A Day in My Workout Life


Some of you have asked for a glimpse in the day of my workout life, and I’m happy to oblige. Here is a snapshot of how I balance my work (with Exceeding Expectations) and my workouts:

The alarm rings at 5:00 a.m. I take a moment to luxuriate under the warm, cozy covers before tossing them off. By 5:30 I’m in the pool starting a 2500 yard swim, a speed workout consisting of short, fast intervals. Following the swim, I rush home for a quick breakfast and a little computer time, checking new messages that need immediate attention. Having taken care of the necessary business details, I pack up the bike and several gear bags and drive out to my favorite locale for some bike and run speed work. My bike ride includes both short, steep hills and long flat sections perfect for “redline” intervals. This ride takes about an hour and a half and is quickly followed by a run which includes a couple of extreme hills. It’s a short three-mile run but a toughie because it ends with an all-out one mile to the finish.

A few minutes of stretching concludes the athletic portion of the day, and now it’s on to more business. I take my after-workout nourishment while working online or by phone with coaching clients, Exceeding Expectations kids, parents and volunteers and a multitude of other business matters that is part of my life. Then I enjoy dinner with my husband, Lee, before trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour so I’m ready to get up tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. and do it all again. Today was a short day. Tomorrow’s workout will take about six hours.

Although this is pretty much the norm for many amateur triathletes, it’s far from normal. I get that. But I do believe there are a few things about my day that are important in the life of anyone whose goal is to stay fit and healthy.

  • When the alarm goes off early in the morning, do not start negotiating with yourself – “Should I get up or should I reset the alarm and go back to sleep?” When that question comes up, it’s already been answered. Getting up never wins. You don’t have to enthusiastically leap out of bed, but it has to be a “given” that you’re going to get up and on to whatever you have planned. A little water on the face and you’ll be glad you’re out of bed.
  • It takes organization and planning. You may need to pack food and/or gear the night before. If you’re going to meet someone for a run, there are logistics to discuss. You might want to use your lunch break for a workout. All these things take a little forethought. It’s not hard – you just have to think about it and do it!
  • You probably work and maybe have a family. Therefore, you need to plan your  training/exercising around your life – not your life around your training/exercising. Here’s the approach I use: Figure out your schedule for the next day (who needs you when?) Then plan where you can get in some exercise time around those demands and how much time you have to work with.  Once that’s been done and put in the schedule, it becomes sacred – not to be missed.

To stay fit, you don’t need the mega-hours of us crazy triathletes. An hour a day, 4-5 days a week will get the job done. So make your plans, get your equipment prepared and most importantly – get out of bed and just go do it!

About Cherie

Cherie Gruenfeld, Boingo's official butt-kicker, is an Ironman age group champion and world record holder. She is a grand masters triathlete — a sport in which she didn't even start competing in until her 40s — proving that top fitness is achievable at any age. She has raced in more than 25 Ironman triathlons, has 18 wins overall, and has won her age group at the Ironman World Championships a whopping 13 times. She's also an incredible fitness coach with great insights on goal setting and fitness on the road. Have a question for Cherie? Email her at askcherie@boingo.com. You can also learn more about her non-profit organization, Exceeding Expectations on Facebook.
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