Similar to most triathletes, my schedule is tight. Like, Spandex tight. It’s a balancing act to juggle work, family, training, this blog, and other commitments. My day job could be a lot worse, but as a traditional “9 to 5,” it’s not extremely flexible. In addition, I try to do a lot of my training while my two kids are asleep, which requires some creativity. My wife (a triathlete as well) has a strong aversion to working out in the evening, so I concede the early morning time slot to her the majority of the time. Our 5-year old is up earlier than most farmers, so I often take the morning shift on “Sean duty.”
Lots of people train more than me, but I do the best I can with the time I have. My focus is on consistency as opposed to crazy hours. Here’s how I attempt to pull it off:
Mon & Fri AM: alarm off at 5:30. Stumble out of bed and toss on some clothes. My wife gets up super early these mornings to cover Sean duty when she's done, and is already at work in the pain cave. I tiptoe past my son’s room as quietly as possible, but half the time he’s already bouncing off the walls. Turn on a cartoon with low volume for him to find if he does get up before my wife is done. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. Grab my stuff and head out into the cold, dark morning. Getting to this step is half the battle. Next is a 10 min drive to the gym, which gives me precious time to mentally prepare myself to jump in a cold pool. I blast the hardest “rock and roll” music (as those crazy kids call it) I can find. Arrive at the pool and summon the courage to walk the plank, which is the other 50% of the battle. Cranking out intervals once I’m awake and warmed up over the next hour is the easy part.
ok, this is tougher
Mon & Wed PM: home from work, eat dinner, play with the kids and eventually help get them ready for bed. Usually they’re either in bed or really close to it by 7:30, my signal to descend by torchlight the dark, spiral staircase that leads to our pain cave for a 90 min ride. I prefer morning workouts, but evenings have grown on me a bit. I guess you get used to anything if you do it long enough.
Tues & Thurs: unless it’s an extremely busy day, I try to run around lunchtime. Usually I can get 5-7 miles in. If I need to go longer I push it to the 7:30 evening time slot. I have this down to a science. A few hours prior I plan out my route, then stealthily slip out a little before 12. I head to my car and drive a short distance to my starting point. I’ve gotten to the point where, if I need to, I can complete the full change while en route. This has taken practice, and I don’t recommend attempting the maneuver while in motion. Thankfully I’m a very light sweater... during the dog days of summer I need some time to dry off and cool down, but on most days with a little Old Spice I’m good to go. I know it sounds disgusting, but trust me, I’m an unsweaty freak of nature. Later in the day I find a couple minutes to devour my lunch Tasmanian Devil style. In the evening I typically do a little core workout once the kids are in bed… 30 min or so of squats, abs, etc.
Sat: multi-hour brick, attempting to overlap as much as possible with my daughter’s nap time. If it's going to be ridiculously long I encourage my wife to make plans ahead of time so she's not cursing my name all day.
Sun: rest from training. Opposite of that with kids.