So You’ve Done An Ironman ….Now What?

I recently conducted a couple of online seminars (webinars) on the topic of:

So You’ve Done An Ironman ….Now What?

If you missed it you can watch it here.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at  www.qwik.kiwiray@qwikkiwi.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

 

Austin Powell’s Testimonial for Coach Ray

I joined Qwik Kiwi in August this year, I had in mind to do Ironman in March 2016 and I decided that I’d tried other forms of remote coaching. Then I really needed someone who had done it and had put other people through it and so that is why I ended up with Qwik Kiwi. Since then I’ve done a wee bunch of duathlons, triathlons and the half ironman in Rotorua and I’m looking forward to doing Ironman in March. Continue reading “Austin Powell’s Testimonial for Coach Ray”

Qwik-View: Chris Sanson

Ironman Training NZQK: Congrats on your sixth place finish at Challenge Wanaka. That is a great result on a tough course in tough conditions. Talk us through your race, the highs and the lows?

CS: Thanks. It was a very tough day with the wind out there. The swim was good for me. There was quite a bit of chop so it meant that the main group didn’t start so fast which is something I have struggled with. I came out of the water about 20 sec off the main group (unlucky to get some cramp 400m from the finish).

Onto the bike and like a lot of other pros road the first 100kms a little too fast. The plan was to hold 270 watts, but I think after 100ks I had averaged 290 (getting caught up in the race hype). The last 80km was really tough and having to deal with the wind made things tougher.

Lucky for me I wasn’t the only one in that boat. I came into T2 In 6th place and headed out on the run. I was about 10mins down on 5th so that was going to take a big effort to catch. I started well, running at 3.50 pace and just trying to keep things controlled. I had made up some time but at 10km the hard bike caught up on me and I started to cramp. I spent the next 10km stopping at aid stations and eating everything I could.

The 2nd lap wasn’t as bad and I only had some amounts of cramps that I could deal with on the go. In the end I made up about 5min on 5th. So 6th it was!


 

QK: What were your race tactics during the event?

CS: I wanted to have a good ride and start the run in a good position as I have been working hard on my cycling in the last 6 months. However I was my own undoing as I rode outside of my planned watts and paid for it later.


 

QK: You’ve now got to double up with Ironman NZ only two weeks after Challenge. What does your training look like between the two events? [Readers Note: Chris is a full time athlete in the best shape of his life so don’t try and replicate this.]

CS: Last year I didn’t do a lot as I was a little worried that I wouldn’t recover right. Knowing it was ok last year, this time round I have added in some training in the middle weekend. I had the first 3 days off (mostly due to travelling back home. Then 2 days of steady swims, rides of about 2 hours and a run. Over the weekend I did a hard ride on the Saturday with a 20km time trail and I actually hit a 20m power pb (personal best).  Then Sunday was a hard swim followed by a long run of 60mins.

Race week is then back to my standard pre-race week taper. That way it’s all the same and I know the routine. A few 2 hour bike rides, 3 swims added to 8km and a few short runs.

QK: What do you do to enhance your recovery over this two week period?

CS: I keep it really simple. I try and eat as much good food as I can and lots of it. I also try and add in a few more hours of sleep each night. Sleep is the best form of recovery you can get.


 

Tri Training NZQK: How do your race goals differ from Challenge and Ironman?

CS: Ironman has a really big field this year so for me it will be about not worrying about who is around me and sticking to my numbers for the first 2/3 of the race. I know with Wanaka under my belt I will be able to run fast like I did last year. I want to improve on that so keeping a lid on things the first half of the race with be key, then firing the gun on the run and seeing what I can do.


 

QK: Thanks for taking the time to answer these Qwik-Questions.

Race Day: Ironman Race Week

What can you do better to prepare for Ironman? Here are some tips and techniques to get through race week ready for the big day.

With Ironman New Zealand fast approaching in Taupo, the nerves of athletes are starting to get frayed. I’ve been there as an athlete six times and many more as a coach supporting his athletes.

