Don't wish for it, work for it - Matt Langridge
18 months on from the 2012 London Olympics, Matt Langridge couldn’t be more motivated as he trains tirelessly for the new season. We talked to Matt about his fitness regime and motivations that have allowed him to stay at the top of his game for so long and got some top tips for those fitness fanatics out there at the same time…
What advice would you give anyone looking to improve their fitness?
Build up gradually. In my experience people tend to decide they need to get fit, massively overdo it and end up injured or demotivated. Have a target and take small steps to get there. It takes a while to get fit but ultimately it’s more sustainable.
Top Tip: Set yourself realistic goals. Manage your training so it doesn’t take over your life and don’t get disheartened with unrealistic targets.
How do you motivate yourself when you don’t want to train?
When I was training on my own at the beginning of this year I gave myself daily targets to keep motivated; perhaps a technical focus I wanted to achieve, a split I want to pull on the ergo or a weight I wanted to lift, giving yourself targets keeps you interested.
Top Tip: Don’t think too far ahead, appreciate where you are now and accept it’s going to take a certain amount of time to get to where you want to be. Just have little targets along the way.
Does training with other people help you?
There are benefits to both training with others and alone. I sometimes find I train harder on my own because you get that fear factor that someone else is training harder than you so you have to train as hard as you can.
When we train as a squad it is competitive so that is definitely beneficial but equally when we race each other you can find you are just doing enough to be better than everyone else and not pushing yourself to the best of your ability – unless you are training with someone a lot better than you of course!
Top Tip: Find out what your own limitations are, don’t just do enough to beat other people, really push yourself to see how much better you can be.
How does it feel when you’ve pushed yourself to the limit?
Horrible! The sense of satisfaction definitely comes afterwards. When you are really going flat out all you want to do is stop and then being able to push beyond that is painful, you feel sick, it’s pretty miserable. Although, it is enjoyable at the time if you are winning; winning always seems to take a bit of the pain away.
Top Tip: The problem with sport is that you start off not very good and every time you get better you push yourself even harder. So ultimately, no matter what level you are at it is never easy, you just go quicker, and so does everyone else – just keep at it!
Some readers are taking part in all kinds of interesting and extreme sporting challenges next year – what tips do you have for them?
Marathon/Running: Pace yourself. If you manage your training properly you are more likely to maintain it. So if you are running a marathon don’t start by running 20 miles on your first training session. Start with 20 minute bursts and build it up slowly. There are some great apps to make this achievable, couch to 5K/10K and so on…
Cycling: Eat within the first 20 minutes of setting off, even if it’s just a bite of a banana, a cereal bar, or a drink. Start off steady then build up, your endurance pace will get better the longer you go on. An app that can help with cycling training is Strava.
What nutritional advice do you have for anyone looking to train on a regular basis?
For endurance training you need a lot of carbohydrates and make sure you consume enough calories.
Matt on finishing off last season…
“It was a disappointing result for us at the 2013 World Championships in South Korea. In the boat with Bill Lucas, we were a better double than the final result; we were strong building up to the race but just didn’t perform on the day – now I need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“Although this year’s result was not the result I wanted, in some ways it has been a good thing, making me a lot more motivated for the coming years. Last season I took six months off and if I had finished off the season with a better result it may have shown I can get away with doing the bare minimum, but actually it proved that to achieve what you want, you have to put the hard work in. I had accepted it wasn’t going to be my best season and in the short term it was disappointing but I think I’ll be much better for it in the long run – I have returned to training refreshed and raring to go.”
03 December 2013