Inside Triathlon Magazine Archives: Pro Matt Chrabot’s Mental Approach To Racing

ITU racer Matt Chrabot talks about why he never trains through a race.

ITU racer Matt Chrabot talks about why he never trains through a race.

Unlike many pros, Chrabot believes it is important mentally to never train through a race. Photo: Nick Salazar

When magazines profile someone, a vast majority of the interviews, pictures and information gathered by the writer never makes it onto the page. But that doesn’t mean that what’s left out isn’t useful information. Case in point: when Inside Triathlon profiled Matt Chrabot, America’s top-ranked ITU racer in 2010, for the magazine’s March/April issue, we had to leave out a section on Chrabot’s mental approach to racing.

In the following excerpt from an interview with Chrabot that was conducted in November of 2010, Chrabot talks about why he never trains through a race.

Put simply, Chrabot believes that allowing yourself the luxury of “training through a race” ultimately hinders your mental strength. It’s not that he never races tired, it’s that he never allows himself the built-in excuse that training through a race gives a triathlete if he or she has a poor performance.

The interview excerpt is below.

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Inside Triathlon: So how are you going to approach 2011?

Matt Chrabot: I’ll pretty much take the same approach that I did this year—just one step at a time, one race at a time. I really don’t like the idea of training through a race. I think your mind gets a little stale.

Inside Triathlon:
What do you mean? Do you do a mini-taper for each race?

Chrabot will use these strategies as he goes for a spot on the U.S. 2012 London Olympic team. Photo: Nick Salazar

MC: Not a mini taper, but if I were racing tomorrow, I’d have the same mental approach because, you know, because it’s a race—that’s my job. And if I’m racing 12 times a year and the night before each race for the first four races I say how I’m going to just train through it, you know, it’s really not good practice, mentally.

Inside Triathlon: That’s pretty good practice—to not tell yourself you’re racing through each race.

MC: Whether it’s the reality or not. Some races you put a little more pressure on yourself than the other races, but the bottom line is show up to race and you know you at least want to put in an honest effort. Otherwise, if you’re not putting in an honest effort and you’re training through it, I’m probably not going to be the only one who beats you.

To read the entire Matt Chrabot profile, click here.

To view a gallery of Matt Chrabot, click here.