A number of things go through the heads of athletes this week, especially when they arrive in Taupo and the ‘banter’ starts. Now Ironman banter isn’t like the banter of the Aussie cricket team. Ironman banter is more exaggerating the training that other athletes have done – “Yeah, I’ve been riding 180km every weekend since Christmas.”  This banter or exaggerating starts the demons in the head that start asking: have I done enough?

Now the situation of each athlete will be different. Strengths, weaknesses, injuries, time available for training, family commitments, work commitments, study commitments all combine to make a unique situation. You have put your faith and trust in your coach to develop your training plan based on your situation and need to continue to keep that faith and trust.

Ironman is a scary time, especially if it is your first time. Trust me you HAVE done the work and what other people have done isn’t going to impact YOUR event. You have your own goals and that is what your programme has been prepared towards.

The taper is the important part of your training to get right. It is easy to get caught up in the hype. If your programme calls for a 45min easy ride, don’t be tempted to go on a smash fest with some mates out to Reporoa and back. These sort of adventures will leave you tired and inhibit your performance on race day.

It is important to stay well rested, well hydrated, well nourished and smiling.  Make sure you have plenty of spending money in Taupo with you to pre-order your race photos.  Don’t spend up large in the merchandise store, because the day after the race they have similar items with Ironman Finisher on them (you will need your finishers medal to prove your are worthy enough to purchase them). Do have a look through the merchandise store.  They have some good gear and presents for your support team.

Aim to drink at least 3L of water (or sports drink) every day from now until race day to build up and ensure you are fully hydrated. I mix up an empty 3L juice container with my sports drink each night and top up a drink bottle from it through the day to ensure I get through the full 3L.  Try and focus on food high in carbohydrates but low on the Glycaemic Index (GI), avoiding high fat foods.  Meals that are based around rice, pasta, potatoes or kumura make good choices, especially if they use a vegetable based sauce (instead of a cheese based sauce).  Breads also are a good source of carbs. I usually have a loaf of fruit-bread to snack on, especially whilst driving to Taupo (it is almost a pre-race ritual for me now).

Make sure you leave plenty of time to register and rack your bike, as these often both have queues along with the race briefing. Take the time to pack your race bags. Lay your equipment out and follow a check list to make sure you don’t miss anything out.https://trainingtiltapp.blob.core.windows.net/qwikkiwi/QK-Race-Day-Triathlon-List.pdf  When packing to travel here is a list you might want to consider using:https://trainingtiltapp.blob.core.windows.net/qwikkiwi/QK-Triathlon-Travel-List.pdf

Some advice I give my athletes I have stolen from Jon Ackland (coach and author of a few books about training and racing) is the ‘Fifty Metre Rule’. The concept behind the 50m rule is to swim, bike or run as best as you can for the next 50m. If you do this 4520 times in a row, you will have the perfect race. The reality is that you are unlikely to remember on every one of the 4520 fifty metre segments of the race, but if you get the majority of them you will have a pretty damn good race. The other thing is not to interpret the ‘best as you can’ for as fast as you can. The idea is that you take steps or do things that will mean that you can be as effective or efficient as you can to ensure you set yourself up for later in the race. Some 50m segments you may be focusing on consuming food/fluid, some you might be focusing on hiding from the wind by being as aerodynamic as possible, some you may be focusing on a long and flowing swim stroke. Regardless of what you are focusing on, you need to be doing something to ensure it is your best effort.

