Triathlon 101 with Matty Reed

Last week I discovered Matty Reed was giving a Triathlon 101 session at my local running store, A Runner’s Circle. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity to meet the world class triathlete. For those of you who don’t know, Matty (<– first name basis now ;-) ) competed in the 2008 Olympics.


My evening last night started with a five mile run right alongside the pro triathlete. First impression: Geesh, this is man tall! If he ever wants to pull a Michael Jordan and switch to basketball he definitely has the height to do it at 6’5″. Throughout the run it was great to see how “real” Matty was talking with each of us. He was very humble and even slowed his pace for some of the slower runners, aka me! I had a chance to talk to his wife, Kelly, during the run as well. This lady is just as tough as her husband. Being a triathlete herself, she was paralyzed for two years after a nasty bike incident, yet by some miracle, came back to full health to race again.

1492220_10202566141147842_1404620069_oAfter the run, there was a Q&A session with Matty where he told us a little about his background. Matty was born in New Zealand but lived in many parts of the world, including Australia, Japan, and now San Deigo. He started in the sport of triathlon at the age of 15. During his senior year in high school, Matty decided to become a professional triathlete. In 2008, he won the US Olympic trials and performed at the Beijing Games. Matty has won several tirathlons, including the Toyota Cup Series.


During the Q&A, I found a few things particularly interesting about Matty:

1) Matty has only had one major injury (biking incident) during his career which left him recovering for almost a year and a half.

2) His worst training year was in 2013. Since he lived in Colorado, he thinks the altitude didn’t allow for enough recovery post intense training. After moving back to San Diego a few months ago, he is becoming faster and faster each week.

3) Matty has about 18 races planned each year. He prefers the 70.3 to the 140.6, but he participates in races of all distances. He would rather do 18 races of varying lengths than only 5 full Ironmans per year.

4) When swimming, he comes up for breath whenever he feels like it, and not every 4th or 2nd stroke. He generally comes up for breath on his right side because it’s more natural for him than both sides.


All in all it was a pretty incredible evening! Matty is so humble and inspiring and his wife is a total rockstar! They make quite the duo!

11 thoughts on “Triathlon 101 with Matty Reed

    • Lol! That’s what I thought! But actually he was very down to earth and gave great advice to newbies, like me, who are uncomfortable with biking and/or swimming.

    • Kelly’s story is pretty incredible! She went through a lot of rehab to walk again. She’s even done a few triathlons after the accident.

      It sounded like Matty does move a lot to train for sports. The reason he moved to Colorado was for the altitude but it ended up worsening his performance in 2013 surprisingly.

  1. Well now you’re basically famous too!! That’s awesome that you got to meet him! And as a former swimmer, I can relate to that whole – breathe whenever you need thing. I always hated it in practice when the coach would mandate when we could breathe. Um, hello, I’ll breathe when I need to, thank you very much!

    Also, in response to past posts – CONGRATS on your 18 miles!!! That’s phenomenal! And also, the camel back pack thing is amazing, right? I agree. Totally a necessity when you’re out running for that long!! :) GOOD WORK girl can’t wait to hear about your marathon!!
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