After three Ironmans I’ve learned a few tips and tricks, but trying to fit in training, work and a personal life is very difficult. This year I’m training for the Calgary 70.3 and here in April my typical week has:
- 2 swims per week
- 3 standalone runs, 2 brick runs
- 2 indoor spins, 1 recovery spin
- 2 strength training sessions
- 1 ballet barre class
All of these workouts add up to about 10 hours of training per week at the moment. When I trained for Ironman Boulder last year I maxed out at just over 17 hours of training per week. Here are my thoughts for how you can try and achieve balance in your life with all of this going on!
- Become a morning person. Take advantage of the time when your family is still asleep to get your workout done. There have been many times when I’ve been on my bike on the trainer by 5 am to get my ride done.
- Find ways to incorporate your workouts into your daily routine. One of my favourite ways to get a longer run in during the week is to do a run commute. I’ll leave a bag of clothes at the office and run into work. Maybe a bike to/from work is a great opportunity to get a ride in. Get your workout done at the pool, then have your family meet you there once you are done for some splashing around. This is especially great if your pool has water slides!!
- Use your lunch break. I try to get my weekday runs in at lunch when at all possible. You can fit in strength and core work on your lunch break. If you don’t have access to a gym at lunch just download the Nike Training Club app on your phone and head outside. Many of the exercises can be done with just body weight. If you work in a multistory building run up the stairs at lunch. You can really get a great whole body workout by incorporating squats, lunges, push ups and tricep dips on your way upstairs.
- Take some vacation time. During Ironman training my friends and I would take the odd Friday off work so we could do our long ride. It often feels like those long ride days burn up most of your day. I’d leave home early, then be riding anywhere from 4 to 7 hours depending on the distance. Add in bathroom breaks and bottle refills your day gets longer and longer. By taking a day off for my long ride it left me with more time to spend with Neil on the weekend.
Honestly there will be times when you won’t be able to balance it all. It isn’t possible to be Superman or Superwoman in all facets of your life if you are training for long hours plus working a full time job. Communication with your spouse/significant other/family about your training schedule is key. Hopefully you have a supportive partner who won’t mind being in charge of cooking dinner while you are getting your workout done. Make sure to not completely drop your responsibilities at home though. Schedule in regular date nights with your significant other to say thanks for everything they are doing to support you.
While triathlon is an individual sport on race day it isn’t possible to get to the start line without an amazing support team behind you.
Please share your advice for how you fit training into your life! I’m linking up with MCM Mama, My No Guilt Life and Run the Great Wide Somewhere for Tuesdays on the Run. Be sure to check out the link up to see all of the tips for balancing life and training!