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5 Rules to Have a Triathlon Training Schedule Without Getting a Divorce

Posted Dec 26 2009 10:23pm
Everybody has heard the horror stories of triathletes who have a triathlon training schedule that squeezes swimming, cycling, running and gym visits into a week with a full time career and the usual demanding rigors of daily life.

And everybody has also heard of those same triathletes who one day wake up and find that this same triathlon training schedule has left them with no family, very few friends, and a suffering career, albeit very nicely shaved and muscular calves.

Are you afraid that this might happen to you? Whether you're an Ironman triathlete or a complete beginner, you may find yourself sucked into the vicious vortex of a triathlon training schedule that results in some pretty serious social and familial implications.

But have no fear - you can safely rely on these 5 rules from the Rock Star Triathlete Academy at to carry on a successful triathlon training schedule without getting a divorce.

Rule #1: Biomechanical superiority and efficiency is not more important than family. If running with your spouse means you'll go slower, then exaggerate your heel-to-butt kick and increase your vertical distance from the ground with each step. You'll experience just as much cardiovascular stimulus, you just won't have as much mechanical efficiency - allowing you to work hard while running slower. Yes, you're running slower - but you're running WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Same goes for baby strollers, whether you're pushing them or towing them behind your bike. There is no rule that every session in your triathlon training schedule needs perfect, undistracted form.

Rule #2: You can get fit in a living room, while you are watching kids. Even if you can't make into the pool, your triathlon training schedule can include a warm-up game of hide-and-seek, chase or tag, followed by child-holding crunches, kid-gripping swing squats, overhead youngster presses and vigorous dancing to The Chipmunks can give you a little bit of that cardio and strength cross-over effect.

Rule #3. There is no magic difference between 50 minutes and 60 minutes. That's right: if you get home from your run with 10 minutes to spare, and you're thus able to be showered and sitting at the dinner table, it is not going to destroy the triathlon training schedule that said you were supposed to run for 1 hour. Aerobic adaptations will begin to set in after just 20 minutes, and you really aren't going to get any significant physical adaptations by tacking an extra ten onto your jaunt. Now you just have to get over your mental fear of not having a "perfect hour long" run. It's OK. After a few repeats, the new time range will feel normal.

Rule #4: Communicating with your spouse goes a long ways. Especially when you're going a long ways. If your weekend triathlon training schedule is going to involve a 3 hour run, 5 hour bike ride, or long swim and weights session, then warn your spouse in advance. And NOT when you roll over in bed that morning. Five to six days in advance, give them a heads-up that you'll have big chunk of time on the weekend devoted to training. Trust me - your spouse will appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness in giving the warning, although you may still owe them a quiet movie that night.

Rule #5: Do not think like a pro triathlete, unless you are one. If this sport is your career, then your triathlon training schedule is bringing home the bacon, and you can justify a 25-35 hour training week. But don't kid yourself. If you're into triathlon for the love of the game, to stay fit, or to prove to yourself that you can complete the challenge, then all triathlon a hobby. And no matter how good or successful you are at your hobby, in the ultimate scheme of things, when you're on your deathbed or even when you're seventy years old with a bad set of knees, are you really going to care if you did an 11 hour or an 11 hour and forty five minute Ironman? Especially if you have your best friend and lover still at your side, holding your hand? Close your eyes and see if you can picture that. Does that help?

If you have a husband or wife, and you're attempting to maintain a triathlon training schedule, the five rules above from the Rock Star Triathlete Academy at will ensure that success in your sport and in your life becomes a little bit easier. That's all for now - now quit reading and go give your special someone a big wet kiss!
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