UltraHumps: BLOG #6 – Inspiration Comes In Many Forms From Many Locations

Well team, we’re getting closer to the greatest endurance test of my life of about 515 kms of swimming, cycling and running over 3 days with time cut-offs along the way in the Queensland heat.  The inspiration I receive with the ‘likes’ and ‘messages’ of support on the UltraHumps Facebook Page designed by my Coach Ray Boardman of Qwik Kiwi are great and keep me motivated.  The training keeps me on my toes and keeps me honest, particularly as I glance at my watch and realise that Ironman New Zealand is simply a month away (5 March) and a good test for me.

Injury – the injury to my left calf which I received on Boxing Day and aggravated again in January has pretty much subsided or healed, however I know enough to train with particular caution when running.  This week I had a 10 km Time Trial at the start of the week which I completed as a mixture of power-walking and jogging coming through relatively unscathed.  Tuesday night I had an hour run planned by Coach Ray, so I power-walked for 1 km then started the 1 hour run as a slow jog and managed to run 9 km’s in the hour.  On Wednesday night was what is known as a ‘Brick’ session where I cycle for an hour and 20 minutes and run for 40 minutes to complete a two hour session.  No power-walk was required as I went straight from the bike to the run and managed 6 km’s in the 40 minutes with no problems.  For those that know Whitemans Valley in Upper Hutt, I tackle that from the Silverstream end on my bike. That Blue Mountains Hill Road gives the heart, lungs and definitely the legs a good workout, particularly if you continue through to Maoribank over the hills.  So just to make sure, on Thursday, Physio Nikki from the Capital Medical Centre gave me another session of acupuncture and said she will see me in two weeks for confirmation on how my calf is strengthening.

Give-A-Little – The Give-A-Little Fundraising Page has come to a glitch with getting a the bank account, so I hope to get that sorted as a priority ASAP.

Music – I read a book from Aaron Fleming Called ‘Purpose’ which is an excellent read and talks of his journey of being a promising Gymnast with the hope of representing New Zealand at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.  His journey was shattered due to a reoccurring collapsed lung which required major surgery.  Aaron found himself addicted to pain-killers and was told by doctors that he will never be able to have a life that involved any physical exertion.  He turned a page proving the doctors wrong and completed Ironman New Zealand and represented New Zealand at Ironman USA Lake Placid.  He made the Olympics by being selected as New Zealand’s Ambassador to carry the Olympic Torch for the 2008 Beijing Olympics on the Canberra leg.  The book is one that you can’t put down once you start reading it.  I picked up that he found songs as his inspiration such as Believe – Cher.  So since my event is over 3 days I am seeking 4 songs, one for each day and one overall.  I have my thoughts on a song that I have chosen for one of the days.  I have asked my daughter to choose a song and are open to anyone who has a suggestion for a song for another day, so feel free to make suggestions on the UltraHumps Facebook Page.  I feel really privileged that Bob Davies (my Regimental Sergeant Major from when I was serving in Singapore) has asked Alan Watt (whom I also served with in Singapore and is a musician in his own right) to write and publish a song for me for my overall event song.  Thank you Bob and Alan, that means a lot to me.

Take care team and keep the on-line support coming as it means a lot to me also.

Regards Humps!

Best of the Internet for Endurance Athletes: 07 February 2016

Each Sunday I’ll post my ‘best of’ list in a number of categories from the inter-webs. Other weeks can be found here.

Technology/Equipment Blogs


Power meter prices are dropping, here are the details from DC Rainmaker.

Athlete Blogs


Jessi Stensland is a movement specialist who has spent time as a top level swimmer and triathlete. Her reflections from 2015 makes a great read.

Training Blogs


Jaime Stevenson writes about the mental side of endurance running and racing.

Nutrition Blogs


Failing to plan is planning to fail. Here are some great ideas on ensuring nutrition success.


Lists from previous weeks can be found here.

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”

Friday Fartlek Run: MAF Test

Tri Training NZ


This session is a great way to assess your Maximal Aerobic Function and how efficient you are.

