Day 3 – Preparation for Ultraman Australia in location of Noosa

Tri Training NZ

Tri Training NZHi All

Well day three and the crew was all up early to check out the beautiful sunrise from our apartment that looks over the Ocean. Then it was straight into breakfast followed by our respective training – a bike ride for myself and the support crew of Ray Boardman, Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell going on their respective runs to keep their legs turning over, as they will be taking turns pacing me during the double marathon on the third day of Ultraman Australia.

This morning was event registration which was quite long with being given a checklist and moving from table to table for either questions, a brief, or the gifts of sponsors products.  Of course there was the merchandise area where I purchased a few goodies or mementos.

The final check out was a medical check with the paramedic who conducted a prick blood test, checked my blood pressure and weight.  There was a series of questions and briefings which Ray listened to, then Steve King the Ultraman Australia commentator who has come from Canada for the event, quizzed us all against the data I had previously provided.

Once the athlete and support crew wristbands were placed on our wrists at registration, it dawned on me that this was it.  A feeling I already had, but the actual registration at these major events certainly wraps the nerves up a notch or two.  My crew made it easy for me with their gentle humour as Derrick and Scott downed another coffee fix.

Ultraman CoachingIn the afternoon we drove the double marathon course downloading the route into Derrick’s GPS.  Then it was back to registration at 1500 hours for various race briefings.  Once it was over it we headed back to the apartment and Ray gave me a sports massage to ensure my calf stays in check.  Derrick and Scott got on with their rostered dinner duties.

The first couple of days have been cloudy, but Sunshine Coast earned it’s name today.  We wonder how the three race days will be with the heat.

Take care team.  You will hear from me tomorrow – my last day before the first race day commences on Saturday bright and early with a check in at 0515 hours.

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

Day 2 – Preparation in Noosa for Ultraman Australia

Tri Training NZ

Tri Training NZHi everyone,

I had a massive sleep last night of about six hours.  For those that know me that’s pretty good as I’m usually a bit of an insomniac.  Woke to a beautiful sunrise, then with Coach Ray we headed to the swim course for a short swim in the ocean to get used to the environment. The water was as flat as a pancake.  Here’s hoping it’s like that on Saturday for the 10 km ocean swim.

After this I had a short cycle to give the legs a spin.  This was an opportunity to test and adjust the bike if necessary after having it reassembled at the Ultraman Australia sponsored bike shop (Trilogy Cycles).  They did an excellent job.  The bike is running great.  The road surface is excellent over here.  Derrick and Scott went for a short run to keep themselves tuned as my pacers for Monday’s double marathon.

This afternoon we were shown the bike course.  This was arranged by Ultraman Australia so we took the opportunity to get a feel for it.

Ray certainly has the diet / nutrition plan going well.  No junk food for this kid and the support team. I am not really a fan of junk food anyway.  The support crew are taking turns at cooking and keeping me out of the kitchen.  I am not sure if that is to ensure I am kept healthy for the event or to keep themselves healthy with my attempt at cooking… lol.

The nerves are starting to creep in now that I’m on location, but the guys are great at keeping me in check.  I’ll keep you posted as the days pass by until the start, which is bright and early on Saturday morning for the 3 days of 515 kms.

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

From NZ To Oz For Ultraman Australia

UltraMan Coaching
Jon & Kathy Spence greeted Humps on arrival in Brisbane

Hi everyone ,

Well not much sleep last night as Derrick McMillan and myself headed to work at 0100 hours to get a couple of hours in before heading to the Airport. The taxi arrived right on cue at Defence House at 0300 hours with the Security Guards wishing us well on our journey for the event. The taxi sent a small cab so the bike bag was on top of me, but excitement took over to worry about that as Derrick settled into the best passenger seat in the cab. Unfortunately we didn’t plan on the Airport being shut and once checked through we found Immigration etc was shut until 0430. Oh well, thankfully Derrick is member or Koru Club which we made the most of.

Tri Training NZ
The bike and luggage and five people all loaded into this vehicle in Brisbane (just).

