Reset and balance – the year so far in review

Balancing work, fatherhood and training is challenging. I also have been somewhat listless with what I have been doing, and I know I’ve had this problem and yet haven’t done anything to address it. I began the year with the biathlon, switched to long cycle, and then did week or two of the fitness program.
I didn’t really look forward to training. My problem was that I did not have a concrete goal I was enthusiastic about and the goal I did have did not fit in with my personal situation of having limited time.
Obviously, it was time to reset. My goals are overall fitness and national level numbers in competitive kettlebell lifting. My specific goals for now are to get below 170 lbs and long cycle clean and jerk 2 24kg kettlebells 60 times in 10:00. Where I am now is about 184 lbs and about 20 long cycle clean and jerks with 2 24 kg kettlebells. I need 15 pounds less and 45 more reps.
What am I doing to achieve these goals within my “scope limitation” of limited training time?
1. Choosing the long cycle clean and jerk as my event. Although the techniques in this exercise are complicated, it hits all the high points and arguably does not take as much time as biathlon training. Besides, snatching in the humid Houston summers is brutal.
2. Training in the mornings five to six days a week. Moving training time to the mornings before everyone is awake solves the time problem. My strategy worked pretty well this week.
3. Choosing a venue to compete. It will either be Chicago on August 29, Las Vegas on November 7 or both.
4. Writing down everything I eat and going easy on the refined carbohydrates and portion sizes.
5. Starting small and building slowly. I had my knee scoped 11 months ago. Although I have been cleared to train (but for squatting), I don’t want to get greedy and reinjure myself.
6. Cycling. Monday and Wednesday are 16kg days, Tuesday and Thursday are 20kg days, and Friday is test day with the 16kg.
7. Measuring with a heart rate monitor. When the 16:00 I’ve allotted for work and rest sets becomes consistently easier per the heart rate monitor, it is time to increase duration.
8. Signing up for the long haul. I’ll get below 170 lbs well before I hit 60 reps. But I will hit my 60 reps and then set new goals.
On the subject of parenting and training, others have blogged about how to fit it all in. One size does not fit all and your mileage may vary, but here are my thoughts.
1. Family time comes first. Maintaining my health and ability to provide for my family is important, but time is precious and life is short.
2. There is always time to train. In my case, no one is doing anything at home at 5:00 in the morning. That way, my training occurs when my wife and son are asleep and it’s “my time” which doesn’t interfere with “our time”.
3. On the subject of “our time” and “my time”, I find that being confining training to weekday mornings makes the fact that I am training for a competition transparent to my wife and son. Morning training keeps me out of the doghouse.
4. Sleep. I get as much as I can, knowing it isn’t enough. Who gets enough sleep with a five month old infant finding his way about the world? I’ll be tired if I train and I’ll be tired if I don’t train.
5. Focus on the money set. The other two sets are shorter and performed on shorter rest.
6. Eat cleanly. Good diet and decent hydration are the key.
7. Train the mind and keep the eye on the longer term goal of good health and longevity.
There are probably a few more I haven’t thought of.

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