Balance and Training

Sent to newsletter of the Pacific Grove Triathlon’s request for thoughts on Balance, or balancing your training/racing with other parts of your life:
Balance between training/racing and the rest of my life has always been the eternal challenge. In solving my issues, I’ve found that there are three essential things to keeping training in your life without driving you or others around you crazy:
Oh don’t we all wish we had 40 hours a day so that we could do all the things we wanted to! But it just isn’t so. I have found a few things to help find time to train. The first is getting your training out of the way in the morning. I get up at 5am every day to hit Master’s swimming and/or run or bike and get it all over with by 9am. In doing your workouts before the rest of the world gets up, it doesn’t interfere with others’ “awake time”. Besides, doing your workout in the morning gets your energy going for the rest of the day. Also, sneaking workouts during the day is another way to get them in, such as during your lunch break or maybe even in the middle of the afternoon if your employer allows it. Doing mid-afternoon workouts is nice to combat that “take a nap” feeling that happens around 3pm.
Gaining the Commitment of Others:
Talk it over with your friends and family. Get them on board with your training. Tell them how important it is to you. Keep telling them until they understand everything. You’d be amazed at how many people have no concept of what it means to train 6 days a week and 3-4 hours each training block. They also have no concept of how much energy drain it can take and how that affects your ability to interact with them later in the day. Make them understand what it means to you personally and how your feel about it. The more they understand and can empathize with how much it means to you, the less likely they will be to react negatively when you are mid-way through your 4 month training program and their growing but hidden hatred of your absences explodes in your face…
Your Own Attitude:
Having the right attitude towards triathlon can make or break your commitment to the sport. To me, triathlon is more than just racing – I rave about its benefits to my overall health. When you think of triathlon training as your daily exercise workout in addition to competition, then it helps you prioritize it in your day as a lifelong commitment to health, versus just to the next race. It also helps you manage disappointment as having winning first place as your goal when you’re an average age-grouper isn’t realistic and sets you up for disappointment and ultimately quitting when your lofty goals aren’t met. Instead, you can enjoy the fact that you have more energy each day and you’re able to eat just about anything you want without gaining an ounce.

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