Have you ever wondered what the glamorous day-to-day life of a professional triathlete looks like? Well you’re in luck! Triathlon Magazine Canada followed me around for an afternoon with cameras rolling. Watch me breeze through an epic workout at my exclusive gym before returning to my trendy loft apartment in the booming metropolis of Fergus, Ontario. I also discuss my meteoric rise to C-list celebrity status in the triathlon world and dispense wisdom about training, nutrition and recovery.

Obviously, I kid. I hope these videos and this companion post help you get to know me and my daily routine as a pro triathlete.

This was a solid 4+ hour training day leading into my first races of the season. For some context, Wednesday is usually the last day of my weekly training cycle, with Thursday being a light, recovery day. This particular Wednesday (March 9th) was 10 days before my first race of the season at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, and 15 weeks into a long 18 week build into the Ironman 70.3 South American Championship in April. Fatigue had been high after returning from a camp in Arizona and I really hoped the camera wouldn’t catch me crying on the trainer…

5:45 – 6:45am: Wake up

  • Breakfast #1: Whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, banana #1, plain yogurt (2% fat), cottage cheese (1% fat), dates, raisins, tea
  • Internet surfing during breakfast: social media, Reddit, Slowtwitch
  • Whip up a quick batch of morning glory muffins

 

7:00 – 9:00am: Workout #1

  • Swim: 5,100 scm with a 3,500 m main set
    • 400 swim with fins
    • 400 kick with fins
    • 400 pull
    • 4 × 100 descend @ 1:30
    • 5 × 200 @ 2:50
    • 100 pull easy + :30
    • 4 × 200 @ 2:50
    • 100 pull easy + :30
    • 3 × 200 @ 2:50
    • 100 pull easy + :30
    • 2 × 200 @ 2:50
    • 100 pull easy + :30
    • 1 × 200 @ 2:50
    • 100 pull easy + :30
    • Note: If I’m feeling good, I’ll substitute 4 × 25 sprint @ :45 for the 100 pull and try to descend the 200s throughout the set.
    • Nutrition: One bottle homemade sports drink (~120 Cal)
  • Run – 3.5 km easy commute home from pool
    • Shoes: Skechers GoRun Ride 5

 

9:00 – 11:00am: The productive hours

  • Breakfast #2: Martin’s Honeycrisp apple, homemade banana-chocolate chip whole wheat muffin with peanut butter, small bowl of large flake oats with banana #2, fresh strawberries, dried fig, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, tea
  • Finish baking muffins
  • Desk work: sponsor correspondence, blogging, social media, planning upcoming travel

 

11:00am – 12:00pm: Nap

I take roughly 365 naps per year. The only days I can’t nap are race days and the occasional overly hectic day. I’m careful to make up for this by napping twice on other days when training is really beating me down. My naps range from 10 minutes to 2 hours with the average being 30-45 minutes. I take my naps very seriously and will often change into pj’s and wear a sleep mask and earplugs.

 

12:00 – 1:30pm: The semi-productive hours

  • Snack: slice of multigrain sourdough bread with peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam, banana #3, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, dates, tea
  • More desk work

 

1:45 – 3:45pm: Workout #2

  • Treadmill run: 20.1 km (75 minutes)
    • 30mins @ 4:10/km, all 1% incline
    • 4 × [8mins threshold @ 3:15/km, 2mins recovery @ ~4:25/km]
    • 5mins @ 4:10/km
    • Nutrition: bottle with ~100 Cal iced tea crystals
    • Shoes: Skechers GOrun 4
  • Conditioning
    • Plyometrics circuit of death (2 × 8 × 30secs various exercises)
    • Core/yoga routine

 

If you’re curious about my workout playlist, here it is:

 

4:00-5:00pm: Transition & interview

  • I’ll often ride or run the three-ish kilometers home from my gym/pool to my loft, but I had to show off my new Toyota Prius C. It’s aerodynamics are almost as good as mine!
  • Post/pre-workout snack: Martin’s Cinnamon Apple Chips, banana-chocolate chip whole wheat muffin with peanut butter, banana #4, weak hot chocolate
  • Video interview questions with Triathlon Magazine Canada

 

IMG_20160311_131847

 

5:00-6:00pm: Workout #3

 

6:00-10:00pm: The unproductive hours

After a heavy training day like this, I don’t realistically expect to get much done in the evening. I consider the day I success if I manage to get all my training and other work done by dinnertime. I like to spend the evening hanging out with friends or my parents, reading, playing the piano, watching Netflix or closing out the strip club going to bed early. As bedtime approaches, I try to avoid screens and anything remotely stressful or exciting, which means putting my phone in airplane mode. I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm reading and asleep by 10:00pm. Every once in a while, unsympathetic friends will keep me up past 11:00pm, which I’ll bitterly regret the next day.

  • Dinner: Spinach and goat cheese quiche; mixed green salad with carrots, avocado, red pepper; sweet potato
  • Dessert: Salted caramel frozen Greek yogurt
  • Grazing throughout the evening: Martin’s Cinnamon Apple Chips, banana #5/6, morning glory muffin, peanut butter, plain yogurt, cottage cheese

 

A note on diet

I was careful to not modify or fib about my eating habits since I wanted this to be an honest, representative day in my life. I’ve seen other athletes post rather dubious diet logs that would only be sustainable with a private chef (not quite in my budget yet) and the metabolism of a sedentary septuagenarian.

I burnt on the order of 6,000 calories over this big training day (~4,000 in workouts + ~2,000 BMR/other activity). I’d estimate that I took in no more than 5,000 calories, leaving me with a sizable deficit to make up the following day on my recovery day. Learning how to balance or carefully manipulate energy intake and expenditure under a pro training load has been a challenging skill to master, and something I still mess up sometimes. For example, while training in Arizona a week earlier, I unintentionally lost over a kilogram by not being conscientious enough about my diet. That likely explains why I was having an unusually rough week of training.

As you can see, I rely heavily on a limited list of staples that are wholesome, calorie dense, inexpensive, digestible, and can be prepared with a minimum of effort. The only supplements I take on a daily basis are iron (need evidenced by blood tests) and Vitamin D over the winter. And, most shockingly, I partake in gratuitous gluten consumption every single day… gasp.


 

I hope you enjoyed this . Thank you to Triathlon Magazine Canada and Adam Wojtkowiak for the video. As always, send me any questions!