Matt Trautman, the South African triathlon star, took up the sport only in 2012. By 2013 he came 30th at the Ironman World Championship. Since turning pro, Matt has won multiple 70.3 races worldwide, including twice being crowned Ironman South Africa’s champion and setting the course record.
How did you start running? I started running track and cross country at school early in my childhood. Both of my parents were runners, and growing up in Pietermaritzburg South Africa, the birthplace of the famous Comrades Marathon, has meant that running has always seemed like a natural thing to do.
Why do you run now? I love the feeling of being fit, healthy and free to explore on my own two feet.
What has been the most important race you’ve run to date?
Ironman World Champs 2013. I narrowly missed winning my age group and finished 30th overall - it was when I realised I had it in me to compete against the best.
What is your pre-race ritual? I have to have my oats and at least two visits to the bathroom beforehand!
What do you think about while running? I try to stay in the moment as much as possible and focussed on my body and the intensity that I’m running at.
What is your go to training meal? Oats.
What song is your go to for the run? Spirit of the Great Heart - Johnny Clegg
Who is your “team”? My wife Nicole and coach Brett Sutton
What is your passion next to endurance sports? Being out on the water either sailing, paddling or surfing
Who would you be if you weren’t a professional athlete? Either coaching pro athletes or sailing around the world.
What does no one tell you about being a professional athlete?
You should buy a very comfortable couch to nap on.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? Focus on your arms when tired.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? The most important thing with your training is to stay consistent.
Why On? They’re light, comfortable and fast. What more could you want.