This weeks blog gives some insight into the challenges of how to fit your training in around busy lives and demands on your time from all angles. This isn’t just for the long distance iron flavoured specimens but for all of us including those striving to prep for sprint distances. A window into the diary of a time starved triathlete.
Work, work, work
Running Trivelo Bikes is not a 9 to 5 job and it places demands on my time continuously. Starting a new business with limited resources and a small team means long hours and lots of sleepless nights worrying about the latest issue from cash flow to competitors. When I’m not desperately trying to make Trivelo something genuinely special, two kids make sure that any spare time has more than enough opportunity to be consumed. Add into the mix making sure the garden doesn’t turn into a jungle and fixing every piece of a house that seems eager to break at the mildest touch mean time for swimming, cycling and running is in short supply. But this is a sport that is not sympathetic to these constraints and if you haven’t put the time into training, races can be very uncomfortable affairs and leave you jaded about the sport and unmotivated to continue.
So where does the time come from?
Not sleeping may seem like a ripper solution cramming more awake hours into the day to fit it all in but this really kills your performance. Sleep deprived athletes cannot compete with well rested punters. That said if you love a lie in and 12 hours sleep get your ass up and out there. 7 to 8 hours is plenty for most so if your still scratching your arse crack under the duvet at midday maybe triathlon isn’t for you.
Early morning rides work for a number of reasons. For one the roads tend to be more quiet so less car drivers incensed by a Lycra clad cyclist around and also for other family members they can lie in oblivious to the fact you have ridden 2,000 feet of incline before breakfast. For fat burning as well if you hit it hard before breakfast there are some studies that show this forces your body to eat into fat reserves. If your planning a three hour ride though don’t attempt this without any fuel before or during as this is not good for you or your training. So first option is getting up and getting out there.
Mode of transport
Next solution is to combine transit with training. If you can switch a commute on the bus some days for running it is all win. Less money, more training, no extra time needed and if buses where you are work like mine chances are you will probably be quicker too. Commute sessions are not the only option. Heading for a family picnic 40 miles away? Why not leave a bit earlier and race the family there on your bike to maximise your time.
Late doors training
Third option is to add in some evening events including club training sessions. Most tri clubs have swimming, running and TT evenings that you can attend and trade an evening in front of Eastenders for a night of sweat and effort. For those with the strains of a job with travel evenings present a good option to put the hours in without any family conflicts as your only battle is finding a hotel with a gym and resisting the temptation to head to the bar for that post work glass of vino.
More than just swim, bike, run
Final thing to consider is core training and strength conditioning. Adding ten minutes a day somewhere during your schedule means that you are adding in another hour plus of training each week as it all adds up and not ignoring the conditioning needs of your training. You don’t need a fancy gym just a bit of space and away you go with a quick daily routine to help you with that core and back strengthening to ease the swim and bike. Always helps with transition too, the fourth discipline as flexibility and agility are always handy traits when it comes to ripping off a tight fitting wetsuit as you struggle to charge off on your bike.
Always open to new ideas
There is always a way and if you have others let us know. If your looking to fit in the 12 hours plus needed each for ironman this approach obviously isn’t going to be enough but for 6 to 8 hours of training this can really help. Good luck! What does your diary of a time starved triathlete look like?
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo bikes and a lover of the early morning ride.