Austin Powell’s Testimonial for Coach Ray

I joined Qwik Kiwi in August this year, I had in mind to do Ironman in March 2016 and I decided that I’d tried other forms of remote coaching. Then I really needed someone who had done it and had put other people through it and so that is why I ended up with Qwik Kiwi. Since then I’ve done a wee bunch of duathlons, triathlons and the half ironman in Rotorua and I’m looking forward to doing Ironman in March. Continue reading “Austin Powell’s Testimonial for Coach Ray”

Sports Psychology: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

What do you need to do to achieve your goal? Are your goals SMART enough? What to do if you don’t achieve your goals.

Lewis Carroll reportedly said “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” 

That is what goal setting is about. Whether you set fitness goals, personal life goals, financial goals, study goals, professional goals. They are all areas that that can benefit from going through the goal setting process. What do you want to achieve and why?

Goals should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Having a goal of running a marathon is good, but having a goal of running a marathon in under 3 hours is more specific. Adding in that extra detail helps to consolidate that goal and increase the chance of it being accomplished compared to a more general goal (not that goal achievement will be put down to chance when you are working with Qwik Kiwi).

Being measurable allows you to keep track of progress and gives you incentive. The goal of running a marathon is a yes or no answer when you review and ask yourself if you achieved it. Having that time goal in there is still a yes or no answer come review time, but doing 10km Time Trials in the build up allows a more accurate assessment of how you are going and to assess your ability to hold the goal pace.

Setting a goal that is unachievable is just plain stupid – “I will run a full marathon in under 1:30 hours!” considering the world record is a touch off 2 hours! A realistic goal needs to be set, but it shouldn’t be so easy that no effort is required to achieve it. Goals that require work to accomplish are very rewarding when you finally do achieve them.

The relevance should also be considered, as it can help prioritise your goals amongst other factors to determine if this is your sole over-riding factor to achieve or whether some family time or something else needs to balanced in with the attainment of this goal.

Adding a time for achievement will help create a sense of urgency for the achievement. “Run a marathon in under three hours within the next 12 months”, sees you looking for an event to achieve the goal and create the achievement, rather than having the goal drag on for many years with an “I’ll get around to it next year” mentality.

Goal setting is all about creating a pathway to success. Knowing where you are and where you want to get to.  In consultation with your coach you can then create the plan that will get you there. If you are in Auckland and are travelling to Wellington there are a number of ways of getting there.  Through Taupo, New Plymouth or even Gisborne. Other options including driving, flying, by bus or even riding your bike or hiking the Te Araroa Trail.

You won’t always achieve the goal you set out to achieve. Is failing to achieve it such a bad thing, especially if you get close? Working hard, with focus is a pretty damn rewarding thing to do. If you don’t achieve it, as part of the review process think about why you didn’t achieve it. Reset or re-evaluate the goal. Do you still want to achieve it? Can you adjust the time frame you set yourself for the achievement?

Now is the time of year to be planning your 2016/17 summer season goals and talking with your coach about what these goals are.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

Transforming Tash: Self-Blame

Tri Training NZ

It’s been easy to blame someone else. To blame a lifes challenge that came out of nowhere. To blame anyone or anything except the one real person who is actually to blame. Myself. Over the past few years, there have been many occasions where I have attempted to get fit and lose weight. At the start I am generally on track, completing exercise, reducing the amount of sugar or processed food that I consume. And then one thing happens and I think well that plan is ruined, might as well have the rest of the day, week, month off. This of course results in achieving nothing but self destruction and negative thoughts about oneself. Continue reading “Transforming Tash: Self-Blame”

BLOG # 10 – Ironman 2016: Plan Your Race, Race Your Plan

Hi team,

Tri Coaching NZ
Humps on the start line with a group of Young Officers from 16 Field Regiment

Apologies for the delay in this blog as we head towards Ultraman Australia (14-16 May 16). Since my last blog I’ve competed in the Scorching Triathlon and Ironman New Zealand with the latter being a good build up / solid testing block for Ultraman.

Ironman week, as it affectionately is known, properly kicks in on the Thursday before Ironman with Ironman New Zealand itself always on the first Saturday of March each year and the Sunday evening being the wind-up with the Awards Ceremony. It is known as Ironman week as people start congregating in Taupo to practice on various parts of the course from the start of the week.

I arrived on Tuesday and settled into my accommodation at the Army Leave Centre and visited close friends Dave and Julie Bickner, with Dave being a retired RF Major now serving in the TF, and Julie serving with Defence as a Registered Nurse and previously as a Soldier (Medic). During the week I completed my training in the lake and on the roads as per my coach’s programme (Ray Boardman). Thursday was an excellent Welcome Ceremony with the local Iwi performing and the Race Briefing followed by a Pasta loading meal.

Saturday 5 March – Game on!

Ironman Coaching NZ
16 Field Regiment get the race underway with their ‘starters gun’.

