BLOG # 3 – HUMPS WITH COACH RAY BOARDMAN CHASING ULTRAMAN OZ TO FUNDRAISE FOR FALLEN HEROES

UltraMan Coaching
Humps & Coach Ray announcing their support for the NZ Invictus Games Team (Fallen Hero’s Trust)

As I pondered what to write for this weeks Blog to Ray for Qwik Kiwi, I glanced at my watch and realised today (15 Jan 16) is four months away from Day 2 for the biggest endurance test of my life.  In four months time Day 2 is the 281.1 Km bike ride in 12 hours or less, after Day 1 which is the 10 Km Ocean Swim followed by a 140 Km Bike Ride of 6 hours for each or less (12 hours total).  The biggest concern plaguing me at the moment is the double marathon on Day 3 for 12 hours.  Four months out and I’m on the Physio bed getting taped up and wondering why now, why when I have a Half Ironman next weekend, an Ironman in the start of March and the Ultraman Australia mid May.

So how did my week go?  With my injury in consideration, Ray is carefully planning my training.  Swimming and cycling are no problem and this week on Monday I tackled the Blue Mountains Road which those of you from here will know all too well.  It is the road from the Silverstream end into Whiteman’s Valley and a good lung burner.   I have purposely stayed on the flats with most of my cycling since my injury to protect it, letting the head winds give it a good work out.  I knew the Blue Mountains Road would give it a good test and I came out fine.  For the run that Ray had planned on Tuesday, I took it slowly and cautiously and did a 6+ Km Run with no calf concern. Wednesday is the Splash n Dash which I do as I am a novice at sea swimming (yeah I know Ultraman) followed by a 4 Km Run.  For some silly reason I forgot about nursing the calf on the run and took off.  250 metres later Ray would have heard me cursing from Burnham.  So Thursday I did a swim to loosen it and today (Friday) I did a 4 hour cycle deliberately staying off the hills, however the Wellington winds were horrendous (noting Gerard reported on Qwik Kiwi Facebook the same conditions in Christchurch).

So I met the Physio lady today and she thought I was nuts when I explained what I had coming up and I was insisting she perform some magic.  Ray has carefully planned the programme for next week to focus on swimming and cycling.  The Half Ironman is there and worse case scenario I’ll do the Swim, Bike and Power Walk the Run as DNS or DNF are not in my vocabulary.  But the final decision I will take from the Physio and the forever patient and relaxed Ray.

Lifting my spirits was the Qwik Kiwi House Facebook post by Helen Majorhazi of a picture that really made me smile and confirmed that all my Qwik Kiwi colleagues are supporting me: Only those that risk going to far can possibly find out how far they can go – T.S. Elliot (Helen Majorhazi).

Don’t forget to Google search “Ultraman Oz”

Regards John Humphries (Humps)!

Book Review: Matt Fitzgerald – 80/20 Running

Tri Coach NZFitzgerald, Matt (2014) 80/20 Running – Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower New American Library

I’ve been wanting to read this book since I heard it was published. Matt Fitzgerald is an engaging author who researches his topics thoroughly. He is a runner and a coach himself, but primarily a writer and has a number of books with a running or triathlon theme. Having finished 80/20 Running I’ve moved on to reading another of his books – Iron War which I have been wanting to read for many years. This is the story of the race to win the 1989 Hawaii Ironman.

Back to the book in hand.

This book is really great at helping you understand the science behind by why Arthur Lydiard’s training programmes and philosophy were so successful. Although it refers to a large body of scientific evidence, it is written in  such a way as not to overwhelm you with science, but simply written in layman’s terms which help you clearly understand each concept as it is introduced and discussed.

The main premise of the book is that 80% of your training is conducted at a low intensity and the remaining 20% is conducted at moderate or high intensity. For those that use the training intensities that I use in my coaching that is roughly equivalent to Level II, Borg 2-3, PZ3 or the Endurance Power or HR Zones.

