So you’re considering stepping up in triathlon distances but your peers are saying it will take up all of your free time plus some, will require your family to give you heaps of space, and will impact your work and career. All of this is true if you don’t plan adequately, however with some small adjustments to routine a rich training program can fit into most normal lifestyles. For most our priorities should be family first, work second and then followed by sports & hobbies. If your income is derived from triathlon, then you one of the lucky few!
When working out a sustainable program, your coach should be aware of your commitments and priorities for family and work, ensuring these are not compromised. Goals should also be adjusted to balance with these priorities. My personal experience is that an solid program can be structured around these commitments, for most, by making some simple personal choices.
Some points to consider:
- Structure your program around your family and work, don’t expect your family and work to compromise, They can support you, but when it come down to it, they don’t have the goal, you do.
- Find the dead time in your weekly routine. Evening TV, morning before the family rises, commuting time, lunch hour at work are typically the ones.
- Plan in the following order:
- Agree your Long Slow distance slots with your family. 1 each for bike and run, two each for ironman campaigns. Common choices are Saturday AM (early bike ride) and Sunday PM (evening run). A Tuesday evening commute run home is also a seasoned athlete favourite.
- For many commuting is a big opportunity for training, sure the roads are busy, but there are ways to keep is safer (See next post coming soon).
- For shorter sessions, work with the family. Maybe run while the kids are at their sport session, but get back for the last 20 minutes when they usually have game skills time to support.
- Get to some club sessions, training with like athletes and experienced coaches is important for motivation.
- Fit the rest of the sessions into what time allows, but don’t compromise family and work!
- If you need to cut back prioritise Long slow distance, over strength, over speed. Triathlon is about durability, not speed.
Coming soon, a post on some creative ways to fit in quality sessions used by athletes I have coached.