The swim went well. I lined up in my usual place at the rear of the squad to avoid the washing machine effect of 1300+ athletes taking off into the lake. I got knocked about as I swam through the swimmers, which happens in such a swim of so many swimmers. I completed the distance of 3.8 km’s in 1 hour 16 mins.

Once I went through transition it was time for the 180 km cycle. Five minutes into it my back wheel came to a grinding slow pace. I couldn’t believe it as I has test ridden my bike for 30 minutes the day before. I got off and disconnected the rear brake thinking it was sticking and took off again only for it to continue. The only thing I could think of was that since the day before I had inflated the tyre to the correct level the morning of Ironman.  So I tapped the valve and released some air.  It fixed the problem however I was riding the 180 kms on low tyre pressure and prayed for it to not blow out. I carried spare tubes with me, but not a spare tyre.

I made it to the finish line with a PB (Personal Best) of 180 kms in 6 hours 5 mins… go figure. The next day I checked the tyre pressure and it was on 62 PSI instead of 95-100 PSI.

Into the run and I had to ‘plan my race and race my plan’ as I had a calf problem in the past. Nikki the Physio from Wellington Medical Centre was unsure how I should run it but suggested for the first 10 kms I should run 1 km and walk 1 km, repeating the process.  She was unsure what would be the best plan after the initial 10km.

Ray had suggested to not increase the run duration but decrease the walk duration. For the first 10 km I ran 1 km and walked 1 km and for each 10 km after that I ran 1 km but reduced the walk by 250 metres then ran the final couple of kms.  I shoveled ice down my calf compression sleeve at every Aid Station and my calf held up well. It is so easy in these kind of events to become carried away with the hype and throw the plan out the door.  Sticking with the plan everything worked well, thanks to the advice from Nikki and Ray.

You can’t beat an Ironman finish line. That last 200 metres where the finishing chute is packed with well wishers and half of the Taupo population is out there involved one way or another.  Then Mr Ironman himself Mike Reilly, calls out on the loud speaker… John Humphries – You are an Ironman.

The best part was seeing colleagues competing and supporting, particularly friends and family. Many thanks to my partner and family members who travelled to the event and Army colleagues such as Derrick McMillan and Clive Douglas who were snapping shots, Rod and Kim Hickling for their encouragement along with Steve Harvey and his Junior Officers manning the Gun Crew to start the race and then enjoy the day. My colleagues who were competing for their ever supporting comments as they ran past me during the Marathon phase such as Tommy Hirst, Ron Skelton, Lincoln Nicholls, Gerard Bell and their families providing encouragement, plus another Qwik Kiwi Member Di Chesmar for driving to Taupo to support her Qwik Kiwi colleagues.

Ultraman Coaching NZ
Mission Complete.

Ironman = 226 kms which is made up of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycle and a marathon run of 42.2 kms. My time was 12 hours 48 minutes which I was happy with considering I rode with a partially inflated tyre and ran / walked the marathon.

Bring on Ultraman Australia where I fund raise for the Fallen Heroes (KIWI = Killed, Injured, Wounded, Ill).

Regards Humps (John Humphries)!

Matt Schipper’s Half Ironman PB

Tri Training NZI would like to thank you and Qwik Kiwi for helping me to a Personal Best in the Taupo half Ironman in December. With your professional help and encouragement I improved my time by a massive 44 minutes.

I would recommend you to any future triathlon aspirants.

Regards, Matt

Qwik-View: Tom Hubbard

Cycle Training NZ
Stage 2 Herald Sun tour. Kirsty Baxter photography

QK: Since 2009 you have been a pretty good rider at the national level. You’ve ridden in events around the world such as the Tour of Borneo and Australia’s Herald Sun Tour. You’ve taken part in some challenging Tour’s of Southland. Which event do you consider to be your best race and why?

TH: Any race is good but racing UCI races like the Sun Tour and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean road race are just on another level from anything I have done in the past. These races are a massive learning curve and a step up for me.


MtB Coaching NZ
Prior to start of Cadel Evans great ocean road race

QK: These days you are riding for Data#3 Cisco Racing Team p/b Scody.  How did you end up racing for them and what does the remainder of the year hold for you race wise?

TH: I was lucky enough to get recommended by my good mate Scott Thomas who was already on the team in 2015. From there I was given the opportunity to race in the Tour of Borneo with Data#3 and the rest is history.

My next block of racing is in Europe at the start of April where I will be based in Holland with my Data#3 team mates. We are in Europe for six weeks doing some UCI 1.2 races. From there it will be back to Christchurch for a mid season break. In the second half of the year I will be racing in Asia at this stage.

QK: I remember as a young rider you were mentored by some of the old guard of NZ cycling from back in the 90’s. Who do you owe your cycling success and guidance to?

