It's easy to think that people in their twenties have it easy. They can bounce back from hard workouts, they have lots of free time, and they haven't started families yet. No stress, right?
Then you talk to Tyler Curtis.
The engineer, who graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 2014, is balancing a joyful, two-month old baby, an assistant coaching position at the School of Mines, a full-time restaurant job, and a career search for a position where he can utilize his degree.
Oh, and he runs a lot.
Curtis, who has a 10K PR of 31:56 has come a long way from the track, where he was a successful distance runner and steeplechaser. While he's speedy enough to still jump into track meets, the new dad is increasingly hitting the trails.
Last year, in his first year at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, he was fourth against a tough field and a lot of mud. This year, he won the La Sportiva Summer Solstice 10K, edging out Josiah Middaugh for the win. He was second in the Vail Hill Climb, won the Boneyard Boogie 11K, was second at the Berry Picker 5K, and won the Camp Hale Half Marathon by six minutes.
"It's definitely tough to fit it all in," admits Curtis. "In Colorado it starts to get dark at about 3pm, so I like to get up early and make my workout my priority."
While he can run sometimes run with the girls he coaches, his role as an assistant coach takes precedence.
"Sometimes I run with the girls on their tempo runs to set a pace," he says, "And sometimes I'm driving the van back down the mountain after a run with 1500 feet of elevation gain."
Curtis admits that he loves coaching and that it's something he wants to keep doing it in the future.
"One workout I love that's also a great strength workout is a split tempo run," says Curtis. "It will basically be two tempo segments with a short break in the middle and that's a great workout for getting high intensity in. Two by three miles is a great workout. You do three miles hard with a five minute rest, and then you go out and do it again and try to improve your time. Doing a split tempo allows you to go faster than just running six miles straight out, so you can build both strength and speed."
Another favorite workout is one Curtis calls Ks and quarters:
Run a 1000 meters at a solid pace, just shy of race pace with a short rest of 45 seconds. Then jump right into a really hard quarter on the track. The K and the quarter makes up a set. Jog a lap between each set and repeat four or five times.
"I like that one because it makes you shift gears and go fast when you're tired. At the end of that it can get really tough, but it will make you stronger."