I love to read training recaps from other endurance athletes, particularly those that are also working parents as I can relate to their struggles to find the time to train. I find them incredibly inspiring, and I often get training ideas from them. Unfortunately sometimes this also makes me question my training, and I feel insecure.
Am I training enough? How can they fit all that training in, when I can barely manage to get my arse outta bed in the morning?!?
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m also competitive by nature. A little friendly competition motivates me to push myself harder which helps me to become a better athlete. Occasionally my competitive nature also makes me push myself too hard, and into injury. Sometimes I feel lonely with my training – I do most of my training on my own and would love to have the camaraderie of training more often with a group, except my family’s busy lifestyle doesn’t allow me any flexibility in when I train. I essentially need to be home by 7am from my training on weekdays, or home by 8 am on weekends. Evenings are completely out due to my kids sports. We either have soccer, softball or field hockey every day of the week, and I do my strength training with my strength coach on my lunch breaks at work just to fit it in. Throw in a weekend camping trip, and two 1 week family vacations and there isn’t much time left for me to race or train.
But I’m determined to do this marathon thing. So I’m trying to take the less is more approach, and to have faith that I can do this on my own. There are no junk miles in my plan, and 2 full days of rest. I strength train twice a week, and run three times. Basically I’m just getting enough exercise to meet the guidelines for general fitness, yet hoping it’ll be enough to finish a marathon. I’m hoping to get my bike tuned up (when I finally get some time to actually get the bike to the local bike shop), so I can also throw in one easy recovery ride on one of my rest days, perhaps Sunday mornings? I’m also determined to do Iron Girl Canada (I have some exciting news about that so stay tuned) and the Ontario Women’s Triathlon this summer too. I’ll have to get through the swimming part of those races with just my general fitness and no extra swim training because I honestly don’t have the time.
This week my training was pretty ok-ish. Not stellar or all that impressive, but I at least was able to follow my training plan:
Did a hard body weight/plyometrics workout with my strength coach. There was lots of lateral jumps, standing long jumps with a medicine ball, lunges, and other agility type stuff. It was fun – I’m one of those crazy folks who finds that stuff fun. It also left my quads, hamstrings and glutes really sore.
It was the Canada Day holiday here so I ran a Canada Day 5k race with my friends. My legs were heavy from the training the day before and it was really hot and humid out by 9:15 am when the race started. I wasn’t entirely happy with my finishing time (25:55) but was happy that it was good enough for a 4th place finish in my age group. Either all the fast people stayed home, or the heat bothered everyone else too. You can read my race recap here: Canada Day 5k Race Recap.
Busy day at work so I wasn’t able to meet my strength coach at lunch. I took the day off as a rest day to recover from the race.
I was supposed to get up early and run 8k, but my youngest caught me trying to sneak out, so I stayed in and cuddled with her instead. I ended up doing my run at lunch which turned out to be a good thing. My legs felt great and the weather was nice and cool too. I ran 8k with an average pace of 5:45.
Another rest day, sort of…. After work I pretty much didn’t sit down for a good 3.5 hours as I was busy cleaning the house, the pool, and mowing the lawn for my in-laws to visit, and for my middle daughter’s 7th birthday party. We have a fair-sized lawn so that counts as exercise, right?
Got up at 5:30 and was out running by 6:15 am. My youngest daughter woke up complaining of a headache at 5:45, so I took her to the potty, gave her some Advil and water, and walked her back to bed. My fingers were crossed that she would stay there so I could go run. She did, but at 6 am my oldest woke up just as I was trying to leave. I helped her with the TV, and some breakfast, then confirmed with her that she didn’t need me, then headed out for my run. I forgot to charge my phone up for my run so I used my Timex Ironman GPS watch. I have no idea how to use it so after my run I accidentally deleted the data from it before I could take a picture of the watch. You’ll just have to believe me when I say I ran 15k. My average pace was 6:10 because it didn’t pause for lights like my iPhone does and I forgot that I had to manually pause it. While I was running I looked at the watch and my pace was usually in the 5:34 – 5:45/km range. After my run I took the girls to field hockey, picked up stuff for the loot bags for the party, helped my friend Laura pick up a picture with my van that she had bought but couldn’t fit in her vehicle, then spent the afternoon relaxing/swimming in the pool while my in-laws visited.
This was my middle daughter Brooke’s birthday party day, and therefore yet another “rest” day for me. I tidied the house, bought all the food for the party, hosted the party, and tidied up afterwards. My youngest was sick, so hubby took her out for a drive so that she could rest and not be too upset that she missed the party. My friend Laura came over to help me and I was really thankful to have her there. A pool party with 8 kids (6-10 years old) would have been very hard to do on my own, not to mention dangerous. After all the kids left we had a small BBQ with Laura, Jason, and my brother for Brooke’s birthday. I’m sure this all counts as a workout/time on my feet because by the time I sat down after the kids went to bed I was exhausted.
In a nutshell I’m doing as much training as I can without getting injured or interfering with my family’s sports/schedules. I’m trying to be satisfied with that and trusting that this is enough to get me to through the marathon, but it’s so hard to have that confidence! I suspect that I’m feeling insecure about my training because last week life forced me to take 3 rest days when I’m used to only 1 or 2. After this coming week I suspect that I will feel much more confident because this week is a lot more intense:
This week’s training plan:
Monday: 8k run
Tuesday: Strength workout with my coach
Wednesday: Strength workout with my coach
Thursday: 8k run
Saturday: 10K run
Sunday: The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon Trail Race at Blue Mountain Resort (my sources tell me this will be a very challenging race because of the elevation changes).
Marathon training with a busy young family and a full-time job sure is hard, but man… I’m determined to do it!
Have a great week everyone!
Question/Sharing: How do you balance training, family and work life?