Who is Matt Healy? By previous coach & current training partner Brendan Lombard
Updated: May 3, 2021
"Bottom line, this youngster is going places so stay tuned to his journey. I believe in the kid, and so should you!"
Who is Matt Healy?
Matt came to me two years ago and had one question… Can I help him compete among some of the best in the world?
I said, “You can do anything you put your mind to, provided you are disciplined and work hard, so yes I can help you if you commit.”
We spoke of his history in rugby and how he would need to lose weight if he wanted to run up front. Within a year I watched a stocky 80kg rugby player drop down to around the mid 60's purely just from training hard. He had forged himself into an elite runner by applying the elements of mindset, dedication and the hunger to achieve.
Matt has gone on to win some big Ultra’s since then and has built up a solid machine which he enjoys pushing to the limit. His latest win prior to lock down being the Addo 50 miler where he went out hard and led from start to finish against tough local and foreign competitors, not to mention temperatures hitting 50 degrees Celsius on parts of the route. This was a testament to how hard we work together and how we apply specifics to his training.
As an elite runner myself I know what it takes to toe the line with the best and the prep which goes into running for hours on end. We were lucky enough to run UTCT 100km last year in 2019. Unplanned, we ran the entire race side-by-side, coach and athlete, where we learnt how suffering together can teach one many lessons. I think Matt learnt that he had a new love for watermelon and that severe cramping does not mean your race is done. He hurt a lot that day and although he didn't get the result he wanted, he worked and pushed through adversity to still end up in the top 15 among some major international athletes in a world tour event.
Matt is completely obsessed with Ultra Trail Running. Coaching him has been like having another girlfriend. Oftentimes I receive up to four minute voice notes just relaying to me his current state and what plans he wants to put in place and how we can work with everything. It is a testament to his passion for the sport and his will to be his best self. At the end of the day Matt is here to compete and run hard. Yes, our sport is beautiful and we see the most extraordinary landscapes, but when it comes down to the racing there is no time to stop and smell the flowers. He is here to race and it is that hunger for success that he has that will help him realise his goals. We work really well together. Now and then he does need a bit of a pull back as he wants to do these crazy missions and sometimes forgets his body also wants to recover. I would say I passively give him shit and scold him on occasion so he knows where he stands. The best bit… He listens. Matt is great to coach because of his dedication and desire to be the best. I fully believe he can one day compete for the title of the World Tour, provided the work is put in and the years of prep have him ready at every start line with confidence.
Matt is still young in the ultra world and has many years ahead of competition. I look forward to watching him become one of not just South Africa’s best, but the worlds. I believe with the right management he can cause a stir on the circuit. I would like to see him win some majors such as UTMB’s CCC or perhaps something like UTCT too.
I fully support his love and passion and hope others can get behind this kid too - I don’t want to see an athlete with this type of potential not being able to express his talents abroad. Bottom line, this youngster is going places so stay tuned to his journey. I believe in the kid, and so should you!