Sports - 03/03/2014

Meet ECCO Ambassador Michael Matters

Michael Matter, a trail runner from Pennsylvania, has set out on a mission to inspire others to live an active lifestyle. He trains every day and runs between 40-60 miles per week, in all terrains.From road races to the obstacle course circuit nothing is too big a challenge to overcome for this passionate athlete.

The past 3 years, Michael has put a great emphasis on the Spartan Race series and has completed race distances from 3 through 13 plus miles.  Most recently earning himself the Spartan Trifecta (completing a Spartan Sprint, Super and Beast in a calendar year) two years running.

Why is trail running so special to you?  
Trail running just gives me more of a feeling of pushing my body to its limits.  On the trails, there is always a hill or an obstacle in your way and you are always having to adapt and push through whatever comes in front of you.  It is a constant rush of energy to have to keep your wits about you to have the capacity to finish running the trails.  I love the feeling of having to conquer the wilderness all by myself.
What is your opinion regarding the ECCO Indoor Trail?

I think this an absolutely ingenious idea!!  This could be held at different intervals all year long to test runners on their trail running ability, plus have a fully controlled environment that you could make warm, cold or wet as you decided on for each race.  This could also be a tremendous training tool for all trail runners to stay adapted to the types of terrain they will encounter on normal trail runs.  This could really revolutionize training and racing for many people.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given or that you could give to someone training for the ECCO indoor trail?

Try to run as many mountain trails as you can, since these trails are always the most difficult to navigate.  Don’t back away from any type of trail, acclimating yourself to even the roughest trails can benefit you in your racing season.

Do you have a favourite/least favourite part about training for a big event?
My nutrition is always the one thing I struggle with no matter what.  I can run all the miles in the world and still always be worried about if I have taken in enough fuel to keep my body at its peak.
What is one specific obstacle you have found most challenging to conquer on the course?

The worst obstacle is the sandbag carry during the Spartan Races.  The bags are not heavy but the terrain they send you on is always incredibly steep and very rocky and slippery.  It is always a challenge.

How important is a good shoe to being able to accomplish these types of events?
It is vital.  Your shoes are you main tool to battle the course, and if it does not have everything you need, your whole body can suffer from the lack of necessary support your shoes provide you in every event.  Your feet have to be comfortable, and if your feet are comfortable the rest of your body tends to stay relaxed and comfortable as well.  My shoes are always my main piece of equipment.
Do you have a specific ECCO shoe that you prefer to train & compete in?

I always prefer a trail shoe with enough traction to train in, and the BIOM ULTRA is the shoe working for me right now.  It has the right amount of grip I need to get through all of the snow and mud I have to run through this winter.

About ECCO

More than 350 million pairs of ECCO shoes have walked the earth since 1963, when Karl Toosbuy founded the company in Denmark. ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking process – from leather production through manufacturing in its own factories and all the way to its stores. ECCO’s Scandinavian design philosophy, “The shoe must follow the foot”, is guiding the company.  ECCO creates high-comfort, functional, stylish shoes and timeless bags, accessories, small leather goods and shoe care products. Still family owned, ECCO is headquartered in Denmark and employs more than 19,500 people of 50 nationalities worldwide. ECCO products can be found in the 1,100 ECCO stores and 14,000 other sales locations in more than 85 countries.