Kickstart your fitness with Matt Trautman

Kickstart your fitness:
avoid these five beginner mistakes

Words: Jazz Kuschke
Photography: Kelvin Trautman/Red Bull Content Pool

Ready to take that first step off the couch? Ironman Matt Trautman explains how

1 Starting with a bang only to fade away as the weeks progress

Fitness doesn’t come overnight, although it may seem that you have friends who just look at a bicycle and they’re ready for a 100km race. Going out too hard the first week could lead to overuse injuries, not to mention the disappointment of not seeing those ‘dream’ results overnight. Ease into it and be consistent. “Don’t be fooled. It takes many months, if not years, to truly see the benefits of your training” says Trautman, who trained for more than six months before his first Ironman. “Remember, success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” 


Selfmade Ironman Matt Trautman

South Africa’s Matt Trautman is a selfmade ironman - he has transformed himself from a sailor and canoeist to a world-class triathlete

2 Having no clear goal or routine

In order to be consistent, you have to stay motivated. “The best way is to know why you’re training,” says Trautman. He advises setting yourself both short-term and long-term goals and then getting into a training routine. A training diary, or app, on which you record the details of all your sessions is also a great help. “Find a training partner, club or even a coach – these are all great ways to help get you out the door,” Trautman says. 

3 Losing perspective

Make sure you keep time for your friends and family, or better yet find a way to get them involved, even if it’s on the odd weekend. “Having the support of those close to you makes it that much more worthwhile and enjoyable,” says Trautman.

“The best way is to know why you’re training”
Matt Trautman

4 No variation

Doing all your workouts at the same speed, intensity or distance is a recipe for failure – not only will it lead to physiological stagnation but become downright boring. “To get the most out of training, make sure you mix it up,” Trautman says. “If you only ever train in one mode then that’s where you’ll get comfortable and you’ll end up plateauing in that grey zone.”

“To get the most out of training, make sure you mix it up”
Matt Trautman

5 Choose something you love

No point in trying to become a successful open water swimmer if the water freaks you out. Or you hate swimming. “Remember you are not defined as a person by your results,” warns Trautman, who has endeavoured to stay true to himself through all his competitive exploits. “So do it for yourself and for your own sense of self-achievement.”

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09 2015

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