By PowerTap Sponsored Pro-Triathlete, Sarah Piampiano
My race season is in full swing, which makes life a bit chaotic. Since March I feel like I have been packing for a race or training camp, on the road, tapering, racing, recovering, unpacking, playing catch up on life, and then repeating the whole process over again. It can be tough to manage, but the key through all of it is to stay on top of sleep, nutrition and recovery. Letting any of those slip can lead to negative consequences – poor training or racing performance, getting sick, and even getting injured.
Often when I get back from a trip I have a few days where I feel completely overwhelmed by all the "life stuff" I need to get done – I often feel so far behind in e-mails/bills/correspondence with family, friends and sponsors. But placing the sleep/nutrition/recovery and training recipe as priority still has to be paramount.
I thought I would give you a little glimpse in to my life over the last several months to get a taste of what it's like living the life of a pro triathlete.
Recent Training/Racing/Travel Schedule:
April 7 – April 13: Purplepatch Pro Team Training Camp – Stinson Beach, California
April 15 – April 19: New Orleans, LA for New Orleans 70.3 on April 19
April 20 – April 23: The Woodlands, TX: training on Ironman Texas course
April 23 – April 26: Galveston, Texas for Galveston 70.3 on April 26
April 27 – May 10: Home/Training
May 10 – May 16: The Woodlands, TX for Ironman Texas on May 16
May 17 – 18: Home
May 19 – 24: Buffalo, NY for a friend's wedding
May 25 – June 9: Home/Training
June 10 – June 14: Cambridge, MD for Eagleman 70.3 on June 14
June 15 – 16: Flight to Vienna, Austria, then drive to Klagenfurt, Austria
June 16 – June 30: Recover/Train/Race in Klagenfurt, Austria; Ironman Austria on June 28
When I am on the road, I make it a point to try to stay as routine oriented as possible – I stick to eating at the same times every day; I follow my same training routines as when I am home; I pay particular attention to hydration and my nutrition. All of these play a very important role in limiting stress on my body.
In terms of my "typical" week – Mondays and Fridays are always recovery days. I still may train 3-4 hours each day, but the sessions are lighter. It gives my body and mind time to reset. Tues/Wed/Thurs and Sat/Sun are days of bigger training load and intensity.
During my Tues/Wed/Thurs blocks I typically swim, bike and run each day, but with only one or two key sessions daily (the other session(s) is/are endurance or recovery focused), plus strength on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On Saturdays I do a long ride, ranging anywhere from 4-6 hours, with a 10-45 minute run-off that will range in intensity. On Sundays I do a big swim set and a hard interval run session.
Even in recovery weeks after a race, much of the structure of my training is the same, but the load and intensity is varied enough to allow my body the opportunity to recover.
I'm writing this as I sit in Klagenfurt, Austria, and I have to pinch myself at how lucky I am. Yes, at times the long stints away from home can be hard, but I feel incredibly lucky to be able to travel all over the US and World training and racing. It's a damn fine job I have!
Hope your season and summer is going well!
Until Next Time – Don't Dream It. Be It.
Sarah Piampiano, aka Little Red, is a Maine-born kid who breathed sports from an early age. Following a 3-season collegiate career in ski racing and cross country running, she worked as an investment banker before competing in her first triathlon in 2009 after a bet with a friend. Since then she's made the journey from newbie triathlete to Ironman 70.3 Champion and one of the top athletes in the sport. You can follow her journey on Twitter @SarahPiampiano or via her website www.sarahpiampiano.com.