TH: I have been lucky enough to come through the ranks in a strong Canterbury cycling scene and have had many top riders to look up to. One of those guys was Brain Fowler who won a few races down this way!

QK: What is your favourite workout and what do you enjoy about it?

TH: Anything in the Port Hills, Christchurch. The long bays was a favourite pre earthquake.


Bike Training NZ
Milford Classic. Photo Barry Harcourt

QK: This year you have already won the Milford Mountain Classic and the opening round of the Elite Series. How long do you think you can maintain this form?

TH: I’m not too sure. Time will tell! But my training is structured so that at the end of a four week cycle I have a few days off to recover and reset.

QK: Do you do any dedicated strength training? If so, what sort of session do you do?

TH: Over the past 12 months I have started doing gym training for the first time. It’s nice to see that hard work cross over to form on the bike.

QK: What have you learned over the last 12 months that more people should know?

TH: From doing the Cadel Evans road race and Sun Tour you realise just how good these top guys are. Even the sprinters can climb better than most top domestic climbers. So you have to adapt to the speed change quickly.

QK: What are the two biggest training mistakes and how have you come back from them?

TH: Probably the worst thing you can do is over train. The damage that can do at an important stage of your preparation is vital. The other thing is make sure it’s fun because it can be a long time between victory’s.

Best of the Internet for Endurance Athletes: 06 March 2016

Each Sunday I’ll post my ‘best of’ list in a number of categories from the inter-webs. Other weeks can be found here.

Technology/Equipment Blogs

Do you have an Apple watch? Here is how best to use it for sport and fitness.

Training/Racing Blogs

Here are some great variations of a common exercise to enhance your core strength.

How to enjoy long runs. I don’t fully agree all the tips here.

An unknown Mountain Biking paradise.

Athlete Blogs

Dylan raced New Zealand Ironman in Taupo yesterday.  Here is his update from Challenge Wanaka.

Nutrition Blogs

Learn all about beetroot and its benefits for athletes.


Get the dope on mechanical doping.

Qwik-View: Chris Sanson

Ironman Training NZQK: Congrats on your sixth place finish at Challenge Wanaka. That is a great result on a tough course in tough conditions. Talk us through your race, the highs and the lows?

CS: Thanks. It was a very tough day with the wind out there. The swim was good for me. There was quite a bit of chop so it meant that the main group didn’t start so fast which is something I have struggled with. I came out of the water about 20 sec off the main group (unlucky to get some cramp 400m from the finish).

Onto the bike and like a lot of other pros road the first 100kms a little too fast. The plan was to hold 270 watts, but I think after 100ks I had averaged 290 (getting caught up in the race hype). The last 80km was really tough and having to deal with the wind made things tougher.

Lucky for me I wasn’t the only one in that boat. I came into T2 In 6th place and headed out on the run. I was about 10mins down on 5th so that was going to take a big effort to catch. I started well, running at 3.50 pace and just trying to keep things controlled. I had made up some time but at 10km the hard bike caught up on me and I started to cramp. I spent the next 10km stopping at aid stations and eating everything I could.

The 2nd lap wasn’t as bad and I only had some amounts of cramps that I could deal with on the go. In the end I made up about 5min on 5th. So 6th it was!


QK: What were your race tactics during the event?

CS: I wanted to have a good ride and start the run in a good position as I have been working hard on my cycling in the last 6 months. However I was my own undoing as I rode outside of my planned watts and paid for it later.


QK: You’ve now got to double up with Ironman NZ only two weeks after Challenge. What does your training look like between the two events? [Readers Note: Chris is a full time athlete in the best shape of his life so don’t try and replicate this.]

CS: Last year I didn’t do a lot as I was a little worried that I wouldn’t recover right. Knowing it was ok last year, this time round I have added in some training in the middle weekend. I had the first 3 days off (mostly due to travelling back home. Then 2 days of steady swims, rides of about 2 hours and a run. Over the weekend I did a hard ride on the Saturday with a 20km time trail and I actually hit a 20m power pb (personal best).  Then Sunday was a hard swim followed by a long run of 60mins.

Race week is then back to my standard pre-race week taper. That way it’s all the same and I know the routine. A few 2 hour bike rides, 3 swims added to 8km and a few short runs.

QK: What do you do to enhance your recovery over this two week period?

CS: I keep it really simple. I try and eat as much good food as I can and lots of it. I also try and add in a few more hours of sleep each night. Sleep is the best form of recovery you can get.


Tri Training NZQK: How do your race goals differ from Challenge and Ironman?

CS: Ironman has a really big field this year so for me it will be about not worrying about who is around me and sticking to my numbers for the first 2/3 of the race. I know with Wanaka under my belt I will be able to run fast like I did last year. I want to improve on that so keeping a lid on things the first half of the race with be key, then firing the gun on the run and seeing what I can do.


QK: Thanks for taking the time to answer these Qwik-Questions.