Coach Ray’s Suffering: All Good Things Must Come To An End

Follow me on my Half Ironman Buller Marathon training and #100DaysOfTri journey’s concurrently. Here is how my week unfolded.

This week started off really well, but then things started going downhill.  After some nights of poor sleep and the accumulation of training fatigue, my body started showing signs of cracking. So I needed to focus on maintaining my fitness and resting up as part of my taper to optimise my performance.

As you can see from my Performance Management Chart above my fitness (blue line) has been building for a while and my fatigue (pink line) hasn’t been allowed to drop.  This has meant that my form (yellow line) hasn’t really risen. By taking some easier days at the end of the week I’ve got the pink line dropping and yellow line climbing.


#100DaysOfTri Day 94

As with most Mondays today was a stretching session, where I focused on all the tight muscles in my body. These sessions have been good at enhancing my recovery and preventing injuries. I’ve been lucky with this build up that I haven’t had any over-use injuries.  Including a regular Yoga or stretch session has been essential to this.


#100DaysOfTri Day 95

Today I was going to test myself by going to the Nelson Striders Tuesday night 10km. It’s been a long time since I’ve raced a 10k and I was hopeful that there would be some runners there to drag me through to a sub-40min time. However I hadn’t realised how much climbing there was on the out and back course up the Maitai Valley. 46m in total! As I assembled for the briefing I looked around the other 40 or so runners on the start line trying to work out who I would try and stick with. There were a few runners that looked fitter and faster than me including a woman. I figured I’d have to work hard, but I should do well. I wanted to try and stick as close to 4min/kms as possible on the way out and then on the way back sub 4min/km the whole way back.

As the race started I found myself jogging along at the front at 4:30min/km pace and running away from everyone else. That wasn’t the plan. I wanted the shelter and the camaraderie of running in a group. I didn’t want to be running by myself or running slowly. I needed to make a decision.  Do I run tactically for the win (which seemed feasible) or do I run hard by myself and see what happens? This was supposed to be a challenging run to enhance my fitness for the Buller Marathon….off I went by myself.

When I race I have a rule of never looking behind and for the first 4km or so I could hear someone near by me.  When we were near the river or in trees filled with chirping cicadas I couldn’t hear them, but at other times I could. It wasn’t until the turn around point that I saw I had opened up about ~40m on the second place guy. It was downhill now.  Lets lift the pace and get under 4min/kms all the way home. Despite running out to the turn I hadn’t noticed all the undulations.  It felt like there was just as much uphill on the way back as there was downhill!!! My legs were shot.

I pushed hard and still wasn’t getting my splits under 4min/km!! After I was almost back I figured I had about 500m left to run, so I dug deep and ran hard and then when my watch beeped as it clicked over the next km marker I realised in my fatigued state I was now at the 8km mark and still had two kilometres left to run!! I was on the limit and unsure how the other guy was running. I did steal a wee look behind with about a mile to go and then again with about 400m and realised I was pretty safe of not losing the race. So all up I had a really hard run. I needed to walk for my initial Cool Down for about ten minutes before I was feeling up to running again! I did take out the win which was surprising but also pleasing as I haven’t won a race since I won the Whale Run 10km in 2011.

Results are here:


#100DaysOfTri Day 96

After yesterday’s performance it was a 30 minute recovery run to clear out my legs.


#100DaysOfTri Day 97

Today was supposed to be a hard workout, however I was not feeling up to it. My body was feeling quite fatigued so I made the executive decision to defer that session until tomorrow and have another easy run.


#100DaysOfTri Day 98

Despite a couple of easy days after the 10k race on Tuesday evening I was still pretty shattered, so the plan was to start the workout that I had planned for yesterday and see how it goes. If I missed the targets then I’d flag the rest of the workout. I had scheduled to do Half Marathon Pyramid intervals to add to the speed I’ve built during the last few months of training. The speed I was aiming to maintain for the work intervals was between 4:12 and 4:20 min/km and the easy segments between holding the pace of between 4:50 and 5:21 min/km. The first 1km segment I just scraped in. After the recovery the next segment was 2km long and I couldn’t hold the pace. My body was still tired and fatigued from poor sleep and the demands of Tuesday’s run.

My feelings at the time where captured in this video.

#100DaysOfTri Day 98 #run #coachray #qwikkiwi #tricoach #tricoachnz #tritraining #tritrainingnz #bullermarathon2017

A video posted by (@coach_ray_nz) on


#100DaysOfTri Day 99

I woke up in the middle of the night as both my calves cramped up. I had to get out of bed and stretch them out!! As I was still struggling I decided to have two days of easy 30 minute runs to round out the 100 Days of Tri and give me a good shot at getting my performance on track for optimal performance at the Buller Marathon.

#100DaysOfTri Day 99 #coachray #qwikkiwi #tricoach #tricoachnz #bullermarathon2017 #tritraining #tritrainingnz

A video posted by (@coach_ray_nz) on


#100DaysOfTri Day 100

After getting a massage on my calves from my partner yesterday, I was feeling a bit better but still opted to take an easy 30 minute run to maximise my recovery prior to hitting the Buller Marathon next Saturday. I was stoked to finally get to the end of the 100 Days of Tri. Whilst I on my run I bumped into a group of cyclists doing the Kiwi Brevet, so had a wee chat to them whilst they were checking their maps. Wished them all the best and carried on.


Here is a link to last weeks Coach Ray’s Suffering:


Previous weeks of Coach Ray’s Suffering can be found here.

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