So You’ve Done An Ironman ….Now What?

I recently conducted a couple of online seminars (webinars) on the topic of:

So You’ve Done An Ironman ….Now What?

If you missed it you can watch it here.

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.


Qwik-View: Debs Lynch

Debs Lynch is a young up and coming triathlete. Over the last few years she has overcome a number of challenges to get to her current position in the NZ High Performance Triathlon Squad environment. You can follow her progress on her blog: or on Facebook:

Tri Training NZQK: I trust your assignments you were working on over the weekend got completed and you didn’t get too sidetracked either in Taupo spectating at Ironman or following friends progress online. What are you currently studying towards?

DL: I’m studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Information Sciences, specialising in Information Technology. It is run by distance through Massey University.  Being computer based allows me to study while based overseas over the winter. It is very strange to suddenly have my free time occupied with study after a two year break following four years of study at Otago University.

QK: I imagine that this fits nicely with your training with the High Performance (HP) squad in Cambridge. What does a typical week of training with them look like [reader discretion – Debs is a full time athlete who is extremely fit.  It is not recommended that you try and emulate this]?

DL: We swim five days a week, with a mix of 25m and 50m pools, and open water swimming at Lake Karapiro, which keeps it interesting. I’ll do a couple of 2.5-4 hour rides, a hard ride or bike race, and a few easy spins to keep the legs ticking over. One tempo or speed run, a long run up to 90 mins, and then a couple of easy 40-60min runs. Two strength and conditioning gym sessions round off the week. I’ll have either a whole day off or a single session day once a week.


QK: I know you’ve recently done a block of altitude training at the Snow Farm in Wanaka. What was the highlight of your time there?

DL: Probably the running on the tracks up there. It was all off-road running, which is my favourite, but not so lumpy that you were terrified of rolling an ankle with every step. The views from up there were stunning too.


QK: Do you have an overseas campaign lined up for 2016? What are your goals this year?

DL: The overseas/racing campaign is split into two parts this year. I have just started the first part – racing World Cups in Mooloolaba, New Plymouth and Chengdu, and the Oceania champs in Gisborne will get me through to the end of April. I’ll head away in June to Europe to rejoin my German club in Potsdam, racing most of the Bundesliga series, as well as a few World Cups. All going well, I will go to North America for a few more events and then on to the World Champs.  Goals for this year are to get on top of World Cup racing, and perform well enough to earn a World Triathlon Series start, and to race at the World Champs in Cozumel, Mexico.


QK: As part of the HP squad other than coaching what other support do you receive? What has been the highlight of being in the HP environment?

DL: I get massage treatment each week, which has been great for keeping on top of any niggles that I would otherwise have let slide and hoped for the best. They provide some living allowance and financial support for some of my overseas campaign. Having like-minded athletes around me every day, pushing themselves to their limit, is forcing me to do the same. I am constantly learning from them.


QK: As you know I have followed your progress through triathlon since the very beginning when Andrea and I both coached you as a beginner. You’ve had a large number of successes over the years, but also some low points. What positives have you taken from the low points?

DL: One bad (or terrible!) race won’t define your career, as much as you think it will at the time. While you may feel embarrassed or humiliated when performing badly, others rarely think so. These events are the ones you use to motivate you to keep pushing through at training and are the fuel to improving at the next race. They are often the ones you look back on and laugh at. Eventually.


QK: What do you consider your greatest athletic achievement?

DL: First time qualifying for the U23 team for the world champs in 2014. I hadn’t really trained or competed while I was at university the 3-4 years prior, and it came after a summer working full-time on a biotech internship and training on top of that. I was so determined to make this team that I was finishing some sessions after 8pm (Dunedin doesn’t get dark until much later over summer) in order to get sufficient bike hours in during the week.  I realised how much I really wanted this triathlon career and what I would do to get there.


QK: What is your favourite swim workout?

DL: Not exactly a favourite, just really satisfying to complete – 3 rounds of 3 x (300 + 100 faster), the 300s getting faster within and between rounds.


QK: What is your favourite bike workout?

DL: Reps up Makara


QK: What is your favourite run workout?

DL: Rounds of 300s on the grass track – a great little speed hit out.


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

DL: Running slower on the easy runs is better than too fast, as you are less likely to develop injuries and then fast sessions are (usually!) performed better. Easy days or days off, are exactly that. Doing as little as possible, so that you come back mentally and physically refreshed for another week of training.


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

DL: Running too fast on ‘easy runs’ to stay with the group. I developed plantar fasciitis, which I am still having to manage. I am now less concerned now about not keeping up, but paying attention to myself and how I’m feeling.

