Ultraman Oz

UltraHumps: Strengths and Weaknesses

Hi Blog Followers – Well the festive season is behind us and training is full on, with Coach Ray putting me through my paces in the pool, in the running shoes, and on the bike in preparation for the next phase of the 3+2+1=Charity, being the 2 full Ironman distance events over 2 consecutive weeks (Challenge Wanaka on 18 Feb 17 and Ironman New Zealand in Taupo on 4 Mar 17).  We only have six weeks to go until “game on” again.

I have often been asked a couple of questions: Which is your favourite/strongest discipline? And, which is your weakest? So thought I’d use this blog to discuss my thoughts.

© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images
© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

But in all honestly, I find I don’t particularly have an answer for that, as it often depends on how the training has been going, which will have me coming up with a different answer at different times.  I have always been a reasonable Runner as a kid and into adult life, so that gets a tick, but when I receive an injury such as the dreaded calf strains I loathe it.  Cycling is okay, particularly when I am doing well with what Coach Ray puts in the programme, but when I fail to achieve results with my Heart Rate Monitor for intensity, I spend time questioning myself, (this is normally through lack of energy though due to insomnia or nutrition).  Swimming I have learned to love, because 5+ years ago when I signed up for my first Ironman, I didn’t even know how to swim properly, although when Coach Ray has his clients doing a series of sprints for training in the pool, I am sure we all curse him from time to time.  Nutrition, well I use to eat everything and anything because I could get away with it, but when the Army Nutritionist found out what I was up to she decided I was a lost cause, she changed my diet which has boosted my energy levels, it only fails if I fall off the nutritional wagon.  I guess overall I enjoy each of the disciplines or else I wouldn’t be in this game.

© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images
© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

Then again, winter is always the hardest, working in the CBD of Wellington and catching the train back to Trentham, it is always dark when I arrive back in Camp and often pouring down with rain in the evening.  There is simply no option, so I immediately sort my work bag out for the next day, then off for a run or a cycle or both on the evenings when I have had swimming in the morning.  I quickly learnt that if I sit down and watch the News first, it won’t happen to try and get motivated later in the evening, so I just get out and do it straight away.

Ultraman Oz
© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

This brings me to my favourite photo’s this week of Ultraman Australia for Day 3.  This was the last day of the event, but the hardest, not just because over the first two days I had already completed the 10 km Ocean Swim and 140 Km Cycle on Day 1, followed up with the 280 km cycle on Day 2, but mainly due to the double Marathon looming of Day 3 and knew we would also be competing against the Queensland heat.  The first photo is of us heading off under the cover of darkness at 0530 hours, where I am running with Andre the double amputee who was a true inspiration throughout (Coach Ray was Taking Care of Business – TCB and then had to run to catch up to

UltraHumps
© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

me and relay to the support crew who were at a designated area in the vehicle awaiting instructions).  The second photo is with Scott Cordwell as one of my support crew as the sun was rising and probably about 15 km’s into the run.  The third photo is with Coach Ray Boardman after we had passed the halfway mark and giving me water to cool down and words of reassurance (I had never ran further than 46 km’s before in training).  The fourth photo is with my support crew with the other member Derrick McMillan taking the lead, this was cruely run along soft sand for about a km (maybe less, but felt

John Humphries
© Barry Alsop Eyes Wide Open Images

like a lot more).  The final photo is my support crew at the finish line after 3 days and 515 km’s in distance of swimming, cycling and running.  All in the name of Charity where I raised funds for the Children of the Fallen Heroes.  Photo’s provided by Barry Alsop of Eyes Wide Open Images, Official Photographer for Ultraman Australia 2016.

Take care team, as we count down to the 2 Ironman distance events over 2 weeks starting next month, regards UltraHumps, Aka Humps (John Humphries).

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