It’s Monday morning and once again I’m heading into a huge week. This week is genuinely huge though. All in all, when completed I’m looking at around 18 hours of training. That’s almost half of a work week, but who is counting. I’ll get through this week one day at a time.
But more importantly, I’m coming off a busy weekend juggling family, Ironman training and just life generally. Training for a race of this magnitude while also maintaining some sense of normalcy is a challenge at best.
I figured that now is as good of time as any to share some tips for Ironman training with a family….
Plan – Whether you’re using a coach or you’re following a training plan, make sure to sit down with your training schedule for the week ahead of time and figure out how you’re going to get it all in to the best of your ability. Some weeks you may need to move work outs around, etc. but if you make a plan and schedule it all out, you’re more likely to get it done.
Be Flexible – (Right after I said plan right?!) Some weeks you may need to hit the pool instead of the local group’s Open Water Swim. You need to do what you need to do in order to get the work out in. Does this mean that you may need to do a split run with part of it being on your lunch run? If it does, so be it. Be flexible and come up a plan that works for you.
Adjust your sleep schedule – Truthfully, when you’re training for a race of this magnitude, whether you do or do not have kids you are going to be up and training early. But especially when trying to train without impacting your kids too much, you have to get up and early and get as much done as possible. For me, this has meant 4 AM wake up calls on more occasions than I wish to recount. And for ANYONE who knows me, they know that I treasure sleep. I miss it so much. And I cannot wait to get it on a more regular basis. But for now, I’m in bed between around 9 PM most night and am up around 4 AM. On a good day I can sleep in until 5 AM.
Find a nearby babysitter – Fortunately, when I relocated to my current digs, they came with a babysitter next door and across the street. The beauty of this is that because of the close proximity they’re more willing to babysit at crazy hours like 5:30 AM. This was tried out this weekend. The babysitter arrived at 5:20 AM so we were out the door at 5:30 AM to get in our long ride. Voila!
Fall in Love with Your Bike Trainer – This probably should have been higher up on the list. But in order to get in all of those early morning bike rides, you’ll probably have to resort to the bike trainer more than you would care to. This is just an issue with daylight! I hated the trainer, but in conjunction with netflix, hulu plus and some good training partner company, you can learn to appreciate it for its ability to get the job done.
And teach your kiddo to ride their bike and love it! – Yesterday’s plan called for a five-mile run. Rather than leave the kids at home, why not take them on a ride around the neighborhood, over to the park and back?! It’s a no brainer people. Fun for kids and a speedwork out for adults. Trust me, there were some fast splits trying to keep up!
I’m sure other people have tips and I’d love to hear them as I still have about two months to go before I cross my finish line. What have you found that works for you and your family? Go!