Do I have time for triathlon?Mar 03, 2021
Have you ever asked yourself "Do I really have time for triathlon?"
Well it's a question often asked by women all over the world! And it’s a sensible one. In this blog I explore some of the reasons for this question, and suggest ways you can go from busy….to productive! Therefore creating much more time for triathlon fun 😊
I don’t need to go into the many activities that take up your time each week. A) because you are all different and B) I know you're busy, you're a woman and statistically that means you work longer hours. As Caroline Perez, author of Invisible Women said: "Women have always worked. They have often worked unpaid, underpaid, underappreciated, and invisibly, but they have always worked”
Caroline refers here to the unpaid work that makes up a vast proportion of the time you are not in paid work. In a study by Women in Sport they found that 32% of women interviewed couldn't prioritise doing exercise during lockdown, like they had done before, as they had to do too much for others. This was compounded again for those women who had younger children. It's hard to find time to exercise, pre and during lockdown. You're not alone.
For many of you, your caring/home making responsibilities are vast and takes time away from the challenges (such as triathlon) that we would like to fit into our lives. But there are some easy fixes , so you can eek out a few more training hours in the week.
I have 4 simple suggestions to help busy women navigate to a place where triathlon is fun, purposeful, progressive and fits in to your lifestyle, whether you are a CEO, childcare queen or casual athlete.
But before you carry on with the blog, you will need to get a pen and paper for this, its interactive!
How much is enough?
Ah a question we all would like to know the answer to!
Again, I don’t really mind what you have going on in your life day to day as we are all different. But what we all have in common is that everyone has same 24 hours in a day. It is what we choose to do with it that sets us apart.
I know what its like to fit a lot of training into a busy schedule. You will get it right at times, and you will absolutely get it wrong. But by far the most successful times will be when you have consciously organised your training. These exercises will help you with that, so stick with it to the end.
Using pen and paper:
- Take a helicopter view of your week. Write Monday to Sunday and jot down what you do for each hour of the day. It doesn’t take as long as you think, just be approximate about it. BUT be honest too!
- Take a look at your week. Ask yourself if everything on the sheet is really necessary, productive, fulfilling & benefits you and your loved ones. Circle them with your pen.
- Cross out all the ones that aren't. Then you can discover how much time you would then have for triathlon training.
- Take another look at the ‘must haves’ in your week, and see if you can ‘automate’ any of them. Can you ask for help with any chores? Can you do some less regularly? Can you afford to pay someone to help with anything, such as cutting the grass for 3 months this summer while you train or rest.
- Can you double up your training to take in another activity too, such as social time with friends rather than meeting in a café. Run while your children ride their bikes? Have your ‘Netflix fix’ on the turbo rather than later in the evening (stick with me)
- Are you a morning person? If not, BECOME one! Shift your day back a little, get up early and get your training done before the rest of the world wakes up. Yes it takes time to get used to, but wow what a difference. Your day is filled with smugness 😊 and all it means is you watch 30 mins less of Netflix in the evening and get yourself to bed earlier. And that finish line is well worth missing a bit of Netflix for! (unless its Suits)
So how many hours a week can you see for triathlon training now? THAT is your answer to 'how much is enough'. You need to work with what you've got, and make the most of that time.
So you know how many hours you have a week, and now you can source a training plan to suit you. It's not about that magic number of hours you need to train for a triathlon, it's just using what you've got in the best way possible.
Yes there are suggestions of a scale of how much is required. For example if you discovered from your exercise earlier you had 4 hours a week to train, you may want to consider a sprint tri not an ironman.
But ultimately its about what you can fit into your lifestyle. Imagine a plan that you can manage, where the sessions push you in a wonderful, expansive way, and fits with your current commitments. The sessions get ticked off, week after week, you're steadily gaining speed and fitness, your family and friends are happy. BLISS!
Now imagine a plan that is 4 hours more a week than you have time for and you spend 6 months beating yourself up about not being a good triathlete, boss, employee, mother, wife or friend. NOT so blissful!
Spending more hours training doesn't always mean a better triathlete. But an honest approach, using your pen 'n' paper exercises above, and sensible goal setting ALWAYS means a happy triathlete :)
Busy V’s Productive
So you have your magic number of hours. You choose your plan, and off you go. But wait, are the contents of that plan the best use of your time?
Get that paper out again:
1) Jot down your areas of strengths in triathlon
2) Jot down your areas of weakness in triathlon
3) Work on your weaknesses list!
I came into triathlon as a runner. I loved speed sessions, long slow runs, tempo runs, everything involving a run!! But I couldn’t swim! (Nor was I very good at cycling). So to get to that finish line faster, I needed to work on my weaknesses to have the best chance of achieving my goal.
Don’t just get busy training, get productive. Ensure you are working on the areas that will ultimately steer you towards being a better all round triathlete. Don't just rush around being a busy fool, get intentional. Get organised. Your future triathlete self will thank you!
We cover many of these areas discussed today in our FREE Triathlon 101 Mini Course, alongside some useful downloads to help you discover more about yourself for your triathlon journey ahead.
To find out more, take a look at Mojo Sisters Mini Course. You will be able to register for the course from March 3rd
I hope you enjoy doing these exercises, and I would love to hear from you if you found them useful.
Have a great rest of your week,