Posted by: David D. Daggett | May 19, 2008

Some Keys

Some Keys

     We continue in a series focusing on training with family. This week we’ll discuss “Some Keys” that open the Ironman “door” instead of hitting the “wall” of frustration and dissatisfaction.


     My paradoxical approach is to integrate training with family as much as possible while at the same time keeping training as “invisible” as possible most of the time. I have come up with several rules/techniques that seem to work:

1. The golden rule is that family is number one! Therefore all training must work around family, and non-training time must be clearly devoted to family – both in your heart and through outward expression and deeds (i.e. I try to always help do the dishes!).

2. Try to keep training as “invisible” as possible to the family. I think this is obvious. Swim at 0-dark-thirty, run at lunch, etc. I sometimes run home at lunch and get “two for the price of one!”

3. Here is my favorite trick – I will go any where my wife wants to go, any time she wants to go, as long as I get to run or bike one way. In training I have biked home from the zoo, biked to my in-laws, bike to/from family vacation, run home from the mall, run to/from church activities, etc. I change in the car a lot! You wouldn’t believe how many training opportunities this presents! It’s also kind of fun mapping out rendevous spots, the kids watching for Daddy on his bike, and exploring new areas.

4. Return to quality versus quantity training. For Ironman Canada in 2002 my bike training consisted of one 70 mile time trial every Saturday morning flat out – note that was all the time I had in order for my wife to make her yoga class (see priority #1 above) . That was it for the week. My only other rides were two 100 mile rides to and from a family vacation. I was a little scared that I hadn’t done enough, but I ended up with my fastest bike split on that course (4 times). I’m not a physiologist, but I think we all tend to spend too much time dawdling along and when forced not to dawdle there are some real fitness benefits. 10 years ago nobody could have told me that an average athlete like me could go sub 11 hours for an Ironman on 10 hours a week training at over 40 years old.

5. Bonus fitness opportunities include family hikes, baby jogger runs. How about doing laps with the double jogger while mommy power walks – it’s a family event! And, of course, my now famous Bike/Mow bricks!?

6. Always refer back to rule number one and put your family first. The rewards will surely come!

Good luck and Best Wishes,




  1. […] 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 […]

  2. […] We have learned how to fit Ironman training and racing into our active lifestyles through Some Keys. In doing so we have effectively continued our health and fitness lifestyle while at the same time […]

  3. Hey Dave! This is your old Freshman year room mate from Indiana State! It’s great to see your site and your pictures! Angie and I are out visiting Larry & Kim Davidson in Dana Point, California. Larry suggested that I check out your site. Wow….watching Larry work as President of his company, be a husband and father, and train as an Iron Man competitor is really daunting! I thought I was an athlete back in College……I don’t think so!

    Larry said that he thought Cynthia was also a competitor? Being a Mother and wife has got to be challenging for her too.

    Angie and I are fine…..She had a rare form of Cancer called Lyomyosarcoma last year. She had several surgeries on her shin and thigh last year and is now doing fine.

    We’re thankful! I turn 51 tomorrow! Where has the time gone? Please say hi to your Mom and Dad for me.

    Continued success in your Iron Man, etc.!

    God bless,

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