Managing Life and Triathlons

I read a good post the other day on  It was titled When Life gets in the way of Tri (click the link and give it a read) and it reminded me of the time-management, structure, and sometimes sacrifice that can be required for triathlon training.

Unlike the author of the post, I don't have kids.  While that makes it much easier for both me, and my wife, to train and race, I do work full time.  I'm not sponsored to race, or independently wealthy enough to work part time (or not at all) and train full time (reminder to play the lottery tonight).  What this means is that longer workouts during the week require starting the ride or run du-jour early in the day.  Usually in the dark. 

I remember fondly (yes, fondly) my training for the Toughman 1/2 Iron triathlon just a summer or so ago.  I needed to get long brick workouts into my schedule, and for some strange reason my brick days fell on Thursday mornings.  (For anyone who isn't quite sure what a brick workout is, check out this link from on brick workouts and training).  To get in the workout I needed - a 45+ mile bike ride, followed immediately by a 6+ mile run - I would set my alarm for 330a.  Some toast and peanut butter, a banana, a little coffee.....air in tires, bars and gels in the jersey pockets, water bottles filled with a mix of  Perpetuem and Sustained Energy, and I was out the door by 400a. 

Upon returning home from the ride, and then subsequently the run, I'd log my workout, shower, get dressed, eat a giant bowl of cereal or 3 or 4 eggs and toast, and be downtown in my office by 900a.  Usually Thursday nights were a very low key affair.  After dinner it was a guarantee that I'd be asleep on the couch by no later than 800p.

Even on the weekends early start times are still the norm.  On the road for a Saturday long ride by 700a at the latest.  Home by 1100a or noon.  Sunday long runs guarantee a couple of hours on the road or trails.  And this is only for a half Ironman.  Even without kids, I'm not sure how I'd double things up to do a full Ironman.  There's just not enough hours in my day.  Well, that's not true.  There are.  People do it all the time.  It just requires more discipline and time-management.  A few people from my triathlon club went to the world championships in Kona last year.  One is a guidance counselor at a elementary school in Connecticut.  You can read about his training in this article.

Triathlons require structure, dedication, and a lot of drive and desire.  They sometimes require sacrifice.  I think it's worth it.