Four easy steps for busy people to live the triathlon lifestyle
Posted Oct 23 2010 7:19am
Are you a fitness nut? Do you live, eat and breathe triathlon, duathlon, running, etc? Are you married with kids and a full time job? Where do you find the time?
Let’s take a brief look at some ideas to get that training in to satiate your appetite for fitness!
Assume you are married, with 2 kids under 4, house payments, two cars, and a full time job and your spouse must at least work part time.
Where do you find the time between all of those priorities? Do you have to dump something to make it work? I assert that you do not. You just need to be organized and disciplined. It may not be the most fun lifestyle (at times) but if you want that sub 4 hour marathon or sub 6 hour half ironman, you need to commit!
It’s a 4 pronged attack.
1. Communication – if you don’t communicate to your spouse and family your goals, desires and motivation, they will not buy into your plan and you are doing this on your own = it will not happen or you’ll get divorced.
If your spouse says, “where do you think you are going” when you head out for that 50 mile ride, that’s not good. You’re on the same page when they ask, “swim, bike or run this morning?” Make a plan and communicate to your family what you think it will take to get there.
2. Resources – do you have a gym membership, readily available child care? These are the resources you will need. You won’t miss too much family time, but long workouts on weekends will take you a away for a little bit.
Do you have a full or part time daycare? If they have extended hours, that could be a quick speed workout once or twice a week before you get the kids. It’s a double score if you have a gym with child care provided. Be aware, some have limits and if you are too late, no kid watchers! Family is also a great option. There could be grandparents that would love a couple hours with Jr. or some cousins needing some babysitting money. Check with family when possible.
A gym membership is a big key. Treadmills, lap pools and stationary bikes are not all that fun but if you HAVE to get a workout in and it’s raining, too cold or too hot, the gym is your last bet. If you are lucky enough to have a treadmill at home, or a bike trainer to set your bike on, then a gym isn’t as important but you will need a pool to train in if triathlon is your thing. Check masters swim groups as well. They often have deals with local pools that are inexpensive and you pay by the visit.
3. Timing – you may not feel great or have time to train when you want. You may have to work out pre-dawn to handle kids when they wake up. You may have to give up relaxing lunches to grab a swim instead. It’s a matter of cramming in that workout around your life style when you can. If you miss an opportunity, you may not be prepared and have regrets race day. ALWAYS have a workout bag packed. You never know when a lunch gathering will get cancelled or a meeting gets canned. Be ready for run, bike or swim! Bring a towel and bathroom supplies and be READY!
If both parents work full time, mornings and lunches during the week are probably what you are looking at with long early morning workouts on the weekends. Most people don’t have the option to work out when they feel like it with two kids and a spouse on the weekends.
Also look at your workout. Avoid junk miles = waste of time. Have a purpose for each workout. You can get more out of a threshold 45 minute run than a slow 1 hour and 30 minute workout. Find workouts that maximize the affects and limited time you have. More is not always better.
4. Equipment – as touched on before, make sure you have the right gear at the right time. If you are working out and don’t have a gym, try and get hooked up with a treadmill and bike trainer. With a family, there will be times you have to stay at home to get the workout in. Count on it. Make sure to pack workout gear for the road because you never know what situation will come up and present you an opportunity to get your workout on. You’ll kick yourself for that Thursday lunch and learn that got moved and you don’t have running and shower gear!
It takes a lot of motivation to keep on the path with a full load at home and work. If you have the dedication and means, it can be done!
Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com , and is a married father of one (soon to be two), owner of three dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport.
Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001. Ryan is also the Kansas Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughs HERE . Contact Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org