Sponsored Athlete – Tyler Mathews

1) We are coming up on the end of the year. What goals do you have to finish up 2018 and do you have any major goals for 2019?
By the time this newsletter goes out, I will have run my first 100-mile mountain race at the Bear 100. The race starts in Logan, Utah and runs through the mountains into Idaho. I will also be running Oman by UTMB in late November, which is a 137-kilometer race in the desert and canyon region of this beautiful Arab country. In 2019, I would like to shift gears and work on some short distance speed again, hopefully setting a new 10k PR in April.
2) Do you have any interesting or weird training techniques that you swear by?
I really hate being in a rush for anything, so I’ll typically set my alarm for way earlier than is necessary to get my workout in. For example, if I’m supposed to leave the house at 5am to meet friends for a run, I’ll often wake up at 4am so I have time to make coffee, eat a snack, check the weather, foam roll, etc. Getting up at the last minute just adds extra stress to my morning and that’s not how I like to start my day.
3) What things outside of racing do you do to prepare?
I used to go to a gym for weights, but I ended up spending most of my time waiting around for the squat racks and leaving immediately after I finished those sets. My fiancée and I invested in some home gym equipment, so I spend about 2x per week doing heavy squats, deadlifts, and some upper body work. For mountain races with a lot of climbing, I also like mixing in some hilly hiking to continue working those muscle groups without the impact of running.
4) How do you feel body work and training work together? Other than massage, what body work are you a fan of?
I perform best when my body moves best. Hard training breaks muscle down and, as it heals, knots and shortened muscles will sometimes form. Massage has helped immensely in gently and effectively coaxing those muscles out of their “locked” state and into a more relaxed one where blood is free to flow and refresh those areas that need it most. Other than the frequent massages I received from Austin Massage Company, I try to stay up on daily maintenance with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, and massage sticks. While not nearly as effective, I find that these keep the tissue at bay until one of the AMC magicians can do their work!
5) Do you have any rituals you do before each competition?
Plan. Since I’ve started racing ultramarathons, the necessity to think about the details has become greatly heightened. I know that if I procrastinate, I’ll end up missing or forgetting something, so I start laying out my gear, calculating my nutrition, studying the course maps, and communicating with crew members as early as possible. That way when the day comes, I can just focus on putting one foot in front of the other knowing all the other gears in the machine are turning.