm outside of, you know, learning how to swim when I was younger, but never did swim teams. So that was the biggest, biggest challenge. And, um, here we are several years later, um, making some improvements and yeah, working, working on everything.

Mike (03:04.534)
That's awesome. Do you still get to skate at all?

Matt Szymaszek (03:07.908)
I do actually, yeah, the day after Thanksgiving that's where I got this. I took a puck to the face the other day and needed a bunch of stitches. So I'm still trying to get out there. It'd be nice to get actually into men's league again. But right now it's just mostly skating with the boys.

Mike (03:11.787)

Mike (03:22.826)
Nice, nice. Oh, that's fun though, that's fun. That's fun. I definitely have coached doctors and people going through med school and I understand the crazy schedule. I actually had one woman that I coached that actually did an Ironman when she was in med school, which I thought was insane, but she did it. Pull it off, I don't know how she did it, right? So, but that's awesome. I mean, that's a great story and obviously.

Matt Szymaszek (03:38.136)
Oh wow. Yeah, I don't know how people do it.

Mike (03:49.358)
Uh, you know, hockey is the absolute opposite of track on endurance sports, right? Because hockey is two minutes shifts at the longest probably, and it is all out of VO two for 30 seconds and then rest and then do it again. But obviously you probably have a high VO two and, uh, you know, I always say, get a guy with a high VO two and you can turn them into an endurance athlete. That's easy. So it's the other way.

Matt Szymaszek (03:53.874)

Matt Szymaszek (04:09.604)
Yeah, and that was the one thing I did notice. When I, in between college and med school, I was playing, went back and started playing a bunch of men's league hockey. And that was like the most fit I had ever been because I was running, still running a ton during the day. And then at night I would go play men's league. So it was just like, total aerobic during the day. And then like you said, just interval work overnight. And so I would never been fitter or felt like I could run through a brick wall.

Mike (04:35.083)


Matt Szymaszek (04:39.1)
back then. So it'd be nice to get back to that fitness.

Mike (04:40.47)
So I grew up playing a little bit of hockey. I had a brother that played in college and all that. But I ran in cross country and in college and this is my side note here, but we had a floor hockey league that started right when cross country season ended. So we were always the fittest on campus, right? So a bunch of running geeks out there doing floor hockey, we were crushing everybody the first three or four weeks. And then everybody finally gets fit and they just, they beat us on talent, right? Cause we were just, we've been terrible at floor hockey. But it was pretty funny.

Matt Szymaszek (04:56.295)

Matt Szymaszek (05:00.509)

Matt Szymaszek (05:05.805)
Oh yeah, sure.

Mike (05:09.634)
That's awesome. So let me take me through so I know you did st. George right and that was the one that was super hot That was the Ironman World Championship that you had signed up for and you were ready to go out there and just Go out there and I had some good athletes really melt in that heat I know you did pretty well out there. So sounds like you had a good strategy on staying hydrated and in You know those lessons you learn in races like that. I mean you always take that stuff forward right and then you build on it Yeah, so tell me a little bit

Matt Szymaszek (05:35.021)
Yeah. Yeah, I think that's with.

I was going to say that's kind of with everything so far. I feel like every race that I've done in triathlon, I'm always learning something new. Like, oh, that didn't quite work, or I need to do like more fuel here at this particular time, or when I start to feel this, it's probably this that's going sideways. So that's the hardest thing about this sport is like trying to get all the stars aligned at the same time and think you know what you're doing. But a lot of things are out of your control.

Mike (05:39.842)

Matt Szymaszek (06:09.148)
But with Florida, the conditions were excellent. So we flew in a couple days before, I think it was on Wednesday, and the weather was great. I've never done any open ocean swimming, so that was my only kind of nervousness going into it. I think building up to Florida, I'd put in a ton of work and had a prolonged taper that was kind of unplanned just due to crazy work schedule.

