Di Chesmar – 10 Years With Team Qwik Kiwi

la fleure floriste

Di Chesmar is this months ‘Client of the Month’. She has had a massive athletic career since joining Qwik Kiwi over ten years ago. As the client of the month I arranged for a nice bunch of flowers to be delivered to her. This is her story:


My Ten Year Journey with Qwik Kiwi Endurance Sports Consultants

Flash back to 16 January 2006

Email to Raymond Boardman: I am considering entering the Scorching Bay “Try” on 2 April 2006.  I would like to participate in an open swim class (or classes) and would appreciate any information you are able to give on these.  I am a young 50 year old and competed in one triathlon last year (SHE women’s triathlon in Palmerston North) which had a pool swim of 300m. Continue reading “Di Chesmar – 10 Years With Team Qwik Kiwi”

John ‘UltraHumps’ Humphries Testimonial for Coach Ray

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

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi Coaching.

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

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BLOG # 7 – “WHY?” UltraHumps Journey To UltraMan Australia

Tri Training NZ
UltraHumps after a medals ceremony in Timor Leste

I realised this weekend is Valentines weekend, which is 3 weeks away from when I compete in my 6th Ironman with five having been Ironman New Zealand and one being Ironman Australia.  Not bad for someone who couldn’t even really swim when I signed up for my first Ironman in 2011 to compete in it in March of 2012, let alone work out the intricacies of modern push-bikes and hadn’t run a marathon for over 20 years simply to get a free t-shirt.  But Valentines Day (14 February) is also 3 months to the day (14 May) to when I commence the greatest endurance test, both physically and mentally, of my life and to also support a chosen charity close to my heart to help others.  To help the families of the fallen, the sick, the wounded and injured, by doing what I have been told is my nature, something for others.

I have mentioned this before, but I really take my hat off to my Coach Ray Boardman (Qwik Kiwi) who probably has the greater challenge of this journey, not just to get me to the start line, but to be alongside me at various stages to get me to the finish line and to co-ordinate everything with my ever-willing ‘support crew’ Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell who are giving up their time for the journey… for the cause!

So to reflect, Ultraman Australia is the 3 day event in Noosa, Queensland Australia with the following endurance activities:

Day 1 = 10 km swim, 140 km cycle (time allowed 6 hours each, 12 hours max);

Day 2 = 281.1 km cycle (time allowed 12 hours max), and

Day 3 = 84.3 km Run of a double Marathon (time allowed 12 hours max).

Total distance 515 kms of swimming, cycling and running over 3 days.

So to answer the question in the title of Blog # 7 – “WHY“?

I stumbled across Ultraman much the same as I stumbled across Ironman, purely by chance.  When I decided I wanted to do an Ultraman, I knew straight away that if I was going to do this 3 day event covering 515 kms, I wanted to raise funds for a cause.  It didn’t take long for me to work out what my cause would be.  This year is a milestone year for me as I turn 50 (6 weeks after Ultraman).  This year I have been in the New Zealand Defence Force (Army) for 33 years in January.  So the ‘WHY’ is I wanted to give something back to the organisation.  The organisation that has given me a career and many opportunities (both within New Zealand and overseas), as well as educational, personal and professional development opportunities and the list goes on.  It has stood by me when the going got tough, or when I needed some guidance.  It didn’t turn its back on me when I got something wrong.  For me it is simply my turn to see an opportunity in Ultraman and give something back to the organisation.  The best way I could think of was to promote a cause that touches everyone when we lose someone or someone gets wounded on operations or injured in training or falls ill.  Hence I chose to give something back to the organisation by raising funds for the fallen, particularly their families and to raise funds to support those that have been wounded, injured or sick and hope I can give a helping hand.

I told my family from the outset, that I couldn’t do this without the support of family, friends and work colleagues.  The support I receive through the UltraHumps Facebook Page designed by Ray Boardman is tremendous and keeps me striving forward.  There has been a few glitches with the Give-A-Little Page, however I have just received an email to advise it should be good to go from the week starting Monday 15 May 2016.

On the injury side, I am now completely injury free now, so no excuses!

I thank you all for the support you are providing me, Coach Ray and our support crew.  Stay tuned for more to follow next week…

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 11

This weeks training continues to develop your base fitness with a strong focus on technique and endurance.

Each week will have three pool sessions for you to complete. I also encourage you to get in the open water once a fortnight to develop those skills sets. This can either be part of a triathlon or as a group open water swim. The pool based sessions work well when completed on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday or on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 11”

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 10

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 2016. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions commenced the week of Monday 12th December. Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 10”

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 9

Tri Training NZ

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 2016. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions commenced the week of Monday 12th December. Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 9”


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)!

