ULTRAHUMPS – Match Unfit!

Hi blog followers and welcome to my weekly blog in association with Coach Ray’s website of CoachRay.nz. Whilst recently being overseas with work for several months I trained everyday, albeit with a minor foot injury that would prove to be my greatest training set back to date. Whilst on Leave or holiday for a month I trained occasionally, and now I am paying for it…

Coach Ray knew whilst deployed it is always going to be a challenge on how to coach, as described in previous blogs it simply came down to what was available. After letting him know what I had in the local Gym on Base, and what magical events the command structure allowed the Physical Training Instructor (PTI), which Coach Ray was one in his previous Army role, a plan was set which Coach Ray monitored from a distance, probably with a bit of humour as he realized my event free T-Shirts were climbing. Once I had returned to my family Coach Ray allowed me to do training at my own pace until I returned to work so I could have family time. My wife has always been supportive of my training and events, but I didn’t train nearly as much as I should have… and man am I paying for it now that Coach Ray is putting me through the paces with the person to be taken to account being the reflection in the mirror. So how did it go…

Bungee Chord Swimming
The magical Bungee Chord system a friend came up with whilst deployed

Swimming – Coach Ray loaded my training into Training Peaks with a message I received indicating “your first week, we’ll take it easy to get you back into the swing of things”. I reviewed the training and thought cool, doesn’t look to bad, and scribbled it down into my training notebook. First up a swim test, I normally go a bat out of hell in the two actual Time Trials of 400 metres and 200 metres and take it easy for the remainder of the session. I had been in the pool only a couple of times since February (9 months ago), apart from my magical bungee chord swimming I came up whilst overseas. I was knackered before the Time Trials even started and knew I was way off pace, but managed to complete them. By the end of this first week I was happy to be back into the pool but knew I was in for it.

The dreaded Exercycle I always have a love hate relationship for.
Training with a mate overseas on a speedway track (using a real bike).

Cycling – The other training Coach Ray came up with was the other two disciplines of Triathlon, the next being the bike. The sessions didn’t look to long, but having returned to Wellington I didn’t have my training bike with me as I had borrowed Mel’s car (my car failed a Warrant of Fitness and she’s a cop, yup…). So it was into the gym on an Exercycle, and with the winds of Wellington smashing outside I was slightly relieved to not have my bike, but the downside is I didn’t have my cycling shorts. Needless to say my butt was sore and my legs were screaming ‘where the hell have you been’. Whilst I trained on the bike frequently whilst overseas I hardly looked at the bike once home on Leave. By the end of this first week I was happy to be back spinning the pedals but knew I was in for it.

Smashing a Treadmill whilst overseas, even with an injured foot I was doing far better than now!

Running – Coach Ray amongst other running had me do a 5 Km Time Trial, of course by the time you do the activities surrounding the actual 5 Km’s in that particular session one covers about 7.5 Km’s. Once again I was well off my normal pace. No PB’s set here for this kid. One of my other runs that week was on the dreaded treadmill due to crap weather (Wellington, what can I say), but there is no option but to hit the road for a Time Trial. I always do these first thing in the morning to avoid the wind which is normally more settled in the morning, not so much for an advantage, but more so to give Coach Ray an accurate time. I got through it but noticed the Heart Rate on my Garmin was alerting me as if to say ‘that will teach ya for not using the running shoes whilst on your Leave break as much as you should of’. A friend drove past when I was doing the Time Trial (bugger), she yelled out the car window “looking good”, I muttered something about “go to Specsavers”. By the end of this first week I was happy to be back in the running shoes but knew I was in for it.

So from here, I’m glad to be back into a training regime, and with sticking to the four disciplines (the fourth one being nutrition), I am sure Coach Ray will have me back on track. Stay tuned team as I continue my journey back into training full time and planning for major events. Regards John Humphries (Aka Humps, Aka UltraHumps)!

UltraHumps will be writing weekly blogs as he continues his journey and raising funds for Charitable causes.

Read Humps article from last week here:

All his previous articles are stored here:


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