So I'd done a bunch of, you know, five hour rides, actually had done Ironman ride on the Arizona course virtually on full gas. So I felt really good. I knew I could probably go under five, but it was just the anxiety of the open ocean that was giving me a little bit of a pause. But anyway, we flew in a couple of days before, weather was great and it only continued to get better. Like the water was a little...

as far as I could tell, had a little bit of swell to it, but nothing dramatic. And then by the time the race rolled around on Saturday, it was quite, quite calm and pretty ideal as far as I could tell. Um, but race morning, yeah, it was nice and cool. Um, not terribly, terribly windy. Water was pretty flat and I'm not a strong swimmer by, by any means. It's obviously the weakest link for me. Um, so I was

trying to go right around like 115 to 118-ish, which would have been much faster than my St. George time, which was 124. And my time goal was to break 10. That was the whole goal of going to Florida, was to break 10 and maybe to squeak out a Kona spot, if possible. But with it having a pro field this year, the field got incredibly deep and the age groups were just...

Mike (07:56.739)

Matt Szymaszek (08:02.34)
So competitive. But yeah, went out in the swim and felt pretty good. The pier, there wasn't too much chop around the pier. When you got a little bit out in the open ocean, it was a little bit more noticeable, especially swimming horizontal to shore. And I guess talking to a lot of people, just the way the current runs through the Gulf, that's the way that you're just swimming into a current most likely.

Mike (08:17.096)

Matt Szymaszek (08:30.692)
And so making the turn to home, there was thousands and thousands of jellyfish, um, which fortunately were very small, very benign. I did take a stinger between the fingers, which was, I maybe I imagined, but I felt something and, um, was able to come through the first lap in the fastest, like 1.2 mile swim that I'd ever done. So I knew, I knew it was on pace to have a good day if I set a PR in the first lap.

Mike (08:38.1)
Oh, yes.

Matt Szymaszek (09:01.156)
Um, things slowed down a little bit on the second. Um, and certainly running, doing that, uh, Aussie exit was a little, um, a little challenging. I had, I had practiced it the day before, but I didn't expect my heart rate to spike the way that it did. Um, and so that I actually had to take it easy those last, you know, 30 yards, getting back into the water to reel myself in, cause I was just kind of redlined there for a little bit.

Mike (09:09.471)

Matt Szymaszek (09:28.208)
but I came through the second lap a little slower and I think I exited the water with a 1.17. So I knew I was on at least my time, anticipated time pace to still break 10. I figured if I could get through both transitions and the swim in under 90 minutes, then I was probably most likely gonna be sub 10. But transition was long. I bypassed the wind.

Mike (09:48.482)
That's a good goal.

Mike (09:53.526)
It's a long run. It's like a half mile run. It's a long road. Yeah.

Matt Szymaszek (09:56.524)
Yeah, it was quite long up and over the road through the little shopping center. Um, but bypassed the. The wetsuit strippers. And I wasn't again coming out of the saltwater. I was also like, Oh man, am I going to have like chafing issues with as this dries? Am I going to get all crusty? Like what's going to happen? So I didn't really know if I should spend time in the rinse off station or, or what. Um, but my only goal was sub 10. So I was just like making a beeline for every, every turn.

Mike (10:22.782)
Yeah, focused.

Matt Szymaszek (10:26.652)
So we came through transition pretty well and the first, let's see, I think 30 miles or so, it was kind of a little bit of a headwind. There's some positive elevation gain and I felt actually pretty good. My power was already averaging what my goal power was, which was...

I think 205 watts was the plan on average for the whole day. Normalized power was 205. But I was already holding that right out of the gate, and I was like, oh, this feels pretty good. I need to probably back this off. I don't want to blow up too soon, because ideally we were going to try to negative split it with just small changes in power. I think it was going to be 190 to 195 the first half, and then 200 to 205 the second half.

Mike (11:18.723)

Matt Szymaszek (11:20.872)
And I was already pushing kind of the top end from the beginning. And so.

Mike (11:23.402)
Right. But you know, you get out of the water, you're excited, you got a lot of adrenaline. I mean, it's hard to hold it back. And then if a group goes by you or somebody goes by you that's maybe bigger and you're like, well, that guy shouldn't be beat. You know, you kind of go through all these things in your head, girls, right? Like, you know, it's a lot of things that happen just because of the adrenaline and the fact that you're, you know, you're a competitive person, right? I mean, that's just, yeah.

Matt Szymaszek (11:30.385)

Matt Szymaszek (11:34.9)
Mm-hmm. Right. Yeah.

