The Coach goes to Kona

The Tuff'n'up Tri Squad athletes are all ages, with varying levels of experience and differing expectations. Click on the tabs to read what some of the Tuff'n'up Tri Squad crew have to say - their goals, personal experiences and race results on training wth Mick Bray.

My name is Ben Bray and Mick is the person that got me into swimming and triathlon from the age of about 5. His dedication to everything he does is what has made me into the athlete I am today. I have swam under Mick since the age of 5 and in that time I have succeeded with a silver medal at nationals and some top finishes in Olympic distance and sprint distance triathlons. I also got my first half ironman finish under him. A solo finish to Rotto at the age of 13 shows just how well he coached me. All I can say is what a legend of coaching, without this man I wouldn't have done anything near this capacity. So thankyou Mick ever so much for your dedication and for making me who I am today.

I am currently in training to complete my 4th Ironman W.A. and this is the first time that I have chosen to complete my preparation under the guidance of a personal coach. Mick has an in depth understanding of and a great level of expertise in all three triathlon disciplines both as a professional coach and a competitor. He acknowledges that each athlete has their own strengths and weaknesses and tailors each training session to meet individual needs. Mick has boundless energy and enthusiasm whether he is coaching elite athletes vying for glory at an international level or health conscious individuals who just like to stay fit, compete and finish an Ironman (as I do). While he does not expect the same out of each athlete he will push and work hard to get the best out of each person. Tuff'N'Up Tri Squad led by Mick Bray is inspiring and motivating and he will help you achieve your full potential.

My name is Hailey and I started swimming when I was 11 years old. When I first joined swimming club I was a little unsure if I wanted to swim and if it was a sport I really wanted to do. But thanks to Mick's Hard working attitude, that never lets you give up and passion for swimming, I found out how much I actually love swimming and how much it's a part of me. I still swim with Mick and I am now 20 years old.

Mike coached me for 4 years of my swimming career. He was always a dedicated coach who showed up early to every swimming session whether it was rain, sunshine or otherwise. He always provided new sets for us to do, he knew when to change modes from serious to fun coach. He always had a great sense of balance between letting us enjoy the sport and work hard at the same time. Most importantly I feel as well as developing our skills and strength in the water, he knew how to create a tight knit community that every swimmer of the club could feel a part of, and that was a vital part of maintaining my interest in the sport throughout the stressful times of year 11 and 12 of high school.

Having trained with Tuff'n'up Tri Squad for 3 seasons, I've completed multiple sprint distance triathlons, 3 Ironman 70.3 and am now training for my first Ironman. Not only does Mick write awesome programs, he's one of the most positive and mentally strong dudes I've met!

I thought I knew how to train properly but since joining Mick's squad 18 months ago my Ironman times have dropped 1 hour 24 minutes and Half Ironman times by 20 minutes. Mick's emphasis is getting the job done but with having a laugh along the way. He is a great coach and has an awesome crew to train with.

' Pain is just weakness leaving your body.'  These words have endeared me to the coaching style of Michael Bray.  Never one to give you the easy option, Mick makes sure you have every opportunity to perform at your optimum levels. if that is what you're seeking from your effort.

Personally, Mick has helped me achieve many long distance 20km swim efforts. His training programs have rekindled my passion for the sport of swimming, and have helped me achieve solidly in internationally recognized swims, such as the Rottnest Channel Swim.

Mick has competed in many Ironman events throughout his career, and has an intimate knowledge on Race day, and the training necessary to make it to the starting line in the first place.

If you are still in the early stages of your training development, Mick has an absolute understanding of the technical side of swimming. Stroke correction is of the upmost, and any inefficiencies within your technique will be analyzed and corrected. This is most important.

Away from being a hard barstard at the pool, Mick is actually an alright bloke. He has a healthy coffee addiction due to the fact that he doesn't mind a chat, so don't be afraid to shoot the breeze with him over a cuppa.

My name is Steve Anstee --I've been coached by Mick for the last few years.  I started off as a sprint triathlete and now I am an Ironman.  With Mick's guidance and support, I have had many great results in short and long coarse triathlon, including qualifing for Hawaii Ironman world champs 2011.  Without him this would have been very difficult, so I thank him immensely for his dedication and support that he has given me, even when I'm tired and grumpy.

The Coach goes to Kona

By Steve Crenfeldt

mick-newsCoach Mick Bray races in Kona in 2013 There are many names for the man who runs the Tuff'n'Up Triathlon Squad, but most of the athletes he coaches call him a bunch of "other" names at various parts of the season. Michael Bray's foray into the sport of Triathlon began with a wake-up call in 2004 after he had a heart attack at the age of 38.

Michael was already quite fit, having been involved with the Busselton Swimming Club for a number of years and rode regularly with the Busselton Cycle Club. But obviously he wasn't doing enough! It was through the local cycling club that saw his fitness improve beyond his expectations but the arrival of Ironman Western Australia in 2004 was when a seed was planted that would take a couple more years to take hold.

Being involved with and meeting people through the Busselton Triathlon Club, eventually lead to him becoming very informed about training and racing and how to prepare properly for the rigours of triathlon, regardless of the distance. Beginning with the Half Ironman in 2006 as a warm-up to the full Ironman in December that year, the next 7 years have seen Michael compete in at least 2 events each year over either distance. Currently Michael has crossed the finish line of 8 Half Ironman races and 16 full Ironman races, with 2 more planned for 2014.

Michael joined a handful of locals back in 2006 and has not missed a race yet. Not even a serious bike crash in 2007, where he broke his neck, could keep him out of the action. He has competed in Port Macquarie at Ironman Australia, the recently established Ironman Melbourne and has also raced in Utah, USA, at Ironman St George, an event which has been stopped due to the severity of the conditions the course and climate provide. But the ultimate highlight for Michael came through the Legacy Program, a lottery system which saw him chosen as one of only 2 persons from Western Australia to participate in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2013. The Legacy Program allows those who have competed in over 12 Ironman events a chance to shine on the big stage, along with the Professionals and Age-group winners from around the world. Michael joined fellow Busselton stalwart and good friend, Max Higgins on the big island, along with one of Michael's athlete's Vince Middleton, who qualified through his age-group at Ironman New Zealand, earlier in 2013. 8 weeks later, the 3 of them backed up superbly at IMWA all finishing strong and on target for their race day objectives.

For Michael though, IMWA in 2013 was the accomplishment of his family legacy ...

For Michael though, IMWA in 2013 was the accomplishment of his family legacy that brought the most joy at this year's race. Having previously completed IMWA with his wife Julie, in 2009 and with youngest son Louis in 2012, it was eldest son Ben's turn as father and son finished the race and gave Michael the realisation of a dream he had be harbouring for a number of years. Ironman Western Australia is the number 1 event on the WA triathlon calendar and one of the most popular attractions for the city of Busselton. From Max Higgins as the first local competitor, each year the numbers have increased with over 20 Busselton residents competing in 2013, a number with has been climbing steadily every year.

Michael will welcome anyone into his squad, regardless of their age, ability or experience. However, if you think that Michael will do the training for you, then you are very much mistaken. Every person has their own reason why they enter the sport of triathlon and the many event distances it offers. The Tuff'n'Up Triathlon Squad train hard and support each other along the way. If you'd like to be seen in green, then get in touch with us and we can talk about what you want to achieve. You don't have be fast, talented or even enjoy each training session. But you do have to have a reason why you want to make it to the start line. The Tuff'n'Up Triathlon Squad and its colourful support crew will provide you with every ounce of encouragement to help you make it across the finish line!


triathlon, swim bike run

Back to Top