Trying to ‘catch up’ on sessions missed by squeezing a day and a half into one day. There is nothing to gain except a more tired body going into the third day and the quality of those sessions declines. I now just accept that some days, unexpected things happen (or sometimes, in my case, time management is nowhere in sight) and instead of cramming in extra sessions, you’re better off to just altering the next day’s training a little.

UltraHumps Blog #12: Inspiration from Qwik Kiwi

Qwik Kiwi is the Coaching business owned and operated by Coach Ray Boardman, whom I knew previously in his primary employment in the NZ Army as a Physical Training Instructor (PTI).  I hadn’t really had much to do with Ray due to serving in different Camps in New Zealand, but did know of him (such is the size of our small Army).  I did come across him though in Afghanistan when I was rotating in as part of the new contingent and he was in his final week or so preparing to return to New Zealand.  I remember him asking me to join in with a couple of others for a physical training circuit session, of which I declined saying I had already ran up what was known as the infamous PT Hill (for those that had served there you will know what I mean).  Ran… well rather walked due to the hit of altitude which had all of us new in theatre struggling to get used to finding oxygen for the lungs.  Ray said, okay then I’ll let you away with it this time.  Bugger, he got to me so I joined in with the circuit, struggling to keep up.  I had no idea at the time that later Ray would become my Coach, let alone any idea I would ever compete an Ironman, let alone have multiple Ironman events now under my belt.

I have previously documented why I chose Ray as my Coach, but to refresh memories I was simply struggling with the Ironman course in 2014, after only being able to train in Timor-Leste in a less than average size swimming pool, on an exercycle due to the road conditions and local dodgy driving skills.  Running always appeared to be dodging wandering livestock and of course those dodgy drivers.  Ray had stayed on the Ironman course that day to support me, simply because he knew me.  His focus was his Qwik Kiwi clients who had finished their Ironman and he stayed on the course with a fellow PTI Kelly Carter and her partner Tim to get me to the infamous finish line with their ever enthusiastic comments.  So when I knew it was time to train properly I chased down Ray.  I thought that if he gave that much support and loyalty to someone who wasn’t his client, I wanted to be part of what he gave to his clients.

So during this week I found myself starting to wonder about the upcoming Ultraman Australia, where I will test myself to the extreme of 515 kms of swimming, cycling and running over 3 days, with time cut-offs on a non-catered course (need to bring my own support crew to feed me energy supplies etc).  As one can imagine the mind wanders with highs of belief and lows of self doubt.  I was paying attention ‘on-line’ to the athletes from Qwik Kiwi and what their goals were and more importantly what they had achieved.  I really started to get into their stories regardless of what levels or distances they were striving for.

Three people immediately come to mind.  The athleticism of Gerard Bell is awesome.  He may be many years younger than myself, but I am in awe at what he has achieved.  Austin Powell’s blog of achieving his first Ironman and his journey to get there and many more from the Qwik Kiwi team.  One article had me fixed to the computer and I read it over a couple of nights… Di Chesmar.  She talked of her journey from getting started in 2006 until now, with event stories of highs and lows (no holds-barred), competing in various endurance events that would make the mind boggle.  When I read about her conquering ultra endurance rides such as 10 laps of a 101 km course I was inspired to say the least.  I think I only read one Did Not Finish (DNF) listed out of multiple events each year for 10 years and I know she had a Did Not Start (DNS) this year due to injury.  This was an event she probably would of done, however she was saving herself for the larger event of Challenge Wanaka a few weeks later to ensure she had overcome the injury.

All the athletes that publish their dreams, which become their goals, which become their achievements, on the Qwik Kiwi Facebook page have all inspired me, but I wish to make special mention of Di Chesmar who is slightly older than me and has certainly inspired me with her drive, sheer determination and making it to the finish line under all sorts of environmental conditions.  Her biggest thank-yous are to her husband and our Coach Ray Boardman.  Thank you Di.

I know that with my extreme challenge of Ultraman Australia that Team Qwik Kiwi has my back and they are all there with me all the way.  Thank you Team Qwik Kiwi and thank you Ray for taking me on two years ago.  You’re stuck with me for many years to come.


John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

Best of the Internet for Endurance Athletes: 20 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

DC Rainmaker’s Spring (Autumn in NZ) review of all things related to Power Meters.

Training/Racing Blogs

How to pace a marathon by the grandfather of marathon coaching Hal Higdon.

Athlete Blogs

Cameron Brown’s race report on Ironman NZ and becoming the first person to win an Ironman event 12 times.

Nutrition Blogs

We are getting close to winter and that means that cold and flu season is on it’s way. Use garlic to fight off colds and the flu.

Dr Libby destroys three food and nutrition myths.


NZ Post’s new advertisement featuring the boys at Wheelworks.