triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “balance

It Is Lonely at the Back

I throw my hands in the air in surrender.


Swim – 0:00:00 – 0km
Bike – 1:01:20 – 36.8km
Run – 1:02:35 – 12.5km

Total – 2:03:55

Travelling for business is starting to really suck. I spent 5 days on a drilling rig in the middle of nowhere this week. Pretty sure you could tell something was up by the training volume, hey? I don’t like spending time away from my family; partly because when I get home my daughter has taken my spot in the bed, the furniture is never in the same spot as when I left, and the dog has gone pretty much bonkers. More than all of that, I miss the girls.

Being woken up in the morning with a body slam on Saturday or eating breakfast on the couch watching cartoons is all I want to do these days. Being a grown up isn’t all it’s advertised.

I was able to get back to training Friday evening on my bike, opting to take it somewhat easy as I was planning to head outside for the first time on Sunday afternoon. Yeah, the weekend in Calgary was that warm. Alas it was not in destiny and I opted to hang with the girls instead.

I have always joked around with my fellow swim club members that a swim lane is like a peloton; everyone needs to take their turn at the front. This morning I took my turn at the front, and like a rider who made a failed attempt at a break away, I was slowly caught and spit out the back with nothing but regret to keep me company.

When Michael Gustafson tweeted “taking a day off from the pool, you might as well retire” I didn’t really believe it. Well, now I do.

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Whole 30 – Day 26

I missed the St Patrick’s Day 10k road race this past Sunday, and judging by the number of race recaps on WordPress, I am the only one in North America who did. Everyone has that race, the one you always want to run, but something short of a miracle will keep you from lining up at the start line. This seems to be mine.

Not that I really want to run a 10k race these days. It seems silly to me to pay a race entry fee, typically $30-$50, drive half away across town, line up with a bunch of runners (sorry runners, I prefer triathletes), and drive home all sweaty when I could hammer a quick 10k from the house and be done is less than an hour.

Question: Have you taken a significant time away from training? Did you see a drop in fitness?


Don’t You Hate it When Life Gets in the Way?

Oh, I wish that I was a professional triathlete.


Swim – 2:00:00 – 6300m
Bike – 0:00:00 – 0km
Run – 0:30:07 – 5.63km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 4:00:07

I have a pretty delicate balance when it comes to fitting training into my daily life. One missed day can really mess a guy up. Take this week for example; day trip to Edmonton Tuesday killed my bike and run, and leaving Friday for a drilling rig killed the rest of the week and the beginning of this week. Not to mention I spent my birthday away from the girls. Boo.

Looking on the positive side, the workouts I did get in the week were awesome; I don’t think that I have swam that hard for a long time. Our workouts on Monday and Wednesday both featured my favourite training tool, fins. Here is our set from Monday.

Warm Up
400m Swim / 200m Kick / 400m Drill
Main Set
4x100m Swim on 1:45
2x200m Swim on 3:30
4x100m Swim on 2:00
1x400m Swim on 7:00
4x100m Swim on 2:00
2x200m Swim on 3:45
Warm Down
100m Swim – Easy

Needless to say I pretty much ate everything I saw for the next 2 days. Our coach, while we resting between the last 2x200m set told us to focus on a hard kick with a good long reach off the wall. The sentiment from the lane, “we are just trying to stay alive.” Enough said.

I squeezed in a run on the treadmill Wednesday night, making up for Tuesday. Intervals were on the menu as my time was limited due to a late bed time for the little one. No matter, the less time I spend there the better.

The sidewalks, pathways, and roads here in Calgary have turned into pure ice. Not the “oops it is a little slippery” kinda ice, I mean the “holy crap I just surfed for 10 feet” kinda ice. I guess this is what we get for having above zero temperatures in January. I chose the treadmill on Wednesday purely for that reason; I didn’t want to go for a ride.

Running in the winter can be treacherous, especially here in Canada. Cold weather, wind, and dark can make for some scary situations. I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for winter running in Canada. Stay tuned for that piece of wisdom…..

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Ironman Tattoo
Whole 30 – Day 26
Whole 30 – Day 21

I mentioned that I spent the last 4 days in the field, missing not only my birthday, but spending a lot of time away from the girls. Not something that I want to do on a regular basis, but sometimes it comes with the territory. By territory I mean running my own product line with an international company. Not to make myself sound important or anything.

