In today’s interview we sit down with DDA coach Matt Chatlaong for a quick look at what makes him tick.
10 Questions with Coach Matt
- Q – How do you pronounce your last name anyways? Are you like asian?
- A – It’s actually 3 syllables – Chat – luh – ong. It used be just “Ong” from my family in China, until they relocated to Thailand and added “Chatla” for a more assimilated name. At this point America has led me to believe that it’s only 2 syllables: Chat – Long. Matt Chat works for short.
- Q – What’s your absolute best memory on the bike?
- A – In 2014 at my first ever NRC race, I got into the winning breakaway at the Redlands Criterium. I made some tactical mistakes in the last couple laps when the strong guys attacked the break, and I missed the boat. I ended up finishing in the group while the guys who followed the attacks rode to the line – but – it was an extremely fun experience that I will never forget!
- Q – Why do you shave your legs? Be honest, it has nothing to do with being more “aero” or road rash.
- A – I’m terrible about shaving my legs. I go like a month without shaving until my whispy Asian leg hair comes back, then I shave them to avoid being made fun of for having whispy Asian leg hair. Then I proceed to get made fun of by the general population of non-cyclists for shaving my legs.
- Q – I’ve met a lot of roadies who are grumpy and generally dissatisfied with living on planet earth. What’s your secret to being a genuinely nice guy?
- A – I have a lovely girlfriend named Shannon who keeps me sane! I also watch Tosh.0 most evenings before bed and eat plenty of fiber.
- Q – “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom”. Tell me you know what movie that comes from. If you don’t I will think less of you. Secondarily, have you seen “The Notebook”? No judgement.
- A – If I had to guess, I’d say that line is from Game of Thrones. I haven’t seen “The Notebook”! Luckily my girlfriend Shannon would never make me sit through something like that!
- Q – You’ve won a bunch of crits from the 5’s through P1/2’s. Give one piece of strategic advice to someone struggling to get on the podium.
- A – In the closing laps of a race, take a couple of moments and deep breaths to remind yourself that you will win. You can be really fit but if someone else has more confidence they will probably beat you.
- Q – I’ve seen some pictures of you riding on a horse. What’s that all about?
- A – Ever seen that movie “Shanghai Noon”? Just kidding. My better half Shannon shows horses in competition, and occasionally, she will convince me to get on top of one of those things.
- Q – What’s your favorite stretch of road in the Sacramento area?
- A – That’s tough! That’s like asking what my favorite food is. It really depends on my mood. I think my favorite stretch of road on any given day is probably Sand Canyon Rd. above Swansboro that pops out on Wentworth Springs Rd. It’s a dirt adventure and a lot of climbing.
- Q – What type of music is most likely to give you an ergogenic effect in the middle of a 20 minute threshold interval?
- A – Probably something like this.
- Q – You’ll be finishing up your bachelor’s degree in exercise science in the fall of 2016. What’s the most important concept you’ve learned that applies directly to coaching cyclists?
- A – Attempting to make well-informed decisions. Through studying exercise science in an academic environment, it has become more and more evident to me that there is probably some amount of research that can help you make an educated decision for a given topic. Whether you are trying to figure out how to prepare for hot summer races, compete at altitude, optimize hydration – you name it – there is probably research available that can help you make an educated decision in planning your strategy.
Matt is currently completing his degree in Exercise Science as he races his bike for the Herbalife p/b Marc Pro – Nature’s Bakery cycling team.
His extensive experience in training with power, national level (NRC/PRT) race experience, a love for training and racing in Northern California, and a friendly and approachable style make him a great candidate to help you become a better rider.