Four weeks from today, I begin a specific 16-week training plan to prepare myself for the Half Ironman on June 3rd in Raleigh, NC. Currently, I train four to five days a week, working on my core strength, increasing my flexibility and maintaining my endurance. On February 13, however, I will begin a six day a week plan to ensure I’m ready for the June race. My weekly workouts, currently four to five hours a week, will increase to ten, or more, as I get closer to my race day.
Balancing my personal life, my kids, work and training will be a challenge, but I knew that when I made the commitment to become an Ironman in 2019. Today, on the blog, I am going to share some of the strategies I have used over the past year to ensure I get my workouts in each week. I’ll be discussing how I plan to fit the additional Ironman training requirements into my daily life without sacrificing the people and priorities that are so important to me.
Train before everyone else gets up
Exercising the first thing in the morning is one of the easiest ways for me to find time to fit in my workout. At first, I found it hard to get used to early morning alarms, but over time it became easier. I remember in July, while making our annual July 4th trip to the lake, I made the commitment to go to bed early and get up before everyone else that week. I wanted to get up, go for a run, and get back to the shore in time to watch the amazing sunrises over the lake. Knowing that I couldn’t slow the sun from rising, I had no choice but to get up and go. Pressing snooze one or two times would have made it difficult to get in my run and make it back in time to watch the sun peak above the opposite shoreline.
I feel so good getting a workout done early in the morning. My energy level remains high throughout the day and it allows me to spend the remainder of the day working, enjoying time with my loved ones, or just relaxing.
Another strategy that I have used and will continue to use, is a workout calendar. I strive to schedule my workout times ahead of time. I treat my workouts as set appointments on my calendar and, if possible, schedule other appointments around them. We must make time for ourselves, whether it’s exercise, or quite time. The times we make for ourselves should be treated like appointments that we make with others.
Scheduling workouts ahead of time allows me to look at what is already scheduled and helps me fit in my training for the week. Being flexible is key, though, as we all know things come up with work, kids and with life. Meetings come up, work priorities take precedence and a planned lunch workout may become an unscheduled late evening workout. Being flexible is crucial for me when it comes to getting my workouts in for the day.
Have a training plan
Along the same lines with the workout calendar, having a training plan to guide me is also important. If I don’t know what I’m going to do at the gym before I get there, I am more likely to make an excuse to not go. I used to enjoy the flexibility of deciding which element to work on just before a workout. Sometimes it is nice to have that flexibility, but uncertainty can also create hesitation that takes up the precious time needed to achieve my training goals.
Be creative and flexible
Finally, creativity is a must when my workout schedule gets disrupted and I just have to go with it. I pack my gym bag each night and take it everywhere I go throughout the day. If I find that I have 45 minutes before I pick the kids up from practice or school, I will try to utilize every minute to squeeze in a quick workout. Every bit of training counts, even if it’s only twenty minutes. Living a busy life with work and kids requires me to take advantage of every minute I have throughout the day.
Working out takes commitment and dedication, regardless of our goals. We all live busy lives, sometimes finding it difficult to fit in a walk, a run, or a swim we need to stay healthy. I want to stay healthy for my kids. I want to be able to remain active for as long as possible, enjoying adventures and new experiences. Back in May, my workouts consisted of short jogs and walks around the lake. Now, with the strategies I’ve discussed, I’m looking at fitting in ten hours a week to train for becoming an Ironman.
Are you letting the lack of time keep you from training or achieving your fitness goals? Do you want to lose a few pounds, get more toned, or finish a triathlon? WhyNotTri starting out by scheduling twenty minutes every couple of days for some exercise? The time is there, you must use it. Who knows, you may even get addicted to exercising like I have and set your goals even higher.