Posted by: David D. Daggett | May 5, 2008

Training with Family

Training with Family    

     How is training going? How do you find the “key” that opens the Ironman “door” instead of hitting the “wall?” Triathlon season is now here. Over the past couple of weeks I have been asked by a number of folks, and have received e-mails, asking for training advice. I am not a coach, and probably don’t have any novel insight on physical preparation, but I can share some insight on training with family.

      As a veteran of more than 145 triathlons, including 17 Ironman finishes, I certainly wanted to continue training and competing with the birth of our 1st child at almost 39 years old, 2nd at 41, and 3rd at almost 43. But how do you train and race while keeping your spouse and kids at as the number one priority? 

     Well, I think that the formula is simple, although the application can be difficult. You simply have to care more about them than yourself during training and the race. So often I see the well-intended mistake of becoming so self-absorbed that you alienate the family and don’t do your best either because the energy is not positive. 

     I truly care for my wife and my kids more than myself (probably good reason:-)). So, I cut my bike training short so my wife can make her favorite aerobic class, etc., etc., etc. Then, the return is that she cares more for me which results in her being excited for IM day, doesn’t get tired of my training, and is 100% supportive. The bonus is that I even end up doing better because all of life is positive.

     Unfortunately, for example, I have friends whose spouses hate their bike or any thought of it because it represents the “jealous mistress” with which they feel they can never quite compete, but that they must always accommodate. Of course this breeds resentments which aren’t healthy for you, your spouse, the family, or possibly even the bike!

     So, I think, the key for IM is not necessarily doing as much training as possible, nor following someone else’s program, and so on . . . The key is to do optimal training within the boundaries in your life and keeping the priorities in order. Then, I believe you have the “key” that opens the Ironman “door” instead of hitting the “wall” of frustration and dissatisfaction.

     Over the next several weeks I will try to further explore training, and how we fit training into life!

Stay fit,



  1. David,

    I really enjoy your blog and especially how you manage to keep your true priorities in check while still competing at the IM level!!

    Congrats also on the lottery for Kona this year!


    Chris McAuley

  2. […] Last week we discussed Training with Family, which seems to be a frequent topic for triathletes. We briefly used hitting the wall as a […]

  3. […] We continue in a series focusing on training with family. This week we’ll discuss “Some Keys” that open the Ironman “door” instead […]

  4. […] Now that we have some keys to open the door in the wall of Ironman training with family, let’s look at what the schedule might look like. I continue to refine “my” program […]

  5. […] We previously discussed similar principles in Training With family and summarized many of the practical concepts in Total Integration. When there is a true […]

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