Wednesday Workout with Matt Ellis
As both an Age Group World Champ and guide to Tri-6b World Championship bronze medallist Iain Dawson, Matt Ellis knows a thing or two about training, balance and being a team player. Check out his favourite workouts that made him the 2013 Olympic distance Age Group Champion in the men’s 35-39 division.
Full Name: Matthew Peter Ellis (Matt)
Country: England (GB)
Age Group: 35-39
Profession: Insurance Broker
How did you get involved in triathlon?
I used to play national league basketball after finishing university. During my time in the sport I broke an ankle and a leg (amongst other things). After the second break, I started swimming and cycling as part of my rehabilitation and once I started running again I thought I would give one a go. It took me a year or so to get the confidence to enter one.
How often do you train?
Pretty much every day (although this may just be a 20min run) but have a ‘rolling’ rest day during harder blocks. This flexibility over the rest day allows me to reduce frustration should I miss a session/day due to business commitments. It also means I don’t have to miss out on certain group sessions as there is often something on every day of the week when you have three sports and conditioning to juggle. I have to run a lot but usually in small amounts otherwise I have old injuries that start to become problematic.
What is the best training advice you’ve received?
I am a firm believer of a little a lot - especially when it comes to technique work. I am also a believer of finishing sessions with good technique so that this is the last thing you remember.
What motivates you to race?
Different races have different motivations. When racing with Iain, the motivation is allowing him to race the best he can and getting him to events/results he wants and deserves. For me, I suppose it comes from feeling good and I get this from inspiring others to race, from beating people who have beaten me before, from improving on last week, being healthy….the list goes on.
2 x 400m open water loop (400m) swim warm up including 1 x 10 stroke burst per ‘side’ of the loop
Pyramid normally is about 800m:
10 stroke hard 10 stroke easy (thinking about form – whatever I am concentrating on that week)
20 stroke hard 20 stroke easy
30 stroke hard 30 stroke easy
40 stroke hard 40 stroke easy
50 stoke hard 50 easy
(back down again)
**This set also helps with deep water starts and pushes me against some faster swimmers, as it’s easy to turn it into mini races
400m steady (working on bilateral and swimming straight – which for me is an issue!)
800m same structure as Pyramid above, but you work in pairs and swim without sighting. First of pair goes off and then second aims towards them and tries to end up in same place.
400m Cool down – again concentrating on good form.
When I was racing middle distance I used to go to the local 10m TT loop (which took 20mins warm up) and do the following?
1 x TT effort
1 x Easy/recovery
1 x TT effort
1 x Easy/recovery
1 x TT effort
Parkrun in the UK is a great tool. I do a session of 20 minutes (5-6k) building warm up to arrive at a parkrun and then race pace/effort for the 5k finished with a 5k run back home. Its simple but effective as you get race practice and there are often some quick guys there to make sure I don’t slack off. In total, it’s15k. As I progress I add longer runs at the start and a post Park run.
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