This book is a great read for anyone participating in endurance exercise whether for sporting goals or health and fitness goals who would like an understanding of the ‘why’. Why is your training better and more beneficial at the lower intensity? It is also an exceptional read for coaches who would like to be reminded about the most proven training philosophy that has created the most successful athletes ever.

Reading this book has reinforced to me that I am doing the right thing with the training programmes that I produce and will continue to do so.

I don’t sell anything on this blog, the link above to Amazon allows you to purchase the book at the best price available. Amazon give me a small credit if you click the link and purchase the book through them. I would greatly appreciate it if you are going to purchase the book that you use this link.

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 and is a prominent triathlon and marathon coach in New Zealand.

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

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

 

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 8

Over the coming 12 weeks I will post a a series of workouts building your swim fitness as you prepare for either Challenge Wanaka (18 Feb) or Ironman NZ (04 Mar). I have been a professional triathlon coach since 2000 and am a multiple Iron-distance finisher including doing both these events in 2011 (the year of the wind in Wanaka and the year of the rain in Taupo).

12 weeks out from Challenge Wanaka starts the week of Monday 28th November 16. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions will commence the week of Monday 12th December. Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 8”

Friday Fartlek: The Michigan

Fartlek Session

This session is a great way to develop the ability to maintain your running speed and have a bit of a kick at the end of it. This session is credited to coach Ron Warhurst from the University of Michigan track team. Nick Willis is currently in NZ and I saw a recent Facebook post of him doing this workout at the Newtown track in Wellington. Scroll down to view the video. Continue reading “Friday Fartlek: The Michigan”

Periodisation of a Season

There are a number of methods to periodise a training build up for an event. Some of the more prominent coaches and academics in this area include Tudor Bompa, Joe Friel & Jon Ackland. They have all written numerous books on the subject. The key aspect they all share is that you start off with general conditioning and then progress the training volume as you move closer to your major events of the season. As you move closer to these events more and more specific training is included. Intensity of training becomes more race like, the closer you get to your main race(s) and training volume is decreased (but not the intensity) as you get closesr to your major race(s).

Tri Training NZ
Jack Daniels, PhD

The philosophy and processes I use with my Qwik Kiwi athletes is based heavily on that of Jack Daniels, PhD (no not that Jack!!!!!!).  Jack has worked with a range of runners as a coach and as an academic since the 60’s and has developed what is known as the VDOT system in the Daniels’ Running Formula. As an athlete he competed at the Olympics and has coached recreational athletes through to Olympic level athletes, as well as being declared the “World’s Best Coach” by Runner’s World Magazine. What Jack does is break the season into four phases:

  • Phase I: Foundation training and Injury prevention (FI)
  • Phase II: Early Quality (EQ)
  • Phase III: Transition Quality (TQ)
  • Phase IV: Final Quality (FQ)

During each phase you have specific goals and aims of physiological development that we try to achieve. These will vary depending on what you are preparing for. Early Quality will look a lot different if you are trying to run 5km in under 16 minutes compared to if you are training to complete an Ironman.

Typically a season will be about half a year long to allow you a couple of build ups in a season. This will give six weeks training in each of the above phases.

Foundation training and Injury prevention (FI) Phase

During this phase you are preparing your body for the training that will come in the following weeks. You will be strengthening the connective tissues of your body so that when we load them up a little bit more during the quality phases they are strong enough to handle the loads given to them. Your muscle cells will be adapting  and we also start developing your aerobic base of fitness that will grow over the following phases.

This phase is primarily based around steady intensity efforts of a sustained duration that produce many desirable cellular adaptations in the muscles, heart and lungs which will make you more efficient. If training load is increased too quickly during this phase the body can often get burnt out if it isn’t ready for that much training load. I emphasis caution in this phase. Being slightly under-done in this phase results in  better results come the end of the FQ phase than if you over do it here.

Early Quality (EQ) Phase

This is a great opportunity to develop your economy and efficiency as well as some speed to get you prepared physically and mentally for the phases that follow.

