If you are in full time employment the idea of training for a triathlon can be a bit daunting. Swimming, biking, running, recovering, eating, sleeping and buying all the equipment you need can sometimes feel like a full time job in itself! Add family and children into the mix and there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to keep everyone happy.
The key is to be organised and to plan your training in advance, weekly or monthly programmes are perfect. Keep the training hours manageable and discuss your plans with your spouse to make sure they are comfortable with the commitment you are making.
When building your plan think about the hours you feel able to commit to the training, remember to include packing your kit and showering afterwards as these also take away from your time at work or at home.
Assess what is realistic for you – if 2 swims, 2 bikes and 2 runs per week are the maximum you can commit to then that is absolutely fine. As long as you are consistent with your six sessions you will see great improvement over time. Of course, 3 swims, 4 bikes and 4 runs will see you make gains at a quicker rate, but if this is going to stretch your ability to recover or will cause friction at home then the gains may come at too high a price.
Consider scheduling in shorter, more intense sessions. A hard 40 minute workout can easily achieve similar benefits to a one hour session that lacks focus.
Efficient ways to fit your training around your life include running or cycling to and from work, swimming at a gym near work at lunchtimes and getting up early on a Saturday morning to get your long training ride or run finished in time to spend the day with the family.
Also consider investing in an indoor turbo trainer for your bike. This allows you to jump on the bike at home and pedal indoors whenever you see a gap in your life diary. Without having to pack nutrition, work out what clothing to wear or clean your bike afterwards your workout can become much more efficient. Of course, similar benefits are to be found at the excellent spin classes at your Virgin Active gym.
Make sure that you bring your family along for the ride. Involve them in the planning of your races and even elements of the training. Get supporters t shirts printed up for them to wear, encourage them to take part in kids races – they should not feel isolated by your new found passion for triathlon.
Above all, recover well, eat well and sleep well otherwise triathlon will begin to negatively effect your home and work life. Remember, you are doing this because it is fun!