Ultra Humps – The Big Hairy Arse Goal (BHAG)

UltraMan CoachPrevious articles have advised why I chose Ray Boardman as the Coach I wanted.  A Coach to help me achieve my dreams and achieve my personal tests physically, which would also test my mental fortitude to the extreme.  So briefly for the newcomers to Qwik Kiwi, Ray was a simple choice.  I struggled on my third Ironman because I simply didn’t take it seriously.  I did the training but also partied like no tomorrow.  I was fortunate that Ray was on the course, not as an athlete this time, but in support of his clients competing in Ironman 2014.  Ray knew me from the Army and even though his clients had finished for the day, he stayed on the course to support me and get me to that infamous finish line.  I had added two hours to my time and was completely disappointed with myself.  I knew Ironman demands respect and I didn’t give it.  I returned to Timor from Ironman where I was then serving with the Army and by chance I picked up a book in the Airport bookshop in Darwin called Finding Ultra by Rich Roll.  After reading it I knew what I wanted… and I knew who I wanted to get me there… Ray Boardman. Continue reading “Ultra Humps – The Big Hairy Arse Goal (BHAG)”

It’s a Fine Line Between Listening to Your Body and Training Through an Injury

Triathlon Training NZIf you have a question you would like me to answer, click on this link here. This is a response to a question from a reader who askedWhen recovering from an injury, how fine is the line between listening to your body & working with the recovery to just pushing through, ignoring discomfort?

Maybe you are like John in this story here, who would just push on regardless of his injury and/or then try and play catch up with the training. That story is a cautionary tale that came right with the correct advice in the end.

However we need to get back on task and answer the question at hand. To purely answer the question the line is pretty fine. Push too far and you may find yourself re-injured again. Don’t bother trying to push yourself and you may never get back to full fitness.

The All Blacks and other elite level sports teams are surrounded by support staff to assist them get the best advice possible. You also need support staff, be it your doctor, physiotherapist, coach and other key people, depending on the nature of the injury.

The key to deciding how close to that line to push is not a sole decision. You also need to draw on the knowledge of your physiotherapist and doctor, as well as your coach. If your coach has a background and qualifications in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation then they can be a great benefit to you.

The lead person making the decision at any one moment in time needs to be yourself, as often your coach, doctor or physiotherapist will not be right beside you whilst you are out training. You need to be responsible for driving yourself back to full fitness and not allowing yourself the excuse that you are injured. The information and guidance you receive from your support staff will assist you in making the decision of how hard to push you.

If your doctor or physiotherapist is saying ‘no running (or some other activity)’, then ask them “at what point can you commence running again?” Don’t accept the answer of in a few weeks or some other arbitrary time frame.  Ask them what physical tests can they get you to do to determine if you are ready to commence running again. Ask about the pathway to the solution to get back doing the activity that you currently can’t do. Have that as a goal and discuss it with all your support staff.

All injuries heal at different rates depending on a number of factors:

  • How fit and strong the injured part was when it got injured.
  • The nature of the injury (traumatic or overuse).
  • The duration you’ve had the injury.
  • What you’ve done since you got the injury.

What else can you still do despite being injured? Rather than getting down and out whilst being injured, look at what you can do. If you are a triathlete or multisport athlete you can focus on other aspects of your sport. If you are a single sport athlete, you can look at doing other exercise that will assist with developing key components of fitness for your sport. A marathon runner needs efficient heart and lungs and so does a cyclist, so maybe you can commence cycling whilst being unable to run to maintain or enhance the efficiency of your heart and lungs. Discuss this with both your physiotherapist and your coach.

Now back to that fine line. If it is physical pain you are trying to push through, this is no good and will put back both your training and your injury. However if it is discomfort from being unfit having not been able to train for a bit, then push on through it. There is a difference between the two, so listen to the cues your body is giving you.

Look for solutions from your support team and develop a plan to build you back to your previous fitness level.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant and is a prominent triathlon and marathon coach in New Zealand. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine and a Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation from the University of Otago, along with other tertiary qualifications.

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.

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What are the Consequences of Missing a Workout?

What are the consequences of missing a workout? Although this isn’t a common question the implications of the answer affect anyone following a training plan. A training plan is only as good as the adherence to this plan. As a result I am often asked “What do I do if I miss a session?” but before I answer the more common question I will explain what I refer to as the ‘Why factor’. The ‘Why factor’ will help provide you with the information as to why that is the case.

Lets look at a hypothetical training programme that goes for a 4 months building up to an event with 6-10 workouts per week. So that is a total of between 96 & 160 workouts as part of that build up. If you miss one workout over that 16 week period, that is somewhere between about 0.5% & 1% missed or a consistency rate of about 99-99.5%, which is pretty damn good and I don’t think I’ve had any client that consistent (although a couple spring to mind that might have got close). Lets look at the other end of the spectrum of someone who constantly misses a session or two per week.  That represents missing 10-33% or a success rate of between 67% & 90%. Now only missing 1 session a week when there are 10 sessions to do, represents  a success rate of 90% which is pretty good in anyone’s books, but when there are only 6 workouts in that week then that drops to 83% which is starting to get pretty thin on the ground and consistently missing sessions is far from optimal, especially if that is every week without fail.

