One of the questions I get often from blog readers is: " How do you find the time to train for a Half Ironman with two children and a husband who travels frequently?"
1) Treat training as if it is a job or daily appointment. My workouts would be scheduled weekly in advance and put into a calendar. It also meant arranging childcare on the days when the husband was away. Childcare could be anything from; using a friend to watch the kids, a relative, utilizing the daycare facilities at the gym, and sometimes often the DVD player in order to get a bike ride in on the trainer. If it was scheduled, I got it done.
2) Learn to let things go. And with this it meant having a dirty house or dishes in the sink. It was hard to do this but training came first. It also meant no entertaining at my house these past 4 months. Attend parties but in a sense become a recluse since you won't want people to see the inside of your home. There will be time later to entertain, your true friends will understand because you have already told them 65,000 times that you are training for a Half Ironman! Besides you will be clocking out at 9:00 pm every night so they might not want to hang out with you after all which leads to number 3...
3) Wake early to get a workout in. This too was tough as I am not in any way a morning person. But if a training ride called for 3 hours, I would start early before the house was awake. I would start around 5:30 am and be home by 8:30. My guys (kids and hubby) would all get up around 7:00 so really they would only miss me for about an hour and half. I didn't feel as guilty taking a really long ride knowing that everyone was still sleeping, while I was well into my ride.
4) Find a training plan and stick to it. At first I wasn't going to use a plan as they really stress me out, but I am so glad I did. I used this Tampa Tri Team Half Iron Plan but made a few changes here and there to modify it to include our vacations and squeeze an extra two weeks into it. So in reality my plan was more like a 15 week plan. The plan worked by getting me to the finish line and that's all I cared about.
5) Be realistic. Be realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to your training. If you can't commit to training 5 or 6 days a week just don't force it, it wont be fun. There is no need to put the pressure on yourself if time doesn't allow you to train as hard and often as you would like. Consider the Olympic distance first. It is a challenging distance and should be done as a test before moving up to a Half Ironman. It's a good way to gauge how ready you are to do a 70.3. I highly recommend doing the Olympic distance about 5 months before the Half. The training for the Oly will gradually ease you into the training for the Half.
Most importantly have fun and consider yourself lucky. I have a dear friend that said to me: "consider yourself so f**#%ing lucky that you get to do this!" She's right. I thought about that during my tough training days and was grateful for the healthy body I was given and the amount of support I received from family and friends.