Ragnar Spotlight Athlete: Matt McElroy

Our next athlete is Matt McElroy. He is getting ready to run, swim, and bike his way to the Tokyo Olympics. We asked him a few questions about his Olympic Triathlon training and more. Get to know the incredible KT Tape athlete Matt! 

You learned at a young age you were a gifted athlete. At one point did you decide to switch your focus to being a triathlete? 

“When I was 14 years old, my neighbor signed me up for a triathlon in Oxnard, California. I finished second place and I fell in love with the whole experience. I remember the ocean swim having 6-8 ft. waves and I was able to pass half the field by body surfing my way into the shore break. I had no swim fitness but I was able to rely on my surfing background as a kid. I went 9 years without racing or even training for a triathlon. I began to use swimming and cycling as a form of cross-training at Northern Arizona University where I ran cross country and track. I was never able to handle high running mileage and triathlon started to slowly take over because I fell in love with the long hours of cross-training. After finishing 6th in the 10k at Division 1 Nationals in 2015, I moved to San Diego and went all in, dedicating my life to the sport.”

Biking. Swimming. Running. Which one is your favorite and which one could you live without and why? 

 “My favorite sport has to be running. I can’t remember the last time I had a bad run. I could go without swimming because I would replace that with surfing. “

We have to ask…if you were to run a Ragnar, who would be on your dream team? 

 Steve Prefontaine, Eluid Kipchoge, Joshua Cheptegei, Tommy Rivers, Chris Solinski, Jan Frodeno, Lachlan Morton, Mo Ahmed

The Olympics are on the horizon for you (congrats!) How do you balance the level of training you do while avoiding injury?

“I just came off a knee injury and KT Tape played a huge role in supporting my knee during my rehab. When I am training 25-28 hours a week, I make sure to use KT Tape on muscles that are tight or weak.”

You’re a role model for others. Who, in your athletic career, have you looked up to and why? 

“When I started out I really looked up to Richard Murray and Mario Mola. Those are two athletes I have a ton of respect for because they were never great swimmers. Watching them when I started the sport gave me hope that I could be in the mix and win races. I also think outside of the racing, I have a ton of respect for them and their attitudes towards training and life.”

Triathlons are physically challenging, as well as mentally. What is the mantra that keeps pushing you forward?

“My mantra is always to be present. Stay in the moment and control the controllables. Never give up and whatever it takes!”

What would you tell a young, aspiring athlete who wants to make it to the Olympics one day?

“Find coaches and people in your life that will support your journey as an athlete. Write down your goals and look at them every day. Run with runners, swim with swimmers, and ride with cyclists.”

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