The key to successful training is consistently doing that training. This is the time of year where there are other distractions that take you away from your training, which takes you away from your goal.

As a coach I am not worried if one of my athletes misses one session once in every blue moon, but if they are missing a session week in and week out then lets be honest they are also setting themselves up for failure. Especially if that is a key session or consistently the same session. A key session for a cyclist is the Long Bike Ride and as a coach if I set that every Sunday morning for them and they are consistently missing it for what ever reason they are missing a key opportunity to condition their body and develop their aerobic energy system. Maybe they are trying to set a PB for 10km and their Wednesday Interval session gets missed constantly. This session is what will give them speed and the ability to buffer lactic acid, missing this session will potentially mean they miss their goal time. If you are missing the same session every week (regardless of the reason why you miss it) it will severely limit your ability to develop the component of fitness that that particular session was developing. It is in your best interests to get this session done, but how? Do you double up somewhere else in the week or do you try and catch up by doing it on your rest day?

Lets look at what happens in these situations. Firstly lets look at why we have a rest day. By the way, I like to schedule training that will improve you without being physically demanding on your rest day, hence why I schedule Flexibility Training for you. I’ll discuss the benefits of Flexibility Training further down this piece. But the key is that a Rest Day (or a day that only involves Flexibility Training) allows your body to recuperate and repair itself. When the body does this as a response to training it makes itself a little bit stronger, a little bit more powerful and a little bit more efficient than it was previously. Without recovery between sessions like this your body never gets this chance to develop. This IS the reason why we conduct training (to make our bodies better). Without the recovery our bodies don’t and can’t improve.

So what happens if I just double up my training on another day and do both my scheduled training and the training I missed from earlier in the week? It’s seems fair enough that if I do more training than scheduled then I will surely get better right? Not so fast. I’ll use the example of a client who did all their training from the weekend and squashed it into a single 12 hour period. Don’t get me wrong, it was an epic training stimulus, but a training stimulus is only as good as the recovery from that training load. As this person works they had a big training session scheduled on Saturday and then another one on Sunday in a different sport. If the programme was done as planned they would have had the opportunity to recover (nearly fully) from the Saturday session overnight as they slept.  They would have been relatively fresh on Sunday for the next big session that was planned. What actually happened was they did the first big session, then jumped in a vehicle and drove to the venue where they were conducting the next session and conducted it. As they hadn’t really got much recovery prior to the second big training session, they wouldn’t have got much benefit from that training session and consequently loaded themselves up with a great load of training that they now need to recover from before they would start to see any improvements. As a consequence, their training over the following days (whilst they continued to recover) will also be compromised.

I hope from these two examples you can see that there is no benefit to trying to catch up with the training that you missed. What should you do? If you miss a training session, acknowledge that you missed it (it isn’t the end of the world) and just move on with the remainder of the training and don’t worry about catching up. If you are missing the same session each and every week, talk to your coach about why you struggle to do that particular session at the scheduled time and look into solutions that involve scheduling the week differently so that the key sessions are scheduled and then conducted at a time that ensures that you can get them done.

As an aside a number of my athletes are training for a major event, but like to include low key local races as part of the training and preparation. This I fully support where it doesn’t impact the key sessions of training for what they are ‘focussing on’. There are some great benefits physiologically to doing this type of racing. It is also a great way to be involved in sport socially and support local clubs and events. But if this low key event doesn’t totally line up with preparing you for your key event it might not be the best thing for your long term goals. Further more, if this local event (or event series) then leaves you too tired to do the most important training sessions of your build up…….is it setting you up for failure?

Earlier in this piece I said I would discuss the benefits of conducting the flexibility training. There are two key reasons why I schedule the flexibility training into the programmes of my athletes.

  1. Enhanced recovery. By taking the time to stretch and focus purely on stretching with no distractions, you can relax into each stretch and slowly lengthen out each muscle being stretched. This has been shown to be therapeutic and to enhance recovery. The perfect activity to conduct on a rest day.
  2. Decreased risk of injury. Training by it’s nature shortens muscles, although some forms of training can lengthen muscles.  In general repetitive activities such as running and cycling etc shorten the muscles. By conducting flexibility training, the stretching helps lengthen the muscles returning them towards their original length.

Further to the two key reasons a third reason to do the flexibility training is to increase the range of motion at a joint that can then turn into a performance advantage that allows you to increase your mechanical efficiency  i.e. to make you faster. We all want that.

In summary, rest and recovery is very important part of your training but you are only ever going to be as good as the consistency of the training that you do. So if you miss a training session for what ever reason, don’t try and ‘catch’ that session back up if it is going to compromise your recovery from the other training that is scheduled for you.

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.