The best piece of advice for first timers I believe is to soak up that atmosphere in the finishing chute as you will never run down the chute as a first timer again. The first time is the most thrilling, so make the most of it.  Who cares if a couple of people pass you. High five everyone, stop and give your loved ones a hug, do ‘the aeroplane’ and enjoy the experience and the crowd, this IS your 2 minutes in the lime light, soak it up.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at www.qwik.kiwi, ray@qwikkiwi.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

John ‘UltraHumps’ Humphries Testimonial for Coach Ray

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi Coaching.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

Join over 2,447 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

Di Chesmar’s Testimonial for Coach Ray

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

Join over 2,410 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

BLOG # 7 – “WHY?” UltraHumps Journey To UltraMan Australia

Tri Training NZ
UltraHumps after a medals ceremony in Timor Leste

I realised this weekend is Valentines weekend, which is 3 weeks away from when I compete in my 6th Ironman with five having been Ironman New Zealand and one being Ironman Australia.  Not bad for someone who couldn’t even really swim when I signed up for my first Ironman in 2011 to compete in it in March of 2012, let alone work out the intricacies of modern push-bikes and hadn’t run a marathon for over 20 years simply to get a free t-shirt.  But Valentines Day (14 February) is also 3 months to the day (14 May) to when I commence the greatest endurance test, both physically and mentally, of my life and to also support a chosen charity close to my heart to help others.  To help the families of the fallen, the sick, the wounded and injured, by doing what I have been told is my nature, something for others.

I have mentioned this before, but I really take my hat off to my Coach Ray Boardman (Qwik Kiwi) who probably has the greater challenge of this journey, not just to get me to the start line, but to be alongside me at various stages to get me to the finish line and to co-ordinate everything with my ever-willing ‘support crew’ Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell who are giving up their time for the journey… for the cause!

So to reflect, Ultraman Australia is the 3 day event in Noosa, Queensland Australia with the following endurance activities:

Day 1 = 10 km swim, 140 km cycle (time allowed 6 hours each, 12 hours max);

Day 2 = 281.1 km cycle (time allowed 12 hours max), and

Day 3 = 84.3 km Run of a double Marathon (time allowed 12 hours max).

Total distance 515 kms of swimming, cycling and running over 3 days.

So to answer the question in the title of Blog # 7 – “WHY“?

I stumbled across Ultraman much the same as I stumbled across Ironman, purely by chance.  When I decided I wanted to do an Ultraman, I knew straight away that if I was going to do this 3 day event covering 515 kms, I wanted to raise funds for a cause.  It didn’t take long for me to work out what my cause would be.  This year is a milestone year for me as I turn 50 (6 weeks after Ultraman).  This year I have been in the New Zealand Defence Force (Army) for 33 years in January.  So the ‘WHY’ is I wanted to give something back to the organisation.  The organisation that has given me a career and many opportunities (both within New Zealand and overseas), as well as educational, personal and professional development opportunities and the list goes on.  It has stood by me when the going got tough, or when I needed some guidance.  It didn’t turn its back on me when I got something wrong.  For me it is simply my turn to see an opportunity in Ultraman and give something back to the organisation.  The best way I could think of was to promote a cause that touches everyone when we lose someone or someone gets wounded on operations or injured in training or falls ill.  Hence I chose to give something back to the organisation by raising funds for the fallen, particularly their families and to raise funds to support those that have been wounded, injured or sick and hope I can give a helping hand.

I told my family from the outset, that I couldn’t do this without the support of family, friends and work colleagues.  The support I receive through the UltraHumps Facebook Page designed by Ray Boardman is tremendous and keeps me striving forward.  There has been a few glitches with the Give-A-Little Page, however I have just received an email to advise it should be good to go from the week starting Monday 15 May 2016.

On the injury side, I am now completely injury free now, so no excuses!

I thank you all for the support you are providing me, Coach Ray and our support crew.  Stay tuned for more to follow next week…

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 12

Over the coming 12 weeks I will post a a series of workouts building your swim fitness as you prepare for either Challenge Wanaka (18 Feb) or Ironman NZ (04 Mar). I have been a professional triathlon coach since 2000 and am a multiple Iron-distance finisher including doing both these events in 2011 (the year of the wind in Wanaka and the year of the rain in Taupo).

12 weeks out from Challenge Wanaka starts the week of Monday 28th November 2016. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions commenced the week of Monday 12th December. Continue reading “12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 12”