Upon arrival in Brisbane a small reception was waiting for us with Kathy and Jon Spence coming out to greet us for a coffee catch up. Debs Pohatu was their to take us to ASA to get our sponsored loan vehicle, of which the director Gavin and Debs gave us two 4WD vehicles, we truly are blessed. Scott Cordwell was waiting for us at Brisbane Airport and approx 45 minutes later my Coach Ray Boardman arrived on the flight from Christchurch. Once the vehicles were handed over we headed to Caboolture  and Onward Fitness where Dave Okeby a former RNZIR Corporal runs a gym and we commenced the 22 Press-Up Challenge. After which we headed to Noosa and uplifted the keys to our apartment in Sunrise Beach, it is beautiful and allows the opportunity to relax and focus.

Ironman Training
The staff at ASA with Humps in front of our ‘tank’ (L to R): Jackie Te Amo, Alexis Clarke, Humps, Debs Pohatu & Gavin Torrens

Since arrival my bike has been put together by Trilogy Cycles at Noosa for free with the Bike Inspection Certificate completed (one less thing to worry about) and I have been for a short run to commence acclimatisation. Coach Ray has volunteered for kitchen duties with preparing dinner tonight. Probably the safest option with my cooking skills.

I’ll keep everyone posted as the week progresses,

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps).

Blog #19 – The Final Countdown for UltraMan Australia

Tri Training NZ

Hi blog followers,

Tri Training NZ
UltraHumps with his race bike after being serviced at Huka Cycles

Well this is it.  My final weekend before I head to Australia to compete in Ultraman Australia with my support crew of Ray Boardman (Coach and Team Captain from Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants), Derrick McMillan (support crew team member) and Scott Cordwell (support crew team member), all from the New Zealand Army, to fundraise for KIWIKilled, Injured, Wounded and Ill of the New Zealand Defence Force.

There has been a bit of joviality around work the last few days as we prepare to focus, with other colleagues giving my Wellington based support crew a bit of jib about their role. This has all been a bit of good fun. In reality they know what we are in for and everything will be under the watchful eye and direction of Ray.

To recap, 515 kms is a hell of a long way.

Day 1 on Saturday 14 May 2016 consists of a 10 km swim and 140 km cycle. Day 2 on Sunday 15 May is a 281 km cycle and Day 3 on Monday 16 May is the double marathon.

I have not covered these distances before swimming, cycling or running, but I have the utmost faith in Ray preparing me for this occasion.

The training in the weekend is the start of the taper off period, where I returned to Taupo to uplift my event bike from my bike mechanic and shop owner of Huka Cycles, Brendon Reynolds, where he has been fine tuning it. As such I hit the Ironman course for a two and a half hour bike ride on my training bike. The Ironman is a great course, because I experienced it as per usual with hill work (De-Bretts Hill, Heartbreak Hill, Speedway Hill, etc) and the inevitable head winds.

For the run on Sunday I returned to Hawkes Bay and ran part of the cycle trails to feel the heat.

Ray caught up with me earlier in the week when I was in Christchurch and spent some time programming my Garmin for me.  It certainly has all the bells and whistles going with beep alerts if I am too slow, too fast or not putting in enough effort with the heart rate being too low.  This will certainly take me a bit of getting use to, but my Garmin has become my best friend.

Tuesday I fly out and we will be met at Brisbane International by Debs Pohatu, a former Army colleague, who has arranged a vehicle through Anodyne Services Australia (ASA) as a form of sponsorship for us. Once in the country, we have various activities to attend to such as the Ultraman Australia bike inspection, a trial swim with the safety paddler, welcome function, etc and then game on!

Ray will keep you posted on Facebook as we go and I’ll provide a follow up blog once the event is over.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support to get me to the start line.  In particular Coach Ray for his tireless efforts with coaching and running the Facebook page to allow me to concentrate on other requirements.

Take care – regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

Best of the Internet for Endurance Athletes: 08 May 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

Are these the most stylish sports watches in the market?

Ironman cracks down on people looking to use motors on their bike.

Training/Racing Blogs

From Team Seagate Sophie Hart talks us through GODZone Chapter 5,

Here are some key sessions that you can use as part of your training for a half Ironman/70.3.

