Thanks to my Chariot Carrier another training day is done!

Its a Saturday morning. My husband, J-F has work meetings all day. With a 1 and 3 year old too look after, I don’t have a babysitter and a 2 hour run in on the training agenda. No problem! Its a great day to use my trusted double Chariot Carrier XC!

With snacks, drinks, blankets, cell phone, hats, extra clothes, diapers and sunscreen easily packed I headed out on the Calgary bike paths with the promise of park pit stop near the end of the run. Nico napped, Zoe sang, snacked and held Nico’s hand, Nico woke up, Zoe made him laugh, then cry, then laugh again. And before we knew it it was 1h45 minutes into the run and we stopped for 45 minutes of fun at Prince Island Park playground before Zoe ran for awhile before deciding to jump back in the Chariot for the last 15 minutes run to home.

Here are some of my favourite ways to use the Chariot for training:

1. Running – it is perfect for getting any steady paced run in. With at least 50 lbs worth of kids, and likely at least another 50 lbs of Chariot and gear, it definitely adds some resistant training.  To up the intensity, change up the pace with a fartlek (some of my favourites – 10 x 1 minute, 5 x 2 minutes or a pyramid 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minutes hard with equal rest.  To up the intensity even more try doing hill repeats! With the double my hills are more like a strong walking stride now, but it definitely gets the heart rate up fast!

2. Cycling – again, a good way to get an easy spin to steady ride in with the kids – don’t forget their helmets. To up the intensity, try some hill repeats. This is best done on a bike with low enough gearing like a mountain bike.

3. Cross-Country Skiing – I confess I haven’t attempted this with two, but when with one child I love getting out for a skate ski in the winter. The slow down in speed allows me to work on smooth technique and the motion of skiing really lulls a bundled one to sleep well! Keeping the heart rate down can be the biggest challenge skiing

Finally, you can keep it exciting for the kids by having a fun destination in mind. For example, in Calgary we can ride to the Zoo, lock up the bike, and convert the Chariot to a stroller for a visit, before heading back home.

And don’t forget all the gear you might need and can bring thanks to the spaciousness in the back of a Chariot:

After two babies the drive to train and compete is still alive!

My first serious sport was soccer beginning at 10 years old. But I would say I really became a serious athlete at 12 years old when my friend Holly encouraged me to join the local track club, the Comox Valley Cougars. That is when I started following a training program year-round with a coach.

Twenty years later I became pregnant with my daughter Zoe, and amazingly took my first real break from training and competing. I had run track and field through university, switched to competitive mountain biking through grad school, and then to began racing professionally in Xterra (0ff-road) triathlons.

I enjoyed the break from structured training and wasn’t sure I’d be motivated to continue after having a child. But I was and the motivation came from the challenge of getting back in shape to race while balancing motherhood. And a fun and rewarding challenge it was! Then two years and 8 months later my son Nico came along – could I do it all over again with two?? Once again, the added challenge of training and competing with two little ones gave me the fire to prove to myself that I could do it.

It is a tough balance somedays but overall because I commit time to workout nearly everyday I believe I have more energy, and in turn I’m more patient and hopefully a better mother to my kids! I’ve started this blog to share thoughts and ideas related to my adventures combining my life as an athlete and a mom…