Matt Hanson

Race Highlights

IRONMAN World Record
Marathon World Record in an IRONMAN
2018 IRONMAN TX N.American Champion
2017 IRONMAN TX N.American Champion
2015 IRONMAN TX N.American Champion

How did you get started in the sport?

When I was 16, I was challenged by a wrestling coach of mine to make a list of 50 goals for the next 10 years. For some reason, I put “do an Ironman” as one of those goals. So I signed up for CdA when I was 26. I planned on being ‘one and done’ but qualified for Kona. I figured that could be a once in a lifetime opportunity so I signed up and raced there. That is where I really fell in love with the sport. Leaving the big island for the first time, I felt there was more that I could do in Triathlon and felt that I had found my lifelong hobby. I didn’t have any idea it would turn in to my career at that point.

Rolling Stones or Beatles?


I believe in the entire First Endurance system because I trust the research that has gone into developing each product. I have seen and experienced first hand the amount of work and testing that goes into creating this high quality product line. I know that I will perform better in both training and racing due to the scientific backing and quality control that First Endurance puts in to each supplement.



Race Day Nutrition Plan:

Breakfast: (approximately 3:00 a.m.) Two servings of Ultragen, 1 serving MultivHP, 1 Serving OptygenHP (this will be my final calories prior to race start). Will sip on water up to race start.

On Bike Nutrition: I’m changing things up quite significantly this year due to release of EFS-PRO. I will have 1 26oz bottle of Cucumber Water EFS Pro mixed at regular strength on my aerobars and another bottle mixed at 2x strength on a bottle behind the seat. I also have a 20 ounce aerobottle on the downtube of the bike which will have 2 EFS Wild Berry liquid shots and topped off with water. I drink water at most aid stations and will mix water in with the 2x strength EFS Pro as the bike progresses. Typically, I won’t take any Salt Caps on the bike unless it is hot and/or humid. (Approximately 1700 calories intake on bike).

Run Nutrition: I rely heavily on the course nutrition during the run. I will run with a flask with EFS liquid shot in my hand and usually take a drink from it every 5 miles. For the first 10 miles of the run, I use the on-course sports drink. After mile 10, I switch to cola. I try to get 2 swallows at each aid station. I also take a salt cap on the first mile then take another tab every 5-6 miles depending on weather. I have another flask of EFS liquid Shot with a scoop of pre-race in it waiting for me in my special needs bag. Typically, I do not drink any plain water during the run.


What’s the most embarrassing music you listen to?

I listen to audiobooks primarily. Nothing gets you amped up more than that monotone voice droning on and on.

What has First Endurance helped you accomplish?  

Working with First Endurance has helped take the guess work away from planning my race and training nutrition. I have had the pleasure of being involved with the development of many of the products in their line up. I know how much research goes into the development of their products. Most of the major players in this area are marketing companies that sell a nutrition product. I am so happy to be working with an actual nutrition company that focuses first and foremost on developing quality products.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Time difference between Iowa and Hawaii.

What problem/issue has First Endurance helped you overcome? 

I am an athlete with a very high sweat rate (over 8lbs per hour in the heat) and lose a fair amount of sodium in the process (roughly 3 grams/hr). I also target about 500 cal/hour on the bike. This combination creates a difficult challenge to overcome for my nutrition plan. The First Endurance product line up has allowed me to meet caloric and electrolyte needs while still allowing me to get enough fluids absorbed during training and racing. Specifically, the diversity of EFS-PRO, EFS, and Liquid Shot products allow me to alter my fueling plan based on the weather conditions on the day.

If you had to pick only one First Endurance product to use, which one would it be, what flavor and why?

Cappuccino Ultragen is by far the best First Endurance product. During hard workouts, especially when it is hot, I start craving that big time the last hour or so!

What’s your favorite place in the world (and why)?

Home! There is no place like it! I travel a great deal training and racing. So if I get some down time, I typically prefer to spend time at home.

What sport are you the worst at?

Basketball. Never could get the hang of chucking the pumpkin at the hoop.

What’s your favorite book and why?

The most popular book in the world…the Bible. Although I probably don’t read it enough.

What’s your favorite reality show and why?

My wife and I just watched Last Chance U and QB1 together. If you get past all of the F* Bombs, it had something we could both enjoy together. Sports for me, and enough chaos and drama to make my wife feel like her life is normal. Evidentially, living with me is tougher than I thought

What do you like to do when you’re not training and racing?

I spend a lot of time working on my coaching business, hanging out with my wife, playing with the dogs, and working in the vegetable garden.

Tell us something nobody else knows about you.

I grew up on the farm. We had a small hobby farm and I spent a lot of my time in my younger years working with my grandpa on his dairy farm. I’ll always be a farm boy at heart.

What’s been the highlight of your race career?

Winning the North American Championship in Texas for the 3rd time was a pretty special moment for me. That race took absolutely everything out of me…meeting my wife at that finish line was the best feeling in the world….until she tackled me.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

I can’t answer this one without throwing someone under the bus. So this one is going to have to stay with me for now!

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

My wife and my dog…although Ashley probably wouldn’t come if she couldn’t bring her pup as well.

If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

The ability to fly, no question.

If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?

A giraffe. I have always had the balance of a baby giraffe and no one can really argue that I’m just goofy looking.

What motivates you?

The feeling you get when you know you gave it your all. When you left everything out there. You really only get to do that a few times a  year in a workout and hopefully at a few races each year…but it is an amazing feeling. Being able to forget about any result and just know that you pushed with everything you had.

Who’s your biggest role model and why?

My Dad. He taught what hard work really is and showed me the value of an education.

What’s your favorite web site?

The only website I am on every day is TrainingPeaks.

When you were little, what do you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an architect…until  I found out that required sitting in a desk for most of the day. Then that option was out.

Have you ever been fired?  If so, what did you do?

Nope, never been fired.

Describe your first bike.

For my 6th birthday, I got a second hand Huffy bmx single speed bike. I promptly had the bike taken away from me the next day by my parents because I rode it round our 5 mile block without asking my mom.

What would you be doing for a living if you weren’t a professional triathlete?

I’d probably still be a college professor if I hadn’t left that to chase this dream.

What’s your worst travel experience? 

I flew to New Zeland for IMNZ in 2016 and my bike got lost en route.   I didn’t get it until 4 days after I landed (two days before the race). Once I finally got it unpacked, I found the cassette had been smashed through the disc wheel, so I had to scramble big time the day before the race to find a wheel that I could use. Thankfully everything got sorted, but it created a lot more pre-race stress than I’d like.