THE BEST FROM THE WEST HEADS EAST FOR IRONMAN ASIA PACIFIC CHAMPS
We would like to welcome triathlete and IRONMAN competitor Matt Burton to the BLACKROLL® family as one of our ambassadors.
Matt will be competing in the Cairns IRONMAN on June 6th with a clear goal in mind. "I just want to win it" he said.
Our Media source, Noel McMahon caught up with Matt on his past achievements and present goals, as well as how BLACKROLL® fits into his training and recovery routine.
Read More below:
After the better part of a decade triathlete Matt Burton questioned if his body could sustain his sporting dream but at the 2019 IRONMAN Western Australia in Busselton, he finally put the physical and mental jigsaw together and fulfilled his enormous potential.
In front of friends, family and his Western Australian fans Matt stopped the clock at a world class 7:55.40, an indisputable confirmation that his belief, the hard work and sacrifices had been worth it.
“I don’t how many times from late 2013 to 2018, where I was having endless back trouble, that I had looked at throwing it in. Eventually we found breaks and stress fractures through the sacrum and while I was still able to train at quite a high level over that period my body’s compensation was creating other issues.”
“Then once the fracture in the sacrum healed I had get back to the level I believed I was capable of and that took two years to that December amazing day in Busselton. To go sub eight hours was something I hoped for but had started to think I would never I achieve.”
At 32, Matt’s breakthrough into the top echelon of IRONMAN has been hard won and he credits his career’s survival with understanding how to train smart and better look after his body, a philosophy he shares with BLACKROLL®.
“The so called ‘one percenters’ should be part of a daily process. If you are going to go and train and strain the body through exercise, you need to do things that are going to provide balance.”
“When you are travelling as an IRONMAN or a triathlete you need to be able to take gear with you and BLACKROLL®’s approach to supporting what you are doing in your day as an athlete, or more generally, really resonated with me. It is really exciting to be able to work with a company that has the same beliefs and the same awareness that we all need to help the body improve, perform better or support you to live better,” he said.
With a serious time in the bag at ‘Busso’, Matt was poised to have a sensational 2020 but then the world was thrown into chaos by COVID 19. He believes he was fortunate to be living in the West and that from a physical and athletic point of view, COVID was very kind to him.
“When it first happened there was a lot of disbelief and a lot of people turned to anger. But when the whole world is going through something that is so much bigger than you and so much bigger than sport, health and the support of loved ones was what mattered most.”
“Everyone in Australia was limited in some manner during the pandemic but in WA we were never restricted to the same degree as other states and definitely not as severe as other countries. I had a friend tell me, ‘Just keep your finger on the pulse because a lot of people can’t train’. I had some mates in Europe who were stuck inside for 60 odd days, so I drew motivation from different people.”
“We had the luxury of actually going outside to train, so I was fortunate that over an 18 month period I was able to make myself as robust as possible. What got me through was continuing to reminisce on my performance in Busselton in late 2019 and knowing what was going to be possible out the other side.”
While the Western Australian racing was disrupted, the turmoil was nothing like the mass event cancellations facing the east coast and the global triathlon calendar.
“We were lucky here that they moved the May 2020 race to October 2020 and let locals race the Busselton 70.3. Then I shifted my focus to cycling because I thought it was a good time to freshen up from a general sporting point of view.”
“I have some mates who ride world tour level and they were home training for Nationals. So, I went over and did the National Time Trial and road race with the boys at Unicorn racing. It was a very different experience and there were no expectations, I got 10th in the TT and punctured in the road race, so it was out of my control.”
In May, this year Matt was able to defend his Busselton 70.3 title and then he set his sights on the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns on 6 June.
“I have raced four or five triathlons in the last few months and it has been a bit different. Although I wasn’t great, I managed to hit the line first in Busso and it started to feel natural. Being match or race fit is a totally different level of adrenalin and mental stress, which is impossible to replicate in training. So, to have that race in my arsenal heading to Cairns is extremely beneficial from a conditioning point of view.
“A win in Cairns would be a lovely way to start the year. You spend enough time on podiums you soon realise that while second and third is fantastic, it is not at the same time as a win. IRONMAN Western Australia showed me that 7:55 was amazing but it is almost forgotten when someone beats you. Alistair Brownlee went 7:45 which was unreal, but it took the shine away off my time.”
“Cairns will be cool because it will have a full contingent of Aussies and Kiwis, but it is going to be important to know your own levels and abilities because I think there will be a lot of over committing from guys who haven’t raced for a while, or might have raced the shorter stuff. IRONMAN is a war of attrition, so if you are amongst it with 20km to go on the run, that is where you win the race,” he said.
-Reported by Noel McMahon-
We are very exited to welcome Matt onto the BLACKROLL team and wish him the best of luck in the upcoming Cairns IRON MAN,
The BLACKROLL Team,