Question: Although I’ve been riding competitively for years, I have trouble balancing my training with my wife’s schedule (she also rides), the demands of our 4-year-old son, and my job.
My typical training week includes one long weekend ride, a recovery ride and two short tempo or interval sessions. That’s all I can manage. And our son brings home colds, which are impossible to avoid.
Can I improve under these constraints? I want riding to be fun, not like a job. — Anthony K.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: I remember well how tough it was to fit in training when our son was young. My wife liked to ride and run, we both had full-time jobs and, of course, we wanted to spend time with our son.
It was tough and required lots of schedule juggling. I often trained at 5:30 a.m. to get in a weekday ride. If I had 60 minutes free, I’d dash out the door and hammer, hoping I didn’t get a flat that would make me late for a meeting.
If you aren’t willing to make these sacrifices, consider cutting back on your cycling now when your son is young, then increase your involvement as he gets into his own activities.
When my son got older, I’d often ride to his soccer games in other towns while my wife drove him there. Then she went for a run between games. It worked well. We were always looking for ways to incorporate exercise into family activities.
As for colds, kids are walking Petri dishes. When you catch a virus, take time off. It’s that simple. Trainingthrough a cold doesn’t help your fitness and could set you back several weeks.
My eBook Basic Training for Roadies addresses the issues you face in plenty of detail.