Summer is back!!  It's been (what feels like) the longest winter in years.  And as much as I was "dedicated" to the occational inside workout, there really is no substitute for a perfect spring weekend to lay down some serious miles.

I'm 10 weeks out now from Ironman Canada 70.3, and as we all know, weekends become the time to focus and prepare for those long race efforts we're all gunning for.  I didn't realize the sense of peace I can gain from allowing myself the freedom to just train for a few hours on the weekends.  But how do I balance life, family and friends with the "need" to run 20 miles or bike for 4 hours?  Well, here's what I've learned this time around:

1.  Balance:  Is really very hard.  I'm sorry but it is.  I wish I had better advice but as events approach and prep gets more intense, some things have to drop off.  They just do.

2.  Early Mornings are your Friend:  I envy those people who can train in the mornings.  Some of our Unicorn teammates have 30 miles on the bike before I'm dragging myself into the shower in the morning.  During the week, it just seems I don't have that capability to do it.  But on the weekends I do!  8am runs are becoming a staple.  7am trainer rides, not (as big) an issue.  For some reason, having the ability to train and relax (instead of rush to work) makes it easier to get up and get at it.  Even the longest training sessions you can usually bang out in time for weekend brunch, if you start early.

3.  HIIT:  This year, I'm maximizing my time.  I know that the "long run/long ride" are the staples of the weekend session, and a big part of the "endurance" training during the week.  But honestly I just can't bring myself to commit the time to the long slow efforts (sorry 80/20).  Will my performance suffer?  Maybe.  But I need to get back some time, I'm hoping so.  And hopefully gain some more rounded fitness in the meantime.

So here's to summer, to long (training) weekends, and to making it work for you.  I've got a brick to run....