Seeing the bigger picture: Matt Hanson goes all in for St George

‘Everything’s healthy and happy’ says in-form American as he bides his time ahead of Utah showdown

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Matt Hanson has revealed he sidestepped IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3 to prioritise training for the IRONMAN World Championship at St George.

Speaking in his latest YouTube video, the 36-year-old believes he has “unfinished business” in triathlon – explaining that he left a comfortable and secure job in his quest to become world champion.

With only a “few more chances left” to fulfil his dream, Hanson is now ramping up his preparation for May 7 as he searches a first IRONMAN World Championship win – with this week seeing him start his latest training camp in Utah.

St George-specific training

There is now just over a month to go until race day at St George and Hanson knows exactly what to expect as he prepares for the challenging uphill and downhill sections.

YouTube video

The 36-year-old says he has adapted his training as a result – arguing that it is important to tailor preparation to the demands of each course he is set to take on.

“Obviously, St George is going to be a hilly course, so you got to prep for that more,” Hanson explained.

“So for me on the downhills and the uphills, it definitely takes a wear on the quads, especially on the downhills and being able to run with the full stride.

“The last 10K is going to be a big determining factor of whether or not I have the day that I want or not, and so it’s making sure I’m prepped for what that’s going to bring.”

Hanson has also singled out training partner Tim O’Donnell in the lead up to St George, praising him for being a calming influence.

“He [O’Donnell] does a fantastic job of being very chilled and relaxed and then you get eight weeks from the race and he’s a different dude,” Hanson said.

Playing his card when it matters

Although he had initially planned on racing in California last weekend, Hanson opted to concentrate fully on St George rather than competing at IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3 as well.

However, Hanson does believe he would have performed well at Oceanside had he entered, pointing to his second-placed finish behind Sam Long at Challenge Puerto Varas on March 20.

But his goal of being a world champion meant that the American thought it would be best to head into Utah with a solid training schedule under his belt to add to his podium in Chile.

He said: “Everything’s healthy and happy, but I just thought it would be less risk to go straight into a training block rather than to put another really, really hard effort on it in Oceanside.

“I would definitely have to go pretty deep into the well mentally and physically again. I fully believe that I’m in a place where I can do that now, but I want to play that card on May 7.”

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