Brandon Marsh answers:
How fitting that right now I’m listening to Florence and the Machine’s song, “The Dog Days are Over.” All signs point to summer on the horizon. Temperatures are rising, the kids are off at camp, your first race is behind you and family vacations lie ahead. Between life’s general chaos and your intense training schedule, you’re strapped for time and really don’t want to do anything! So, how can you push through the slump of summer?
- Take a break. After your first race, give yourself two to three weeks to have fun. This means enjoying less structured workouts that help you maintain your current fitness level while relieving the pressure to perform.
- Plan and pack. To save time and overcome excuses, plan your workouts a couple of days in advance. The night before, take 15 minutes to prepare the necessary clothes, fuel and accessories. Amy and I used to call this “getting ready for a day trip.” With gear ready to go, you’ll be less likely to skip out.
- Run ahead. Literally, run or cycle ahead on your next road trip. If your family doesn’t mind riding with a sweaty passenger, plan a long run or bike ride on the way to your destination. You’ll need to get a head-start early in the morning and time it so your family can pick you up on their way. This has worked really well for me and Amy. Be sure to only attempt on the safest routes.
- Go to camp. Take a long weekend to get away for a few very focused days of training - a customized triathlon camp! It may be tough to do with a family, but if the kids are at camp or staying with the grandparents, it might be just the ticket. Even if your significant other isn’t training, this can be a relaxing escape for them. Travel somewhere with a different climate, a different elevation or just to a place you’ve always wanted to visit. (Or make it a “stay-cation” and stay at, or close to, home.)
- Put it in perspective. Most triathletes line up three or four races throughout the summer. You train, race, recover…and repeat. For a more positive spin, think of it this way: frequently scheduled races mean only a few weeks of “real,” intense training.
Now, go beat the heat!
Amy Marsh is a four-time Ironman champion, two-time IronDistance champion, and was named the 2010 USAT Long Distance Triathlete of the Year. Brandon Marsh has been competing in triathlons since 1988, and can be counted on to be a top-10 contender in every event he enters. Got a question about swim-bike-run or sports nutrition for Team Marsh? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter, follow Brandon @BrandonMarshTX and follow Amy @AmyCMarsh.