Race team athlete Jason tells us what it like balancing life and training as a new dad
It is amazing how something can completely change your outlook on life and how you go about your daily things. In the build up to Josh’s arrival I had almost had the life of a professional athlete as I had left the RAF too and was in no rush to find a new job, so 18-20 hour training weeks were the norm. Now, however, is a different matter, training is still important to me but Josh is now my number one priority, I love being a Dad and all the late nights, early mornings and 3am nappy changes are definitely worth it. If you had said that to me this time last year I would have said to you ‘I won’t be doing that kind of thing!’ It has made me far more efficient with my time management, and I believe my training has actually prospered from becoming a Dad as I don't waste any time now doing things I don't need to do. Plus having the thought that I can win things and show Josh the highlights of winning events and competing at the top level in Ironman racing. The thought of seeing him and Alex in the finish chute at the end of Ironman UK really spurs me on, I often picture myself running down the red carpet in Bolton, (hardly an exotic location I know), with Alex and Josh yards away from the finish clock cheering me on and crossing that line with the winner’s tape being held up for me. That would be an amazing feeling to experience and it’s one that I hope I can fulfill in July.
2. What is the hardest thing to cope with when having to train with a baby around?
|Turbo training with son at his side|
The hardest thing to cope with has definitely got to be the lack of sleep! I always knew sleep was important but I had never really experienced how much it does actually affect you until recently. My training went from 15-20 hours a week down to 7-10 hours straight away and even then I was finding that I was taking longer than usual to recover from the training. There is no set routine with a baby, literally everything is so random and to fit training in and around Josh’s needs has been a challenge for sure! Luckily I have an understanding partner in Alex, she knows I need to train to keep myself in the kind of form I have shown so far this year so has taken most of the hit so far with regards Josh, something I will have to definitely pay back later on for sure to show how much appreciate her hard work!
3. What are your goals for the year and do you still feel that your goals are achievable with your little one?
|Triathlete in the making (whether he likes it or not!)|
My goals for this year are to win a medal at the upcoming ETU LD Duathlon championships in Horst in 3 weeks time, and to qualify for Kona at Ironman UK. I believe that the knowledge and expertise of the coaching from Tri Training Harder coupled with my ability to maximise the output of any given session and my hard work ethic, I still feel my goals are still achievable without a doubt. Whether or not I will be able to afford to get to Kona is another thing though - Nappies are so expensive!
4. What advice would you give to a triathlete who is about to become a parent and has triathlon aspirations similar to yours?
Be totally opened minded and flexible with regards to your training, have an outline of what you want to achieve each week, but be prepared to change days and sessions around at the last minute to accommodate things out of your control. Take time to catch up on sleep, even if it means missing a training session, your body will thank you later on! Also, Stick to your key sessions each week, cut back on the sessions that are usually there to pad out the hours. Quality over Quantity definitely is the name of the game now you are a parent!!
5. What has it been like so far on the Tri Training Harder Team?
Racing for Tri Training Harder has been the perfect transition for me from previously racing for the RAF. All the support, guidance and opportunities that Tri Training Harder has presented me with has been by far the best in my 7 years of competing in Triathlon. Without this level of support I am not sure if I would even be racing this year. I thank all the team for their hard work and dedication in making me the athlete I am today.