The 2015 Ironman North American champion Matt Hanson is currently in The Woodlands in Texas, preparing himself for the GoPro Ironman World Championships in Kona. Hanson won the 2014 Ironman Chattanooga late last year, but really stepped into the limelight when he won the North American title at Ironman Texas this year. We decided to follow him for a day.
Following his breakthrough win at Ironman Texas in May, Hanson resigned from his Professor position at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Without the constraints of a teaching schedule, he has spent the past few weeks in The Woodlands, Texas under the guidance of his swim coach, Tim Floyd of Magnolia Masters, and David Tilbury-Davis.
Floyd rented out additional pool time in September, and Hanson has training partners, which is quite different than his solitary training back in Iowa. Swimmers pictured here from right: Cody Beals, Hanson, Balazs Csoke, and Nils Frommhold.
Underwater with the reigning Ironman North American champion Matt Hanson.
Not a competitive swimmer early on, Hanson has logged countless hours in the pool with Floyd, and the pair have made big gains.
Underwater at Magnolia Masters in The Woodlands.
It has been a full house at the Magnolia Masters pro camp, but each athlete has half a lane to themselves.
Hanson is not the only pro Floyd works with, but has become the poster boy for the coach's swimming philosophy.
For their pre-Kona training camp, Hanson is training with Beals (on far right) and Csoke (in middle) on a daily basis. Klean Athlete founder Tim Monk (far left), a two-time Kona finisher and former collegiate swimmer, joins the pros when he is not traveling for work.
After his morning swim workout, Hanson spent an hour with therapist Amanda Moyers at Specialized Body Works, paying close attention to a few niggles.
Hanson is a regular at Moyer’s body work facility, in order to keep his body in optimal working order.
Hanson prefers a homestay when he trains in The Woodlands, and his hosts enjoy having him as they are triathletes themselves.
A quick coffee with lots of milk and a Nutella sandwich between swim and cycling workouts.
Sunscreen is always a wise decision for athletes training in the North Houston area.
On this day, a two hour ride followed by a 30 minute run was in order. He starts his ride near the 15-mile mark of the Ironman Texas bike course.
While in town Hanson spent time with Jim Manton in the velodrome at Ero Sports, and worked on his fit with Brian Jones of Bicycle Speed Shop.
After his ride, a quick pitstop to connect with Coach Tilbury-Davis before heading out for a short 30-minute run to complete his active-recovery day.
The famous stride that makes Hanson a contender in any race if he’s within striking range off the bike.
Finished with workouts for the day, Hanson and Tilbury-Davis meet for sandwiches. Notice how Hanson holds the door out of respect for his coach!
Tilbury-Davis and Hanson have together built a winning combination, and the pair is excited about the future.
You can follow Matt Hanson on Twitter via @matthansontri
All images © Lars Finanger / slowtwitch.com