Matt Szymaszek (11:47.792)
Yeah, exactly. And that's the thing, like I'm always coming out of the water behind and typically I'm just motoring past people the rest of the race. So this was, I knew it was going to be no different. So it was just a game, yeah, playing catch up. And fortunately there was another gentleman out there. His last name was Streetman. But he was, him and I like crossed paths the entire race. And it was nice to have him there because I could actually

Mike (11:55.203)
Thank you.

Matt Szymaszek (12:17.212)
It was just a familiar face and I was like, all right, this guy is doing the same thing that I'm doing. Like if we just keep leapfrogging each other and going back and forth, then I'm probably gonna be on pace. And he clearly was an experienced Ironman. But the first half of the race was actually quite hard. And by the time I got to the personal need station, which was actually threw me off because they said it was gonna be at mile 53. And it was like several miles earlier. So I still had a bunch of

fluid and I was like, oh my God, the aid station's right there. I got to finish all this and exchange everything. So I came, came to a stop, just pounded my, the rest of my bottle, exchanged everything and kept going. But I was in a bad head space though, by that point, I don't know really why. My legs didn't feel as fresh as I thought they were going to, even at the halfway mark. And so then it just became.

a mental game for me. I was like, okay, I just need to get from like, I know if I go from this turn to this turn, like I rode this yesterday, like let's just get through this. And I know it's going to be a little bit of an elevation gain going out on that out and back, but then I'm going to have this tailwind. And so I just kept thinking like, just get to the tail, just get to the turnaround. Let's see if what this tailwind does. Because I was a couple of minutes behind pace at the halfway point, but when I got out to that turnaround at mile.

65 or 70 or so, things dramatically changed. And I started seeing the pros on the other side. And so that was exciting. And they gave me a little bit of motivation to keep pressing on. And by the time I hit the turnaround, we had a nice kind of cross tailwind in the speeds and the effort needed to put out like 28, 29 miles an hour was.

much easier, so gained a lot of time coming back. And coming down that final stretch along kind of parallel to the Gulf was interesting, because you actually had to go off road briefly, and they had laid down like a carpet over the gravel, and then you got on a bike path, had to go under the underpass, and then back up and over. So it was like...

Mike (14:33.399)
Oh wow.

Matt Szymaszek (14:36.34)
You actually needed a gravel bike or something with a little bit of suspension. And it was like, made me really nervous that, you know, the bike's going to rattle apart with 10 miles to go. Um, but then they had talked about the winds being really swirly by on that last stretch, um, which was very true. I mean, you had a lot of kind of crosswinds at times, tailwinds at times. And so that last final 10 miles was, um, fast, but, uh, kind of a little bit challenging kind of sitting.

Mike (14:42.186)
Yeah, you're going to go flat.


Matt Szymaszek (15:06.076)
sitting in a row, and by that time my shoulders and neck were just destroyed. But I knew getting to T2 under five hours was well within reach, and the run was my strong suit. So I knew once I got my shoes on, it was just kind of like not blowing up. It was going to be important. But I came into transition and actually my quad,

had locked up even before I got to the line. My wife's got a video where my leg is just dangling off the side of my bike and I'm shaking it, like, you know, praying that it comes back to life before I have to step onto the ground. But it seems to, that seems to be a recurrent problem for me, I don't know, we haven't figured out whether it's a bike fit, an electrolyte problem. We're not really sure, but I keep having these quad problems that really end up biting me on the run a little bit. But came through T2.

Mike (15:46.584)

Matt Szymaszek (16:04.188)
pretty quick. It was nice having the bike catchers there and not having to rack your bike. So that saved a lot of time and made things much more efficient. But got out a T2 without having my quads lock up and grabbed my nutrition and headed out on the run. And like most people, it feels like you're running through mud. And then when you check your watch, you're like, oh, I'm running way ahead of pace. So yeah.

Mike (16:32.683)
Right, right, right. So, so hold on. So let's just back up a sec. So 458 bike split, right? And so when, uh, so you got off the bike, was it like, um, so you must've been what? Six, six 50 or something like that.

Matt Szymaszek (16:32.969)
I looked out at my splits and...

