Ep. 1: So You Wanna Go Pro? Introducing Triathlete Matt Bach and His Quest to Punch His Pro Ticket
March 30, 2016
Welcome to a brand-new series on Endurance Planet: “So You Wanna Go Pro” with Matt Bach. Matt has made the decision to follow his dream of becoming a full-time professional triathlete, and EP will follow Matt during his transition from amateur to pro triathlete, documenting what it’s really like to go pro in this sport. Matt currently has a successful finance career on Wall street and has built a very nice, comfortable life with his wife Lauren. Now in order to go pro he has to change (almost) everything he’s built. Lauren is supportive of Matt following his dreams, but Matt and Lauren also do not want to start over completely or lose what they currently have. They want to keep the comfortable life, and even look to start a family in the near future. For more insight on the harsh reality of going pro, listen to our recent TriNews show with Thorsten Radde.
Why Matt says he’s finally making the move to go pro:
- “I had an epiphany in March last year that if I didn’t give it a shot, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I don’t want to always wonder ‘what if?'”
- “I love to inspire and be inspired, and if I can do that every day for a living, that’s a dream come true.”
- “I want to see how good I can get.”
- “Overcoming my weakness to rest on my laurels.”
- “Justin… ” (matt’s brother who sadly passed away)
On Episode 1 we get to know Matt and more behind his decisions and plans:
- Re-Introducing Matt and what he’s been up to
- 2015 season: Top amateur at Eagleman, built out sponsorship for 2016, delayed going pro
- How full-time job status has affected his training and racing thus far–will he be even better once he pares back hours at work?
- Discussing Matt’s current lifestyle you have and the reality that he’s not an unattached bachelor living off a part-time job.
- Insight on Matt’s finance job on Wall Street (which he started during the financial crisis); where he and his wife have made their home; plans with this wife, Lauren.
- Speaking of Matt’s wife, what’s her take on all this so far?
- How did the idea of going pro became a reality?
- Of all the variables, what is the biggest challenge in going pro? Mainly financial.
- When Matt and Lauren sat down how did they make decisions and figure out the plan?
- It came down to two decisions for Matt: “Fork in road, either go pro, pare down my work hours and take sponsorships, OR stay amateur, maintain work hours, have smaller sponsor commitments and do what I did last year. Turns out I learned that there was really two separate decisions there 1.) pare down hours or not and 2.) race as a pro or amateur.”
- Taking action
- He began paring down hours in January (with pay cut), and three times per week, for 3 hours in the middle of the day, Matt has the freedom to use that time for extra training and recovery
- What were factors influencing decision to pare down hours, and how much to pare them down?
- Meanwhile transitioning towards training more like a pro; we discuss how’s it been going so far. Has he noticed a difference in the quality of training, performance and ability to recover better?
- Matt’s planned 2016 Race Schedule (main events):
- April 18th – Boston Marathon
June 5th – Raleigh 70.3
June 12th – Eagleman 70.3
July 24th – Ironman Lake Placid
September 11th – Santa Cruz 70.3
October 8th – Kona, pending qualification
- Thinking behind schedule: race more to build out resume, not put all eggs into one basket and to get a better feeling for what it’s like to be a pro; race back to back weekends to test ability to recover; race a 70.3 that includes more travel.
- Nutrition talk:
- When we last talked to Matt on EP in 2014 was all on board with being a fat-adapted athlete and using UCAN who’s since become a sponsor. He fills us in on his current diet and nutrition, and plans with nutrition for this leap into another level of training.