Being away from the normal day-to-day can be refreshing at times, heading into the middle of nowhere in -20 degree weather is not one of those times. I am glad to be back home safe and sound and ready to spend some quality time with my daughter. Strengthening our connection is going to be my top priority over the next 30 days.

So back to normal for the next couple of weeks. As normal as my family is.

Question: Any tips from you on running in the winter?

Recap – Week 44

Rampin’ up one week at a time.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 8550m
Bike – 2:01:46 – 71.63km
Run – 1:18:56 – 16.72km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 7:50:42

I think I may have found a balance that works pretty good, at the moment at least. I was able to get some decent training in the week along with 2 strength sessions. It wasn’t easy but I am enjoying it nonetheless. Swim club on Wednesday was awesome; it sucked, but it was awesome. Here was the workout:

Warm Up
400m Swim / 200m Kick / 400m Drill
Main Set
200m Right / 200m Left / 200m Back – Kick with fins
200m Right / 200m Left / 200m back – Kick without fins
8x50m (25m kick / 25m swim) on 1:10
Warm Down
200m Swim

Looks easy right? The swimmers in the crowd will tell you “not so much”. After workouts like this I curse my standing desk.

This week was also the first week that both of my bike workouts were on the trainer. It is winter now in Calgary and barring a miracle, on the trainer my bike will stay. There are benefits to riding on the trainer, so I will have to look forward to workouts filled with power numbers and intervals rather than sunshine and fresh air. Sigh.

I think I am going to do that more often, sharing workouts; we have had some doozies in the pool and the bike can be just as brutal. I know I struggled with finding the right workout for a long time, so if I can help you out awesome. If not, no worries mate.

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Paleo Elitist

In the off-season, I struggle with motivation; I don’t think that is a secret. I have however, found one way to stay motivated while keeping the fun in training.

At the beginning of September, I bet a fellow tri-club swimmer $10 that he couldn’t pass me on w 200m pull set. He succeeded in taking my money with about 45m to go. Now the money isn’t my motivation, it is the bragging right that come along with the money. So made a challenge that by the end of this session in December I will get my money back.

It isn’t going to be easy, but who said triathlons are easy? No one that’s who.

Question: Have you resigned to ride inside for the remainder of the year?

Winter Training

“Medals are won in the winter, and picked up in the summer.”


So here I am, races are finished for the year, and I have a decent idea of what my race schedule looks like for next year. As hard as it was to nail that down, I reckon that was the easy part. Now comes the hard part, deciding when to train, what to train, and how long to train each week. Throw in family, job, and free time; the balancing act begins.

Last year I had my balance pretty decent. I peaked at a maximum of 9 hours per week including a couple of strength sessions, and I was happy with my results. I had an adequate amount of rest each week, and my workouts were scheduled to allow me the greatest amount of time at home with the family. Of course, there was times where my wife was chapped that I was off on the bike instead of helping around the house, but I am paying her back with a shinny new bathroom as we speak.

So what does my schedule look like? I am glad you asked, because this post would be pretty short if you hadn’t.

Week of October 21 Workout AM Workout PM
Monday Swim – 1:00:00 Strength – 0:45:00
Tuesday Bike – EM – 1:00:00 Run – ER – 0:40:00
Wednesday Swim – 1:00:00
Thursday Strength – 0:45:00
Friday Swim – 1:00:00 Bike – EM – 1:00:00
Saturday Run – ER- 0:45:00
Sunday REST

The only thing that changes on a regular basis is the length and/or the intensity; I plan this on Sunday based on how my week previous went. For example, I am running in a couple half marathons early in 2014, February being the first. I will gradually increase the length of my run workouts to get in the 2 hour range by mid December. If I miss a long run, or just not feeling great, I will keep everything the same as the previous week and try to change things the following week.

I have to be a little honest, the swim club three days a week kinda messes with the scheduling, In a prefect world I would move a couple things around to run three days a week, probably getting rid of the swim on Wednesday. Here is the thing, I really like swimming and the chance to workout with a group is too appealing to change anything right now.

It is going to be a busy off season, but I am hoping to pick up some medals in the summer…..well, maybe not so much, but you never know.

Oh, and yes, I posted a picture of a gold medal from Sydney in 2000 in honor of Simon Whitfield; he represented Canada then and continues to this day. I am proud to be a Canadian triathlete because of athletes like him.

Question – How is your winter scheduling coming along?