Training during this phase is a step up in both duration and intensity from what was completed in the FI phase.  It will be getting you ready to handle the training load in the TQ phase. If there isn’t enough time to do any or much in this phase it will be minimised or missed out of shorter programmes.

Transition Quality (TQ) Phase

This is the toughest and most demanding of the training phases concentrating on long intervals. What is long for you and your events will vary depending on what your goals are.

Workouts in this phase build on what you have done previously. For this reason if key sessions are missed in the EQ phase I’ll often move them over into this phase so ensure we aren’t jumping ahead too far. Here we are optimising the components of fitness that are key to your primary event.

Final Quality (FQ) Phase

The best way to develop in this phase is from races and race-like training. Of course we need to recover more from training like that and once again it will all be dependant on your goals.

This phase is geared towards preparing for actual race conditions – intensity (& duration if not too long e.g. Ironman or marathon).

Planning the weeks

When there is enough time to plan a 24 week build up doing six weeks in each phase is great, but in very rare cases we manage to plan something with exactly 24 weeks to go. If you are lucky enough to be planning more than 24 weeks out from a major event we can spend more time in the FI phase and develop a very effective aerobic base, however more often or not there is less time than the 24 weeks. Here is a handy wee chart that is adapted from Jack Daniels’ book Daniels’  Running Formula.

No of Weeks

FI

EQ

TQ

FQ

1

1

2

2

3

3

4

3

1

5

3

2

6

3

3

7

3

1

3

8

3

2

3

9

3

3

3

10

3

1

3

3

11

3

2

3

3

12

3

3

3

3

13

4

3

3

3

14

4

3

4

3

15

4

3

5

3

16

4

3

6

3

17

4

3

6

4

18

4

4

6

4

19

4

5

6

4

20

4

6

6

4

21

5

6

6

4

22

5

6

6

5

23

6

6

6

5

24

6

6

6

6

If you have only got two weeks to prepare for an event you are best focussing your training on the FI phase. If however you have say……17 weeks to prepare then spend the first 3 weeks in the FI phase, then 3 weeks in the EQ phase, then 6 weeks in the TQ phase then 4 weeks in the FQ phase.

An overall training plan needs to build through the various phases of training in sequence to allow appropriate adaption in the time frame available. Following Jack Daniels’ methodology and adapting it for cyclists, triathletes and mountain bikers based on their personal goals I have been successfully planning the build ups of many athletes over many distances for a few years now. Previous to that I was heavily influenced by Jon Ackland and Joe Freil (and Tudor Bompa). What Jack Daniels does is give more detail but still follows the same principles of the other gurus of periodisation.

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 www.qwik.kiwi, ray@qwikkiwi.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

Blog #2 – HUMPS JOURNEY TO ULTRAMAN OZ WITH COACH RAY BOARDMAN

Triathlon Coach NZOnce Ray had taken me on as a Client in the later part of 2014, the ultimate goal was to compete in an Ultraman – Ultraman Australia 2016 and to also consider it as an opportunity to fund-raise.

Ray carefully planned the training to focus on events as they arose, partly because we both knew that Ultraman only accepted a maximum of 40 athletes (we didn’t know if I would be successful) and partly to hold me back from getting too carried away and over-training. Continue reading “Blog #2 – HUMPS JOURNEY TO ULTRAMAN OZ WITH COACH RAY BOARDMAN”

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 7

Swim Sessions

Over the coming 12 weeks I will post a a series of workouts building your swim fitness as you prepare for either Challenge Wanaka (18 Feb) or Ironman NZ (04 Mar). I have been a professional triathlon coach since 2000 and am a multiple Iron-distance finisher including doing both these events in 2011 (the year of the wind in Wanaka and the year of the rain in Taupo).

12 weeks out from Challenge Wanaka starts the week of Monday 28th November. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions will commence the week of Monday 12th December. Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 7”