It takes a special type of person to compete in Ironman events and Matt Kerr is no different. He describes himself as “extremely committed, determined and driven to be the best possible athlete I can be” and it’s no surprise he has that attitude, given the demands of his sport.
The talented New Zealander completed the remarkable feat of setting a new age group course record at the Ironman New Zealand and Ironman 70.3 Cairns, which he describes as his proudest achievement to date.
Matt’s determination to be the best possible version of himself is driven by putting structure and routine into everything he does. “I do everything with intention and purpose aiming for the best outcome possible. Things will often be different to other athletes but I have found a way of training that works for me, a structure that suits my body and a method I enjoy.”
With the mental and physical demands of a triathlete, it’s a mentality that will no doubt hold Matt in good stead throughout his career. While regularly competing in various triathlon distances, Matt loves the epic challenge of the full ironman distance which involves a 2.4 mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run.
When it comes to clothing, the comfort levels required for a triathlete are probably beyond any other discipline. Not only do you have the three different activities to contend with but as Matt says “in a race situation, I will be in the same triathlon suit anywhere from 4 to 8 hours”.
It’s no wonder he appreciates high-quality clothing. While performance, comfort and durability are vitally important, he says “the comfort part is huge”, adding “A suit that prevents chafing and rubbing, is breathable enough in the conditions of competing yet provides the performance criteria needed to race at an elite level, is absolutely key.”
Prior to coming on as an athlete for PURPOSE, Matt has been winning races in his Sfuels Endure IQ Purpose racing team kit since 2019.
Matt’s journey to purpose began through Endure IQ where he tried out one of our top-performing triathlon suits. “Not only do I race in PURPOSE wear I also do all of my training in it,” he said, appreciating the difference high-quality clothing can make.
“I am absolutely blown away by the product in all areas; training and race gear – cycling kits, running kits socks and casual apparel. “
For such a talented triathlete, the benefits are clear. To achieve the incredible times he does, Matt needs to be focused on each discipline. Clothing that didn’t move freely, ripped or felt uncomfortable would be unbearable over a long race.
“The products themselves feel light, breathable, and responsive and fit for the hard use they get.” A great athlete needs all the tools for the job not only during a race but also during practice too. “The product serves the purpose needed in all areas and conditions of training.”
If there was a favorite piece of training gear that was most important to the Kiwi then it would be between the cycling kit and the running singlets. “The cycling kits are unbelievably light, tight and responsive. The run singlets are light and breathable even when I am pouring out sweat. They do not become heavy and a hindrance to my workout session. “
Training is important to all athletes and Matt is no different. He cites the biggest challenge of his career so far as being a tendency to overtrain and not training for the sake of getting hours under his belt. He’s trying to find the perfect balance.
As he puts it “optimal performance and peak performance is only equaled from the work done plus the recovery gained.” It shows that his ever-increasing experience has seen the value of a full recovery. “The recovery is a huge part of the journey and essential to making any progress forward.”
There is sure to be plenty of progress forward in the months and years to come. Turning pro is on the horizon but there is plenty to be achieved before then. The balance that Matt is looking for is not just between racing and training but also between life and sport too.
“I do enjoy working on other aspects of my life and potential career opportunities.” With the drive and determination he needs for an ironman event, success can never be too far away. He is energized, however, about being able to dedicate more time to his sporting endeavors “I am excited about being able to prioritize my sporting goals and place them at the top of my list.”
There are clearly many great things to come. Next on this list is to become “the best possible amateur athlete in the world and showcase this on the world stage.” and given the strength and passion he has, we’re right behind him
“Once this is accomplished the door will only open to further opportunities!” he finishes. We couldn’t agree more and we’re delighted to partner with Matt on his journey.