Ultraman Oz

UltraHumps: Always Listen to Coach Ray’s Advice

Hi Blog Followers

Welcome to another addition of the journey I am undertaking for the Cameron Brown Award and IronMaori / Port of Tauranga Legend Series.  This journey is 8 events and as you will know I have now completed the 3 events that make up the IronMaori / Port of Tauranga Legend Series.

Those 3 events were the IronMaori Quarter Ironman in the first weekend of November 2018, followed by the IronMaori Half Ironman in the first weekend of December 2018, and last weekend was the Port of Tauranga (in conjunction with IronMaori) Enduro Half Ironman which I wrote about in my last blog.

The other 5 events pertain to the Cameron Brown Award which I have completed 2 thus far, being the Taupo Half Marathon in August 2018, and the Around Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in November 2018.  Still to come is the Kinloch Triathlon in February, followed by the Across Lake Taupo Swim also in February, and finished off with Ironman NZ a week later in March.  So it is busy times with 3 out of 8 events to focus on and Coach Ray having to juggle recovery week / training / taper week.  I’m not sure who has the harder job – me completing Coach Ray’s Training Plan or Coach Ray having to juggle the requirements as the events are pretty close together, but I have the utmost faith in Coach Ray.

Acknowledging other Blog Writers:

Before I go any further I want to acknowledge the blogs I have been reading, in particular that of Mike and Lisa.  Mike had an excellent way of putting it in one of his blogs when we question ourselves when our results aren’t what we wanted and how easy it is to then think of skipping a session, which can easily become another session, or another week, and so on and so on.  Dead right Mike.  We all feel like that sometimes, so it was an excellent description, and great to read that your results were actually better when you made a comparison to previous results.

I loved Lisa’s blog of how she unexpectedly found Coach Ray / Qwik Kiwi through his sponsorship of an activity she was involved with and she never though she’d complete a 10 km running event, let alone now be looking for more.  Not my place to suggest as that lies with Coach Ray, but ask him about a Half Marathon, and if he agrees your blogs show your determination to succeed.

When these 8 events of this journey are over I’ll write a blog on how I got started.  Hopefully it will create a few laughs, but more importantly I hope it will encourage others to believe that “Anything is Possible”.  Keep writing the blogs team, I love reading them.

Listen to Coach Ray:

These words have been playing over my mind all week as I set about the Recovery Training Week from the Enduro Half Ironman which was a 3 km Swim, 120 km cycle and a 25 km Run.  When I text Coach Ray the night before the event, his text response was something like “Swim and cycle for show, run for dough”.  I took that to mean “Pace yourself for the swim and cycle and pick up the pace for the run”.  Coach Ray then clarified his humour with “Keep the swim steady, ride at the bottom end of your Tempo Zone and top end of your Endurance Zone, then nice and steady with your run”.

I followed this for the swim.  When I got on the bike there was no wind, it was flat and I felt good so I went for it.  I did a fast bike.  Well fast for me as a 52 year old covering the 120 kms in 3 hours 51 mins.  So when I hit the run I paid for it.

My first couple of kilometres went well, then muscle fatigue set in from the bike and I spent the rest of the run watching my Garmin going slower as each kilometer went by and the alerts telling me as much.  Part of it was the heat, no doubt about that, as it was in the 20’s Celsius for the 25 km run, with no breeze and no shade, but I am sure I could have gone a little faster if I listened to Coach Ray and eased up a little on the bike.

It reminded me of the Double Marathon on Day 3 of Ultraman when I had a good pace for the first 10 kilometres then for the last half marathon of the day I was in a world of pain.  So with falling on my sword for forgetting what Coach Ray said, how did my weeks recovery training go?

The swimming was slightly slower that previous reps, but Coach Ray’s feedback indicated he was relatively happy.  I was enjoying the swimming as it meant no weight on my legs.  For the cycling during the week I stayed on the flat roads around Upper Hutt, whereas I normally tackle Whitemans Valley to get in some hill work.

I was completely off pace with during my run sessions as the lactic acid was slowly leaving my legs throughout the week and delayed the longer run from Friday to Saturday, partly due to having to juggle the training around because of work commitments, but mostly to complete it as late as possible in the week by doing it on Saturday.  By Sunday for the long cycle my legs were feeling a lot better so I went back to Whitemans Valley.  Whilst Coach Ray was happy with my results in Training Peaks with all things considered, my blog became dedicated to “Always listen to Coach Ray’s advice”.

Coach Ray will probably have a mixture of laughing and rolling his eyes back when reading this.  Knowing me through the Army, he will be thinking “stubborn bugger, that will teach him lol”.

Stay tuned team as I head to event number 6 of my journey being the Kinloch Triathlon of a 1.5 km Swim, 40 km Cycle and a 10 km Run on 10 February 2019.

Regards John Humphries (Aka UltraHumps).

Humps will be writing weekly as he continues his journey raising funds for the Fallen Hero’s Trust

Read Humps’ article from last week here:

UltraHumps: Trip to Waimarama

And all his previous articles are stored here:


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