Being Flexible with Your Training Schedule

Thursday October 14 I had the great privilege of welcoming my first child (Eden Isabelle) into our family. As anyone with kids knows having a baby join your family brings lots of changes. It’s unlikely I’ll get a full uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep (heck even 3 hours) for the next several months unless I’m travelling. It’s also less likely that I’ll be about to get out for 5 and 6 hour rides a few days a week till we get this baby thing settled (and who knows how long that will take).

With that in mind my training schedule will be adjusted. Really in life many things come in to throw off our training. Few of us are good/lucky/blessed enough to be paid to train so life/family/work/lazy can easily creep in. We have to continually hold training and life in tension do enough of both to accomplish our goals.

To figure out this tension we need to start by defining the main goal in our life. I’ve often thought of this as the one sentence I wish someone would say at my funeral. When I die many decades from now the one thing I wish someone will say goes something like this:

Curtis was a devoted husband and father. You could always tell that the joy of his life was his family because that’s what he made a priority.

Knowing that one thing frees you to setup a training schedule that allows you to perform as you hope in your sport (cycling for me).

Focus

Many people ride lots of distance but few people train truly smart. Many studies have shown that to excel at a distance/endurance sport you don’t have to ride super long distances daily. Yes you should be riding the distance of your longest race on a fairly regular basis but you don’t have to get in those 6 hours every day to excel.

Races are won on hills and headwinds most often. It makes sense then that the place to focus your training is on climbing and riding into headwinds. Luckily I’m blessed to live near a great 10km 500m vertical gain climb and have a 90% chance of getting a solid headwind for 40 sustained kilometres almost every afternoon.

Knowing those two things I’ll train a bit smarter. I’ll focus on my climbing by working on that solid hill I’ve got so close. I’ll be sure to have fun as well (since most of us ride because we love it first and train just because going fast is fun).

Now I challenge the rest of you. Train smarter, spend more time with your family. Figure out what you want people to say about you at your funeral. Then make your life about ensuring that the last sentences said over your grave are the ones you want.

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