Four kids and training for a half ironman with dirty nappies in between

Four kids and training for a half ironman.

I was inspired to write this blog by my sister-in-law. From the outside looking in she suggested it could be an interesting read. So here goes. Yes the title is correct. We have four children, Noah 9, Ava 7, Cedar 6 and Eden 6 months. And yes my husband and I are both training for Port Macquarie 70.3. We have just over 3 months to fulfil the training brief before race day. This is how we do it.

Matt is coming off a solid base and has completed 12 half ironman’s so experience is in his corner. Referring to TrainingPeaks he averages 12 to 14 hours per week. He flogs most early mornings leaving me Friday to rise and shine before the sun and get one session in before it’s game on.

Living in Queensland and in the middle of summer means his training times are ideal as he doesn’t have to sweat it out in the middle of the day. That being said, I’m not complaining. I usually do the night shift with Eden so rising early to train is not a desirable. His sessions aren’t limited to mornings. His program incorporates evening workouts too. Sometimes we tag team. One in, the other out.

Unlike Matt, I’m coming off what I like to call a baby base. Tummy is jelly, scar is healing and I’m 12kgs over race weight. I’ve just started to average 8 – 9 hours per week of training so almost half of what Matt puts in. I’ve had to work my way back in the last 3 months. It has been a slow and steady progression. I’ve got to remind myself to be patient. My speed and endurance will return, but it won’t happen over night.

I train mostly during the day. Our garage is now a workout studio equip with air conditioning….thank goodness. This is my haven…well it’s suppose to be. The treadmill, electric trainer, free weights and rowing machine are my life line. My runs are mostly done on the treadmill and my bike strength on the kickr in front of the baby monitor. It plays games with me. Some days I hope the monitor will go off so I can stop, other days I plead with it to be silent as I’m really enjoying the workout. We swim twice a week together and put Eden in crèche albeit doing different swim sets. I don’t mind training by myself, but sometimes it’s nice to have the company.

One advantage is we both work from home. But after school activities, AFL training, singing and swimming lessons mean it’s not entirely free. The key is to be organised. We have a weekly plan and try to stick to it. But sometimes life changes and we bend with it. I like to think I train smart. I may not be able to do the distance or the time Matt can, so when I train I apply myself 100%. Less time, but with fierce intensity and determination.  At the end of the day triathlon is our hobby, family is first. Life offers so much over and above training. We don’t want to miss out on the whole package. It’s about balance and moderation. Play hard, train hard, rest well. Got it nailed.

What I don’t like and will never understand is when I train on a weekend with all kids at home they still come to me in the middle of a speed session and ask what can I eat? I mean really…..Dad’s just inside! But if that’s the worst I’ve got to complain about, we’re doing something right. Now gotta change that nappy!

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