Matt Szymaszek (16:38.267)

Matt Szymaszek (16:48.755)

Mike (16:49.578)
Once you got a transition.

Matt Szymaszek (16:52.6)
It was no, like six.

Mike (16:54.126)
50 117 and 5 so 6 20 inch ok 6 20 so now you got 340 to get the marathon in to get under 10 right ok got it

Matt Szymaszek (16:57.448)

Matt Szymaszek (17:04.768)
Yeah. And in St. George, I had run 331 and that was with, I think that course had like a thousand feet of elevation gain or something like that. So I knew in Florida, if I could on the flat surface, probably was going to have a pretty good, pretty good time. So I came off, came through the transition, got a little bit of a rally cry from the boys and everybody. So I was super motivated to get out there.

and quickly realized things could either fall apart or I was gonna have a good day. And that's what made me, I was just riding this knife's edge of severe muscle failure. I came through the first couple of splits, like 707, 715, 710, like pretty low. And overall, I think we had planned.

on averaging maybe, I think right around 725, 730-ish, I think was what we had initially planned, Brad and I. And I was well ahead of pace. And then I ended up having, I got to that six mile mark, which felt incredibly long to me. Like, I don't know, it was like, mentally, I just couldn't wait to get to the turnaround. And then,

it hit me like I got to go back and back again and then back again. And that was like.

Mike (18:30.602)
Yeah. And that, that tongue-lound is way out there, right? And there's not a lot of people out there. Unless they're on their bikes or something. It's lonely. Yeah.

Matt Szymaszek (18:38.602)
Yeah, it seemed very far. And in my head, I had a much different mental representation of the map. And I was like, what I'm running right now is not what I remember. And maybe I'm just misremembering, but this sucks. But I ended up having some really good splits. I think I came through the halfway mark.

Mike (18:55.202)

Matt Szymaszek (19:04.676)
I think on pace to run like 309 was my half split. And I knew, and so because of that, my strategy was, since I was running so much faster than my anticipated splits, I was like, I have to walk every aid station to balance it out. I was like, if I just walk 15 seconds, make sure I'm fueling appropriately, hydrating appropriately, that'll balance out these splits. And let's just see how long I can do this for.

I was able to do it pretty much the entire time. I was somewhere around, I think, maybe 15 or 16 miles. I did have more noticeable cramping and had to stop. And then on the way back, I think maybe with five miles to go, I had another really, really severe episode of cramping and had to stop. And going back and looking at the data, I think it was a total of maybe three minutes where I was

completely stopped to some degree. But once I made that final turnaround to run that last 10K, I knew I was gonna have a good day. And so I ended up coming in at 9.43, well under 10 hours. And so that puts me, I don't know what the run was now. It was like a 3, 3.17 I think. Yeah, yeah, so 3.17.

Mike (20:22.454)
Yeah, nice job.

Mike (20:27.343)
I pulled it up. I think it was like 317. Is that sound right? Yeah, 31703.

Matt Szymaszek (20:33.432)
Yeah, so a pretty good run, despite having a lot of muscular problems and actual no forward progress for three minutes. So I think there's still some gains that can be had on the run, which is cool. Because yeah, and the same with the swim.

Mike (20:48.982)
Well, some low-hanging fruit for sure. Did you have a plan on how many electrolytes an hour, like how many milligrams of sodium?

Matt Szymaszek (20:58.128)
Yeah, yeah. So I had been doing a lot of nutritional experimentation over the last year. So when I first started triathlon, I was only taking like, I was actually nervous to take nutrition, believe it or not. And I was only taking like 50 or 60 grams an hour. And then I was like, let's just see what 70, 80 is like. And so then I did that and I started having like much better workouts. And I was like, oh, well, this is, this is what everyone says should happen.

Mike (21:15.3)

Matt Szymaszek (21:27.728)
I ended up working my way up to 90 grams an hour. And then I did that ride that I mentioned earlier. I rode the Ironman Arizona course on full gas and pushed it to like 110 grams an hour.

Mike (21:42.35)
Is this 110 grams of carbohydrate an hour? Wow.

