Matt Diehl: the police officer living his triathlon dream

WE TALK to Matt Diehl about his triathlon journey and how he fits in training and coaching with being a full-time police officer.

Matt Diehl

Matt Diehl competed in several sports before he started his triathlon journey.

MATT DIEHL has competed in sport since a young age. From soccer to weightlifting he has always been fit and ready for the challenge of a competitive match or event. 


He caught the bug when he competed in his first triathlon in 2010 and has gone on to excel in the sport. His career as a police office means fitness and strength is as important in his working life as it is in his sporting ambition and he strives to better himself at every opportunity he gets.


Here Matt talks about his triathlon journey to date, his passion to coach and his goals and ambitions for the future.


Have you always been a sporty person and if so what were some of the first sports you were involved and had success in?


I started my sports career at the age of six playing soccer. I wound up tearing my meniscus when I was 14 (yes, I was pretty reckless with my body, some argue I still am).  I then took up ice hockey and gradually progressed into weightlifting and bodybuilding. None of which have helped my long course fitness though, if only I would’ve known…. 


Matt Diehl

Matt competed in his first triathlon in 2010 and was instantly hooked.

When did you start out in triathlon and what were some of the earliest successes you had in the sport? 


I was a late starter to this game, swimming for the first time 2009, did a local sprint tri in 2010 and was instantly hooked. I’ve competed in London at the 2013 ITU AG World Championships, completed three full distance races so far and have a Boston Qualifying 3:02:57 marathon under my belt.


In which discipline of the sport do you excel at and at which do you have to work the hardest?


I excel in cycling, mainly because I’m more muscular and carry more weight than most typical triathletes/runners. With cycling I can put much more training in and I have the muscle. Running takes its toll and I have to be careful injury-wise. Swimming by far is my weakest, I swim ok-ish for the amount of work I put in but it’s definitely the weakest of the three.  


Matt Diehl

Matt feels he performs best on his bike when competing in triathlons.

Where in the world has the sport taken you and what have been some of your biggest triumphs?


I’ve been to London and have seen some places in the US that I never would’ve been to otherwise. My triumph transcends sport. To be able to juggle a shifting work schedule as a police officer in a busy city and fit in enough training to even compete in this game is the triumph in my mind. Some of my co-workers don’t know how I do it. I don’t look at it that way. If you want something you’ll find a way to make it work. 


Matt Diehl

Matt still enjoys playing ice hockey when he can find the time.

Tell us about the other sports you’re also currently involved in? 


I’m not sure if many triathletes have enough time for any other sports! I do dabble in ice hockey still as my department has a team and we have the Philadelphia Flyers farm (Lehigh Valley Phantoms) team based in Allentown, PA. 


Matt Diehl

Matt’s body shows the hard work and dedication he has put into training for triathlons.

What are you currently training for and what other exciting projects do you have on the horizon?


After racing Chattanooga 70.3, Syracuse 70.3 and Muncie 70.3 all within nine weeks I’ve taken a race break and have focused solely on recovering and training again. There’s nothing on my current schedule besides Florida 70.3 2018 where my team Big Sexy Racing is going to have a huge showing! 


I doubt she will like me referring to her as a ‘project’ but I am a personal trainer and I have an athlete I’m training for Ironman Louisville.  She’s suffered a major loss recently and working with her to achieve her dream is incredibly exciting! 

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