Friday, February 4, 2011

When to train?

I believe I work long hours compared to most. This is made worse since almost every day I have a long commute into the rotten apple. My typical day has me in the shower no later than 6:15 AM but once or twice a week I need to be in early which means I'm up an hour or so earlier those days. My team is international so it isn't uncommon for me to have a teleconference early with Europe or late with folks in Asia.

On the other side of the clock I consider it is a successful day when I'm home by 7pm. Sometimes, like last night, my girls have obligations or events that I need and often want to attend. As musicians, they have concerts and lessons. As athletes, they have games, meets or practices. My wife does most of the kid fetching but sometimes the physics of two kids needing to be in two places at the same time needs the solution of two parents when car pools don't align. When that happens this parent isn't training. Time is a precious commodity in my life.

Most nights I start my workouts about 9pm. As an example, last night I got home about 7:30 then off to Amanda's track meet. Her race was at 8:00pm and we timed it perfectly. She did well taking 6 seconds off her best time in the 600m but claimed that she barfed after we left her there to cheer on the rest of her team - no photo evidence though. Courtney's soccer practice ended at 830pm. The net of this was that I got on the bike for my 60 minute trainer ride starting at 8:54pm.

The biggest issue with training late night is the risk of something claiming time unexpectedly. If the trains are screwed up due to snow (we haven't had any weather issues this year - NOT), I can get backed up. Of course the obvious solution is to get up early. I've tried the 4am shift but I seem to be wrecked most of the day afterwards.

Weekends aren't as much of an issue yet but as they year goes on, the training volume will increase. Volume means finding more time to train. Time is finite. Prioritization is a challenge and there aren't a lot of efficiency gains on the horizon. Let's not even talk about most runs being in the dark. That almost can be viewed as specificity as I expect to be running during IMFL way past dusk.

Please don't view this post as a rant or any sort of a pity party. It isn't. Just an issue that I'm working on and while closure by solving this would be great to have, it ain't happening soon. Definitely not before my run tonight, nor my bike and swim tomorrow, nor my run on Sunday.....

15 comments:

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

It always amazes me how you guys with kids get the training in! It is hard enough balancing my own schedule - you guys are rockstars. Just do what you can do when you can do it!

MissFit Island said...

I have had success training at lunch. Have you tried that? Is it even feasible? I'm lucky my office is near a park to run and my gym to swim. I have even biked to work - once.

Laura said...

I admire anyone who does this with kids/job etc. I have a tough time but do what I can..a lot of training is at night after work and at first I resented not getting home unti late but overall it is better for ME.
Good luck and hope you work through it.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I changed positions at work, instead of starting work at 7 am. which made morning workout almost never happens to an 8:30 start time which makes it so much easier to get some am training in. I admit, my commute is a piece of cake compared to what NY'ers have to deal with

I beleive your daughter, she gets a pukie next Friday, tell her its the most prestige award in the history of endurance sports and she will be world famous. Then will train harder and faster, knowing she has reached the highest level of awards in sports, get a scholarship and free college education, become a world class runner and tyou can retire as she supports you with her millions in endorsement.

Yep, the caffenine has just kicked in

Annie said...

I have friends who constantly tell me that they would love to do what we do, but with kids they just don't have the time. I always tell them there are people who have kids and still manage. I can't even imagine training with your schedule. Awesome job!

Amanda@runninghood said...

wow, your schedule sounds packed! Especially with kids that have sports. I find it hard to fit in with 3 small kids at home...by the time my husband gets home I am exhausted but usually end up running at nights at the gym. It is hard on both of us. Good luck finding a schedule that works! Way to make time for your goals.

Heather said...

I amazed you can work out at night. I am wiped out by then.
I do as much as I can before work. Using the high school I work at as my own personal gym (pool, track) also helps.

I do sometimes chuckle at people who tell me they have no TIME to exercise. I will direct them to your post.

Kate said...

I hear you! Thank goodness my work day isn't as long as yours, just the kids' evening activities. I'm so not a morning person, though when it's not quite as cold and icy I'll still drag myself out of bed early. For me, I'm usually ok once I'm up and moving. Like you, I end up doing a lot of workouts late at night. If that's the price of "having it all", though, I'll take it!

Shelly said...

As a fellow commuter, I know what this feels like. I usually get up between 6 and 6:30, and I just can't get up any earlier to work out. So I go to the gym from the train station. My gym bag is in my car all day long.... what a pleasure changing into zero degree workout clothes. Its all about balance, something I still struggle with, and this winter weather has made it even more challenging!

Big Clyde said...

Our lives are a bit similar (three kids, some travel, etc.) and I find myself envious at times of people that are without kids and more fully in control of their schedule.

Yet, we love our kids and family times together. Do your best. Being a great father and husband won't earn you a medal, but we all get that it is an awesome endurance sport.

And if it helps any, keep in mind that there are very few people in the industrialized parts of our planet that got on a bike or ran last week.

Ewa said...

Hats off to you.
I am NOWHERE as busy as you are but I find out that the only safe time for me to get my workouts in is very early in the morning. Somehow anytime I schedule an evening workout something more important (than my health) comes up.
Again, I am very, very impressed.

Caroline said...

I am a full time parent and I get that it is hard to plan for workouts..my kids are still young and one is not in school yet..when he is it will be so much easier..
hats of to you for making time for your kids, not all the working dads I know do the same! they will always remember you did.

Diane said...

Wow Rockstar. I get up at 5AM each and everyday to workout or study but I am most certainly in bed by 9PM. I can't even imagine how you do it. I understand the lifestyle and pressures of kids, job, family responsibilities, etc... Hats off to you for somehow doing the impossible. Lately I've been doing harder and longer workouts on the weekends, a few lunchtime workouts during the weekdays and a a couple other 5AM sessions at the gym during the week. Somehow it all comes together. But in your case I can't say enough how much I admire your spirit and determination. Very best wishes for your success!

joyRuN said...

Your dedication in getting your workouts in is absolutely commendable. Juggling all of that is a feat in itself!

Fit-Zaang said...

I feel your plight; and I only have one child and a 30 minute commute to work. Your time management is awe inspiring. Sometimes the real races are not the triathlons; they are the dashes between work, our children's events, and the dinner table.