Matt Szymaszek (21:45.4)
Yeah. And I got off the bike and threw up within minutes after doing that. And so I was like, all right, one 10 is too much. 90, 90 I can do. I can probably do a hundred, but not for the entire, the entirety of it. So I knew 90 to a hundred was my sweet spot. And like I'd mentioned, I've been having a lot of cramping issues coming off of the bike onto the run and we, I started experimenting more with some electrolytes and.

Mike (21:50.334)
a little too much.

Mike (21:59.903)

Matt Szymaszek (22:15.845)
caffeine a little bit. And still haven't figured it out. I know Brad's talked to me about going to Boulder and getting the sweat test done formally so we can see if there is something.

Mike (22:25.65)
Yeah, I was going to mention that. So the precision hydration, I've had all my athletes do it. Um, and it's made a big difference because I think they can just dial in and say, okay, like I thought, so I had somebody do it. I did a manual test, right. And that was prescribed at 1700 milligrams an hour. Well, when I did the actual test, it ends up that I'm at six 50. So I was taken in a thousand, just crazy, but I didn't have any, like my, I have a steel stomach, like no stomach issues, nothing like I've just taken it all in. Right.

Matt Szymaszek (22:32.403)

Matt Szymaszek (22:43.572)

Matt Szymaszek (22:47.594)

Mike (22:54.966)
But I'm bloated like a whale when the race is over. And I'm thinking, how did I even do that? So if I didn't get dialed in this winter, that would have, what's that, sorry.

Matt Szymaszek (23:00.181)
Right. And that's kind of what exactly happened to me. No, I was going to say that's kind of the same similar story to me. I was kind of low on the low end initially taking in very little electrolyte and then I bumped that up to about a thousand milligrams seeing if that was the difference and I thought I noticed something. So that's what I stuck with and that was my plan for Florida was 90 grams an hour.

Mike (23:16.354)

Matt Szymaszek (23:25.864)
a thousand milligrams of sodium, and then a couple hundred milligrams of caffeine throughout the run. But when I started having all those issues immediately in T2 and out on the run, I was like, oh, well, maybe it's a salt problem. So at every aid station, I was doing all electrolyte, all anything, which I'm not sure was correct.

Mike (23:47.726)

Matt Szymaszek (23:52.792)
So, and again, we just need to figure that out. But anyway, so had, yeah, had built my way up to 90 grams an hour, that's kind of what we did. In hindsight, looking at my equipment, and my wife has noticed this anecdotally, there's been multiple races where I've come out finished and I'm like just caked in salt. And this time around, she's like, you were one of the few people that didn't have.

Mike (24:15.95)
So you need more.

Matt Szymaszek (24:21.812)
cake salt on your kit, but my calves did. Like I should have sent you a picture. Maybe I'll send it after we're done. But my calves were literally just white circles. It was like the most bizarre thing. And I was like, well, is that from coming out of the ocean? Cause I wore my calf sleeves under my wetsuit. Like I still don't really know. And I think there's a lot of, I think nutritional things that could be dialed in specifically that'll probably result in some pretty significant.

Mike (24:33.547)

Mike (24:40.759)

Matt Szymaszek (24:51.52)
performance gains because if I if I don't have cramping issues on the run I mean I'm gonna start running under 120 for the 70.3 I'm gonna probably easily go under 310 for the marathon it's really like this neuromuscular fatigue and cramping that I really just end up slowing my pace down because I'm nervous that the next step is gonna send me into total failure so

Mike (25:13.366)
Yeah, is right, right. So what were some of your marathon times, your better marathon times, just like your open times.

Matt Szymaszek (25:23.068)
Um, so my, yeah, so to get into Boston, you have to run under 305. Um, I ran Philadelphia. My first marathon was, uh, Philadelphia in. When was that? In 2008. So a year out of, uh, college and I ran. What did I run there?

I think I ran 246 or 245. No, that's not true. 253, I don't know. I ran under three, qualified for Boston, and then ran, I didn't go though because I ended up going to medical school and having all these other things. So then I came back to Philly. I actually went to medical school in, or sorry, residency in Philadelphia, trained through residency and my goal was.