Some training and racing tips for your first half marathon. Keep an eye out for my book on training for your first half marathon due out in September.

Nutrition Blogs

This is possibly the best Nutrition article I’ve read ALL year.

Food for thought regardless of whether you are in one of the ‘camps’ or not.

I don’t recommend eating McDonalds for 180 days straight. But this guy did AND lost weight. There are some key life lessons in this one.


One of the three Grand Tours has just started, here is Global Cycling Network’s preview of the the Giro d’Italia.

Wednesday Windtrainer Workouts: Five Times This

Tri Training NZ

This session is a great way to develop your anaerobic capacity. It is perfect for road cyclists and mountain bikers and triathletes.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a Wind Trainer session that you can do in about 60 minutes to enhance your cycling. See a previous post about training intensity (Levels) to know how hard to work. If you are working directly with Coach Ray he will in most cases prescribe either a Power Zone or Heart Rate Zone to work within if you are training with these tools.

Five Times This

  • 10min Warm Up Level II;
  • 3x (30sec SLD, 30sec Both, 30sec SLD, 30sec Both);
  • 5x 30sec Level IV, 30sec Level II RI;
  • 5x 1min Level IV, 1min Level II RI;
  • 5x 2min Level IV, 2min Level II RI;
  • 5x 1min Level IV, 1min Level II RI;
  • 5x 30sec Level IV, 30sec Level II RI;
  • 10min Cool Down Level II;
  • 10min Stretching

Start the workout with a warm up of ten minutes easy riding at Level II. Then do a set of three times two minutes Single Leg Drills (SLD). That two minutes is broken up as 30 seconds left leg only, 30 seconds both legs, 30 seconds right leg only, 30 seconds both legs. Then repeat that two minutes twice more for a total of three times.

The main set involves five sets of five repetitions (25 all up) at Level IV. The first five are 30 seconds long with 30 seconds Rest Interval (RI) at Level II. The second five are all a minute long with a minute Rest Interval (RI). Then another set of five at two minutes duration, also with a two minute Rest Interval. Then a set of five by one minute at Level IV, with a one minute Rest Interval (RI), before finishing the main set with five reps that are 30 seconds long with 30 seconds Rest Interval (RI).

After the third set, cool down for ten minutes riding at Level II.

Finish with 10 minutes stretching to assist with your recovery.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729.

Join over 2,197 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Wednesday Wind Trainer Session: Big Gear Hill Reps

Get my 6 week FTP Cycling Plan through Training Peaks. Over these 6 weeks improve your FTP by following my sequence of intervals. Results Guaranteed. Purchase here.

May Client of the Month: Barb Frost

Marathon Training NZ

Marathon Training NZBarb Frost is this months ‘Client of the Month’. I’ve been impressed with her commitment to both training and ensuring she gets over her injury. This is her story.

My Journey with Qwik Kiwi… by Barb Frost

My journey with Qwik Kiwi began at the start of October 2015 when I was training towards competing in my first full marathon. Prior to that I had only run purely for my own pleasure and fitness.

With the guidance of Ray Boardman I have been able to now take part in two full marathons.  The Queenstown International Marathon on 21 November 2015 and the Motatapu Off Trail Marathon on the 5 March 2016.

I have learnt a lot in the seven months I have been part of the Qwik Kiwi family. It’s great having a dedicated Face Book page where we are able to post anything to do with our training and get positive feedback from other like minded people.

Not only is Ray a great coach, he also cares about us as individuals and has been there for me more recently as another support person through some tough personal family stuff.  I am also currently working through a knee issue that occurred in the downhill leg of the Motatapu Marathon and Ray has been there to help pick me up when I’ve been feeling a bit flat if my training hasn’t gone according to plan.

Because of my knee issue my goal of running in the Naseby Ultra Race at the end of August is looking a little uncertain at the moment but I’m determined not to let it get me down.  I have no doubt that Ray’s coaching will continue to inspire me in the next few months and hopefully I will achieve my next goal.

– Barb Frost

Marathon Training NZAs client of the month Barb had this bunch of flowers delivered to her at work this morning.