When Kat Matthews romped to that impressive Lanzarote win last weekend it was her bike power which drew most praise, but don’t sleep on the way she is improving her swim.
The British star showed she can be a contender for glory at the delayed 2021 IRONMAN World Championship on May 7 by notching a comprehensive victory over reigning champion Anne Haug last Saturday.
Haug was gushing in her praise for Kat in the aftermath of that race, admitting she’d had a demonstration of how to ride a bike.
Swim is improving
Matthews though has been looking to improve all areas of her performance – including the swim. While earlier in the week she joked that progress in the water is sometimes hard to see, she later admitted that things are definitely heading in the right direction.
Writing on Instagram, she detailed how her improvement on the opening discipline was earned, and how it is manifesting.
“The last few months I’ve had the privilege of training with the British Triathlon Bath Uni Performance Squad. I’ve committed to making as many sessions as I can that fit with my other training commitments.
“Blair Cartmell has really changed my mentality on 5km sets, I actually find it “easy” to get through them and sometimes even enjoy them on my own!
“My swim has noticeably improved with nearly double the volume I used to do last year. I’m finding satisfaction in finishing a session and having the stroke composure to work until the last length not just start counting down and doubting myself after just 1500m! I set 80km as a monthly target in November and I’ve been exceeding it every month.”
Lanzarote the acid test
Last Saturday in Lanzarote gave Kat the first chance to put her winter work to the acid test in a race. The results she says were heartening.
“This weekend’s swim I went hard (and actually “fast”) to start, able to glimpse Lucy Buckingham’s feet for about 100m and then settled into pace with Anne, deciding to sit on her feet rather than swim side by side for most of it.
“I’ve so much to learn about the triathlon swim but I feel this is the first time I’ve made physical and tactical progress!”