Mike (25:54.456)

Matt Szymaszek (26:18.64)
I was like, I'm gonna go under 240. Like that's my goal. And I ran two hours, 40 minutes in zero seconds. So it was an absolute heartbreaker not to go under, I mean, they must have rounded the time up. That's what I keep telling myself, that I ran 359, 59.9 and they just rounded it up to 240. So that was in 2012. And then I did go to Boston. I used that time to go to Boston in 20.

Mike (26:27.415)
Oh wow.

Mike (26:33.878)
Thank you.

Matt Szymaszek (26:49.384)
2014 which was the year after the bombing and It was an absolute magical day like the weather could not have been any perfect It was just a perfect New England like spring day Yeah, everybody was just like so excited to have the marathon back again the year after the bombing Just the energy was unreal

Mike (27:03.406)
Right. You didn't have that headwind all the way into town.

Mike (27:13.61)
Yeah. Yep.

Matt Szymaszek (27:17.648)
And I honestly, I had a magical day. Like I wasn't in the best shape and I ran 243 in my first time at Boston and just, it was the coolest experience. I'll never forget it. And actually happened to run into some of my college teammates and they also had like everybody, I think everybody on the course that day had a monster PR. There was just some energy there that, you know, carried through everybody. It was awesome. And so then I...

used that time to go back in 2015, which was horrifically miserable. It was headwind the entire way, 40 degrees, raining. It was just the most uncomfortable time in sport I had ever had. And I never wanted to get out of a race more than on that day. It was, it was horrible. I remember finishing, literally shaking. What's that?

Mike (28:08.895)
Is that the year it does?

Mike (28:12.804)
Is that the Deslendon one?

Matt Szymaszek (28:16.388)
Yes, yeah it was. Yep.

Mike (28:17.214)
Yeah, the sideways range, she was running like almost in a parka. Uh, yeah, the whole thing, right?

Matt Szymaszek (28:24.728)
Yeah, it was awful. I remember crossing the finish line just essentially shaking out of my clothes. I was so cold. I grabbed my bag and I just sat in a porta potty because I didn't know what to do. I couldn't find my family. I was freezing to death. I just sat there in the little thermal blanket in a porta potty trying to warm up. It was ridiculous.

Matt Szymaszek (28:52.076)
I don't know, maybe 253 that day. And I haven't been back since, but I wanna, I think I'm gonna do the Steamboat Marathon this year in June, try to get another Boston qualifier because a couple of my buddies have had qualifiers at New York this past New York, and they're gonna go for their first time. It'd be nice to go with them and kind of do some bucket list sort of racing.

Mike (29:09.111)

Mike (29:15.07)
Yeah, that's fun. That's fun. Awesome, awesome. Well, thanks for everything. I think this was a really good interview and I really appreciate you coming on to talk to us. Anything else you want to add and any goals for next year?

Matt Szymaszek (29:25.725)

Matt Szymaszek (29:31.1)
I don't know. I think I was talking to Brad a little bit and we might transition away from kind of the longer distance stuff. I'm curious to see what I can do in some shorter distance things and maybe since running is my jam, maybe do some more duathlon sort of stuff. I have such a hang up with the swimming that as much as I know there's...

improvements to be had that are probably pretty easy. I just, the time sucked going to and from the pool, the coordination with the boys and my wife and everything is always so challenging that those are the easy workouts to either cut short or kind of keep pushing off. And I hate doing that. So maybe I'll focus on my strengths a little bit, but still go to the pool. I think with Boulder being local.

I don't think I can pass that up. So I'll probably do that. And then like I'd mentioned the, um, steamboat marathon, maybe a couple shorter, shorter triathlons for, which would probably qualify for age group nationals, I think in a little foot triathlon, um, has a new date this year. Um, I've always done the barking dog duathlon, which I haven't, I heard they're having to reschedule that. So I think I'm going to do some more local things. Hmm. Yeah.

Mike (30:35.458)

Mike (30:45.046)

Mike (30:52.622)
They're doing it once this year instead of three races. Yeah. They've moved a lot of things. Darren's cut back on some races. Cool. All right. Well, thanks. Thanks for having coming on and I really appreciate the conversation.

Matt Szymaszek (31:00.66)
Oh, okay.

Matt Szymaszek (31:05.776)
Yeah, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

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