there is no doubt that as educators, our greatest responsibility is to those children sitting (or running around) in front of us. However, collegiate educational pools are drying up, and many of those who have remained in the classroom are leaving the profession in droves. There are multiple reasons for fewer people entering and/or leaving the profession: money, politics, increased workload, lack of support, etc. To survive in such an occupation, one needs to certainly endure a great deal. To say it can become overwhelming is an understatement.

Having success as an educator relies on having a strong game plan. It’s certainly not something you can go into and simply hope for the best. Unfortunately, too many teachers are thrown into the water without the proper support or a proper game plan. For many this can spell disaster.

The same holds true for taking part in endurance racing. Throughout this journey, I have survived some extreme physical and mental challenges; many of which are not much different from what I face during a typical school year.

This book shares how my life in the classroom correlates with the lessons I’ve learned throughout these daunting challenges as an Ironman® athlete. There is no “best way” to use the book. You can read it in small portions (i.e. one chapter at a time), and complete its coinciding workouts. Or, you can skip all of the hoopla and read it all the way through, coming back to certain chapters when the need arises. Within the book, each chapter has three distinct training sessions.

Sprint: This is the optimal starting point to get one’s feet wet on your epic educational adventure. The sprint is the shortest triathlon distance and where many athletes begin their endurance journey. The sprint is normally a 500-meter swim, 15-mile bike, and a 3.2-mile run. There- fore, this training session is the easiest place to start on your journey through each chapter.

Half Distance: This increases the level of academic challenge in your workouts. The half distance equates to half an Ironman® event. The distances are a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run. This workout is if you’re ready to take on the next challenge after the sprint session. Keep in mind, it may be a little more challenging.

Full Distance: This is where the greatest effort will be required to enhance your educational development. The full distance event is the motherlode of triathlon racing and an endurance athlete’s ultimate goal. The Ironman® race covers 140.6-miles in total. The distances are a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run. This session is intended to get you out of your comfort zone and provide the ultimate endurance test.

So, put on your floaties, the rubber duck is optional, and jump into the treacherous educational waters with me. When we finish our dip in the water, if you really, really want to, we can hop on the bike for a ride and then finish with a nice, easy (well nothing is easy in education) run.

Teach4Endurance: Surviving the Swim, Bike, and Run in Today's Classroom

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