The MAF Test can be accredited to Phil Maffetone who coached Mark Allen who won the Hawaii Ironman six times. Although I don’t prescribe to his 180 Formula, I still use the concept of monitoring the consistency of your pace whilst running at a heart rate (HR) in your aerobic zone. To get the benefit of this test you should do the test regularly (every 4-6 weeks) and record your results. Continue reading “Friday Fartlek Run: MAF Test”

Blog #5: Scorching 100th Event Half Ironman Versus Injury Coupled with Wellington’s Splash & Dash

Tri Training NZ
Humps (left) having a pre-race discussion with Coach Ray

For this weeks Blog I had the opportunity to reflect on the injury I caused to my left calf in training on Boxing Day towards the end of a 15 Km run and with thoughts of the re-strain two weeks ago at the Splash and Dash Event.

Nikki the Physio from the Capital Sports Medicine had done her magic and prepared me as best she could for the Scorching 100th Event – Half Ironman.  The Half Ironman consists of a 2 km swim, 90 km cycle and a Half Marathon run of 21.1 kms.  Nikki taped my calf and reinforced that I would be okay for the swim and cycle, however I had to walk only for the Half Marathon.  Coach Ray met up with me at Registration with his other athletes / clients competing and reminded me to not get carried away with the run phase and to follow Nikki’s advice.  After a few final points of advice near the start line on Sunday 24 January 2016 it was game on.

I went to the left of the field to avoid getting knocked around by the mass of swimmers which happens at these events, but went too far to the left and got tangled in the thick patch of the seaweed before turning around the buoy.  Once out into the open it was choppy. I had two laps to do, however on the second lap I fortunately avoided the seaweed, but instead was blinded by the rising sun,  so I simply followed the swimmer in front of me.

The swim was over and I noticed on my Garmin I had swam 2500 metres, guessing that the final turning buoy may have drifted coupled with going slightly off course.

Onto the bike for the 90 km ride I ensured I had a compression sleeve for my left leg.  It worked well with no problems especially when battling the hills and head winds, with the downhills and tailwinds being great.

Back into transition then off for the run which was to be a power-walk for me.  I slid an additional compression sleeve over the one I had for the bike and another one on my right calf.  Another Qwik Kiwi athlete, Di Chesmar, was on the course armed with her camera due to her injury and every time she saw me, she reminded me to walk and that she was watching me.  I completed the Half Marathon in 2 hours 56 minutes so pretty happy with that and the calf held out well.

The Splash and Dash was next on the agenda on Wednesday night.  This consisted of a 1300 metre sea swim and a 5 km run.  After discussing it with Coach Ray and Physio Nikki it was time to test the run with caution.  So once my swim was completed it was a mixture of power walking and slow jogging to test the calf.  Everything went well.  This time I had another Qwik Kiwi athlete, Helen Majorhazi, reminding me to take it easy on the Calf.  So back into training with running as I will have a slow jog on it on Sunday (31 January 2016) and then a final (hopefully) Physio with Nikki to get the all clear.

Bring on Ironman – 5 March 2016 and UltraMan Oz 14-16 May 2016.

– Humps


Jayshil Treks Annapurna and Cycles JOG to Paris


I met Ray while attempting Taupo Enduro event. I only completed 3 laps but throughout each lap Ray was encouraging me to push along while assisting as support crew for another rider. Since then Ray has assisted me with getting ready for Annapurna Trek in Nepal, John O’Groats to Paris cycle ride and number of other adventures. Ray is very knowledgeable and I find his insight in how to get body ready for a specific event or adventure extremely useful. Continue reading “Jayshil Treks Annapurna and Cycles JOG to Paris”

Best of the Internet for Endurance Athletes: 31 January 2016

Each Sunday I’ll post my ‘best of’ list in a number of categories from the inter-webs. Other weeks can be found here.

Technology/Equipment Blogs


A summary of a range of technology on the market currently

Athlete Blogs


Every pro cyclist, all their results all in on place.

Training Blogs


A common problem with swimming technique is crossing over. Here is a good article on how to correct this problem.

Nutrition Blogs


Here are some great advantages of bananas.


Although it doesn’t have wheels from my favourite wheel maker, Wheelworks this is still a pretty good list.

Lists from previous weeks can be found here.