Ironman training and time management

Balancing stones Lately I have been thinking about the upcoming challenge of balancing the time demands of Ironman training with various other aspects of my life, including work, commuting, travel, grocery shopping, spending non-training time with Gabi, socializing with non-triathlete friends, doing chores around the house, walking the dog, etc, etc, etc.

I have started thinking about this for a couple of reasons. One of these is that Gabi and I recently enrolled in the DC Tri Club Ironman Training Program, and we’ve just received our training plans/schedules from our coach. Yikes the training schedule looks busy!

Below is a screenshot from the first week of training. It consists of 3 swim workouts, 3 bike workouts, 2 run workouts, and 1 core strength training workout, with double workouts on certain days. Total training volumes for week 1 will be 7200 meters of swimming (or about 3 hours), 4.5 hours of biking, and 1hr 50 minutes of running, plus core strengthening. That’s about 9.5 hours of training, not including the time to get ready for training (or go to the pool), nor time to stretch after workouts, nor time to shower after exercising, all of which adds up!

Week 1 training planThe week 1 training plan and schedule looks like child’s play relative to the peak week of training, shown below. The peak week of training calls for 2 swim workouts, 2 bike workouts, 4 run workouts, and 1 core strengthening workout, for a total of 7300 meters of swimming or about 3 hours, 7.5hrs of biking, 5hrs 20mins of running, and core strengthening! That’s about 16 hours of training, plus all the extra time before and after workouts!

Hardest week training planClearly these training regimens will demand a whole new level of time efficiency in my day!

The other reason I have been thinking about time management is because I am currently crafting my work style for this year. For most of my working life I have been a full time permanent staff of a given employer, but since this past November I’ve started consulting. Consulting of course has its pros and cons. The main disadvantage is having to look for new contracts, and the uncertainty that comes with it. The advantages however, as it relates to time management, is that it allows me to set my own working schedule, and when working from home I save 1.5hrs of door-to-door round-trip commuting into DC (from Old Town Alexandria). I am thinking through these options, and I’ll make sure to update my blog in coming weeks/months once I settle into a work regimen.

I’ll leave you with a comment from a DC tri club athlete, who when I asked her about how her Ironman training was going last year, she responded “I look forward to getting my life back and cleaning up my house”!

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Ironman: should I be afraid? Part 2

What are my fears going into my Ironman journey?

In my previous post, I wrote about my fears related to my upcoming Ironman triathlon. I mentioned that my biggest fear is getting injured during training. Unlike the 2013 season, this year I want to be injury free!

Injuries are not my only fear however. My second fear is one that I keep hearing other endurance triathletes talk about: not getting my nutrition right and running out of gas. “Hitting the wall” is an expression I heard many times when training for my marathon, but luckily it’s something I haven’t experienced. Long distance triathletes say Ironman racing is all about nutrition, nutrition, nutrition; an aspect of endurance racing I know very little about. I do know however that even if I make it to race day fit and injury-free, without the proper nutrition during the race I will not make it to the finish line, maybe not even to the run portion of the race.

I know I have a lot to learn regarding the nutritional aspect of Ironman racing. Between balancing intake of fluids vs. solids, eating at the right time, and getting the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes, etc., it definitely seems like a science. The good news is I will be able to tap into the advice of DC Tri Club pro athletes and I have many months to figure it out and get it right!

Happy New Year!