Day In the Life

“Editor’s” Note: I initially wrote this a couple weeks ago. As is common in my life these days, I couldn’t make the time to actually finish this post. Still, the information stands as-is, and continues to be my usual Tuesday/Thursday routine.

Welcome to 2020! Is this the year that blogging makes a comeback? Probably not. I do enjoy writing my thoughts down, but my time is more stretched than ever these days and there are probably less eyeballs than ever interested in my athletic pursuits. Being the good millennial that I am, however, I will carry on with at least one more post about myself.

Before I get any further, just a quick mention that I will be racing with the Subaru Santa Monica race team this season. We recently had a training camp out in Joshua Tree where I got to meet the team – a great bunch of guys that share my love for racing on two wheels. The team is made up mostly of Cat 1 and 2 cyclists (I’m still a Cat 2 at this point) which is a bit of a step up from my previous team. Plus, my wife and I each drive Subarus, so it is a natural fit.

I thought it would be fun to do a “day in the life” in its current state. I have two young children, a wife, a career with 10-hour workdays, a 1:20 round-trip commute, and a mortgage on a 40+ year old home. As the responsibilities have increased (or grown in the case of my children, career, commute and home – but not my wife! 😊 ) my cycling training is always under threat. Shortly after our second child arrived, I realized that if I don’t get up early to train before work, it just isn’t going to happen. I pride myself as a “weekend warrior,” but I can only warrior so hard on the weekends and I need to have a bit more consistency in my training throughout the week to make any meaningful adaptations. So I made some changes to my schedule and this is where I’m at.

My day really begins the night before. When you’re trying to make the most of your time, it is critical that you’re organized – which is not my natural state. I have a set wakeup time and a set time I need to leave for work to get there by 6 am, so each minute I spend fiddling with something in the morning is one less minute I get to spend on the bike. I am currently training in the mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means Monday and Wednesday nights I try to get everything ready for the morning. Typically, I do this after my oldest daughter goes to sleep around 8 pm, but on this evening, she wanted to help me, so we prepared my breakfast and packed my lunch together before I took her to bed. Other things to prepare are bike and trainer setup including computer, cycling clothing, shoes, work clothes for after I shower and running clothes (more on that below).

4:01 am

My alarm goes off. Why 4:01? It just looks less terrifying when I set it the night before than four-oh-oh. I take my resting heart rate and HRV using HRV4Training App (perhaps a forthcoming blog on that?).

I get dressed, make it to the kitchen, chug some water, and make a Nespresso. Today I had it with almond milk and some maple syrup, but sometimes I just take the espresso shot black.

4:20 am

On the bike and pedaling. The TrainerRoad app automatically pulls up the workout I have for the day, which is called “Gendarme -3.” This one is 2 sets of 15 x 30 seconds on (120% FTP or 391 Watts)/30 seconds off. I’m building into my season and today is the first workout on the trainer with some hard intensity. The 1:1 work to rest ratio is pretty forgiving for this short duration and the session wasn’t too bad overall. When you’re ready to move beyond simple aerobic endurance riding, it’s so much easier to get the work in when you have something structured and planned before getting on the trainer, and TrainerRoad is perfect for this. On this day I watched Eric Lagerstrom’s latest Youtube video for entertainment.

5:08 am

In the shower

5:18 am

Premade oatmeal in the microwave. Scoop of Vega protein mixed in a bottle. I eat and drink in my car on the way. Lunch packed into my bag for work.

5:25 am

On the road

6:02 am

At my desk at work

10:55 am

We take lunch from 11 to 11:30 am. For hourly workers it’s pretty strictly enforced, but for salaried employees there is a bit more wiggle room. However, I try to be back at my desk close to 11:30. In the last couple months I’ve started to do a lunch run a couple days a week. I do a full wardrobe change, get out the office on a 3.5-mile loop, and back in about 30 minutes. I eat lunch at my desk after changing and washing up a bit. Today was warm and sunny and I was really happy to be outside. Almost half of the loop is trail, adding to my runner’s high.

2:00 pm

There is a 15 minute break at my work at 2. A couple coworkers and I typically go in a conference room and knock out some sort of core workout. Today we did the Foundations 12-Minute Back Routine. We also like the 8-minute plank, 8-point plank challenge, and this circuit/ab workout.

5:15 pm

Back home to play with my kids, help make dinner and prepare for another day. We limit TV time to local news while making dinner and generally have Jeopardy! on after, but always try to turn it off before that damned Wheel of Fortune show comes on. I try to be conscious about using my phone in front of my toddler, but I’m not perfect. After she goes to bed I’m always tempted to “catch up,” but to be honest my wife is the one I should really be catching up with.

8:45 to 9:00 pm

In bed

It’s a long day, for sure, and certainly not something I could do every day of the week, but I actually am really enjoying my early morning trainer sessions. I take pride in the training I am able to squeeze in without taking away from my family. Hopefully it will be enough to continue to get some good results racing locally.

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