With 2012 finally here, it made sense to kick off the new year with a post.
A lot has transpired since my last “race” in Sooke. In October, I returned to formal training and started with my coach again, Bjoern Ossenbrink. In doing so, I’ve also joined the ranks of 20 or so other serious triathletes, from serious age-groupers such as myself to pros on the rise. No pressure. I’m back to 12+ hour training weeks, except for a 3 week period starting Oct 17th where I was hospitalized for an intestinal rupture (a story for another day).
I’ve been asked a similar question by several friends/family. It goes something like this: “How are you able to train so much, work so much, and still have time to help your wife with your newborn son?”.
It’s no secret that a 45hr work week and a 12+hr training week don’t leave a lot of time for other things. My pre-Irondad self used to train after work and until mid-afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays. Pre-Irondad self also used to do his share of the housework, all of the yard work, fix things around the house, play and compose music, etc. Irondad, on the other hand basically ONLY works, trains, spends time with the family, and squeezes in other fun things where it can be done. All other things are either hired out (i.e. yard work, housework) or done with far less frequency or during more frequent shorter bursts (music stuff, fixing stuff around the house). Bringing on a coach has also proven pivotal; I spend zero training hours planning and analyzing my training. I just do the workouts.
I also have committed to some rigid guidelines for when and how I train (and my coach has been very understanding): During the week I only train before 6pm and most often before 2pm (i.e. early mornings, lunch, and sometimes on the way home from work). I never miss bathtime with Eli. I also only train before noon on Saturdays (although that’s evolving, as Jen is also returning to training), and Sunday workouts are somewhat optional/flexible if they occur after breakfast (e.g. I will take Eli for a run on Sundays in his stroller).
Despite all those restrictions, I would say that I’m actually training more and with higher quality workouts. It’s as if restrictions in my schedule have forced me to take maximum advantage of the time that I do have. I am also motivated to prove that it is possible to achieve strong results in sport, in business, and still be a hands-on father.
My answer to ”How are you able to train so much, work so much, and still have time to help your wife with your newborn son?” typically comes with an explanation: I have not had to stop doing the things I love just because I’m now a dad. I DID have to figure out what were the things I did before that I DO love and what were the things that were maintenance. Then I cut out the maintenance where possible. Then I adapted the schedule to fit in the things I love. And I
I’m looking forward to a great 2012 season.