#79: It takes a village, idiot

Triathlon is raced by individuals…..but anyone who has done it knows it’s a team sport. This week the goal was to take another jump in training volume and it took help from many for me to even get close.  

Coming off a race week where I gave myself a premature “down” week in order to have some measure of freshness in the legs, it was about making another step in the ladder toward the big (20 hour plus) weeks.

This jump, from the 14-15 hour range to the 17-18 hour range is a tough one, b/c it really takes the mental willingness to let yourself get into a 2+ hour per day on most days of the week routine AND a big training weekend.  The obvious difficulty is just getting your body used to it…..the less obvious (but still understandable to most) is the idea of finding ANOTHER 3 hours in the week to train which is NEVER NEVER easy……how do you throw another ball into the juggling act?  At this point, it becomes a team sport……where the athlete is merely one member of the village…..some would argue, including me at times, the idiot.

This week, my village included 


  • my wife who continues to graciously allow every “we” minute to be sacrificed and morphed into a “me” minute
  • my kids, who somehow think that our crazy schedule is normal “enough” and adapt with only the slight oddity that comes with being my children
  • a total stranger who, through a mutual friend, hooked up with me for 50 miles on the bike this AM. He was willing to put together a great ride AND keep my time constraints (soccer game to attend) in the back of his mind 
  • and my Mom who watched kid #3 while I put in session #2 for the day, another 30 miles on the bike + 2 run b/c Linds and the girls were headed to Chester, PA to watch the US Women’s Soccer team take on China


And that’s only this week.

The good news is, it was a solid training week.  It wasn’t pretty (rain during the week hurt a little), but I hit most of my objectives (nearly 10 hours on the bike and a long run in the heat as part of the 25 miles I put int) but the not so good news is, I didn’t successfully make the jump……14 hours, but not 18 as I had hoped…..and for the most part this was lost swimming yards.  I only got 1 x 45 min swim in this week.  It was a good set, but just couldn’t get back there.

I’m pretty fried.  My legs are feeling decent (after my second ice-bath in 2 days), but I’m tired.  With the holiday tomorrow, I’m thinking I’ll take the day off and with an Olympic distance race a week from today, I’ll need to get some rest.  My training stress balance is showing me why I’m feeling a little trashed…..I’m sitting at a negative 20 after today’s session (racing-ready is more like +20).

  • My bike miles of 175 for the week was solid and that’ll dip some this week…..but I need to be ready to get it over 200 the following week.
  • My run miles need to come up some, from the 25 range to the 30 range……or just adding in some continued distance on my long run (move from 15.5 to 17?).
  • HAVE to get back in the water…..I’ve worked pretty hard on my form and I can’t afford to lose that hard work.  The good news is, I can use the softer week to get back in the pool.
But for now……the formula is simple…..REMEMBER and RECOVER.  Remember, that if it weren’t for the sacrifice of so many who gave their lives and so many that continue to protect our freedoms, I wouldn’t be able to play this game I do.  To them, my enduring thanks.

Happy Memorial Day, 

Mike E.