They say life is all about balance, well when it comes to triathlon training I find it tends to look more like a juggling act. Especially when you are training for Ironman. I am currently 2 months out from my 2nd Ironman and my calendar is starting to look like one big block of commitments with little to no white space to fit in anything else. This isn’t an opportunity to complain about my commitments but rather a moment to speak to some of the habits that I have found have helped me be successful in fitting in all that I need to.
BEING STRATEGIC WITH YOUR WORKOUTS:
For starters, I don’t have a typical 9-5 job, which some people think opens up a ton of time for training, but in reality some days I am going from 6am-8pm with clients and teaching classes and the maximum break I will have in a day will be 1-2 hours sometimes less. What I have learned is, to not stress about getting in the exact number of hours of training in each day that my schedule requires, but to be strategic with when and where I place my workouts. This is where the juggling really comes in- I move workouts around at the beginning of each week based on time slots I have available.
For example: I know I can easily crank out a run at any time, so I tend to place these workouts in those smaller time frame windows. The longer windows I reserve for my swims and my bike sessions.
BEING REALISTIC AND OPEN WITH YOUR LOVED ONES:
For the age group athlete you are most likely already juggling your training, and your job and family, having social commitments on top of that can be tough. Getting real with those around you that, you are not going to be able to make every single gathering is important. Your weekends have now become sacred training days. This is a tough thing to do, but I have found ways around it so that I can squeeze in the extra commitments as well. This is where the mental commitment and dedication comes in.
For example: I don’t sleep in on weekends, I get up early and out the door to get that training session in before my family and friends are even awake. Getting my training done by early afternoon and having the ability to still have a day ahead of me helps with feeling balanced. As long as that day doesn’t end up on a patio sipping brews all day, because Sunday is long run day :).
BEING REALISTIC WITH YOURSELF:
You are not getting paid to do this, you have obligations outside of triathlon that require your time and focus, whether it be work or loved ones, and they are important too. We all know that if we dropped everything and focused on triathlon we would probably see some serious gains in our racing, but at what cost? My advice- make a plan, stick to it, and be kind to yourself. If you miss a workout, don’t turn the next day into a mini triathlon trying to fit it all in, take it in stride and focus on tomorrows workouts. Listen to your body and your mind, if you feel exhausted a couple days in a row, you probably are- so sleep in, take a nap, relax. At the end of the day triathlon training needs to still be something that lights you up and ignites a passion and fire in you, that alone will keep you going and will help you see success!!