Last week I received this comment:
Would you do a post on how you juggle your training with everything else you have going on? Your training schedule is pretty heavy (to my standards anyway), almost like a part-time job! I struggled a lot when I trained for my half ironman and I was training maybe 10 hours a week. Between work, school (which is now done!!!) and training, I was often tired and didn’t do much of anything else. I’d be nice to gain insight. 🙂
To be 100% honest I feel totally honored that someone would ask me about balance! This is something I am constantly working on, balance is tough stuff. Half Ironman training IS a part-time job. On top of other jobs, family, friends, additional hobbies and life, time can seem like a barrier. Rest assured you are not the only one who feels this way. I do not have it mastered but I can share a few ways I try to practice balance and create more time in my schedule.
1. PLAN AND PREPARE FOR THE WEEK! You have a training plan, correct? (if not you should and you should have some sort of outside guidance with this). Plan out your week and figure out when and where you will fit everything in. Meal prep! Figure out if one night you will need to get your training gear ready for the next day. Roughly lay out your week with all your responsibilities.
2. Start your day with intentions. What are your top 5 priorities in life? Start every day (before you open up that email or check your phone) by thinking about these priorities. And simply write your intentions for that day based on your priorities. What do you want to accomplish that day, what tasks do you need to get done, to-do’s to cross off, what is your training? PLAN out your day hour by hour. For each hour write which intention your are working on. It may sounds excessive but this is time management friends! It will only take you about 10 minutes every morning and it creates focus for your whole day.
3. Cut out the middle time. Are you driving 15minutes or half an hour to train somewhere? When I am extremely busy I cringe at the thought of driving somewhere to run or ride. Why not run and ride from home? Even the socializing before and after add up easily! For many people training is also a social time and that’s when your priorities come into play. If just getting the training in is one of my top priorities that day I will forego driving or group options I know will take more time than I have.
4. Get creative.
- Some days you might have to start training before the sun is up. Get on the treadmill or set up the trainer. You might have to do this in the evening also (I’d rather wake up at 4 than train in the late evening/night).
- Think you need to do your long run where you have options to get water? No way! I would hide water bottles in different places along my long run route as I often needed to run from home.
- Tack on your strength training with body weight moves at the end of a run. (coming later this week!)
5. Prioritize the little things. Proper sleep and nutrition not only allow you to get the most out of your training but also give you energy to attack your busy days! If your nutrition is off there is no way you are going to get off of work at 5pm and have the energy to train. If you aren’t sleeping right you won’t be able to concentrate at work or recover well. Eventually you will have to skip a training session and CONSISTENCY is crucial to this balancing act.
Lastly, accept imperfection. While dedication is crucial to triathlon training, life happens! Don’t get too tri-geeky over a missed swim, a shortened bike, or a run that became a walk. Smile (it works) and have fun.
What are your best tips for juggling training and life?