1. Get it done first thing in the morning
We’re not all alike on this front, but getting it done before most people have even started their day can be hugely advantageous. Even if you are not a morning person - getting out of the bed and shaking out that bed hair first thing and getting in a 30-40 minute run or swim session will kick start your day off in the right direction.
The ‘first thing in the morning principle’ limits the chances of other things in life getting in the way of training. Plus at the end of a long work day theres always the temptation of getting sucked into the sofa.
2. Make a schedule
Sit down and write out what you do and when you do it in a typical workday. Look for any waste or excess that can be addressed to create more training time. Suppose your schedule reveals that you currently watch two hours of TV in the evening. Why not cut that back to 90 minutes and squeeze in a 30-minute workout?
Create a new schedule with the waste and excess cut out and the extra training time added and it will be a lot easier to stick to.
3. Choose ‘manageable’ goals
Most athletes are highly goal orientated people. For many of us, attempting regular training without a goal leads to nothing really happening, whilst training with a goal tends to result in full on commitment. The problem with the ‘full on commitment’ thing is that when you choose a complicated, long and hard event (like an Ironman for example), the preparation required has the potential to cause difficulties in finding time for family and other day to day responsibilities. Setting realistic and manageable goals is the key. If you have never trained for a triathlon don’t set yourself up for failure by entering an Ironman - sign up for a sprint triathlon event and see how you manage the training for that.
4. The 15-minute rule
Something that took me a very, very long time to come to terms with was the idea that you really can do a meaningful training session that lasts for half an hour or less. When I was putting in 20+ hour training weeks, the only 30 min sessions I did were recovery ones, most were 90 min or more in length. I now regularly tell myself that even a 15 or 20 min session is worth getting in, if it’s all you’ll do during a particular day. For me this means that a hard 2 or 3 mile run with a very brief warm up and cool down is a session in it’s own right.
5. Be consistent
Consistency is the most important characteristic of an effective training regimen. So if you don’t always have time for what you consider a “full workout” every day, then at least try to do more than nothing every day. As mentioned earlier if you can squeeze in a shorter workout then it is always better than doing nothing. That consistency in keeping on track of training is what will ay the difference when it comes to the next race.
If you have any other suggestions for balancing triathlon training with every day life then let us know!