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.

Helen Majorhazi’s Testimonial for Coach Ray

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.

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