[Editor's Note: The global COVID-19 pandemic has irreparably changed the fabric of our daily lives, including all things related to triathlon. While both professional and amateur triathlon races have ceased for the time being, they will return at some point in the future. We can still train, support one another, and better ourselves. With that in mind, we present to you this blog post with hope in our society's ability to overcome all of life's challenges, as well as optimism that we will emerge from this challenge stronger after having been reforged in the crucible of shared struggle.]
We’re partnering with a few members of the Every Man Jack triathlon team to bring you a new informative series on getting into multi-sport racing, building a training plan, and balancing your athletic goals with everything else going on in your life. This edition comes courtesy of Daniel Royce.
My name is Danny Royce and I am fortunate to race for Team Every Man Jack. This is my third year on the team, and I love the camaraderie and support of my teammates and our great sponsors like Every Man Jack and Felt Bicycles. I grew up a swimmer and took up triathlon in law school. I did my first triathlon in 2007 and have been focusing on ultra-distance since 2011. I got into triathlon on a whim when a buddy asked me to join him in a local sprint tri. It scratched a competitive itch that had been missing since my college swimming career ended in 2004. In my real life I am a trial lawyer in Richmond, Virginia. I have a wife that is way above my pay grade and the two sweetest little girls on earth. I have fully embraced the #girldad lifestyle and I love it!
Get used to waking up early. Save the evenings for family time, especially if you have kids! As my wife so lovingly jokes with me, if I want to do Ironman (and train multiple times a day), then I need to feel the early morning pain. Evenings are for family dinners and time with the kids. This is a lesson that took me far too long to learn but has been so important to healthier family relationships.
If you have the ability to fit a shorter workout in during your lunch break, take it! I find that breaking up my work day with a shorter session in the afternoon helps me reset my brain and body, and I am fresher, more alert, and more productive for the second part of the day. If this doesn’t fit for you, go back and check out the previous question.
Balance big workout sessions with equally important time with family. When the big multi-hour bricks start in the summer I make sure to plan fun family activities after training is done. Don’t be too tired to be an active participant in family life. I love to go for frozen yogurt with my kids after a long, hot training day!
Plan your races so that your family becomes a part of the atmosphere of the event. I like to have my kids participate in kid’s events. I bring them to the expo to see as much of the event as possible. At the very least, it sets a good example of an active lifestyle. Make sure you scope out fun things to do for the family on race day. We all know triathlon isn’t always a great spectator sport, so be kind to your loved ones and have some suggestions for things for them to do to pass the time while you disappear for hours!
Plan proper downtime in your schedule. Make sure you are taking some time off after big events. I am particularly terrible at this! Your body needs the rest and your family needs you around. Catch up on things that you have been neglecting around the house, spend extra time with your kids, date your significant other, and be present! This is hard to do for type-A athletes that just want to go, go, go. But your family, your body, and your mind will thank you!
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