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By Coach Yan Busset
5 Easy Tips for Balancing Triathlon Training with a Busy Life
We know life can get super busy with school, work, and family. But guess what? You can still fit in your triathlon training. Here are some tips to help you do so:
Tip 1: Quality and Consistency Are Your Best Friends
Make each minute of your training count! Perform fitness tests (check this article on training zones and testing) to make sure you train at the right intensity so you avoid junk miles and get the most out of your time. Even if you can only spare 20-30 minutes, it's better than doing nothing. These micro-sessions can be a great tool to increase your fitness on a busy schedule. Be consistent and you'll see a big change in how fit you are.
Tip 2: Two Birds, One Stone: Combining Disciplines
Want to save time? Mix your workouts. If your swimming pool has a gym, you can swim and then hit the gym right after. Or you can do a spin class followed by a run. This way, you reduce commute time for different parts of the day without wasting any time. When combining sessions, it's best to also alternate intensities. Avoid doing two intense sessions back to back; you need to give time to your body to assimilate an intense workout for maximizing benefits. So practically, you can add a Z2 endurance "off the bike" run after a HIIT bike session, or the other way round, have a quality VO2max run session right after an endurance ride.
Tip 3: Be an Early Bird or a Smart Owl
Get your training done first thing in the morning. Morning sessions are the best; they will energize you for the rest of the day, worth ten coffees! Another smart time to place a session is straight after work. This way, you're free in the evening to spend quality time with your family. Plus, if you go home first, you might get stuck doing housekeeping tasks and miss your workout.
Tip 4: Make Training Easy and Quick
Make a special spot in your house dedicated to training. This way, you can hop on your bike trainer in no time. If it takes you more than 15 minutes to set up your gadgets, think about going low-tech. The faster you start, the more time you have to train.
Tip 5: Turn Your Commute into a Workout
Instead of sitting in a car or bus, why not bike or run to work? Just make sure you don't race it. Resist the temptation to overtake everyone. Yes, you're fast, but save it for race day, not for that e-biker who just zoomed past you. This way, you get more training time, and you're doing something useful with your travel time. Make sure you start on time so you can make the most of your commute at a valuable aerobic Z2 pace, and not end up rushing every day and exhausting yourself with a Z3/tempo pace.
Bonus Tips: 2 Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Time-Crunched Athletes
Lunchtime Corporate Challenges: Collaborate with your office to set up short swim, bike, or run challenges during lunch breaks. It's not only a fun way to break up the workday but also a chance to sneak in some quick training.
Train While You Wait: Use wait times for things like laundry or cooking as quick workout opportunities. For instance, you can do body-weight or mobility exercises or run small laps around your house while waiting for the washing machine to finish.
Voilà, I hope these few tips will help you find new ways to make time for training. I may sound like a broken record, but consistency is key. Even on a busy, time-crunched schedule, be creative to fit in something small every day. It's a tip not just for performance but for overall health. And to be a high-performing athlete, you need first to be a healthy human being. Oh boy, as I write this, I realize that I haven't done my daily dose of exercise, sorry, guys, have to go to my pain cave for a ride!
Thank you for reading and see you next week!
Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:
1. if you are in the Helsinki area and looking for the best training group check here
2. If you are looking for an online coaching service check here.
3. If you are looking for support for your triathlon journey, I recommend you book a 30min 1on1 video consultation with me here.
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